At a glance

  • You'll love

    Six restaurants

    Beachside bar

    Short airport transfers

  • Kids will love

    Safe sandy beaches

    Treasure hunts

    Fun kids’ club

  • Don’t expect

    A small resort

    Daring design

    Sedentary stays


Amirandes hotel in Crete is grandly Grecian, with six restaurants, three pools, a spa and a bright blue lagoon. This sunny seafront sanctuary, modelled on a Minoan palace, offers endless entertainment and activities for kids; adults will love letting them roam free.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Amirandes with us:

One Aroma massage (lasting about 20 minutes) per adult

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Amirandes

Advance Purchase


Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Amirandes – has been selected and approved by parents.


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Amirandes – Crete – Greece

Need To Know


205, including 64 suites and 55 rooms that are suitable for families.


12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 11am. If you arrive early, you can store your luggage and make use of the hotel’s facilities.


Double rooms from $241.51 (€195), excluding tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually include a welcome drink and an American-style buffet breakfast, and the option of an in-room Continental breakfast for villa guests. Children Under-12s stay free in parents' rooms; cribs for babies and extra beds can be added to all room types. Some free daytime snacks and activities are also laid on for little ones.

Hotel closed

Annually from the end of October until the end of March.

At the hotel

Beach, spa, salon, gym, sauna and three swimming pools (including an Olympic-size one), six restaurants, bar, kids’ club, gardens with tennis courts, playground, golf club, shops, free WiFi throughout, private car park and valet parking, DVD library.

In your room

Flatscreen TV with built-in DVD player, CD player, minibar, fridge, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and Eau de Grece bath products. Villas also have a pillow menu, beach bag and a wine cooler.

Our favourite rooms

Families of four should book a Family Bungalow, which has a bedroom and a living area separated by a sliding door. Parents hooked on working out will love the Deluxe Bungalow Suites that come kitted out with their own fitness room – perfect for sneaking in some exercise when the kids are having a nap. For separate bedrooms and more space, go for one of the Villas, most of which have private terraces with outdoor lounges, a pool and direct access to the dedicated beach (solely for guests booking this type of room). Superior Rooms are smaller and so perfect for couples with just one tot in tow.


The star of the swimming show is the Olympic-size saltwater pool, with columns around the edges, underneath which you can nab a spot of shade. Nearby, there’s a shallow, heated kids’ pool for learners. There’s a heated freshwater pool inside in the spa. Swimming aids and inflatable toys are on sale in the hotel’s shop. One-to-one swimming lessons are available (24 hours' notice is needed). Some room categories also have a private infinity plunge pool.


The peaceful, grown-ups-only Elixir Spa offers ayurvedic treatments in one of seven treatment rooms. There’s also a sauna and mani/pedi room.


Forgotten something? The resort shop sells all the essentials, from nappies and sun creams to sandals and beach balls.

Book ahead

Babysitting requires at least 24 hours’ notice and it’s wise to request baby monitors and any other equipment you might need when booking. The spa is popular, so it’s best to secure your slot as early as possible.

Food and drink

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Amirandes – Crete – Greece


Amirandes has six restuarants, offering everything from Med fine-dining to typical taverna fare. The choice will keep your palate piqued on longer stays, but we like Blue Monkey for its sublime sushi best. Head to Amirandes, set around a water feature, if you’re indecisive: extensive buffets, with healthy and vegetarian options, are on offer for breakfast and dinner. For a romantic dinner à deux, it has to be Lago di Candia, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the lagoon and international cuisine is served.

Family fare

Children are welcome in each of the restaurants at any time, and Lago di Candia, Blue Monkey, Petrino and Xasteria will serve up special meals on request. Highchairs and emergency crayons are on hand everywhere, and baby food is available to buy. Fresh vegetables from the hotel’s Agreco farm make Xasteria a healthy choice for kids, and it also offers a chance for adventurous eaters to try out Cretan cuisine. It's not adults-only, but Lago di Candia is a grown-up gastronomic affair more suited to couples than crowds.

Hotel Bar

The lagoonside Labyrinth Bar is a great sundowner spot, with an impressive wine list, as well as cocktails for you and mocktails for the kids. It sometimes hosts a pianist or jazz band.

Last orders

The poolside brasserie is open between 12.30pm and 4.30pm. Lago di Candia, Blue Monkey and Xasteria open for dinner service (7.30pm until 11pm); Petrino is lunchtime only (12.30pm to 4.30pm); and Amirandes is open for breakfast and dinner (7.30am until 11am; 6.30pm to 9.30pm). The bar is open from 10am until 1.30am.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    Book in for the romantic dinner or family banquet on the beach, a candlelit sunset supper that you won’t forget in a hurry. The resident barbecue chef can also be sent to your villa to flame-grill a feast.

  • Room service

    A selection of sandwiches, salads and snacks, as well as a children’s menu, specially designed to provide enough energy for their action-packed stays, can be ordered between 7am and 11pm (24 hours in high season). The kitchen is flexible: whether it’s milk and cookies or a nutritional omelette, they will fix it.


    The splendid Tasty Corner provides free fruit, yoghurts, cake, ice-creams, drinks and more for kids aged 3–12 between 11am and 5pm; a nutritious lunch spread is also laid on for little ones, with plenty of fish, vegetables, pasta and other good stuff stacked among the pizza slices.


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Parent approved

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Amirandes – has been selected and approved by parents.


There's no free daytime childcare provision for under-3s, but tots are more than welcome to use the GrecoLand facilities with parents (or babysitters) in tow, and there are plenty of safe lawns and toddlable paths in the hotel grounds.

Kids Club

Grecoland is a brilliant mini fun-park and free kids' club for ages 3–12, with morning and afternoon sessions of supervised activities. GrecoKids looks after the 3–6 age bracket with dressing-up, arts and crafts, watery fun, gardening, treasure hunts and educational environmental days. GrecoKids (7–12) offers even more: team games, family discos and shows, days learning about Greek culture and days off from mum and dad. There’s plenty to keep teens engaged, while offering them a little more independence, too, with hip hop dance classes, cinema sessions and beach volleyball all on offer.


Multi-lingual babysitters are available for €15 an hour for one child (€25 an hour for two), for a minimum of one hour; book 24 hours in advance.


Amirandes' loaner monitors can be used up to a kilometre away, so parents can listen in from any of the on-site restaurants. Be sure to request these when booking; there's a small hire charge.

Other Services

Once a week, GrecoLand opens for an evening session, so parents can enjoy a romantic evening together while the kids are entertained.

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Steriliser • Bottle warmers • Baby food • Travel cots • Wooden cot beds • Audio monitors (extra charge) • Changing mats • Baby bath tubs • Stair gates • Bouncy chairs • Buggy • Books • Crayons • Swimming aids

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Booster seats • Travel cots • Wooden cot beds • Audio monitors (extra charge) • Changing mats • Potties • Bathroom steps • Training seats • Stair gates • Swimming aids • Buggy • Books • Crayons • Paint and paper • Toys • Dressing-up • U-rated DVDs

For older children

• Tennis kit • Table tennis • Mini football • Mountain bike hire • Watersports equipment • Pool toys • Board games • Books • Arts and crafts materials • DVDs • Internet


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Amirandes – Crete – Greece

Things to do

Amirandes sits on the shores of northern Crete, with three Blue Flag beaches and as many pools to keep you amused. There are more activities than you could ever hope (or want) to try on one holiday – from aerobics to watersports – as well as a spa and fantastic kids' club. Older children can check out their talent for golf, tennis, diving and horse-riding.

Hotel activities

Free activities include various sporting tournaments such as football and basketball or aerobics classes. For an extra charge, kids can join the golf academy (over-7s), have a birthday party thrown in their honour, try out some watersports (such as windsurfing, sailing or kayaking), have swimming or tennis lessons, borrow a bike or learn to scuba dive.

Sunny days

Amirandes' narrow-but-lovely sandy beaches are but a stagger away, with a bar to keep the grown-ups happy. There are three areas: one for watersports, one for sunbathing and one reserved for villa guests. The waters are generally calm. As well as staff to bring you cooling drinks, expect sunloungers, parasols, beach towels and changing cabins. Take the ‘life and soil’ excursion with your kids across the grounds to learn about a coastal ecosystem or the ‘sun, fun and jun(k)' one to see how a solar oven works.

Rainy days

It's not likely to rain much while you're here, but if you fancy unwinding indoors or need a few hours out of the sun, pick a DVD from the library and watch it in the screening room, or play table tennis or table football. The kids club has plenty of indoor play space, too, for time in the shade.

And there's more…

If there’s energy left to expend, kids can head to the amphitheatre to sing and dance with the entertainment team in the evening, or stargaze through the telescope and learn about Greek mythology at the same time.

Local Guide

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Amirandes – Crete – Greece
Smith tip

The island’s biggest waterpark, Water City is a crazy land of lazy rivers, slides and games, including giant chess and water polo. Bouncy-castle fans will worship the entirely inflatable playground; tots under 90cm go free ( It is busy.

Don't miss…

The hotel’s Agreco Farm is worth a trip to for its romantic setting: the traditional estate overlooks acres of vineyards and olive groves, with the sea in the distance. Tuck the kids up, then head over for a six-course organic feast (

Amirandes' location near Crete's capital Heraklion puts a world of wonders at your disposal: one look at Crete's landscape and it’s clear why it’s the stuff of family-holiday legend. Beyond the family-friendly waterparks, there are milk-white beaches, sun-drenched canyons, deep gorges, verdant olive groves, wild flowers, ancient towns and hilltop villages. Minoan palaces, Ottoman mosques and Byzantine monasteries vie for attention, and the ruins at Knossos, Malia, Zakros and Phaistos will fire the imaginations of your young historians.

Nearby Heraklion has plenty to make it worth a day trip. Knossos, the famed Minoan palace, was inhabited as far back as 7BC; the most famous resident of its labyrinthine walls was the Minotaur. Be sure the whole family is in sensible shoes and has sun protection: the ruins can get a little rocky.

On Heraklion's High Street, authentic Greek eatery Taverna Filoxenia (+30 28970 42350) serves up souvlaki in a no-frills setting, but you will be charmed by the warmth of the staff, and impressed by the simple, homely food. There’s a play area for kids, as well as a special menu, mocktails and some life-size teddies as dining companions.

A 10-minute drive east from Amirandes in Anissaras, the hotel restaurant at Paradise Island Villas (+30 28970 2289) turns out specialities including freshly grilled fish (whatever catch comes in that day) and locally reared lamb; there are weekly poolside barbecues in season. There’s a children’s menu, highchairs, and staff will be more than happy to heat up baby milk or food.

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Heraklion, Crete, GR 71110
Hotel setting

Cretan coast

Getting There

Amirandes hotel is on the coast of Crete, the largest of Greece’s many islands, in the eastern Med and southern Aegean Sea. It is close to both the international airport in Heraklion and Knossos, the archaeological site and seat of King Minos.


The island’s main air hub, Heraklion (, is 18 kilometres (20 minutes' drive) from the Amirandes. Olympic Air ( and Aegean Airlines ( operate services from Athens and other Greek destinations, including Thessaloniki and Rhodes. In summer, charter and scheduled flights arrive from all over Europe.


Pick up a hire car at Heraklion if you want to spend your time exploring the island. Avis has a desk at the airport ( There’s free parking when you arrive. The resort has plenty to keep you entertained, however – so it may be best to request a transfer and then stay put for the week. If you do drive from the airport, follow the main exit, signposted ‘Nikolaos Kazatzakis’ towards the National Road. After the bridge, take the ramp onto Route 90/E75 for Agios Nikolaos Drive and pass through Kato Gouves to get to the hotel. To get into the centre of Heraklion, allow half an hour.


Superfast ferries set sail from Athens (Piraeus) to the port in Heraklion, 20 minutes away by car from the hotel ( Hellenic Seaways will transport you from Santorini and Mykonos (

Parent travel tip

Get a direct flight to the island if possible, as coming by boat from Piraeus in Athens will make it a long day for the kids.


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Amirandes – Crete – Greece

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Amirandes – has been selected and approved by parents.

At Amirandes on the coast of Crete, families are kept active and entertained by fun, games and food, all in a sublime setting where palatial Grecian stone, striking glass and cerulean seas form the backdrop. With three beachs to pick from, as well as six restaurants, a spa and three pools, adults are spoilt, but it’s the kids who are the pampered most here, with activities and adventures, from nature trails to treasure hunts that’ll keep them engrossed for days. You can fully relax, safe in the knowledge that they’re in the kind, lively company of multi-lingual staff who will show them the ropes of diving, horse-riding, swimming and more. The nearby Knossos Palace is known in Greek mythology for a design so complex no-one could find the exit. Unlike the local labyrinth, Amirandes is a resort you’ll gladly stay at by choice.

Smith & Family

You know you've arrived somewhere special when you breeze through check in, glass of fruit juice in hand, taking in a breathtaking view of a lagoon leading to the Med. Relaxation is key at Amirandes – vast gardens offer a tranquil setting complemented by large expanses of water including an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The challenge was to stop an overexcited Miss Smith taking an impromptu plunge. We were promised a waterworld and this boutique resort delivered. The highlight of our stay? When Little Miss Smith took to the stage at the disco to ‘do it her way’ to Frank Sinatra. Mini dancing queens (and kings) took to the floor nightly to show off their moves with the help of a bubbly instructor. (Even Grecoland kids' club isn't your average ‘just keep them occupied’ kind of place. A weekly in-room activities list helps you work out which sessions are most suitable: and every day they can try something new, such as pottery-making.) Until our next visit, we hope Amirandes keeps doing it their way, because when it comes to five-star luxury for the whole family they’ve got it bang on.

Anonymously reviewed by Sam Mann, Mumazine

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

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