In this page you may read some of our guests reviews.


Sometimes, you don't feel like staying in a five-star hotel. You don't want identikit bedrooms, embellished bedspreads, and endless expanses of polished marble. What you really want is a room with a view that feels like home, where you're welcomed with genuine warmth. I've found a place that fits the bill: Hotel Doma, an enchanting throwback to a bygone era on the outskirts of Chania in western Crete.

"C'est un chic fou!" Melina Mercouri exclaimed when she first set eyes on Doma, an oldfashioned Greek word for "the best room in the house". The two ground-floor parlours, decked in embroideries and an exquisite collection of headdresses, certainly make an impression. But every one of the 24 rooms and suites, simply furnished with antiques and bold patterned textiles, feels special. (Although none are quite as special as the top-floor suite, with a large private terrace overlooking the bay.)

Originally built in the late 19th century as the Austro-Hungarian consulate , the hotel opened in 1971. Since then, Doma has been owned and run by Irene Valyraki and Ioanna Koutsoudaki, two octogenarian sisters who are as perfectly preserved as the period interiors. Their gracious hospitality is a masterclass in attentive discretion. On arrival, you' re greeted with a saucer of candied orange peel decorated with frangipani blossoms and given your own front door key, so you can come and go as you please.

In the top-floor dining room, a traditional Cretan breakfast is laid out on crisp linens: yoghurt with thyme honey and walnuts, brittle rusks and briny olives, dainty pots of homemade preserves and cinnamon biscuits. The obliging staff, who seem to belong here as much as the antique engravings and family photographs, bring pots of coffee and freshly pressed orange juice to every table. Picture windows are flung open to catch the sea breeze.

Every thoughtful detail adds to the sense that you're staying in a thoroughly classy establishment. As a travel journalist noted when he visited Hotel Doma in August 1972: "It is C class, but in everything that really matters to the traveler it outshines A class hotels."

The Financial Times

"Hotel Doma is real Greek to me!"

K. Banner
Radio Denmark

"A charmy hotel, the best kept secret that will no longer be a secret. One of the most beautiful panoramic views from the terrasse. I hope to be back soon."

P. Kennedy

"One of the gems of Crete – not stuffy or luxurious but appealing to those who want a low-key personal stay harking back to the genteel old days."

Berlitz Pocket Guide to Crete

"You and your excellent staff helped make my visit to Crete the high point of my two months in Greece. The Doma is not only our first choice in Chania, but in all of Crete… Thank you for your correspondence, for the delicious preserves, for all the excellent food, and especially for your charming company."

John Bozman, Frommer’s Guides

"One of the gems of Crete – not stuffy or luxurious but appealing to those who want a low-key personal stay harking back to the genteel old days."

Berlitz Pocket Guide to Crete

"The Doma is not the grandest hotel I have ever stayed in but it is the most aesthetically beautiful, in the sense that each of the public rooms has been decorated with a sense of history and each of the 24 bedrooms furnished in so simple and yet such a comfortable Grecian style that it feels like a retreat: dark purple blankets, pale white and earth woven curtains, pale walls, dark Cretan furniture… In the afternoon when you come in for your siesta there’s likely to be a treat waiting for you – perhaps a candied fruit or a small green orange drenched in syrup in a silver spoon. My visits are few and far between, but when I go back it’s as if I’d been gone only a little while."

Fiona Kidman