The Best Luxury Hotels to Book in Crete, Greece

Minos Beach Art Hotel
Minos Beach Art Hotel
Ellie Ross

From the crystal-clear waters of Elafonisi to the Knossos ruins, these plush hotels offer a pampered stay on the Greek island of Crete.

If you’re after glorious sea views, private pools, top-quality food and peaceful spas on your next trip to Crete, we have good news. This sun-soaked Greek isle is packed with luxurious places to stay offering just that. We’ve found our favourite luxury hotels in Crete in locations including Chania, Elounda and Malia, with both family-friendly and adults-only options to choose from.

1. Minos Beach art hotel

Luxury, Hotel

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Art hotels always struggle to integrate themselves in certain destinations but at Minos Beach there’s a beautiful flow from 5* luxury to exquisite displays of paintings, sculptures and more. Stretching along two kilometres of coastline, 125 low-lying whitewashed bungalows, villas and suites are scattered amongst sand, rocks, and greenery. Each villa has a private pool, while bungalows have patios mere steps from the shore. Inside, modernity and muted earthy tones fuse seamlessly with natural textures and Cretan patterns. The art collection includes work from Greek designers as well as international exhibitors, and this combined with a full list of activities including tennis, diving and a lively evening schedule make Minos Beach a great holiday choice.

2. Stella Island Luxury Resort and Spa

Luxury, Resort, Hotel

Outdoor pool at Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa with sofas, palm trees, parasols and sun loungers
Courtesy of Stella Island Luxury Resort and Spa / Expedia

With overwater bungalows and private villas, this adults-only luxury hotel in Crete has barefoot luxury in spades, making it ideal for a honeymoon or romantic escape. It’s a water wonderland – at its heart are lagoon-style pools, flanked by palm trees and sea views. The five restaurants range from traditional Cretan to modern Asian, while the 89 rooms, bungalows and villas feature retro touches and plenty of privacy.

3. Cressa Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Luxury

A light bedroom at Cressa Hotel with a bed, wooden floor and wardrobe
Courtesy of Cressa Hotel / Expedia

Located in the old town of Rethymno, Cress Suites is just a five-minute stroll from the nearest beach. This adults-only luxury hotel is set inside a former Venetian–Ottoman mansion on Crete. The traditional Turkish hammam is an apt nod to the building’s heritage, and many rooms feature their own terrace complete with hot tub. Breakfast is a cooked-to-order affair on the rooftop overlooking the cobbled streets below.

4. Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa

Luxury, Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel

An outdoor sheltered seating area at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa with sea view
Courtesy of Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa / Expedia

The plush bungalows, villas and suites at this luxury resort in Crete are scattered around a gentle slope, leading to a private beach and pretty bay. As well as inviting infinity pools, there’s a gym and sea-view spa with 24 treatment rooms. You’ll be well fed thanks to the five restaurants, which include a pan-Asian spot serving delicious sushi and gyozas. Family-friendly touches include dedicated menus, babysitting services and a children’s club.

5. Minos Palace Hotel & Suites

Boutique Hotel

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Nestled on a secluded private peninsula, Minos Palace hotel & suites offers an exclusive adults-only luxury experience. Wellness plays a big part in the ethos of this property with physical and mental relaxation being catered for. The dining options allow you to rejuvenate with a mixture of locally-sourced produce and herbs, whilst the private Blue Flag standard beaches offer seclusion from other guests on the island. This is ideal for honeymooners, couples or smaller groups of grown ups.

6. Abaton Island Resort and Spa

Luxury, Resort, Spa Hotel

An outdoor pool with wooden decking, parasols and sun loungers at Abaton Island Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Abaton Island Resort and Spa / Expedia

Sleek, classy and uber-luxurious, this Cycladic-style resort offers an opulent stay. Located on Crete’s northern coastline, it’s just a short walk from the shops and nightlife of Hersonissos. But you won’t want to step outside its pristine walls – there are several pools, a sandy beach, five restaurants and a superb Elemis spa to keep you busy. Rooms are individually designed and feature gleaming white decor, glass doors onto private balconies and freestanding tubs, jacuzzis and private pools.

7. Minoa Palace Resort and Spa

Luxury, Hotel

An outdoor pool at Minoa Palace Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Minoa Palace Resort and Spa / Expedia

This five-star luxury resort in Chania oozes elegance with its collection of restaurants and bars, splendid spa, private and communal pools and smart sea-view rooms. Accommodation ranges from double rooms with garden views, to imperial suites with two large bedrooms and a private jacuzzi. Active guests can rent bikes, play tennis or join yoga and aquafit classes. The piano lounge is just the spot for a sundowner with live music.

8. Domes Zeen Chania

Luxury, Resort, Boutique Hotel

A light and modern bedroom at Domes Zeen Chania, with a bed, large windows and cushioned seating area
Courtesy of Domes Zeen Chania / Expedia

With its sharp, straight-line style, sun-drenched infinity pools and relaxed vibe, this hotel stands out from the crowd. Rooms have a rustic-chic feel, with open-plan spaces, rattan furniture and a muted colour scheme of slate-grey throws and oatmeal walls. Families are well catered for, with plenty of accommodation options plus a kids’ club and pool. Devour fresh Cretan food on the veranda of the Beach House restaurant overlooking the sparkling Aegean.

9. Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort and Spa

Resort, Spa Hotel

An outdoor view of the white Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort & Spa, with grass and plants beside it and facing a sea view
Courtesy of Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort and Spa / Expedia

Set on a Blue Flag beach, with a turquoise pool overlooking the sea, this all-inclusive resort is family-friendly and packed with activities. Try your hand at windsurfing, canoeing, diving and waterskiing. Parents can relax while their little ones enjoy handicrafts in the dedicated children’s club, or play in the games room or freshwater kids’ pool. There’s a range of dining options, and rooms vary from twins to sea-view bungalows and family suites.

10. Castello Boutique Resort and Spa

Luxury, Boutique Hotel

A rooftop tub at Castello Boutique Resort & Spa with sea views
Courtesy of Castello Boutique Resort and Spa / Expedia

This adults-only luxury boutique hotel in Crete is tucked away behind Sissi’s shop-lined streets. It’s a haven away from the crowds, with a peaceful atmosphere, pretty pool and relaxing spa. Spread over three floors, the 48 rooms are smart and contemporary, and most feature private pools or outdoor whirlpool tubs. The à la carte Elea restaurant is set in tropical gardens against a mesmerising backdrop of mountains.

11. Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection

Luxury, Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel

An outdoor seating area and pool at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection with sea and mountain views
Courtesy of Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection / Expedia

Sublime sunsets, a sandy beach, impeccable service and family-friendly touches abound at this village-style resort in Mirabello Bay on Crete’s northern coast. The 118 suites and villas feature terraces with panoramic views, and quirky additions such as hanging chairs and gold basins. Most have private pools, and the largest category sleeps up to nine guests. Choose from four restaurants and four bars – the barbecue fish night with live music is a highlight.

12. Ikaros Beach Resort and Spa

Luxury, Spa Hotel

A stylish seating area at Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa with sofas and lantern lights
Courtesy of Ikaros Beach Resort and Spa / Expedia

Overlooking a long sandy beach in Malia, this spa resort offers luxury living by the sea in Crete, complete with stellar accommodation, attentive service and fabulous food. Several pools are dotted around the manicured grounds, including adults-only and dedicated children’s pools. Rooms, bungalows and suites have a minimalist feel, neutral walls and plump mattresses – and the best have huge bathrooms and private pools. It’s also close to the Knossos archaeological site.

Looking for somewhere different to stay? Book into one of the best hotels in Hersonissos, Crete, for every traveller, best beach 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. Why not also take a look at the best resorts to book in Mykonos, Greece, bookable with Culture Trip.

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