When I saw the post on Casa Cooks Instagram that they will open a kids friendly hotel in Crete, I made the booking instantly, months prior to the opening, because I knew it will be good. I love the style of the Casa Cook hotels and I was always frustrated that they are Adults Only. On top of that, Crete was on our list as a travel destination for a long time!
Crete is a top travel destination for summer. The best travel season for Crete is July until September. We decided to go there mid of October and I am so happy that we went there a bit off season. We were super lucky with the weather, having 28 degrees each day and balmy nights. The main plus is that you avoid the crowds and you find a nice spot to eat or at the beach basically everywhere.
Why we loved the Casa Cook Chania so much
The Casa Cook hotel itself is incredibly kids friendly and ideal for a family travel. They prepared the sofa as a bed for Levi, the ensuite pool had a security fence, there is a kids club, a kids menu and a huge selection of water and sand toys for the kids to use during the stay. This heavenly kids concept made us stay at the comfort of our hotel indeed 5 of 7 days (which is really unusual for us) The other 2 days, we rented a car and did some tours around the island by ourselves. My recommendation is to rent a car online and check the prices upfront. Renting the car via the hotel was double the price.
Day trip 1: Elafonisi Beach and Crete mountain villages
Our first day trip was a tour from the north of the island, Chania, to the south western coast, with destination Elafonisi beach. But one of the highlights was basically the way to go there as it leads you through several picturesque mountain villages. We found the cutest one was Topolio and we stopped there to grab some food at Topo & Elia, a little Greek tavern with a boho chic interior and a menu written on chalkboard only in Greek. Always look for restaurants like this if you want to experience real Greek culture and eat traditional Greek food. It was so good! After 1,5 h from Chania you reach Elafonisi beach, a beautiful pink sand beach with shallow water ideal for kids and SUP. The reason why the sand is pink is that it contains tiny little pieces of red shells.
Day trip 2: Balos Lagoon – put on your walking shoes!
There are 2 ways to visit Balos lagoon. By ferry or by car and then a 30 min hike down the hill. For everyone that feels prepared to do this hike, do it! Don’t take the ferry. We were carrying Levi during the hike and it was fine. Sporty, but fine. The view that you will have during the hike is AMAZING. If you go by ferry you will be dropped in the lagoon of course, together with 200 other passengers.
Chania by night
If you are in Crete, don’t miss to visit Chania. The Venetian harbour of Chania and the old town are so beautiful. Besides the common tourist souvenirs, you will also find some really cute shops selling leather and wooden goods. And the restaurant variety is incredibly good. You hardly find a tavern that will disappoint you. From modern to traditional and in-between, there is a place for everyone.
We needed to bring our son to a Greek hospital
For the first time in nearly 3 year traveling with Levi, he got so sick in Crete that we had to bring him to the doctor. Unfortunately, he picked up a croup cough here in Germany and it broke out there on day 5, so we had to bring him to the doctor. My experience with the Greek medical care was excellent! I think I never had such a detailed checkup here in Germany. For 2 examinations, both with an inhalation treatment we had to pay 100 EUR cash at the hospital which we received fully back from our German health insurance.
Casa Cooks are not really budget hotels. We booked a combined travel with Thomas Cook for 2300 EUR for the three of us for 7 days including breakfast. Levi was 2.5 years old. (On top comes the costs for rental car and further food. But here’s a trick- if you don’t need an extended lunch, Casa Cook Chania offers complimentary cake and fruit at the reception during daytime. Which we always took advantage of 🙂