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The best hotels for all-inclusive holidays to Crete, including family-friendly aqua parks and adults-only overwater villas

Please note our writers visited Crete prior to the coronavirus pandemic

For a laidback break without the worry of extra charges, weather, entertainment and excellent dining options, all-inclusive holidays to Crete are ideal. Most packages include premium beverages and à la carte dining – some even offer spa treatments and sports activities. From lazing on pristine Blue Flag beaches to discovering cultural wonders, there’s plenty to see and do on Greece’s largest island, but the plethora of food options, family facilities and fun activities offered at these Crete all-inclusive hotels might make it difficult to leave. Here’s our pick of the best.

Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa, Analipsi

Adults looking for luxury Crete holidays with a ‘Love Island’ vibe will find this stylish resort, built around one of Europe’s largest lagoon pools (inflatable giant flamingos are a nice extra touch), ticks all the boxes. Narrow bridges criss-cross the vast lagoon pool; couples lounge in sunken seating areas, or on islands dotted with beds and hammocks. Style is generally minimalist: all white with lots of blonde wood, canvas and bamboo, with retro touches in the rooms, suites and villas (from the 18 smallish second-floor pool-view rooms to the nine South Pacific-inspired overwater bungalows or 12 Island Villas with private pools). There’s also a delightful light-filled spa and several restaurants.

Read the full review: Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa

Rates provided by
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Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa, Crete

Couples can be found lounging in sunken seating areas or on islands dotted with beds and hammocks at Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa

• The best hotels in Crete

Daios Cove, Agios Nikolaos

Despite its size, this Greek-hamlet-style resort is very low-key and friendly service lends a distinct village ambiance. Facilities include tennis courts, several outdoor pools and a comprehensive spa, with a Finnish sauna, indoor pool, hydro-massage facilities and treatments by Anne Semonin. There’s also a Crèche Club supervised by UK childcare experts Worldwide Kids, a game-stocked kids’ entertainment room and dozens of well-monitored watersports activities. Every one of the resort’s rooms, suites and villas have wall-to-ceiling windows with views over the clear waters of Vathi Bay. 

Read the full review: Daios Cove

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Daios Cove, Crete

Daios Cove resort sits in a natural amphitheatre that descends in stages to a private sandy beach

Credit:
Handout/Heinz Troll,

• The best all-inclusive hotels in Greece

The Syntopia, Adelianos Kampos

Breakout the boho chic, this four-star haven cries out to be Instagrammed. Inspired by extensive travels, the (young) owner has chosen a flashpacker/glamping vibe: lots of earthy mineral colours, sisal and stripped wood, sculpted totem poles and wigwam-style awnings above beds around the pretty central pool – there’s even a food truck complete with buffalo skull and surfboard. Facilities include an elegant little spa and a restaurant serving a limited range of local and international dishes. The best rooms are on the top floors where glass balconies give sheer pool views and distant sea vistas. 

Read the full review: The Syntopia

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The Syntopia, Crete

Double rooms at The Syntopia can feel cramped but the Superior Rooms have outdoor whirlpool baths and large balconies

• An insider guide to Crete

LUX ME White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort, Rethymnon

Life at this bright white resort close to Rethymnon’s museums and nightlife revolves around the sizeable central seawater pool and a long strip of sandy beach. Though some areas of the hotel undoudtedly need updating, there’s a pretty boho spa, several good restaurants and plenty of children’s entertainment. The resort’s LUX ME all-inclusive formula covers everything from the minibar to à la carte dining, involving an international range of cuisine. The best rooms for space and privacy are the frontline White Villas with direct beach access. Please note that the property isn’t reopening until 2021.

Read the full review: LUX ME White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort

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LUX ME White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort, Crete

Rooms at LUX ME White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort are white-on-white

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Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa, Malia

This seaside spa resort is like a luxurious and labyrinthine Cretan village built of light-coloured local stone. There are lots of alleys lined with high stone walls, plenty of secret nooks and crannies, pools behind arches or walls (some are adults-only), several restaurants, and a sandy (serviced) beach. Interiors are cosy with lots of jaunty marine stripes, velvet upholstering and local artwork. Classic rooms occupy two floors in the older part of the building and have large balconies (although slightly dowdy). Some suites and bungalows share medium-sized pools; larger suites have plunge pools. Best are the Luxury Seafront suites.

Read the full review: Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa

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Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa, Crete

Expect solid comfort, superb service and sapid food at Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa

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Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort

This excellent all-inclusive five-star resort, which overlooks a sandy beach near the lively resort of Hersonissos, offers something for everyone. There are several pools, a host of children’s activities, a superb Thalasso spa (big, bright and modern with a bevy of staff in attendance) and an abundance of restaurants. Guests on ‘Elements all-inclusive packages’ can enjoy a free spa combo: half an hour frolicking in the massage jets of the large Aqua pool (with a trainer putting you through your paces), 15 minutes in a bubbling hydro-jet bath and half an hour’s massage, as part of the bundle. Other facilities include four tennis courts and a modern fitness centre with sauna and hammam.  

Read the full review: Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort

From £135 pp/pn aldemarroyalmare.gr

Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort, Crete

Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort overlooks a sandy beach near the lively resort of Hersonissos

• The best nightlife in Crete

Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos

This all-inclusive family resort is big, brash, but lots of fun. Though it can be quite easy to lose one’s way due to the sheer size of the resort, there’s a lot to offer including a small beach, a good-sized main pool (where most people hang out) and other smaller pools dotted around the property. It’s well worth paying extra to use the spa facilities which feature yet another pool, and a full circuit of hydro massage jets, and a sauna/hammam. Choose your room wisely; there’s a bit of disparity in the quality so go for one of the newer ones, beachside. Dining is really the strong point of this resort and there are several restaurants serving first-rate food.

Read the full review: Creta Maris Beach Resort

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Creta Maris Beach Resort, Crete

Creta Maris Beach Resort is ideal for Crete family holidays

• The best beach hotels in Crete

Cavo Spada Luxury Resort and Spa, Kolymvari

A friendly, small-scale, comfortable resort surrounded by lush countryside and overlooking a pebble beach near Chania. The cube-like rooms, mainly on two levels, cluster around the large and pretty public pool facing out onto a grassy strip of land with open sea views. This is a resort with a big emphasis on sport (the Swedish ice-hockey team trains here) so facilities are good: a large open-air (but undercover) gym space and modern machines, plus tennis courts and a beach exercise area. There is a large freshwater pool, while the spa has a heated pool, sauna and steam room. Treatments use Anne Semonin products. The grassy lawn scattered with sunbeds opens onto a pretty pebble beach – hard on the feet, but the water is sparkling clear.

Read the full review: Cavo Spada

From £125 pp/pn (cavospada.gr)

Cavo Spada, Crete

Cavo Spada is surrounded by lush countryside and overlooks a pebble beach near Chania

• The best family-friendly hotels in Greece

Club Marine Palace & Aqua Park, Panormos

This family-friendly, all-inclusive, four-star resort has its own aquapark (apparently the largest in a Greek resort). Several restaurants and snack bars serve food day and night, and a handful of swimming pools, a Thalasso spa and a small beach ensure there’s something for all ages. There are three à la carte restaurants. Riviera (lovely pool views) has a limited menu, but the food is excellent and they have a small list of local wines. Bamboo Nero is the Asian restaurant serving carefully prepared Asian fusion dishes, from crispy duck to sushi. Deep Blue gets a sea breeze and serves a good range of snacks, including burgers and souvlaki. 

Read the full review: Club Marine Palace & Suites

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Club Marine Palace & Aqua Park, Crete

Families are in for a treat at the friendly, all-inclusive, four-star Club Marine Palace with its own aquapark

Credit:
Heinz Troll

Rates above are guide prices per person per night, please note that all-inclusive packages can differ across hotels. Owing to the current coronavirus pandemic, these rates may change. Please check the hotel’s websites for further information on what’s included. 

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