We were recently contacted by Seacrete Hotels to ask if we would be interested in coming out to Crete to review their all-inclusive family hotel, the Kiani Beach Resort. This would be for the last five days of the Easter holidays before the children when back to school. Considering the most dreadful rain we had for almost three weeks in a row here in the UK, we jumped at the chance to search for some sea and sunshine.
I’ve never really thought too much about all-inclusive resorts. We have often had villas for the last few years as we felt it was easier. We had only had one experience of an all-inclusive hotel which wasn’t very good and we hadn’t returned. Kiani Beach Resort were keen to show us what the experience should be like.
We flew with Easyjet which was around a four-hour flight. We had pre-purchased the Keep Them Quiet bags full of things to entertain the children on the flight, which are especially pre-made for their age group. This kept them quiet for around an hour on the flight rummaging through the bag for little surprises.
Once we arrived at Chania Airport, we were welcomed by our taxi driver who was holding up a sign saying, ‘GUILTY MOTHER’ which really made us chuckle! Welcome to Chania! After a pleasant thirty minute transfer from Chania airport, we were warmly welcomed into the hotel with beaming smiles. This set the tone for the friendly, family feel atmosphere we could expect for the days ahead.
We were on the VIP all inclusive package which was a bonus as gave us access to some other benefits such as a welcome package on arrival, 3 branded drinks (such as Amstel beer) every day, free access to the gym, an hour of tennis a day and faster Wi-Fi services). In fact, the Wi-Fi was almost better than we have at home!
We had a sea-view family room which had plenty of space for the four of us. In fact, even the bed was larger than I was expecting it to be which is always a nice surprise! We wandered down to the beach bar where we could help ourselves to a drink of any kind (apart from spirits which are extra). The children swiftly noticed the crepe bar, where you can go up and have a crepe made for you anytime between 11:00am and 6pm. Our son was straight there in the queue saying, “two crepe with chocolate please!”. I think all his hopes and dreams came true in that moment!
Like most family holidays, the children were happiest around the pools (there is a main pool and a toddler pool for splashing around). Our children spent hours jumping on the variety of inflatable rings which other families had left behind so the new guests could enjoy them. There was a real sense of community and sharing here which really resonated with me. Once again, something we had not experienced before.
Aswell as the pools, there is a large pirate ship play area, a playroom with pool tables and arcades for slightly older children aswell as a tennis court, volleyball court and kids football pitch. At this point, I must talk to you about the amazing animation team. Quite honestly, they made our holiday. The animation team are here everyday (apart from Wednesday which is there day off), they have a number of activities kids (and adults) can take part in.
The majority of the animation speak a number of languages which is impressive in itself. Both Momo and Manolo speak at least four languages each! Throughout the day, the animation team would come and ask the children if they would like to join into an activity in an encouraging way without ever being pushy with the adults (or the children) which was brilliantly balanced. Manolo was a huge hit with our kids (as shown below).
The children loved the activities which included t-shirt painting, making animal masks, football, French boules and most evenings were rounded off with a mini disco at 8pm. Come on...who doesn’t enjoy a bit of Gangnam Style? The kids loved it and we all know that happy kids...means happy parents!
And, just in case the adults are feeling left out, the team here encourage plenty of light exercise, so you can easily join in Zumba, fitness classes, aqua-aerobics, pilates and yoga (without any pressure to do so). We did most of the them and loved it! Crepes and yoga - that's balance right?
Once you’ve burned a few calories, you might be thinking about what’s for lunch or dinner. The food here is excellent and I was pleasantly surprised. The Manager, Antonio was very attentive and looked after our needs every evening during our meals. On Greek night, we enjoyed some traditional greek dancing and by the end of the evening, almost all the adults (and children) were up dancing, holding hands and learning some basic steps from the experts. Me included!
Food wise, there really is something for everyone (not a burger in sight). There were soups, a variety of salads, pasta, fish/meat dishes, along with traditional Cretan dish and desserts. There is also a child friendly section with chips, pizza, chicken stripes, vegetables and other things to suit different tastes. We know how fussy our little eaters can be, so we didn’t have to worry here.
The Kiani Beach Resort is, as you might expect, is right on the beach. There is a lovely stretch of beach right in front of the pool and beach bar areas. If you walk five minutes along the beach to the right, the scenery is beautiful and tranquil. I loved it. If you fancy a leisurely stroll, you can walk along from the beach to Kalyves which takes around 30/40 minutes with plenty of traditional restaurants and cafes there.
As a final top tip, I would strongly recommend spending a morning or an early evening in the Chania old town and port. It is full of colour and rustic charm as you might expect in an old port. A must see and only a 20 minute taxi ride from the hotel.
I feel like I could write about this place all day, but I don’t want to tell you too much more as you might want to explore this for yourself. We had a brilliant five nights here and the children were genuinely sad when we left. They had made friends here, which we hope we will see again.
In summary, if holidays are about making memories, then the Kiani Beach Resort know the secret for making those memories truly special. Special thanks to Manolo, Iva (Animation team), Antonio (Manager) and the Seacrete Hotels marketing team for their kind hospitality.
Note: The Kiani Beach Resort is currently undergoing a large expansion. This did not disrupt our stay or our sleep; but the new part will be open later this year. It is a modern build, including more rooms, a nature trail and a luxury spa. We can’t wait to come back and see the expansion!
This was a complimentary stay with Seacrete Hotels but all content, opinions and photographs are my own. For further information on the Kiani Beach Resorts and Seacrete Hotels, please visit https://www.seacretehotels.com/