The newly opened Abaton Island resort and spa just raised the luxury bar on the Greek island of Crete
Location, location, location….
Located only 12km from Heraklion airport, within 20 minutes of picking up your bags and scooting down the newly built motorway you’ll find yourself at the calming Abaton Island resort & spa. Any hunched shoulders from an early morning start are instantly eased as staff greet you with an iced tea and cold towel. Hersonissos town is close enough to walk to briskly in 20 minutes but far away that you aren’t disturb by any of its late night antics.
With 152 rooms, several pools, five restaurants and a man-made private beach, Abaton stretches on and on. But with friendly and chicly dressed staff who remember your name plus many cosy nooks and corners to curl up in with the latest Stephen King thriller, it manages not to feel overly vast or characterless. There’s plenty of white marble and glass walls with views of the glimmering Aegean sea which up the modern feel whilst huge traditional ceramic vases and terracotta pots scattered around the well-groomed grounds plus lots of Instagrammable tile bait, gives a nod to its Cycladic heritage.
Those 152 rooms are divided into 14 categories. I stayed in an Abaton Collection suite which come in split-level style, with a king-size bed on the upper level that also features a private balcony. The rooms continue the minimal theme, with immaculate white linen, carved headboards and driftwood sculptures. Downstairs is designed in an open-plan style that feels roomy and airy – ideal when the temperate hits 30 degrees plus come midday in July. There’s a huge rainforest style shower, plus a giant bath in the living room area, that was practically made for sipping a cold glass of Sancerre pre-dinner. Elemis products and snuggly white bathrobes up the luxe feel. There’s also a terrace area which features squashy sofa chairs and a seawater private pool. It’s ideal for cooling off in, but stick to the main pool for when you want to do a couple of lengths.
What to eat….
A buffet breakfast is served in the main restaurant which overlooks the sea. The choice is at times overwhelming with everything from fresh fruits, to waffles, to a fry-up. After breakfast everyone tends to head off to the main pool or private beach area for a snooze and then come lunchtime after a refreshing dip clamber up to the beach bar which serves a wide-range of snacks. Come dinner time, the main restaurant offers a buffet style dinner but head to Elemes for a more authentic Cycladic experience. With its beachside location and candlelit tables, order the fresh fish of the day and a bottle of local wine and you’ll quickly feel like you’re in a Greek rom-com. Meanwhile, “WOW” Sushi and Steak is great for meat and seafood mega fans. The dragon rolls are particularly moreish whilst the Wagyu steak with creamed spinach is a must-order. Afterwards, head to the main bar’s terrace for a digestif and to watch the stars from a cosy rocking chair.
To really up the zen vibes head to the hotel’s Elemis spa for a full body massage. Their therapists are some of the best I’ve ever had, easing the deepest knots whilst an added head massage meant I completely zoned out for a good 30 minutes, having to be gently shaken awake. There’s also a steam room, sauna , indoor pool plus gym for those who want to work off some of the freshly baked breakfast pastries.
How to book…
A Thalassa Deluxe Seafront Guestroom starts from £220 per room, per night inclusive of breakfast. An Abaton Collection Suite with Private Pool starts from £420 per room, per night inclusive of breakfast, sleeping up to 3 people. For more information and to book click here.