If you are looking for "hidden treasures", do not spend your time looking for the Hidden Gems of the great travel guides. Candia House is a class in itself and is here, a few songs route from Nafplio.
For many years, while swimming in Candia beach, I paused to focus from the sea on its polygonal roof -like a mysterious pagoda resting on all-white clouds. Determined to see the legendary hotel of the area up close, I walk down an alley between oleanders and bougainvilleas. Just before the soil meets the sand, I reach the open, cuddly entrance of Candia House and stand short in front of this lush seaside paradise.
Surrounded by joy
A ground floor house right in front of me is circled right and left by two paths, as if telling me that whichever I choose, I will be surrounded by joy. I choose the left path, and walk slowly, lazily to enjoy the well-kept -but not affected- surrounding area. I find a small colorful playground, next to stone outdoor showers, a swimming pool with sunbeds on pebbles and in the background, elevated and imposing, a large terrace with bamboo armchairs. Here the actress, writer and owner of Candia House Dimitra Papadimitriou is waiting for me, with eyes like coals shining.
The absolute calm is ideally dressed with the song of the cicadas and the splash of the waves. The sunset sweetens the facade of the buildings, which tenderly embrace the garden with an olive tree in focus. The light stands on the balconies with the simple columns, reflected in the broken white of the walls, hidden behind the dark shutters of the wooden windows, highlights the architecture, which allows sky, land and sea to become one with you. This balcony, the moment, this acquaintance - small revelations of happiness.
Travel to faraway places
Happiness that flares-up, as Dimitra guides me in her own unique way to the 10 luxurious apartments and maisonettes. And as each is characterized by its own unique style of decoration, the colonial, ethnic style runs through every corner. Staying here is like a cosmopolitan journey, with time to stop and continue forever.
How many hotel guests -I wonder- climbed up the perfectly preserved wooden handrail for decades, lived moments of relaxing calm in these rooms with antique furniture, laid their concerns on the soft beds, rested their thoughts on the elegant sofas looking at the paintings, the engravings, the sea...
How many -again I wonder- lived passions, tender loves or were inspired in these rooms, with the Chinese vases, the ornate tapestries, the special lightings-unique pieces, that Dimitra's mother, Mrs. Hara Papadimitriou brought with her from her long journeys... She actually created -about 30-plus years ago- Candia House, starting from the ground floor house at the entrance...
The Presidential suite
Dimitra takes me on a tour to the presidential suite, with its 180 sq.m. to occupy two floors and I am dazzled by both its impressively large space and its elegant decoration. A large living room with leather sofas in front of the fireplace, comfortable bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen made as if you were at home, antique furniture, large Chinese vases, ornate candlesticks, a wonderful desk with sea view, paintings, works of art and a large veranda, overlooking the green of the trees and the blue of the sky and the sea. A "dream" of 180 sq.m. ideal to accommodate two families or a large group of friends!
Breakfast with a view of Greece
I return to the large terrace, which I loved at first sight, and enter one of the most charming breakfast areas I have ever seen. The roof, which I have admired for years from afar, kindly protects this high-ceilinged space, while its perimetric windows offer a generous view.
In the old wooden curved bar, drinks make friends with wooden elephants, ornate bowls and works of art and chat with the books of "Anchor" publications -owned by the family- at the next table. Because the family loves the good book and has been faithfully serving it for years! While next to the bamboo tables, a piano, a guitar, an African instrument quietly play their melody...
It is now evening and as the moon paints the sea with silver, Candia House is full of melodies, laughter, stories. A unique stay, that when you experience it, will bring you closer to it again and again, like a wave on the shore, like a splash of dreams...
Did you know that?
The complex offers its guests 10 luxury apartments and maisonettes of 180 sq.m., 65 sq.m., 55 sq.m. and 45 sq.m., and their prices are value for money.
The first guest of the hotel was ex-Prime Minister Costas Simitis, while Gerard Depardieu and Montserrat Caballe have stayed here too, among many celebrities.
The hotel's breakfast is excellent, with Dimitra filling the buffet with omelets, spinach pies, custard filled pastries, chicken pies, pancakes, fried bread, country traditional bread and many more, depending on the inspiration of the day.
In the playroom with the table-tennis, the chess, the mini-football, the library full of books and board-games, you will spend carefree moments of fun and entertainment.
Candia House can also host your child's wedding or christening, business meetings and seminars, while giving guests the opportunity for a wonderful holiday away from the stress of the city.
Just a few meters from the hotel there are mini markets, beach bars and wonderful taverns, where one can enjoy -among other things- delicious fresh fish.
May 1st to September 30th
G.N.T.O. permit No. 1245KΟ33A0162500