A seaside hideaway with a dash of Cretan flair, Grecotel’s Caramel Boutique Resort has everything you need for a truly pampering holiday experience.

Looking like something from the pages of a glossy magazine, but with the relaxed feel of a family holiday home, Grecotel Caramel Boutique Resort will appeal to everyone from honeymooning couples to families of all shapes and sizes. The location helps, of course: who wouldn’t be charmed by the sight of the soft, sandy beach and sparkling sea right on the doorstep. Outside, the simple red-tiled buildings seem to melt into the leafy gardens, but inside is a different story. Past the glass main doors flanked by massive urns and pots of neon-pink bougainvillaea, you find yourself in a gleamingly white lobby complete with retro emerald green velvet sofas, and the decor throughout is a wonderfully eclectic blend of antique and contemporary.

The visual appeal of the place aside, it’s the sheer number of thoughtful touches that will make any stay here such a delight. In thoroughly modern fashion, there’s a 24-hour WhatsApp concierge and a guest portal to make planning a cinch. The beach has changing rooms and showers so you can go straight from there to wherever; the fabulously equipped fitness room has massive windows so you can enjoy the scenery while you work out; and the spa has an open-air gazebo where the massages come with refreshing sea breezes. You can be as laid back or energetic as you choose thanks to the impressive mix of activities on offer, from morning yoga and Pilates sessions to full-day mountain-biking trips organised through a nearby centre. We particularly love the fascinating excursion to Grecotel’s own 40-hectare farm, worked organically in the traditional way: the food in its taverna is authentic and delicious.

The 69 suites and villas are individually decorated in the classic colours of Greece - mainly white with shots of rich turquoise - with hand-carved furniture, designer fabrics and hand-painted floor tiles creating an appealingly retro glamour. As stylish as the more expensive options, the Junior Suite Sea View has all the room a couple would need, including a surprisingly large balcony with a shaded area from where to soak in the sea views. For a romantic bolthole, however, our pick is the Caramel Luxury Suite with Private Outdoor Hydromassage Bathtub, which has more-than-generous outside space overlooking the ocean and a spa bath. As for families, there are a host of options whether you’re a couple with one child or a larger, multigeneration party. The Open Plan Junior Suite Private Garden, for instance, is an excellent choice for those with a young child: on the ground floor, in a private garden and close to the swimming pool, with a single bed in the living area. At the other end of the scale, the two-storey Four Bedroom Villa Seafront sleeps eight adults, plus two children on sofabeds, and it’s right by the beach.

Boutique Hotel

TripAdvisor rating

Based on 507 reviews
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Key information

On the beachfront on Crete’s northern coastline, 8km from Rethymnon Old Town

Airport transfer time: Approx. 1 hour's transfer from Heraklion and Chania airports
Rooms: 69

Good to know

Accommodation information

69 suites and villas


3 restaurants, 2 bars, in-room dining

What's included

Breakfast at Caramel The Restaurant.

Meal upgrade options (per person per night)

Half Board – ‘The Dine Club’ • Breakfast at Caramel The Restaurant • Buffet dinner at Caramel The Restaurant • Set credit to use on dinner at selected à la carte restaurants at participating sister hotels • 1 x à la carte dinner at participating hotels for guests staying a minimum of 7 nights (reservations required) • 1 x dinner at Agreco Farms for guests staying a minimum of 7 nights • The option to swap dinner for a set menu lunch at selected restaurants at Grecotel Caramel Boutique Resort or credit to use against an à la carte lunch • Kids Go Free: Children 13 and under can have lunch at Tasty Corner at the main restaurant (12.30-2pm), enjoy selected snacks at Grecoland and choose from a special kids’ à la carte menu at selected restaurants throughout the resort and sister hotels.

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