Fall in Love with Slow Travel This Summer at Cretan Malia Park

All images Cretan Malia Park

If sunning yourself on a Greek Island tops travel plans this summer for an unrivaled resort experience, look no further than the five-star Cretan Malia Park. Set on a secluded beachfront on the north side of Crete, the modernist retreat and lifestyle hotel has won fans among the haute travel set for its refined luxe design and authentic approach to slow-paced living. Now, a new collection of culinary and retail collaborations, sparkling accommodations, and an upcoming calendar of wellness experiences, including multi-day yoga retreats, are enticing visitors to return for a much-needed reset.

Soulful Experiences for the Modern Traveler

The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete is an alluring destination best known for its fine beaches, rugged hideaway coves and historical sites – home of the Minotaur legend. According to Greek Mythology, Zeus was also born here. Set in lush botanical gardens not far from its namesake town of Malia, Cretan Malia Park was initially conceived in the 1980s. Today, it’s been radically reimagined by Greek architect Vana Pernari in a modern yet bohemian style with swoon-worthy interior décor and accessories by Marrakesh-based lifestyle brand LRNCE and furnishings by Danish design company, Gubi. Original art by contemporary Greek artists also features.

Cultural Programming

Afternoons on the private beach or beside one of the resort’s three pools are an essential element of any vacation here, but Cretan Malia Park prides itself on providing hands-on experiences for guests who can jump into cooking classes, wine and olive oil tastings, or explore age-old customs like grape stomping and Raki spirit distillation.

Holistic health and wellbeing are highlighted too with a range of signature treatments at the Cute Spa and daily fitness classes, including yoga. Multi-day retreats are also planned throughout the year with packages starting at 1490€ per person double (1650€ single occupancy) and include five nights’ accommodations, all sessions and workshops, breakfast and dinner.

Hyper-Local Cuisine

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword at Cretan Malia Park; it’s part of the resort’s DNA. An impressive on-site organic kitchen garden produces everything from honey, fruits, citrus, and seasonal vegetables that creative consultant chef Athinagoras Kostakos and Cretan executive chef Lefteris Iliadis have incorporated into authentic Greek and Mediterranean recipes across the resort's multiple restaurant concepts.

Breakfast is served at the traditional Cretan restaurant, Mouries, while lunch and sundowner cocktails are de rigueur at The Beach Shack, a breezy spot for raw-food and vegan options. At Italian-inspired Almyra, the focus is on local fresh fish, summer salads, and oven-baked pizza, while the Lobby Bar is another gorgeous spot to enjoy a cocktail by resident and award-winning mixologist, Aristotelis Papadopoulos.

An Eye for Design

Debuting in time for the height of the summer season, the resort unveiled three new accommodation options, including its Signature Room and Signature Garden Bungalow. Each comes with spacious sleeping and lounge areas, plus amenities like a well-stocked mini bar, micro-brewery beers, Nespresso pods and local welcome snacks. While the Two Bedroom Suite features enough space for groups to alternate alone time with enjoying one another’s company.

Thanks to a recent partnership with Maison Flâneur and Anthologist, a limited-edition collection of the art and design items, decorative furniture, lighting pieces, and homewares that feature across the resort are available to buy online. Guests can also shop jewelry, fashion accessories, home décor, antiques, Cretan textiles, and limited-edition items in the newly opened Anthologist shop located in the resort lobby.

Know Before You Go

With no direct flights from the United States, most travelers opt to fly into Athens with major carriers such as Delta or United before taking a connecting commercial flight to Crete’s Heraklion Airport. On-demand jet charter company evoJets also offer a 40-60-minute service from Athens International with an estimated average starting price of $7,300 return for two passengers in one of their executive turboprops.

In accordance with World Health Organization measures, the Greek State directive and Design Hotels protocols, Cretan Malia Park has put rigorous cleanliness practices in place to ensure guests experience an elevated level of protection. For additional peace of mind, a flexible cancellation policy means travel plans can be canceled or rescheduled up to seven days prior to arrival. Nightly rates in June range from 195€ to 637€, including taxes and fees. For more information and reservations visit

Traveling During COVID

The Greek government announced U.S. citizens would be permitted entry beginning June 15 but may be subject to COVID-19 testing and quarantine depending on where travel originates. For up-to-date advice, visit and before making your journey. 

Keri Bridgwater

A native Brit, Keri Bridgwater spent time in house at magazines and publishers in Malmö, Sweden, Auckland, New Zealand and Telluride, Colorado before moving to San Diego over a decade ago. She specializes in travel stories, destination guides, hotel news and reviews, in addition to profile interviews for various publications and websites. Her byline has featured in SFGATE, Fodor's, the London Eve...(Read More)

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