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“Beyond Expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Panokosmos Holidays

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Panokosmos Holidays
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Xiliomoudou | Chania, Apokoronas, Crete 73003, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Beyond Expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014 via mobile

I won't repeat the superlatives of the previous reviews as they are all correct. Instead, I hope to draw attention to other superb aspects of this property, its location and the service provided.

The villa is a little off the beaten track and a car is essential though the road that seems daunting to begin with is one that you will actually come to miss when your holiday ends! It is about 10 minutes 'off the hill' to the nearest village with tavernas and a shop and about 20 to a good town and beach.

The location is great for exploring the lesser known reaches of Crete and particularly the White Mountains and the Apokoronas. The cities of Chania and Rethymno, both stunning, cultured places are about 40 minutes away and worth every minute of the drive.

The real jewel is Panokosmos itself and the marvellous hosts, John and Yasmin, for whom nothing is too much trouble, whether it be providing directions and recommendations to places of interest or places to eat. However, do not miss out on their cooking which was some of the best we experienced in this part of the island over the two weeks we stayed.

We will be coming back to Panokosmos.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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17 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

For our first trip to Crete we wanted a comfortable villa with a pool away from all the crowds and the pictures of Panokosmos nestled in the foothills of the mountains looked exactly what we wanted. When we arrived, we were amazed by the location of the villa, the attention to detail and, most of all, the view. Our family of four rented the entire top floor which meant that we had balconies facing in virtually every direction meaning we had uninterrupted views of the high mountains, the nearby gorge and out to the sea - we never got fed up of the view or the stars at night! The only noise to break the tranquility is the gentle tinkling of the goats' and sheeps' bells as they comb the mountainsides looking for whatever goodness they can find from the dry land.
The villa is beautiful with everything you'd expect from a luxury, well-appointed place but the whole experience is made so much more special by the wonderful host and hostess, John and Yasmin. From even before we arrived when John helped us arrange car hire from Heraklion airport (Athens Cars- can recommend them - they were waiting for us at 3:30am in arrivals after a badly delayed outbound flight!!) they made the holiday so much ore special. From the delicious breakfasts they served up to the local knowledge to recommend secret beaches and great gorge walks (to avoid the hordes at Samaria), they made the whole trip so enjoyable and relaxing. A particular highlight was the romantic 5 course meal (no kids!) cooked by John and Yasmin which started with cocktails in the pool and then proceeded with different courses, all delicious and Michelin Star quality, in different locations around the villa before finishing with Raki watching the moon rise by the pool. John and Yasmin also had a great knack of being there when you needed them but mysteriously disappearing when you don't!
The villa is wonderfully secluded (though only 15 mins from the nearest shop/Taverna in Stylos and 20-25mins from supermarket/beach in Kalyves) and although there are many hairpin bends, the road is very good all the way (rough driveway for the last 200 metres only) so nervous drivers need not worry.
Overall, we had a perfect 2 weeks. The villa is so comfortable that some days we didn't get out till 6pm after chilling all day and taking advantage of the pool and poolside bar. The location is perfectly secluded but also within easy reach of Chania and the main road to get to most places in the west of Crete easily. John and Yasmin were perfect hosts and made the whole holiday more special in so many ways. If you want to experience the relaxing, romantic, secluded side of Crete, Panokosmos is for you!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedarville, Ohio
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

Panokosmos was more breathtaking than the pictures suggested. Honestly our favorite B/B we have ever stayed in during our travels in Europe/Mediterranean. We were warmly welcomed by John and Yasmin and given a tour of the hilltop property and villa. After sharing a welcoming drink with our hosts, we were able to relax in the Beautiful Sunset (West) Studio (It was 5 star luxury with incredible views). Panokosmos gives a panoramic view of the white mountains and the Mediterranean can be seen towards the coast. The drive up the mountain only takes 10-15 minutes and Panokosmos is only about 35-40 minutes away from Hania Airport. A perfect location! We drove down to the southern coast to hike in Aradena Gorge which was beautiful and only took 1hr and 5 minutes to drive. Rethymnon was only 55 minutes away to the East. John and Yasmin are a lovely couple and their hospitality is unsurpassed. We cannot wait to go back. If you love solitude, a perfect location, and a great deal look no further!

Room Tip: Any of the rooms are lovely. If you want lots of extra room with a kitchen, rent the whole top floor...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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JohnandYasmin, Owner at Panokosmos Holidays, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
We really enjoyed having you at Panokosmos, and are so glad you liked it so much. We do hope you are back again soon!
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

After a lot of hairpin bends this is a delightful villa to arrive at with stunning views all the way around, both of the mountains and out to sea. As soon as we were out of the car we had a good feeling about it and on looking around during the guided tour it was clear that everything essential had been thought through and provided by the owners, from basic foodstuffs to beach/pool towels and plenty of places to sit outside and enjoy the glorious views. We were especially pleased with the selection of four delicious types of honey! A lot of attention has been paid to detail; the kitchen was very well equipped, the sitting room very comfortable and we enjoyed the home cinema.
The area around the villa is very quiet with lots of olive groves and goats roaming about. The villa is at the end of a narrow road so there is no passing traffic. The drive to a lovely beach at Kalives takes around 25 minutes (probably 15mins if you're local) but John gives good clear directions.
The villa is extremely comfortable and spotlessly clean. John and Yasmin were excellent unobtrusive hosts. It may not be the cheapest villa on the market but you get more than what you pay for.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnandYasmin, Owner at Panokosmos Holidays, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
Glad you had a good time, and we do hope we see you again, perhaps this time with family too?
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

We were looking for somewhere peaceful to use as a base for relaxing but also exploring western Crete. On both counts it's difficult to beat Panokosmos. The location is stunning - high up in the foothills of the White Mountains but with a view across to the sea. Everything was beautifully and thoughtfully put together. You will need a car though - and a certain amount of confidence with hairpin bends and irregular tarmac!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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JohnandYasmin, Owner at Panokosmos Holidays, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Glad that you enjoyed your time here - you certainly did some super walks and got to lots of places in the few days you were with us!
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Bucharest, Romania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We traveled to Panokosmos in the summer fo 2013

Overall impression: What to expect in Chilimoudou: a really “away from it all” experience. If you have the patience and are open to non-standard tourism, you can discover lovely places such as local tavernas, small art & crafts workshops…and lots of others to make for a truly unique holiday that will stay in your heart for a long time! Panokosmos is a place you will remember for sure and John and Yasmin make all efforts to plan a memorable stay (more details below)
The area
Situated on top of the mountain, Chilimoudou (the village where the villa is situated) offers amazing views of the White mountains and also a true feeling of getaway and log out.
The nearest (although not necessarily the nicest) beach (Kalyves) is 15-20 min by car from Panokosmos, Chania is 30 mins away. Chania is a really nice town, with lots of influences and nice hang out places as well as romantic narrow streets with local shops – we loved Chania and liked it way more than Heraklion.
The star-beach of Crete, Elafonissi, is 2 hrs drive away from Chilimoudou and I would recommend the drive there as it’s really pitoresque.
The place
– as seen in pictures and nicer  Lots of terraces, a nice and romantic garden, with panoramic hidden areas, a super-clean pool… everything to make you really postpone those sightseeing tours that you came set to do 
Rooms are cleaned daily and you have access to the pool throughout the day and the night. The food prepared on place (the breakfast and the light lunch) has a different theme and a different story every day: from honey coming from various local producers to freshly ground coffee and freshly baked bread, every breakfast is an experience of its own.
About Yasmin and John
I needed a paragraph just for them because they really deserve it. Even before coming there, John andYAsmin made all possible to prepare our arrival: they asked details about our likes/dislikes and special conditions and made sure they respected all of them, they gave us extended directions and also details about the rooftop apart to make sure we understand the arrangement and have the proper expectations. Upon our arrival, every breakfast and every coffee or loaf of bread from every breakfast had a story nicely told by them. If you decide to take a trip, they will offer you a packed lunch. They are also happy to give reccomendations of places and to adapt to suggest places to your style. However, they are really discrete, so if you decide to just spend a day at the pool and not to leave the place, be sure you won’t see them walking around. They just somehow manage to appear only when they’re needed :)
Congrats for what you’ve done with the place!

Room Tip: The rooftop terrace apartment is the most romantic. However, the ground floor apartment is also nice...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnandYasmin, Owner at Panokosmos Holidays, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
We are so glad that we were able to meet your likes/dislikes - it was good to be able to discuss this before you came. And its great that you had a good time - we certainly enjoyed looking after you, you were all so appreciative.
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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We stayed at Panokosmos for a week in August 2013 and had a wonderful time. There were 4 of us (2 couples) and we rented the rooftop apartment, which we absolutely loved. Stunning views, irreproachable (en-suite) rooms plus quite a number of terraces where we always liked to unwind and watch the stars at night.

Service is also excellent at Panokosmos - the owners, Jasmin and John, prepared a different but always excellent breakfast every morning; we also enjoyed the tasty light lunches or packed sandwiches when on a trip at lunchtime. They were also extremely helpful in giving us suggestions for visiting or eating out.

When not exploring Crete, relaxing by and in the well maintained and good-sized pool pool was one of our favourite past time.

If you are looking for the perfect away from it all spot, then nothing beats the tranquillity and breath-taking views of Panokosmos! And when you feel you'd like to reconnect with the buzz of the rest of the world, Chania town is only 30-40 minutes away (drive) and there's only a 25 minute drive to the nearest beach.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnandYasmin, Owner at Panokosmos Holidays, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
We had a great time having you here - and thanks again for the lovely gift - which you can see on FB Panokosmos Holidays!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Panokosmos Holidays

Address: Xiliomoudou | Chania, Apokoronas, Crete 73003, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Chania Prefecture > Apokoronas > Kalyves
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Kalyves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Panokosmos - "on top of the world" in Greek - is an exclusive, luxurious, one of a kind bed & breakfast in Crete. Its unique location, with spectacular panoramic views of mountains, gorges and the sea offers an "away from it all" experience. You'll feel among friends as we look after you. For breakfast we'll create tasty offerings with home-made rolls, local orange blossom honey, sheeps milk yoghurt & handcrafted fresh ground coffee! We know the most interesting out of the way tavernas & restaurants. Refresh yourself with a swim in the huge private pool, laze out on loungers amongst the mountains or wander in the lush Mediterranean gardens. There are wonderful walks to experience peace and tranquillity in the bracing mountain air. We can take and collect you, and offer you a splendid packed lunch. We have a rooftop apartment with a kitchenette and two rooms, or a spacious bedroom suite with luxurious ensuite bathroom all equipped to the highest bed & breakfast standards. We are an unconventional couple in our 50-60s, who want to share our good fortune in finding this wonderful place. Why don't you come and experience the magic of our bed & breakfast for yourself? Because it is, after all, just such a special place. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Panokosmos Holidays Kalyves, Crete - Chania

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