The newly-opened Syntopia Hotel in Crete is not what you’d expect from a Greek all-inclusive.
In a bid to re-imagine the typical hotel offering and woo the modern traveller it boasts rooms packed with mod-cons, loungers that hover over lagoon-like pools and Aperol Spritz served on tap.
It houses a state-of-the art gym, hosts sunrise yoga classes and presents sunset saxophonists. There are ethnic music nights, an open cinema, a weekly pool party, wine tasting and cheesemaking events or even cooking lessons.
On the catering front there is a range of premium drinks available throughout the day. You can sip local Creten wine by the pool or take a pick from a range of cocktails, including mojitos, pornstar and espresso martinis.
Buffet treats including sizzling street food, Mexican tacos, Southern-style fried chicken and, of course, ample Greek dishes such as fresh tomatoes, feta and souvlaki for those more inclined to a little holiday treat.
With a bohemian feel radiating throughout it doesn’t take long to realise that Syntopia – Greek for ‘place’ – is more of a lifestyle than a destination. Here’s our review in full:
Location: 9 / 10
Equidistance between Crete’s Heraklion and Chania airport, Syntopia sits at the heart of a long stretch of coastline a short distance away from the port town of Rethymno. The beach is a 6 minute walk away and rooms offer superb sea views. It is also 8 km from the Fortezza, a 16th-century Venetian citadel, and within driving distance of a number of local wineries that can be explored in the company of the Wine Walkers.
Rooms & Interior: 9 / 10
With striking interior, pristine furnishings and a wonderful ‘new room’ smell Syntopia lodgings pack a real wow factor in their look and feel. King size beds with fresh white linen take pride of place in the airy rooms which include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs as well as minifridges and tea and coffeemakers. Upgraded rooms include sea views, minibars and espresso machines; some have terraces with open-air whirlpool tubs. Suites add sitting areas with sofas so you can watch the sunset in style.
Food & drink: 9 / 10
You don’t have to worry about going hungry or thirsty during your stay at Syntopia. Three meals are served a day with soft drinks, juices, beer and wine on tap in the restaurant. A street food canteen also provides hot dogs, toasties and sandwiches if you get peckish in between which can be enjoyed on the comfy seating areas or sun drenched beds by the pool. A fully stocked bar also operates throughout the day, offering everything from iced lattes in the morning through to refreshing cocktails, premium spirits and local wines and beers.
Services & facilities: 10 / 10
The Syntopia offers unrivalled services and facilities. Fitness fanatics can get a ‘pump on’ before heading to the pool if they wish in the fully-equipped and uber-stylish gym, but if relaxation is more your tipple then head to the spa where you can melt away with a range of treatments, a hot tub, sauna and zen relaxation zone. Activities such as morning yoga, outdoor cinema clubs and live music can also be enjoyed during your stay, ensuring that you have everything you need right on your doorstep.
Rooms at the Syntopia start from £265 a night. Full details can be found online here.