GK Beach Hotel

near Kalyves, Crete, Greece
Book from GBP Book from £79 per night

GK Beach Hotel

near Kalyves, Crete, Greece

With a superb beachside location and activities for kids of all ages, this affordable Cretan hotel is a family-friendly gem

With a superb beachside location and activities for kids of all ages, this affordable Cretan hotel is a family-friendly gem

The words “family friendly’ are overused, but at the GK Beach Hotel on Crete’s northern coast, the focus is squarely on parents and kids alike. With a backdrop of the majestic White Mountains, surrounded by tropical gardens and less than a stone’s throw from the beach, it ticks all the boxes for views. But it’s the facilities for families where GK Beach Hotel excels.

There are two swimming pools (including a paddling pool), an onsite restaurant and, in summer, a host of organised activities for 5-11 year olds – allowing parents some me time on those sun-drenched sands. The simple but serviceable suites are flexible enough to cater to families of most sizes, with extra beds and cooking facilities too; plus they all have views over the gardens and the ocean. With only 23 of them, the vibe is intimate, tranquil and relaxed. Outside the school holidays, the resort is great for couples too: the pretty town of Kalyves is a short stroll away, or hop into a car and take off to bustling Chania with its Venetian architecture and buzzy nightlife. But if you’re stuck on babysitting duty, there’s a great onsite beach bar and taverna for dinner and cocktails as the sunset flares over the Aegean Sea.

Highs

    • Fab location – the beach is at the end of the garden and there are plenty of sunbeds for guests, you can't beat meals at the taverna by the sea
    • Fantastic pools – at 18m the larger pool is great for dips or morning laps (and has loungers) while the 4m children pool is perfect for early learners
    • The Beach Life programme oversees kids’ activities such as water games, craft sessions, tournaments and socials (operational July and August only)
    • Just a short drive from Chania airport
    • The gardens are beautifully maintained

Lows

  • Note that most rooms require a 7-night stay (Tuesday-Tuesday)
  • The rooms won’t win any design prizes – they’re generally quite plain but clean, fresh and smart
  • The last part of the 15-20 min walk into Kalyves is on road without pavement

Best time to go

Summer is the most popular time to visit Crete. The season starts in May and lasts till the end of October with average temperatures around 28C-32C (although it can reach highs of 40C ). June-Aug sees little or no rain, but temperatures can drop a little at night. Spring and autumn are still warm and pleasant, but can occasionally be stormy. GK Beach Hotel is closed November through April.

Our top tips

Hire a skippered catamaran and head off to explore the Cretan coastline. There are a host of options to choose which embark from Chania (usually with a cap of 10 people) and tours last up to six hours – including food and drinks prepared on board. There are stop-offs to explore caves, go snorkelling and paddle-boarding, learn fishing – many also have inflatables attached to drag you along in their wake. See another side of Crete – and kids will love it.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Beach Hotel
  • 23 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: November - April
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry Service
Room:

Rooms

There are three separate buildings – Hibiscus, Oleander, and Bougainvillea – whose suites are similarly sized (excluding the Penthouse), and come with views, colour schemes of caramel and aquamarine, and either a balcony or terrace to sit and admire the skies and seas.

The Hibiscus and Oleander Junior Suites (sleeping 2-3) are aimed at a couple with (or without) a child, having a double or twin room with an open-plan living area with a fully foldout chair-bed (suitable for under-16s). A few of these in the Hibiscus building come with a more spacious terrace for chilling or laid-back dining.

Next up, the Bougainvillea Suites (sleeping up to 4) are fine for 'compact' families, with one double or twin-bedded room, plus a separate living room with two single sofabeds (suitable for under 16s). If you come as a family, it does mean that your living room will basically become the kids' bedroom. In this category, we think it's worth paying the small extra for a first-floor one: the views are lovely.

If you want more space, try and get a pair of adjacent suites sharing a balcony in the Hibiscus or Oleander building. Or splash out on the two-storey Penthouse Suite in the Oleander building – a worthwhile indulgence. It sleeps up to 6 in two bedrooms (one double and a twin) plus a sofa bed with pull out trundle in the living room, perfect for families with older kids. The upper level master bedroom is ensuite with a walk-in shower and has its own dressing room.

All accommodations feature Bluetooth speakers, WiFi and air-con, and all bathrooms have showers and complimentary Korres toiletries.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • Terrace/balcony
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

There’s a continental breakfast served every morning on the terrace overlooking the sea. The hotel also has its own beachfront taverna and bar serving traditional Greek food throughout the day – everything from club sandwiches and salads to more adventurous fare such as calamari, mussels, octopus and swordfish. Pork, beef and chicken (usually souvlaki) as well as moussaka and seafood pasta and risotto also feature and there are plenty of vegetarian/vegan options.

If you feel the urge to self-cater, all suites come with a kitchenette with a hob (1 ring in Bougainvillea Suites, 2 rings in Hibiscus and Oleander), fridge, and tea/coffee making facilities. You get complimentary sachets of coffee, tea, sugar and milk on arrival. There isn't a dining table as such, so you'll likely be eating simple snacks and light meals on your balcony or terrace which has a small table and chairs. The Penthouse Suite has a fully equipped kitchen with oven and dishwasher in addition. There's a supermarket just 5 minutes' walk away.

Within walking distance in Kalvyes, there are a host of eateries, again mainly serving traditional Greek fare – expect lots of feta, olive oil, slow-cooked meats. The most popular are situated along the sea front overlooking Souda Bay. The hotel also offers easy transfers to Chania which is brimming with great restaurants serving everything from pizza and burgers to tapas, sushi, Italian and more exotic Mediterranean cuisine.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Hob or stove
  • Kids' meals
  • Kitchenette
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • At the hotel there are the pools, the lovely gardens, and the beach; you can book a massage too
  • Wander through the charming streets of Chania Old Town (40 mins away), filled with vibrant shops, traditional tavernas, and historical sites like the Venetian Harbour and Lighthouse
  • Cool off and have a splashing good time at Limnoupolis Water Park (23km). With various water slides and pools, it's a perfect spot for families seeking a day of fun
  • Enjoy family picnics and outdoor activities at Agioi Apostoloi Park (20km) with its sandy beaches, shallow waters, and playground
  • Explore the wildlife-rich Akrotiri Peninsula (24km), known for its diverse flora and fauna, and natural beauty; great for birding
  • Explore the gorges – you can clamber through the famous Diktamos dry river gorge (just 20 mins away), or the deeper Imbros gorge with its renowned arch or, of course, the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, the longest in Europe (but at 16 km it’s better suited to fitter teens)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife

Kids

GK Beach Hotel is extremely family friendly and welcomes families and groups of whatever size. There are cots and extra beds, family rooms, high chairs, kids menus and a complimentary summer kids’ programme of activities for 5-11 year olds (July-August only), as well as 4x2.5m kiddie pool that’s perfect for early learners. You can pre-order baby and toddler gear too.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The best rooms for young families are the ground floor Bougainvillea Suites, which sleep four (two adults, two kids) and come with either a main double bed or two twins. They’re also close to the pool so easy to nip back for extra supplies (or to use the loo). If you're bringing older kids then take two adjoining suites or the duplex Penthouse Suite which has two bedrooms.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Nappies and wet wipes

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

In the summer holidays (typically 9 July-27 August) the Beach Life programme ensures there are four two-hour activity sessions every week (including one in the evening) run by the resort’s English-speaking childcare professionals. Activities include disc golf, mini-fencing, pottery, circus skills, arts and crafts, table tennis and more.

Children's meals:

The onsite restaurant has a children’s menu featuring traditional faves such as pizza margarita, cheeseburger, and spag bol. All of the suites also have a kitchenette for in-room food prep, the Penthouse has a full kitchen.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Kids pool
  • Main pool

Families Should Know:

The pool is fenced but unheated.

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

GK Beach Hotel is located directly on Crete’s north western coast, near the small town of Kalyves, about 25km east from Chania and its airport.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Chania International, about half-an-hour away, which has some direct flights from the UK and other countries. Or you could fly to Heraklion (over 2 hours' drive) for a wider choice.

From the Airport
Car rental is widely available at Chania airport, and you can park easily at the property – you will probably want to explore a bit of the island too. A taxi will cost around GBP 50-60 although there is also a bus service which is much cheaper.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Chania 25.0 km CHQ
  • Heraklion 125.0 km HER

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Rates for GK Beach Hotel

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