an adults-only wellness paradise in a tranquil Cretan bay

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I’m timing the miles on a water paddle overlooking a calm Cretan bay. It’s only 7am, but the warm September sun is already shining through the palm trees and the smells of breakfast drift onto the gym terrace from the restaurant next door.

However, before my morning omelet, an invigorating swim in the sea to start the new day, or “noruz” as they call it here at Domes Noruz Chania (Noruz literally means “new day”), a sexy five-star hotel only for adults. resort of the award-winning Domes Resorts & Reserves, one of the fastest growing luxury hotel groups in Greece.

The group is known for its collection of sophisticated, award-winning hotels, and design, wellness, and design are the real USPs here. The boutique resort is an architectural paradise, with striking two-story rooms that feel closer to private villas thanks to their own pools, hot tubs, and hammocks overlooking the turquoise waters of the Aegean. Wellness offerings include fitness packages, juice bars, beachside yoga, outdoor physical therapy sessions, and an underground spa with local herbs.

From the Cretan-inspired spa to sunset dinners accompanied by a live violin, here’s what to expect.

Where is it?

On a quiet street off the main road between Chania and Kissamos, in the middle of a small, quiet (not private) bay. The main road isn’t worth noting, but it’s handy for essentials, with a few basic restaurants and supermarkets within a five-minute walk of the hotel. Zygos Grill may look unassuming from the outside, but its charming Greek owner serves traditional pork and chicken gyros for less than 4 euros (yes, they’re big and delicious). Take one and take it to the orthodox church of St Apostoliat. overlook the bay and watch the sun set behind the mountains.

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Chania airport in Crete is only 30 minutes away by car and Chania city center is only 15 minutes away (take bus number 21 or ask for a taxi at the hotel). Come for dinner one night and stroll through the bustling old town and Venetian marina with an ice cream.

Style

Step into the main lobby and you might be mistaken for thinking you’ve entered a spa: laid-back staff in white angel-like garb, vaulted ceilings inspired by the island’s Byzantine churches, a lemon-sage “wellness drink” presented to guests guests on arrival.

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The hotel focuses on its architecture and there is an adult and sophisticated atmosphere. You won’t have rowdy partygoers or kids shelling the pool; instead, you’ll get an adults-only, zen experience with a focus on wellness and design. There’s eye-catching architecture throughout, with bold vaulted stone buildings and fun art features including swivel seats in the restaurant, hammocks on some private terraces, and stylish call buttons next to loungers.

The main pool is made of Mylopetra, a porous element found only on Crete, which feels like sand against your feet and apparently “conveys the energy of the island as it changes color throughout the day, reflecting the sky.” playful”.

Other local touches include charming splashes of Greek whites and blues around the hotel and matis (Greek evil eyes) as a parting gift, symbolizing good luck.

What room?

The 83 rooms are sleek, modern, and beachside chic, with vaulted ceilings, blue, white, and wood furnishings, and funky details like sunken sinks in a bar table in the middle of the bedroom.

There’s a minibar in each, plus a Nespresso machine and plenty of mirrors, but the main USP is its own private terrace. Each room features sliding doors to an outdoor living room, with a plunge pool, outdoor hot tub, or outdoor bathtub. You can adjust the wooden screens at the far end for how much privacy you want (many look directly out over the main pool, so be careful about getting naked).

Pure Haven Hotel Room (Domes)

Pure Haven Hotel Room (Domes)

Rooms come in six categories (some rooms, some suites) and are clustered around the two main pools, and those with balconies face either the sea or a pool, so you’ll always have a view of the water. Choose a Sublime Loft room for maximum privacy: it is distributed on two floors, with a large balcony, a hammock with an ocean view, and windows that look towards the sky above the bed to watch the sunset.

food and drink

Octopus macaroni, lamb souvlaki with hmummus and roasted aubergine, lobster with traditional “peponaki” pasta. These are just a few of the highlights from the evening a la carte menu at Topos de Domes main restaurant, serving award-winning Greek Revival seafood from Executive Chef Dionysios Pliatsikas. The wine list boasts 160 labels, and dinner is accompanied by a live violinist on Friday nights. Pick a swing seat with an ocean view and make sure you’re there for sunset.

Next to the pool you will find the Raw Bar, which serves burgers and wraps during the day and sushi and cocktails accompanied by a DJ at night. There’s also N Bar in the lobby, which serves “for you” sunset dinners.

Breakfast is a buffet, with all the usual staples, from fresh fruit to Greek yoghurts to cheese and meat platters. There’s a honeycomb wall if you fancy some fresh honey, a self-designed omelet station, and a variety of breakfast desserts from red velvet cakes to baklavas. Newspapers are available while you eat, or sparkling wine is offered if you fancy a more alcoholic breakfast.

Each lounger has a QR code next to it in case you want to order a meal or drink between meals. If you’re really lucky, the staff will deliver fresh watermelons to your sun lounger during the day.

Mod cons

The highlight of the Domes is its trio of pools: two outdoors (one in a “quiet zone,” the other with a swim-up bar and quiet nightly DJ sets), plus one in the spa. You’ll be spoiled for choice in lounging areas, with loungers around the pools and on the beach, bean bags on the lawn behind the beach if you don’t want sand, and daybeds on your own private terrace too. Fresh towels are provided at various points in the hotel.

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Many guests come for the Soma Spa and, like many leading hotels, it’s all underground, with a poolside Jacuzzi and body scrub area for use afterwards. There’s also a variety of healthy drinks and snacks to munch on while you’re there.

The spa menu includes facial and body treatments featuring Elemis products as well as local Cretan herbs from the island. Highlights include a relaxing 60-minute CBD massage, a contour and drain massage to eliminate cellulite, an anti-aging facial for men, and a custom-designed couture facial for the face, neck, and décolletage. A Theragun can be added to the massage treatments for an additional 10 euros.

There’s also an indoor gym, morning and afternoon yoga sessions, and an outdoor gym overlooking the bay, complete with a treadmill, stationary bike, free weights, and a water rower. The Aegean Sea is only 10 steps away from the main restaurant (the hotel is in the middle of a bay, so the water is calm, especially in the morning).

Choose a package if you plan to make the resort’s wellness facilities the focus of your trip: the €350 fitness package includes a daily hot buffet breakfast, spa, PT, jogging and yoga sessions, and afternoon bike rental ; while the €400 ‘eat well, feel good’ dining package includes everything from champagne lunches to a meal at one of Chania’s best restaurants.

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what instagram

The view of the bay from your own private pool.

Better for?

Couples looking for a healthy adult getaway without children.

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how to get there

Flights take less than four hours from London to Chania airport on Crete. It’s just a 30-minute transfer to the other end.

When should I go?

Between April and October. Temperatures reach 30 degrees in June and July, but a low-season trip in one of the quieter ends of summer is ideal if you want to avoid the crowds (or have a tendency to burn out). The advantage of a September getaway is that it’s still warm enough to tan and swim in the sea, but you won’t get a Sula on the way to dinner. We hardly saw a cloud in six days.

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Try the hotel’s sister resorts in Crete: Domes Zeen Chania and Domes of Elounda, if you can’t get a reservation.

Details

Rooms from £169 (for an Upbeat Retreat with a private pool), Strati Pantelaki 5, Agioi Apostoloi, Chania, Greece 73 100, domesresorts.com

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