The tale begins in 1835 with Giovanni Delfino, a knight and ship-owner from Genoa, who made his fortune transporting goods across the Mediterranean.

On one fateful trip bound for Syria, a storm cast Delfino aground at the Castle of Gramvousa on Crete. He sought refuge in the Capuchin monastery. Delfino managed to salvage his precious cargo of cod, which he sold to the locals at a handsome profit. Quick to spot a gap in the market, Delfino requested another shipment of fish to be sent to him. Along with the cargo, his wife Bianca and their children, Petro and Margaritte, were also dispatched to Crete.

As Delfino’s business continued to flourish, the family decided to settle in Chania permanently. Between 1840-1845, he purchased a grand Venetian mansion in the heart of town, conveniently located close to the harbour.

When Delfino’s daughter Margaritte came of marrying age, a suitable groom was found in Genoa. So Margaritte began the long sea voyage to meet her future husband. But destiny intervened: on the way, she fell in love with the captain of the ship. In a flash, Genoa was forgotten, and the young couple turned the ship around and returned to Chania.The family home, Casa Delfino, was given to Margaritte as part of her dowry. The happy couple raised six children in the house. All future generations continued to live in the family house, until the Second World War. Casa Delfino suffered severe damages during the German occupation. The house was abandoned and gradually fell into ruin.

Eventually, in 1989, Manthos Markantonakis - a fifth generation descendant of the Delfino family - made it his mission to restore the family home to its former splendour. With great love and care, Casa Delfino was renovated, upgraded, and converted into a luxury hotel. Manthos’ ambition was to recreate the sense of a private residence in the heart of Chania.