Right at the end of the summer of 2021 we escaped to the island of Crete for our first trip outside of the UK since the pandemic. Our trip, apartments, location and experiences were beyond all of our expectations – so here I am sharing just one element of our trip that made it so magical.
Eleven Boutique Suites located in Stavromenos Village, just 15 minutes away from Rethymno town – the perfect place to start your adventure in Crete. Situated on the beachfront, sophisticated in design, with a warm and friendly atmosphere oozing out of the family who run the apartments.
What more could you ask for? We had a fantastic two-week stay in this small, family friendly boutique apartment. Newly created, with an elegant look and finish all whilst located on the beach and with a Taverna run by the same family. The comfiest bed, the space in the apartment was luxurious in look and feel and a view from our balcony of the crystal blue sea. Perfect.
Eleven Boutique Suites Review, Crete 2021
What did we like about Eleven Boutique Suites?
The location blew us away, we have never been so lucky to have stayed on the beachfront before. There was something quite magical about waking up to a sea view over my morning coffee and then taking a walk along the beach, it’s certainly something we won’t forget. The sunrise and sunset were both incredible. As the beach is private for the residents of Eleven Boutique Suites there are loungers available, beach towels and of course the Taverna which just adds to the luxury feel.
And let’s not forget the pool, George’s favourite part – we knew it would be. There’s the main pool and a smaller shallow pool for young children or for just dipping your toes in. The view from the pool of the clear blue sky and sea as well as having the ability to bring a drink back from the bar makes it a great early evening spot. So tranquil.
As a family of 3, we booked the 1 bedroom partial-sea view suite (no 16). Plenty big enough for a family of 4 also. The living space became George’s double bedroom at night, with enough storage in the main bedroom for 3! Modern, spacious, every detail considered for you with a balcony stretching the length of the apartment. The towels were changed regularly, the apartment was cleaned daily (very unexpected). Everything felt 5*.
Food at the Eleven Taverna
As part of your booking you can add on breakfast at the Eleven Taverna, we chose to utilise the facilities in the apartment as we knew we’d be exploring Crete early most mornings. You can opt for this on an ad hoc basis too by filling in a slip in reception. We took ourselves off to the local supermarket which was walking distance from the apartment and stocked up the fridge. Granola, fruit and Greek yoghurt for me, cereal or eggs on toast for the boys. Simple but perfect.
We did enjoy three evening meals at the Taverna, highly recommended. Fresh, homemade and family friendly, traditional Greek food and popular with locals. A small but delicious menu. The owner Giorgas was very accommodating and even reserved our favourite spot without prompt. Your food is prepared by the head of the family, and if you’re lucky you’ll see him on your visit. Whilst there are no cocktails on the menu, the local wine, feta cheese and sea view certainly made up for it.
Where did we eat out whilst staying at Eleven Boutique Suites?
We found three fantastic restaurants in walking distance of the apartments, two with a sea view which if in Chania or nearby Rethymno you would pay a premium for. If you’re only staying for a short period and not looking to hire a car I would recommend all three as well as Eleven Taverna. You won’t be disappointed and best of all, they’re all very different. We ate between 5-7pm and never struggled without a reservation, afterwards they were busy with locals – especially on a Sunday.
I’ll share our favourite restaurants from the whole trip which are a little further out in another post. For now, the ones in walking distance are… Paraplous, Thalassi Restaurant and Kexagias. All three had beautiful settings (see below). Thalassi was incredibly family friendly, Paraplous was our favourite and the setting at Kexagias was very traditional but equally really special as it was so different.
Location, Location, Location
As I’ve mentioned the location of Eleven Boutique Suites is perfect for exploring, situated just off the highway you are within minutes of supermarkets, a local town called Arkadi (bars & restaurants although very commercialised, we weren’t overly impressed), 15 minutes from beautiful Rethymno and 60 minutes from a fascinating Chania. 120 minutes from beautiful Elounda. As well as hidden beach coves and so many more incredible stops on the way.
Whilst we adored wandering around Chania and Rethymno old town during the day and night, we prefer to stay a little further out. For us, it means we truly immerse ourselves in the local and family culture of Greece. As well as forcing us to explore, see the sights and those breath-taking vistas. My goodness they were something.
Unless you’re only staying for a few days I would highly recommend hiring a car. We travelled over a 1000 miles and would not have had the same experience had we not. We visited incredible beaches, swam in a fresh water lake with turtles, took on two waterparks, walked through a Palm Tree Forrest, climbed the Matala Caves – quite literally we had an awesome time. The views were stop you in your tracks moments. And despite Greece being very hilly and rough in terrain at times, on the whole the roads were fine and felt newly developed. Adjust yourself quickly to the Greek driving customs, stay right and you’ll be just fine.
Is there anything I’d change?
No. Really there isn’t. We had a truly amazing holiday. We’re not one for booking a package break, we prefer to build our own. The apartments were 100% as they’re described, better in fact. The views will take your breath away. Due to the location it’s so peaceful. Unspoilt. Tranquil. The sea near the apartments isn’t really one you’d do more than dip your toes in due to the sea being rough, but the beachfront is great for a walk. There are so many beaches to drive out to. If like us and you prefer to get out and explore, open your eyes to new experiences. This is the place. The place to stay.
If you’d like to read more about our trip to Crete you can take a look at our favourite beaches, 5 reasons to visit Crete and lastly what it was like travelling during Covid here.
Eleven Boutique Suites Review, Crete 2021