The Best Hotels in Heraklion, Crete, for Every Traveller

GDM Megaron is among Crete's most historic hotels
GDM Megaron is among Crete's most historic hotels | Courtesy of GDM Megaron / Expedia
Photo of India Doyle
7 November 2018

Crete‘s main port of entry deserves much more than a drive through en route to your resort. This city in Greece is a must-see for a day or three, with its mighty Koules Fortress and its atmospheric Venetian harbour. While the sights are many, and the Palace of Knossos – the home of the mythic Minotaur – could demand several hours, Heraklion is a place for relaxing also. Laze over iced coffees at sunny waterfront cafés and toast the end of each day with cold white wine. When it’s time for bed, here are the best places to stay in Heraklion.

Dom Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
Dom Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Dom Boutique Hotel / Expedia
In a premium location, close to the oldest part of town, this slick, cream-and-pine boutique hotel has a bohemian appeal, softened up by retro details such as crocheted pouffes, botanical art and glossy houseplants. Most fabulous is its Junior Suite, which has a suntrap wooden terrace, cushioned seating and a private hot tub. Tuck in to a delicious American breakfast, and enjoy the modern stone bathrooms and chic, Mad-Men feel lobby lounge. For solo travellers there’s the option of a single room, too.
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Domus Ariadne

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
Domus Ariadne
Courtesy of Domus Ariadne / Expedia
Close to the Archaeological Museum and the Venetian Harbour, which comes into its own at sunset, Domus Ariadne is a stylish, minimalist design hotel that pushes the boat out with Art Deco touches from circular mirrors to curved enclaves and sharp black-and-white edges. A petite patio and garden are given Miami vibes by sunshine-yellow furniture and huge potted palms; reception staff are relaxed and friendly and the room rates are a real steal.

Porta Medina Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
Porta Medina Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Porta Medina Boutique Hotel / Expedia
This townhouse has a rustic feel thanks to exposed stone-built walls, stripped-back floors and wooden doors and staircases. The owners are super helpful, always ready to recommend local cafés and restaurants, and a wander around the local neighborhood reveals pretty city architecture. Beds beat the competition, with extra luxury-hotel softness and plumpness. Rooms stand out fo their little touches such as fresh fruit or flowers.
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Veneziano Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel
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Veneziano Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Veneziano Boutique Hotel / Expedia
This is quite a place: a 16th-century Venetian building that has been polished up to luxury-boutique-hotel levels. Gnarled-stone walls are set off by prettily tiled kitchen units and woods painted in peacock-blue; four-posters and gleaming white marble bathrooms glam up the highest-end rooms. A family maisonette sleeping up to four is most luxurious and spacious, but frills such as TVs, robes and slippers are available to all. On the ground floor is a chic café and wine bar.
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GDM Megaron

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Map View
GDM Megaron
Courtesy of GDM Megaron / Expedia

Founded in 1920, the GDM Megaron is among Crete’s most historic hotels. Grand and elegant, it has entertained locals and holidaymakers for decades, which is no surprise, given the standard of service and the impressive atmosphere of the place. Rooms, classically furnished, have either sea or city views and aromatic Greek-made bath potions by Korres. The bar on the fifth floor reveals some of the best views of the city – order a drink and take in the sumptuous Venetian architecture all around, with the darkening evening Aegean waters beyond.

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  • Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort

    Resort
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    Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort
    Courtesy of Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort / Expedia

    Less than half an hour by car from Heraklion, the one-of-a-kind Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort raises the bar for hotel luxury in Crete. You’ll get to experience best of Greek hospitality amid lavish surroundings. Guest rooms are calm and classic – stealing the limelight is the enormous infinity pool that sweeps past elegant stone buildings towards the sea. There’s a spa with treatments that borrow from traditional Cretan techniques, and about a dozen places to eat and drink, including Italian, Cretan and Asian resaurants. One evening make sure you dine taverna-style at the hotel’s farm, Agreco, in Rethymno; nothing on your holiday will be as exhilarating as an evening of traditional Cretan food, drink and music.

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    Galaxy Hotel Iraklio

    Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
    Map View
    Galaxy Hotel Iraklio
    Courtesy of Galaxy Hotel Iraklio / Expedia

    Clean-lined, corporate-look rooms – there are 127, some with a pool view – help make Galaxy Hotel Iraklio a favourite among young and urban travellers: it’s a sophisticated, stylish destination just beyond the heart of Heraklion. The blank, white, Bauhaus-informed building takes the attention from its neighbours – a look-at-me affair that belies that discreet care and attention of its staff, who go to great lengths to create the atmosphere. The location is a major draw, within walking distance of the Archaeological Museum, Bembo Fountain, Kornarou Square and public gardens. Just make sure you eat your fill of the decadent breakfast before you set forth.

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    Villa Omikron

    Villa
    Map View
    Villa Omikron
    Villa Omikron | Courtesy of Villa Omikron / Hotels.com

    Looking for an intimate base close to, rather than in, Heraklion? Villa Omikron is your place. An easy 25-minute drive from Heraklion, it is, in fact, a clutch of four luxury villas that can be rented together or separately. You’ll get to enjoy a spacious outdoor pool, DIY barbecue nights and views of the sparkling Aegean. Behind earthy, natural walls, interiors are crisp and clean, some of the best of Crete’s beaches are on your doorstep and if you’ve got wheels, from here it’s easy to explore the whole island.

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    Olive Green Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel
    Map View
    Olive Green Hotel
    Courtesy of Olive Green Hotel / Expedia

    Right in the heart of Heraklion, this is a departure for a Greek-island hotel. No whitewash or rustic stone facades, the exterior is a big-city light show of fiery illuminations – a huge box-like affair illuminated by bands of red such as you might expect in Barcelona. The vibrant outside bigs up the ecological ethos at Olive Green: sustainability through solar energy. Technology allows guests to control air conditioning and heating to avoid waste. Recycling is key. Behind the cool-and-trendy forward-thinking, though, all is warm and friendly: you’ll eat and drink at lively 626 All Day Lounge & City Garden, from pancakes and croissants first thing, via al fresco pasta dinners, to wine and charcuterie plates, late into the night.

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    Alice Snowsill contributed additional reporting to this article.