The Greek island of Crete is a simply gorgeous place for a holiday – think sun-drenched beaches, delicious cuisine and luxurious hotels. Of course, not all high-end accommodation is created equal and I think that if you want to have the absolute best time away, it’s worth picking one of the establishments that really stand out.

So, I’ve put together a list of the very finest luxury hotels in Crete. If any of these take your fancy and you’d like to find out more about their availability, tour operators can help.

Minos Beach Art Hotel (Aghios Nikolaos)

Occupying a beautiful location on the waterfront, the Minos Beach Art Hotel is a sophisticated and serene destination that’s perfect for anyone keen to really get away from it all. Unsurprisingly given its name, it’s also excellent for art lovers, since it’s decorated with an impressive selection of contemporary works of art.

The hotel’s backdrop of little sandy bays and rocky landscapes contributes to the relaxing atmosphere, while the colourful gardens it’s nestled in add the finishing touch to the tranquillity. All the guest rooms here have either a balcony or terrace, which allow you to make the most of the beautiful setting.

What I really love about this hotel, though, is its great facilities – particularly the PADI diving school, which is bound to be a serious highlight for any water sports fans. There’s also an outdoor freshwater swimming pool and a wellness centre offering Ayurvedic treatments (a type of traditional Indian medicine often used by spas).

619Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel (Elounda)

Possibly the most luxurious hotel on my list, the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel has the prestigious rating of five-star deluxe. With amazing views of the Aegean Sea, it provides the last word in luxury. Each suite has its own terrace complete with private pool, while the hotel itself has a private beach, wine cellar, indoor swimming pool and hammam, to name but a few of its facilities.

Another highlight is the calibre of its cuisine. The Calypso restaurant particularly stands out, since it’s got a reputation as one of the finest restaurants not just in Crete, but in the whole of Greece. It serves gourmet French fare, and the icing on the cake is that you can eat while enjoying stunning views of the sea.

Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort (Elounda)

Also in Elounda is the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort. If you want the ultimate in relaxation, this is an unbeatable destination – especially considering it is home to its own nine-hole golf course, as well as one of the world’s finest spas.

Come here and you can be pampered in the outstanding Six Senses Spa. What I love about this place is that not only does it offer indulgent treatments (and a lot of them at that), but it also has unbelievable views across the Aegean Sea. The treatment areas here include private thalassotherapy suites and an authentic Turkish hammam, while you can be pampered with massages, facials, beauty therapies and much more.

Going back to the hotel itself, this five-star establishment has two outdoor pools, regularly hosts live music and is just steps away from a lovely sandy beach. Plus, it’s only 3 km from the village of Elounda, which is a great place to explore local shops and get a taste of Cretan cuisine.