The Aretanassa Hotel, known as “The Queen Of Halki” is one of the best places to stay on Halki island or indeed in the whole of Greece. Housed in an historic building that was formally used for the storage and production of sponges – which makes sense – it’s not the most beautiful of buildings, but it’s unique location is spectacular and you can see it on the left of the island as you come into the port. You might even see a few guests using the steps directly into the crystal clear sea at the front of the hotel.
Perhaps even the GM taking a swim!
The hotel is under relatively recent new management and is all the better for it. It’s now a family run hotel, with Yiannis Palavantzas as the General Manager who is ably supported by his daughter Despina. Nothing was too much trouble, the other members of staff were all great and they managed everyone’s needs with charm and professionalism, creating a very easy relaxed atmosphere.
It wasn’t expensive to stay there, the 19 rooms are light and airy and you have the added bonus of breakfast being included in the room rate. The terrace where you can lie on sun beds, looking out to sea was a great spot to enjoy the spectacular views and when you get too hot, you can just step straight into the sea. The dining area also has splendid views. We enjoyed a couple of great meals out there and I was impressed with the rosé they had on the menu – it was the best we found over our entire ten day stay on the island (I forgot to make a note of the name).
It’s only a 15 minute meandering walk into the main harbour area where all the other taverna’s and bars are situated, so perfectly placed to enjoy all the activities, but if you need assistance or have bags to move around then Yiannis is there to take you in his car.
We spent our first week in a self contained apartment which also worked well, but this hotel felt very luxurious and I would highly recommend it. I don’t think you would be disappointed, especially if you’re a couple. It wouldn’t be ideal if you have young children as the water is quite deep and there’s obviously no pool. I only have two points to make – I would hope that after Covid restrictions have lifted they change the breakfasts to an a la carte style, instead of having pre-made up options and you need to get on those sun beds quite early – they fill up quickly!!
Just to note, I haven’t been paid to say this and we didn’t get a discount – I just write about what I like!
You can see the hotel beyond the steps:-