Crete, Europe and Middle East, Greece, Hotel Reviews, Newsletter

Azade Boutique Hotel, Old Town Chania, Crete

30/01/2023 by .
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Rebecca Hall experiences Medieval luxury in the Azade Boutique Hotel in Chania Old Town on the Greek island of Crete.

Long a popular Greek island destination for rest and relaxation, Crete is Greece’s biggest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It has an eclectic past–from the Minoan civilization to Venetian and Ottoman influences, all leaving their mark from ancient sites such as the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the island’s architecture through to its gastronomy.

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Although a gorgeous year-round destination, don’t just head to Crete for summer sun and a sea and sand holiday.  Delve into its Venetian and Ottoman past, and what better way to experience this than by basing yourself in Chania, a destination in itself. Stay in a lovingly renovated 17th-century Venetian and Ottoman villa, now a nine-suited boutique residence in the heart of Chania Old Town to really immerse yourself.

Some history, and what’s in a name?

White Mountains in the distance as viewed from Azade Grand Suite terrace

I knew I was in for a treat when I understood I was going to be staying in a 17th-century Venetian and Ottoman villa, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Would it be rudimentary? Boutique luxury hotels often vary in their style, and I wasn’t to be disappointed.

Persian for ‘noble, kind and free-spirited, Azade Boutique Hotel is a 17th-century Venetian and Ottoman villa, built within the Old Venetian Walls in the heart of Old Town Chania.  It was once the residence of a ‘Pasha’–man of high rank in the Ottoman political/military order–during their occupation of the island, then in the 1970s and 80s, the American playwright and poet Charles Henri Ford made it his residence, providing much-needed inspiration for him in its peaceful surroundings.

The hotel

With only nine rooms or suites over three floors–the ground floor with a gorgeous dining area–actually Charles Henri Ford’s original bedroom–where you’ll eat a delicious two-course homemade breakfast using local Cretan ingredients, I found it an intimate and peaceful setting to base myself when exploring the bustling streets of Chania.

Reception to Azade Chania

Even in the off-season, Chania, and Crete in general, can attract year-round tourism due to its gorgeous weather.  Indeed, my time there in January saw me experiencing unusually high 19C temperatures and sunshine.  On beautiful days you can sit in the courtyard instead to eat your breakfast, lapping up some of the badly needed Vitamin D from the sun as the water fountain tinkles away


The villa is built in keeping with its ancient past, keeping where possible any original 17th-century stone masonry, experienced throughout the property as you wander through stone arches either in the public areas or your suite.

The rooms and suites

As mentioned, there’s a choice of only nine rooms/suites, meaning the Azade Boutique Hotel exudes a feeling of intimate welcoming, as if each room has been designed with specifically you in mind. All have either a small balcony (these are on the second floor) or a private terrace (the ones on the third floor).

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On the ground floor, a two-storey maisonette can accommodate up to three people with a semi-private terrace.

I loved my Cretan Living Suite–Suite 304. The bedroom was open plan with separate monsoon shower and toilet room (standard in all rooms/suites).  The highlights for me were the cute attic daybed area, which can be used as an extra sleeping place.

In fact, I was tempted to divide my time between my king bed with mattress topper and release my inner kid and sleep in the attic!
My second favourite aspect of the Cretan Living suite was the traditional walled private terrace area that felt like a throwback in time.  I could sit here and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and the floor-to-ceiling windows threw in so much light.

Tip: Choose a suite on the third floor.  These mostly have terraces with sweeping views to the old harbour.

Up and coming

In 2023 there will be a rooftop veranda and dining opening, again with gorgeous views across to the harbour and lighthouse, even as far away as the White Mountains.

Chania Old Town, Venetian Harbour and Lighthouse

Chania Harbour and Lighthouse from what will be the rooftop veranda and dining area

Chania’s Old Town, Venetian Harbour and lighthouse are well worth spending a day exploring. Built in the 14th century by the Venetians, the Harbour was one of the most important trade centres in the Mediterranean of its time.   The Lighthouse stands out as the symbol of the town and is a highlight of the port, guarding the harbour’s entrance. The Egyptians reconstructed the lighthouse in the 19th century, and a stroll along the quayside and harbour walls to view it up close is a must.

Chania Harbour and Lighthouse

All small, cobbled Old Town alleyways lead to the waterfront, so basing yourself in the unique Azade Boutique Hotel located here is very much recommended.

Hotel and Chania images (C) Rebecca Hall and Azade Boutique Hotel.

Tell me more about Azade Boutique Hotel

Azade Chania Boutique Hotel, Zampeliou 69, Chania Old Town, 73100 Crete

T: +30 282 110 1358 E:

Suites start at €140 to €300 per night depending on room or suite and season (this is low season price).  It can go up to €570 per night in high season depending on suite.  Always best to check on the hotel’s website.

Loving the little in-room extras such as the locally produced Myrro shower and skin care products.

The hotel  is approx. 25 minutes from Chania airport and nearer the main port of Chania for ferries. The hotel can organise a transfer, but no vehicles can drive into the Old Town, so the hotel can help you with any luggage from the drop-off point.


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