Crete is famous worldwide as a family and beachgoer vacation gem, but the island also offers the perfect backdrop for romance and solitude. While the island is not covered up with adults-only accommodations, the hotels and resorts that do cater to this niche are just stunning. Here is a shortlist of some of the most recommended ones.
Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa
Our friend Heidi Fuller, who’s an expert on the best accommodations on the island, puts this adults-only hotel high on her list of adults-only stays. Located just outside picturesque Hersonissos, the hotel/resort boast a gigantic lagoon pool, one of Europe’s biggest. Contemporary-minimalist in design, Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa features retro décor in the rooms. Yes, there are mirrors on the ceiling, and I know they have champaign on ice, for hippies and Eagles rock band fans.
There are also several wonderful restaurants, cool private villas, also features a magnificent spa. As you’d expect from luxurious Crete hospitality, there’s a sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, an indoor heated pool, massage, and fitness areas, all with wonderful views of the pool-lagoon and the Cretan Sea. Rooms here start at around €178 for bed & breakfast and a pool view luxury room.
Elysium Boutique Hotel
Another Hersonissos beachfront stay, The Elysium Boutique Hotel is a contemporary luxury hotel featuring stunning design and loads of atmosphere. A Tripadvisor Travelers Choice Award winner last year, this classy hotel is situated right on the promenade of Analipsi, where evenings are just magic. My dear friend Evgeny Marushkin, one of Russia’s most famous TV producers stayed here on his first trip to Crete and had nothing but stellar reviews for the staff and the accommodations. Elysium lives up to its name featuring a stunning Aegeo Spa, wonderful Cretan/Mediterranean gastronomy, two stunning bars, and all the care you would expect from a luxury boutique hotel. Garden view rooms go for about €148 for bed & breakfast. But check for deals on the website here.
A brand new Rethymno offer, Syntopia is right of a swanky Hollywood flick where the heat seems to rise off of every gesture. The hotel is clustered around intimate pools sheltered behind a high wall. It’s all about comfy chic, and facilities include an elegant little spa and food with Cretan highlights but international flair. The place is more about atmosphere than eating really. And since it’s located in the midst of one of Crete’s best places for food and shopping, this makes sense all the more.
The hotel makes up in entertainment and flair, for what it may lack in mile-long buffet bliss like some of the larger resorts. Guests are invited to jump into private and festival events with both feet. Everything is what you’d expect but add a seductive touch. Rooms are about €267 on the hotel’s site, but that’s all-inclusive and in July. Rooms at this popular hotel are booked solid through May and much of June. This is just a fun couples hotel. The owner’s personality is reflected, as it is in the family’s other hotels.
Domes Naruz Chania
Stunning is a word the fits this extraordinary adults-only beach resort outside Chania. Other words that also work are impeccable, discrete, and subtle. Domes Naruz Chania sits right on the stunning Cretan Sea, the hotel has a perfect view of Theodorou Island in the distance, and it close to everything that matters in Chania Town. The Marriott Autograph Collection hotel features Haute living, and unequaled accommodation experiences to choose from.
Of course, there’s a luxurious spa, traditional Cretan cuisine at the Topos Restaurant, and even a “get lost and get found experience”! The Bed & Breakfast rate on their website is about €267 and that includes a bottle of wine on arrival.
For anyone who really knows Crete, the south coast is the place, if its serenity and a mindset you’re after. Just outside Europe’s southernmost city of Ierapetra, Kakkos Beach offers a stunning private beach, private pools, a majestic infinity pool, varied gastronomy from traditional Cretan to Asian, and a bit of old school flavor it’s tough to describe. The sea view rooms here go for about €110, but unfortunately, it looks like May and much of June are already booked.
The hotel is really a 5-star affair because of this indescribable vibe. The hotel features and a natural landscape that is spellbinding. The Libyan Sea, the surroundings, and the calm vibe are just sexy somehow. Check out their offers, and maybe you’ll see.