Xenia means hospitality, or guest-friendship, especially to guests who have travelled.
One of the many names of the ancient Greek god Zeus who was protector of hospitality [Φιλοξενία/ Philoxenia] and the afar travellers
The Rough Guide to Crete writes "the recently refurbished and excellent-value Hotel Xenia, a former state-owned hotel with the best location in town (Hora Sfakion), offers modern, air-conditioned balcony sea-view rooms with fridge and TV".
The hotel indeed has the best site in Hora Sfakion, being on the western arm of the small Old Harbor.
There are 24 rooms, all with their own toilet and shower facilities, but also with air conditioning, satellite TV, hairdryer, safe, refrigerator and well appointed furnishings.
The rooms face either South, directly over the Libyan Sea; East -into the old harbor; or West towards the majestic cliffs and mountains and the often dramatic sunset. The hotel has its own parking on the west of the building: it has been well landscaped.
From there is a flight of steps directly to the Vryssi, town, beach and, separately to the south, a walkway and ladder directly into the Libyan Sea.
Two areas have been created where sun beds are placed for use by hotel residents. Unusually for Hora Sfakion, the hotel, which was extensively modernized and increased to its present size in recent years, has a lift.
The hotel has its own integral tavern. The manager specializes in cooking fresh, local produce, particularly local meat and very fresh fish.
The kitchen is modern and spacious, readily open to inspection by diners or others. It is kept spotlessly clean and only the highest quality ingredients are used for all meals - from local eggs for breakfast to Sfakian lamb, sausages, chicken, pork, fish and vegetables. The Hotel prides itself on the high quality of its housekeeping and catering.
The recently built extensions have been sensitively added to the original core, itself based on a traditional Hora Sfakion house - as witness the arched entrance to the main building.
The original small hotel building was built by the Greek National Tourist Organization in the early 1960s as part of its campaign to establish good hotels for tourists and to set a standard of excellence.
Over the years slight improvements were made but it was not until the GNTO sold the hotel to the present owner, Giannis Braos, that the major improvements and modernization took place. Many hotel guests return not once but twice a year to stay.
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