We are just back from a week at the Kiani Beach Resort in Chania Crete and I am really excited to tell you all about our stay. To let you know up front, we were guests of the resort but paid for our flights, airport hotel, parking etc. My opinions in this review are all my own. 🙂
The Kiani Beach Resort is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort that’s nestled between the sea and a mountain on the stunning island of Crete. It’s a 25-minute car ride from Chania International Airport and is near little villages and lovely beaches to explore.
We flew from Dublin to Chania and spent 7 nights at the Kiani Beach Resort. During our stay, we enjoyed the many activities the hotel has to offer as well as headed off to see the villages near the resort. We didn’t venture too far as we loved relaxing at the hotel, although there are many excursions that can take you all around the island of Crete. You can do as much or as little as you like at the resort which means you can tailor the holiday to your family. If you enjoy heading off every day or relaxing at the pool or enjoying the spa and kids club, there are lots of options for the whole family.
Kiani Beach Resort is a Sea Crete property. They have a sister hotel, the Kalyves Beach Hotel which is just down the road in the lovely village of Kalyves. That hotel is in the middle of the village and also sits on the beach.
Two Resorts in One
The original Kiani Beach Resort is situated right on the sea. It’s a beautiful resort that’s 10 years old, with lots of amenities for families to enjoy. A new extension was recently opened in August 2018 which is right between Kiani 1 and a beautiful mountain.
Both Kiani 1 & the new extension (Kiani 2) each have their own reception, restaurant, pool, kids pool, playgrounds, poolside bar, kids club and lots of fun activities. Kiani 2 also has a heated indoor pool and spa. Kiani 1 has a tenis court, volleyball court, football pitch & arcade.
Guests are free to go between the two resorts, regardless of which side your room is on. Each side has its own set of activities so you can check and see which you prefer. Dining on both sides is buffet style.
The hotel was fully booked for our stay. Even at capacity, we didn’t have any issue getting a table to eat or a lounge chair by the pool or beach. There is plenty of room for everyone.
Kiani Beach Resort 1
Kiani Beach Resort 1
Kiani Beach Resort 2 (view from outside our room)
The Kiani Beach Resort is all-inclusive. There are two types of packages available: the standard all-inclusive & the VIP all-inclusive. In a nutshell, you get all of your meals, plus snacks between meals and drinks included in the standard all-inclusive package. With the VIP package, you get some additional extras like a bottle of wine with dinner, branded alcohol, sports included, dishwashing and faster WiFi to name a few.
When you check into the resort, you get a wristband which stays on for your stay. That’s how they know you are a guest of the hotel and which package you are staying on.
We had a room in Kiani 2 as VIP guests, in the new extension. It was an elegant and well-appointed loft family room which I show you in detail in my video below. We were welcomed to our room with a lovely bottle of wine.
After that, you sit back, relax and enjoy your stay! The 3 meals are served buffet style in the dining rooms. There are drink fountains with juice, soft drinks, water, beer and wine available for you to take all day long. And there are snacks beside the poolside bar between meals as well as crepes and ice cream.
The food is delicious. There is a big variety at every meal from salads, traditional Greek dishes, pasta, rice, fish, meats, fruit, breads and a big selection of desserts. There is also a little kiddie section for the more particular diners that have chips, and items like chicken nuggets or fish fingers. With an all inclusive package, the quality of the food is obviously really important and we were delighted with all of the food on offer!
These photos are all from 1 dinner, and that’s not even all of the food on offer – there is so much to choose from!
It’s a very relaxed feel to have everything included. You don’t need to bring money around with you. You don’t have to think about where we will go for dinner, or making reservations or checking the price of desserts. Everyone can eat and drink as much as they like as it’s all included!
There is a kids club which is also included along with playgrounds and a volleyball and football courts. There are some electric cars which my kids loved. It cost 2 euros for a 5-minute spin which I thought was great value. One night there was popcorn and cotton candy which was 2 euros each if you wanted some. Besides that, everything the kids wanted to do was included. The Mini Disco and animation team activities run throughout the day including donkey rides. The Mini Disco was a highlight for our 5 year old who has been teaching us the moves since we got home! Check out all of the hotel amenities here.
There is nightly entertainment. We enjoyed a magician, belly dancers, a disco and a cocktail night each at Kiani 1. The cocktails were 5 euros each or you could have the usual all inclusive drinks as well. At Kiani 2 there was a quiz night, traditional Greek music night and much more. You can pick which activity you are in the mood for to plan the night.
The Mini Disco was run by the animation team at each poolside bar promptly at 8:30 pm. We were always there on time as my daughter made sure of it. The Mini Disco was the highlight of her trip and she knew the dance moves by heart by the end of the week.
The resort is in a quiet location, you aren’t near a main road or by other resorts so it has a safe and relaxed feel to it. The kids could play on the playgrounds and we could see them from the seats by the pool and bar. I shared everything we got up to on my Instagram, follow @Cuddle.Fairy to see other photos from the trip and to follow our next adventure.
The spa, of course, is priced separately as are excursions or rental cars. There is an excursions office right in reception with lots of fun tours available to be booked. They offer excursions to Dourakis Winery, Elafonisi beach, the pirate island of Gramvousa, Balos, Samaria Gorge, Knossos Palace, Santorini and much more.
The hotel has a mini market with items for the beach, sunscreen, toiletries, adapters etc. They were reasonably priced. I totally forgot about adaptors and had to buy two. I looked in the little village shops during the week and the ones at Kiani Beach Resort were the least expensive. It’s not the typical resort that you feel like you are robbed if you want to do anything or that you are constantly paying extras. What was extra was reasonably priced and the majority of things are included.
Kiani Beach Resort Spa
Let me Show You Around
I always say that a picture is worth 1,000 words. So watch my video below for a tour of Kiani Beach Resort 1 & 2, our room, and the activities on offer at the resort.
Points to Note and Tips
Here are some points about Kiani Beach Resort and some tips we found from our stay that might be useful to those interested in visiting…
- Towels for the pool are available at the two poolside bars.
- Kiani 1 & 2 each have their own entertainment schedules, check both to see what interests you.
- All of your meals, snacks and drinks are included in the all-inclusive standard package, there are additional extras included in the VIP package.
- Kids Club, Mini Disco, activities & nightly entertainment are all included in the price.
- Rooms have air conditioning.
- There is a heated indoor pool, two outdoor adult pools & two outdoor kids pools.
- There’s a hotel mini market for items you might have forgotten like sunscreen, shampoo etc as well as beach items. It’s reasonably priced.
- Don’t forget your adapters if you are travelling from UK or Ireland.
- The hotel has an excursion & rental car office in the reception of Kiani 1.
- There’s an enjoyable, complimentary wine tasting each week with Antonis, the resident wine expert so look out for that.
- With kids, eating at the start of meal times worked best. As it was easiest to get a table and less crowded for bringing the kids around.
- The dining room at Kiani 2 is quieter than Kiani 1.
- Entertainment at Kiani 1 is more upbeat and at Kiani 2 more relaxed.
- If you travel in October as we did, there can be mixed weather. Pack a light jacket or fleece for the evening. And check the weather to plan your days. We stayed poolside on hotter days and did the spa and village visits on the more overcast days. This is the weather site the locals use.
- Head off the tourist track if you can. We loved the family cooking class and it was an opportunity to see the authentic Crete countryside.
- Almyrida beach is a short drive from the hotel and well worth a visit. It’s a stunning, shallow beach. Be sure to bring suits for the kids and make a day of it.
- For excursions, the hotel will prepare you a packed lunch to bring along if you let them know the day before.
Our last family holiday was 18 months ago, when we took our road trip from Cork to Waterford. So the aim of this vacation was to chill out. Yes, we wanted to see some of Crete but relaxing was the priority so we didn’t avail of the longer day trips on offer at the excursions office. Rather we explored some of the local villages Kalyves & Almyrida, took a boat trip and took a family cookery class at The Olive Farm.
Besides that, we were relaxing poolside. And I had a massage one day while the kiddies went to the Kids Club and enjoyed some outdoor activities and a donkey ride while I enjoyed a massage and the steam room at the spa. The rest of the week we spent as a family and enjoyed swimming, the beach and tennis as well as many other activities at the hotel.
I’ve put together this video & a few photos of our little trips, all of which were organized by the Kiani Beach Resort excursions office.
Almyrida village & beach
Seitan Limania Beach
Family Cooking Class at The Olive Farm (Hand Picked Greece)
At The Olive Farm & in Kalyves
Traveling With Kids
Regular readers know I went back and forth with how to organize our luggage. In the end, I decided to go with 5 carry on bags with wheels. The kids were well able to wheel them through the airport. My husband managed getting the bag for our little miss who is 5, on and off the plane.
I was delighted with this method as we didn’t have to go to collect our baggage after the flight both ways. I’d wait until your youngest is at least 5 to try this though. With the late flights arriving both in Chania and back in Dublin, not waiting for luggage was a big plus. We stayed at a Dublin airport hotel and parked the car there for the week which worked out really well.
The kids each had a Keep Em Quiet pack with them that was full of fun activities. It kept them happy for the airport, plane and trip back! There is so much in those packs. There was a little space left that allowed them to pack their favourite soft toy inside the pack along with some Lock Stars from Hasbro. With all of their goodies, the kiddies were happy and our traveling went quite smoothly. Get more of my tips for flying with kids.
At Dublin Airport with the Keep Em Quiet packs, on the plane, Lock Stars toys
We loved our week at the Kiani Beach Resort. The all-inclusive meals and drinks made life so easy. Not having to think about the cost of each meal or where to go for dinner really lifts a big weight off your shoulders. The food was excellent – every meal, snack and dessert was happily enjoyed. One piece of advice I was given before the trip was to eat everything – and that was great advice. The food at Kiani Beach Resort really is superb, it’s so fresh and delicious!
The entertainment was also fantastic as was our trips outside the resort. Everything ran to schedule and the staff are all welcoming. The rooms, restaurant and all of the spaces around the hotel were clean and well kept. There’s a lovely relaxed family vibe there which we really enjoyed. I’d happily return to Crete and to the Kiani Beach Resort.
You can get all of the pricing and more details on the Kiani Beach Resort website. Briefly, the prices start from the following, for the double room per night on all inclusive basis: Low season €85, Mid season €125, High season €190. Kiani Beach Resort guarantee the best price for the direct bookings and reward repeat customers with extra 12% discount.