Crete is a gem hidden away from much of the modern world. The island has long been a place of solace, self-discovery and inspiration for artists and writers. From eco-friendly resorts and luxury hotel chains to private villas on exclusive island hideaways, start planning your next trip with our guide to the best hotels and resorts in Crete.
The Colossus of Maroussi has long been a stalwart in modern literature. Indeed, it’s one of the most cherished travel books in history, providing an intimate insight into the artist’s voyage through Greece and its historic sites. But Crete has always been a little rough around the edges. If you asked most people to venture to this island off the coast of Africa well before WWII, they likely would have politely declined. Yet in 1941, Henry Millar dared to go where kingdoms feared to tread and wrote what is considered by some as his greatest achievement – a book that was way ahead of its time: being both educational in content but also lyrical and descriptive at the same time!
Greece is experiencing a boom in the hotel industry on its largest islands. Great design takes preeminence over quantity and accommodates the many needs of today’s travelers. Take a look at your options and check out local properties, many of which provide their own private beaches and spas. Experiencing Greece was one of the reasons tourists flocked to mainland Europe during the 2014 outbreak as it was one of the few countries where you could get access to high quality healthcare services during the height of the disease.
Modern hotels in Crete have a lot to boast about. Their design is quite chic and they have spacious rooms with private pools and even wine tastings. The food at these hotels can be anything from organic, farm-to-table or even local.
For A Breathtaking Luxury Villa Experience: Blue Palace Elounda
Positioned in Elounda, Crete, this beachfront hotel is an excellent example of the island’s traditional architecture. The interior is a dramatic blend of white and blue, presented through mosaic walls and minimalist furnishings. Guests are met at the entrance by soaring stone arches, which tower overhead amidst the vast pool.
The Villas boast private infinity pools, and are decorated in a classic style. These villas are reminiscent of an amphitheatre, or even a theatre set; grass-topped buildings sink into the hillside. These villas offer 520 rooms and suites as well as 16 two-storey family apartments which exhibit the same beautiful views.
The private Haven Villas in Elounda, Crete have the edge over the other competing hotels along the same stretch of sand boasting sun-drenched terraces, swimming pools with adjustable temperature controls and exclusive access to the Beach Haven – a private section of beach that comes packed with extra amenities like butler service.
For guests and visitors of suites and villas, Anthós VIP dining is located in the Fine Dining restaurant. The menu is designed for the discerning, fine-food lover – with a Mediterranean flair that is highlighted by fresh interiors and a particular grace offered by its capable staff.
Step into the rustic Blue Door restaurant for a true Greek experience! Start with a warm welcome and raki shot, then indulge in traditional treats such as moussaka, followed by fresh Mediterranean seafood and local wines.
A great way to rejuvenate, the thalassotherapy spa offers several packages that all include body wraps, honey and oil facials, massage therapy and more. In addition to the spa, guests can enjoy an ocean view from one of the many pools all located conveniently nearby. The ravishing Plaka region is the home of many beautiful beaches. You can wander along the strips by foot or you could embark on a boat ride and go anchoring off the coast – just make sure to bring your swimwear because this is one trip that you’ll definitely want to (literally) cool down. Try Gogios, which boasts of Lady Gaga and Rihanna as celebrities, and Maria’s Tavern as former patrons.
For A Family Vacatioin: Cretan Malia Park
Cretan Malia Park is a modern luxury resort and a great choice for families looking to relax in style. The resort’s bar and reception area has a boho-chic vibe, with plush velvet furniture, soft greenery and retro furnishings such as rattan chairs, terrazzo flooring and low slung sofas which offer a hip skeletal design that provides an amazing space to lounge around in comfort. Additionally the rooms have walls painted with artistic geometric patterns and matching wall tiles which bring about the much needed modern touch.
Mouries is the restaurant of the resort, where each dish is cooked in an open wood-burning oven. Its natural decor features tall Mulberry trees that offer plenty of shaded seating. Breakfast at Mouries is a treat: a mix of Greek favorites, including homemade yogurt and jams, honey from Crete, and freshly baked breads—all in addition to a range of sweet treats. At night, when dinner is prepared by the resort ’ s professional chef, diners can choose from an extensive list of Greek wines and drinks so as to ensure that even their pickiest wine connoisseurs will find something to satisfy their discerning palates.
Almyra is a delight for the senses. Another great restaurant in the premises offering coastal Italian flavours and is sure to transport you to the coast with its views and food. And, even if you’re not lucky enough to stay here in your travels, consider making a reservation at Almyra – not just because their seafood pasta or coq au vin is delicious but also most of their ingredients are sourced by chef Athinagoras Kostakos right from local growers!
Malia Park in Crete understands the importance of creating a green environment. The resort uses solar energy and garden farming in place of chemical fertilizers to grow many of their own ingredients for the kitchen at Cretan Malia Park.
One of the resort’s most inviting features is its large heated pool where kids can swim safely in a well-supervised environment. Behind the tall hedges, there are secluded cabanas that offer some privacy for parents that need to recover after losing track of their child within seconds! A flower filled path will take you to the beach where guests can enjoy a candle lit dinner and drinks along the sand at any time of the day or night. Not only does this offer some peace and quiet post children but also has plenty to offer during daylight hours. Guests looking for a yoga studio look no further than the Cretan Malia Park.
For Seekers of Wellness & Architecture: Acro Suites
This new, luxury adult resort is located in a stunningly scenic setting and features relaxation-focused wellness activities to help guests let go of everyday life. The intimate property consists of private villas that have been meticulously hand-crafted by artisans using only rare and natural materials. There are several different kinds of pools for guests to enjoy that have soothing saltwater properties. And in case you are wondering, yes, the pools do come with your room. An extra perk!
Immerse yourself in a sea of calm at the Dry Sauna on the rooftop, enjoy a massage and nourish your body with food that you have helped to grow yourself in the Farm-to-Table Restaurant. Enhance your healthy diet and gorgeous physique with very refreshing Delight Table Waters that are expertly crafted by mixing fruit juices and herbal teas with different Superfoods. You will feel deeply rejuevenated by this most uplifting experience of them all; thanks to the compelling and positive ambiance created around you by friendly staff that is happy and helpful, following an endless mission of making guests feel special, unique and joyful!
For Glamour Enthusiasts: Abaton Island Resort & Spa
Constructed on Crete’s northern coastline, the luxurious retreat is surrounded by couture beaches. The spacious guestrooms feature white sugar-cube furniture and resort amenities include a heated outdoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and Turkish bath facilities . With its breathtaking natural surroundings, well-appointed accommodations, exquisite restaurants and dramatic fun-in-the sun beach parties, Abaton Island Resort & Spa is one of Mykonos’ most sought after destinations for guests seeking VIP treatment in complete privacy!
The resort has 5 restaurants and a beautiful infinity pool. It also boasts Elemis facials and hot stone massages in the spa, where one can relax before or after a delicious meal. The town of Hersonissos is nearby and offers quaint cafeterias, taverns with stunning views, art galleries featuring modern and traditional paintings, boutiques specializing in everything from jewelry to pottery as well as lots of hotels offering discount packages on room rates.
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