Five-Star Family Fun: Fodele Holiday Resort – Review
  • HOME

Five-Star Family Fun: Fodele Holiday Resort – Review

An ideal place for a sun-soaked escape

Just a 30-minute drive away from Heraklion International Airport, Crete, in the birthplace of the famous Greek painter EL GRECO, lies the huge Fodele Beach and Water Park Holiday Resort. With something for everyone, it’s the ideal place to escape to, whether you want an activity-packed break or a relaxed few days sipping cocktails in the sun. Nilufer Atik checked it out.

Hotel Review: Fodele Beach and Water Park Holiday Resort

Bedroom at Fodele family resort

STAY

This sprawling resort sits upon a hilltop above the rural town of Fodele on Crete’s northern shore, and it’s situated about 25 kilometres west of the island’s capital, Heraklion. Overlooking the sea and with a waterpark of its own, the resort is ideal for families who want a mixture of relaxation and activity on holiday. The accommodation comprises more than 400 guest rooms in a contemporary Greek style, varying from double rooms to huge suites which come with their own pools. Guests can book double, triple and family rooms, as well as VIP suites within the complex.

Many rooms come with sea views, but it’s those near the waterpark at the top of a steep hill that offer the most stunning landscapes. It’s a bit of a trek up to these from the reception area and restaurants, but don’t worry – there’s a cute red and black train that ferries passengers up and down regularly during the daytime, and staffed buggies to transport you in the evening.

The resort’s newest collection of seafront rooms and VIP Suites come with energy-efficient windows and thermal insulation on their façades, which helps insulate the rooms and control the temperature, so while there is the necessary air-conditioning, it doesn’t have to be employed so frequently. Plus, since it’s perched on a hilltop, the resort helps to encourage and support biodiversity.

A spa near the main pool offers a large menu of treatments, from massages and facials to scrubs, wraps and manicures and pedicures, with a special Cretan Signature Treatment Collection – a unique blend based on Cretan herbs, honey, pure olive oil and grapes.

EAT

Restaurant on a terrace overlooking the mountains in Crete

With five restaurants and three bars onsite, there is no chance of going hungry or thirsty at any time of day here. You can sample casual dining either indoors or outside at ‘F’, the self-service buffet style restaurant, which offers something for all tastes: from traditional Greek pastries to Italian pasta dishes, fresh seafood, chips, pizza, and chicken nuggets for the kids, plus sushi and even caviar! It’s open from 10am to 6pm and there is always food available – even help-yourself ice cream for when the glorious sun gets too hot at the poolside.

Breakfast is served at the resort’s main restaurant, Basilikos, and, if anything, there is too much to choose from: croissants and pastries, eggs made any way you want them, dozens of bread types, cereals, waffles, several different varieties of cooked and chilled meats and cheeses, cakes, biscuits and fruit. The choice is endless. There is also a tea and coffee statio,  as well as soft and fizzy drinks on tap. Basilikos seems to be the most popular place to eat at Fodele during the daytime, with breakfast, lunch and dinner all served buffet style. Special themed nights also highlight mouthwatering recipes from Greece, Spain, Mexico and Asia.  

For more upmarket dining, there are two a la carte restaurants, too: Ambrosia, which is open in the evenings only, and provides fine dining in elegant surroundings; and Elia, which offers native dishes such as kleftiko, delicious grilled meat platters, and honey-soaked baclava in a Greek-themed setting. 

DO

Waterpark in Crete, surrounded by forests and mountains

Apart from the three huge main pools at the Fodele, it’s the huge waterpark located at the top of the resort that is one of the main attractions. With several giant water slides, rides, kids’ animations, a windmill snack bar, and both swimming and paddling pools to choose from, it’s renowned as one of the biggest water parks in the region. For those who prefer their water-based activities in more natural settings, however, the beach (located just a short walk away) features a variety of watersports including paragliding and jet skiing.

The jet boats are a must for those who like a bit of an adrenaline kick, but there’s also daily beach volleyball for anyone who would rather stay on dry land. The beach is private, so available only for guests at Fodele, which means it never gets overcrowded. In the evening, there is plenty of entertainment for guests, from live music and shows in the resort’s amphitheatre to a huge arcade open from dinnertime onwards, with everything from air hockey tables to gaming stations. There’s a kids’ club for 4-12-year-olds and basketball, tennis, and archery courts on site as well as a gym and spa.

THE FINAL WORD

If you want a resort that you don’t actually have to leave (apart from sightseeing, perhaps) then this is it. There’s even a shop onsite if you want to pick up some groceries or send a postcard home, and a stunning jewellery store in the reception area where you can buy more lavish gifts. A concierge is on hand to arrange excursions directly from the hotel into Heraklion, or to neighbouring beaches for some snorkelling or boat trips around the island – and with all food and drink on tap. You won’t have to lift a finger to do much else (other than apply sun cream, of course).

BOOK IT

A week’s all-inclusive stay at Fodele Holiday Resort starts from £1,117 per double room based on two sharing, and up to £4,600 for a VIP suite with a private pool (for May 2024). fodelebeach.gr.