From lazing on pristine Blue Flag beaches to discovering cultural wonders, there’s plenty to see and do on Greece’s largest island. However, worrying about the bill for the children’s ice-cream or the tab for those sunset cocktails can put paid to dreams of a laid-back holiday, which is why an all-inclusive resort – where everything is covered in advance – is ideal.
Far from the Butlins-style all-inclusive resorts of decades past, Crete’s current options include everything from Maldivian-style accommodation with overwater bungalows and lagoon pools, to lively beach hotels with waterparks and gourmet restaurants. Most Crete packages include premium beverages, à la carte dining or dine around programmes – some even offer spa treatments and sports activities. Whether planning a trip with friends, longing to getaway on a romantic couples break or looking forward to a fun holiday for all the family, here are the best all-inclusive hotels in Crete where a dream holiday is likely to be entirely worry-free.
How we review
Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer.
At a glance, the best all-inclusive hotels in Crete
Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa, Analipsi
Adults looking for luxury Crete holidays with a ‘Love Island’ vibe will find this stylish resort, built around one of Europe’s largest lagoon pools (inflatable giant flamingos are a nice extra touch), ticks all the boxes. Narrow bridges criss-cross the vast lagoon pool; couples lounge in sunken seating areas, or on islands dotted with beds and hammocks. Style is generally minimalist: all white with lots of blonde wood, canvas and bamboo, with retro touches in the rooms, suites and villas (from the 18 smallish second-floor pool-view rooms to the nine South Pacific-inspired overwater bungalows or 12 Island Villas with private pools). There’s also a delightful light-filled spa and several restaurants.
Read the full review: Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa
• The best hotels in Crete
Daios Cove, Agios Nikolaos
Despite its size, this Greek-hamlet-style resort is very low-key and friendly service lends a distinct village ambiance. Facilities include tennis courts, several outdoor pools and a comprehensive spa, with a Finnish sauna, indoor pool, hydro-massage facilities and treatments by Anne Semonin. There’s also a Crèche Club supervised by UK childcare experts Worldwide Kids, a game-stocked kids’ entertainment room and dozens of well-monitored watersports activities. Every one of the resort’s rooms, suites and villas have wall-to-ceiling windows with views over the clear waters of Vathi Bay.
Read the full review: Daios Cove
The Syntopia, Adelianos Kampos
Breakout the boho chic, this four-star haven cries out to be Instagrammed. Inspired by extensive travels, the (young) owner has chosen a flashpacker/glamping vibe: lots of earthy mineral colours, sisal and stripped wood, sculpted totem poles and wigwam-style awnings above beds around the pretty central pool – there’s even a food truck complete with buffalo skull and surfboard. Facilities include an elegant little spa and a restaurant serving a limited range of local and international dishes. The best rooms are on the top floors where glass balconies give sheer pool views and distant sea vistas.
Read the full review: The Syntopia
LUX ME White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort, Rethymnon
Life at this bright white resort close to Rethymnon’s museums and nightlife revolves around the sizeable central seawater pool and a long strip of sandy beach. Though some areas of the hotel undoudtedly need updating, there’s a pretty boho spa, several good restaurants and plenty of children’s entertainment. The resort’s LUX ME all-inclusive formula covers everything from the minibar to à la carte dining, involving an international range of cuisine. The best rooms for space and privacy are the frontline White Villas with direct beach access.
Read the full review: LUX ME White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort
Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa, Malia
This seaside spa resort is like a luxurious and labyrinthine Cretan village built of light-coloured local stone. There are lots of alleys lined with high stone walls, plenty of secret nooks and crannies, pools behind arches or walls (some are adults-only), several restaurants, and a sandy (serviced) beach. Interiors are cosy with lots of jaunty marine stripes, velvet upholstering and local artwork. Classic rooms occupy two floors in the older part of the building and have large balconies (although slightly dowdy). Some suites and bungalows share medium-sized pools; larger suites have plunge pools. Best are the Luxury Seafront suites.
Read the full review: Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa
Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort, Anissaras
This excellent all-inclusive five-star resort, which overlooks a sandy beach near the lively resort of Hersonissos, offers something for everyone. There are several pools, a host of children’s activities, a superb Thalasso spa (big, bright and modern with a bevy of staff in attendance) and an abundance of restaurants. Guests on ‘Elements all-inclusive packages’ can enjoy a free spa combo: half an hour frolicking in the massage jets of the large Aqua pool (with a trainer putting you through your paces), 15 minutes in a bubbling hydro-jet bath and half an hour’s massage, as part of the bundle. Other facilities include four tennis courts and a modern fitness centre with sauna and hammam.
Read the full review: Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort
From £135 pp/pn aldemarroyalmare.gr
• The best nightlife in Crete
Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos
This all-inclusive family resort is big, brash, but lots of fun. Though it can be quite easy to lose one’s way due to the sheer size of the resort, there’s a lot to offer including a small beach, a good-sized main pool (where most people hang out) and other smaller pools dotted around the property. It’s well worth paying extra to use the spa facilities which feature yet another pool, and a full circuit of hydro massage jets, and a sauna/hammam. Choose your room wisely; there’s a bit of disparity in the quality so go for one of the newer ones, beachside. Dining is really the strong point of this resort and there are several restaurants serving first-rate food.
Read the full review: Creta Maris Beach Resort
Cavo Spada Luxury Resort and Spa, Kolymvari
A friendly, small-scale, comfortable resort surrounded by lush countryside and overlooking a pebble beach near Chania. The cube-like rooms, mainly on two levels, cluster around the large and pretty public pool facing out onto a grassy strip of land with open sea views. This is a resort with a big emphasis on sport (the Swedish ice-hockey team trains here) so facilities are good: a large open-air (but undercover) gym space and modern machines, plus tennis courts and a beach exercise area. There is a large freshwater pool, while the spa has a heated pool, sauna and steam room. Treatments use Anne Semonin products. The grassy lawn scattered with sunbeds opens onto a pretty pebble beach – hard on the feet, but the water is sparkling clear.
Read the full review: Cavo Spada
From £125 pp/pn (cavospada.gr)
Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park, Panormos
This family-friendly, all-inclusive, four-star resort has its own aquapark (apparently the largest in a Greek resort). Several restaurants and snack bars serve food day and night, and a handful of swimming pools, a Thalasso spa and a small beach ensure there’s something for all ages. There are three à la carte restaurants. Riviera (lovely pool views) has a limited menu, but the food is excellent and they have a small list of local wines. Bamboo Nero is the Asian restaurant serving carefully prepared Asian fusion dishes, from crispy duck to sushi. Deep Blue gets a sea breeze and serves a good range of snacks, including burgers and souvlaki.
Read the full review: Marine Palace & Suites
Candia Park Village, Agios Nikolaos
Buried in lush greenery with panoramic views of Mirabello Bay, the heart of this delightful, family-friendly resort near the seaside town of Agios Nikolaos is a Provencal-style village square with its own clock tower, but the main hubs are the two pretty pools and a glorious, pine-fringed beach. Winding paths lead past two-storey houses whose pastel-tinted lime exteriors (muddy ochre, sunset pink, delft blue) peek out from a jungle of bougainvillea, palm trees and fruit trees (children can pick their fill). Restaurant Agapi (which means “love”) is the main spot on the pretty central square where breakfast and dinner are served. There’s a small à la carte menu but it’s hardly worth bothering with because the buffet has a good choice of starters, salads and hot dishes (from moussaka to spaghetti bolognese).
Read the full review: Candia Park Village
Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, Georgioupolis
There’s a Disney vibe to this child-friendly, safety-conscious resort clustered around a network of pools that prettily reflect the lights of surrounding restaurants at night. It’s across the road from a sweeping sandy beach and facilities include a pretty spa and several good restaurants. Food is a winner here: good quality, fresh and nicely presented. Breakfast buffet in The Meltemi restaurant is superb: a huge choice of hot dishes, plenty of cold cuts (including pastrami and local cheeses) lots of healthy options: smoothies (made in front of you) piles of cut fruit, nuts, yoghurt, cereals, and a well stocked Cretan corner. More than 300 rooms in five categories have distant sea, garden or pool views. Sixty suites and bungalows have shallow private or sharing pools.
Read the full review: Anemos Luxury Grand Resort
Rates above are guide prices per person per night, please note that all-inclusive packages can differ across hotels. Please check the hotel’s websites for further information on what’s included.