4.5
Very Good 416 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 416 Reviews
Candia Maris True Magic
Reviewed 5 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.

Club 40-70 with childish entertainment
Reviewed 5 months ago

Candia Maris Review

I’ll try and keep this brief, but cover everything....

The hotel overall is great. We had a superior room, and it really was absolutely lovely. Room 803 is just 20 metres from the beach and has a truly wonderful view of the sea, and is right next to the relax pool.

Despite requests not to reserve sun beds, sadly, we had to resort to the if you can’t beat them mentality, and at 6am we were saving our spot at the quiet pool. By which time, many of the sun beds had already been taken.

We didn’t bother with the other pools, as we preferred the peace and quiet.

The beach is ok. Sun beds not as comfy and the days we tried we couldn’t get a space. It’s not a good beach for walking as the sand is too soft, which is a shame.

The entertainment itself was a bit mixed. We went to 3 shows. The magic show was dire, almost comical. A magician pulling doves out of his sleeves belonged to the 1970’s, but it was redeemed but the acrobatics.

The dancers were really good, they were well choreographed and entertaining.

The singer is absolutely awful. Poor girl is struggling to sing Michael Jackson songs that don’t suit her range or voice at all.

That said, they work tirelessly to keep things fresh with the entertainment and we didn’t see many things twice in the whole two weeks.

The food is absolutely fabulous! Lots of choice and all beautifully cooked. We went twice to the Taverna and once to The Flavour. The taverna was wonderful. Lovely setting and amazing food, we really loved it. We didn’t like The Flavour so much. It was altogether a bit OTT and the food nowhere near as good as the Taverna. I do think it’s cheeky that when you spend so much money on an all inclusive package, you have to pay extra for wine in the speciality restaurants, and it’s expensive at €35 for a bottle of Cava that we found for €8 in the supermarket!

The alcoholic drinks in the hotel are dreadful. The gin and tonics are not drinkable. The wine in restaurants is terrible! Not good for an expensive holiday.

The area around the hotel is a dump! Many empty run down shops and long since closed down restaurants. Such a shame... Ammoudara has been ruined by the all inclusive hotels - we normally go self catering to Greece but circumstances meant we had to cancel an already booked and paid for long haul holiday, hence why we stayed at the Candia Maris.

But, what absolutely ruined this holiday for us was the hideous music most nights that thumped out from the party area in the hotel. Unfortunately this was very close to our room, and it went on from 10pm until midnight almost every night. We asked to move rooms, but that would have meant downgrading so we stayed put! Be aware, if you book a superior room you are not getting any sleep before midnight! We could hear things vibrating in the room and you could feel the beat thumping in your chest as you lay in bed!

It’s a bit like a Club 40s - 70s with childish entertainment and ridiculous rave parties at night. We wouldn’t go again for that reason, but that’s just personal choice. If that’s your thing, then the hotel is perfect.

Brilliant holiday
Reviewed 6 months ago

My husband and i had 2 weeks holiday here recently and this hotel is MAGIC . Its very clean , it has 3 pools lots of sunbeds so no need to get up early and reserve one . The staff are excellent and bar staff also very friendly. The animation team do there jobs very well the shows and games were excellent my husband was the only British person playing the games the rest were germans ( 95/ of hotel were german ) the food was absolutely out of this world , so much choice it was cruise liner quality. We had a lovely time here and would defiantly recommend this hotel from eileen and bill hay or as my hubby was know MR SCOTLAND

Wonderful Wedding Anniversary
Reviewed 6 months ago

What a Resort/Hotel. You are meet on arrival at the door and they take your luggage. Welcome drink and explanation off the All inclusive. I had contacted hotel before arrival to let them know it was our anniversary to which we were upgrade to a full sea view room and had bottle fizzy wine in the room wait for us (made wife feel so special). No wristbands at this hotel so no tan lines(winner). Everyone get a free welcome massage at the spa for 15 mins, its OK no issues but they do try to get you to book another treatment.
Food in main Magico restaurant is excellent and plenty of choice, fresh tasty and lots off it. Staff in the restaurants are helpful, respectful and do go the extra mile to help. As part off the holiday we got to eat at the 2 Al a Carte restaurants, One a Greek taverna and the other with tastes around the Mediterranean. both are wonderful and make a nice change from the buffet style you have for the rest off the week.
The pool area is large, there are 3 pools and plenty off sunbeds. Poll bar is great and the barman has a wonderful sense off humour and makes going for a drink a pleasure.
Room we had was large and cleaned everyday, Tea/Coffee making facilities, safe and fridge(winner).
Entertainment team work really hard and try to keep everything running smoothly. Shows are good but as a warning the amphitheater seats are very low and a little uncomfortable.
On departure they come an wave you away with is nice touch.
This is a observation not an issue but the hotel/resort is predominately full off German customers. while we were there i would say they out numbered any other nationality about 95 - 1.
Overall a great resort and would return.

Mr Drury
Reviewed 6 months ago

Lovely hotel stayed here 9th October for a week.food was nice but same thing every day.food always Luke warm
The room was very small for 2 people very dated .bathroom needs updating.and very dark.
Drinks where just drinkable.beer ok .10 German channels 2 English. On tv .there was no toilets outside the wunderbar so had to go down a floor to use toilets. I thought all hotels had a toilet on the same level as the bar.
I wouldn’t rate this hotel 5 star only 4.so what we paid I won’t be coming back .