Thalassa Boutique Hotel’s Katerina Borisenko Talks to TNH

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The Thalassa Boutique Hotel offers an exclusive beachfront experience in the heart of Réthymnon city. The hotel is situated in a building with 150 years of history, fully renovated from the ground up in 2017 just to redefine the level of comfort and customer service. The location is magical but also convenient. The facilities are fresh, modern, and brand new. High-end services include our 7 Seas Restaurant and our Euphoria Health Spa to create a complete package ideal for couples and travelers seeking to add quality and comfort to their overall experience.

The National Herald spoke with Katerina Borisenko, the director of communications of the hotel, who spoke about the history of the building, the amenities the hotel offers its guests, and about the natural beauty and delicious local cuisine of Crete.

TNH: Thalasses Boutique Hotel is located in a historic building in the city of Rethymnon. Could you please tell us a bit more about its history?

Katerina Borisenko: This building truly has a magnificent history which begins in 1862. During the years of the Turkish occupation it was the summer abode of the Turkish Pasha Rizvan. It was built by the best engineers and carpenters of the time – with stones and soil from Santorini.

The apartment style rooms on the top floor were given by the Pasha to an all-girls school and orphanage. Right after the departure of the Turks, the building was bought by a prominent and wealthy family from Rethymnon, which eventually became their primary abode.

Because of the location of the building – right above the ocean – the bottom floor was used as a fish curation facility, where fish could be cured with the cooperation of the local fishermen.

Between 1990 and 2017, the building was used as furnished apartments for rent. In 2017, it re-opened as Thalassa Boutique Hotel after the building and the rooms underwent a complete renovation. A new restaurant, the 7 Thalasses (Seas) was also opened.

TNH: What types of amenities can your guests enjoy?

K.B. Our guests can enjoy our famous restaurant, the 7 Thalasses, which is located right next to the water. The benefits of staying with us are many – some noteworthy ones are: our full-service spa with jacuzzi, sauna, massage, and other therapies for the body and face, and our heated outdoor pool.

TNH: How old are your typical guests?

K.B. Our guests are typically between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. They are usually couples (no children under the age of 15 are permitted at the hotel) or friends who are looking to unwind and relax. Additionally, I would like to mention that the hotel supports diversity and is “gay friendly.”

TNH: What places could a guest visit during his stay at your hotel? Are there any noteworthy spots within a reasonable distance to the hotel?

K.B. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the Old City of Rethymnon which has scenic small alleyways adorned with Venetian architecture and where you will find many museums, the old port with its lighthouse, and the Fortezza castle.

K.B. The hotel is also a 15-minute drive to the Arkadi Monastery, the new museum of Elefthernas, as well as many beaches.

TNH: Cretan cuisine is one of the most famous in the world. Does the menu of the 7 Thalasses restaurant focus on the island’s cuisine or does it include dishes from other parts of Greece as well?

K.B. The main components of our menu are the fresh fish and other seafood. The root and philosophy of our cuisine is Cretan but our dishes are from all over Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean as well.

TNH: Where do you get the ingredients that you use?

K.B. A large share of the vegetables we use come from the garden of the owner of the hotel, and the fish are caught daily from the Greek seas. We are very careful with our ingredients. We always check for freshness and prefer local producers.

TNH: You have two restaurants, one in Rethymnon and one in Heraklion. Are the menus the same, or do they differ?

K.B. The menus are almost the same – with slight variations which are due to the differences in the local products and producers. The philosophy behind the restaurants is the same since the owner and chef of the two restaurants is the same!