Arco Suites is a cliffside hotel in Crete with rooms carved out of the rock

Loungers in front of a pool surrounded by cave-like walls in Arco Suites hotel on Crete by Danae and Konstantina Orfanake

Cave-like suites and a yoga studio with an arching bamboo roof feature inside this wellness hotel on the Greek island of Crete, which local hoteliers Danae and Konstantina Orfanake have perched on a rocky precipice above the sea.

The Orfanake sisters spent almost five years designing and developing the Arco Suites resort together with Athenian architecture office Utopia Hotel Design and interior designer Manos Kipritidis.

Overhead view of pool and deck in Arco Suites hotel on cliffside in Crete
Arco Suites is set on a cliffside in Crete’s Mononaftis bay

The complex accommodates 49 suites and villas in buildings constructed from locally sourced stone and wood, which were designed to blend into their surroundings along Crete’s Mononaftis bay.

Some of the stone was excavated directly on-site while the rest was sourced from Mount Ida, the highest mountain on the island.

Pool surrounded by seating in hotel on Crete by Danae and Konstantina Orfanake
The hotel overlooks the Aegean Sea

Each of the hotel’s suites has its own private saltwater pool with views of the Aegean Sea and interiors finished in a palette of natural materials.

This ranges from raw silk bed covers to furnishings custom-made by local artisans using marble from nearby Feistos.

Suite with cave-like entrance in hotel on Crete by the Orfanake sisters
The hotel’s Cave Suites are carved out of the cliffside

Some of the suites were carved directly out of the cliffside, with parts of the rockface left exposed around the pool terraces and throughout the interiors to preserve their cave-like feel.

The stone walls also help to maintain a pleasant temperature all year round, reducing the need for heating and air conditioning.

The hotel’s external stone walls were crafted by Cretan sculptors, as were the custom-made clay light fixtures in the Cave Suites.

Bar with thatched roof and stone counter in Arco Suites hotel
A thatched roof covers the Circle Bar

Kipritidis worked closely with the Orfanake sisters on the design of the hotel’s Cremnos restaurant and the Circle cocktail bar.

Echoing the natural look of the suites, the restaurant is furnished with custom-made marble furniture, natural fabrics and copper and wood details.

The Circle bar features a ceiling made from Makuti – a type of East African thatching that consists of sun-dried coconut palm leaves.

This natural material provides shade and sways in the breeze, creating a relaxing atmosphere.

Arco Suites hotel on Crete by Danae and Konstantina Orfanake
The spa area combines wooden joinery with rough stone surfaces

Utopia Hotel Design was brought in to help with the design of the in-house spa, which features an oval layout and smooth stone surfaces contrasted against roughly hewn walls and wooden doors.

The wellness area houses a Byzantine hammam, a Finnish sauna, two treatment rooms, an outdoor pool and a heated pool.

Arco Suites hotel on Crete by Danae and Konstantina Orfanake
The spa contains an outdoor pool

The hotel’s Asana yoga studio is covered by an impressive arching roof that was custom made in Crete using wood and bamboo from Thailand.

Danae and Konstantina Orfanake are members of a prominent Cretan hotelier family. Arco Suites is the latest addition to their growing portfolio of resorts on the island.

Arco Suites hotel on Crete by Danae and Konstantina Orfanake
The hotel’s yoga studio has an arching bamboo roof

A number of other design studios have explored the idea of embedding buildings into the rugged topography of the Greek islands.

KRAK Architects recently developed a concept for an underground house with an infinity pool on Crete’s south coast. And on Mykonos, Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects has blended a wellness hotel into the surrounding hillside using stones excavated on-site.

The photography is by Giorgos Sfakianakis.

The post Arco Suites is a cliffside hotel in Crete with rooms carved out of the rock appeared first on Dezeen.

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