Family holiday review: Daios Cove, Crete

A unique resort which combines top-notch facilities, romance and pampering with complete family friendliness

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Rooms are spacious and contemporary

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Take a dip before dinner on your private deck

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Enjoy the view as you swoop downhill on the funicular

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The infinity pool is perfect for adults and kids alike

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Dining at dusk is magical at Daios

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Entertainment is on-tap at Scott Dunn Explorers

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Superb creche facilities await your little one

Trip in a nutshell
Three days in a stunning high-class resort which specialises in offering everything you need for a safe, comfortable and effortless family holiday in the Cretan sunshine.

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Who went
Tara McBride, husband Joe and 18-month-old daughter Jasmine.

Best for
Families with children of all ages who want somewhere luxurious but inclusive, harassed parents looking for facilities which take the hassle out of holidaying with children, and couples looking for romance.

Review

My first family holiday, a tame trip to the Isle of Wight with my husband and six-month-old, was a sobering experience (and not just because I was still breastfeeding). While juggling a plate in once hand and buggy in the other at the breakfast buffet, it hit me that the luxury and tranquillity of my recent honeymoon was now a distant memory, to be replaced by noisy ‘family’ resorts, canteens instead of restaurants, and entertainment tailored to appeal to nobody but discerning four-year-olds. That’s what I thought, until I discovered Daios Cove.

Red carpet treatment

The impact of this amazing resort is immediate. Within seconds of our cab rolling up to an actual red carpet, we were being given a personal welcome, complete with chilled flannels on a silver platter, and our bags were whisked off to our room. This set the tone for the whole stay – Daios Cove won’t let real-world hassle impinge on your holiday time for one nano-second. 

Room with a view

Our host then escorted us to a viewing platform overlooking the private cove which features 300 luxury rooms, suites and villas, all built into the hillside overlooking the azure Mediterranean waters, before showing us to what would be our new home for the next three decadent days. 

The magnificent super-kingsize bed was the epitome of comfort, and a long banquette at the end provided a perfect clamber step for our toddler to join us for a cuddle. The bathroom was all marbled luxury, with separate shower and gorgeous bath with designer toiletries. There’s even piped audio in the toilet. Did I mention they think of everything?

Pool service

Like most of the pads here, our Deluxe Room featured a private pool and large decking area, perfect for privacy and for letting your little one take a few tentative strokes without getting scared by bigger kids splashing around.

There’s plenty of space to enjoy an alfresco dinner on your deck, and room service is on hand 24 hours a day. There’s no stress here to escape, but if there was, I reckon there’s few problems that a glass of butlered wine in the evening sun following a refreshing dip couldn’t resolve.

Great glass elevator

There’s no trouble getting around despite the steep setting – two glass funicular lifts, straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate factory, scale the hillside, taking you from the upper levels to the beach in moments. Great for buggies and those with mobility issues.

If your budget won’t quite stretch to the spa villas, which have their own gyms and saunas, you can enjoy a full menu of treatments at the huge spa on-site, as well as two seawater indoor pools. The outdoor pool has a dedicated kids’ section. Paddle over to the infinity edge to take in the fabulous view of the beach, or float over to the poolside bar for cocktails while you wallow.

Cut-out for kids

Unlike some high-end places, you are never made to feel like your children are out of place, or anything less than 100% welcome. All the staff are incredibly friendly, and there’s an excellent choice of restaurants offering fantastic food and children’s menus.

If you book through Scott Dunn, your kids can take advantage of their beautiful crèche, which features more stuff to amuse them than Hamleys, an outdoor, shaded grassy area with a sandpit and activities staffed by fully qualified nannies who serve fresh meals and snacks throughout the day.

Quality creche

All young guests are invited to attend the resort’s Creche Club (4 months – 4 years) or Children’s Club (4 – 12 years), run by a team of childcare experts qualified to UK standards and regulations, and who also offer a full activity programme, and evening babysitting.

After talking at length to the staff in both facilities, we felt fully confident in their expertise and that Jasmine would be safe in their hands. Nipping off to enjoy some us-time in the spa felt a little strange, but a very welcome opportunity, and we returned to a very happy little girl, tired out from all the fun that she had.

Heavenly haven

The private beach is beautiful and feels safe, with gently sloping shallows and soft sand, with refreshments brought to your lounger. If all this blissful relaxation is just too, well, relaxing for you, have a day out at sea, diving or doing water sports, or take advantage of the resort’s regular day trips to some of the local attractions or picturesque villages.

There’s really only one thing to be wary of, and that’s a propensity to cling on to your Daios Cove bubble after you leave. This can make for a crash back down to earth when you board your budget airline home and realise you’re back in the real world, though arriving back to find our car waiting for us at the pick-up point, thanks to Meteor’s Meet and Greet service, was a welcome return to the five-star service we’d come to expect.

If you want a few days of being treated like a celebrity (and yes, we saw two there during our stay), and a lifetime of fabulous memories, don’t hesitate to splash out on a trip to Daios Cove.

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