Hotel

Cretan Malia Park

Malia, Crete, Greece

The Cretan Malia Park Hotel is a wonderfully situated retreat on the beautiful island of Crete. The hosts attach great importance to sustainability and responsible tourism. For this reason, an attempt was made to include the Mediterranean, Cretan heritage in every decision and which served as a source of inspiration for the architecture: Picturesque flora with palm trees, Indian figs and local banana trees as well as an exotic, Mediterranean garden.

The resort grounds served as a campsite in the late 1970s and people could enjoy temporary living there in the midst of nature. When Malia Park was bought by the father of today's hosts Agapi and Costantza Sbokos in the late 1980s, it was also important to him to merge indoor and outdoor life in a harmonious and natural way.

The current buildings were built by Antonis Stylianidis from 3SK Stylianidis Architects, who once worked with the German architect Walter Gropius. This resulted in low-rise building complexes that combine traditional construction with a unique design. In 2019 Malia Park was completely renovated by the talented Greek architect Vana Pernari. Mainly natural materials like marble, tiles and wood were used, as well as the textures and colors of the Cretan land. The result was bright rooms with a relaxed, light boho mood, which were combined with elegance and radiate a warm atmosphere.

The relationship to the guests is very important to the hotel operators, which is why they seek an exchange. This has resulted in several long-term friendships with guests who keep coming back to support the place. They are happy to give tips for excursions within the island or to guide guests through the Mediterranean vegetable garden.



Rooms + Rates

per night
Double roomfrom106 €
Suitefrom166 €

Sustainable

ArchitectureThe architect Vana Pernari made only a few changes and adjustments to the architecture of the buildings. She renovated the front facade of the central building by simplifying the existing building and removing some decorative elements - with the aim of creating a bare and simple facade that matches the architecture of the Greek islands. An existing triple flower was included as a design element of the main facade. As a further homage to the nature of Crete, a ripe olive tree was planted directly at the entrance to offer the guests a warm Mediterranean welcome. It is a symbol of ancient Greece, wisdom and peace and at the same time a strong connection to today's rural life in Crete. The renovation took place in collaboration with local craftsmen, who were given the opportunity to experiment with new techniques in order to achieve the design goal.

FoodThe own ecological vegetable garden, an impressively large property directly at the entrance of the resort, provides different types of fruit and vegetables as well as aromatic herbs in every season. From zucchini, different types of tomatoes and peppers to strawberries, coriander, rosemary and dill - after the harvest they are processed directly for lunch or dinner. The Cretan cuisine, the origin of the famous Mediterranean diet, serves as a guide for all dishes, which also includes many vegan and vegetarian dishes. Whenever possible, the products come from the region and the hotel is currently working on the hotel's own organic certification. A Greek breakfast awaits the guests in the morning, as well as a large buffet at lunchtime and in the evening with specialties from Greek cuisines that change daily. In addition, they can take part in cooking courses of Cretan cuisine and various tastings, such as local wines and olive oils or local beers. A special highlight is the "Mouries" (Greek for mulberry trees), the covered outdoor kitchen in the large inner courtyard. The spacious kitchen island outside serves as a buffet, but dishes are also prepared there in front of the guests. Born and raised in Crete, Lefteris Iliadis found his calling as a chef at an early age - a passion that led him to the kitchens of renowned Greek and international hotels until it moved him back home. Inspired by the island's rich, UNESCO-protected culinary heritage, Iliadis, who runs the kitchen at Malia Park, believes that the tastiest dishes must be prepared with the highest quality, freshest, seasonal and local ingredients. He sees it as part of his job to inspire guests and educate them about the surrounding abundance by taking them through the organic vegetable garden and exploring the resort's botanical gardens. A quote from him: “My entire childhood is filled with aromas and fragrances. I still remember the smell of gemista (traditional Greek dish made from oven-baked stuffed peppers and tomatoes) that fills our home every summer. My mother prepared them with fresh, seasonal vegetables and lots of aromatic mint that we had picked from our own garden. The rich taste of oregano and Cretan herbs that I use in almost all of my dishes, as well as the slow cooking in the wood oven ”.

The employees embody the traditional values of the island, such as the honest, warm-hearted interaction with old and new friends. In addition, the focus is on future-oriented work, which respects the history of the island of Crete and protects it at the same time. Most of the staff are locals and receive support in their professional development, their successes are celebrated like those of the hosts. Every year the hosts organize a party for the children of the employees and love the preparations very much. In addition, support is given to employees who work in agriculture in the off-season, the so-called Phāea farmers. With their activities, they promote the cultivation of sustainable food. The cooperation includes the specialized guidance of sustainable agriculture as well as the training of organic farming methods. In this way, products are created with value that can ultimately be found on the guests' tables. Employees are also encouraged to help with agricultural and environmental projects, such as planting trees and potatoes, or they donate blood or bone marrow. Recently, the hotel assisted in the renovation and expansion of the endoscopy department at Agios Nikolaos General Hospital and the cardiovascular surgery department at Heraklion University Hospital. Donations in kind to local schools and nursing homes as well as financial donations to various local organizations are collected and given over and over again.

EnvironmentThe hotel is a quiet retreat with a strong focus on sustainability and responsible tourism. Natural resources such as water and energy should be used ef fi ciently and environmentally conscious travel should be the focus. The guests are allowed to deliberately embrace the philosophy of well-being and harmony with nature, get to know a special diet and enjoy the peaceful surroundings as a whole. The values are reflected in the behavior of the employees. The operators of the hotel are consciously committed to reducing environmental pollution, for which they have committed themselves to complying with various certifications such as ISO14001, ISO9001, Travelife and HACCP. There is also always an attempt not only to dispose of things, but rather to reuse or recycle things. The chemicals used are disposed of under the strictest safety regulations. Agriculture is organic and sustainable, without the use of synthetic pesticides. Biodiversity in the area around the resort is also promoted. Strict biological principles are followed throughout the garden, and nature dictates what grows well when and where. It is important for the hosts to consciously use environmentally friendly materials. They are steadily moving towards “zero plastic waste” and organic waste is being composted. A groundbreaking, three-year program for certified, sustainable landscape management is currently running, which aims to improve soil health, purify the air and increase energy ef fi ciency.

Well-BeingInspired by Crete's rich heritage, rooted in timeless tradition and connected to nature, the Malia Park offers a wide range of facilities for physical well-being: hidden between the lush banana trees and cacti of the hotel is the Cute Spa, a completely secluded place that houses two treatment rooms where both face and body treatments take place. The treatments for women and men are carried out according to a restorative approach in which each of the five senses is used for relaxation journeys. One of the characteristic treatments is the "Minoan Culture", in which the body is enveloped in healing and detoxifying Cretan herbs; an ancient Greek journey that ends with a back and foot massage using traditional Greek techniques. The yoga pavilion offers a place where mind, body and soul can be brought into harmony. In addition to the daily morning group yoga classes, the pavilion offers meditation and fitness classes, stretching sessions, and Pilates groups, all of which can be attended as classes or one-to-one lessons. In addition to the three pools for an all-day stay through to the children's paddling pool, the well-equipped gym is available to guests. Various sports round off the leisure activities skilfully: from a basketball half-court, a tennis floodlit court to a beach volleyball field. Numerous outdoor activities can also be undertaken: the winding country roads are ideal for cycling. The Cretan Malia Park is proud to be a NATTOUR certi fi ed bike-friendly hotel: guests who travel with their own bikes can use the secure bike parking area. Bicycles can also be borrowed from reception.


Characteristics

  • Relaxed and stylish boutique resort located directly on the sea
  • Member of Design Hotels™
  • Slow, conscious lifestyle that conveys modest luxury
  • Architecturally designed so that the exterior moves into the interior: light and nature
  • Local, homemade Mediterranean cuisine - wide range of vegan and vegetarian dishes
  • Own cat café: A designated area for the care of stray cats
  • Numerous sights and excursion possibilities in the area: Museum of Heraklion, the Minoan palace and the archaeological site of Malia, traditional villages such as Panagia Kera, a boat tour to the former leprosy island Spinalonga, and much more

Boutique Resort204 roomsRestaurantChildren welcomeWi-FiDisabled accessPoolno pets

Features

  • Several restaurants, bar, pool bar and beach bar
  • Organic fruit and vegetable garden
  • 3 outdoor pools, one of which is heated
  • Sandy beach with loungers and parasols
  • Yoga pavilion, fitness studio, tennis court + basketball, beach volleyball
  • Spa and range of different treatments
  • Table tennis, billiards, darts
  • Bike rental
  • Kids club & youth area

Testimonials

Das Hotel existiert bereits seit über dreissig Jahren und wurde vor kurzem umfassend renoviert. Die Zimmer und Bungalows sind auf mehrere Gebäude verteilt, die sich diskret in eine üppige, bezaubernde Gartenanlage einfügen. Wer auch nur ein bisschen Flair für Botanik hat, kommt aus dem Staunen nicht mehr heraus: Riesige Kakteen, darunter auch solche, die gelbe Kaktusfeigen tragen (und die man auf dem Frühstücksbuffet wiederfindet), Palmen-Alleen, blühende Hibiskussträucher, duftende Kräuter wie Rosmarin, Salbei oder Lavendel und natürlich zahlreiche Olivenbäume und andere mediterrane Gewächse machen aus diesem Garten ein romantisches Paradies. Die blühende Oase wird von drei Gärtnern biologisch gehegt und gepflegt. Da im Cretan Malia Park Resort strenge Richtlinien in Sachen Nachhaltigkeit und Umweltschutz gelten, sind chemische Düngemittel oder Insektizide tabu.

Christina Hubbeling, bellevue.nzz.ch, December 2020

... Mit etwas mehr als 200 Betten jahrelang ein reines TUI-Pauschalhotel, mutiert die flache Bungalowanlage gerade zu einem familienfreundlichen Biotop und gehört ebenfalls zum Besitz der Sbokou-Schwestern. Sie haben das gesamte Hotel trendy mit alten Fliesen, Rattan-Möbeln und Design-Tapeten ausgestattet. Heute ist es praktisch eine plastikfreie Zone.

Gabriele Wilms, toureal.de, December 2020

Certificates + Awards

Blue Flag

Beach Award

Eco Label Green Key

2020

Foundation for Environmental Education

1992-2020

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Rooms + Rates

per night
Double roomfrom106 €
Suitefrom166 €

Location + Directions

By car

The Cretan Malia Park Resort is only about half an hour away from the airport in Heraklion (34 km). A pick-up from the airport can be arranged upon request. Unfortunately there is no bus connection. The exact address can be found on the website.