St. Nicolas Bay Resort: Chilling at one of the best hotels in Crete

In LUXURY HOTELS by Janice and George17 Comments

St. Nicolas Bay Resort review

After exploring many of Greece’s archaeological sites, chilling out at St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas was just the travel prescription we needed.

There are many top things to do in Crete – like hiking the famous Samaria Gorge (or smaller sage-scented Imbros Gorge) and getting lost in the Moorish-Venetian town of Chania. And with more time, we would have loved to explore the island. Next trip!

For us, though, rest and relaxation was what we were after on this visit to Crete.

We can’t comment on some of the other deluxe hotels in Crete, but we can tell you that the St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas – which hugs the scalloped northeast shoreline of Crete – offers welcome peace and luxurious seclusion away from the island’s busier package holiday towns.

One of the best hotels in Crete

With a boutique feel, St. Nicolas Bay blends in masterfully with the rocky landscape – multi-tiered terraces cut into amber and black rocks, with cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas, provide blissful spots to sunbathe.

Want to swim? Climb down a ladder into the sparkling sea, or wade in from the small private beach.

Best hotels in Crete - St. Nicolas Bay Hotel - view of coast

View of the coastline from St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas

St. Nicolas Bay Resort review - aerial photo

See the private swimming cove in this aerial shot of the resort? (Credit: St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas)

Clustered in separate low-rise buildings, many of the 107 rooms and suites have private pools.

We arrived late at night after a long flight delay. And it was a treat to find that we’d been upgraded to a large Eros Suite!

Decorated all in white, it had cool marble floors, an expansive bathroom with a door opening from the glass shower to our private pool outside, king-size bed with organic Coco-Mat mattress and a separate living room with bleached-wood framed seaside pictures.

We also discovered plates of lox with asparagus, baklava and little honey cakes, sparkling Greek wine and a vase of fresh red roses, which had been sent to our suite, complimentary, as we were Club guests.

St. Nicolas Bay Resort review

Rooms, suites and villas are all different (Credit: St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas)

Best hotels in Crete - St. Nicolas Bay Resort review - executive suite

Or maybe you want to stay in this executive junior suite with private pool? (Credit: St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas)

Dining at the hotel and in town

Rates include a delicious buffet breakfast (with a tantalizing array of sweet pastries, including gluten-free items), taken alfresco on a terrace overlooking the sea.

Many guests also opt for the dinner buffet on half-board rates. We preferred the hotel’s a la carte restaurants, however, especially its pretty outdoor Cretan restaurant, Kafenion.

Dining under the trees, we felt like we were on a “Mama Mia!” set.

Other restaurants and cafes are found in nearby upscale Agios Nikolaos. We could walk to the town in about 30 minutes; there’s a public bus you can take too, or you can cab it.

St. Nicolas Bay Resort review - Greek restaurant

Lamb? Greek salad? This Cretan restaurant is the place (Credit: St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas)

Best hotels in Crete - St. Nicolas Bay Resort - Agios Nikolaos town

It’s a scenic walk along a coastal road into Agios Nikolaos town – lots of restaurants and shops here!

Relax, reflect, rejuvenate

The real appeal to St. Nicolas Bay is that, by design, it’s adapted to the wild, rugged character of the area. Long grasses blow in the wind and rocky nooks and crannies invite taking time out for reflection among nature.

You can’t help but feel rejuvenated when you leave this resort. And it’s little wonder that it’s considered one of the best hotels in Crete.

St. Nicolas Bay Resort at a glance

  • Room types:  107 rooms and suites – many have private pools
  • Rates:  In high season, some suites and villas with private pools cost upward of $2,000 USD night. Classic rooms cost considerably less, of course. See the resort’s website. Also check rates here (you may find a lower rate).
  • Downside:  Long transfer from Heraklion international airport on Crete, about 3 hours by public shuttle bus (but wonderful once you arrive!)

See our magazine review of St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas

Our St. Nicolas Bay Resort review has just been published in the summer issue of Cruise & Travel Lifestyles magazine. Click on the image below to read a PDF of this article.

St. Nicolas Bay Resort Review in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles magazine

We stayed at St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas as media guests for review purposes. But if a place isn’t worth writing about it, we won’t recommend it; this place is definitely recommended! This post also contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you book a hotel in Crete via our links. See our Disclosure page.


  1. Looks wonderful! I’ve had a hankering to go back to Crete for sometime now. I stayed in Agios Nikolaos a couple of times many, many years ago. It would be interesting to see if it had changed much.

  2. This place is absolutely stunning. My wife always wanted to go to Crete and now I know where to head. Your pictures are stunning.

  3. WOW!!! This place looks like an absolute paradise!! I haven’t been to Crete yet – didn’t make it there during my 10-day sailing trip in Greece – but it’s one of those places that’s held an appeal to me ever since studying ancient history. I was always fascinated with the Minoan civilization. Now I know where to stay when I eventually do go! ;)

  4. St Nicholas Bay Resort looks fabulous – especially their villas and suites. This has put me in the mood for our Crete trip later this month – especially the mention of baklava! ;)

    1. Author

      A timely post for you :-). Ancient Greek ruins, great shoe shopping, medieval villages, lots of sunshine – and baklava. You’re sure to enjoy Crete!

  5. Such a lovely write up – I really got a feel for the place reading this and it just makes me want to jump on a flight to Crete! How lovely to have arrived to an upgrade and I have a real soft spot for baklava so the food and breakfasts at this place would go down very well with me! It sounds like a wonderful place to stay ☺

    1. Author

      If you like baklava, bountiful breakfasts with a view, peace and seclusion, luxury suites (with private pools too) and sweet swimming coves, you’ll love it at St. Nicolas Bay…

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