Need to know
300, including 41 suites and 38 villas.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $284.08 (€238), excluding tax at 13 per cent.
Rates usually include generous breakfast (buffet and American).
If you’re staying in a villa in April, May or October, you’ll automatically be a member of the hotel's Premium All Inclusive Club. The club includes daily breakfast service at Ocean Restaurant, daily lunches and dinners, unlimited drinks and signature cocktails from the bars, one bottle of wine from the specially selected list with every lunch and dinner, free 24-hour room service and minibar spirits. Little Smiths will get a welcome gift and unlimited ice-cream, soft drinks and healthy juices at the pool and beach bar.
At the hotel
Private beach, water sports, scuba diving centre, sailing and motor yacht rental, spa, yoga, swimming pools, tennis courts, gym, gardens, three restaurants, two bars, crèche, kids club, hairdressers, beauty studio, boutique, DVD library, guest computers, WiFi throughout. In rooms: Flatscreen TV, radio, iPod dock, WiFi, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, slippers, bathrobes, Apivita bath products. Villa residents get a host of extras: an allocation of sun loungers and a gift (water and fruit) at the beach, a bucket and spade for little ones, goggles for older ones, preferential bookings at the spa and restaurant, a pillow and aroma menu (with six choices), and a 100ml bottle of olive oil to take home.
Our favourite rooms
Fancy a private pool? Book a two- or three-bedroom Family Villas, which will also be kitted out with bottle sterilisers, children's crockery and cutlery, cots, baby monitors, a pushchair, a highchair, a changing mat, a potty, a toilet seat for tots, stair gates and pool gates. The Standard rooms are big enough to fit a cot and have a pretty, sunny terrace or balcony; active types will like the Wellness Villas, which have a Finnish sauna, Technogym treadmill and oversized round bath tub. It’s worth noting that the higher the floor, the windier the balconies are. Rooms in the 100s benefit from all-day sun (when it’s sunny, that is).
The glittering saltwater infinity pool surveys the bay: if you tire of notching up laps, you can slope off down to the sandy, child-friendly beach. All the hotel’s pools are unheated. Private pools can be fitted with pool fencing on request (pools in Family Villas are already gated); private pools can also be heated to 25°C (€79 a day in suites, free in villas) on request, if you want warmer waters.
The glamorous spa has bright blue ceilings, sleek wooden furniture and a tempting spa menu whose treatments feature salt crystals, essential oils, fruit extracts and ‘pearl essence’. There’s an indoor saltwater infinity pool with sea views, a second pool with hydro jets, a Finnish sauna, chromotherapy showers, a hairdresser’s and a beauty studio.
Bring your iPod, a few favourite DVDs, binoculars for the ruins and your helicopter licence, so you can arrive in style at the hotel’s helipad. (The hotel also offers a private jet and helicopter service and has a fleet of limousines and chauffeurs.)
Any of the spa's treatments can also be enjoyed from the privacy of your room or villa.
Small, well-behaved dogs can come too, at no extra charge. Owners are expected to keep them under check. See more pet-friendly hotels in Crete.
Cots are free for under-2s; one extra bed (for under-12s) can be added to most rooms for free – a second bed is charged at 70 per cent of the room rate for each guest. Use of the kids club (4–11-year-olds) is free.
Kids of all ages.
The two- or three-bedroom Family Villas each have a private pool and come kitted out with all the parental paraphernalia you could possibly need.
The Daios Cove Crèche looks after little ones from four months to four years and is open for morning and afternoon sessions, six days a week (seven in July and August). It's run by a UK company, and all nursery staff are qualified and trained to UK regulatory standards. The crèche has an indoor area stocked with toys and games. There’s also a schedule of organised activities and games, including collage-making and toy races. A little outdoors area with a soft surface is set aside for alfresco games. Prices start at €32 a session. If there’s enough staff to look after children one-on-one, babies will be taken to the pool for a swimming session.
The Daios Kids Club is for children aged 4–11; it stays open during the same times as the crèche and kids can use it for free. Activities on offer include: cookery classes, face painting, mini Greek lessons (a word of the day) or supervised beach trips. Teenagers get their own special area with billiards and air hockey. Staff organise treasure hunts and tennis lessons; one of the tennis courts is sometimes used for five-aside football.
A big draw for parents, the private sandy beach isn't huge but leads into calm, shallow waters of a dazzling hue. There are loungers, umbrellas and beach towels aplenty, and a little beach bar for drinks and snacks (or just wave an arm from your lounger, and a honey mango margarita will be in your hands faster than you can say 'Here's to a happy holiday').
The hotel’s water sports facilities are hard to rival: if you’re 8+, you can have diving lessons; water-skiing lessons can be arranged for four-year-olds and above; laser sailing is available for 10+; there’s wind-surfing for the over-16s. Little ones aged four-plus can board an inflatable banana boat that’s whooshed across the waves by a motorboat. Yogis can sign up to hatha yoga and pilates; there’s also a personal trainer to keep guests in shape: classes include Anti-Cellulite, Body Sculpt, Fitball training, Abs & Legs, Aquagym and Aerobic Hi-low.
Kids are welcome at the main pool (though it’s unsupervised); there’s also a special kids' pool for little ones.
Highchairs are provided at all three restaurants, and staff will happily heat up milk, provide packed lunches, or ask the chefs to modify menu items according to little ones’ tastes. A kids’ buffet (six daily-changing dishes, with past choices including Margarita pizza, spaghetti Bolognese, soup, fish steak, steamed vegetables and Greek salad) is available at Pangaea between 6pm and 7pm (if you’ve left your ankle-biters at the kids club, staff will shepherd them across). The restaurant also has an à la carte menu, with simple options: mini caprese salad, tomato soup, grilled chicken with chips and salad, apple tart and ice cream.
Sitters can also watch your children at the kids club in the evening from 7pm until 9.30pm. For an extra €10 a child, they’ll also provide dinner.