Cretan Malia Park – Crete, Greece
Hotel type: Eco beach resort.
Location: On the north east coast of Crete, near the tiny port of Malia – just 40 minutes from Heraklion airport.
Style: Boho chic with nature vibes.
Rooms: 204 bright and airy rooms including 19 suites & bungalows.
Our Favourite Room: Philippa’s favourite is the Deluxe Family Bungalow, including a dedicated kids room, with bunkbeds, as well as a private balcony or terrace, ensuring space for the whole family!
Ideal for: Relaxed family time.
Swimming: A river pool, main pool and a private beach.
Dining: Enjoy fresh and delicious Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine in one of the hotels 4 restaurants. In addition to this the Beach Shack serves small bites and cocktails whilst the Crush offers sweet treats by the pool.
Children: Fabulously family friendly resort with a fun packed kids club for 3-12 year olds (free of charge).
Activities: Whether you are looking to explore the archaeological ruins and vineyards of rural Crete, take part in cookery lessons or join olive oil and wine tasting, the Cretan Malia Park caters for all!
Spa: The intimate “Cute Spa” with an open air treatment room and yoga pavilion for holistic relaxation and wellbeing.
Accessibility: Some adapted rooms and ramp access throughout.
Low Season Price from: €193 per night in a Double Room, including breakfast.
High Season Price from: €326 per night in a Double Room, including breakfast.
Open From: May – October.
The lush botanical gardens are the first thing that strike you at Cretan Malia Park, with giant palms, gnarled olive trees and cacti in all shapes and sizes. Through these, you catch glimpses of the sea and private beach beyond, and juxtaposed with the greenery is the modern minimalist architecture. Interiors are in earthy tones with geometric patterns and coloured ceramics, with artwork from local artists All this, and a winding river pool flowing gently through gives the entire resort a relaxed and intimate air. Spend the days in a hammock with a book, on a cabana on the beach, or indulge in one of the many activities or sports on offer. Here, there’s something for all the family, and all the while being looked after by an exceptionally attentive team.
Mixing bohemian luxe and Cretan design detail, the rooms, suites and bungalows are relaxed and elegant. Elements of nature and the gardens are brought in with shades of green and plant motifs on the walls. Marble bathrooms, supremely comfortable beds, striking handmade tiles and local artwork, make them all a welcome retreat. The Double Rooms are light, airy and spacious, with either a king size bed or two twins and a balcony, looking out over the gardens or the pool. The similar sized Signature Rooms come with a few added extras – a signature breakfast, daily replenished mineral water and a well-stocked mini bar. The Junior Suites can sleep up to four in a king size bed and two sofa beds. With plenty of open plan living space, they have views of the gardens, pool or the sea from their balcony or terrace. For unadulterated sea views, then the Junior Suite Sea Front is the one to go for. The large One Bedroom Suites sleep up to three, with a separate living area. A large balcony has views of the resort’s gardens and pool. The Deluxe Suites are vast, with a king size four poster bed and large sofa bed. Beautifully furnished, they are light filled and fresh. They have a dining area, two bathrooms and a large balcony looking out to sea. The Two Bedroom Suites are larger still, and can sleep up to six. With ample living space, luxurious bathrooms and verandahs looking out over the beach and the lush gardens, they are very luxurious. We love the intimate bungalows and their scattered locations throughout the gardens and by the beach. They can all sleep up to three with a king size bed, or two twins and a daybed. The Garden View Bungalows enjoy a quiet spot and feature a balcony or terrace. Some of these can interconnect for larger families. The Signature Bungalow Gardens come with a few added extras. The Bungalow Pool Views are surrounded by vegetation and located along the river pool, whilst the Bungalow Pool Fronts are just steps away from the it. If you’d like to be closer to the sea, the Bungalow Side Sea Views and the Bungalow Beach Fronts are idea. The Deluxe Family Bungalows are cleverly laid out, with a large master bedroom with a king size bed, and a second bedroom with a bunk bed and built in sofa bed, sleeping up to five. With two bathrooms, and a choice of a garden, pool or sea view, they are spacious and comfortable.
You’ll find some of the best cuisine in Greece on the island of Crete, and Cretan Malia Park celebrates its gastronomic heritage with traditional recipes and local produce from land and sea. There’s an excellent range of restaurants dotted around the resort, with something for every palate. Mouries serves authentic Cretan dishes in a taverna style atmosphere, where the emphasis is very much on sharing. The poolside and informal Mezze has a menu inspired by cuisine from the Levant, whilst Almyra is an Italian restaurant, close to the beach and pool. More Mediterranean flavours are on offer at Mediterraneo, where everything is laid out buffet style. For a light lunch or a cool drink before dinner, the Beach Shack is a fabulously relaxed place to be. There are cocktails at Melissa in the heart of the resort, or a snack and a drink at Kafenio, a traditional style coffee shop, and a firm family favourite is The Crush – for ice cream, crepes and milk shakes by the pool.
There is so much for families here – and much thought has been put into ensuring that both parents and children alike have a relaxed and fun stay. The kids club is open six days a week and free of charge. Run by a dedicated team, it has an extensive and varied programme of activities for all. There’s a kid’s buffet area at Mediterraneo for lunch and dinner as well as kid’s menus at Almyra. There’s no shortage of cots or high chairs, and babysitting can also be easily arranged. For teenagers, The Place has hammocks, cinema screenings, table tennis and discos. There’s plenty of sport options for children too, from beach volley ball and basket ball, to watersports.
You can do as little or as much as you like here. It’s an ideal location for exploring some of Crete’s historic sites – there’s a 3500 year old archeological ruin nearby and the island’s most famous site – the Palace of Knossos is just 40 minutes away. Head for the hills to explore rural Crete, or hire an ebike to visit a vineyard to two. Alternatively, have a lesson or two on the resort’s tennis court, join in a yoga or pilates session, or take to the water on a SUP, a canoe or with a snorkel. The executive chef gives cookery lessons, where you’ll come away with some traditional recipes to your repertoire, and a tour of the gardens with the head gardener will give you an insight into the eco status of the resort. There’s wine and olive oil tasting and various events to immerse yourself in the Cretan culture. And in the evenings, live music is often played. At the Spa there’s a good range of holistic therapies, with the treatments using local sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Cretan Malia Park has a fabulous array of activities for everyone.
Established over 40 years ago, the resort’s gardens hare at the heart of its green agenda. As part of its dedication to the Mediterranean Responsible Living and regeneration practices, it has ensured that the gardens are full of endemic plants and trees found in this part of Crete. Guests can join guided tours to learn about the island’s floral heritage, as well as visit the organic gardens where much of the resort’s produce is grown. Water is recycled for the gardens and nearly all of its electricity is generated by solar power.