The Grecotel Creta Palace is a five-star resort on the island of Crete, Greece. And after spending a week enjoying the hotel, its grounds which are set up like a picturesque Greek village, and all of its amenities, I’ve put together this in-depth review of everything you’d need to know about the resort before booking.
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Located just ten minutes from Rethymo’s city centre, Grecotel Creta Palace’s location couldn’t be better—especially if you’re hiring a car to explore the island, which I highly recommend you do. And with modern rooms, speciality dining locations, and activities to suit all ages; it really is an all-round resort that you’ll want to return to time and time again.
If you do want to explore outside the resort, (a great rainy day option as other areas may not have the sane weather,) you will need to factor the cost of a hire car or taxi as there is not much within walking distance. We opted to hire a car for a couple of day trips and other activities- but also spent a lot of time onsite, in the resort as there is so much to do.
Here is our tried and tested review (paid for by us) of the five-star family hotel to help make your decision that little bit easier.
Rooms at the Grecotel Creta Palace
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One thing I particularly love about the Grecotel Creta Palace is the various different room types on offer. From double rooms with sea views to superior family bungalows, whether you’re a family of three or a family of seven, there is a room type to suit you and all of your needs.
During our stay at the Grecotel Creta Palace, we stayed in a deluxe family ‘bungalow’ with a balcony. The room featured a large double bed and a separate room with two single beds for our daughters to sleep in. Our bungalow was up a flight of stairs but there are ground options available too.
Plus, there was a little sofa, a table and chairs, and the bathroom included a bathtub, which is always handy when travelling with little ones.
All rooms at the Grecotel Creta Palace—regardless of their size—also boast air conditioning, minibars, and flat-screen TVs. There is no kettle but you can ask for one.
You can take a look at all of the Grecotel Creta Palace room options over on Booking.com.
Restaurants at the Grecotel Creta Palace
The Grecotel Greta Palace is one of those hotels that, if you didn’t want to, you wouldn’t need to leave for the entire duration of your stay. Thanks to the hotel’s ten restaurants and bars, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are catered for, all of which span various different cuisines to suit all taste buds.
The first restaurant option at the Creta Palace is the Labyrinth Atrium, which is part patisserie, part grill house, and part charcuterie. The food hall was inspired by a Mediterranean courtyard.
So, you can expect open-concept cool verandas and breezy patios that are ideal for the restaurant’s buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast buffet is one of the best we have encountered during our travels.
Second on the Grecotel Creta Palace restaurant list is the Barbarossa Fish Restaurant, which will leave all seafood lovers in awe. The Barbarossa is only open for dinner from 7 p.m. However, the sunset light combined with the restaurant’s tantalising seafood dishes is the epitome of a Greek island evening meal.
If you’re after a more meaty dining experience, then look no further than Grecotel Creta Palace’s third restaurant, the Golden Dragon Steak and Sushi Restaurant. As the name suggests, this restaurant serves up steak dishes as well as Asian cuisine. And their portion sizes are fairly generous, so be hungry!
One of our favourite restaurants when we stayed at the Grecotel Creta Palace, was actually the Zeus and Amalthia Sky Bar and Restaurant. And with just one look at the view, you’d understand why.
Again, the sky bar is only open of an evening. But it makes for a really fancy meal with one of the best views of the sunset. It’s definitely a restaurant not to miss.
Another unique experience is the AGRECO FARM TAVERNA – a traditional farm which offers a tour of the vineyards and dinner. Well worth it! Kids can pick olives, see pomegranates grow and then taste the delicious produce from farm to plate.
For those times when you’re having too much fun relaxing by the pool, the Princess Ariadne poolside Brasserie has a fantastic selection of cafe food and seafood, so you don’t even need to leave your sun longer—and let’s be honest, that’s what holidays are all about, right?
Plus, if all that wasn’t enough, if you’ve made your way down to the Grecotel Creta Palace’s private beach, then the Caretta Caretta Beach Bar also has light snacks for you to graze on.
Families holidaying with kids should know that kids up until the age of 12 years old can enjoy all-day snacks at Grecoland from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids will also have access to the tasty corner lunch buffet at the main restaurant (Labrinth Atrium) from 12:30 to 2 pm.
Plus, some of the speciality dining options which I’ve mentioned above offer free kids dining along with free refreshments.
If you do want to venture out of the hotel for some food, then here are some of the Best Restaurants in Crete for Families.
Amenities at the Grecotel Creta Palace
Two hotel amenities that you’re likely to use most during your stay at Grecotel Creta Palace are the pools and the private beach. However, the hotel has various other amenities, including free parking and a small onsite shop that will really complete your stay.
Pools and Private Beach
Strictly for the use of hotel guests only, the hotel’s 300m sandy and pebbled beach has been awarded Blue Flag status. And offers up plenty of water-based activities for your little ones to take part in.
We found that the water was absolutely perfect for kids of all ages, as there were barely any waves, and the water clarity was excellent. With changing cabins, sunbeds, umbrellas, and showers to make use of, as well as a waiter service, you really do have everything you need for a relaxing day out on the sand.
If you don’t fancy getting sandy, however, then the hotel’s pools are a great alternative. The Grecotel Creta Palace features one large freshwater main pool, one kids pool with two waterslides, and an indoor freshwater pool that is ideal for those who want a relaxing swim.
During our stay, as I’m sure you can imagine, the kid’s pool with two water slides was a huge hit with my girls. It actually got to the point where it was hard to persuade them to do anything else. But it did mean that they slept incredibly well every night, however. So, I guess it was a win-win for everyone.
For more Crete beach options, check out the Best Beaches in Crete for Families.
Another great thing about the Grecotel Creta Palace is the fact that they have their very own kids’ club, Grecoland. Grecoland gives kids the chance to partake in creative activities, sports, and beach games with other children their age.
Plus, the indoor and outdoor playgrounds are an additional space for little ones to blow off some steam.
Grecoland also puts on discos and parties of an evening. So your kids will be having fun right up until bedtime.
I absolutely love kids clubs when we go on holidays. Not only do they give us parents a break, but they also allow our kids to socialise and have fun with other children who have similar interests.
This one is more tailored for younger ones, so those aged 9 and above may feel it’s a bit young for them.
Seafront Elixir Spa and 24-Hour Gym
If you do get some time away from your kids, then the Seafront Elixir Spa has an indoor pool, an indoor whirlpool, saunas, massage rooms, and a beauty salon. You can also take part in fitness activities that the hotel puts on or work up a sweat in the 24-hour gym.
Sports and Entertainment
If you’re one of those people who can’t sit still on holiday and enjoy taking part in sports, then the Grecotel Creta Palace has tennis courts, soccer pitches, a mountain bike centre, horse riding, and a golf club.
You can also head down to the beach and water ski, jet ski, scuba dive, parasail, canoe, and banana boat before enjoying the nightly entertainment of live music performances, dance parties, and entertainment shows.
Pros of the Grecotel Creta Palace
After spending a week at the Grecotel Creta Palace, here are some of the things that really stood out to me.
- The hotel staff are incredibly friendly, which only enhanced our stay even further.
- The Grecotel Creta Palace is only a ten-minute drive to Rethymno centre. So you’re in close proximity to the city’s main attractions and the myriad of cosy corridors to amble along and stumble on welcoming tavernas.
- All the rooms at Grecotel are modern, spacious, and suitable for families.
- The kids’ club really is a fantastic perk with a small playground and arts and crafts plus a movie or disco in the evenings.
- One of the pools has waterslides and the hotel is on the beach.
- Having the option between the private beach or the hotel’s swimming pools meant we were never bored or stuck for things to do.
- With six great restaurants and snack places to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to food.
- There is a mini market on site where you can purchase snacks, suncream, and other essentials.
- The grounds of the Grecotel are extremely beautiful, especially at sunset.
Cons of the Grecotel Creta Palace
And although our stay at Grecotel Creta Palace was exceptional, there are a few cons that may determine whether it is the right hotel in Rethymo for you.
- The Grecotel Creta Palace may not be the most relaxing accommodation type for couples as you’ll be sharing pools and restaurants with families.
- As it is a five-star resort, prices are on the higher end, especially in peak summer, which may not suit everyone’s budget.
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