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This coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, just east of the island’s capital Heraklion, has everything you need for an island getaway – sandy beaches, a rich history, vibrant nightlife and plenty of places to dine out. Discover the best hotels for everyone in Agios Nikolaos, including beachside boutique resorts and villas with private pools.
Combine an unbeatable beachside location with a private beach, landscaped gardens dotted with contemporary artwork by local and international artists, and an award-winning restaurant and you have Minos Beach Art Hotel. This family-friendly five-star hotel captures the essence of a luxury Greek island holiday, with elegantly appointed rooms, suites and bungalows overlooking the lush gardens and ocean. There are also three restaurants and two bars – go for Mediterranean fine dining, such as langoustine tartare with avocado and red bell pepper, at La Bouillabaisse, or enjoy Cretan delicacies, such as chochlioi boubouristi (fried snails) at Terpsis Cretan Restaurant.
Looking to holiday in Agios Nikolaos on a budget? This simple yet stylish hotel offers single, double, triple and family rooms with interiors inspired by the Seventies – think earthy tones and handcrafted timber furniture. There are two bars (one on the roof and one in the lobby), along with a pastel-hued dining room for breakfast on the ground floor. If you fancy dining al fresco, you can also take breakfast at the Ikaros rooftop bar, which boasts views over Mirabello Bay and the village. The hotel is just 50 metres (165ft) away from Kitroplatia, a family-friendly Blue Flag beach.
Planning a family holiday to Crete? This resort in Agios Nikolaos is modelled on an authentic Cretan village, with a picturesque central square, a traditional kafenion (Greek café) and a variety of studios, apartments and suites that sleep up to six guests arranged in a neighbourhood setting. Enjoy a game of basketball, tennis or volleyball, take to the water for windsurfing, scuba diving and sailing adventure, or simply relax on the private beach. For a taste of Cretan cuisine, visit the To Fili Taverna, which serves up local comfort food such as souvlaki and gyros overlooking Mirabello Bay.
This boutique hotel in Saint Nicolas, just a few metres from Kitroplatia Beach, brings a touch of Italian luxury. Located in one of the oldest mansions in the neighbourhood, Porto Maltese Boutique Estate is an exquisite example of Italian-inspired architecture with 18 spacious rooms and suites by Greek architect George Theodosopoulos. The Maltese House suite has four bedrooms, making it ideal for families and groups of friends, and the hotel concierge can organise open-sea fishing trips and diving courses, including a PADI certification.
If you’re searching for an authentic – yet seriously luxurious – Cretan holiday, book into the Blue Palace. There’s the choice of rooms, suites and private villas, with 142 private pools on site and private terraces and gardens overlooking the water. Looking to unwind? Head to the beachside Elounda Spa and make the most of your time by adding a Thalassotherapy Experience before your treatment – a hydrotherapist will guide you through a variety of luxurious water experiences, from heat treatments to a seawater hydromassage. When it’s time to explore the island, the on-site concierge can organise guided trips to archaeological sites, vineyards and olive groves.
This affordable hotel is perched right on the edge of Agios Nikolaos, with spectacular views over the Aegean Sea from the apartments featuring balconies. Each of the apartments, which sleep up to four people, boasts a spacious living and dining area and a kitchenette, making it ideal for guests who want to be able to cook their own meals using the excellent produce available in Crete. Guests also receive 10 percent off in the 9 Muses Restaurant, which serves up local dishes such as dakos, a type of Greek meze similar to bruschetta.
This new boutique seaside resort is set on a secluded peninsula, meaning it’s far away from any hustle and bustle. The architecture is built into the landscape and celebrates minimalistic Greek simplicity – think clean lines and a palette of bright white, blues and earth tones. If you’re looking for even more seclusion, opt for a Dream Island Suite with a private heated pool or an Aegean Room with outdoor jacuzzi. The hotel can also organise a variety of activities, including sailing tours and guided exploration of Heraklion’s vineyards, while you can train at the hotel’s open-air gym, which features an anti-gravity yoga installation.