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Villas vs Hotels in Crete

The varied terrain of Crete offers an equally varied selection of accommodation across its sun-drenched shores.

Kick back in a luxury hotel in Elounda, one of Crete's best kept secrets, grab yourself a last minute bargain and head to the party town of Malia or opt for a traditional stone villa on the outskirts of Hersonissos.

Each come with their own set of advantages, depending on the type of holiday you're looking for so we've created a quick and easy guide to help you choose your dream holiday.

Value for money

There are some fantastic cheap holidays to be had staying at a range of accomodations from 5* luxury resorts to Self Catering apartments in fully-equipped resorts across Crete.

For a couple or small family, an All Inclusive break may be just the ticket with no hidden extras and meals and transfers included in the cost of the holiday. However for larger families or a group of friends holidaying together, a villa may be more cost effective rather than a collection of hotel rooms.

Many villa packages include car hire too enabling you to explore the surrounding area at your leisure and if you choose to book independently, low cost airlines can make a villa break an affordable alternative.

Space and privacy

Hotel resorts across the entire island range from peaceful retreats to action packed, luxurious affairs like the Sensatori Resort Crete in Lyttos Beach. While a family room with one bathroom might feel quite overwhelming after a week on top of each other, a larger suite or Self Catering apartment with separate living area will provide you with all the space you need.

On the flip side, a villa offers guests that little extra in terms of privacy. Relax by your own private pool with breathtaking mountain or sea views and take advantage of all the home comforts provided without the noise of fellow guests and hotel staff.


Hotels are beginning to understand that guests prefer flexibility when it comes to checking in and out and many now offer delayed check outs with the option of storing your luggage if you have a later flight. Extended mealtimes also mean you can still enjoy a bit of a sleep in without the worry of missing the best of the breakfast buffet.

However, with regards to flexibility, villas come up trumps. As lord of the manor, set your own schedule, eat when you please, get dressed after breakfast and don't worry about room service knocking on the door while you snooze.

If you're travelling with small children, the washing machine will come in a treat too.


An All Inclusive getaway takes the pressure off when it comes to thinking about eating, you can sit back and relax with a choice of freshly cooked food just waiting for you. The hotel's own restaurant may vary from an international buffet to speciality restaurants all within the grounds.

If your idea of a holiday means taking a break from the kitchen then this is a fantastic option but if you prefer making the meals yourself, Self Catering may be better suited.

Many of the villas in Crete boast large outside areas, perfect for entertaining and guests can enjoy lazy breakfasts in the morning sun at their leisure or relaxed al fresco barbecues as the sun goes down with supplies gathered from the local supermarket.


If your idea of the perfect holiday includes scheduled entertainment around the clock and a dedicated rep to organise all your excursions, then a break in a hotel such as Gouves Park Hotel will keep you busy from morning to night.

For families, kids' clubs come as a real bonus too, giving parents some much needed time to relax together.

Rent a villa within walking distance of your preferred resort and you can explore the many restaurants, bars and nightlife at your leisure. Stay in the peaceful town of Almyrida and enjoy picturesque walks along the coast by day or take advantage of one of the hotels spa facilities before visiting an authentic taverna and enjoying some local music.

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