Over the last 25 or so years we must have stayed in this hotel at least 30 times. A local businessman bought it from the Greek Tourist Organisation but was wise to retain the services of George Lykoiannakis as manager. George's warm helpful personality is a big incentive to visitors to keep coming back and over the decades he has built up a large clientele of repeat customers who become friends. The hotel has been swollen by the new owner with accretions not all in keeping with the original neat design but suffice it to say that the hotel is very popular.
For the first time visitor the prime attraction has to be its location - right by the sea with views in all directions. The rooms, especially the newer ones are large but they all have one main characteristic: they are furnished with supreme lack of taste with ugly items. If only the owner had invested in the services of an interior designer who could have come up with a decent plan for custom-made furniture. As it is, the furniture that is modern-ish looks as though it has been chosen haphazardly from a catalogue, while the older furniture is heavy, ugly and ill-equipped. A narrow table serves inadequately as a desk/dressing table: the wardrobes are brown, brutal and shabby . The beds are old-fashioned heavy, viciously-cornered wooden beds with good but heavy mattresses which must make preparing the beds a nightmare of lifting for the extremely diligent housekeeping staff.
Recently the hotel has started to take in groups e.g. of swimmers or those wishing to learn Cretan dancing. Excellent; but it does mean that sometimes regulars like ourselves have to look elsewhere to stay. The result for us was to find that for the same room price or less you could rent a very much better equipped and designed studio apartment nearby (not in Chora Sfakion).
The Xenia hotel deserves some shrewd investment in a redesign of the furniture and fittings throughout the hotel which would take it forward triumphantly into the 21st century, provided the management remained the same. It might well go up a star rating and thus be able to charge more for its rooms!
As it is, we shall continue to go back as long as we are able: curse the weird satellite TV, feel despair at the iffy wifi, and long for the better internal design the place merits. No praise can be too great for the quality of the housekeeping. the taverna, a separate enterprise, provides very good freshly cooked food - which is not always the case in tavernas these days. Above all it is a friendly place and George Lykoiannakis is its lynchpin. No wonder it is so well subscribed.