GK Beach Hotel, Kalives, Crete


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One of the great games in Crete is spelling because, of course, words, including those all important place names, need to be translated from the Greek alphabet into Roman letters. So an element of variation can slip in here: what is seen on a road map may not reflect, by quite a few letters, what is seen on the actual road sign. And given that some road signs have suffered the odd bullet scars due to historic local feuding, finding where you want to go can be a cross between orienteering and good guesswork. One of our trips into the White Mountains tested both the former and the latter, and my dear driver’s patience! So my top tips here are do take your reading glasses, a detailed map and allow an extra 15 minutes per hour’s driving. 

GK Beach Hotel, Kalyves, Crete © Simpson Travel

Fortunately, the spelling of the seaside village of Kalyves in Western Crete was reasonably consistent, the only alternative we saw was Kalives, so all fairly easy really! It is here that Simpson Travel has their exclusive, very friendly GK Beach Hotel, full name Galazio Kima (Blue Wave). It’s a low building with around 25 pleasant apartments, each having a very comfortable bedroom, modern bathroom and simple sitting room with basic self-catering facilities and the option of children’s beds too. GK Beach Hotel, Kalyves, Crete © Simpson TravelThe rooms are light, the furnishings modern and attractive, with a theme of light blue that runs into the poolside restaurant. Many have balconies overlooking the sea and the ground floor rooms have a small, enclosed patio. The property has the facilities of a hotel, so there is no need to do more than wander out to the restaurant if that’s what you fancy. I liked it and could happily imagine families enjoying a fine time here during the summer holidays.  When we visited in mid- October, temperature around 26 degrees at 2pm, the sun loungers were occupied by couples of mature years, basking like seals in the sun. And frankly, what could be more perfect!

GK Beach Hotel, Kalyves, Crete © Simpson TravelThe pool is a good size, a beer or glass of wine easily to hand and there’s a fabulous view over Souda bay. The hotel sits on the beach so you step onto the fine sand right from the bar. With sunbeds and parasols provided for Simpson guests, the clean, clear Mediterranean sea lapping gently a yard or two away, this tranquil spot seems just right for a perfect escape. It’s a safe beach, sloping gradually into the sea. We swam for an hour or two and enjoyed it! The lovely Simpson Travel reps (those we met were of sensible ages and disposition!) are on site every day and the hotel staff were friendly and helpful. The menus are just fine, reasonably priced, with daily special dishes and something to suit all tastes. Produce is sourced locally and the hotel owner’s farm provides much of it.

Kalyves, Crete © Simpson TravelThe village, Kalyves, about 10 minutes’ walk away, stretches along a low key high street, with a good sprinkling of shops and tavernas. Whilst a working village, it makes concessions for tourists and its good location on the coast, so English is spoken, in one form or another, almost everywhere. So if you wanted to ring the changes for lunch or dinner, the choice is yours. And of course, the Greek experience of a coffee or ouzo in a cafe, watching the world go by, should certainly be enjoyed!

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Simpson Travel for holidays in Crete.       

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Other Members' Thoughts - 6 Comment(s)

  • JPhillips
    over 4 years ago
    Have stayed in Crete 3 times before, but not in Kalives. Having read Jennie's review, this would seem like another good place to stay both to relax and to explore the area. The hotel sounds superb and with only 10 mins to walk to Kalives, it sounds like we would have the best of both worlds.
  • dottykins
    over 4 years ago
    Jennie, so pleased that you enjoyed your stay in Kalives. We went to Crete about 20 years ago and loved it, the locals are very helpful and friendly. The food is scrummy, when we got back home we found a Greek restaurant fairly near to us and regularly meet friends there. we haven't been to Kalives, it sounds like a fantastic place to be. I can't wait to see if I'm a very lucky winner of this marvellous prize.
  • iTraveller
    over 4 years ago
    Sounds like a lovely base for a stay in Crete. I visited Crete years ago with my mother and we had a wonderful holiday there. Crete is a delightful island and the local people were very friendly. We found lots of people were selling home made olive oil made from their own olive trees. We were amused to see a sign for Very Chaste Olive Oil .... I suppose this is the dictionary translation for extra virgin!
  • Joolswat5
    over 4 years ago
    Went to Kalives in 2008 with my lovely mum, it was her first trip to Grece and she absolutely loved it. We had a brilliant time together and since she passed away in 2011 I can look at our photos and remember her having fun and enjoying our time together there. Love and miss you mum from your daughter Julie xx p.s. If I'm lucky enough to win I will be able to take my sister Nicola this time and reminisce about the wonderful holiday mum and I had (fingers crossed) kind regards Julie Watson
  • Riversiderouge
    over 4 years ago
    It sounds idyllic Jennie. Why didn't I choose journalism instead of sales? I've always meant to return to Crete, having stayed in Elounda Gulf many years ago, before it became the choice of football stars and royalty. I've made a note of GK Hotel for the future on your recommendation!
  • PamWNorth
    over 6 years ago
    I really enjoyed reading your article.. The GK hotel sounds a lovely place to stay. It is almost thirty years since I spent time in Kalives and it is nice to read it remains a working village which welcomes tourists.