Our Favorite Hotels
• Luxury Hotel: Casa Delfino
• Midrange Hotel: Olive Green
• Cheap Hotel: Mantraki
• Beach Hotel: Elounda Beach Hotel
• Boutique Hotel: Avli
• Family Hotel: Porto Elounda
• Best Pool: Elounda Peninsula
• Best New Hotel: Royal Senses
• Chania: Casa Delfino
• Rethymnon: Avli
• Heraklion: GDM Megaron
• Elounda: Elounda Beach Hotel
• Agios Nikolaos: Minos Beach Art
Crete Hotels – Tips & Recommendations
- Best Places to Stay in Crete: My favorite town in Crete is Chania, a romantic seaside town with loads of charm. Rethymnon is almost as beautiful but not nearly as touristy. Elounda is a string of idyllic luxury beach resorts. Heraklion is a mid-sized city, filled with charm and true local culture. Knossos (just outside Heraklion) is the top historical site on the island. Agios Nikolaos, 60 km to the east of Heraklion, is low-key, relaxing, and less touristy than many of the more popular Crete beach resorts.
- Elafonisi (a 90-minute drive from Chania) is the best beach on Crete and one of my favorite beaches anywhere.
- Suggested Itineraries: 3 to 5 days in Crete: Primarily Chania with a visit to Heraklion and Knossos. One week in Crete: 3 days in Chania (with day trips to nearby beaches and attractions), 3 days in Agios Nikolaos or Elounda, and 1 day in Heraklion (with a visit to Knossos). Two weeks in Crete: Explore the wonderful coastal towns along the south coast and the inland villages of central Crete.
- The best restaurants in Crete are Chrisostomos (Chania), Tamam (Chania), Avli (Rethymnon), Peskesi (Heraklion), Kastella (Heraklion), Karnagio (Agios Nikolaos), Ntounias (Drakona, 22km south of Chania), and Gianni’s Taverna (aka The Tavern of John in Kiparissos, 25km south of Heraklion)
- Best Crete Tours: Hiking Tour of Samariá Gorge (great for transportation and pickup from Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda) • Chania Walking Tour and Food Tasting (walking tour of the charming Old Town) • Heraklion Bites and Sights Walking Tour (Heraklion is a great town if you know where to go)
The 38 Best Hotels in Crete
1. Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa – Chania
Hotel Phone: +30 28210 87400
Beautifully restored, individually decorated 24 room/suite, boutique hotel in a 17th-century Venetian mansion in the Old Town. Rooms have handmade Italian furniture, white marble bathrooms, and mini-bars. Suites add lounge areas, sofas that convert to single beds, jacuzzis in some, and balconies overlooking the courtyard/old town. Upgraded suites can be split-level, have bigger/deluxe jacuzzis, sofa beds, dressing rooms. The Ottoman Suite has an authentic marble hammam while the top-end Presidential Suite has a private panoramic roof terrace with harbor and sea views. Highlights include a spectacular rooftop bar with panoramic views, a luxury spa, complimentary breakfast, and 24-hour room service. Within easy walking distance of the beach & the main harbor.
2. Serenissima Boutique Hotel – Chania
Hotel Phone: +30 28210 86386
Minimalist and lovely 7-suite boutique hotel in the heart of Chania’s Old Town and housed in a 16th-century Venetian manor featuring parquet floors, open stonework/exposed brick walls, high ceilings with wooden beams, and cement sealed bathtubs. Rooms have king-sized, eco mattresses and coffee & tea-making facilities while upgraded suites add lounge areas with sofa beds and private furnished terraces. The top-end split-level suite has a large outdoor terrace with mountain views. An a la carte breakfast is included.
3. Avli Lounge Apartments – Rethymnon
Hotel Phone: +30 28310 58250, +30 28310 26213
Romantic all-suite property set in Venetian-era buildings (Venetian arches, antiques) featuring a total of 10 individually decorated, delightful, character-filled lounge apartments & suites with antique fireplaces and fittings, carved sofas, jacuzzi bathtubs, iron artwork/hand-painted beds, refrigerators, glass wardrobes. Top-end apartments add balconies, while the spirited candy suites (with names like cookie, brownie, jelly) have elements like antique chairs, handmade pillows, canopy beds. The hotel restaurants (fine dining Avli and Cretan meze bar Raki Ba Raki) and new wine bar Enoteca are among the best in Crete – breakfast in the Avli courtyard is included. Cooking classes, wine tastings, and olive oil tastings are available.
4. Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 63000
Spectacular waterfront hotel with a lavish, contemporary, staggering accommodation range – sea view rooms with shared pools, sea view/waterfront/island suites, and luxury bungalows with private temperature-controlled swimming/whirlpool pools, to name a few. Basic rooms have balconies with bay views and in-bathroom tv & music, while bungalows have jacuzzi bathtubs & private terraces/gardens, heated floors & remote-controlled mattresses (some). Top-end, super-luxurious yatching villas have outstanding features such as 3 decks, leather-coated ceilings, yatching designer furniture, touchscreen room controls, sunken bathtubs, private pools, and hydro-massage. Royal villas have indoor & outdoor pools, pianos.
5. GDM Megaron Hotel – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 28103 05300
Overlooking the harbor, this sophisticated hotel offers stylish rooms and suites with wooden floors, high ceilings, contemporary furniture, mini-bars, tea/coffee facilities, and balconies with city/sea views. Top-end suites have jacuzzis. Posh facilities include a rooftop pool, fitness center, complimentary breakfast, and a smart Cretan-Mediterranean restaurant with harbor views. The city center, bus station, ferry port, and the Archaeological and Historical Museums are within walking distance.
6. Domus Renier Boutique Hotel – Chania
Hotel Phone: +30 28210 88806
Stunning, individually decorated 9-suite boutique hotel with designer furniture, hydro-massage showers, Nespresso coffee machines, and mini-bars. Six suites boast sweeping sea/harbor/lighthouse views. Junior suites have furnished balconies and outdoor jacuzzis, while high-end suites have lofts, painted ceilings, bathtubs with hydro-massage, and rain showers with chromotherapy. Close to many restaurants and bars. Breakfast is always included and served in the hotel’s private yard; the hotel is attached to the tasty Zepos Mediterranean restaurant, open all day.
7. Elounda Mare Hotel – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 68200
Chic resort with a range of accommodations from sea view rooms and suites to bungalows with private pools, royalty villas with private pools, and the top-tier Minoan Palace with a private pool. Rooms and suites have vibrant decor, marble bathrooms with tubs, and private balconies or terraces while the home-style bungalows add antiques and small private gardens. Top-end suites feature exposed stone and woodwork plus panoramic sea views. The resort features many award-winning restaurants and lounges, a holistic spa with wellness packages, a large heated pool overlooking the sea, a kids’ pool, and a private, sandy beach.
8. Nana Princess – Hersonissos
Hotel Phone: +30 28970 26900
5-star, boutique, beachfront resort featuring an all-suite and villa concept, each with a king-sized bed, sea view, separate shower and bathtub, and a private pool (heated on request). The resort boasts three outdoor pools, an indoor pool, full-service salon, fitness center, and expansive spa with therapies based on guests’ zodiac signs. Three restaurants and three bars serve a broad choice of cuisines served in the hotel, poolside, or on the private beach. Located just a 5-minute walk from their sister property Nana Water Park (guests get free access) and just a 5-minute drive to Hersonissos Beach and the nightlife strip.
9. Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 68000
Family-friendly, sprawling resort with eight restaurants, a full-service spa, gardens, a private beach, an enormous kids club, and a 9-hole golf course. Offering yachts to charter, scuba diving, soccer camp, water sports, tennis, shopping, and even church, this is the ultimate one-stop resort in Crete. The resort features sea view rooms, suites, and villas with mini-bars & marble bathrooms. Sea view rooms have furnished private balconies while the next category adds sitting areas and furnished terraces with direct access to shared pools. Top-end rooms have sea and golf course views and terraces with private saltwater pools. Suites add living spaces, while villas have living rooms with bars, dining areas, and private gardens with saltwater pools.
10. Elounda Peninsula All Suites Hotel – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 68250
All-suite hotel overlooking the bay. Suites and residences have a yacht-like ambiance featuring marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs, private balconies, and spectacular sea views. Upgraded suites add furnished terraces with private, saltwater plunge pools (heated on request). Also has beachfront suites, villas with lovely furnished gardens, and presidential waterfront villas with kitchenettes. Basic seaside residences have unobstructed sea views, surround sound, whirlpool tubs, sauna, massage rooms, and private indoor pools while upgraded residences add kitchens and more. Seven restaurants serve a wide range of cuisines, including French, Italian, pan-Asian, and of course Greek. Family-friendly amenities include a kids pool, playground, kids club, swim lessons, and nanny service at their sister property, Porto Elounda.
11. Minos Beach Art Hotel – Agios Nikolaos
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 22345
Tranquil beachfront hotel featuring villas with private pools, whirlpools & home cinemas, rooms, suites, and waterfront/seafront bungalows with furnished balconies, mini-bars, and beautiful sea views. Top-end bungalows have private pools and jacuzzis, and top-end villas have dressing rooms, jacuzzi bathtubs, and fully equipped kitchenettes. The wonderful town of Agios Nikolaos is within walking distance.
12. Veneto Boutique Hotel – Rethymnon
Hotel Phone: +30 28310 56634
Exquisite boutique hotel set in a restored 14th-century Benedictine monastery amid the narrow alleys of the historical center, with 12 medieval-like, luxury suites with beds tucked under stone arches, wooden and terracotta flooring, beamed ceilings, walk-in showers, and sofa beds. Upgraded suites add private verandas and handmade orthopedic mattresses. Has a fantastic wine cellar and Cretan-fusion restaurant set in a stunning 600-year-old courtyard. Wine tastings and cooking classes are on offer.
13. Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort – Gouves
Hotel Phone: +30 28970 41103
Surrounding a big lagoon, this outstanding resort has a staggering array of rooms, suites, specialty suites, bungalows, villas, and ‘ultimate accommodation’. Depending on the category, rooms may have enclosed glass balconies, terraces with dining areas, private pools, and mirrored walls. Family suites have children’s bedrooms, and bungalows have bathtubs with sea views. Top-end specialty suites feature ‘star’ pools with star lights & smooth currents (for exercising), private beach gazebos, wine coolers, and gym areas. Top-end villas add jacuzzi bathtubs with aromatherapy & color therapy and beds with direct pool access. The top-end ‘Ultimate’ property adds unique private pleasure/entertainment ‘caves’ with stone walls & floors, home cinemas, fully equipped kitchens, staff quarters, round jacuzzi bathtubs, private saunas, in-bathroom massage beds, billiards, and elliptical trainers. Amirandes is close to Heraklion’s airport and to the Knossos Archaeological site to score mega points for convenience.
14. Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 27721
Set on a hillside, this boutique complex has lovely suites, pool villas, spa pool villas, and beachfront villas with panoramic bay views. (The two, three, and four-bedroom villas are marvelous for families.) Suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and bathrooms with hand-painted ceilings. Upgrades get you private saltwater infinity pools and private massage rooms. Pool villas have fully-equipped kitchens and laundry facilities, while the top-end pool villas add infinity heated pools with jacuzzi tubs, private saunas, and pool terraces. The resort centers on a large, heated main pool with a jacuzzi and kids’ pool, plus a luxury spa and fitness center. Two Cretan restaurants and a bar are on-site, while a private, serviced beach club with light fare and drinks is just a short, complimentary shuttle ride away. For families, the resort offers a kids club with cultural activities and babysitting services.
15. Legacy Gastro Suites – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 21200
12-suite, 5-star, food-focused hotel just steps from the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Bembo Fountain, and Lions Square. Suites are all art-themed around painting, literature, and poetry and include both indoor and outdoor dining areas, pantries stocked with local foods and products, wine bars, and mini-bars with cold cuts and cheeses – with pairing suggestions, of course. The cuisine is astounding with its Roof Garden offering Greek fine dining with a brick oven and its all-day Lounge offering Greek wines, premium signature cocktails, and meze. A la carte breakfast is served daily to each suite or terrace at any time of the morning. Picnic baskets are always available for a gourmet meal out and about. Activities on offer include cooking classes and various tastings of wine, cheese, or olive oil.
16. St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas – Agios Nikolaos
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 90200
Mediterranean-style, contemporary, bay resort with a huge variety of rooms, suites, and villas with pools, mini-bars, lounge corners, and balconies with stunning bay views. Upgraded suites feature private terraces with heated pools and jacuzzi-style bathtub; villas add kitchenettes.
17. Domes of Elounda – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 23108 10624
Family-friendly, all-suite and villa, luxury resort on a private, sandy beach – the only natural (not manmade) beach in the area. Child-centric amenities include spacious suites and villas with up to 4 bedrooms, movie nights, family yoga, a teen club, and a Montessori-inspired kids’ club with activities that include gardening, stargazing, trekking, and more. The hotel features an adults-only pool, a family pool (heated in the cooler months) with two smaller attached pools, a spa with its own pool, an outdoor gym, and live music. Four restaurants and four bars keep guests full and entertained with a range of traditional and contemporary culinary offerings, local wines, signature and classic cocktails, and more. All suites and villas include spacious balconies or terraces with private outdoor jacuzzis or pools (heated in the villas). Excellent location in Elounda just 1km south of Plaka Marina and the ferry to Spinalonga and 1.5km to the public, pebbly Plaka Beach, lined with casual tavernas and sunbeds.
18. Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 44700
Nestled on a hillside above Plaka Beach and facing mysterious Spinalonga Island, Cayo Exclusive is an elegant, boutique resort with two sparkling outdoor pools, one indoor heated pool, and a spa with therapies inspired by Cretan and Greek traditions. Three restaurants and two bars in the main building serve casual and gourmet plates, local wines, and cocktails. The resort’s beach club on pebbly Plaka offers light fare and beverages throughout the day, accessible via the resort’s free shuttle. Rooms and villas range from 35 to 200 square meters and all include mini-bars, Nespresso coffee, and private terraces with outdoor pools, heated on request.
19. Domes Zeen – Chania
Hotel Phone: +30 23108 10624
Set on a private beach just 3 km from Chania’s Venetian harbor and Old Town, Domes Zeen offers spacious rooms, suites, and villas with garden or sea views, walk-in showers, and private terraces, many with sharing pools or private pools. Ideal for families, the resort offers a baby club for ages 4+ months, a kids club for ages 4 to 12 with a yard, garden and pool, babysitting services, kids’ menus in the restaurants, and grand villas for up to 8 guests. Its gorgeous beachfront pool is lined with sunbeds and umbrellas, with more set up on the private, serviced beach. The culinary program features a wine-themed, fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant and a casual, seaside taverna serving fresh, organic Cretan dishes; the pool is served throughout the day by a bar offering light fare and refreshing drinks. The wellness center features a second pool and outdoor gym. Perks include 24-hour room service, complimentary breakfast, and a range of tasting activities: wine, cheese, olive oil, and sea salts.
20. Kapsaliana Village – Kapsalianá
Hotel Phone: +30 28310 83400
Once an autonomous settlement centered around an olive mill in the largest olive grove in Crete, Kapsaliana Village has been lovingly resurrected as a sustainable, boutique hotel. Operational from 1763 until 1955, the mill’s houses have been converted into 22 rooms and suites, designed with respect to the original architecture. Traditionally inspired rooms and suites may feature stone walls, wood beam ceilings, and archways; some have balconies or patios. The Family Suite has a walled yard, while the Aquarius Suite features an outdoor jacuzzi, and the 2-bedroom Borealis Suite has a private pool. Grounds include a sea view pool, a massage/yoga room, a creative Cretan restaurant, charming cocktail bar, history museum, vineyard, and culinary garden. A swathe of bespoke activities are on offer, including cooking classes, olive oil tasting, soap making, and guided mountain hikes. Situated in the mountains about 5 km from the 16th-century Monastery of Arkadi and 15 km from the old Venetian harbor of Rethymnon.
21. Rimondi Boutique Hotel – Rethymnon
Hotel Phone: +30 28310 51001
Elegant, boutique hotel with just 34 rooms and suites spread over two buildings (the Estate and the Palazzo, which dates to the Venetian occupation) in the heart of Rethymnon’s Old Town. Each building has its own pool in a romantic courtyard garden; other amenities include a traditional hammam and wellness spa. Guests may take refreshments at the Palazzo Pool Bar, serving drinks and light bites from morning until well into the night, or at the all-day Estate Restaurant, with a rich menu of Cretan and Mediterranean plates. Breakfast is always included in the rates with a buffet for Palazzo guests and an a la carte menu for Estate guests. Rooms and suites may offer pool, city, or sea views, many with terraces or balconies. Master Suites feature indoor jacuzzi baths, while Spa Suites boast outdoor jacuzzis. Wonderfully located just steps from the 17th-century landmark Rimondi Fountain, 17th-century Neratze Mosque, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, and the picturesque Venetian harbor.
22. Veneziano Boutique Hotel – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 28103 44758
Beautifully restored boutique hotel in a historic landmark Venetian and Ottoman building. Four double rooms and two 2-story family apartments surround a gorgeous interior courtyard. Incredible restaurant, charming bar, gracious and attentive service. Minutes from Lion’s Square, St. Markus Basilica, and museums.
23. Royal Blue Resort – Panormos
Hotel Phone: +30 28340 55000
Family-owned, family-friendly, luxury resort on a private, sandy beach with a seafront saltwater pool, a freshwater pool, and a thalassotherapy spa. The culinary program emphasizes fresh, local produce, products, and seafood with three a la carte restaurants, a Cretan buffet, a wine cellar, and three cocktail lounges. Rooms, suites, and villas range from 30 to 135 square meters with one king-sized or 2 twin-sized beds, bathrooms with dual vanities, many with sofabeds, superior rooms with sharing pools, and suites and villas with private pools. Extras include a game room, boutique shops, tennis courts, live music, and Cretan nights with dancing. Well-situated in the middle of the north coast, near the pebbly beaches of Spilies and Geropotamos and the sandy beach and village of Panormos, about 18 km from the town of Rethymnon.
24. Domes Noruz – Chania
Hotel Phone: +30 23108 10624
Perfect for romantic getaways, Domes Noruz is a luxury, adults-only, beach resort with two pools (the heated quiet pool and unheated vibrant pool with a bar), a therapeutic spa, and an outdoor gym with yoga and pilates classes. Accommodations are lofts and suites, all with private terraces with outdoor jacuzzis, plunge pools, or private pools. The all-day restaurant Topos serves Cretan-Mediterranean dishes using local, organic produce paired with thoughtfully selected wines, while Raw offers fresh sushi and champagne in the evenings. Beautifully located on Agii Apostoli Beach, about 5 km from the sights, shopping, and dining of central Chania.
25. Royal Senses Resort & Spa – Panormos
Hotel Phone: +30 28340 55002
Gorgeous, family-friendly, luxury resort with two saltwater pools, a freshwater kids’ pool, kids’ club, a small water park, and an herbal spa with treatments based on ancient Minoan and Cretan rituals. Rooms, suites, and villas all have king-sized beds and walk-in showers, most with private terraces and about half features shared or private pools. Dining is high-quality and plentiful here with four restaurants serving a variety of local delicacies in fine and casual settings, plus four tasteful bars offering local spirits, wine, and classic cocktails. Guests of Royal Senses also have access to the beach and tennis courts of their sister property, Royal Blue, across the street. Great location almost right in the middle of Crete’s north coast, near popular Spilies, Geropotamos, and Panormos Beaches and about 18 km from Rethymnon.
26. Elounda Bay Palace – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 67000
Set on the bay edge in 20 acres of verdant gardens with private beaches, this hotel offers a huge range of impeccable rooms, bungalows, villas, and suites, many having shared pools or private heated pools and private balconies with bay, mountain, or garden views. Upgraded suites get you bathtubs, private patios, and kitchenettes. Top-end silver club properties have bathrooms with skylights, jacuzzi bathtubs, private heated whirlpools, while exclusive club properties have fully equipped kitchens, dressing rooms, and private gardens. The resort features five restaurants and bars, an outdoor saltwater pool, and an indoor freshwater pool. Family-friendly perks include a kids’ pool, kids’ club, and teen activity programs.
27. Blue Palace Resort & Spa – Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 65500
Luxe resort with rooms, suites, and villas, some with private heated pools, some with private infinity pools, all with complimentary breakfast and excellent sea views. Upgrades get you Nespresso Coffee machines, spacious patios/verandas, deep-soaking jacuzzi bathtubs. Villas have terraces with sunbeds, butler services (upon request), saunas, and jetted outdoor and indoor pools. The top-end villa has a wood-burning oven (chef services) and barbecue facilities around the pool.
28. Casa Vitae – Rethymnon
Hotel Phone: + 30 28310 35058
Picture-perfect, renovated old Venetian castle house with 8 historical, Venetian-style luxury rooms & suites featuring exposed stonework, four-poster beds, refrigerators, mini-bars, balconies/Juliet balconies, jacuzzi bathtubs, and courtyard views. Suites add sitting areas. The old town center is a few minutes’ walk away.
29. Abaton Island Resort & Spa – Hersonissos
Hotel Phone: +30 28970 26410
Luxury, beachfront resort offering indoor and outdoor pools, a high-tech spa and fitness center, and butler service. Abaton features a wide selection of rooms, suites, and villas, all with private verandas or patios, most with sea views, some with sharing pools, and a few with both outdoor jacuzzis (always heated) and private pools (heated on request). Six top-notch bars and restaurants thread through the property, including Cretan fare, a steakhouse, a fresh seafood restaurant, and a Buddha Bar outpost, serving Asian fusion, original cocktails, and world-class DJ sets to the pool and beach. Great location less than a 5-minute drive to Hersonissos’ famed nightlife and beach.
30. Olive Green Hotel – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 28103 02900
Modern, eco-friendly hotel with minimalistic rooms featuring vivid digital art, mini-bars, laptop-sized safes, and city/park views. Most rooms have balconies, while OG Club Elite rooms sport large furnished terraces. A complimentary breakfast buffet is included in the rate, or guests may upgrade to an a la carte breakfast at 626 All Day Lounge, serving international and Cretan fare until 11:00 pm. Short walk away from the ferry port, museums, central market, and city center.
31. Grecotel Creta Palace – Rethymnon
Hotel Phone: +30 28310 55181
Massive family-friendly beachfront resort with a great range of elegant, bright guestrooms, suites, bungalows, 2-story maisonettes & traditional villas, with stone/wooden floors, handcrafted furniture, balconies/terraces, mini-bars (on request), refrigerators, and garden/sea views. Maisonettes and family bungalows have colorful kid’s bedrooms, while suites feature hand-carved furniture, sofa beds, and gardens with private pools. The top-end beachfront villas have private plunge pools, jacuzzi bathtubs, and large terraces with pergolas. The resort boasts a fantastic sky bar and restaurant.
32. Ostria Resort & Spa – Ierapetra
Hotel Phone: +30 28420 25711, +30 28420 25714
Casual, luxury, beachfront resort on the quiet, southeastern shore of the island. Facilities include six outdoor pools (including one for adults-only and one kids’ pool), an extensive wellness center with an indoor, heated pool, and two sports centers – one on land (soccer, archery, and tennis) and one on the sea (jet skiing, kayaking, scuba diving, and more). Seven restaurants and four bars serve a range of Cretan, Mediterranean, and seafood favorites, along with an extensive wine selection and classic cocktails. Wine and olive oil tastings are on offer, along with a half-day grill class. Rooms and suites offer a balcony or patio, one queen or two twin beds (many with sofabeds), and several with private pools. Peaceful location about 1.5 miles from Koutsounari Long Beach and 6 km from central Ierapetra village.
33. Caramel Grecotel – Adelianos Kampos
Hotel Phone: +30 28310 71803
Gorgeous boutique resort having a wide range of super bright, fresh-looking suites, bungalows/maisonettes, villas with antique & contemporary designer furniture, handmade tiled floors, large furnished balconies (some), Nespresso coffee machines, refrigerators, and sea/garden views. Family suites have a kid’s bedroom; top-end bungalows feature spa bathrooms, fully-furnished verandas, and open-air jacuzzis (some). ‘Unique’ category properties have features like private outdoor jacuzzis, private pools, and outdoor fireplaces, while ‘ultimate’ category properties have top floor private jacuzzis (some), direct beach access, and wine coolers. The hotel has a beautiful confetti (color-changing) pool. Very quiet and best suited for visitors seeking solitude.
34. Lato Boutique Hotel – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 28103
Set right above the old harbor overlooking Koules Fortress, this boutique hotel has modern rooms and suites with mini-bars and city or sea views. Upgraded rooms have balconies or verandas with panoramic sea and fortress views. All suites add sitting areas, and some add jacuzzi bathtubs. On the rooftop, guests will find the exceptional Herb’s Garden restaurant in the summer months with sweeping views over the city and harbor. During the winter months, Brilliant restaurant offers its deliciously distinctive Cretan menu. Ideal location a short walk away from the ferry port, bus station, city center, and museums.
35. Mrs. Chryssana Beach Hotel – Kolymvari
Hotel Phone: +30 28240 22812
Relaxed, adults-only, boutique hotel on a natural beach protected as a nesting site for sea turtles. All rooms include walk-in showers and private balconies or terraces, some with sea views. Fronting the hotel is a dazzling pool surrounded by sunbeds and umbrellas with food and drink service throughout the day. A buffet breakfast is always included, with a lobby bar and dinner at Amvrosia Restaurant available in the evenings. Located on Kolymvari Beach, lined with casual tavernas and just a 20-minute drive from the sights and nightlife of Chania.
36. Pavo Art Hotel – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 69867 18545
Stylish, affordable, boutique hotel just outside the Venetian Walls of Heraklion, about 800 meters from the Natural History Museum, 1 km from the beach, and 1 km from the sights and shopping of the Old Town. All studios and suites include a kitchenette, seating area (some with sofa beds), walk-in shower, and a patio or balcony. The largest room is a 2-bedroom suite for up to 6 guests with a king, queen, and sofa bed.
37. Palazzo Duca – Chania
Hotel Phone: +30 28210 70460
Charming and traditional 8-room hotel, steps from the Old Harbor. Rooms are spacious and well-appointed, with traditional Venitian architectural details like stone walls and beamed ceilings artfully preserved. Modern conveniences as well, like Cocomat mattresses, elevator, air conditioning, and good wi-fi. All rooms have kitchenettes, most have balconies with partial water views, and the top floor suite has a patio with an outdoor jacuzzi. Excellent complimentary breakfast.
38. Aquila Atlantis Hotel – Heraklion
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 29103
Large, cosmopolitan hotel with spacious, modern rooms and suites with mini-bars and coffee/tea facilities with city or unobstructed harbor views. Upgraded rooms add balconies, while suites add deep spa tubs and living spaces. Has two pools, a spa, restaurant, and lounge bar. The city center, bus station, and ferry port are within walking distance.
Staying in Chania
Chania is a great city with a wonderful Old Town. It has tavernas strung around the crescent-shaped waterfront and hotels and shops on the streets and alleys back from the water’s edge. A good beach is within walking distance from town, and even better ones are a short bus ride away. Chania is a good base if you want to do the Samaria Gorge or make a day trip to the beaches of western Crete (like Balos or Elafonisi). That said, it’s easy to spend 2 or 3 days here and not get much farther than the great traditional restaurants found around the town center. All of the hotels listed below are in the wonderful Chania Old Town and are surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Best Hotels in Chania
Staying in Rethymnon
Rethymnon is similar in some ways to Chania but has a little less charm and is not nearly as developed. There’s a good beach a short walk from the center of town. In summer it has direct ferries to Santorini (twice a week) making it a convenient stop if you’re going to the Cyclades.
Best Hotels in Rethymnon
Staying in Heraklion
Heraklion is not picturesque like Chania or Rethymnon (some areas are a little rough and ugly) but it has a working-class charm and Greek flavor that many of the tourist towns lack. The city is home to the best museum in Crete and the must-see historical sight of Knossos is just outside the city. If you’re catching an early morning ferry to Santorini you’ll probably spend a night here whether you want to or not.
Best Hotels in Heraklion
GDM Megaron Hotel • Legacy Gastro Suites • Veneziano Boutique Hotel • Olive Green Hotel • Lato Boutique Hotel • Pavo Art Hotel • Aquila Atlantis Hotel
Staying in Agios Nikolaos and Elounda
Agios Nikolaos is my 2nd favorite town in Crete and a good base for exploring eastern Crete. It’s a beautiful town with a pedestrian-friendly waterfront. Good beaches are nearby, and the popular small town of Elounda is a short bus ride away and has many of the best luxury resorts in Crete. This is a great area to spend a few days relaxing and unwinding as it’s much less busy than Chania, Rethymnon, or Heraklion.
Best Hotels in Agios Nikolaos and Elounda
Elounda Beach Hotel • Elounda Mare Hotel • Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort • Elounda Peninsula All Suites Hotel • Minos Beach Art Hotel • Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites • St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas • Domes of Elounda • Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa • Elounda Bay Palace • Blue Palace Resort & Spa