This is the fourth time that my wife and I have stayed at Orestis Apartments since 2001. For the last three visits we have stayed for a month. The apartments are perfect for couples and there is a further couch/bed for another adult or two smaller children. The apartments are modern, open plan with a small kitchen and washing area as you enter. The shower and toilet are also on this level. You then ascend a few steps to the living area and through to a small balcony with magnificent views of the northern coastline (down the hill on which the village is situated and about two km distant) and the surrounding hills. This balcony, with a small table and comfortable chairs is best in the morning as it is shaded from the sun by the building. Moving back through the living area you come to a set of eight wooden steps (through which you can see), leading to the sleeping area. There is a very comfortable king size double bed with lights built in to the headboard and a small built-in table on each side. Cupboard space is more than adequate and there is also a small safe for any valuables. Another large sliding door leads on to the second balcony, again with wonderful views towards Chania, 10 km distant. This is the afternoon and evening balcony as the sun has now passed to the other side of the building. It also overlooks the swimming pool and sunbathing area. There always seems to be a pleasant breeze in the evening and it is lovely just to sit and gaze across the valley to the distant hills whilst enjoying a cool drink from the fridge. There is air-conditioning which is invaluable at night time and always ensures a comfortable nights' sleep with no bother from mosquitoes. These are cool, elegant apartments with stylish but simple decor and marble floors throughout. All decoration and fittings are of a high standard and are spotlessly maintained through daily cleaning by the maid. The swimming pool is star shaped with plenty of sun loungers and shady spots to sit and read or play games. The office and kitchen at the front of the complex provides drinks and will be occupied for some part of the day by Platon Rodolakis, the owner, who deserves a paragraph all to himself.
Platon is a teacher of mathematics in Chania, where his home is. (The apartments are in the grounds of what was his family home and were built about 13 years ago to a design by his brother, who is an architect). He always announces his presence by playing music over the poolside speakers. His choice is eclectic - ranging through classical, jazz, Greek folk, 60s pop or a myriad of other genres. His ear is good and only once in all the years i have holidayed here have I had to implore him to change his selection. He is a great host, speaks very good English and French and if you wish to talk about any subject he is an absolute fountain of knowledge, wisdom and humour. I admit to having become very good friends with him and his wife Maria and their children. Platon is unflappable and capable of making any arrangement or sorting any difficulties. When it comes to car or motorcycle hire he arranges this and, uniquely in my experience, foregoes the usual commission, which he asks to be passed on to you to reduce the price further. He is the perfect host and facilitator.
The village of Pano Stalos has a population of around 500 very friendly people and contains everything you will need within a maximum of five minutes' walk. There is a small mini market, a bar, a lovely Greek Orthodox church and three restaurants. The best of these is at the top of the village and is called Matigis. We eat there most nights and have become accustomed to simply eating what the owner, Antonis, recommends. This is a proper Greek family restaurant, much frequented by local people and the food is simple but delicious. Many of the vegetables are grown by Antonis in his large garden at the rear of the taverna. Home made tsatziki, salad, bread and wine quickly arrive and the arrival of the main dish, cooked over the charcoal grill, is always worth waiting for. Highly recommended - in fact, I considered not writing about it in case it becomes too well known and Antonis is tempted to increase his very reasonable prices. One word of warning; at the end of the meal a selection of fruit arrives - melon, grapes, cherries or cake and ice cream, always accompanied by a small, chilled bottle of raki - the local home-brewed spirit drink. If you are wise, share one bottle. If you are reckless, share two. And if you are out of your mind (as you will be), share three. Yamas! See you next year if you come in August.
We always stay in apartment seven on the first floor. This is the corner apartment (there are six on...
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