Where to Stay in Crete, Greece, for a Beach Holiday

Boho-chic at Minos Beach Art Hotel
Boho-chic at Minos Beach Art Hotel | Courtesy of Minos Beach Art Hotel / Expedia.com
Ellie Ross

If you need to feel the sand between your toes as soon as you step out of your hotel, you’re in good hands. The beautiful island of Crete is teeming with resorts and hotels located right on the beach. Whether you’re visiting with children or seeking a romantic escape, book into one of the best places to stay in Crete and enjoy all that this dreamy Greek island has to offer.

1. Minos Beach Art Hotel

Luxury, Hotel

Minos Beach Art Hotel dining area with view through arch to sea and mountains beyond
Courtesy of Minos Beach Art Hotel / Expedia.com

This luxury boutique hotel has a prime position, right on the water’s edge in Lasithi, to the east. Expect boho-chic interiors, lush gardens, a private beach and mouth-watering food across three restaurants and three bars. Choose from suites, bungalows and villas with up to three bedrooms – all have wonderful views of the gardens or sea, and the best have private pools. When it comes to deciding where to stay in Crete, this spot should be at the forefront of your mind.

2. Lyttos Beach

Hotel

Lyttos Beach with private beach and pools, mountains beyond
Courtesy of Lyttos Beach / Expedia.com

With direct beach access, private and shared pools and a plethora of family-friendly activities, this all-inclusive resort in Hersonnisos is a good option for sporty types. There’s everything from golf to mountain biking on offer, plus football, tennis and swimming camps. Little ones will love the waterpark, while parents can indulge with a sauna or treatment in the spa.

3. Grecotel Creta Palace

Luxury, Hotel

Grecotel Creta Palace double room with patio and light, elegant decor
Courtesy of Grecotel Creta Palace / Expedia.com

Whitewashed walls, palm trees and sea views stretching as far as the eye can see provide the setting for this luxury resort on the beach in Rethymnon. There’s a great range of accommodation options – suites, villas and bungalows – plus free activities such as yoga, beach volleyball and tennis. For children, there are kids’ clubs, special menus and high chairs, while the spa offers adults relaxing treatments including Ayurvedic massage.

5. Atlantis Beach Hotel

Luxury, Hotel

Atlantis Beach Hotel with umbrellas on beach
Courtesy of Atlantis Beach Hotel / Expedia.com

Located on a private sandy beach in Rethymnon, this five-star hotel is perfectly positioned for an early morning sea dip. Inside, you’ll find 91 comfortable rooms, two restaurants, a pool bar with live music, spa facilities and family-friendly touches. It comprises a main house and six smaller, two-storey buildings dotted around the pools with beautiful gardens. Rooms feature sunny balconies, and there’s evening entertainment, a children’s playground and watersports can be arranged.

6. Sea Side Resort & Spa

Luxury, Resort, Spa Hotel

Sea Side Resort & Spa perched on a cliff on the sea
Courtesy of Sea Side Resort & Spa / Expedia.com

There’s a fresh, rustic-chic feel to this all-inclusive spa resort, dramatically positioned on a cliff above Aghia Pelagia with its soft sand and turquoise sea. Rooms are contemporary but pared-back, with muted colour schemes, wood floors and crisp white linen. Splash out on a superior double or suite for a private pool. The open-air verandah of the main restaurant offers breakfast with a view, or try the typical Cretan taverna or Asian restaurant for your sushi fix.

7. The Syntopia Hotel

Hotel

The Syntopia Hotel pool with covered lounge area in teepee style
© The Syntopia Hotel

Swanky guestrooms, Cretan hospitality and a golden beach just steps away makes this hotel a great option for everyone from couples to solo travellers. Rooms have a bohemian feel – with minimalist decor, rustic lampshades and a black and white colour palette. There’s even a tepee by the pool and Aztec-style cushions to relax on by the pool bar. Melt any aches away in the spa – treatments include reiki and a Cretan massage that uses local olive oil.

8. Agapi Beach Resort

Resort

Agapi Beach Resort room with view of hardens in light tones with tiled floors, pattern walls
Courtesy of Agapi Beach Resort / Expedia.com

You won’t go hungry at this smart, all-inclusive resort, located on an idyllic beach, just 10 minutes from Crete’s capital, Heraklion. There are six dining options, including the indoor-outdoor main restaurant and an Italian pizzeria. Activities on offer include cooking lessons, watersports and tennis. Families are well looked after, too – the children’s club has a daily programme of activities run by specially-trained staff.

9. Elina Hotel Apartments

Hotel

Elina Hotel with wooden beamed ceilings, dining area, minimal decor and balcony
Courtesy of Elina Hotel / Expedia
For more privacy and independence, book an apartment at Elina Hotel. This family-run establishment is located just a minute’s walk from the beautiful beach of Rethymno. It offers 33 spacious suites, equipped with a small kitchen and fridge, television and hair dryer. A short distance from the hotel, you will have the chance to explore the old city with the Venetian wall, the traditional taverns and the cafeterias.

10. Creta Maris Beach Resort

Resort, Hotel

Creta Maris Beach Resort room with four poster bed, private terrace with sea view
© Creta Maris Beach Resort
Creta Maris Beach Resort is an endless, all-inclusive hotel that combines Cretan philosophy with modern, five-star facilities. Six restaurants, three pools, three tennis courts and a water sports centre make up the offerings at this resort, located just 250m (820ft) from a sandy beach. The 675 rooms of the hotel are spacious, air conditioned and warmly decorated, with views of the mountain, sea or garden.

11. Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas

Resort, Hotel

The contemporary terrace of the Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas features white covered seating a woven design awning.
Courtesy of Daios Cove Luxury Resort and Villas / Expedia
This endless resort is located 20 minutes away from the picturesque village of Elounda. Built on the edge of a cliff, with a view of its private gulf on the northeastern part of Crete, Daios Cove has 165 private swimming pools (yes, really) across 300 elegant rooms. So, if you’re looking for villa privacy with hotel facilities, you’ve come to the right place. If pure lounging makes you feel a little restless, time your stay with one of the Daois Cove experiences – including wine tasting, yoga workshops and even a bootcamp retreat.

12. Balos Beach Hotel

Hotel

Balos Beach Hotel pool with loungers and sweeping sea view
Courtesy of Balos Beach Hotel / Expedia
For seclusion away from the busy tourist traps, head west to the quiet Balos Beach Hotel with its own private beach area on Kissamos Bay. Here, you can snorkel among hidden shipwrecks in calm waters and hike along the peninsula, without battling the crowds. All suites have a sea view, plus apartments are available if you prefer to cook in. Tuck into the buffet breakfast, with crepes and omelettes made to order.

13. Out of the Blue Capsis Elite Resort

Resort

Out of the Blue, Capsis Elite Resort, with seaside seating and cabanas, views of the hills
Courtesy of Out of the Blue, Capsis Elite Resort / Expedia
Capsis Elite Resort is a place of unique natural beauty, including botanic gardens, a zoo garden, seven swimming pools and a spa with a hydro-therapy swimming pool. The expansive complex of 490 rooms and residencies is reminiscent of a Cretan village, surrounded by large gardens, a river and three beaches, just a few steps from your door. Eight restaurants mean dining options are hardly mundane – there’s even a speciality kosher restaurant.

Looking for somewhere different to stay? Book into one of the best luxury hotels in Crete for an unforgettable holiday. Inspire your itinerary with the must-visit attractions on this Greek island, including the best beaches. While you’re here don’t miss out on the best local fare with a meal at one of the best restaurants in Crete.

Evangelos Tsirmpas contributed additional reporting to this article.

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