Not wishing to fall into brochure-speak, but it is hard to image a place that more accurately represents what Baby-Friendly Boltholes is all about than the beachside Ammos Hotel and we are genuinely excited to have found it. From the emphasis on contemporary style but not stuffiness, and the family-run atmosphere, to the practicalities like the short transfer from the airport (20mins from Chania airport/2hrs from Heraklion), spacious rooms with handy kitchenettes (fridges, hobs & kettles) and sofas that become comfortable beds with no unfolding or fiddling. Then there's the luxuries like lovely Korres toiletries, a new treatment room offering massages and yoga and the simple pleasures of being able to enjoy good quality food in elegant waterside surroundings, but knowing mini guests will be warmly welcomed, not merely tolerated - in fact, BFB users have been so impressed with the family-friendly staff that they've been known to try and poach them to replace nannies at home!
Admittedly, there's no creche and not a great deal of toys or baby equipment, but there are cots, high chairs, baby baths, kids menus, babysitting and staff who have a genuine affection for babies and toddlers, most are parents of little ones themselves. Nothing is too much trouble. If you need a doctor, Nikos the owner will have an English speaking one with you in minutes. They even bring fresh eggs from the village chickens just for the little guests.
The sophisticated interiors have been recently redesigned with the help of architect and interior designer Elisa Manolas. She's used a skilful blend of Marimekko fabrics, chic seventies Scandinavian-style furniture pieces and funky sci-fi Bisazza mosaics, which together create a stylish environment that is also fun and practical for kids. The lovely Korres products, Corian surfaces, rainfall showers, solid teak furnishings, white-washed walls punctuated by splashed of bold colours, graphic patterned fabrics or funky mosaics, along with privileged position of its beachside bar/bistro terrace makes for an environment it is very hard to drag yourself away from and its certainly easy to see why guests have returned year after year since Nikos and his team took over.
Accommodation Overview - Garden View Studio:
Ammos Hotel has just 33 exceptionally well designed and surprisingly spacious studios/suites all with kitchenettes. Garden view studios accommodate up to two adults and a child in a cot/single day bed. Larger families, with older children, can request adjoining (not connecting) studios. The open-plan layout comprises a bedroom area with quee-sized double, made up of two joined singles, whilst a single daybed in the living area can be made into a comfortable single bed for a child The studios boast beautifully tiled bathrooms with showers (baby baths provided) and small kitchenettes with two-ring hobs, sink and fridge. Rates are from €100 - €150 per studio per night.
PLEASE NOTE: PRICES BASED ON 2 ADULTS. AMMOS CHARGE 5% FOR BABY/CHILD 2 AND UNDER IN STUDIO. PLEASE ADD IN OPTIONS & EXTRAS SECTION TO OBTAIN ACCURATE COSTS.
Ammos (which means sand in Greek) has a fabulous location, right on a sandy beach, set far back from the main road and yet only 5 Km from the picturesque Venetian harbour and the city of Chania with its wide range of bustling waterfront tavernas, bars and shops. It's just a short walk to the pretty village of Galatas and four kilometres from the village of Platanias (the centre of night life). There's a choice or restaurants within a few minutes walk, a mini-market within 50 metres, a super market within 400 metres and a beauty salon within 150 metres.
Crete itself is easy to reach with charter flights from most UK airports and low-cost flights from Gatwick, Manchester and Leeds Bradford airports. Its a diverse island with verdant valleys (take a day trip to the Samaria Gorge), pretty harbours, ancient ruins (Knossos is a must for history fans) and miles of lovely beaches.
Apart from splashing about in the pool or messing about under the shade of a parasol or Tamarind tree on the beach, little ones will enjoy the glass bottom boat trips available from Chania and the mini fairground rides and play zones at the nearby Golden Fun Park.
The hotel offers a concierge service and can book day trips, tours, car rental etc. and owner Nikos is always on hand for useful advice and suggestions.
Getting There: The hotel is open from 1 April - 31 October. The nearest airport is Chania, which is just 25minutes by rental car or taxi (approx 35 euros). We find www.skyscanner.net useful for comparing flight costs and availability. If flights to Chania are not possible, then Heraklion AIrport is approx. 2hrs away by car.