The hour was waining & I was tired from driving when I arrived at Chania Old Town. Armed with my travel guide I first asked about rooms at the nice looking Madonna studios.
They were full - so the Madonna lady 'kindly' lead me to near the harbour front to the empty Hotel Contessa.
The manager Bertha showed me room 5 - all very dated but clean with air conditioning hence I gave in to the €50 per night for 2 nights rate. After all, I did need a place & Chania seemed booked up.
I always travel with a good eye mask & quality earplugs - but they were no defence for the long night ahead.
The next morning I needed to be fresh and up early to catch the 6am bus to the Samaria Gorge.
What you're not advised of at check in is that a few metres away there is a port side nightclub that thumps out the heavy bass and loud chatter from midnight to sunrise.
The excellent earplugs were well and truly defeated by The Killers et al & noisy harbor front. As I set off for the bus at 5.45am the young & carefree were still arriving at the club!
Not a wink of sleep was had - poor preparation for a long 18km gorge hike.
Shame, as the initial welcome at the hotel seemed ok too - fresh orange and 'home made' cinnamon biscuits.
Upon returning to Chania after the Samaria walk I was determined to check out of the crumbling Hotel Contessa and seek a quiet and peaceful place for much needed sleep.
I asked Bertha the manager to please wait as I needed to pay & check out after 1 night & she seemed to understand. I packed within 5 minutes - but when I made it down the many stairs with heavy luggage in hand, Bertha (who feared losing her only paying guest 1 night early) had done a runner, turned the lights off & left for the night! Over and out!
All is fair in love & war- but she had my Passport & I was flying out to Rhodes next day!
Apart from the noisy setting, Hotel Contessa hasn't had a lick of paint since the '50s. If you want authenticity - poor shower, dodgy plumbing, bad electrics (manual hot water) – complete with a stale smell - this is the place for you. As highly recommended by the Madonna Studios after all! Don't take their word for it - stay well clear of this unmanned dump.
They took me for the full €100 for 2 nights. Poor value - but I had to pay to escape and retrieve my passport.
Bertha turned on the water works and I felt bad - but took the cash for 2 nights. Upon leaving, fake tears in eyes, as a gift she gave me the unfinished packet of supermarket cinnamon biscuits. The ‘home baking’ not so homely after all. €100 is lot for biscuits.
In the end, the nearby Ifigenia Studios saved the day with a nice ground floor studio room (complete with Jacuzzi bath) and excellent breakfast.
I'll be back to lovely Chania - but will give the Hotel Contessa the body swerve it deserves.
- Also Known As:
- Contessa Hotel Chania, Crete