Inspired by the Greek bitter oranges, called “Neratzia”, that once surrounded the Augustinian Venetian church of Santa Maria, known today as the Neratzè Mosque, Neratzé Hammam Suites was designed by Yannis Polychronakis, civil engineer and owner of the property, along with POLYERGO team and architect Chiara Armando.
The team transformed the historic Ottoman and Venetian building into 4 luxurious suites, in the old Turkish district of Gasi Housein Pasas, creating an unforgettable experience of relaxation and pleasure. Embedding colorful ceramic and textiles from the bazaar of Istanbul and fine customized furniture into the design, the renovation project continues now including the reception and three new rooms. The conditions of the existing building that is located in the historic center of Rethymno and therefore is under the protection of the Archaeological Superintendence, along with its position in a secluded corner of the main square, called Platia Mikrasiaton, made the project especially challenging. The project is a good example of how an architectural renovation can also become an urban regeneration work while increasing the interest in the area. The boutique hotel was designed with respect to the traditional local architecture, keeping the basic components intact while converting some of the old functions into elements of modern use. The logo that summarizes the symbolic elements of the project – the three domes of the nearby Muslim temple, also typical of the Hammam, and the stylized leaf of a Neratzè, merges architecture with nature, becoming the characterizing element of the interior design of this new intervention.