Beach, spa, salon, gym, sauna and three swimming pools (including an Olympic-size one), six restaurants, bar, kids’ club, gardens with tennis courts, playground, golf club, shops, free WiFi throughout, private car park with valet parking, DVD library. In rooms: flatscreen TV with built-in DVD player, CD player, minibar, fridge, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and Eau de Grece bath products. Villas also have a pillow menu, beach bag and a wine cooler.
Families of four should book a Family Bungalow, which has a bedroom and a living area separated by a sliding door. Parents hooked on working out will love the Deluxe Bungalow Suites that come kitted out with their own fitness room – perfect for sneaking in some exercise when the kids are having a nap. For separate bedrooms and more space, go for one of the Villas, most of which have private terraces with outdoor lounges, a pool and direct access to the dedicated beach (solely for guests booking this type of room). Superior Rooms are smaller and so perfect for couples with just one tot in tow.
The star of the swimming show is the Olympic-size saltwater pool, with columns around the edges, underneath which you can nab a spot of shade. Nearby, there’s a shallow, unheated kids’ pool for learners. There’s a heated freshwater pool inside in the spa. Swimming aids and inflatable toys are on sale in the hotel’s shop. One-to-one swimming lessons are available (24 hours' notice is needed). Some room categories also have a private infinity plunge pool. Most of the suites and villas have private plunge pools too.
The peaceful, grown-ups-only Elixir Spa offers ayurvedic treatments in one of seven treatment rooms. There’s also a sauna and mani/pedi room.
Forgotten something? The resort shop sells all the essentials, from nappies and sun creams to sandals and beach balls.
Babysitting requires at least 24 hours’ notice and it’s wise to request baby monitors and any other equipment you might need when booking. The spa is popular, so it’s best to secure your slot as early as possible.
Under-12s stay free in parents' rooms; cots for babies and extra beds can be added to all room types. Some free daytime snacks and activities are also laid on for little ones.
Amirandes sits on the shores of northern Crete, with three Blue Flag beaches and as many pools to keep you amused. There are more activities than you could ever hope (or want) to try on one holiday – from aerobics to watersports – as well as a spa and fantastic kids' club. Older children can check out their talent for golf, tennis, diving and horse-riding.
Kids of all ages.
There's no free daytime childcare provision for under-3s, but tots are more than welcome to use the GrecoLand facilities with parents (or babysitters) in tow, and there are plenty of safe lawns and toddlable paths in the hotel grounds.
Grecoland is a brilliant mini fun-park and free kids' club for ages 3–12, with morning and afternoon sessions of supervised activities. GrecoKids looks after the 3–6 age bracket with dressing-up, arts and crafts, watery fun, gardening, treasure hunts and educational environmental days. GrecoKids (7–12) offers even more: team games, family discos and shows, days learning about Greek culture and days off from mum and dad. There’s plenty to keep teens engaged, while offering them a little more independence, too, with hip hop dance classes, cinema sessions and beach volleyball all on offer.
Free activities include various sporting tournaments such as football and basketball or aerobics classes. For an extra charge, kids can join the golf academy (over-7s), have a birthday party thrown in their honour, try out some watersports (such as windsurfing, sailing or kayaking), have swimming or tennis lessons, borrow a bike or learn to scuba dive.
Amirandes' narrow-but-lovely sandy beaches are but a stagger away, with a bar to keep the grown-ups happy. There are three areas: one for watersports, one for sunbathing and one reserved for villa guests. The waters are generally calm. As well as staff to bring you cooling drinks, expect sunloungers, parasols, beach towels and changing cabins. Take the ‘life and soil’ excursion with your kids across the grounds to learn about a coastal ecosystem or the ‘sun, fun and jun(k)' one to see how a solar oven works.
It's not likely to rain much while you're here, but if you fancy unwinding indoors or need a few hours out of the sun, pick a DVD from the library and watch it in the screening room, or play table tennis or table football. The kids club has plenty of indoor play space, too, for time in the shade.
If there’s energy left to expend, kids can head to the amphitheatre to sing and dance with the entertainment team in the evening, or stargaze through the telescope and learn about Greek mythology at the same time.
There’s a shallow, unheated kids’ pool near the Olympic-size saltwater pool.
The splendid Tasty Corner provides free fruit, yoghurts, cake, ice-creams, drinks and more for kids aged 3–12 between 11am and 5pm; a nutritious lunch spread is also laid on for little ones, with plenty of fish, vegetables, pasta and other good stuff stacked among the pizza slices.