Located in the privacy of a secluded cove in Vathi, Daios Cove Luxury Resort and Villas in Crete is the absolute choice for travellers seeking 5-star luxury accommodation in Agios Nikolaos. The resort’s exclusive location, along with its impressive architecture seamlessly blending in with the rugged surroundings creates a natural hub of beauty and serenity for you to explore.
Vathi Agios Nikolaos Crete Island 72100 Greece
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Tl;dr after staying at all three between 2019-22 with 2x kids aged 2-5, Daios was the best, Sani Asterias 2nd, and Ikos was disappointing imho. Cost was £7kish for a week for Daios/Sani out of school holidays, Ikos was pushing 5 figs. Daios (premium seaview suite, which is really just two interconnecting rooms): (+) Is the most visually impressive of the three resorts given the topography and architecture imo (+) Scott Dunn flexi creche where you can drop/collect whenever without needing to pre book (+) Beach is in a small sheltered bay with perfect sand, no seaweed and no rocks (+) Good food, ok wine and free-pour Laurent-Perrier on all inclusive (+) Free room service on tap (+) James Bond views from the rooms (+) The best gym by an order of magnitude (-) Funicular is annoying so you need a room at the front, book with an influential agent (-) Stretched staff, sun lounger competition and no loos on beach level (-) It's windy, especially up at the tennis courts and during high summer Sani Asterias (beachfront suite): (+) Private pool area very civilised (+) Best food and drink of the three (within the Asterias bit at least) (+) Old hand front of house staff give it a vip feel (+) Suites directly on the well-staffed private beach, can just walk out and get a drink (-) Not really all inclusive as there were punishing supplements for the decent food and drink (-) Asterias bit is peaceful and boutiquey but the resort is sprawling and crowded - need to catch a bus to get to other bits (-) Childcare is book-ahead-only. Worldwide kids are good but not as good as Scott Dunn imho (-) Beach doesn't have a sheltered feeling and had a lot of seaweed Ikos Dassia (two bedroom deluxe suite): (+) Very picturesque setting with bay and mountains (+) Close to the airport (+) Close to Corfu town so you are not trapped in the resort (+) Food very good. Especially the breakfasts by the vip pool, amazing (+) Great dedicated concierge person (Thanos) who replied instantly on Whatsapp 24x7 and could fix anything (+) Nice quiet and private VIP pool with shallow mini-pool great for under-5s (+) Nice touches like ice cream stations, dinner on the beach, shows, etc (+/-) Beach has a great view, massive sun loungers and is sheltered, but is quite rocky (-) Wine was dreadful, and often served in plastic glasses ... even in the VIP beach/pool bits there was not a single decent wine. As far as I remember there was no proper champagne, just Greek prosecco, which although a 0.1st world problem felt very cheap given the unbelievably high room rates. The cocktails were good though (-) The resort is by a busy road, and ludicrously they have put expensive suites just a few metres away from the motorbike din and karaoke bars. It kept us awake and we had to move rooms (-) Like Sani, it's massive, and the main pools are crowded. Childcare is book-ahead only (-) Maybe it was because of post-COVID silly prices, but we could have stayed in an Amanresorts pre-COVID for what we paid here. It didn't live up to the price tag for us (+/-) I can't speak for the other Ikos resorts, which I hear are very good ... maybe it's because the Corfu-factor means there will still be demand at >£1k/night even if you have to listen to sweet caroline karaoke and motorbike revving at 2am ...
The hotel is beautiful! Clean and excellent staff! You get a lovely view or the cove to, so magical! We went all inclusive and it’s probably the best all inclusive I’ve ever seen. The premium brands and verve champagne on the AI is excellent! Our 1 bedroom suite was also beautiful with a lovely big balcony. The only negative I would put on his hotel is the pool temperature, a pool should be to go in and enjoy but many don’t as they get in, it’s way too cold. They say it’s heated to 25c which isn’t heated in my opinion, 27c should really be a minimum.
A fantastic holiday overall! Firstly, we want to rave about the session cooking with the executive chef. Chef Panagiotis Valsamakis is not only super lovely, but the way he spoke to us throughout the session and taught us as he went, letting us get involved too, was fabulous. It was definitely the highlight of the holiday and something we didn't shut up about at the time, and haven't shut up about since. The set up for the experience was great too, with a TV giving a birds eye of everything Chef was doing as he went, so you didn't miss anything. The food in the session and at Daios Cove in general was delicious and something to write home about. We'd go back for the food alone! Never have we ever enjoyed food in a hotel so much. There were a few restaurants to pick from, with a variety of food. The only downside, was not being able to book restaurants beforehand so a lot was booked up by the time we got there. However, we did manage to work this out with the staff and ended up with no issues. To add to that, the beach was lovely, the staff were great, the place was clean and ideal. The staff and the hotel couldn't have been better. The drinks choices were lovely. The views were fantastic too, highly recommend getting up for sunrise over the cove! We couldn't fault it. The only thing that we were a little disappointed with was how many families there were there as that wasn't something we were expecting. However, this was not the fault of the hotel or its staff, just one to think about for couples going there. This wouldn't stop us from going back, but we would plan for a time that would avoid any school holidays. Once again, can't fault it and highly recommend! Thanks to Chef Panagiotis!!!