ADVERTORIAL • May 2018
Lounging by the pool, exploring local haunts, dining under the stars, partying until dawn… what do you look for when jet-setting with your significant other? These stellar resorts in Crete and Gran Canaria will tick every box, whatever your holiday criteria
If you share a love of aesthetics, then the minimalist Minos Beach Art Hotel (pictured above) is for you. While the dreamy whitewashed villas, aromatic gardens and sparkling sea views are picture perfect, it is the outdoor sculpture garden which is this Cretan five-star’s USP. With over 45 works scattered around the sprawling grounds, including an underwater installation, it’s an art-lover’s dream. Culture over, kick back on one of the two private beaches and let the gently lapping Aegean Sea, and the serenity of the place, wash over you.
Those with chill-time high on their holiday agenda will love the adult-only Bohemia Suites & Spa in Gran Canaria (pictured above). This five-star boutique is one of the island’s best hotels (it’s racking up the awards including Europe’s most romantic resort), where the vibe is as funky as the decor. Lounging is obligatory, whether it’s by the palm-fringed pool or on your balcony overlooking the nearby Maspalomas dunes. But it’s the Siam Spa that really shines; the focus is on Asian treatments and the Thai massage is not to be missed. Breathe in the scent of lemongrass and relax. Over at Minos Beach Art Hotel, Cretan hospitality is taken to new levels with in-room massages, meaning you can enjoy treatments on your veranda, or even the beach.
Surrounded by a clear (and warm between April to September) sea, Crete is a no-brainer for water sports fanatics, while those who love to walk, climb, bike and ride will appreciate the diversity inland, from the majestic White Mountains to the craggy gorges. Whatever your preferred pastime, The Royal Blue Resort (pictured above) in Crete has your back. Swim, snorkel and scuba off the property’s private beach; or practise your serve at either of the two outdoor tennis courts where you can book private lessons upon request. Or, take part in diving lessons at Minos Beach Art Hotel, exploring ancient underwater ruins, shipwrecks, caves and shoals under the watchful eye of the certified Pelagos Dive Centre.
Who doesn’t want to let their hair down on holiday? Canarios like to party – the annual Las Palmas Carnival is always a riot of colour – so how better to start your evening than with live jazz and sundowners at the rooftop Atelier Cocktail Bar at the Bohemia? Over on Crete, the pretty town of Agios Nikolaos, a short stroll from Minos Beach, offers a mellow ambience with its gently bustling cafés and tavernas. If you’re staying at The Royal Blue (pictured above), the cocktail menu at Sunset Bar offers a spread of delicious cocktails which you can sip while bopping to the venue’s dazzling DJ nights. Meanwhile, oenophiles mustn’t miss Enoteca, the resort’s very own cellar, where guests can sample wines from a host of 80 labels from across the world.
Bon vivants will appreciate this trio of hotels. Bohemia’s 360° restaurant (pictured above), located on the top floor, is widely considered one of Gran Canaria’s finest; work up an appetite admiring the views, before indulging in the well thought-out and executed Mediterranean menu. At Crete’s Royal Blue there are four restaurants, plus a wine cellar with over 80 labels from around the world, but for an evening to write home about, experience fine dining at Cave: an enchanting restaurant boasting views across the azure waves of the Mediterranean. By day, try succulent seafood and steak at Eora; by night, dine on authentic Cretan delicacies at Elia, packed with fresh, locally sourced vegetables, enhanced with flavoursome olive oil for a true taste of the Mediterranean. While guests at Minos Beach Art Hotel can enjoy dinner at the hotel's elegant La Bouillabaisse restaurant on the water’s edge.
British Airways flies weekly (on Saturdays) from London Heathrow to Gran Canaria and up to seven times a week from London Gatwick to Crete.
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