British summers could be occasionally lovely in terms of weather and English coast is spectacular but the swimming and dipping in the sea always problematic and definitely too cold for both parents and babies. When younger, I used to encourage myself with a couple of beers and I do remember particularly the stunning beach of Iona island..; however, these days, feeling just brave enough to dip the tips of my toes and our baby. So after a great week in Cornwall, friends managed easily to mesmerise us to join them in Crete and enjoy the warm Mediterranean. A minimalistic white hotel with few board options, Grecotel White Palace proved one of the best places to stay in Crete.
Grecotel White Palace has been recently renovated and having paid a supplement for seaview, we ended up with a nice suite with separate living and bedroom area separated by some sliding doors, sleek and white. Perfect layout for families, baby used to sleep in his own room and parents enjoying quite often some grown up time over cocktails and movies. Another funky and quite useful feature was a a separate shower cubicle in the bedroom, just next to the hanging rails – we really liked both functionality and designery simplicity.
The suite was also just by the second swimming pool, an adults mostly infinity pool, so often baby naps time would just pop out for a 20 minutes and swim in peace.
Grecotel common areas are quite bare, sleek and mostly white with the occasional turquoise of the sea delighting our eyes – Mykonos colour scheme like and chill out feeling.
Wide relaxation area outside and inside just above the restaurant plus another bar with areas overlooking the beach – 1 level up for guests not willing to muddle in the sand.
The beach is ok-ish, a couple of little golfs, some pebbles but overall the sea is calm, clean and baby/ toddler friendly.
The restaurant gets rather busy lunch and early dinners, with maitre running around to please the guests and keep an eye on stuff. Buffets were nice, always Greek specialities and fresh fish, fresh fruit and vegetables always in abundance.
As expected, plenty of parents with babies but also some couples only, a mix of Europeans and few Russians, all though aiming for best possible taste. Wi fi working okish, though a bit problematic when walking around. The kids & grown ups pool, as expected, very popular.
Rethymnon is 20 minutes away, we spent one afternoon walking around the cobbled streets, the fortress and the port – lots of nice restaurants including baby playing areas. Nice touch for parents wishing for a grown up dinner and a short break from entertaining the small ones.
Being in love with Crete since 2004 when we visited first time with Greek friends, we were delighted to return with our baby. Having also visited extensively the island, including Heraklion with its stunning Byzantine churches, Venetian wall and harbour fortress; the famous Knossos with the Minotaurus legends, residential Ierapetra, enchanting Agios Nikolaos and stunning Elounda, we can truly say that is is one of the best places to stay in Crete. Agios Nikolaos and Elounda remain however our favourites and if you feel like us, do check Daios Cove impressions from our friend and honorary contributor Stefanie.