Daily Mail: Crete – The Greek island where summer never ends!
- Ouzo-inspired dancing, glorious sea views and five-star luxury in Crete
- There’s a new hotel option on the north-east tip of the island, just a 40-minute drive from Heraklion airport
- It used to be called simply Marmin Bay, but has claimed its royal status after a £16 million investment
- It boasts a private beach, five-star service, panoramic views of the island of Kalydon and the Spinalonga peninsula
Sunny holidays go on and on in Crete.
That’s because it’s the most southerly Greek island and temperatures are still toasty well into October.
This year, there’s a new hotel option on the north-east tip of the island in the form of the Royal Marmin Bay Hotel, a mere 40-minute drive from Heraklion airport.
It used to be called simply Marmin Bay, but has claimed its royal status after a £16 million investment that has transformed the place into a deluxe contemporary resort, with a private beach, five-star service, panoramic views of the island of Kalydon and the Spinalonga peninsula — and watersports galore.
There are 88 rooms, many with their own pools or hot tubs. The vibe is slinky luxury. Relaxation is the rule.
On our first evening, we planned to eat in the main restaurant, Poseidon, but, while being escorted to our room in a golf buggy, we were told that men must wear trousers — and I didn’t have any.
So we headed to nearby Elounda for supper and a takeaway pair of linen togs bought from a boutique near the main square.
It turned out that my shorts were perfectly acceptable after all in Poseidon, where one night we attended the traditional Greek jamboree.
After a few confidence-inspiring shots of ouzo, we accepted the invitation to dance, after which I was branded ‘unteachable’ by the waitress-cum-dancer.
Praise was heaped on my girlfriend, however. It was back to the ouzo for me.
The hotel is well positioned, equidistant from the coastal towns of Plaka and Elounda, both a short, £4.50 taxi ride away. Plaka is known for its seafood and is a lovely setting for dinner.
In the livelier Elounda, there are more shops selling traditional Greek bits and pieces. We got out our wallets at an outlet for Bio Aroma, a family-run business specialising in the indigenous Cretan herbs that produce essential oils, lotions and potions.
It was only when we got back to the hotel that we realised that the very same products are stocked at the Royal Marmin Bay’s spa.
Finishing touches are still being made to the hotel, but it’s already a fabulous place in which to prolong the summer.