I climb up the stairs of the scenic Potamianou Street and reach the "Grand Sarai", the building (now a hotel) that has been photographed so many times, with the characteristic pink color on its walls. This is the first time that I enter its door and I confess that the interior was a real surprise. Perhaps because my mind could not fit so many delicate decorative balances found in a living space, especially when I knew it was one of the oldest buildings in the historic center.
Components of absolute harmony
Entering the reception area, I instantly notice the wooden wavy bench on my left and the unique lighting chandelier, with its three circles floating magically. I was welcomed with a smile and while I was offered to be guided around the hotel, my eyes were caught on the big cloth banner with its special motif decorating the reception. My steps on the wooden staircase lead me to the 12 rooms and suites. Observing their minimal decoration and earthy colors, I think of how helpful this abstraction mood is for both the eyes and the mind to rest upon and to decompress from the thoughts and worries of the everyday life. When I open the windows or go out to the balconies, the view of the old town, of Palamidi castle above and of the sea ahead offers me a breath of life and a vivid painting right in front of me!
Breakfast full of Greece and art
Going downstairs to the cozy and bright breakfast area, I am impressed with the collages of Danae Goni on the walls, a pop and surreal look of Nafplio combining past and present. I sit in one of the tables and enjoy the hotel's excellent breakfast with Greek tastes and home-made products such as handmade pies, fried egg-breads, donuts with local honey, fresh-squeezed orange juice, local milk and yogurt and the best citrus marmalades I have ever tasted! As the weather is nice and sunny, I decide to enjoy my coffee outside in the small courtyard’s tables; a lovely place to enjoy all sorts of beverages gazing at people going up and down Potamianou street.
Harmony and relaxation
I put my hat on and go for a walk, to take pictures of the beautiful old town... Returning to my room and as I lie down, I enjoy the ultimate silence inside my room, wondering how it is done, to be so close to the center, a stone's throw of all, and yet to be so quiet and peaceful? In the evening, before meeting my friends in the city, I upload Insta-stories with hashtag #Nafplio while enjoying a drink in the hotel's lounge bar. Another work of Danae Goni hanging on the wall, inspired by Nafplio, reminds me of how special art makes our lives. And probably the importance of elegance, harmony and tranquility in our lives, a sweet smile, the view of beauty; exactly what the Grand Sarai so generously offers!
Did you know that?
The building is believed to have been built between 1685 and 1715, while it hosted the first Hellenic State Court (1829-1833) and later the Hellenic Police and finally it was used as a residence, until the year 2002.
The hotel has access from two different roads, which allow you to leave your luggage and park somewhere fairly close, without having to move your car during your stay.
For a special stay, a honeymoon or an anniversary, I recommend the Junior Suite “999 Skalia”; a 33 m² elegant room located on the 3rd floor, with a preserved wooden ceiling, equipped with a Jacuzzi and a lovely balcony from which you will enjoy the view of the sea, the old town and the Palamidi castle.
The staff is friendly and totally professional, yet another advantage of this hotel.
All year round