Eria Resort, the first hotel designed for people with disabilities, is located near Chania in Crete. The hotel owner, Grigoris Archontakis, is a pharmacist with a successful business in orthopedic and medical equipment.
Mr. Archontakis says he recognized the great need for such a hotel in Greece while visiting international exhibitions for orthopedic equipment. “I met people with mobility problems who wanted to visit Greece but there weren’t any hotels with the appropriate accessibility infrastructure, and in particular there were no other facilities such as specially-designed athletic facilities, swimming pools or excursions,” he says.
Built in 2004, Eria Resort’s architectural design meets Canadian specifications, and is extremely functional, safe and comfortable. The resort has 11 double rooms and two suites that are situated around a large pool and common area. The rooms are two levels with an interior elevator and have balconies with a view of the sea and olive groves.
Hotel facilities are fully accessible and include a restaurant, bar, a gym, physiotherapy area, a swimming pool, hydro massage and Jacuzzi. Also on the property are specially-designed sports areas such as boccia and basketball courts, and ping-pong.
The hotel has access to a variety of doctors and physiotherapists, and also has wheelchairs, hoists, stanchions, an oxygen compressor, and scooters available for rent. A special minibus is available to transport guests to and from the airport or harbor, and for excursions to local sites.
Mr. Archontakis says that his hotel guests tend to have a large disposable income and in the past had traveled to other countries where the necessary facilities are available, such as Spain. He plans to establish a travel agency that specializes in bringing disabled visitors to Greece, and to create a network of hotels by providing technical advice to hoteliers on the required modifications.