Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Our Week in Kiani Beach Resort, Crete.

As Autumn hit full swing, the rain started falling and the shops were full of scarves and hats, we found the shorts that had been pushed to the back of the drawer, dusted off our sunglasses and flew to Crete to spend a week at Kiani Beach Resort in Chania, part of SeaCrete hotels.  It was not only our first time in Greece, but our first time as a family going on an all-inclusive hotel style holiday too and everyone was excited.

We paid for our own flights but the people at Kiani offered us a stay at the resort in exchange for our honest feedback and they collected us from Chania airport around 3.5 hours after we left London.  We were greeted at the hotel with sea views, spacious areas and wonderful smiles.  In fact, the entire week the staff were so happy and helpful, the Greek hospitality is incomparable. 

Our week was wonderful and the children (and the adults) are desperate to go back again. I will talk later about their favourite bits, but I have broken down our stay into headings so that I don't start rambling.

The Rooms

We usually struggle to find hotels that accommodate our larger family but our room at Kiani Beach Resort was spacious enough for the six of us. Downstairs there was a huge bed for us and a cot for Cora (she isn't in a cot at home anymore but loves the novelty of staying in one although she prefers to sleep right in the middle of my bed).  There was also a bathroom, mini kitchen and plenty of storage space from wardrobes to cupboards.  On a mezzanine level there was three beds for the boys and a separate bathroom.  The boys beds were all close together (Finn was on a fold out bed in the middle) and they loved it, especially as there was a tv that they could all watch.  Despite the fact we were all in one apartment it felt spacious and fitted our needs well.

Our apartment had a balcony with a table and chairs and a drying rack which was perfect for drying off swimwear each night! Our balcony looked over the pools and bar.  Every day our rooms were cleaned and beds made, our dressing gowns were folded and fresh towels were left if requested. There are lots of room options at Kiani Beach.





The Pools and Beach

Kiani Beach Resort is comprised of the original resort and a newer half that is built right next to it.  As well as having a private beach, there are four outdoor pools and one indoor pool.  We found the outdoor pools were a little chilly to spend all day in during our October visit but I imagine they were fantastic in the summer and we still spent plenty of time in them.  Our favourite was the one pictured below which had 50 metre swimming lanes as well as plenty of space to play.  There is a shallow circular kids pool and another kids pool with four slides in.  The indoor pool was lovely and warm, spacious and never busy during our stay.  Each pool was surrounded by sunbeds and we never had a problem finding free ones and on both sides there is a pool bar.

We didn't spend much time at the beach as the children preferred the pools but I loved that there were both options so you can mix things up.  The pools were all so clean and well maintained and all were open from 9am to 9pm during our stay.  All of the pools allowed inflatables and there was a shop on site that sold all kinds from lilos to arm bands and all the crazy rubber rings.


















The Play Areas

My children love a playground and there were two at Kiani Beach Resort, one on each half of the resort.  On the side we were staying on was a smaller park and on the other side next to the sea was a larger one with a pirate ship playground as well as swings and playhouses.  We spent lots of time there and the children could play whilst we sat at the bar (both pool bars are next door to the two playgrounds). Everything was well looked after and they were open all evening so the children could play out there late in the evening if they had a little two much energy after the dessert buffet!





The Kid's Clubs

Kid's clubs might not be for everyone but my children love them.  The love the organised activities, the chance to have some time away from us and the possibility of meeting new friends.  The kids club at Kiani Beach is for 4-8 year olds (although younger children can join in as long as a parent stays) and I believe there is one on for older children but mine are all in the younger group.  Every morning between 10.30 and 1pm there were activities outdoors which ranged from crafting and t-shirt painting to fishing in the sea and every afternoon from 4-6 there were activities indoors.  Both sides of the resort had their own kids clubs so there were always activities to choose.  The big two loved creating their own t-shirts (10 euros sur-charge) and they enjoyed playing bowls whilst Cora's favourite was the sandcastles and beach games morning.  Finn loved the games in the afternoon clubs.  We didn't take them every day but they knew when the clubs were on and had the option to go in and out.

Every afternoon at 12.30 a local donkey called Hercules came and the children could feed him and have a little ride in his cart.  Cora loved feeding him apples and carrots and going for a ride around a small patch of grass.

Every evening there was a kids disco at 8.30 followed by a family activity.  We did kids movie night at the bar and watched the belly dancing. We missed the magic show and bingo sadly but every night was different. Whilst one pool bar had entertainment, the other had live music and a relaxed atmosphere and we spent the evenings there sometimes playing games of uno.  The animators (kids club crew) were around every evening in the bars, running the entertainment and spending time with families and the children were over the moon when they came and joined us for games some evenings.  





The Food and Drink

It was our first time as a family trying out an all-inclusive hotel and I must say we all adapted well to the lifestyle. I am still in amazement at how much they can eat! Every morning there was a huge breakfast buffet with traditional cooked breakfast, a chef making omlette and pancakes fresh, cereals, cheese and meat and pastries.  Every lunch and evening there was a huge selection of hot foods as well as plenty of salad and an amazing dessert selection.  There was a specific kids area that had things like fish fingers, chip and peas so the fussier eaters (like Finn) could have their favourites.  As a vegetarian I found there were always options and plenty of salad choices.  Often things like roast potatoes were cooked with ham though so I had to look carefully.  There was always plain pasta with a choice of sauces and the chefs were cooking fresh food to order at one counter with a different choice each day.

We had the VIP bands which meant as well as the unlimited soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and local beer and wine, we could order from the cocktail menu and have some branded alcoholic drinks each day too.  I was a huge fan of the Strawberry daiquiri and these could be ordered at the bar until 11pm each night.  The children were delighted to find out that there was a kids cocktail they could order too although they really liked the self service machine for juices and fizzy drinks too.

At the pool bars, you could order a fresh crepe between 11 and 6pm with either sweet or savoury fillings and this was one of our favourite things to do.  They were absolutely delicious! There was also self serve ice cream and cones out twice a day for the children to cool down with and a fridge full of snack foods like sandwiches and cakes which you could help yourself to during the day if you needed something between meals.








We had such an amazing week at Kiani Beach Resort in Chania and I will be writing more about what else we got up to during our week.  The onsite excursions office can organise trips and hire cars (both of which we used) but as a family we could have happily spent all week at the resort and exploring on foot.  It was such a safe, friendly and family focused resort that we are all hoping we can return to. Check out their current offers here!

You can read about our day at the sister hotel Kaylves Beach Hotel here  and about our day trip to Chania city here. 















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