Small but perfectly formed: Ammos Hotel, Crete, reviewed

by Anna Culwick

We have been wanting to visit this chic small beachside hotel for some time but it was either booked or flights didn’t seem to fit our holiday dates.  Finally, when it looked like it could work, I was anxious that our 6 3/4 year old boy would be too old for this so called baby friendly hotel. Of course we had nothing to worry about. As soon as we arrived – warmly welcomed like old friends as we were dropped at the hotel ( ask them to book you a car to collect from airport – came with an inbuilt booster seat) – we knew we had made a good choice. Check in was so quick that before we knew it we were being taken to our room. Ground floor, with doors opening on to the pool, a filled fruit bowl, together with two large bars of chocolate, a kitchenette and fridge, massive shower and a proper bed for our son – no sofa beds here.  A wander round the pool and a few steps down to the beach and we soon realised that, while the reviews describe this as preschool child friendly, there were plenty of primary school aged children, couples, grandparents and all nationalities enjoying this friendly hotel.

Beach, Hotel Ammos

Breakfast is probably the best you could get in a hotel of this size.  On the first morning, our son grabbed a large plate, filled it with granola, eggs, mini pain au choc, ham, fruit and – yes – he spotted the little jug of m&ms next to the yoghurt (well, we were on holiday). What else did he love? The snoopy cups filled with freshly squeezed orange juice,  the waitress who didn’t care if he took ages to decide what to order every night, the large basket of pool toys, the friends he made round the pool, body boarding in the waves, lemonade in a bottle, the glass-bottomed boat trip and snorkelling for the first time. Oh and baklava – lots of it.

Poolside apartments, Hotel Ammo

And for us? Being able to relax so quickly, the excellent food at the onsite restaurant (there really was no need to go anywhere else), being able to order a drink at the beach or by the pool, the wifi ( I know….but it is so refreshing to find somewhere where it really does work, even on the beach) and the staff – full of great advice and some of the friendliest we have come across in a hotel.

We took a trip into Chania one day – a boat trip followed by lunch in a restaurant we would never have found without the excellent recommendation of the staff; but the rest of the time we hung out at the hotel. There is plenty to do and see if you get itchy feet – ask the staff and take their advice. Everyone says  it is always spot on

Pool, Hotel Ammos

There’s no kids club (a small playroom, staffed for a couple of hours) but we weren’t after that. Our son quickly made friends, spent hours splashing around in the pool and swimming in the warm sea.  We sat on our little terrace, played cards, read books, ordered cocktails as the sun went down and wandered to the open all day restaurant when we wanted to eat. Freshly cooked, simple food with wonderful local wines. On our last night as we were served dessert, on the house, we pondered whether we had finally found the perfect hotel. Booking for next year opens in just a few weeks and we will need to be quick…

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