Please take a few moments to read these notes. They are provided to help you make your stay more comfortable and explain some of the villa’s features. This should be read in conjunction with the Travel Information Pack you will have received from Crete Escapes Ltd.
Have a fantastic stay and thank you for selecting Villa Kournedes.
Service Management Team – Yianni and Sofia can be contacted on mobile number (0030) 697 400 7703. Also, you can email them at email@example.com. They run the lovely coffee and herb shop “1000 + 1” in Kalyves. There’s always an interesting item in the shop and it’s great for selecting your favorite coffee or tea.
Wi-Fi – provided microwave link with unlimited internet access. Password details are on the guest welcome card in the lounge.
Villa Telephone - the villa phone number is (0030) 282 530 0694. Calls to mainland Greece are free of charge. All other calls will be chargeable.
Visitors Book – Located in the lounge, please do scan it, there are some useful tips and recommendations for sites, tavernas and beaches from other guests. We would love it if you could make time to provide your comments and any feedback for the benefit of the owners and future guests.
Villa Location - Gavalochori, Apokoronas, Chania, Western Crete. (no post codes in rural Crete)
- Google Maps Plus Code: C6C9+WWR, Vamos, Greece
- Latitude/Longitude: 35.422367, 24.219768
- What3Words: ///radically.consistently.sweetens (Please go to the website at www.what3words.com or via the ‘what3words’ app on your mobile ‘phone)
Keys – please put the front door and gate keys in the key safe when you are going out. Any callouts to the property manager due to being locked out and/or replacement keys will be chargeable.
Gates – at all times please keep inner gates shut to keep sheep & goats out. It’s difficult to pull them out of the pool if they get in & they’ll devour the garden.
The electric gate has an “exit” button on the pole to left of the gate. It closes by itself. It has many safety features including the ability to autosenses obstructions (e.g., people, stones). It will move back to open if it senses this. Please remove the obstruction and activate the close or open again and it will continue as normal.
Hanging Rope Door Stops – The villa’s location by the valley provides a lovely breeze through the house. However, this can cause doors to slam shut unexpectedly. We’ve had guests locked out because they left their keys inside the villa and decided to go mountaineering to try and get back in! Please don’t. The hanging rope knots (handmade in Norwich) stop the doors from slamming shut and prevent damage to the frames. It’s a practical way of avoiding little accidents.
Shutters– Caution & Care - The villa is fitted with wooden shutters - which are great for keeping the sun out and allowing a breeze through the rooms. However please keep an eye on securing them with the latches (metal hooks either inside or outside the shutter.) The breeze can catch them and due to their size bangs them against the frames and can damage them.
Windows – All windows are fitted with "double" security hinges. These allow them to swing open as usual but to also swing out from the bottom edge to let a draft through the villa while being safe to leave ajar. Please use these features when you go out to keep you items secure.
The handles activate this feature.
• When pointing down the window is locked and secure.
• When turned so they are horizontal the window will open on the right or left hinge.
• When turned to point upwards, pull the handle towards you in a downward motion and it will swing out
from the top edge towards you so it is open at the top (narrow side) and closed at the bottom at an angle to the frame
Leaving the windows in the bathrooms in this position allows fresh air whilst also making them secure. (Remember to pull down the fly screen to keep insects out.)
Fly Screens - Caution: They look invisible at night and can be damaged by walking into them accidentally. Please be careful when in use.
Safe - located in the kitchen left hand corner cupboard below the work surface. Please use it for valuables, etc. Instructions for use are on the inside of the cupboard door. Please test it before putting your valuables inside to make sure you can access the safe and remember to leave it OPEN on departure.
Cleaning Service - if your stay is for 2 weeks cleaning/linen change is provided at the end of week 1 and on your departure day. If your stay is for 1 week, cleaning is on your departure day only. The cleaners do not usually start work until 10.00am so you shouldn’t be disturbed before that time however their work requires a great deal of flexibility, so they may be unable to give you precise appointments for mid stay cleaning as some villas may take longer than normal to prepare and they could be delayed for some reason.
If you would like some idea of when the service staff will call please contact the service management team (Sophia or Gianni) so they can check their workload and confirm the day and/or an idea of the time. On your departure day you should vacate the villa by 10.00am so that it can be thoroughly prepared for the arrival of new guests. If your return flight departs particularly late please contact Sophia or Gianni to discuss arrangements as they might be able to agree a later check-out if there are no incoming guests the same day. Please don’t just assume that a late stay can be accommodated as it cannot be guaranteed but the service team will do their best to be helpful were possible. Additional charges for a later check-out may apply (to be paid locally).
Pool cleaning – Aris will visit once, twice or three times a week depending on the time of year. He will try to work to a regular pattern but may have to change the pool cleaning program from time to time to fit in with bookings or emergencies. Usually, he tries to clean the pool very early so as not to disturb you.
Gardening – Stelios may visit during your stay, again usually early morning. Stelios will not disturb you but we politely ask that you allow him to tend the garden so it is kept looking nice for all guests to enjoy. Stelios is an experienced gardener with his own business focusing on villas and hotels.
First aid kit – located on the wall by the kitchen arch.
Swimming pool - the pool depths are clearly marked as 0.9m – 1.8m. Please read the ‘pool rules’ located by the front veranda. It is important to shower before you enter the pool and do NOT dive in under any circumstances. The pool is always unattended. For your safety only use plastic glasses and plates/bowls around the pool area. The pool lights are on an automatic timer, if you would like them adjusted, please ask the service team or Aris whilst he is cleaning the pool.
Handrail - please use on the internal and external stairs for your safety.
Air-con - there are units in each bedroom and in the living area. They are operated by using the remote controls situated in each room. All windows and doors must be closed before use. Please DO NOT leave the air con on when you go out. It’s a waste of energy and they are powerful enough to cool the room down in a few minutes.
Correct operation: -
• Close all doors and windows (you don’t want warm air getting in) and pull the shutters to shade the room if its daytime.
• Switch on the unit and set the mode to auto.
• Set the temperature to a UK “Normal” 19 degrees – no need to go lower it doesn’t cool it any quicker and if you are asleep will make you very cold.
• Let the air-con work its magic – it will maintain the temperature for you
• Turn off when you leave the room/house
TV - English-speaking channels are pre-provided via a satellite link (not Sky). UK channels such as ITV, BBC 1,2 etc. aren't available - we are out of range. There is no point in reprogramming the TV however you can “cast” to the digital TV using a smartphone to display your chosen content. Please DO NOT alter any settings as re-instating these will have to be charged to your damage deposit.
Books & DVDs – A Selection of DVDs is available in the left drawer of the unit underneath the TV. Feel free to swap books from bookcase in the hallway.
Roof Terrace - The roof top terrace is a favourite spot which many guests enjoy using. A secluded place for private and personal sunbathing with fantastic 360 degree views and, with the added height, a wonderful perspective of freedom and "getting away from it all". A lovely vantage point to watch the stars and the twinkling lights of the Akrotiri peninsula across the bay. Many guests use this space for yoga sessions, for evening drinks or just to have “quiet time”. Note: The breeze can easily blow light items off the roof.
Balconies and Verandas - Balcony lights can be switched on from each balcony or veranda door. The garden lighting cannot be altered as this also affects the complete driveway and front gate settings. There is plenty of space for everybody to spread out in comfort, be that on each of the terraces or balconies around the villa. There are dining tables and dining chairs for dining al fresco, sun loungers and comfortable chairs for reading or lounging.
Kitchen - chopping boards should be used for preparing food and plastic/wooden utensils in the non-stick pans. Please don’t use metal utensils on the non-stick pans
Microwave - It doubles as a grill. Use the metal supporting post (looks like a silver trivet on long legs) for grilling but remove it for microwaving or watch the sparks fly! The control knob is Grill settings to right side and Microwave to the left.
Oven - Conventional single oven with grill and pastry top and bottom heating.
Hob - Touch sensitive black glass halogen type. To switch on touch and hold the button with the small concentric circles. Same to switch off. To set the heat, first select the hob you want to adjust by touching the icon. A small dot shows you have selected it. Then keep it pressed to increase its heat or touch the minus sign in the middle to decrease it. If you see “H” then the hob is Hot and is cooling. Please don’t leave hobs on full and forget about them! The hob will scratch if you use knives to scrape food off! Just damp clothes will do and let the cleaners handle anything else you're not sure about.
Dishwasher - Simple to use - the ECO setting (which is recommended) - takes two hours but is actually cheaper to run than the others (no idea how but that’s what the instructions say.) There are tablets to start you off, any standard brand in the local stores will work fine. Insert them into the small compartment and close it before starting the wash cycle. To confirm it has begun you will hear a beep about 20 seconds after shutting the door. The panel light flashes when the cycle is complete.
Granite work surfaces - They are very robust but can chip if you drop items on them and stain with red wine - there are plenty of glass chopping boards, trivets and surface protectors around to use.
BBQ – The BBQ is just outside the kitchen veranda. There are a selection of BBQ utensils in the kitchen (in the drawers to the right of the oven.) Charcoal can be bought in local mini-markets or the supermarket (SINKA) in Kalyves where you will also find fresh and frozen meat and plenty of vegetables.
IMPORTANT FIRE NOTE: Greek law is very strict regarding lighting of fires during May through to October when vegetation is dry and fires can spread easily. Please do not empty hot BBQ coals or ash out until you are certain there is no chance of re-igniting.
Garden fruit and herbs - The owners are happy for guests to use fresh fruit or herbs from the kitchen garden for their cooking. Selection of oregano, mint, rosemary, lemon and limes.
Butcher – Several in the area.
- There is an English butcher in Vamos on the road out of the village towards Kalyves (right hand side).
- We also love the traditional butchers in Kalyves or for a real taste of local Greek try the one in Armeni (continue through Kalyves as if you were going to join the dual carriageway but keep going South. Armeni is 5 mins further along.) They have a broad selection of flavoured village sausages, natural Greek yoghurt, and excellent selection of traditional cheeses.
Mini-Markets – Several in the area.
- Nearest is in Gavalohori village (turn left out of villa and left again after the bend at the small cemetery. Then following any road down into the village square where it is situated or
- Xerosterni hamlet– turn right out of villa and keep following the road uphill. Pass through the hamlet and you will find the mini-market on the left at the T junction to the road to Vamos.
- Almerida – turn right out of the villa and proceed downhill towards the beach town of Almerida. Here you will find at least three mini-markets including an organic foods one called “Pear Tree” on the road leading out to Kalyves.
Hot water – solar panels will heat the water sufficiently during the day so there should be no need to use the immersion heater. On very cloudy days however you may need to turn it on using the switch in the panel on the wall outside the cloakroom. A red light will show when it is active. The water will be hot in 15 minutes so please turn off when the water has been heated. In the event of a problem please check this box first.
Water - tap water cannot absolutely be guaranteed for drinking so we would recommend that you buy bottled water. The tap water should be fine when boiled for hot drinks.
Washing machine/Laundry/cleaning – located in the cloakroom under the stairs you will find a washing machine, ironing board and iron as well as mops and other cleaning items for your use
Clothes horse and clothesline. – Located in the kitchen veranda, the clothesline is a spring-loaded reel and pulls out across veranda. To use it, pull the line out and attach it to the hook on the opposite wall. Then tighten it and wrap it around the base of the unit to lock it to prevent it extending further. To put away, release the line from the hook and allow it to spring back into the reel automatically. Clothes pegs are in the cloakroom along with the clothes horse. Pegs are advised especially for larger items as the breeze can blow them onto the ground.
Rubbish – please ensure you take the rubbish away with you on your way out each day and put it in the communal bins you will see by the roadside. Leaving rubbish lying around inside or out will attract insects and once these pests arrive they will be very hard to get rid of which will affect your enjoyment of the villa.
Toilets – The soil pipes are all UK / German size, so toilet paper (in normal amounts) is no problem. But they can block as any normal one can if things like sanitary towels are thrown down them. Sorry - not the nicest of subjects but getting the pipes cleaned out is a nuisance as you will need to be there to let the team in. Best to avoid in the first place if you can.
Spare batteries and bulbs – located in the kitchen above the fridge.
Damage Guests are liable for any damage to the property or contents except normal wear and tear. Guests will be asked to pay for replacement or reinstatement as appropriate via their damage deposit
Departure - please ensure the windows and shutters are closed, the air – conditioners are all switched off in all rooms, the front door is locked, the key deposited in the key safe and the rubbish is taken away.
Safe - located in the kitchen left hand corner cupboard below the work surface. Have you removed all your valuables and documents?
Visitors Book – We would love it if you could make time to provide your comments and any feedback for the benefit of the owners and future guests.
Security tip for your journey home – Just as you would back home, please don’t leave precious items exposed in your car if you stop off en-route to the airport. Keep these safely with you – it’s when you are most relaxed at the end of your stay that you may forget these basic precautions for your valuables, passports and tickets.
Please don’t let a lapse of security spoil the memories of your holiday.
We hope you have a wonderful stay and a safe journey home. We would love to have you back again. Until then, thank you (Efharisto) for taking the time to read through these notes.
Mike and Sue (Villa owners)