Family holiday review – 5-star luxury villa in Crete

If the easy life is your thing then the St. Nicolas Bay Resort in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, is the place for you and your brood

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The private pool was perfect for the kids

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There’s plenty of room inside the villa

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Four restaurants offer endless eating options

Who went: Kyrsty Hazell, 26, and my partner, Matt Page, 33, from Beckenham, took our children Lila, 5, Olive, 3, and Leo, 6 months

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Where: St. Nicolas Bay Resort in Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Review: Surrounded by lush, leafy surroundings overlooking the picturesque rocky peninsular of Mirabello Bay, we knew that we picked the perfect place for our chilled out family getaway.

“Although, this place was pure luxury from start to finish, the money you pay reflects on the experience you’ll come home with. We stayed in one of the Thalassa Villas – perfect for families yet a great, exotic escape for busy parents wanting to get away from it all.

“The rooms were airy, bright and decked in traditional Cretan decor, which made it feel homely and the children adored the Mediterranean style bedrooms – and let’s not forget the private pool. Yes, we had our very own seawater pool directly overlooking the sea, again surrounded by green lands, which was private and safe for our adventure-seeking children. The villas are set a bit further away from the main resort but with its secure entrance and breathtaking surroundings, we didn’t mind one bit!

“There are three pools in the resort, as well as a children’s pool, which offered panoramic views leading to the beautiful beach front, backing on from the hotel. By day, children can enjoy the secluded and quiet beach, where the water is shallow and isn’t swarming with watersports enthusiasts! Or they can head to the on site children’s club, which boasts an extensive games room of ping pong tables, subbuteo and a daily film in the mini cinema. For the younger ones, they have a fantastic ‘creche’ which is run by a wonderful lady with years of experience. It’s a great opportunity to indulge in some ‘me’ time – which is exactly what myself and my partner did as we treated ourselves to a dreamy massage at the Poseidon spa by Elemis located in the resort.

“The Cretans love children, and this was clearly reflected when we visited, as they couldn’t do enough for us. One night, Leo wouldn’t settle and was crying the roof down. A member of staff knocked and offered to help us with complimentary milk, which I thought was so kind. We also had a high chair on hand when we had our breakfast, lunch and dinner!

“We went full board, so we had our choice of four different restaurants. Our favourite was the Club House, which boasted a huge buffet that gave us the perfect excuse to sample some Greek cuisine! The choice was endless for our children who happily munched on the grilled chicken, roasted veg and tucked into their delicious mini deserts. Babies can have bespoke baby puree whipped up in the kitchen, or on room service, which offers a wide selection if you fancy chilling in your room. For a night of luxury, make sure you visit the exquisite Kefenion restaurant, which offers authentic Cretan dishes among beautiful surroundings.

“Luxurious it was and we all came back feeling totally refreshed, relaxed and most definitely spoilt. Certainly worth saving up the money for.

Holiday Highlights

We took a long walk past the local harbour to nearby Agios Nicolas. This picturesque marina town is packed full of traditional eateries, family friendly bars and welcoming Cretan residents. A lovely way to explore other parts of the island.

How to get there and costs

Olympic Holidays offers the five-star St.Nicolas Bay hotel from £640 (per night) to stay in the Thalassa Villa for seven nights from all major UK airports to Heraklion. Offers bed & breakfast, half board or full board packages. Transfers included. For more information visit www.stnicolasbay.gr

Holiday highlight

In the town of Agios Nikolaos there’s a big lake called Voulismeni. The children loved watching the geese and boats there, and afterwards we all indulged in the souvenir shops.

Essential travel information

Thalassa villas at the five-star St. Nicolas Bay Resort cost from £640 per night. Villas sleep up to five. Book by 31 October 2010 to get 10% off accommodation. Bed and breakfast, half- or full-board packages are available.

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For more details, visit www.stnicolasbay.gr. Seven nights in a double room with sea view at
St. Nicholas Bay Resort in May 2011, including return flights from Gatwick, transfers and full-board, costs £1305 per person, booked through Olympic Holidays, the leading tour operator for Greece and Cyprus (0844 576 2386, www.OlympicHolidays.com).

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