As I always say, I love working with privately owned luxury hotels, resorts, and DMCs where the mission of the management is to make the guest feel welcomed and cared for! I must say that St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas goes above and beyond in this way. From the moment we arrived to when we left, the staff could not have done more for us or any of the guests!
The first thing we noticed as we entered the gate was the beautiful stone driveway and walls around the property that have all been built from the limestone and local amber rock they carved out of the land to build the hotel. This gives it a very authentic Cretan village feeling.
Then as you walk throughout the hotel, your eyes are drawn to the azure blue sea that is visible from all the rooms, most of the pathways, pool, and restaurants, including the beach bar located just above the sea on one of the several platforms built into the rocky cove and beach at this very authentic and beautifully designed resort.
This Small Luxury Hotel offers an intimate ambiance yet has a multitude of dining, enjoying, and relaxing options! While the resort is located just a few minutes from the lovely town of Agios Nikolaos where you can find great shopping whether for jewelry, fashion or touristy items, and 15 minutes from Elounda, you have so many choices on property for dining you may not wish to leave the resort!
Five restaurants and two bars are sprinkled around the property, as well as several living/seating areas, allowing you to feel a different experience in each one. While the live music and elegant setting of the Minotaur were superb, the Kafenion, the traditional Cretan restaurant, was our personal favorite.
St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas has been in the family for a few decades. You can get a sense that the owners genuinely care, almost as though you are a family friend. The owner is an architect continuously working on perfecting the property. His daughter has also become an architect and helps her father when she’s home during the summers (when she is not doing her Ph.D. in California)! I was delighted to meet her and may have her join me when doing calls in the fall. It is a family affair, and you can feel that private difference!
With a boutique feel, the St. Nicolas Bay hotel blends beautifully with the natural rocky landscape, and stone pathways guide you throughout the property.
Every new and beautifully decorated room, suite, and villa (many with private pools) face St. Nicolas Bay and allow one to dream about the open blue sky and sea. There is a small cove with a private beach as well as multi-tiered terraces cut into the amber and black rocks, inviting lounge chairs and umbrellas, providing spaced-out selections of spots to sunbathe.
The Poseidon Spa is another crowning jewel of the hotel; it is simply fabulous! Eleni, the spa manager, is such a bright light and makes you feel at ease even before the treatments begin. All the staff are well trained and experts at providing incredible services. Treatments are all used with either of their exclusive brands, Elemis or Cinq Mondes. My massage was indeed one of the very best I have ever had!
The resort can truly appeal to everyone! Whether couples, individuals, or multi-generational families. It is very family-friendly, in fact, they are building a wonderful new kids club and have a teens club too. With so many intimate as well as larger living areas both indoor and outdoors, you can spread out and find your special time together or away from it all!
All rooms include a very extensive and delicious buffet breakfast taken outside on a terrace overlooking the sea. Additionally, you have the option of a Dine Around. Honestly, as the property is so lovely, we preferred to stay on property rather than dine in town. But it is all up to you and your clients.
Our favorite restaurant was the very authentic, laid-back outdoor Cretan restaurant, Kafenion, which overlooks the sea, and the stunning vistas. The food is outstanding and generously served! On our last night, dining there, we were entertained in so many ways! We were watching the fabulous Cretan music and dance show, and then came the rise of the full moon over the sea, cove, pool and the mountainous horizon! It was breathtaking! It was a magical evening, with song and dance where adults and children were invited to participate and so many did. Everyone had fun; it was almost like being at a Cretan wedding!
On another night, that same spot was set up for a wedding for a large family from South Africa. It looked gorgeous on a promontory overlooking the sea and right next to a little chapel they have right there. It is just perfect! The wedding party said they had the wedding of their dreams! I do believe that this is an ideal spot for a celebration such as this, as the team is so caring and wants everything to be just perfect! I especially love the Club pool suites and villas, and all the rooms have been recently renovated or built. The villas have private access to the sea that offers a very romantic escape, if the private pool is just not enough!!
This is what makes a great hotel or resort; that feeling it gives you of being home. Even though we wanted to eat in town, in the end, we decided just to come back to our “home” in Crete for our last night, as it was so warm and inviting! We loved our stay at St. Nicolas Bay and cannot wait to return. Thank you to Alex Glynos, our incredible General Manager, and the entire passionate team! It was exceptional!