But for the chorus of buzzing cicadas and bleating goats, calm embraces Villa Eleonora on its perch atop a hill in Kokkino Horio, a scenic outpost within spitting distance of glorious beaches, the tourist amenities of Almyrida and home-spun charm of Kalives. Silhouetted against an impossibly blue sky, the sapphire bay unfolding below in gentle diamond-capped swells, this traditionally hued blue and white villa enjoys a setting that epitomizes Crete in all its panoramic glory – a distinctive confluence of stark brush, wild olive groves, glimmering sea and imposing mountains. Visible from the home’s many balconies and tiered outdoor patios, these post card views also beckon from nearly every room within this glass-encased four bedroom vacation home.
Offering sleek chic within the framework of classic Cretan architecture and many modern amenities including air-conditioning throughout, Villa Eleonora’s contemporary furnishings in crisp whites and delicate pastels imbue the open floor-plan interior with a serene and unfussy vibe. Outside, beyond the wall of glass doors and flanked by plentiful sun beds and umbrellas, a large infinity pool melts seamlessly into the horizon. Guests at Villa Eleonora are very fortunate to find that for an extra fee the pool can be heated to a minimum of 26 degrees centigrade (except first thing in the morning, at night, and in the unlikely event that there is unseasonally cold or rainy weather when the temperature cannot be guaranteed) and it is therefore ideal for swimming early and late in the season. Partially covered tiered patios contain casually sophisticated seating enclaves, a wood-burning fireplace (in addition to the indoor working fireplace) and slatted eight-seat oval dining table, all of which add to the villa’s gracious ambiance and laid-back Mediterranean spirit. And we’re pretty sure that’s why you journey to this island haven – to let the stress of life roll off your back like a bead of water upon emerging from a refreshing swim.
Four raw marble steps at the end of a flagstone walkway leads to the front door, beyond which an entry foyer mediates between the upper and lower levels. Down three short steps, a unique hexagon-shaped open concept space unfurls -- swathed in luminous natural light and gifted with unsurpassed views. Anchored by a subtly elegant great room, designer light fixtures drip from above like so many stalactites while sumptuous cream leather seating join an intricately carved marble wood burning fireplace to create a most inviting milieu. And yes, there is a large flat screen TV for those who can possibly redirect their eyes from the scenic surroundings.
A white-framed tempered glass table and eight high-back leatherette chairs define the dining area which flows into a fully equipped modern kitchen with gray marble breakfast bar, dishwasher, ceramic-topped stove, fridge and every small appliance you could possibly need. Pale blue cabinetry pays homage to many Greek islands' customary color palette, while a rear facing window unveils a sprawl of indigenous landscape. A kitchen door and one shallow step leads to the back side, allowing even closer inspection of Crete’s typical foliage.
Beyond translucent doors, an exterior Eden awaits. A wooden slat table ringed by blue cushioned chairs provides a great surface for board games or an open-air meal prepared in a fully operational brick barbeque. Marble counters and outdoor sink make food prep easy while the inimitable surroundings will surely supply some culinary inspiration. An ornate balustrade divides this partially pergola-covered terrace from the stone patio (down another four rung stairway) that fringes a spectacular 8x4 infinity pool. Interior steps and ladder graces a child-friendly Roman end while a maximum depth of 1.8 meters promotes grownup fun in the deep end. Sun beds and umbrellas abound, while an outdoor shower, additional dining table, and distinctive ceramic-inlayed cushion-topped concrete bench render this glamorous outdoor living space a perfect and well-equipped setting for entertaining or relaxing with friends and family.
Up a flight of 15 marble steps, a handy landing is kitted with a stocked bookcase and white desk over which a large window reveals the rock-crowned hillside. Two steps more, yet another small landing appears, from which a glass door opens to a massive multi-tiered tiled patio. Boasting an astounding 300 degree vista and comfortably stylish furnishings, this well considered open-air retreat can also be accessed through the Master Bedroom – the only sleeping quarters on this level. Festooned in aquatic tones, this airy and tranquil hideaway features a second set of clear doors that open to a private balcony, also with sweeping views and comfy seating. Inside, a built-in wardrobe, cushy armchair, additional decorative storage pieces, and wall mirror sit upon rich wood-planked floors. A queen bed with tufted head board is book-ended by a pair of nightstands. Detached but exclusive to the Master, a full bathroom is adorned in tasteful black/gray tiles, the large plexi-glass encased shower accented by striking border tiles. A mirrored vanity caps the sink with additional storage space afforded by the lower cabinet. An adjacent window exposes the scenic splendor beyond.
From the main floor vestibule, a long curvy staircase descends upon a spacious room that houses laundry facilities (including a Whirlpool Dryer which most holiday houses do not provide), a full bathroom, and the interior entrance to the isolated fourth bedroom. Privacy has its price though, as this peach and grey toned twin bedroom offers up only a partial sea view. It does however include ample storage and cozy reading nook with shelves and cabinet. Two 2 single beds upholstered in grey fabric (not shown in the accompanying photos) flanked by a pair of side tables and lamps. Windows border the private door that exits to the car park.
EOT (Greek Tourist Board) rental license number MHTE 1042K10002998701