Crete’s best resorts

Argophilia Travel News — Argo Travel News has done dozens of reports on the touristic value of Crete, our staff and affiliates love the island just that much. However, we have yet to do a roundup of the best all around resorts set on this majestic paradise. Here’s a the short bucket list of luxury and even economical vacation wonders, in the land where the Minoans once ruled.

Creta Maris Beach Resort - Beach Area 3

Creta Maris Beach Resort – Beach Area 3

Creta Maris: The Best of All Worlds

The Creta Maris all-inclusive beach resort is on an island that has something for everyone, and a vacation stay that will suite any taste or desire too. For those unfamiliar with Crete, the island is long and narrow, with a jagged coastline, and high mountains in the middle generally.  This is significant for those travelers who want to see more sights because being centrally located becomes all the more important. Creta Maris Beach Resort is almost ideally situated just just 24 km from the Heraklion International Airport close to Hersonissos. This makes its easygoing luxury value even more attractive for those interested in sites in Rethymno to the west, and for those curious about places like Agios Nikolaos to the east. But the biggest value are, of course, the service and amenities of this resort.

Creta Maris Beach Resort - Bars - Ammos Bar

Creta Maris Beach Resort – Bars – Ammos Bar

Creta Maris is situated in a small village, on the long sweeping Malia Bay. In this prefect natural atmosphere, guests get to experience the quiet village life, the magic of Cretan cuisine, the great outdoors, or beach parties that last all night long just down the beach. Like I said, something for everybody.

Creta Maris Beach Resort - Creta Maris Pool Villa Pool Area

Creta Maris Beach Resort – Creta Maris Pool Villa Pool Area

The amenities are typical five star gems like: a Hammam Spa, 6 fabulous restaurants, a state of the art fitness and wellness center, 6 children’s swimming-pools including water slides, a kids mini club, playground, boutiques for the shopaholic, and even a heli-pad. There’s so many amenities and activies, the resort really is one of those “too difficult to list” places. Just remember “something really nice for everyone” and look at the pictures. Argo News Rating: 8 of 10.

For more contact: Tel.: (+30) 28970-27110 or Email: resort@cretamaris.gr

Almyrida Studios

Almyrida Studios, don’t move, get your feet wet in the shade!

The Almyrida Resort: Become Crete

The Almyrida Resort is a family run wonder located just to the east of fabulous Chania in the village of the same name. The diverse offerings here are quite amazing for a four star offering. The three hotels that make up the resort are all located in an aread of incomperable natural beuty.  Each hotel is a different style, but all afford vacationers on a bit of a budget, everything their hearts desire. Almyrida Residence, Almyrida Beach, and Almyrida Studios are a bit self explanatory. Elegant to distraction, what makes this resort so tantalizing are the excursions,the stunning landscapes and a delectable Cretan gastronomy to die for. Unpretentious, this resort reminds me of my childhood visiting the quint, tucked away beach places along the Florida coast.

Quiet, stunningly peaceful, the bay this resort is tucked away on is magic.

Quiet, stunningly peaceful, the bay this resort is tucked away on is magic. Again, for first time travellers to Crete the arid landscapes along the seaside will be a surprise. The value of a wonderful shade tree will become apparent too, and this is another hidden gem of this resort.

Almyrida Resort schedules a variety of activities including a Cretan Cuisine cooking class, wine tastings, music nights, they will even teach you to dance, like Zorba himself. Pools, a spa, an Artisans of Crete food shop that offers the best from all around Crete, and other typical features round out this great resort. Prices start at just under €62 euro per night. On the Roof Garden, you’ll also find Thea Restaurant, a place you won’t want to leave, ever. Argo News Rating: 7 of 10.

For more contact: +30 28250 32075 or info@almyridabeach.com

Infinity Pool at Grand Bay

Infinity Pool at Grand Bay

Grand Bay and the Sound of Two

When I was last on Crete I discovered some of the most fascinating places in the far west of the island. In and around Chania, there are literally hundreds of isolated coves, beaches, villages, and primitive roads to explore. Not so far from Chania, just east on the Bay of Chania, Grand Bay is a tailor-made adult resort with solitude and romance in mind. Impeccable is one word that describes the services, but a sexy solstice away from it all serves better for a two word description.

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The exclusive resort is made up of 75 accommodations, a main swimming pool, and with private shared pools, the fitness center, and the various bars and restaurants. Not to minimize these, the real value here is the almost mystical sense even the ancients rested here. If you want to visit the Minoans at Maleme, or the world’s oldest olive tree, a short ride from here takes you to the spirit of this place. But somehow just “staying” at Grand Bay appeals to most guests. The resort organizes a very nice array of events like snorkeling, sailing, cycling, wine tours and other cultural adventures too. The resort is fairly economical and is actually somewhere in between a three and a half and four star affair. Argo News Rating: 6 out of 1o.

For more contact: +30 28240 83380 or grandbay@giannoulishotels.com

Daios Mansion

Daios Mansion

Say It Softly : “Daios Cove”

My friends on Crete tell me the reason I love the place so much, is because I belong there. I guess they are right. And like every place we belong, there is always something that strikes us in a new way, as we discover more of our surroundings. Being so familiar with the west of the island, of course the fabulous north and east of this land holds many new surprises for us. A magic place we heard about though, Daios Cove, is tops on my list of resorts to check out later this Summer. Situated, as the name implies, on a secluded cove not far from Agios Nikolaos, this stunning getaway spot is a five star stay find. The cove and the facilities are simply “not to be forgotten”, according to our pals on Crete. And as you can see from the images, either they are right or in a wonderful illusion.

One of the villas at Daios Cover

One of the villas at Daios Cove

Once seen, it’s never forgotten. Set against the visual drama of a secluded bay, the place is magical from every angle,. From the lush terraced gardens, to the fine sand of the crescent shaped beach, this is as tranquil and beautiful as a holiday can get. The exclusive beach, the swimming pools, fine Cretan cuisine, and even world class childcare and kids activities, there is no stone left unturned here. Pick a room, pick a suite, or pick a villa and lose yourself. Well, at least this is what we intend to do. The Spa by Anne Semonin Paris, it’s…. Well, my wife and partner will be ready to fly tomorrow, trust me. I don’t want to tease you. Hear read the spa brochure yourself. As for the accommodations, I have not seen any online that were more crisp, chic, and exclusive in appearance. The Villas are absolutely magnificent. At € 5,112.00 for a villa with private pool for a week, late summer guest can say over €3000 euro. And for those willing to really go whole hog, the Daios Mansion (top image) is its own luxurious world away (for under €50,000 euro).

 

Watersports, the kids club, shopping, the bars, pools, and restaurants, and the aforementioned pristine surroundings make this place not one of Crete’s best, but Europe’s best in my book. I’ll tell you more once we’ve visited. Daios Cove has a late summer offer of 35% off those interested should take advantage of too. Argo News Rating: 8 of 10 (tentatively, til we visit)

For more contact:  44 20 3807 1418 or info@daioscove.com

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The Dalabelos Estate Ecotourism Adventure

Not everyone on this Earth envisions vast swimming pools overlooking a sparkling sea, when they visualize the perfect getaway. And on Crete, there’s amply evidence beachcombing should be a weekend pursuit only. My own best remembered excursions there took us high up into the White Mountains, on roads only the goats and Crete farmers dared to navigate (and idiot tourists like me and my pals). Tucked neatly away in the hills overlooking Rethymno and the Cretan Sea, there’s a village called Angeliana, and a farm known as The Dalabelos Estate. If it is a real Cretan adventure you seek, you’ll find it here. 10 luxuriously appointed stone studios here, situate guests comfortably in the middle of a true cultural spectacle.

Dalabelos

Dalabelos agro-tourism complex

I revert to the owner’s description here, so the reader catches the drift of this extraordinary resort:

“The farm counts 1000 trees, a vineyard, an orchard of more than a 100 orange, mandarin and other fruit trees, a great number of wild trees, herb bushes and vegetable gardens. Quite a lot of poultry and peacocks, as well as some goats, two dogs, a donkey and a horse live among the orange and olive trees.”

Yes, much of the charm of this paradise isle is vested in the fabulous people, and in the often primitive landscapes one encounters. Crete is, if anything, totally unspoiled compared to thousands of other touristic destinations. This is in large part owing to the people who own such preserves, and their real ideas of “eco-tourism”. This is a year-round resort, a place most visitors claim they could live forever at. Yes, there’s an infinity edge swimming pool, and all the usual four star suspects, along with the stone fireplaces and charming gardens and walkways. I cannot recommend a more splendid Crete getaway, than becoming Cretan. And this kind of experience is where it happens. (we became farmers of a sort last visit)

Looking out toward the Cretan Sea and Rethymno

Looking out toward the Cretan Sea and Rethymno

In the nearby surrounds guest will find activities both planned and spontaneous, including: shopping, restaurants, museums, canyon visits, hiking trails, beaches, water sports, festivals, customs and cultural events in the near-by region, as well as in the town of Rethymno. However, being part of the farm here is the draw for me. Guests are invited, as is customary on Crete, to gather vegetables in the garden, pick fruit and herbs, observe flowers, birds and animals, and even to participate in daily chores (milk goats, feed rabbits and poultry, collect eggs etc..). Argo News Rating: 8 out of 10.