Me and my Soulmate just wanted a cozy, peaceful place to relax and enjoy the Great Island of Crete and I can now say we did an outstanding choice.
The Room was amazing. Very personal and themed, unlike most "default" looking hotel rooms. Sweet and Cozy, just how we wanted.
Our hosts were more than willing to make us feel comfortable although we are not the talking kindda persons.
5/5 Highly recommended for couples!
John and Ntina. :)
Gianni and Sabrine made an enjoyable holiday unforgettable. Byzance is an amazing building but it is its current custodians who are to be praised for taking excellent care of us with custom breakfasts, amazing coffee, recommendations of places to visit and the loan of a map. The ancient bakery in the village provides the bread for breakfast and Gianni goes out of his way to ensure each breakfast is memorable. Sabrine has a wealth of knowledge about the area, the people, the customs, history and the pair of them are excellent company. We stayed in the Venetian room with terrace and private balcony which made the room cooler in the evening but took a look at each of the other rooms and recommend them as well. If you have the opportunity to visit Crete, put Byzance to the top of your list. The taverna in the square run by Maria for the last 30 years provides an easy place to enjoy the evening with good old fashioned Cretan fare. The white wine is better than the red!
This is a beautiful historic building that has been restored into a hotel. Each room is decorated differently each with its own individual character. There is a nice rooftop terrace that is very nice to relax on in the afternoon or evening. Everyone at the Byzance Hotel is very friendly and helpful. In the center of the village is a great and authentic taverna with no set menu but they'll cook you up something delicious--whatever is on for the day.
Nearby Rethymnon is a beautiful city with a great old quarter, fortress, and harbor. Many beaches are close by.
If you're questioning whether to stay at Byzance: if you have a car, go for it. While Pigi at first glance is not the 'dream destination' (there are still unfinished buildings around the village), Kristen's welcome and the hotel has tons of charm. You can tell Kristen has put a lot of effort into the decoration and it shows. The room we had was comfortable (Venetian) and had its own terrace which was beautiful for having an early morning breakfast.
Having spent a couple days in Rethymno, I don't think there are more than 1 or 2 days worth of activities. If you're on limited time, far better to force yourself to go somewhere new everyday, which is something that staying in Pigi afforded us. Kristen recommended us 2 days of fantastic drives and activities (beaches, castles, monasteries, etc.). She is one of the best reasons to stay: incredibly hospitable, knowledgeable, and with recommendations that are spot on.
Otherwise, the breakfast is ample: normally tea, bread, muffins, cheese and tomatoes (with a little push she made us hot breakfast of delicious scrambled eggs). Everything else everyone else has said in the reviewsis true. If you're looking for 5 star amenities, you should probably stay elsewhere. Otherwise, I can highly recommend staying at Byzance.
Staying outside Rethymno on our road trip in Crete was the best decision ever as we got to experience the quiet and authentic atmosphere of Pigi and Kristen's beautiful B&B. The village is just some 10 mins drive from Rethymno, and it's also a good place to explore the rest of the Central Crete from. Kristen can help with planning for daily trips and give good hints on nice beaches in the area. Rethymno itself is a very touristic city, busy and noisy, so we appreciated an opportunity to choose not to spend all our evenings there. Pigi is a tiny village, and its central square (located 15 meters from the entrance to the hotel) turns into part of a family run restaurant that serves the most amazing home-made dishes. We ended up having most of our dinners in Pigi!
The B&B is a lovely place, restored from ruins and decorated with traditional Cretan artifacts. Our room ("Asian") was big and cosy and had a private balcony. We did have some issues with hot water, and the TV didn't really have any channels, but those are small details that were completely dwarfed by the charisma of the place and hospitality of the owner. We would definitely recommend this B&B to anyone traveling in Crete - it's just delightful!