Hotel review: St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel, Crete

St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas is a five-star hotel situated on a peninsula in the sought-after Mediterranean resort of Agios Nikolaos on the east coast of Crete.
Date published: 10/04/2012
5 / 5 stars

Hoping to escape the October gloom? Then we highly recommend catching some Cretan rays at St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, a five-star hotel on a peninsula in the sought-after Mediterranean resort of Agios Nikolaos.

First impressions
After setting off from a rain-lashed England, pulling up in gloriously balmy Greece alone would have been enough to set our spirits soaring. So when the St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Spa gates opened and revealed a cobblestoned, bougainvillea-bedecked courtyard, a frisson of excitement bubbled inside. The reception area is enhanced with beautiful beach-scene pictures painted by a local artist, whose work can be seen adorning the walls of the rooms and restaurants throughout the rest of the hotel. There's even an on-site art gallery next to the main pool, showcasing a number of local painters' creations, which makes a wonderful pit-stop after a day soaking up the sun - and the views over the Med - at the infinity-edged swimming area.

The owner of St Nicolas Bay is a successful architect, and more than one staff member described the hotel as not just a business, but his absolute passion and pride. He has successfully blended the hotel with the stunning coastline, carving some of the villas and the pools into the rocks, using an abundance of glass to bring the outside in, allowing for excellent views in as many places as possible.

Everything here is styled to reflect "authentic Greece" with natural materials used throughout (white-plaster walls, marble-lined bathrooms). The mature gardens are also a joy, with a trip to the pool allowing you to enjoy the scents of Cretan basil, oregano, thyme and a host of herbs on your way.

What's to love?
Apart from the obvious (non-stop sunshine (albeit with quite strong winds at times), a private serviced beach - yep, you don't even have to leave your lounger to quench your thirst - the soul-reviving ocean vista, a spa with spectacular scenery, five lovely restaurants) what really stood out was the charming service. The staff had a refreshing nothing-is-too-much-trouble attitude, and bend over backwards to make sure you're happy and catered for. Many of them have worked there for years, and the manager described them as a "family" - something that really came across.

This place is perfect if you...
Are a couple looking for boutique bliss, or a family seeking upmarket fun in the sun. As a couple without children, we weren't bothered by the kids playing on the beach. There's enough room - and activities, including watersports - to keep everybody happy, and even the stunning pool area wasn't overrun with little ones, as they had their own pool to splash around in.

Get me there!
Accommodation:St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. Double rooms from £176.00. For more information or to book visit, or call 020 7380 3658.
Flights: Return flights to Crete are available from On the Beach from as little as £100 per person. To book your next holiday, visit or call the UK call centre 0871 911 0202.

See all the holiday highlights here:

St Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas, Greece

St Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas, Greece

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