Welcome to a house with a pedigree for creativity!
For those looking for a really authentic Hydra experience, Rallou House will delight them. It's marvellously quirky with passages and internal as well as external staircases to rooms and areas of the house and gardens that all ooze character and charm. Each window, unexpected balcony and terrace offer a spectacular view. Even if you have never tried to paint a picture before, the creative inspiration that the house pulses with is guaranteed to motivate new talents.
Rallou House, so named for the renowned choreographer, Rallou Manou, has been the Mylonas Family home on Hydra since the 1950's. Pavlos Mylonas, at that time a young practising architect was invited to design a north-facing studio at the Hydra mansion owned by artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas. Pavlos fell in love with Hydra and bought a cluster of ruins for himself. Then over several years, he and his wife Rallou Manou made a haven for their young family. Incorporating ruined walls and artfully remodelling, they created the glorious home that the next generation now offer as a holiday rental.
Rallou Manou was key in the development of Modern Greek Dance, having studied in Berlin and with Martha Graham in New York. In 1951 she founded the Hellenic Choreodrama, a group promoting drama based on Greek literature, ancient, medieval and contemporary, through the collaboration of prominent Greek composers and artists designing sets and costumes.
Pavlos Mylonas designed important buildings in Athens, such as the Mont-Parnes Hotel and the National Gallery. He was Professor at the School of Fine Arts, as well as an architectural historian of international renown for his research in the architecture of the monasteries of Mount Athos.
This house has one of the best views of Hydra in all directions. You will see a canvas of Hydra Town & Harbour, the Peloponnese, Kaminia and all the way to Spetses beyond Dokos Island, laid before you. Each sunset will be a new gem in your picture collection as will photos of the varying colours that the sun paints the town as it paces the sky throughout the day. The views are truly inspirational from every one of the vantage points both inside and out of the house. It is a breathtaking large complex, dominating the green space surrounding it. Interesting artwork and decoration are present everywhere.
Coming up from Hydra Town, you pass under an arch covering the street, connecting the main house to the west garden, and you are welcomed by the rich architectural and decorative shaping of detail.
From the Main Entrance Courtyard (where you can take a quick hose shower to wash off the salt from your sea bathing) you access the Downstairs Entrance Hall.
From here, you either dash out onto the East Courtyard or you stroll to the Main Living Room. On your way, there is the kitchen, pivotally located between inside and outside dining.
As you will see from the photos most areas of the house are traditionally built with very thick walls. The windows are strategically positioned to catch the light summer breezes and pass them through the house. The floors are of stone. This building method is a perfect example of natural cooling. Even at the height of summer, the house is cool and airy and doesn't need air-conditioning. However, you will find some fans for those who like it cooler.
There are a couple of sofas in the downstairs entrance hall, making it a perfect place to take a siesta in the cool or read a book out of the glaring sun.
This large room and the East Courtyard are the central living areas, depending on time, mood and weather.
A generous, stunning view of the town is perceived through a huge sliding window, which in fact, replaced the once fallen north wall.
A dining corner is furnished with dining table seating six.
In 2006 the family generously offered the use of their house as a location to Serendipity Point Films.
The living room of Rallou House was the main location setting for Fugitive Pieces a film made partly on Hydra but only released in Greece in 2009.
The film, based on the book by Anne Michaels, starred Stephen Dillane and introduced Nina Dobrev. (The other actors in the film were not in the Hydra scenes.)
Director Jeremy Podeswa had a fine old time trying to film in between the sounds of the Monastery bells echoing up the hill from the town! The film crew were working flat out for two weeks at the house but the scenes of Hydra and Rallou House only total about ten minutes in the final film. Even so, those ten minutes really showcase both the house and the island. Click this link for a preview of the film and see if you can spot Hydra!
The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you might need. Large refrigerator, sink, electric hob, fully operational antique electric oven, microwave, full set of cookware, dishware, cutlery, cups, mugs and glasses, coffee machine, toaster, kettle, and other utensils.
There is a small but practical bathroom downstairs, useful when someone has managed to go upstairs before you. It has a toilet, hand basin with marble surround, overhead shower, large mirror, good artificial lighting and hot water on demand.
Exit the Main Entrance Hall onto the East Courtyard. This courtyard has a large dining table and seating so you can dine overlooking the spectacular views.
External stone stairs on your left lead to the Upstairs Entrance Hall, where you are greeted by more art and style. If you continue upward you reach the Upper Terrace.
From the Upstairs Entrance Hall, you access two Bedrooms on your right. One is double, the other twin; they have inter-connecting doors. The double bedroom has a private terrace facing south, where one can hang swimming suits, towels etc. to dry. The terrace is also accessible from the Main Entrance Courtyard,
Ahead is the very large Master bedroom and annexed Study/Nursery. The high ceiling Master Bedroom is furnished with a double bed, period wardrobe and chest of drawers. Two windows on one side and another opposite allow excellent cross-ventilation
On the left of the entrance hall, is a corridor, with cupboards leading to a large shower room.
Large Shower Room Upstairs
This is probably the bathroom with the best view on the island –even when you are sitting on the toilet… Toilet, very large shower, marble bench with hand basin, good artificial light, ample natural light, views north and south, and, of course, hot water on demand. Water pressure is good all-round the year as an electric pump is installed in the basement.
This is probably where you will spend most of your time. Breakfast, late coffee, brunch, lunch, tea time, drinks, supper, dinner, late drinks, around the glass table, with or without music, under the decorated wall and covered patio. You may also sunbathe under the rubber tree or lie and read when the sun has departed.
There is another spot you will probably enjoy in the evenings either for drinks or for dinner: that is the lowered northern pebble floored verandah, with a stunning view of the harbour, the lights and the boat activities.
Then there is the Upper Terrace, where you may spend some time sunbathing, but most of all, you will enjoy a variety of sunsets, each different from the previous one or the one next day. With or without drinks.
You might also like to discover the Top Terrace, offering a 360 degrees view, and suitable for more intimate sunbathing or sleeping outdoors.
Then you can also wander around the property and find out more about the Orangerie, or the terraced gardens below the house.
€1,925 per week (€275 per night).