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Concierge.com

Crete Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Amirandes
Gouves
Iraklio , Crete
Greece 71110
Tel: 30 28970 41103
reserv_am@grecotel.gr
www.amirandes.com

Unlike most new luxury hotels in Greece—boutique properties where Americans can be most assured of sharing their Greek experience with other Americans—the 212-room Amirandes, 20 miles east of Iraklio, is a classic Greek beach resort. Which is to say it is grand and glitzy (think a Minoan palace surrounding a palm-lined reflecting pool the size of Lake Erie) and offers just about every dining, beach, and sports option imaginable (archery, anyone?). Still, relative solitude is possible: 68 rooms have their own swimming pool, and the villa section, almost a hotel within a hotel, has its own private beach. The hotel beaches are better for sunning than swimming, as the water is shallow and rocky, but there is an Olympic-size pool, and plenty of people around it with whom you can practice a language other than your own.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Avli Lounge Apartments
22 Xanthoudidou Street
Rethymnon , Crete
Greece 74100
Tel: 30 28310 26213
info@avli.gr
www.avli.gr

While some might argue that the best reason to visit Rethymnon is a meal at Avli's garden restaurant, others insist that an even better cause would be to stay in one of its seven stone-walled suites, hidden behind ancient facades along a cobblestone street. The suites have whitewashed stone walls and naturally finished exposed-beam ceilings, meant to evoke a 15th-century atmosphere, save the addition of a whirlpool tub, so that guests may enjoy a pleasure unknown in medieval times—bathing. Each suite has been individually decorated in a different color scheme, by someone with an artist's eye and a generous budget. The Brown Suite, with its veranda, is a favorite.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Casa Delfino Suites
9 Theofanous Street
Chania , Crete
Greece 73100
Tel: 30 28210 87400
info@casadelfino.com
www.casadelfino.com

This 17th-century Venetian mansion, restored to a level of luxury that would make its original owner envious, is one street short of perfection. Sitting just in from one of the most attractive harbors in Crete, the hotel's views of harborside life are blocked on all but the uppermost floor by an intervening row of buildings. Inward-looking guests will be delighted, however, by the sanctuary of Casa Delfino's hidden courtyard (just right for breakfast in warm weather) and by the suites themselves. Although the smaller 4 of the 22 suites can more accurately be described as rooms, there is nothing quite so satisfying, in some of the larger ones, as a vaulted stone ceiling overhead and a flat-screen TV that allows you to watch CNN over the tops of your toes.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Domes of Elounda
Elounda , Crete
Greece 72053
Tel: 30 28410 41924
info@domesofelounda.com
www.domesofelounda.com

Rain is something you don't normally look forward to on a holiday, except possibly at the Domes of Elounda, a new hotel on the north coast of Crete where one of the architecturally inspired pleasures is the rainwater-style shower splashing down from beneath the high, domed roof of a couple-size circular Jacuzzi. Domes, as one might imagine, are a design element throughout the resort, which has the look of a Mediterranean village. Another visual constant are the earth tones throughout the 80 suites, all in two-story buildings and all but the junior versions with an hot tub as well. On a quiet stretch of gray-sand beach north of Elounda Village, the resort looks across the water toward the nearby islet of Spinalonga, the setting for British author Victoria Hislop's The Island.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites
Elounda , Crete
Greece 72053
Tel: 30 28410 90300
info@eloundavillas.com
www.eloundavillas.com

Many hotels claim that your every wish is their command, particularly if you have the potential to be a generous tipper. But the Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites may be the only one that will, upon request, fill your private pool with either fresh or salt water. Not everything here is perfect—which is to say that the 18-villa, ten-suite property is not on the sea but on a hill overlooking Mirabello Bay. But beyond that shortcoming, if you consider it one, it's hard to imagine another property in Greece that does a better job of making guests feel the world is theirs. Once you've tired of the pool, for instance, you can spend some time in your private gym, or if you've already eaten at the hotel's restaurant, have a chef come in to prepare a meal—with or without salt.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grecotel Amirandes
Heraklion
Iraklio , Crete
Greece 71100
Tel: 30 28970 41103
sales_am@grecotel.gr
www.amirandes.com

With a palm-fringed artificial lagoon as its centerpiece, this 212-room beach hotel, a dozen miles east of Heraklion on the former site of the Club Creta Sun, makes a dazzling first impression. The architecture of the main building, all arches and slender stone and wood pillars, recalls the palace of a desert prince. The rooms are not quite as princely, having a contemporary minimalist look, although some come with king-size beds plush enough to be worthy of any wedding night. Fifty-eight of the rooms even have private pools. Indeed, fabulous water elements abound here: Aside from the lagoon (along which you can enjoy a late lunch or sunset dinner), there's an Olympic-size main pool. Swimmers should come here rather than venture into the shallow and rocky ocean, although the guests in the villa section have the satisfaction of enjoying their own private beach. After all that sun, though, the best pool is probably the indoor one at the Elixir Spa, where Indian therapists administer Ayurvedic treatments.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Lato Boutique Hotel
15 Epimenidou Street
Iraklio , Crete
Greece 71202
Tel: 30 2810 228103
info@lato.gr
www.lato.gr

This recently reinvented city hotel—gone from dark to dazzling—wows with its public spaces more than it does with its 50 rooms. The minimalist glass, metal, and polished stone decor of the lobby and the upmarket restaurant, Brillant, is suitably trendy, and the view from the roof garden, looking out across the harbor at a Venetian fortress, is romantic enough, on a summer evening, to help elicit an "I will," no matter what the question. In all but the few larger suites, though, space is so tight that once out of bed about all there's room for is getting in each other's way. What makes that shortcoming forgivable, however, is the Lato's location, within walking distance of most of what's interesting about the city (Knossos excepted). The helpfulness of the staff is also noteworthy, beginning with their ability to find a parking space for you in a part of town that often seems to have none.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Stella's Traditional Apartments
Kato Zakros , Crete
Greece 72300
Tel: 30 28430 23739
relax@stelapts.com
www.stelapts.com

Set amid a grove of shade trees less than ten minutes' walk from the beach, these eight stone-built apartments are so tranquil that the height of activity is a nap in a hammock. Although of relatively recent vintage, each air-conditioned apartment, with kitchen and veranda, has an appropriately rustic look, complete with a decorating scheme that relies heavily on farm instruments. A word of warning, though: Profess even the slightest boredom, and Stella and her husband, Elias (who are perhaps overly enthusiastic hikers, having trekked even in the Himalayas), are likely to lead you along some of the area's many, sometimes challenging, trails, or even happily lend you Elias's climbing ropes.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.