by Telegraph Travel experts, The Telegraph, August 10, 2018
An expert guide to the best all-inclusive hotels in the Greek Islands, including the top places to stay for kid's clubs, family-friendly facilities, watersports, beach access, swimming pools, spas, tennis courts and rooms with sea views.
Aeolos Beach Hotel
While the resort is large it’s far more charming than the average all-inclusive, mimicking a traditional Corfiot village. Splash around the two pools, kick back in the spa and sauna (each guest is entitled to a free 15-minute taster massage), or enjoy a choice of tennis, beach volleyball, water polo and aqua aerobics. Nightly entertainment for adults and children features great quality music and local dance. Beyond the buffets are seven-course private dining, La Spiaggia Italian restaurant, and à la carte Paralia restaurant, serving well-presented pan-European fare.
Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort
This adults-only beach resort, cradled by limestone cliffs above Agios Gordios village, enjoys some of the bluest views on Corfu’s west coast. As well as the sea-facing outdoor pool, there is a heated indoor pool and posh modern spa, including sauna and hot tub. The entertainment programme offers a weekly traditional dance night, beginner’s Greek lessons, and musical events, plus there’s pool and table tennis. As in many large resorts, there’s a shopping centre and hair salon. Five restaurants keep things interesting.
For an all-inclusive resort, this is a class act: the comfort of knowing you will have nothing else to pay for combined with five-star facilities and service. The resort consists of two buildings, Sea and Sky, each with a reception, lobby, shop, bars, restaurants and spa. Stretching between them is the long sandy beach and a beautifully designed array of pools. Included in a stay is a sunset cruise, dinners at a selection of restaurants around the island, an access pass for a choice of three of the island’s museums and the use of a Mini for the day. For such a large operation, the standard of food is high, if not exceptional. There are seven restaurants serving à la carte Greek, Italian, Thai and Mediterranean dishes.
Daios Cove’s five levels are served by a funicular, which trundles guests between lobby, spa, restaurants and the resort’s heated outdoor pool. Despite its size, this Greek-hamlet-style resort is very low-key and friendly service lends a distinct village ambiance. Facilities include tennis courts, several outdoor pools and a comprehensive spa, with a Finnish sauna, indoor pool, hydro-massage facilities and treatments by Anne Semonin. There's also a Crèche Club supervised by UK childcare experts Worldwide Kids, a game-stocked kid’s entertainment room and dozens of well-monitored watersports activities. Every one of the resort’s rooms, suites and villas have wall-to-ceiling windows with views over the clear waters of Vathi Bay.
White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort
This friendly hotel attracts mainly families in season, although honeymooners love the privacy of the spacious beachfront Yali suites. The resort is linked by paths leading through carefully tended gardens. Striking design touches include the glass walled reception, which has panoramic views over the resort's large central pool towards the sea. Four other medium-sized pools are shared by the rooms grouped around them and there is a dedicated kids’ pool. There is also a kids’ club, outdoor cinema, tennis courts, gym and water sports, and a spa. Guest can also visit Agreco, the resort’s traditional farm with its own mini zoo. Four à la carte restaurants include the Beach Club, serving a modern take on Cretan cuisine and The White Palace restaurant serving French cuisine.
Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa
There’s a home-from-home feel to this friendly resort. The style is elegantly solid: sizeable, stone walled villas surrounded by carefully tended shrubs and flowers; well-watered lawns; restaurants with stunning sea views; a smart, glass-walled spa and lovely extra touches including the little Cretan museum in Ayeri restaurant. Pools – including a peaceful adults-only and a dedicated kids pool – are dotted around the grounds. Spacious classic and deluxe bungalows have bathrooms that are almost as big as the bedrooms, plus a terrace and a strip of lawn with sun loungers to soak up sea or sunset views. Some suites and bungalows share medium-sized pools; the luxury seafront suites have their own.
This all-inclusive resort sits on north Crete's rocky coastline. Most of the facilities are downhill on the beach side of the property, which means that guests on the mountain side have a long hike back up hill to their rooms. There is a good-sized main pool and other smaller pools dotted around the property. The spa facilities include a large pool with a full circuit of hydro massage jets, and a sauna/hammam. Food is really the strong point at the hotel. Cosmos is the main restaurant for breakfast and buffet lunch, and for both meals there is a vast choice of local and international specialties (try the salad-stuffed Greek pork gyros dripping with Greek yoghurt tzatziki).
Cavo Spada Luxury Resort and Spa
A friendly, small-scale, comfortable resort surrounded by lush countryside and overlooking a pebble beach near Chania. The cube-like rooms, mainly on two levels, cluster around the large and pretty public pool facing out onto a grassy strip of land with open sea views. This is a resort with a big emphasis on sport (the Swedish ice-hockey team trains here) so facilities are good: a large open-air (but undercover) gym space and modern machines, plus tennis courts and a beach exercise area. There is a large freshwater pool, while the spa has a heated pool, sauna and steam room. Treatments use Anne Semonin products. The grassy lawn scattered with sunbeds opens onto a pretty pebble beach – hard on the feet, but the water is sparkling clear.
Club Marine Palace & Suites
Families are in for a treat at this friendly, all-inclusive, four-star resort with its own aquapark (apparently the largest in a Greek resort), several restaurants, and snack bars serving food day and night. A handful of swimming pools, a Thalasso spa and a small beach ensure there's something for all ages. There are three à la carte restaurants. Riviera (lovely pool views) has a limited menu, but the food is excellent (try the fresh fish with asparagus) and they have a small list of local wines. Bamboo Nero is the Asian restaurant serving carefully prepared Asian fusion dishes, from crispy duck to sushi. Deep Blue gets a sea breeze and serves a good range of snacks, including burgers and souvlaki.
Mitsis Grand Hotel
A luxury beach resort option set on the coast overlooking beautiful beaches and the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. It delivers on facilities. For the active, there’s a large indoor pool and two outdoor seawater swimming pools. For families, there are playgrounds and an outdoor kids’ pool. Concierge services can arrange special tours, day trips and watersports excursions throughout Rhodes. Standard Sea View rooms all have a balcony overlooking one of the pools, and an expansive view of the Aegean Sea. There are nine restaurants on the property including Italian, International, Greek, Mediterranean Asian and Mexican cuisine.
Michelangelo Resort & Spa
Michelangelo Resort and Spa offers the best sea views and the most stunning infinity pool on Kos. It has knockout views to Nísyros and Turkey’s Knidos peninsula. Its updated-Bauhaus exterior, with fetching rock cladding, is softened by lawns and occasionally sparse landscaping. The basement Therme Spa (Thalgo products, open daily) has a pool and three treatment rooms. The Aegean-view, unheated infinity pool, with swim-up bar, is long and deep enough for serious swimming. The sand-and-shingle beach (with sunbeds amd a tamarisk-shaded bar) offers the clean sea typical of Kos’s south shore. Be sure to plump for superior Sea View room.
Contributions by Marc Dubin, Fiona Duncan, Heidi Fuller-Love, Anita Isalska & Marissa Tejada.