Top three luxury hotels in Crete.
Crete is the largest Greek island and offers plenty of variety for holidaymakers, and although the island may have recently gained fame for being the setting of the Inbetweeners movie, Crete has plenty more offer besides hi-jinks in its party centre, Malia. In fact Crete is home what is rapidly becoming known as the Greek Riviera.
This portion of coast, located on the North Eastern side of the island is home to a growing number of luxury hotels and resorts that are quickly becoming popular with discerning tourists.
Opulent these resorts may be but they are well within reach for the average holidaymaker prepared to pay a premium for their accommodation, which of course goes hand in hand with a superior level of service and fine cuisine. Here are three of Crete's premier luxury hotels that can be found in North East Crete.
Aquila Elounda Village
This art deco inspired hotel sits on Mirabello bay and has a intimate feel, with an airy reception area that gives way to a communal outdoor terrace decked out in wooden cladding and bordered by shallow blue pools. This gives way to a gentle slope towards the sea, with quaint white bungalows dotted along the twisty, cobbled paths.
Cut into the hill are three restaurants, one of which with an amazing view over the sea, and I can personally recommend the Lobster!
The centrepiece of the Aquila however is its own private beach, carved into the Cliffside, it offers protection from the wind and the ultimate in seclusion and privacy, offering easy beach to pool access.
Domes of Elounda
'The Domes' for short sits just outside the quaint but affluent village of Elounda, again with its own private beach, this is possibly Greece's premier hotel, allegedly the choice of wedding venue for Jenifer Aniston and Just Theroux, which gives some idea about just how plush this place is.
Aside from being just a great venue in general, The Domes serve up amazing food, the kind that wouldn't be out of place in a top restaurant in a major city. I won't go through the entire menu but the filet steak was one if not the finest I've tasted, which for me, is reason enough to stay here.
Without doubt the jewel in the crown of the Greek Riviera, the Daios Cove, built in 2010 is etched delicately into the side of a secluded cove, meaning the hotel has a private, exclusive feel and is also protected from the elements and any noise pollution from surrounding areas - not there there is much in this sleepy corner of Crete.
Daios is definite by its modern, angular lines and tired structure, with several different levels , each housing a distinct area of the hotel, creating an elegant cascade effect, culminating in a beautiful beach at the foot of the cove. Daios also houses an infinity pool, three onsite restaurants, and several bars.
Joe is a luxury hotel reviewer who is quickly warming to Crete as the preferred location for his Greece holidays in the future