The date when I became traveler who is interested to know historical stories, and to learn more about the place except the names of the beaches and the hotels is still unknown to me. As I mentioned before, I heard about Kavala many times as it is a port between Thessaloniki and Istanbul. It has a long significant presence in the evolution of the area, from the classical to the post Ottoman period.
Kavala is also a birthplace of Mohamed Ali Pasha, the founder of modern Egypt and the Egyptian Royal Dynasty. Mohamed Ali was born in 1769, when Kavala, along with Egypt, formed part of the Ottoman Empire. Mohamed Ali Pasha’s parents died at his very early age and he was adopted by the keeper in Kavala. He then married in to a wealthy family and used its wealth to stand by his land. In 1801 he was knighted kinghood by the Sultan, and became a very positive and active member of the revolution of 1821. However, in 1813, as a donation to his hometown, he founded and supervised the construction of an impressive Imaret, Koranic school and charitable centre.
From 1902 – 1923 Imaret acted as a charitable retreat providing sleeping headquarters for 60 people, libraries and teaching classes together with daily food. From 1923 onwards it was used throughout the years as a restaurant, museum and coffee shop. It was being neglected and abandoned. Luckily that changed thanks to one woman ‘Mrs. Misirian, who understood the historic symbolism of this estate and ached for its demise, hence with great love and admiration she restored these historical grounds and converted the greatness of Imaret into one of the most exclusive boutique hotels in Greece. Through this renovation the site has been brought back to life with grandness and greatness.
This time I was indeed lucky, having the opportunity to visit this luxury hotel. You can imagine the atmosphere of this hotel is very unique. I had a little tour around the building with a guide, who told me all the ins and outs of the history of this building (it used to be a religious university).
There is something I need to mention about this hotel, as an exclusive hotel the grounds call for outmost respect. Every paving, wall finish, floor detailing, landscaping that has been designed makes you take notice and respect it. When you walk around the reception and the exterior grounds, you know that you are somewhere great, even if you do not know the history of the site. It is the ambience and the precious finishes that give out this importance of respect. The exterior surrounding views looking out are heavenly and the grounds have an aristocracy when you are walking around the gardens and under the arched hallways. The staff of Imaret, is truly doing its best to make you to feel special here, even though sometimes it looks like they are mystical, they are actually doing everything for their guests experience. So once you enter the Imaret hotel, you will feel that the grounds are only there for your use.
In this world of a thousand nights each visitor experiences the fairytale in their own ways. Each bedroom has its own character. Everything is unique. The bedrooms carry you away into another era with the existence of glorious sculptured fireplaces, luxurious chandeliers, vaulted high ceilings and the warmth of Persian rugs on the floor. Opening the door to your night quarters you are greeted by bowls of rose pedal water on the floor to rest your feet before you lie on your bed to close your eyes and dream of your fairytales.
As I had only one day to be at this hotel, and the weather was not friendly, I decided to leave Imaret, with a note that I will be back soon! If this monument looks astonishing during the rain, can not imagine how it is going to look in the summer!
Imaret hotel is located in the heart of Kavala, it is close to everything. Also, being at Imaret do not miss to visit the Fortress of Kavala or Tobacco Museum. I believe that you already schedule to visit one of the most beautiful crystal beaches.
More information about Imaret Hotel you can find at www.imaret.gr
or at Imaret’s facebook page here.
After visiting this mysterious boutique hotel, I decided to sit down at close by cafeteria and sum up all impressions. One traditional Greek coffee, view over Kavala… guess that this day looks like a day of Egyptian princess?! Couldn’t ask for more.