Island luxury suite with private heated pool at Phāea Blue Palace


Phāea welcomes you to Crete

Looking for the ultimate hideout on Greece’s largest island? Destination expert and travel writer Dana Facaros takes us to two…

Phāea: the brand name may be new, but behind it stands a family whose experience of welcoming guests goes back to 1976, when Yiannis Sbokos, father of Phāea co-CEOs Agapi and Costantza, opened one of the first resort hotels on Crete. From the beginning, the family’s guiding philosophy was age-old Greek philoxenia – kindness to guests – which dates to Homeric times. Phāea is family-run to this day, and the philosophy remains the same. It offers guests a chance to discover the real Crete, Greece’s largest island, which is endowed with spectacular beaches, mountains, gorges, archaeological sites and a unique life-affirming culture.

Phāea overview

Phāea Blue Palace

Welcome to… Phāea Blue Palace
A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, Phāea Blue Palace is the legacy of two decades of hospitality. Already renowned for its Cretan authenticity, for 2024 this five-star property in fashionable Elounda has been reinvented by Agapi and Costantza Sbokou as a smaller, more personalised 46-room (and one villa) boutique hotel, so that a holiday here is like staying with friends on their private Cretan estate.

Rooms, bungalows and suites (27 with private heated pools), plus the Phāea Blue Villa with its own pool, occupy low-rise buildings surrounded by lush, abundant gardens. Fresh flowers, handpicked rugs, tiles, antiques and works by Greek designers highlight interiors in natural stone and wood.

Phāea bar

Votsalo Bar has breathtaking views

Fertile Crete is Greece’s culinary capital. Farm-to-table cuisine is the speciality of the gastronomic Anthós restaurant and the informal Blue Door Taverna, where seafood and family recipes take pride of place. Honey is sourced from the hotel’s beehives, and fresh produce is plucked each morning from the Blue Palace’s organic garden, where guests can enjoy the Phāea Farmers Feast pop-up restaurant.

There are stunning views across the Mirabello Bay to Spinalonga island, now a national monument made famous by Victoria Hislop’s bestselling novel, The Island. Sail around it aboard the hotel’s wooden caïque, spending a carefree day with a barbeque on the beach. You might also tour traditional villages in a classic Mercedes or Cadillac, or hike along rivers to secret waterfalls…

Luxury doesn’t have to mean the same old corporate style: at the family-run Phāea Blue Palace, it is an authentic Greek summer experience.

Cretan overview

The main pool at Cretan Malia Park

Welcome to… Cretan Malia Park
Located on its own private, sandy beach, ‘Park’ is no exaggeration: this eco-resort sits in a mature Mediterranean garden of bananas, pines, palms, India figs and cacti, only a short walk from the Minoan Palace of Malia, one of the archaeological glories of Bronze Age Crete.

A member of the selective Design Hotels portfolio, Cretan Malia Park has a new contemporary look: rooms, bungalows and suites in Cretan marble and Greek chestnut wood come with bespoke lighting, decorated with designs based on nature and Minoan art.

The atmosphere here is relaxed and laidback. Sink into a sunbed with a cocktail by the pool. Visit the spa, or join in the numerous wellness programmes and retreats hosted by specialists, including yoga, Pilates, meditation and calisthenics strength training. There’s tennis, bike hire and water sports, and a river-style pool and lagoons are perfect for families. Creative clubs for kids of all ages offer chances to discover Greek myths, gardening, arts and crafts and cooking. Teens have their own space with hammocks, a cinema and ping-pong.

Cretan food

Bostani hosts intimate garden dinners

Most of the ingredients at the restaurants and bars are sourced locally from Crete and the hotel’s organic farm. As a family-run business, supporting the local community and environment is embedded in Phāea’s DNA – something you’ll notice once you’re there.

Those checking in to Phāea hotels can get under the skin of this fascinating island thanks to a full range of guest experiences: learn how to make Crete’s superb bread or distil raki, go fishing in a caïque, taste olive oil or wine or tour the island’s vineyards. And believe us – that’s only the start.

All holidays with British Airways Holidays are ATOL protected and include 23kg baggage allowance per person and a 24-hour holiday helpline. Secure your 2024 Greece holiday to Blue Palace or Cretan Malia Park now with a low deposit, and enjoy flexible payments until you fly.*

*Full balance due four weeks before departure for short-haul holidays. Subject to availability. T&Cs apply. See

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