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Grecotel Amirandes, Iraklio  

Iraklio , Crete
Greece 71100
Tel: 30 28970 41103
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

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.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: As throughout the Greek Islands, September is a month of fine weather, absent the crowds of midsummer.

Which room to book: Any of the Deluxe Bungalow Suites with a sea view.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Beach, Gym, Pool, Spa

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