Around 5 million tourists travel to Greece’s largest island; Crete every year to soak in the history, culture, climate and pure natural beauty of the island. With so many tourists visiting, hotels thrive and there certainly is no shortage of world class resorts spread throughout the island. My Abaton Island Resort & Spa review will hopefully give you an in-depth evaluation of how this resort truly sets itself apart to the rest. Staying at the Abaton Island Resort & Spa was without a doubt a highlight of my 14 days in Crete!
I stayed for a total of 3 nights at Abaton Island Resort & Spa, which in all honesty wasn’t enough, I just loved the whole experience they offered so much that I didn’t want to leave! I could have easily spent my whole time on Crete here, experiencing the different restaurants, areas and doing numerous day trips from the resort itself.
Located on Crete’s northern coastline, just 20 minutes east from Heraklion airport, Abaton Island Resort & Spa is perfectly situated for ease of access whilst also being situated along a beautiful coral coastline. The property offers panoramic ocean views throughout, including some of the best sunsets on the whole island from a hotel point of view.
The resort itself is fairly ‘isolated’ in the sense you’ll either have to rent a car/bike or hire a taxi to explore other areas nearby. This is also the case if you’re wanting to experience other local cuisines and restaurants outside the resort.
Abaton Island Resort & Spa Review Overview
Upon arriving at Abaton Island Resort & Spa, it was clear this resort oozed luxury and elegance. The attention to detail from staff members was nothing short of excellent. The check in process was smooth and we were given a tour of the resort via golf buggy.
Abaton boosts an ultra modern white chic look throughout the hotel, stepping foot into the lobby takes your breath away with infinity views over the ocean and a huge marble block reception counter. Stepping down into their perfectly manicured green grounds with flowing minimalist decor, everything is perfectly interconnected whether you’re wanting to be by the pool, beach or relaxing back in your own private suite.
The resort itself has 152 beautifully designed suites and villas, with 71 of those being pool suites. During my 3 night stay I was upgraded to the deluxe loft suite with ocean views.
Bed and breakfast is the standard room rate, however you can upgrade to half board which includes dinner at their F-zin Ivy League restaurant.
There are plenty of room options to suit anyones needs. With 14 different room types, their multi-portfolio of suites will let you find the perfect match for your travel needs. Every suite is beautifully designed in the chic white minimalist decor with ample outdoor terrace space and king sized beds.
For this specific review I will be reviewing the suite type: Loft Deluxe Sea View Guestroom.
Stepping into the room was so bright and airy, even though it was a fairly small sized room with not too much space for suitcases, the decor really made good use of giving the illusion as well as the huge sliding doors out onto the balcony with terrific sunset and ocean views.
The guest-room is a split level loft suite, with a sofa (bed) and study area above. Huge king size bed, rain shower, separate toilet, complimentary wifi as well as slippers and robes.
My favourite feature of the guest-room was the deep free standing bath tub with magnificent sea views. All toiletries were Elemis too including bubble bath to accompany the tub.
As there are so many room types for quite a small boutique hotel, it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. I suggest if you’re wanting to maximise sea views, this room type is the one for you. If you’d rather prioritise a pool/shared pool with no sea view the luxury guest-room may be your best choice. There are of course private pool suites with sea views but they do come at a price. For me, nothing beats sunset and oceans views so this was the perfect guest-room for me, as the main pool itself was very impressive!
Pool & Main Area
Abaton Island Resort & Spa boosts two impressive pools: the first and main pool, a outdoor saltwater infinity edge pool with ample sun loungers and beds encompassing the edges. I loved the different style beds and chic look around the pool area. During the 3 days, we were always able to get a sun lounger/bed which is a huge bonus and important factor for me when choosing hotels. I hate having to get up at the crack of dawn to race and put towels down to save a bed for the day!
The main pool area has a buzzing atmosphere with the Buddha Bar, an Asian fusion restaurant serving snacks and lunch around the pool. Each sun bed has a buzzer to get a staff members attention. Buddha Bar also has an awesome live DJ playing, which I loved so much I know follow on Spotify and cannot get enough of his playlists!
One thing to note; the sunbeds in the pool itself to require a minimum spend of €150 to use, which is quite steep given the price you are already paying for the resort. Having said that, there is no shade and the other sun beds are much more preferred for relaxation purposes.
The second pool is in the Elemis powered spa. It is an indoor heated pool, unfortunately I did not have the time to visit the spa for my Abaton Island Resort & Spa review. However, the spa list features a huge variety of treatments from massages, to beauty to hair and much more.
Within the spa area is the Abaton gym, which you can register to use via the Elemis Spa. It features all Technogym state of the art equipment, with plenty of machines to get a good workout in. It’s also open 24/7!
At Abaton Resort & Spa, it is clear they pride themselves on their culinary excellence. Led by head chef Zinon, their award winning dishes and stunning back drops from every restaurant really sets Abaton a step above the rest.
There are a total of 6 restaurants and bars at the Abaton Resort & Spa. Below is a brief overview of each:
- F-Zin Ivy League Restaurant: is their main restaurant offering a huge buffet selection for breakfast including bubbly, fresh juices and eggs your way. The sitting area features a huge outdoor terrace and plenty of seating indoors. If you choose half-board this is also where you will be eating for dinner.
- Buddha Bar: Was my personal favourite. This is the Asian fusion more casual dining. Also the bar where you’ll be getting snacks and lunch by the pool. In the evening it has a beautiful beach front location, with a live DJ playing soothing tribal music. The bao buns and wok dishes are out of this world!
- Bony Fish Seafood Restaurant: open for lunch and dinner, as stated this is a Greek inspired seafood restaurant located by the pool.
- WOW Steakhouse: This is the hotels premium restaurant boosting some of the best steaks on the island as well as sushi. We ate here on our second night and it did not disappoint. The food was divine, although we suggest booking not too late as a number of dishes we asked for had already sold out including the chateau briand.
- Elemes Cretan Cuisine: Is open for late breakfast and dinner. All dishes here are sourced from locally sourced farmers and boosts traditional Cretan cuisine. A very distinct and contemporary approach is used in unison with the traditional ways.
- Ladies & Gentlemen Bar: located by the Ivy League, is the fashionable and chic lobby bar serving an array of cocktails and drinks until the early hours. This is the perfect place to watch sunset over the terrace with a cocktail in hand!
Marine Life & Beach
I’m saving the best till last in my Abaton Island Resort & Spa review! Their Abaton Seascapes! This is truly a unique experience that is only available at Abaton. Their three underwater world routes give you a guided map of their coral reef systems.
Each of the three paths are unique attracting different sea life and for swimmers capabilities.
Snorkelling path 1 (Green): best for nervous swimmers with an average depth of 3m. Common sightings include Gobius Fallax, Sarpa Salpa and Sea Sponges.
Snorkelling path 2 (red): best for confident swimmers with depths of up to 5m. This is where you can maybe see an octupus or two and some very colourful fish like the Thalassoma Pavo.
Snorkelling path 3 (blue): best for intermediate swimmers with depths between 2-5m. Common sightings include spiny sea urchins (make sure not to touch them!), small yellow barracuda and much more.
Out of the water, Abaton offers a 364 m (1195 ft) stretch of semi-private shoreline, which serves as the perfect setting for a holiday focused on rest and relaxation if snorkelling and adventure isn’t your forte. Whichever part of the beach you are on, there are always plenty of sun loungers and staff at hand for drinks and food.
Whilst Crete has so many hotels and resorts it can be hard to stand out, Abaton truly have no issue in doing this. Their chic clean white decor whilst keeping Cretan touches throughout alongside their hospitality and dining experiences really sets them far above the rest. It truly oozes luxury and sophistication, it every aspect.
If I had to be really nit-picky, my only room for improvement would be to include some suitcases space in the guestroom and the call button on the sun loungers to be more efficient (sometimes no one showed up).
Overal verdict: 9.2/10.
Hope you enjoyed my Abaton Island Resort & Spa review!
Don’t just take my word for it, lets just say their reviews on TripAdvisor are out of this world! Click here to view what others have said.
Check out their website: Abaton Island Resort & Spa
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The Abaton Island Resort & Spa Disclosure: Abaton gave me a three night complimentary stay. All reviews are my own honest opinion.