I never understood why it is so convenient for some people to use the phrase “there are no words to describe it” in order to justify their expressional inadequacy. I thought that nothing can leave you “speechless” to the point that you cannot verbalise the admiration or the feeling that this triggers to you, by using words from the richest language in the world, the Greek language.
That was until the moment my eyes were mesmerised by the imposing presence of the 5* “Acro Suites” stone-built complex at Mononaftis in Aghia Pelaghia, at Heraklion, Crete. At that moment, I realised that maybe – some day in your lifetime – you might feel that you are literally at a loss for words, because what is gradually unfolding in front of your eyes, is simply unprecedented.
As you approach the impressive hill that hosts “Acro Suites”, you realise how much nature has blessed the Cretan land and how the owners, the Orfanakis brothers, have made such an ideally good use of the location. The wild Cretan rocky scenery with the colour variations of the soil, becomes unexpectedly hospitable and welcoming for the visitor. There is nothing unnecessary or inapposite there. It’s almost magical how the infrastructure and the natural environment merge. It is as if the earth itself has “given birth” to “Acro Suites”, offering its blessing and its distinctive characteristics lavishly, like a mother does to her child.
We received a cordially warm welcome upon our arrival. After a tiring early flight, the people of “Acro Suites” welcomed us in a particularly kind and fully professional way, clearly demonstrating that they know all about Greek hospitality and they do not hesitate to communicate it to the visitor in the best possible way and from the very first moment.
And speaking about people, our ad hoc experience could not have been so special, if it weren’t for Michalis Markakis, the general manager and the “soul” of “Acro Suites”. He was the first to welcome us with his unstinting kindness and his creative humour and he offered us all the necessary information and guidance, so that our stay at “Acro Suites” would leave us the best impression. Michalis Markakis, with a long and successful career in hospitality, aspires this eco – friendly resort to become the country residence that every visitor would love to have, offering at the same time total autonomy, absolute privacy, as well as all the privileges of “Acro Suites” customised services.
Whatever place you turn your eyes to, it becomes obvious that the aquatic element plays an important role in the overall presence of “Acro Suites”. It is not only the azure water of the sea that “embraces” almost protectively every part of the rocky land edge. Each and every one of the 49 suites and villas of the complex, has a private infinity pool with constantly refreshed sea water, making the cooling contact with the aquatic element an inextricable experience of revitalisation and relaxation for the visitor. Moreover, a heartbeat away from the suites and villas, the water “steals the show” in the area around “Asana Yoga Shala”, a high aesthetics dome-shaped construction, where visitors can enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience of yoga, group exercise sessions and personal training in a luxurious place with a panoramic view, filled with the energy of the nature’s elements, water, land and air.
The accommodation at “Acro Suites” is not only an experience that surpasses the ordinary. It sets high standards at all levels and that was something that I noticed from the first moment I walked into suite No810. Earthy colour tones and natural materials, such as stone, marble, wood and metal are dominant at every corner. The discreet luxury and the unique design are far from going unnoticed. It took me some time to digest a visual barrage of images, corners, details, materials, colours, textures, sounds and scents. My eyes “travelled” to the absolutely functional arrangement of the suite, the carefully selected furniture and decorative objects, the almost invisible and subtle lighting, the high – quality linen, the top-end electronic automations.
A sliding plate – glass window separates the indoor area of the suite from the outdoor terrace with the elegant table and chairs, the wooden loungers with the comfortable mattresses, the outdoor shower that “emerges” from the stone wall and the infinity pool that seems to become a natural extension of the sea and the horizon. The visitor “dives” into this image, as he/she enjoys a refreshing shower at the indoor bathroom of the suite, thanks to the innovative window wall that offers a magnificent view to the pool and the sea. This experience was so unique, that I will forever remember it.
At “Acro Suites”, the notion of gastronomy literally “takes off”. I was fortunate enough to meet executive chef Yannis Rokanas and taste some of his creations, from the menu that he has composed for the visitors of “Acro Suites”. It is more than obvious that he wishes to convey a rainbow of flavours, smells and colours to every dish that he prepares, using top quality ingredients and causing ambrosial “explosions” even to the most demanding palate. From the superb 5 – course dinner that he created especially for us, I particularly loved the exquisite “Corn cappuccino with lobster, chorizo and grapefruit”, the fresh and flavourful “Salmon ceviche with avocado cream, coriander and truffle yuzu ponzu”, as well as the extraordinary “Valrhona chocolate soup with caramel ice-cream and strawberries”. An original experience menu for all your senses.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the “flavour” I was left with after my first visit to “Acro Suites” is truly amazing. I pledged to come again soon, in order to discover the rest of its visible and hidden “secrets”.
However, the writing down of this experience cannot be completed, unless I express my sincere gratitude to Georgia Florou and Julia Ripkova for their valuable assistance, Socrates Tsamoutalis for his informative tour, Evarestos Moumoulidis for his interesting pieces of information and the exceptional staff and associates of “Acro Suites” for their significant contribution during our staying.
Thank you very much for everything and until we meet again!
Edited by Giorgos Poniros
Mononaftis, Agia Pelagia