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Best Overall: Melidoni X Villagei – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Reviewers are effusive about the host’s genuine Cretan hospitality, and the sense of privacy in the five independent villas."
Best Runner-Up: Elounda Garden Suites – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Beautiful gardens provide ample opportunities for soaking up the abundant sunshine, while the heated swimming pool is made for family fun."
Best Budget: Hotel Keramos – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The highlight is the homemade breakfast spread, which features the owner’s still-warm Cretan pies and pastries."
"Spend time together on the private sandy beach, or sign the kids up for lessons in tennis, swimming, dance, and more while you relax at the spa."
Most Romantic: Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Spend a luxurious afternoon enjoying a side-by-side massage in the spa, with its marble steam room and whirlpool Jacuzzi."
Best All-Inclusive: Atlantica Kalliston Resort & Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"During the day, unwind poolside in a romantic gazebo or take part in an invigorating yoga or pilates class."
Best Nightlife: Kastro Beach Apartments – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The top attraction is Charlie’s Bar, a famous nightlife destination known for its themed events, cheap cocktails and all-day dining."
Best Luxury: Domes of Elounda – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Wake up to views of the shimmering Aegean, and spend idyllic days lounging amid Mediterranean gardens filled with olive trees."
Best Boutique: La Maison Ottomane – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"An elegant boutique hotel inspired by the opulence of the city’s one-time Ottoman rulers that acts as a perfect oasis from the busy city."
Best Overall: Melidoni X Village
Ranked on TripAdvisor as one of the best accommodation options on the whole island, family-friendly Melidoni X Village is located far from the tourist crowds in the rural north. It offers an insight into a more authentic Crete, a city known for its ancient sites and wine, with spectacular mountain vistas and the sound of distant goat bells carried on the balmy air. Reviewers are effusive about the host’s genuine Cretan hospitality, and the sense of privacy afforded by the five independent villas. Each one has its own garden, sun terrace, and personal swimming pool. Inside you’ll find an open-plan living room and kitchen in addition to one or two bedrooms.
If you can drag yourself away from your private sanctuary, ask the resort concierge about motorbike rentals and boat trips, or explore the area with the help of a complimentary hiking map. The lobby boasts a pool table, a library, and a TV corner, while Melidoni village is an easy 15-minute walk away. Wherever your adventures take you, come home for a traditional Cretan dinner at the on-site restaurant.
Best Runner-Up: Elounda Garden Suites, Elounda
Those that want to be closer to the sea will find their personal slice of paradise at Elounda Garden Suites. Located a five-minute walk from Elounda’s famous sandy beach, the hotel is made up of three, whitewashed buildings constructed using local Cretan materials and design techniques. Beautiful gardens provide ample opportunities for soaking up the abundant sunshine, while the heated swimming pool is made for family fun. Accommodation options range from double rooms with an outdoor patio to two-bedroom suites with a full kitchen and living room.
All floor plans come with air-conditioning, a fridge, a TV, and free Wi-Fi—and if you’re feeling particularly decadent, you can even arrange for an in-room massage. The hotel restaurant serves a magnificent continental breakfast buffet every morning, with a la carte hot items on offer as well. For dinner, ask the concierge to recommend the best options for an authentic meal in Elounda village. Bakeries, waterfront tavernas, and lively bars are all within a few minutes’ walk. Parking is available free of charge.
Best Budget: Hotel Keramos, Zaros
Looking for rustic simplicity? The popular Hotel Keramosm—one of the island’s best budget-friendly choices—will provide. The hotel’s inland location in the mountain village of Zaros makes it an ideal base for hiking, and reviewers speak highly of its welcoming, family-run atmosphere and charming Cretan decor. Rooms and suites have tiled floors, wooden furniture, and high ceilings. Use the individual climate control to combat the heat of a Grecian summer and the Wi-Fi to post photos of your vacation online.
The highlight for most guests is the homemade breakfast spread, which features the owner’s still-warm Cretan pies and pastries. Dinner at on-site Vegera taverna is equally rewarding, while the bar stays open around the clock. Children are welcome at Hotel Keramos and benefit from a special kids menu and a collection of toys and games. The only downside is that the nearest beach is a 40-minute drive away. But you can rent cars and motorbikes at reception.
Best Family: Elounda Peninsula All-Suite Hotel, Elounda
If you’re traveling with family in tow, head south of Elounda to the luxurious Elounda Peninsula All-Suite Hotel. Spend time together on the private sandy beach, or sign the kids up for lessons in tennis, swimming, dance, and more while you check out the spa and golf course. Children ages 10 and over can even learn to scuba dive. There’s a supervised crèche for babies and toddlers, and a Kids Club for older children. In terms of accommodation, you’re spoiled for choice with a wide range of multiple-bedroom suites, villas, and residences.
Larger floor plans include a private pool and full kitchen, while all options can be baby-proofed with advance notice. Best of all, you don’t have to bring all your heavy infant paraphernalia with you, because everything from cots to baby baths is available on-site. All eight resort restaurants offer high chairs and children’s menus. Favorite family picks include Odysseas (for traditional Greek food overlooking the water) and al fresco Italian restaurant Aglio e Olio. Babysitters and nannies are available for hire.
Most Romantic: Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa, Chania
Located in the heart of Chania’s picturesque Old Town, Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa is a boutique choice for a romantic getaway. The 17th-century Venetian mansion was built as the private home of the Delfino family and is still owned and run by Delfinos today. Each of the 24 rooms and suites are individually decorated with a combination of modern and antique furnishings. Choose the loft-style Romantic Suite with its mezzanine King bedroom, spacious living area, and conservatory-style bathroom. The latter has a deluxe Jacuzzi tub with hydro-massage and ozone therapy jets.
Start each morning with a gourmet breakfast consisting of local cheeses, olives, homemade bread, and pastries. In summer, you’ll eat al fresco in the pebbled, mosaic courtyard that also doubles as a romantic spot for reading and relaxation later in the day. Spend a luxurious afternoon enjoying a side-by-side massage in the spa, with its marble steam room and whirlpool Jacuzzi. Later, the rooftop terrace is the perfect location for sundowner cocktails overlooking the harbor and the sea beyond.
Best All-Inclusive: Atlantica Kalliston Resort & Spa, Chania
Atlantica Kalliston Resort & Spa is an upmarket resort intended primarily for couples. It’s located a short drive west of Chania Old Town on the sandy beach of Agioi Apostoloi, and offers a generous all-inclusive package that covers accommodation, dining, sports facilities, and entertainment. Of the eight restaurants and bars on-site, all-inclusive guests have unlimited access to the main buffet restaurant and three bars. You’ll also have the opportunity for one memorable meal at authentic Greek restaurant Culinarium.
There’s a wide choice of rooms, suites, and maisonettes. Some spoil with a private pool or swim-up access to one of the public pools. No matter which you choose, standard amenities include free Wi-Fi, a TV, a coffeemaker, and a mini-fridge. During the day, unwind poolside in a romantic gazebo or take part in an invigorating yoga or pilates class. Spa services cost extra, but are well worth the expense, while daily activities like table tennis tournaments or aqua aerobics lessons are included in your package. Live entertainment is provided every evening.
Best Nightlife: Kastro Beach Apartments, Malia
Family-owned Kastro Beach Apartments is situated just one minute’s walk from the beach, on a bustling thoroughfare lined with bars, restaurants, and shops in Malia, Crete’s party capital. It receives rave reviews for its cleanliness and welcoming atmosphere, and is so popular with party-loving youngsters that it’s ranked on TripAdvisor as the number one hotel on the whole island. The top attraction is Charlie’s Bar, a famous nightlife destination known for its themed events, cheap cocktails and all-day dining, movie screenings and live sports.
During the day, hang out with friends by the pool where you can get a never-ending stream of drinks and refreshments at the pool bar. At the same time, the rooftop sun terrace accommodates those that want to work on their tan. All apartments have a balcony or terrace, a Smart TV, and free Wi-Fi. You can even cut down on costs by catering for yourselves in the fully equipped kitchenette. The largest apartment sleeps up to five people, making this hotel the ideal choice for groups of friends traveling together.
Best Luxury: Domes of Elounda, Elounda
Domes of Elounda occupies a dreamy clifftop location just five minutes outside Elounda village. Wake up to views of Kalydon, the shimmering Aegean, and the historic island of Spinalonga. Then spend idyllic days lounging amid Mediterranean gardens filled with bougainvillea and olive trees. The resort has its own sandy beach and no fewer than five swimming pools. Take part in aqua yoga classes and traditional cooking classes, or sign up for a romantic cruise on the property’s private yacht.
If it’s relaxation you’re after, you’ll find it at Soma Spa. In addition to a wide range of massage and beauty treatments, the spa has its own sauna, hammam, and swimming pool. There are four restaurants to choose from, including Topos 1910—for fine Greek seafood on the beachfront—and Yaosai—for Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. All suites and private residences spoil with an outdoor Jacuzzi or private swimming pool. Upgrade to Haute Living level for VIP treatment that includes access to an exclusive beach and a lounge with complimentary cocktails and canapés.
Best Boutique: La Maison Ottomane, Chania
Located close to the Old Venetian Harbor in Chania, La Maison Ottomane is an elegant boutique hotel inspired by the opulence of the city’s one-time Ottoman rulers. The interiors are adorned with antiques and paintings, porcelain, and carpets from Marrakesh and Istanbul, making it feel more like a North African kasbah than a Grecian hotel. There are just three rooms to choose from. The smallest, the Aisha, features sumptuous Moroccan furnishings and a partial sea view. The Roxelane is the most romantic, with a two-person bath set beneath an Oriental arch, while the two-story Constantinople Suite is the most luxurious.
All rooms and suites boast Egyptian cotton sheets, an espresso machine, and a personal bar. You’ll also have the use of a complimentary tablet equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi for sharing photos, answering emails, or planning the next day’s adventures. A highlight of this hotel is its tranquil garden, which acts as an oasis from the busy streets outside. It’s also the perfect setting for breakfast or a glass of fine wine.