Being the largest and most populated Greek island, Crete often leaves tourists confused as to where they should stay. If you’re looking for an adults-only wellness retreat that has won countless luxury hospitality awards, look no further than the Minos Palace Hotel and Suites.
The hotel opened in 1981 and was widely regarded as the best hotel in Crete, but any cursory inspection of the hotel will yield no 80s decor as it is an institution that is constantly reinventing itself. Cretan design focuses on locally sourced natural elements, with hanging chairs, bohemian candlesticks, and tasteful artwork dotted throughout the reception area giving off a carefree island vacation vibe.
Set on a secluded peninsula with a divine infinity pool, the hotel feels more like the age of social media than a bygone era. No matter what angle you turn your head from, you are guaranteed to find stunning sea views.
If you start wandering around the neatly manicured garden lawns, it’s deceptively easy to get lost so large is the size of their property, but it will be a deeply soothing meander when you encounter their picturesque rocky coastline. The only small negative is that if you want to go downtown to Agios Nikolaos, it is slightly further away than their sister hotel, the Minos Beach Art Hotel. Again, they aim to be a luxury wellness resort where guests don’t necessarily want hectic city trips.
You’d think a feng shui master could have looked at the design of their 121 rooms and bungalows and 28 suites with private and shared pools. Everything is harmoniously harmonized with the natural environment using local materials. The color scheme is on the sophisticated gray spectrum of olive wood, giving a distinct sense of calm and respite from the Cretan afternoon heat.
Most of the bedrooms have been refurbished to a very high standard with bedside USB sockets and high speed Wi-Fi even if you are in your private pool. However, there are a small number of rooms still awaiting refurbishment, so check with the hotel when booking.
Sustainability is a key consideration for the hotel. In the bathroom you will find bath products with organic aromas, local to the city. They offer shampoo and shower gel in easily biodegradable sachets instead of the usual plastic bottles. Dual sinks are available to ensure marital bliss during your adults-only retreat.
Food and drink
Food is something Cretans embrace with passion. Even at their “casual” restaurant, Inblu, the dishes are meticulously executed. The star dish is ouzo prawns, which are cooked in front of guests on a heated stone with dried seaweed, ouzo, carob bread and fish roe salad.
Seafood is, unsurprisingly, a popular staple at their two restaurants, but if you stroll through their gardens, you’ll appreciate their garden-to-plate concept. All the herbs, toppings and the like are more than likely to come from their extensive garden.
Amalthea, the buffet restaurant with a unique 360 degree view of the sea, offers the best of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and is included in the half-board package. You might see local dishes like fish in lemon verbena sauce and zucchini stuffed with minced meat and rice, but that changes daily. Besides live cooking stations, this is not a restaurant where you will struggle to find options.
The eye-catcher is the hotel’s saltwater infinity pool. With its deckchairs and palm trees nestled a third of the pool, it’s THE perfect postcard shot to make friends and enemies green with envy. The focus here is on wellness so you can attend yoga and Pilates classes.
Cooking classes can be organized where you can learn how to cook authentic Cretan cuisine and there are even eco activities where you can go and clean up the beach and the coast. The hotel currently has an ornate spa treatment area, but there are plans to demolish an accommodation complex to make way for a brand new spa treatment center.
In a word
Do you want to visit a Progressive Adults Only Wellness Retreat? Do you want to enjoy the Cretan winter sun? The Minos Palace Hotel and Suites is the place for you.
Minos Palace Hotel and Suites, Agios Nikolaos offers rooms from 293 euros per night.
Address: Ammoudiou, Ag. Nikolaos 721 00, Greece
Call: +30 2841 023801
E-mail: [email protected]