When we arrived at Heraklion Airport one evening last October, our driver told us that it had rained on Crete for the last four days. We had visited at this time of year on several occasions now, though, and always found it to be a very palatable climate – warm enough to be in shorts and T-shirt and yet not so hot that you find yourself forever applying sunscreen – and this visit proved to be no exception.
We arrived in darkness at the five star Aldemar Royal Mare Resort in Hersonissos and, after a warm welcome, were driven from reception to our family suite, Dimitra 1, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and direct access to our own shared, private swimming pool, from where – once we got our bearings the next morning – we could also enjoy a lovely sea view. Here is a picture of the master bedroom.
The spacious bathroom was tastefully simple and had twin basins, a bath, a separate walk-in shower and Olivia toiletries.
Our children’s room had a sofa bed, so this was a suite that could equally be occupied by couples just looking for more space than you’d get from a standard room.
This room also had its own en suite with a shower.
The convenience of free WiFi throughout the resort was a very welcome addition for us, particularly when trying to keep two businesses ticking over back home.
Being in a suite, we had breakfast at the Candia restaurant situated opposite our accommodation, which doubled up as a Mediterranean gourmet restaurant in the evenings.
We enjoyed most of our dinners, however, at the main restaurant known as Symposio. This appealed to us as the buffet arrangement suited our children really well, allowing them to pick and choose a little from a huge variety of dishes.
There are several other dining options at the Royal Mare that you can also choose from, including El Greco (a traditional Greek tavern) and even a sushi bar. We enjoyed a few lunches also at the resort’s beach bar and restaurant, Albatros, which had a simple but varied menu, including some national classics such as Greek salad and yoghourt with honey.
In addition to its dining range, Royal Mare also has its own thalasso spa centre and beauty centre which, back in 1997, pioneered the way by being the first thalasso spa to open in Greece. It is a multi-award-winning spa and regarded as one of the top 10 thalasso spas in the world. The Greeks were the first to recognise the healing powers of the sea which promises to relieve muscle pains and get your body feeling healthy and vibrant once more.
Additional pools can be found throughout the resort, as well as another indoor heated pool.
For the more energetic, there’s a gym, aqua gym, fitness classes and a watersports centre at the beach where you can enjoy windsurfing, pedalos and catamaran sailing. Tennis and golf are also available.
And just so the children aren’t left out, there’s also minigolf, a kids miniclub and minidisco each evening. Their main play area has a pirate ship that they can play on, as well as a small pool.
Chess in the kids club… a great way for children of different nationalities to be able to interact!
Locally there is lots of interest for tourists. We wandered into Hersonissos which is full of history. As well as being a bustling hub with lots of bars, restaurants and shops, the town has also has a small aquarium and reptile centre.
But the area’s main highlight is its ancient history, being situated on the ancient seaport of Chersonesos. Numerous remains have been excavated including a temple dedicated to the goddess Britomartis on the eastern outskirts of the town.
In short, there’s something for everyone, whether you enjoy seeing the sights, leisurely ambling around the town or just relaxing back at the resort or beach.
And whatever your preferences, the Aldemar Royal Mare serves as an ideal base and a great place to return to after a not too busy day out.