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Just back from.... Crete

By Lucy from babygoes2

I was recently lucky enough to visit a few of babygoes2's favourite hotels in Crete – so….. here's my insider's guide to the best luxury family friendly resorts this fascinating island has to offer.

Where and how

We visited the area around Elounda and Agios Nikolaos - which is filled with the pretty coves of the crystal clear Gulf of Mirabello and relatively unspoilt towns and villages. It is also where you will find the island of Spinalonga, famous for its abandoned leper colony – and the hugely successful Victoria Hislop novel. Now unoccupied and easily reached by boat from the mainland it is a popular tourist attraction and well worth a visit. Getting here is easy – a painless 4 hr flight to Heraklion from Gatwick and then a 50 mins car transfer along a good new road.

First stop – the Porto Elounda De Luxe and Elounda Peninsula

The Porto Elounda Deluxe is a well established 5 star hotel which has been popular with families for a number of years. The biggest draw is the excellent Childrens Ark which caters for ages 6mths to 5 years and is a purpose built facility which is really very well equipped. There are activities for older children up to 12 years as well as a teenager programme. They have the Arsenal soccer camp for older children with professional coaches as well as dance lessons, film nights, and many other activities. The facilities are comprehensive for adults too – with golf, tennis and watersports on offer, along with a fantastic Six Senses spa.

The beach there is a small purpose built sandy cove, perfect for toddlers to build sand castles and splash around in the shallow water. The choice of family accommodation is extensive and includes connecting rooms and suites at the main hotel and one /two bedroom collection suites at the more exclusive Elounda Peninsula next door. I chose a collection suite with open sea views and it was just lovely to wake up to uninterrupted views over the water. I recommend an evening meal at the simply fantastic Aglio & Olio Italian restaurant at least once.

Next stop – Domes of Elounda

Our next stop was a stay at the wonderful Domes of Elounda, north of Elounda and overlooking Spinalonga Island (you really could just watch the view all day). A lovely, naturally shaded beach with small trees dotted around and a gentle entry to the shallow water along the long but narrow stretch of beach. This is ideal for families with small children – you can relax on your lounger, within feet of your little ones at the waters edge – no long trek across the sand to be on sandcastle supervision duty!

The rooms are spacious and luxuriously comfortable, huge jacuzzi bath tubs and large beds, with most balconies overlooking the sea and island. The resort is hilly, but golf buggies are always available to whizz you from A to B. The kids club located at the beach is very relaxed and responsive to the children there rather than the forced schedule you find at some hotels, and staff are mostly from the UK.
The village of Plaka withits charming collection of shops and authentic waterside tavernas is just a few minutes walk from the hotel and great to go out to for lunch, afternoon drink or dinner overlooking Spinalonga.

I felt this was a very relaxed hotel with top notch and very personal service, you really feel like you are in Greece rather than a huge impersonal hotel, where you could be anywhere in the world. .

And finally....Daios Cove

Finally we had a wonderful stay at the relatively new Daios Cove just south of Agios Nicolaos, set in a stunning cove, with turquoise water and a sandy beach. This is built along one side of the cove so the views from all rooms are sea view and not overlooked. The rooms, suites and villas are set along 'streets' which are terraced along one side of the cove. It's very easy to get around the resort with a funicular railway taking you to the higher terraces with amazing views , and down through the different levels of the hotel to the beach.
Everything about this outstanding resort makes a family holiday stress-free - spacious luxury rooms and villas, great childcare, sandy beach, kids dining, and stunning surroundings. The service is excellent and the food simply delicious.

Decisions, decisions....

All three hotels would be an excellent choice for families. All offer a stress-free, luxurious yetr relaxing holiday environment. It's just that they all differ slightly in location, size,style facility and ambiance etc – and we would be delighted help guide you towards the best choice for your family.

Just contact Lucy on to book, or for more info, details, prices, ideas and suggestions for these and alternative holidays in Greece, or worldwide.

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