4.5
Very Good 427 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Rate includes daily international breakfast and a spa credit per room, per stay
  • All rooms have sea views
  • The wellness center is one of the island’s best
  • Proximity to the palace at Knossos and Heraklion
  • Ample activities, including tennis, golf and water sports

What To Know

  • Food can be hit or miss; skip the dinner buffet in favor of options in nearby Heraklion
  • Peitho restaurant is open on Mondays only
  • Resort is geared more for couples than families
  • WiFi is free in the lobby and is available in the guestrooms for approximately $5 for 60 minutes

Amenities

  •  Bar
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Balcony Bedroom Honeymoon Resort Scenic views property Suite living room home cottage Villa

Overview

The Review

The Candia Maris takes its cue from King Minos, the mythical Minoan ruler whose palace at Knossos is thought to have spanned 6 acres and contained some 1,300 rooms. With 285 rooms, this destination resort on Crete’s northern coast isn’t quite as palatial — though in acreage the property is nearly double the size of the royal residence. Translation: You’ll never have to fight for a spot by the pool.

Set on Amoudara Beach, a few miles from the capital city, Heraklion, the resort is a welcome retreat from Crete’s many tourist attractions. And while this particular stretch of sand isn’t the island’s most pristine, it is one of the top spots for windsurfing. The property has tennis courts on-site and access to Crete’s only 18-hole golf course, with views of Mount Ida and the Aegean Sea.{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/11167/pgal-33908-1311699534-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The casual Taverna sits directly on the Aegean and serves eclectic fare, including fresh fish and pizza.”}

Opened in 1995, the Candia Maris underwent a head-to-toe makeover in 2008, which means a new sophistication, especially in bungalow-like out buildings, where 59 blue-on-beige rooms and suites have a distinctly Mediterranean feel. All have the requisite mod cons, like flat-screen televisions and WiFi, plus uninterrupted sea views.

The renovation also included a complete overhaul of the spa, now one of the island’s best. Spread out over almost 15,000 square feet, the wellness center offers a full range of treatments that harness the power of seawater — through baths, steam therapies, hydromassage, sea algae scrubs and seaweed wraps. And, attached to the spa, the medical center is staffed with health specialists who can tailor a wellness plan for your stay.

Bottom line, Candia Maris won’t win any design awards. Though it’s a bit banal, the hotel’s full roster of amenities, proximity to the sights (in addition to the palace at Knossos there’s Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum) and sweeping views of the Aegean make for an island stay worth experiencing.

How to Get There

Candia Maris Resort and Spa
Andrea Papandreou 17
Gazi, 71414 Greece

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 427 Reviews
DISAPPOINTING
Reviewed 1 week ago

We arrived after a short transfer and were promptly escorted to our room. The room was adequate with hanging space and drawers which was a bonus. We overlooked the relax pool and the evening entertainment area. Unfortunately there was loud music every night till around midnight. The entertainment was suited for the under 40's and very loud.

The following morning we explored the beach and surrounding area. The beach was like quicksand and very difficult to walk on and quite gritty. The front of the hotel on the main road was very derelict and run down. About half a mile up the road were some of the usual tacky shops.

Around the pool areas there were plenty of comfortable sunbeds and no need to reserve any which was good. The large pool was where the animation team did some games etc, with again very loud music. We tended to go to the smaller pool where the aqua aerobics and water polo took place. There is a relax and much quieter pool we never used as there was no bar or toilets nearby. The spa girls and photographers where always walking round asking us if we wanted massages and photo shoots etc, very annoying if you are having a nap and get awakened by them. Close to the mini market and pool was a pizza station which served very good pizza's.

On a weekly basis there was a "gala night" where you get half a glass of sparkles and a saxophonist, but if you arrived after 20.00 they where gone !! Food was the same as any other night. Must say the desserts were excellent.

All staff were very friendly and helpful and could not do enough for you. There was no service however.

Hotel was 80-90% German, and on the whole were quite rude and scruffy, but having said that so were the English we met. There is no need to take your best dresses ladies as you will look out of place.

The Wunderbar was open 24 hours and on the reception level, however the only toilets were down a flight of stairs to the dining room level.

Special mention to the pizza girl and Papa Yannis at the pool bar, whose knowledge of English football was amazing.

Top hotel
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Another excellent holiday. The hotel is superb , the food fantastic. Mostly German guests but us brits had a great time. Great staff and entertainment team. Big shout out to Lauren and Charlotte, two of the dancers ,who made our stay great fun. All the team work so hard, two many to mention but we'll done to jj who leads the team. Also thanks to my friend 'Papa Giannis', who worked hard at the pool bar. A top hotel with great facilities , you can't go wrong.

Excellent hotel
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We’ve just returned from a two week stay at Candia Maris. First impressions were excellent, we arrived just as the snack bar was closing and the reception staff were really quick so we could get something to eat. You’re shown to your room which is so helpful!

The room was lovely, we had a partial sea view so looked out over both the mountains and the sea. Nice and clean and the housekeeping staff were always really friendly.

The rest of the hotel is set over quite a big area, including an amphitheatre for the shows, a party area, three different outdoor pools (we never went to the quiet pool but it looked lovely) an indoor pool/hammam and various sports areas. It has a great beach front outlook and a big clean beach with parasols and sun beds. We never had any issues with getting sun beds, even when we arrived later at the pool.

The food and drink is amazing - we ate our own body weights in gyros and tzatziki, but there was a massive selection of food, we never got bored of the food in two weeks. The speciality restaurants are well worth a visit and the staff are so friendly and helpful. The cocktails are really good, our only request would be for pina colada to be added to the (extensive) list! You can’t buy any premium drinks here, but the local ones are great so wasn’t an issue.

The evening entertainment was varied, including shows, a silent disco which was a great laugh and a beach party just some of the fun. There is also a disco from midnight some nights if you want to dance the night away.

By far the best aspect of the hotel are the entertainment team and great array of activities. We loved the boccia and shuffleboard with Tamara, but also tried out a few different exercise classes which were all done really well (Julia puts you through your paces in the Fight Gym!) The entertainment team always made an effort to say hello and it felt so genuine, no forced friendliness. You even get a wee send off when you leave!

Would absolutely recommend this hotel, and we look forward to returning.

Fantastic hotel
Reviewed 1 month ago

Staff are friendly and helpful , Harris took our cases to our rooms and explained where everything was and and how to use the air con , all the staff were lovely , the food was amazing with so many healthy options , we had a lovely relaxing week and would return

Candia Maris True Magic
Reviewed 7 months ago

Great hotel has everything you could want or need , we stayed in a superior room it was worth every penny. The staff are professional, helpful and always had a smile on their faces,that makes such a difference. Bottled water delivered to your room every day, free
Wi Fi even in your room, great restaurants so much choice and excellent service in them. The majority of the guests were German but that was not a problem . We would
Definitely recommend this hotel and would return again ourselves.