Need to know
120, including 80 suites and 40 villas.
11.30am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability. Haute Living guests get express in-villa check-in/check-out.
Double rooms from $213.09 (€181), excluding tax at 13.5 per cent.
Rates include an American buffet breakfast.
The sumptuous spa is decked out with metallic mosaics, lavish treatment rooms and a hair salon. Be sure to book ahead for the weekly Cretan wine-tasting evenings (Sundays at 6pm for €22 per person). However, you needn't limit yourself to just wine; many food and cocktail festivals take place throughout the summer months. Staying in a Luxury Residence or Ultraluxe Villa? Alongside a raft of free extras, for an extra charge you can request a personal assistant, a butler, signature dining and helicopter transfers.
The hotel closes for winter at the beginning of November each year and re-opens 25 March.
At the hotel
Spa, fitness room, library, free WiFi and tennis courts. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, Xbox (on request), minibar, free bottled water, Coco-Mat mattresses, bathrobes, slippers and O.live bath products. Guests staying in the Luxury Villas, Private Residences and Luxury Residences get a raft of special Haute Living extras, including exclusive access to the Haute Living Lounge, access to a members-only gym, a villa host, a mobile with a direct line to the manager and room service, an open bar on the first day of your stay, daily aperitivo, canapés and afternoon tea, sun loungers reserved on the best part of the beach and access to the Breeze Beach Lounge.
Our favourite rooms
For the most private of stays, opt for the multi-roomed Domes Private Residence, which has a whirlpool bath tub, fireplace-, living room (X-Boxes and PlayStations are available on request) and use of the chauffered club car. For self-catering flexibility and a private pool, the Luxury Residences will suit.
There are five: two saltwater pools, one indoors, one out and both for over-16s only; three freshwater pools (one unheated out of season), including an 800sq m family-friendly pool a buggy ride away from the hotel and a children-only pool. The main is for over-16s only and is set just below reception with views over to Spinalonga and the bay. The hotel also has a strip of private beach, lined with olive trees and wooden decking.
The golden-hued contemporary spa has a indoor seawater pool surrounded by sunloungers, mosaic-tiled treatment rooms and sweeping views of the Med from floor-to-ceiling windows. There's a hammam and sauna, steam room, frigidarium and tepidarium, beauty therapists, and treatments offered include facials, body scrubs and wraps, and a range of massages, using Elemis products. Guests can also use the 100sq m fitness room or book personal trainers and private yoga sessions.
All the glitters might not be gold but anything Midas-pleasing will look a treat with your Cretan tan.
Exceedingly welcome. There’s room for cots and extra beds in all rooms. The hotel has a crèche and a kids' club (book at least a month ahead as it’s very popular); a local nanny can be drafted in with a day’s notice for €15 an hour.
Under-12s, since the first two can stay for free.
There’s room for cots and/or extra beds in all of the rooms. Standard Family Suites sleep four in two interconnecting rooms and come with a raft of family-friendly extras, including free children's lunch on your first day.
Domes Crèche for babies from 4 months to kids aged 4, run in partnership with UK childcare specialists, and staffed with qualified childcare workers. Sessions run daily 10am–1pm (a light fruit and snack lunch is included) and 3pm–6pm; the cost for under-2s is €45 a day for both sessions or €30 for one session (€35 and €22 respectively for ages 2–4). Little ones are given soft toys, noisy toys, books and building blocks, finger puppets and fire engines to play with, and outside is a supervised, shaded and fenced-off playground. The Kids' Club, for ages 5–12, is free and operates to the same timetable. Children are entertained with mini discos, amateur dramatics, team games and puzzles. Childcare is extremely popular and the hotel recommends booking via its online booking system a month in advance.
The hotel runs a range of water-based activities, such as snorkelling or surfing, and tennis lessons are held daily for €50 an hour with a private tutor (book two weeks in advance).
The outdoor unheated saltwater pools are open 7am–7pm, but they're unsupervised so keep a watchful eye. The peerless main pool is just below reception, with sweeping views; it has a shallow end and adjoining paddling pool.
A children’s menu is available with mini burgers, nuggets and M&M muffins, as are highchairs, booster seats, colouring-in pads and crayons. Staff are happy to heat milk for you. Kids’ also have their own tea at 6.30pm in Tholos – after this, the restaurants’ outdoor spaces turn into ‘quiet zones’ so if you want to feed them later on, it’ll need to be indoors for a family dinner at Tholos. Outdoor eating is kid-free in the evening so nab a babysitter and make the most of some two-of-you time. As the sun sets, the Grand Domes Bar comes alive, offering inventive cocktails on the terrace and views of the Island (open 10am until midnight). There’s live music (mainly chill-out or jazz) on selected nights, and it’s divided into family and adults-only zones for please-all drinking with or without your offspring. There's even an ice-cream happy hour for kids…
A qualified local nanny or babysitter can be drafted in with a day’s notice for €15 an hour.
No need to pack
Cots, highchairs, buggies, stairgates, monitors, potties, baby baths and Xboxes for older kids can all be provided: request in advance, to ensure availability. You can buy nappies, wipes, baby food and basic toiletries from the resort’s mini-mart.
Standard Family Suites have kiddie rooms decorated with Disney characters to make them feel at home, their own mini bathrobes and slippers, and No Tears bath products – plus welcome gifts of colouring-in packs and crayons, and surprise packs in minibars. Book one of these suites and children will get lunch free on their first day, too. If your room comes with its own pool or Jacuzzi, it’ll also come with a safety cover for it – good for child-proofing and peace of mind.