This extreme site on the cliffs of Crete defines the hotel’s design and experience

Acro Suites Hotel is a new eco-friendly wellbeing resort in Crete

ACRO Suites, a wellness hotel on the coast of Crete, integrates its surrounding landscape through the considered use of local materials and natural textures. The hotel’s owners made their vision come true by seeking out the collaboration of the best local Greek designers and craftsmen for an authentic Cretan feel. The natural rough marble details, stones and raw wood contribute to defining the look and feel of the hotel. The final result is a breathtaking and beautiful hotel from every angle. Sustainability and natural materials are at the core of the entire project. 

The hotel was designed by founders and sisters Danae and Konstantina Orfanake, along with their local partners, and is named after the Greek word akros/akron, meaning ‘on the edge’. The extreme rocky site setting shapes its design with a stepped and low profile that becomes part of the jagged cliff.

The elegant design is fundamental to well-being and the team behind it aims to demonstrate that well planned resorts can help transform the location that they’re in for the better. The sustainability efforts are meant to be part of the hotel’s principle, with natural materials sourced locally such as stones and wood. Sheets and fabrics are all made from organic materials. Food comes from small farms on the island, into an organic kitchen with many vegan and vegetarian menu options available. 

Featuring earthy palettes, each of the 49 suites and villas (including the iconic Cave Suite in the main image above) offer breathtaking views of the Cretan Sea. Rooms and communal areas display marble furniture pieces created by local artists, organic sheets and fabrics, and individual saltwater pools. The design ensures that guests are drawn to connecting with the surrounding nature.

Communal areas

ACRO Suites wants to be a lifestyle destination, and it was important to the owners that guests felt inspired and good using the communal areas. Exploring themes of serenity, simplicity and tranquillity, interior designer Manos Kipritidis worked closely with the owners on the Cremnos restaurant and cocktail bar, The Circle. The design is pure and minimalist but with attention to detail in the specifics. At Cremnos, guests are offered delicious nutritional meals inspired from traditional Greek lunching and dining. Authentic Cretan cuisine is mindfully rethought with ingredients sourced from small local farms.

The Bath House was designed by Utopia Hotel Design to offer guests the ultimate soothing experience and relax. Blending curved smooth stone with natural elements, the layout of the space is based on a traditional hammam. The Bath House also features an outdoor pool and a heated pool to refresh after a yoga session in the Asana Yoga. Shala. 

Sustainability efforts

The Asana Yoga Shala is a noticeable piece of architecture and one of the hotel’s signature buildings dedicated to wellness. The Shala was created with bamboo, a naturally sustainable material, and features a large circular open space with a variety of environmentally conscious fitness equipment.  

Every suite and villa in the hotel are accompanied by saltwater private pools with breathtaking sea views allowing guests to enjoy ultimate privacy in a blissful surrounding. The pools are all filled with chemical-free saltwater.

Doors have special traps to shut down air-conditioning as soon as guests leave their room and the thick walls ensure that the buildings stay nice and cool. The hotel is entirely powered by solar energy, with panels that blend in seamlessly with the surrounding hotel’s architecture. Hot water is also heated by solar panels, rather than electricity.

Bath products use sugar-cane packaging and homegrown olive oil. The hotel is mostly paperless too, but menus are made from recycled paper when QR code won’t do. Plastic straws are banished, and all the fabrics and materials used in the construction are sustainable and locally sourced.

The result of well planned out design and collaborations, ACRO Suites ends up being a beautiful and lush 5* eco-friendly wellbeing resort in Crete. Inspired by the beauty of its surrounding landscape, the simplicity of the expertly-crafted design showcases many aesthetically pleasing elements – rich in texture and natural motifs, from marble details, to local stones, rough wood, and earthy tones. The emphasis on sustainability, which is expressed in the mindful choice of certain building materials, the locally sourced food, and attention to footprint as much as energy balance, makes for a perfect sanctuary to unwind and recharge.

Prices for Suites and Villas range (depending on seasons) from around $350 for a Suite, to $1600 for a 2 Bedrooms Villa. All suites and villas have their own private saltwater pool and garden. Book directly from Acro Suites Hotel here.

Acro Suites, Crete (2021)

Architecture Stavros Peppas & Afoi Orfanaki S.A. Konstantina & Danae Orfanaki (Design Team) Manos Kypritidis (Restaurant & Bar Interior Designer) Utopia Hotel Design (Bath House Interior Design Collaborators)

Photographer Giorgos Sfakianakis

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