Kolymbari, Crete





Today on my lunchtime scroll through Twitter I came across Icelolly offering a deal for the Avra Imperial Hotel in Kolymbari, so this evening I thought I would write a post all about my experience there!

​If you’re in the process of looking at summer holidays I can’t recommend it enough! I visited Kolymbari and stayed in this hotel on a somewhat eventful holiday with my mum, and it  was one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in.

Not least because it was full of Scandinavians and no loud, shouty British people.

Always a winner for me.


The Avra Imperial Beach Resort & Spa

Kolymbari is a tiny fishing village, and I think this hotel must be their largest employer. The hotel is very minimalist in its style and there were Minoan Linear B symbols dotted around everywhere you looked (which satisfied my inner geek).

The photos below show the exterior of the hotel, our room and the hotel gym. For those of us who like to continue exercising when on holiday, this hotel was perfect. All the equipment you could need, including free weights, machines and cardio equipment. There is also a spa, sauna and a therapy zone, with a number of treatments on offer.

We managed to get a good deal on our room, and as such had our own pool. It wasn’t big enough for laps, but it was the right size to float around and catch some sun in privacy 🙂

The hotel had a good sized restaurant and this served a wide range of foods in a buffet style, both for evening meals and breakfast. Snacks could be purchased at the main pool bars (of which there are two) along with drinks.

​One of the main pools has a glass/plastic(?) side so I had to go and have photos taken by mum, obviously…

They also had a great cocktail menu and range of live music / events in the evening. As I said, Kolymbari is very small, so aside from a couple of tavernas in the village, there’s not a lot going on. Perfect if you want a lovely, quiet, relaxing holiday. Probably not great if you have children that get bored easily!

In terms of customer service and helpfulness I couldn’t fault​ them. My mum tripped down some steps and they arranged a Dr, a private ambulance. The hotel were a lot more professional than the ambulance crew who, although helpful, seemed to think speed was better over all possible bumps in the road.

They even stopped half way to Chania as they wanted to stop and buy cigarettes. I’m not kidding..

The hotel subsequently left this in our room for when we returned, armed with X-rays and prescriptions. Greek pastries always help. Still unsure about the Raki!

As previously stated, Kolymbari is a very small fishing village. A few tavernas, a few shops, a supermarket, pharmacy and beach. Very small, very peaceful and very pretty!


Due to mum’s midweek injury rendering her somewhat immobile, we predominantly stayed at the hotel. On the day we went back to the hospital for her to be signed as ok to fly we popped in to Chania for a drink and small wander.

Chania is probably one of my favourite little towns. It has a Venetian style port, a large harbour (full of very expensive superyachts) and a lot of different shops selling local goods.

There’s not much more to say, so once again, I’ll let my pictures do the talking!

Getting to  Kolymbari & Hotel Information

We flew from Bristol to Chania with Ryanair, but I think you can also fly from LGW / probably at least one of the northern airports! I try to fly from Bristol wherever possible when I’m off on my travels as it’s only an hour from home. (I’m even flying from Bristol when I head to Kilimanjaro in October)

All hotel information for the Avra Imperial Beach Resort & Spa can be found on their website!

Have you visited Kolymbari or Crete? Would you like to? What do you look for in a hotel?