The first thing that strikes you about Daios Cove is the sheer natural beauty of it. An hour’s drive east from Crete’s airport Heraklion along the coast, the 5-star resort seems magically removed from the rest of the island, tucked away in its own special place…
What’s incredible, the view aside, is that the rooms (each with own pool) are only built on one side of the cove, so you look directly out to the ocean and over to the left to uninhabited hill with its own ancient Roman ruins. The second thing that strikes you, well me anyway – being still quite new to the travelling with kids thing! – is what an ideal place for families a resort like this is. Everything on your doorstep, heated pool, perfect beach, restaurants, kids play area, boat trips all within walking distance (or golf buggy if you prefer) from your room. Or think of it as a super luxe Bond villain lair just with health and well-being on the agenda rather than world domination…
Anyway, as part of one of the most lovely press groups ever (hello @annelibush @lovefoolforever @phillipapark @grifcopr and @instyleuk) I had time to soak it all up without toddler in tow. With our Olympus Pens and some summer ready Topshop outfits, the brief was R&R and the first afternoon we acclimatised and investigated the beach before cocktails and delicious meal No.1…
Those with kids will understand when I say, that a hotel room of one’s own is luxury enough, but the Daios Cove rooms are pretty special. My deluxe room was like a mini apartment with a spacious open plan bathroom with separate bath, big shower, loo & bidet, plus sink and big mirror. The bed must have been a super kingsize, with more pillows that I could have hoped for extending to a little coffee table area and desk which led onto the balcony and infinity pool. Touches like a pillow menu, mood lighting (‘romance’ was a soft pink haze and ‘moon’ gave you a low level nightlight in the bathroom to save you from stumbling at night) and well thought-out lighting switches really stood out.
I can’t rave about the food enough, there was a real emphasis on the kind of healthy food I like, lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and tender meat and in the mornings, incredible smoothies, herbal teas, lots of fruit and yoghurt (sheep’s yoghurt was on offer) and everything else you would expect from a 5* buffet. Even squares of dark chocolate were served up with fresh mint tea for afternoon snack, the kind of thing I have at home, and certainly have never managed to get in a hotel before (silly as it’s so simple, but so good!).
An afternoon by the pool was accompanied by a divine tuna salad – so juicy and moist – and chips done to perfection. And the final morning, I had breakfast served up on my room by the pool which was so deeply relaxing and luxurious – something the hotel prides itself on, offering friends and family the option to breakfast together in their rooms. Again, the kitchen was able to provide things like goji berries and sunflower seeds to sprinkle on yoghurt as well as perfectly poached eggs. Couldn’t have asked for more!
The Sun Bathing
Although we had a boat trip and visit to a local village, there was definitely time to chill by our own pools, the main pool (heated to an extremely pleasing temp) and on the loungers down by the beach. The cove can be a little windy by the water but I just couldn’t get enough of the salty sea air and loved the gentle gusts pushing it about. I must admit, to really get a tan I need a couple of full days baking prostrate in the sun, so after showering I slathered myself in gradual tan which worked a treat and I would highly recommend – I used the Aerin Gradual Tan which is launching soon at Selfridges.
On our second day, we were all treated to a spa treatment. The Anne Semonin massage and facial list was pretty comprehensive as was the sauna and steam rooms, at least four different ones if I remember rightly, special tropical lit showers and pool. I went for a deep tissue massage and it was fantastic. Sometimes things just click with a therapist, they know exactly how hard to go and where and every second of that massage I savoured, especially I have so much tension in my shoulders and neck these days. Afterwards, Charlie from InStyle said I looked like I was walking on air, floating around. I certainly felt that way.
- As Ali from Topshop and Anneli from What I Bought Today were both quite new to their Olympus Pen E-PL7s, I had a great time showing them the ins and outs of the wifi connection and using your phone as a remote; larking about above, Ali and I had perched my camera on a wall, set a timer and took a whole series of hilarious shots!
- The hotel gift shop was the most beautifully curated I think I’ve ever seen. Extremely tasteful accessories, things for home, oils and organic balms…
- One of my favourite meals was an evening buffet where Anneli and I loaded up on the most delicious mussels and fave dish aubergine parmigiana…
- And, maybe it was the room’s mood lighting, but 50 Shades of Grey seemed to be the late-night movie of choice…
What I wore…
Off the shoulder top* | Topshop
Denim shorts* | Topshop
Striped bikini* | Samsoe & Samsoe
White bikini* | Biondi Couture
Sandals | Palmaira Sandals
Black dress* | Hush
Beach shirt* | Topshop (sold out, similar)
Tube necklace* | Madeleine Issing
Part 2 of the trip coming soon…!
All shot on Olympus Pen E-P5 and E-PL7 with 17mm & 45mm lens (£30 cashback on the 45 just now!) Big thanks to Anneli, Ali and my tripod for helping me with the outfit shots! Stylonylon was a guest of Daios Cove and travelled courtesy of Olympus and huge thanks to Topshop for the personal shopping!