10 of the best family hotels in Crete
Whether you’re travelling to Crete with babies, toddlers, tweens or teens, these Crete hotels – recommended by parents – are perfect for a family-friendly holiday in the sun
Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is also one of the best for families. The island is just over 4 hours from the UK, making it a wonderful destination for a sun-soaked, family-friendly holiday.
But Crete isn’t just beautiful beaches, this island also delivers when it comes to sights and activities, thanks to a wonderfully varied landscape, important ancient ruins and fascinating mythical legends.
The fifth largest island in the Mediterranean enjoys a culture that’s very much its own; locals have always considered themselves as Cretans and not simply Greeks. Their musical traditions, dances and dress are unique to the island, and they also boast their own food specialities including signature cheeses, smoked pork and fried snails – although the latter might be less appealing to kids!
Crete regularly pops up in best destination rankings, and took 2nd place in the list of the most popular destinations in Europe for the 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards. In MadeForMums' recent family travel survey, the Greek Islands were named the 4th most popular destination for those planning their 2023 family holiday, with Crete named their top pick.
As for where to go in Crete, you can’t really go wrong wherever you stay. Chania, Heraklion, Hersonissos are the most popular destinations for families, thanks to their number of child-friendly beaches and attractions.
More like this
Heraklion is Crete’s capital city and a fun-filled place for families, with theme parks, water parks and museums to explore. It’s also where you’ll find Knossos Palace, once the centre of the famous Minoan civilisation and today Crete’s most famous historical attraction.
Just 26km away from the capital is Hersonissos, a bustling area with plenty of exciting things to do with kids including an excellent aquarium, the Dinosaur Park and even a labyrinth park inspired by the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Located on the northwest coast is Chania, one of the most popular places on the island, famous for its 14th-century Venetian harbour, characterful old town and its safe, accessible beaches.
10 of the best family hotels in Crete at a glance
- Best for a dose of history: Kapsaliana Village Hotel Booking.com
- Best budget accommodation: Villa Kynthia Booking.com
- Best for eco credentials: Cretan Malia Park Booking.com
- Best for all-inclusive luxury: Daios Cove Booking.com
- Best hotel with a water park: Lyttos Beach Booking.com
- Best for a city stay: Serenissima Boutique Hotel Booking.com
- Best for older children: White River Cottages Booking.com
- Best location: Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort Booking.com
- Best for minimalist luxury: Domes Zeen Chania Booking.com
- Best for large families: Elounda Peninsula All Suites Booking.com
When is the best time of year to visit Crete?
Crete enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with what locals claim to be the longest summers in the region. June to September are the most popular times to visit, with minimal rainfall (if any) and hot sunny days with temperatures hitting around 30 degrees. Not surprisingly, however, July and August are particularly busy.
Temperatures – as well as tourist numbers and hotel rates – fall in September and October, making Crete a great option for some late summer sun or October half term. Sea temperatures average around 25 degrees during summer months, but are still warm enough for swimming in the shoulder season, with temperatures hovering around 23 degrees.
Most of the rain on the island falls between November and March, with January being the wettest month.
What is the flight time from the UK?
The flight time from the UK to Crete is about 4 hours and 15 minutes. There are 2 international airports on Crete: Heraklion Airport (HER) and Chania Airport (CHQ). Of these 2, Heraklion is the busiest airport. Located on the northeast of the island is Sitia Vitsentzos Kornaros Public Airport (JSH), which handles domestic flights.
Which are the biggest attractions in Crete?
Crete's highlights are seemingly endless, combining an exciting mix of archaeology, mythology and natural wonders.
If your children are keen on myths and legends, don't miss Lasithi on the eastern part of the island, where Dikteon Cave is said to be the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Kids will be wowed by the impressive stalactites here, but the uneven ground and steep walk might make this more suitable for older children. The Minoan Palace of Knossos, just outside the capital city of Heraklion, was once the political centre for the Minoans (who created the first sophisticated civilisation in Europe). It's also said to be the site of the fabled labyrinth of the Minotaur.
For history and culture there's the Venetian and Turkish old town in Chania and the tangle of narrow stone-paved lanes in Rethymnon, a small city that dates to the Minoans.
The Labyrinth Theme Park, complete with a huge wooden 3D maze to explore, is always a hit with kids of all ages, as are the many water parks. Acqua Plus in Hersonissos is the biggest water park on the island, with a mixture of heart-stopping extreme slides and more easy-going rides, plus a gentle lazy river. Dinosauria Park is an interactive park dedicated to, you guessed it, dinosaurs!
Crete is a popular destination for hiking and there are some fantastic walks that active families will love. Don't miss Samaria Gorge, the largest gorge in Europe and the most famous on the island. The entire walk is 18km (11 miles) but you don’t have to tackle the full trail if that seems too ambitious, it is possible to hike a portion of the Gorge (probably a good idea with younger children!). And then, of course, there are the many beautiful beaches for which Crete is so well known.
Here's our pick of the 10 best family hotels in Crete
1. Kapsaliana Village Hotel, Arkadi
— Best for a dose of history
Star rating: 4 | Price from £2,526 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in the Family Suite with 1 double bed and 1 sofa bed for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 25 | Board B&B | Number of swimming pools 1 | Kids club None | Heraklion Airport 78km
Families who are looking for a truly authentic Cretan experience should look no further than Kapsaliana Village Hotel. This beautiful rural hideaway has been created from a 17th-century hamlet that was once responsible for producing olive oil for a Cretan monastery. Still today, the village is surrounded by the largest olive grove on the island.
There are 25 boutique rooms and suites, plus a modern villa, all linked by cobblestone lanes peppered with pomegranate and lemon trees. The rooms have been individually designed and decorated with plenty of original features, such as high wood-beamed ceilings and old olive grindstones. If you're keen for a room with a view, then opt for the upper-floor rooms that have terraces with views of the ocean.
Pleiades is the dedicated Family Suite at Kapsaliana with 1 double bedroom and a sitting room with a sofa bed that can turn into 2 single beds suitable for 1 or 2 children. The stunning suite also enjoys a lovely shady terrace that looks out onto the walled garden, so there’s plenty of space for the kids to safely play outside. If you want to really splash out then book Villa Asterope, a 4-bedroom villa with a private pool – a luxurious setting for an unforgettable family holiday.
Breakfast is served every morning at the hotel’s restaurant, including plenty of kid-friendly options like pastries, egg, fruit and granola drizzled with Cretan honey. The restaurant also serves lunch (at an additional cost) featuring traditional dishes prepared using organic, locally-sourced ingredients. It’s worth noting there’s no separate kids’ menu here.
Although there isn’t any kind of kids’ club, the hotel does have a lovely pool to cool off in and you’ll find some beautiful beaches just 10 minutes away by car (you can even ask the hotel to make up a picnic for you to take with you). If you’ve got some budding history fans on your hands, it’s worth checking out the hotel’s own museum, housed in what was once the monastery's olive mill. And don't miss the town of Rethymnon and its Venetian fortress, just 18km away.
Pros: Incredible history, luxurious accommodation, delicious local food, family suite has private garden, quiet location
Cons: Car hire essential to get around, most restaurants are a drive away, no kids’ club, expensive
Book at: Kapsaliana Village, Booking.com
2. Villa Kynthia, Panormo
— Best budget accommodation
Star rating: 4 | Price from £1,274 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in an apartment with 1 double bed and 2 sofa beds for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 5 | Board B&B | Number of swimming pools 1 | Kids club None | Heraklion Airport 60km
Located in a beautifully restored 1890s mansion house, in a small fishing village on the north coast of Crete, is this family-friendly boutique hotel with reasonable rates. Small but perfectly formed, there are just 5 individually decorated bedrooms divided into 2 suites, 2 rooms and an apartment:
- On the 1st floor are the 2 suites: Artemis and Odyssey. With shuttered windows overlooking the pool and courtyard is Artemis, an elegant room with a white canopied bed and a sofa that can open out into 2 single beds. Odyssey, which sleeps up to 4, enjoys views of the village and hills beyond, as well as a modern ceiling frieze depicting the story of Circe.
- Rooms Pandora and Nefeli, are smaller – but Pandora does have space for a couple and a young child.
- Rea is an apartment that comfortably sleeps up to 4 people and benefits from a kitchenette with dining table and direct access to the courtyard. All rooms have heating, air conditioning, a TV and mini fridge.
At the heart of the property is the walled courtyard, shaded by a large pine tree and dotted with plants in terracotta pots. It's a lovely spot to enjoy the buffet breakfast as you plan the day's activities – we’re talking yoghurt, honey, homemade jams, cereals and more. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool with loungers and parasols.
Villa Kynthia is particularly suited to those families looking to get off the beaten track and discover a relatively unknown corner of Crete – while the surrounding village of Panormo still receives visitors, it's quieter than other destinations on the island. Here you’ll find excellent tavernas and 2 sandy beaches, with calm waters perfect for swimming. Note that the hotel is only open from April to October.
Pros: Unique accommodation, off the beaten path, amazing breakfast, friendly staff, good value, close to beach
Cons: Only open from April to October, hotel doesn’t serve lunch or dinner
Book at: Villa Kynthia, Booking.com
3. Cretan Malia Park, Malia
— Best for eco credentials
Star rating: 5 | Price from £4,286 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a Junior Suite with a king bed and 2 sofa beds for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 204 | Board B&B, Half board and All-inclusive | Number of swimming pools 2 | Kids club Mini Club for 3–12-year-olds, The Place for teens | Heraklion Airport 34km | Optional additional upgrade including an upgraded selection of wine and beverages available.
Eco-friendly cool reigns supreme at this expansive resort that puts families first. Located on the north coast of Crete, just outside the town of Malia, the resort is a Design Hotels member and offers everything you could possibly need for a stylish stay.
There are 204 rooms, including 19 suites, with garden, pool or sea views. The light-filled rooms are seriously chic, decorated in calming colours with furnishings in dark wood and rattan, floor to ceiling windows and giant, comfy beds. But don't let the stylish decor mislead you – it has plenty to offer families with young children.
There are dedicated Family Rooms with 2 bedrooms (the kids' bedroom comes with a slick bunk bed and a built-in sofa bed) and even a separate kids' bathroom (no more picking toys out of the bath before you take a soak). These rooms also enjoy large terraces overlooking lush gardens, the pool or the sea. If you don't need quite so much space, then extra beds and cots can be added to all suites and bungalows.
Mediterraneo is the hotel's main restaurant and where a buffet breakfast is served with views over the gardens. In Mouries, food is cooked in a woodfire oven or over charcoal in the traditional Cretan way, accompanied by seasonal vegetables picked from the hotel garden. The resort also boasts an Italian restaurant and mezze sharing platter restaurant on-site, as well as a chic Beach Shack, serving delicious lunches, dinners and cocktails, on the private Blue Flag beach.
There’s so much for kids to do here. The Little Explorers Kids' Club offers a bumper choice of activities for children aged 3–12, including cooking and baking, and a performance space for dance and theatre. What is particularly special about the kids' club is the emphasis on sustainability. The club has its own small organic garden where children actively participate, and the large play area doubles as an environmental awareness space.
Teens are also well catered for with The Place, a separate area next to the resort's tennis and basketball half court with a large water tub, hammocks, billiards, darts and more. At night The Place screens movies – surely something to impress even the most hard-to-please teenager.
Pros: Good eco credentials, wide range of activities for every age group, stylish design, multiple dining options, kids’ club, private beach
Cons: Guest rooms and bungalows are on the smaller side, the main pool gets busy during peak season, expensive
Book at: Cretan Malia Park, Booking.com
4. Daios Cove Luxury Resorts & Villas, Vathi
— Best for all-inclusive luxury
Star rating: 5 | Price from £7,917 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a 1-bedroom suite with 1 extra-large double bed and 1 sofa bed for 7 nights, all-inclusive, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 300 | Board Half board and All-inclusive | Number of swimming pools 2 | Kids club Mini Club for 4–12-year-olds and Baby Club for 4 months to 4-year-olds. Activities for teens | Heraklion Airport 66 km | Optional additional upgrade to access extra services with the Resident’s Club
Daios Cove Luxury Resorts & Villas often features high on the lists of Crete's best resorts and for good reason, this spectacular hotel is the gold standard when it comes to family hotels.
Located on a cliffside on Crete's north-eastern coast, this multi-level compound offers 300 rooms including 41 suites and 38 villas. For families, accommodation includes the 2- and 3-bedroom villas, which come stocked with a range of baby equipment. There are also 5 adapted rooms for guests with disabilities and golf buggies to transport you around the compound. There’s also a funicular to take guests up and down the cliffs, which is handy if you have a pushchair (and also great fun for little kids).
When it comes to dining, guests at Daios are spoilt for choice with 6 restaurants on offer. Pangaea is the main restaurant where buffets are served. Taverna specialises in casual Greek and Mediterranean dishes, and the Beach House serves Mediterranean and Asian-fusion dishes. If you want dinner without the kids one night then make a reservation at Ocean, the hotel's fine dining restaurant.
Kids are kept busy thanks to a variety of children’s clubs, covering 4 to 12-year-olds, as well as a creche (although this is at an additional cost). There are also plenty of activities laid on for teenagers, and a fantastic games room which houses a pool table, table tennis, and a choice of video consoles.
As one MFM parent reviewer said: “If you book through Scott Dunn, your kids can take advantage of their beautiful crèche, which features more stuff to amuse them than Hamleys, an outdoor, shaded grassy area with a sandpit and activities staffed by fully qualified nannies who serve fresh meals and snacks throughout the day.”
For parents, there are oodles of things to do, from the spa offering a vast range of treatments, to the 2 tennis courts, seawater swimming pool (with a separate area for kids) and private beach. Make sure you take time to leave the resort to explore the surrounding area. Highlights include the temple ruins of Knossos, which date back up to 4,000 years and the Diketon Andron caves, said to be the legendary birthplace of Zeus.
Read the full MFM Daios Cove hotel review
Pros: Activities for all ages, great range of restaurants, choice of swimming pools, good kids’ club
Book at: Daios Cove, Booking.com
5. Lyttos Beach, Hersonissos
— Best hotel with a water park
Star rating: 5 | Price from £4,881 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a family room with 1 double bed and 2 single beds for 7 nights, all-inclusive, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 96 | Board All-inclusive | Number of swimming pools 11 | Kids club Mini Club for 4–12-year-olds and Teen Club for 13– 17-year-olds | Heraklion Airport 20 km
Bigger isn't necessarily better, but when it comes to Lyttos Beach, size does matter. This vast resort, located on the north coast of Crete, is truly spectacular offering a wealth of activities and amenities to keep even the most active of families busy.
For starters, the resort is home to an incredible 11 swimming pools, 28 tennis courts and its very own water park, with 9 large water slides, a huge splash playground for younger kids and a space dedicated to babies.
The recently opened Lyttopia playground and Kids’ Club is heaven for children, with 2 acres of space filled with educational fun. Activities at the Mini Club include swimming or tennis lessons, as well as the chance to perform on stage and dance at the mini disco.
If you're looking to up your tennis game then enroll in the resort's tennis academy, which has hosted professional ITF tournaments since 2012. Swimming and water polo training camps are also an option for both adults and children, year-round, with training taking place in one of the resort's 2 official Olympic sized pools. New to the resort are 2 football fields, illuminated by floodlights at night for those with dreams of following in the footsteps of Messi. Other activities include basketball and mountain bike hire. Phew!
For families with 1 child, the Double Rooms – either with a sea or garden view – can all fit 2 adults and a child. Upgrade to a 'superior' option and you can enjoy a private pool. For larger families, the Family Rooms can accommodate up to 6 people. Some come with a private pool, others with access to a shared pool.
You'll be hard pressed to drag yourself away from Lyttos Beach, but the location in Hersonissos is well worth exploring. This is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Crete, with dozens of cafes, shops and restaurants. Don't miss the old village of Hersonissos either. Just 10km away is the Cretaquarium, ideal for families, and the capital Heraklion is 25km away.
Pros: Huge choice of activities, fantastic facilities, wide range of accommodation options, beachfront location, multiple swimming pools, kids’ clubs
Cons: Not all amenities and activities are open during low season, expensive
Book at: Lyttos Beach, Booking.com
6. Serenissima Boutique Hotel, Chania
— Best for a city stay
Star rating: 5 | Price from £2,218 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a deluxe room with 1 double bed and 1 sofa bed for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 7 | Board B&B | Number of swimming pools 0 | Kids club None | Heraklion Airport 143 km, Chania Airport 15 km
This 5-star boutique hotel sits in the heart of Chania's characterful old town, offering 7 rooms and suites with beamed ceilings, exposed stone walls and parquet floors. For families looking for a chic city break by the sea, Serenissima is where you want to be.
Families with older children and teens can take 2 rooms, but if you're travelling with younger children then you’ll want to choose one of the Superior Suites. Children under 12 stay free (excellent news!), and the hotel can provide cots and highchairs. They also offer a babysitting service – just make sure you book in advance.
The hotel restaurant is open June to October, and serves breakfast and dinner. Guests report that the food is delicious, in particular the breakfasts. In fact, 98% of TripAdvisor reviewers rate their time at Serenissima as excellent.
Nearby attractions include Elafonissi Beach, one of the most beautiful in Greece with red and white sand and impossibly blue water. The shallow waters make it ideal for younger children and there are also opportunities for snorkelling. Chania is also a brilliant place for scuba diving. The Old Harbour of Chania is a short walk away and the hotel can arrange boat trips to discover other areas of the island if you like. Back at the hotel, the recently renovated hammam is the perfect place to relax.
Pros: Historical setting, beautiful accommodation, excellent location for sightseeing, close to the beach, children under 12 stay for free
Cons: 10-minute walk from nearest car park, the hammam is only open during summer months, the restaurant isn’t open all year, no swimming pool, no kids’ club
Book at: Serenissima, Booking.com
7. White River Cottages, Makrigialos
— Best for older children
Star rating: 4 | Price from £899 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in an apartment with 1 double bed and 2 sofa beds for 7 nights, room only, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 13 cottages | Board Board only | Number of swimming pools 1 | Kids club None | Heraklion Airport 120 km
If all-inclusive resorts aren’t your thing, then these delightful stone cottages may be just the ticket. Positioned inland from Makrigialos beach, on Crete's southeast coast, is this small hamlet of old stone houses that sits surrounded by rocky peaks and dotted with olive groves and carob trees.
White River Cottages provide a thoroughly delightful place to stay and experience a slice of traditional Cretan life. The 13 stone houses are not large, and nor are they glamorous, but the whitewashed cottages are filled with rustic charm – natural stone walls, the original small windows and wooden beamed ceilings. The cottages come in a variety of sizes, with the largest sleeping up to 5 guests. All come with a small, simply equipped kitchen and with both an indoor dining table and an outdoor one on the private terrace. If self-catering is your thing, you’re covered here.
There's a central pool (with a shallow end for younger children) and a partially covered communal area. There is no kids’ club or organised activities for children, however, so this property is probably best suited to families with older children. The town of Makrigialos is 1km away and is home to a sandy beach as well as remnants of Minoan and Roman settlement. There are also plenty of tavernas to choose from. The beautiful beaches at Achlia and Koutsounari are a short drive away.
Pros: Authentic, lovely welcome tray, beautiful rural setting, good value
Cons: Car hire essential to get around, no on-site restaurant, no kids’ club, closest beach is a drive away, self-catering only
Book at: White River Cottages, Booking.com
8. Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort
— Best location
Star rating: 5 | Price from £3,097 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a deluxe room with 1 king size bed and 2 sofa beds for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 128 | Board B&B, Half board and Half board Dine Around | Number of swimming pools 5 | Kids club Mini Club for 4–12-year-olds and Baby Club for 4 month to 3-year-olds. Activities for teens | Heraklion Airport 66 km | Optional additional upgrade to access Dine Around meal plan.
There are plenty of resorts in this corner of northern Crete, but few can compete with Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort when it comes to views. Set on a hillside, the 5-star resort enjoys panoramic views over the protected Bay of Mirabello from all angles. But that’s not the only thing that this resort can shout about; Porto Elounda is also home to the largest beachfront pool in Crete and the largest kids’ club in the area.
The resort offers a huge variety of accommodation, including sea view rooms, suites and villas. The sea view rooms enjoy private balconies, while suites come with separate living areas as well as terraces offering direct access to shared pools. Book a top tier room and enjoy a private saltwater pool. For families, suites offer the most space.
Families are front and centre at Porto Elounda, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the bright and cheery Kids Ark – the kids’ club that comes complete with waterslide, children’s pool and multiple sports courts. While the kids are busy learning Greek dancing or taking part in the beach Olympics, make the most of the award-winning Six Senses Spa – the first in Europe – or charter the hotel’s private sailing yacht.
Grown-up golf fans will enjoy the 9-hole, par-3 course, with a PGA pro on-site or, for something a little more challenging, an 18-hole championship course is just 30 minutes away, with special rates for guests. Down at the private beach, there are canoes and kayaks, pedalos, windsurfs and jet-ski, as well as PADI-certified scuba diving. Of course, none of this is obligatory and you may prefer to relax on a sun lounger instead!
You have 8 restaurants to choose from at Porto Elounda, with an option to upgrade to the Dine Around experience that gives you access to the nearby sister properties Elounda Mare Hotel Relais & Chateaux and the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel (available high season only).
Pros: Excellent kids’ clubs, huge choice of activities and dining, good choice of accommodation, multiple pools, private beach
Cons: No shuttle bus into Elounda, large resort can mean a lot of walking, expensive, the Dine Around option is only available on selected dates
Book at: Porto Elounda, Booking.com
9. Domes Zeen Chania, Chania
— Best for minimalist luxury
Star rating: 5 | Price from £4,435 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in a family room with 1 extra-large double bed and 1 sofa bed for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 102| Board B&B and Half board | Number of swimming pools 2 | Kids club Mini Club for 4–12-year-olds | Heraklion Airport 144km, Chania Airport 16 km | Optional additional upgrade to Half Board, premium amenities and the services of a dedicated concierge.
Inspired by early Greek philosophy on the importance of living well, Domes Zeen Chania promises to bring the zen to your family break, with stylish design-led rooms, excellent restaurants, a luxurious spa and bespoke experiences.
The resort sits on the northwest coast of Crete ,within easy reach of Chania’s famed Venetian harbour. But despite the convenient location, the resort feels wonderfully isolated thanks to its position alongside a rugged stretch of coastline. The natural surroundings are reflected in the minimalist architecture, which is all concrete and glass accompanied by a wealth of exotic plants (teens will think it’s very cool).
Of the 101 rooms at the resort, 64 are suites and many of them have been designed exclusively for families. Some come with a private pool, and some sleep up to 6 people (book the Tropical Family Grand Pavilion if you have a large family). The interiors have been designed by Berlin-based design studio Lambs and Lions and achieve that rare balance of being both stylish and comfortable. Expect concrete, stone, wood and rattan with high ceilings, enormous windows and generous terraces.
There are 2 restaurants at Domes Zeen Chania. The Beach House is the main restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner – it also has a children's menu. The Enino Gastronomy Restaurant is the resort's wine-themed fine dining menu – one to book a babysitter for.
KiEPOS, the hotel’s kids' club, is housed within yurts and teepees, and offers play areas and a wealth of creative activities. There’s also a dedicated children's pool. As one TripAdvisor reviewer said “The kids’ club was amazing. They have endless activities scheduled daily from 10am-10pm. From cookie baking and pool races to jewellery making and finger painting, the activities list was extensive.”
Pros: Beautiful design, excellent kids’ club, good location, family focus
Cons: Expensive, pools can feel busy during summer holidays
Book at: Domes Resorts, Booking.com
10. Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel
— Best for large family groups
Star rating: 5 | Price from £7,139 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) in 1-bedroom suite with 1 king size bed and 2 sofa beds for 7 nights, including breakfast, in August 2023 | Number of bedrooms 59 | Board B&B, Half board and Half board Dine Around | Number of swimming pools 2 | Kids club Mini Club for 4–12-year-olds and Baby Club for 8 months to 3-year-olds. Activities for teens | Heraklion Airport 66 km | Optional additional upgrade to access Dine Around meal plan.
This luxury resort sits on a peninsula overlooking the beautiful Bay of Elounda in northern Crete. It’s a beautiful property with a boutique feel that rolls out the red carpet for families.
The Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel has recently undergone a major renovation, rebuilding 20 suites and villas through the property and adding a new 6-bedroom waterfront residence. Two brand new larger swimming pools have also been added.
Today the resort offers visitors 59 suites and rooms, with many big enough to accommodate large families. The 2-bedroom Peninsula Collection Suite sleeps up to 5 people, for example, and the 3-bedroom option sleeps up to 7 people. Similarly, the Peninsula Grand Villas can sleep up to 7.
Peninsula is home to Calypso, a fine dining restaurant with beautiful views. This is where breakfast is served. It also has pan-Asian Koh, which TripAdvisor reviewers rave about. Il Borro Tuscan Bistro is the property's Italian restaurant open for lunch and dinner – children will love the amazing choice of pizza and pasta. Guests have the option to upgrade to the Dine Around experience that gives access to the nearby sister properties Elounda Mare Hotel Relais & Chateaux and the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort. These include the award-winning Old Mill, at Mare, and waterside Yacht Club.
While the Elounda Peninsula is very much a family hotel, most child-friendly activities take place at the sister hotel Porto Elounda. There, the Kids Ark kids’ club entertains children with arts and crafts, football and baking sessions, and even beach Olympics. There’s a creche for children from 4 months and a complimentary kids’ club for ages 5 and up. Teens are also catered for, and the resort offers a raft of activities from golf and tennis lessons to water skiing, sailing and ball games.
Parents have access to the Six Senses Spa next door and Elounda Peninsula offers Six Senses Kids. This is the chance for children to get involved in the world of wellness through engaging and interactive activities such as yoga or a botanical garden treasure hunt.
Pros: Luxurious resort, large rooms for families, wide choice of dining options, newly renovated
Cons: Kids’ club and activities at sister site, the Dine Around option is only available on selected dates, expensive
Book at: Elounda Peninsula, Booking.com
How we tested
When evaluating our list of family friendly hotels in Crete, we consider facilities, comfort, appeal, price, accessibility, star rating and value for money.
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews and feedback from our Top Testers Club, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10; instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested places, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
About the author
Katja Gaskell is a freelance journalist and travel blogger based in London. She regularly writes travel articles for publications including The Telegraph, Wanderlust Magazine, Lonely Planet, the Mail on Sunday and The Independent among others. She also contributes family stories to publications including Absolutely Mama and The Simple Things.
With her husband and 3 children (aged 15, 13 and 7) Katja has lived in Australia, India and Mexico and now that they are back in the UK, they are busy exploring Europe. France is a family favourite destination, alongside Finland, Belgium and Greece.
Why this maternity brand from Finland grabbed 2 Golds in a row at the MFM Awards
Find out all about MadeForMums award-winning health and wellbeing brand Lola&Lykke.