When not exploring Knossos, Spinalonga, and Samaria Gorge National Park, it’s nice for families to have a home-base hotel with lots of fun activities for kids. Crete is crawling with great options, but these eight especially stand out for their beachfronts, comfy rooms, and ample kids’ facilities, like animation teams and water parks. Take a look at our picks for the top resorts for families in Crete.
Lyttos Beach Resort is a 150-acre family-friendly hotel with dated interior spaces but beautiful grounds, including a sandy beach with free loungers and a lifeguard. Besides the beach, guests gather at the Olympic-sized pool and water park with a big slides for older kids and adults. Kids also have use of a mini-club, a children's buffet, an outdoor playground with climbing equipment, a wading pool with slides and fountains, and fun supervised activities. The resort also has sports facilities (including 15 tennis courts), a putting range, a biking center with planned excursions, shops, and free self-service laundry machines. Lyttos' 365 rooms have free Wi-Fi, free safes, kettles, and mini-fridges.
Families are particularly welcome at this 680-room upscale all-inclusive on the Aegean. Not only does it feature a nearly 1,200-foot beachfront with water sports and multiple outdoor and indoor pools, there's also a small water park. It has fewer and smaller slides than the one at Lyttos, but Acquaplus Water Park and Star Beach Village & Water Park both within a 15-minute drive of the resort. Other diversions on-site at Creta Maris include a mini-soccer field, archery, tennis, and ping-pong. A children's club provides entertainment, team games, a colorful playground, a game room (for teenagers), and a movie theater. All air-conditioned rooms (including Family Rooms) have balconies or terraces, coffee/tea makers, mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel largely draws couples and families, who love the seafront location, sun and sand, wealth of fun activities, and wide array of dining options.
Avra Imperial Hotel is a luxe beachfront property with modern design and family-friendly atmosphere and facilities. Young guests have plenty to do with two wading pools (in addition to the main saltwater infinity pool), a bright activity space above the lobby, and a huge kids’ club with an outdoor playground (scheduled activities include crafts, hula-hooping, and face-painting). The kids' club here is bigger and more modern than the one at Creta Maris, but Avra lacks Lytttos and Creta Maris' pool with slides. Avra's four restaurants are well-liked; two are buffets that offer international dishes, Cretan specialties, and free breakfast. All 328 rooms come with balconies or terraces, minibars, safes, and flat-screen TVs with panels to connect devices. DVDs player can be requested for a fee (free for suites). Free Wi-Fi is available, though the connection is reportedly weak, and there is also a free wired connection. Some rooms have attached pools, either shared or private. In Family Rooms, half-wall glass dividers separate the living areas with sofas from the bedrooms.
The 245-room Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury property on the northern coast of Crete. Situated on a large sandy beach, guests have access to ample lounge chairs both by the sea or at one of the many outdoor swimming pools (two for kids). There's an all-inclusive package along with several dining options, including the main buffet restaurant. A children's pool with slides, outdoor playground, fun entertainment team geared towards children, and recreational facilities make the property suitable for kids, and the hotel brings in an equal number of families and couples. However, there's no dedicated kids' club here, like there is at Lyttos, Creta Maris, and Avra. Rooms at the hotel range from Classic Rooms with basic amenities to seafront suites with private pools. The more standard rooms are on the small side but include a mini-fridge, flat-screen TV, air-conditioning unit, and safe. Wi-Fi, coffee/tea facilities, and a balcony or terrace are standard as well.
The upscale Minoa Palace Resort is a beachfront resort in Patanias, near a few restaurants and shops but farther from popular tourist sites. Extensive on-site features include four pretty pools (including two for kids), a spa with a decent gym and sauna, and free group fitness classes. Guests under 12 can make use of the kids’ club with a small but cute indoor activity area and an outdoor playground, but there isn't as much kid-geared animation here as there is at Ikaros. Five restaurants and two bars include a main buffet eatery (where free breakfast is served) and seaside spot for adults only. All 254 rooms are comfortably appointed with sitting areas, minibars, and free Wi-Fi.
A short drive from Chania, this hip resort on one of the area's prettiest sandy beaches draws families and couples alike. Ammos has a reputation for personalized service, and thoughtful extras include free pastries in the lobby. Ammos’ pleasant pool, with its basket of pool toys for children and beautiful sea views, is popular with families during the daytime. The pool has an attached kids' section, but note that Minoa has two dedicated kiddie pools and an indoor/outdoor kids' club. Couples and families who enjoy the sea tend to head for the adjacent sandy beach, where there are plenty of sun beds and parasols. The 33 rooms are stylish and minimalist; some are on the small side, but the larger Garden-View Suites are suitable for families.
Candia Park Village is an upper-middle-range, family-friendly beachside resort in the outskirts of Agios Niklaos. Features like a small private beach (shorter and narrower than the one at Ammos), colorful outdoor playground, and two outdoor pools makes this a good spot for a family vacation. The kids' club, Mini Blues, offers children ages 4 to 12 activities ranging from educational games to treasure hunts. Candia Park offers four types of rooms: Sea-View Suites and Seafront Suites (for up to four people), Family Apartments (for up to four people), and Superior Family Apartments (which sleep up to six guests). All are air-conditioned and have separate living rooms and bedrooms, plus furnished balconies and kitchenettes with mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Half-board and all-inclusive plans are available.
Budget leisure travelers looking for clean, basic accommodations may enjoy the 65 studio and one-bedroom apartment-style rooms at the Camari Garden Apartments. A two-pearl property, it's an ideal place for couples seeking an affordable home base for exploring the surrounding area. The most popular features are the two outdoor pools: one for adults and one for kids, both with lovely views of the surrounding mountains and the sea below. The complex also has on on-site marketplace selling basics and an on-site restaurant serving good local cuisine. Unlike Candia Park, there is no kids' club, but a bare-bones recreation room has pool and air-hockey tables.