An experience set in stone at Villa Medusa

Follow the owners through Villa Medusa, a traditional yet completely unique home meant to capture and preserve the authentic aura of Crete.
An experience set in stone at Villa Medusa
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Greece is a mythical holiday destination, its whitewashed villages and shimmering seas having lured many visitors to its shores. Many know its most popular islands like Santorini or Mykonos, but some of the Aegean Sea’s islands have been able to maintain their secrecy. Still unknown and intimate, they swell with authentic charm.

Of these, the Belgian couple Jacques and Katia Wittmann were particularly drawn to Crete. The island, which they discovered by chance, soon became a favourite destination of theirs until they ultimately made it their home. Come along with us as we discover the stunning Villa Medusa through its owners’ eyes.

AN INTIMATE SETTING

As seasoned travellers, the couple had grown tired of crowded hotel stays surrounded by other guests, feeling they needed to obey a certain set of rules and couldn’t fully relax. They began to gravitate towards home stays instead, where privacy and freedom reigned.

Working with a broker to help them book luxury holidays in stunning private homes, Jacques and Katia were introduced to a host of extraordinary homes in diverse locations, and thus stumbled onto Greece by chance.

Are you looking to plan a Greek island getaway? Discover what to do on the many Cycladic islands in the seas in Greece or see our tips for a luxury family holiday to Mykonos.

 

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The country had never been on the couple’s radar, but they were shown such a stunning home in Crete that they couldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit. There, they were utterly surprised by the authentic aura pervading the island, unlike what they had previously experienced on other Greek islands.

Crete felt untouched: small taverns dotted the coastline in ‘70s charm, affable locals greeted visitors with open arms, and the city’s traditional and conserved facades gushed with beauty.

Though smitten by the island’s charm, the Wittmann couple had a hard time finding a home that fully met their expectations, so they set out to bring something to the area that didn’t exist yet. Villa Medusa emerged as both a unique offering and completely authentic luxury experience near the Creatan coast.

If you're looking for your own stay in this mythical country, see out roundup of the top private villas in Greece.

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THE ART OF LUXURY

No strangers to luxury, Jacques and Katia both grew up in this environment. Jacques comes from a family of high-end watch makers, from which he developed an appreciation for fine artistry and precise workmanship. He was also able to engage with luxury clients from a young age and grow up learning the specificities of his clientele.

As for Katia’s experience in luxury, she started a highly successful and fast-growing restaurant that quickly earned a place in the Michelin guide. In this demanding milieu, she developed a deep understanding of food, becoming a guarantor of quality. Her innovative approach in the kitchen, putting foods back on the map that had long been disregarded, earned her acclaim and a host of luxurious guests, until she ultimately decided to sell her business.

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With such an intimate relationship to luxury and vast knowledge of the industry in its many iterations, the couple was perfectly primed for this venture, understanding the wants and demands of luxury customers and what makes a quality experience.

They consequently built a narrative around Villa Medusa, carried through delicate and refined experiences, sophisticated restaurants and tavernas, and a driving feeling of ease and relaxation. You don’t just go to Villa Medusa to stay, you go there to live a unique adventure.

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CRAFTING AUTHENTICITY

To complete the undertaking, Jacques and Katia brought on a Cretan architect. Since this was her first project, she was highly receptive to the couple’s ideas and visions for their home, helping them bring Villa Medusa into the world almost exactly as they had imagined it.

One unique aspect that Jacques pushed was separating the bedrooms from the living space. To him, that distance was crucial: like leaving the office to go home after a day at work, the bedrooms had to be further away from the social areas. That way, you can feel like you’re walking into a different environment defined by peace and serenity.

 

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With a sharp eye for colours and design, Katia worked on the home’s interior. One single vision drove the decor, creating a sense of cohesion and harmony in the home perfectly aligned with the feeling the couple wanted to give. That feeling of calm is carried in each element of decoration, like the soft colours, refined furniture, and measured decor, once more imbuing the home with a sense of tranquillity.

In order to fulfil their vision of an authentic Cretan home, the Wittmanns worked with local artisans. Everything was tailor-made on the island with the help of carpenters, gardeners, and other craftsmen from Crete. The couple believed that for their home to be a true reflection of the island, they needed to work with locals who knew the area, its unique offerings, and the lifestyle.

For example, Greek gardeners worked alongside French landscapers to advise on which plants were best suited for the climate, or how to take care of the olive trees already planted on the property, some up to 100 years old!

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Now, Villa Medusa is the perfect perch from which to discover the island. In only a few minutes on foot or by car, find yourself at an authentic tavern, a gourmet restaurant, a trendy shop, or an untouched beach. In the middle of nature with the sea stretching out in front of you and the mountains rolling in back, it’s an idyllic haven for holidays disconnected from the world, yet fully plugged into the Cretan experience and lifestyle.

It’s no wonder that every year, Jacques and Katia found themselves spending more and more time on the island before making it their full-time home, enjoying its perfect charm as though frozen in time.

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