Travelling with a baby
In search for the perfect marriage (no pun intended) between luxury boutique and family friendly holidays, honorary contributor Stefanie ended up in the last week of August at Daios Cove with kids – one of the best hotels in Crete.
The overwhelming conclusion is that Daios Cove certainly gets as close to luxury boutique as possible while accommodating the needs of younger travellers too. Perhaps this conclusion is a function of the smaller size of Daios Cove when compared to other 5 star family friendly luxury resorts in Europe. Here you don’t find 3, 5 or 7 swimming pools: there is just one! And it has filtered sea water so it is on the chilly side. Of course, to make up for this, suites and villas come with a private swimming pool. Those have filtered sea water too and they are on the chilly side as well. And actually that was the best part of our holiday! Without an overwhelming choice of swimming pools and with the temperature differential between the sea and the pool being negligible, our children discovered the pleasure of swimming in the sea, building sand castles and collecting sea shells. Combine that with the spectacular view of the cove, and it made for an idyllic holiday!
The resort is terraced on several levels and although it is possible to walk or go up/down the stairs by foot, if you have children you are likely to use the funicular. Our suite was located in an ideal part of the resort, which means that we only had to take one funicular. However, another family that we befriended had to request a change of rooms because getting to their original one required taking two funiculars and that impacted the quality of their holiday. So I recommend checking with the hotel in advance to find out where your room is located, as they are fully booked at peak times. There is the kids club de rigueur, which takes children as young as 4 months. Great for our one year old! However, our nearly 4 years old and nearly 6 years old found it a little too boring so they preferred to make friends at the beach and cause mischief with them.
There is supervised dinner for children between 6pm and 7pm and every evening there is a party at the kids club from 7pm to 10pm, which is absolutely fantastic, so the parents can enjoy some quiet time! The kids’ dinner is a bit underwhelming. It is a ‘buffet’ with about 4 options but most of them are Greek food so our children weren’t too keen on that. They ended up eating with us at 7pm, in about 10 minutes, so they could promptly rush to the kids party.
The guests staying in suites and villas have access to the pool side restaurant for breakfast, which is absolutely fantastic. Great view and a calmer oasis than the main restaurant! The pool side restaurant turns into an a-la-carte restaurant in the evening. We tried it once. Unsurprisingly, sea food dominated the menu. It was fine dining at its best – with the usual lack of atmosphere that comes with fine dining, unfortunately. For lunch, our favourites were the Greek taverna restaurant and the beach club café. The food was great and the glasses of rose glistened in the sun light! We went out to the nearby village of Agios Nikolaos, a quintessentially Mediterranean village, for dinner one evening. We really loved it and wish we didn’t leave this for our last evening in Crete, as it would have been great to go more than once!
What we really loved about Daios Cove with kids is that it is smaller and our children were able to make friends and play with them outside of a supervised kids club setting.
Whether you are at the pool or at the beach, you can pretty much see the entire perimeter of the area no matter where you are sitting, so even young children feel like they have the freedom to run around unrestricted, while the parents know that they can actually keep an eye on them at all time. For me the holiday reminded me of my own childhood holidays, where choice was more limited but fun was in abundance!
And to conclude, I must mention this again: the view, the landscape, the surrounding are absolutely stunning in their simplicity and vibrancy – making Daios truly one of the best hotels in Crete!
Zenbabytravel visited Crete first time in 2004 with Greek friends and fell in love with it. Over the years we explored 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 – with the last two being by far our favourites. We also got back with a baby in tow to White Palace close to Rethymnon with friends and their kids – article in here.