Cayo Exclusive Resort is great for couples seeking a getaway, or for families looking for an exclusive, fun-filled vacation spot. The site gives absolute privacy to its guests in its rooms which are really like small homes, with private pools.
Newly-opened in 2021, Cayo Exclusive Resort and Spa faces the rising sun, an anomaly on the northern coast of Crete, because of its location near the mouth of Mirabello Bay, a large inlet in eastern Crete which forces the coastline into a north-south, eastern-facing configuration. Instead of waking in the morning and the sea being to the north, the sea at Cayo is to the east, affording gorgeous direct line-of-site sunrises every morning.
Cayo Resort has a high degree of environmental considerations built-in; for example, the heat generated by its air conditioning units is used to heat the main building’s water through a state of the art heat recovery system. Another eco-friendly feature are its green roofs, visible to guests from their rooms as the resort’s buildings are built on a downgrade tumbling to the sea, and small gardens enclosed by stone retaining walls.
The architectural details and room design come courtesy of Italian Gian Paolo Venier, an award-winning designer of interior and exterior spaces and furniture. Venier has a brilliant eye for functional shapes that are also pleasing to the eye.
The entire complex gives guests a panoramic, eastward-facing view of the tourist village of Plaka and the waters of Mirabello Bay, with the historical fortress islet of Spinalonga just off the coast a few hundred meters. The eastward-facing orientation allows the brilliant light of Crete to bath the entire resort in stunning, clear sunlight for most of the day.
The site gives absolute privacy to its guests in its rooms which are really like small homes, with private pools. Cayo Exclusive Resort is great for couples seeking a getaway, or for families looking for an exclusive, fun-filled vacation spot. The interiors by Gian Paolo Venier are an elegantly understated hybrid of modern European/traditional Greek and Cretan design traditions. There are paved paths reminiscent of island villages, with small gardens and potted plants of all kinds. For easier access, a funicular serves those staying higher up the slope.
Guests love the location (which is quiet even during high season), the private pools, the opulent décor, the excellent wait staff, the gourmet dining experience, the ease of accessibility for those with special needs, the inspiring sea views from the main pool, and the perfect way the entire complex fits into its topographical surroundings.
Cayo’s driving philosophy in room design is to re-establish the unity that human beings have with their natural environment. Once that is accomplished, people immediately begin to relax, unwind.
With that in mind, Cayo has 70 beautifully designed rooms with private pools and exquisitely designed floor plans which take advantage of the ample sunlight Crete offers. Balcony views are uniformly spectacular, as the eye travels over the green roofs of neighboring rooms, down the slope to the village, then across the azure sea to the islet of Spinalonga and beyond, providing a peaceful, restful vista. The décor and paint scheme of the rooms fully complement and are enhanced by the bright light of the sun.
All rooms have sea view, private veranda with dining table, chairs, outdoor shower and private fresh-water pool (except the basic Superior Room).Other amenities include 24-hours room service, turndown and wake-up services, pillow selection.In-room breakfast, butler and chef services are available upon request.
Guests love the flow design of the rooms, the detached home fell of the rooms, the private plunge pools, the sun-filled terraces, and the general feel and quality of the furnishings and the color schemes, as well as the attention paid to small details, such as the top-shelf toiletries, the nespresso maker, and the regularly re-stocked fridge.
Room has unobstructed view of the sea. The standard amenities include COCO-MAT beds, 55 smart TVs with satellite channels, lighting control panels, mini bar, coffee and tea making facilities, double free-standing bowl sinks, bathrobes—slippers, magnifying mirrors, Cayo Bath amenities, and many other. One Queen or two single beds.
Superior Room with Private Pool
Fresh water pool runs the width of the private terrace, making it similar to an infinity pool. Terrace offers “widescreen” views of the sea and Spinalonga Island. Room design includes a spacious bedroom with fine fabrics and furnishings, open plan bathrooms with a separate walk-in crystal cabin rain shower, a private toilet, and top of the line branded bathroom amenities.
Executive Room with Private Pool
These luxuriously decorated rooms have a corner view, offering exterior views from two sides, and come with a private furnished terrace and freshwater pool with sunbeds. The spacious open-plan bathrooms are designed for comfort and have a walk-in crystal cabin rain shower, premium toiletries, and bathroom amenities.
Premium Room with Private Heated Pool
Premium room with panoramic sea view and private heated pool features a bedroom with a queen or twin beds (Coco-mat mattress) and a spacious bathroom with a cabin rain shower. Very large furnished veranda, with heated pool, sunbeds, and outdoor shower.
Family Duplex with Private Pool & Pool Basement Level
The two-level Family Duplex features two bedrooms (1 with double/twin beds and 1 with double sofa bed) and two ensuite bathrooms. The master bedroom and access to the veranda are on the entrance level. There is a flight of stairs leading from the walk-in closet to the lower level. A sizable pool window fills the lower-level room with natural light, and a separate exit affords additional privacy. The pool’s terrace and the upper level offer an unobstructed sea view.
Deluxe Two-Bedroom Heated Pool Villa - Premium Sea View
CAYO’s Premium Sea View is configured in three levels, with an elevator for your convenience in addition to a staircase. The Premium Sea View takes the top spot both in luxury, and in location, as it is the highest level in the resort with access to lower levels of the resort via a funicular. It’s a luxuriously appointed villa bathed in Cretan sunlight and affording a spectacular 360-degree panoramic sweep of the resort, the sea, Spinalonga islet, and the surrounding hills of Crete.
It comes with a large private furnished terrace, a heated pool, a gym in the lower level, king-sized beds, and en-suite bathrooms. The lower level also features a double sofa bed, it’s own bathroom, and a 55-inch smart TV.
The Premium Sea View Villa lacks nothing for a complete, comfortable, relaxing vacation experience. The interiors are a combined over 200 m2 , making it larger than most average homes.
Indulge yourself in the modern and cozy living room, enjoying a panoramic view followed by a private dinner under the stars. The Villa gives you room to have some alone time, and also to enjoy the company of your loved ones.
Cayo Grand Heated Pool Villa - Premium Sea View
Like the Deluxe Two-Bedroom Heated Pool Villa, the Cayo Grand Heated Pool Villa has three levels and sits at the highest point of the hotel complex, which give you a panoramic view of both sea and land. Its configuration and its size are also pretty similar. Levels are connected via elevator and staircase. This is a beautifully designed and architecture unit, appointed with stylish elegant furniture and the finest fabrics.
You can soak in herb-infused a tub and gaze out the window at the serene view of the Sea of Crete and historic Spinalonga islet. The Grand Villa is full of accoutrements and amenities that are the last word on luxury holidays. There is all kinds of room in this place. It has an eco-friendly design and bioclimatic architecture which make efficient use of finite natural resources.
The villa has elegant lines and a muted color scheme in its interiors which transition in a subtle, natural way as you move to the spacious exterior spaces and the heated pool. When you pull the drapes open in the morning, filling the room with bright morning light, you’ll be greeted by the azure, sparkling waters of the Sea of Crete and the rise of Spinalonga in the distance.
There is a workout space with the latest in Gym equipment on the lower level. Lower level also features a double sofa bed, a separate bathroom, and a home cinema with a 55-inch smart T.V.
Food and Drink
Cayo restaurants’ menus are carefully curated by chef Leftheris Lazarou, who has earned a coveted Michelin star during his career. Menus feature fresh, locally-grown fruit and produce grown on eco-friendly farms, and herbs in season from the resort’s own herb garden used to garnish and augment wonderfully creative menu choices drawn from Greek, Cretan, and international cuisine. Food digests easier in a pleasant environment, and it would be hard to beat the soft, indirect lighting and décor which complements the beauty of the environment outside the restaurant’s doors. The exquisite menu selections are completed with a wide variety of both Greek and international wine choices.
Ambrosia (“nectar of the gods”) is the flagship restaurant serving a nourishing buffet which includes a breakfast featuring both local breakfast traditions and out of this world pastry choices, and a dinner with a daily revolving menu. Vegans will be pleased with the Vegetarian menu, and youngsters will love the Cayo Young Menu for kids. Menu choices include fresh juices, nine styles of coffee (filtered, frappe, cappuccino, cafe latte, etc), tea choices, Danishes, croissants, local honey, yoghurt, cereals, Cretan farm eggs with bacon, ham and sausage, and much more.
The Sage & Thyme Mediterranean Restaurant has snacks and a varied lunch menu in an elegant, outdoor, poolside setting overlooking the pool and the sea. Menu choices include rib eye steak, black angus burgers, pizza, sandwiches, pasta, risotto, salads, main dishes, and desserts.
Kelari Gourmet Restaurant is a place to have a high-class dining experience in a private setting. The menu focuses on quality over variety, offering perfectly prepared traditional Greek fare such as grilled squid, sea bream fillet, lamb, slow-cooked lamb, and chicken fillet. Try the traditional walnut pie for dessert.
Stone Beach by Cayo restaurant serves lunch and snacks all day long and specializes in fresh seafood, and sandwiches such as mini beef burgers with cheddar and club sandwiches. Views from the restaurant’s terrace are spectacular. Menu choices include shrimp sauté with tomato sauce and feta, smoked eggplant, lobster, and the fish of the day. Desserts are to die for: cheesecake with fruit garnish, several varieties of ice cream, tarts with cream, and fresh fruit.
The Emerald Bar is a link from the resort’s lobby to its wide, spacious veranda. As the evening fades, the sky goes from fiery red to dark blue, and the summer moon rises fat and pregnant over the sea’s horizon, you can more deeply appreciate your evening idyll with refreshing spirits and selected cocktails in one of the resort’s elegantly decorated bars. Classic, signature and non-alcoholic cocktails, wine by the glass, coffees, teas and freshly squeezed juices are all available.
The Enastron(“star-filled”) Bar, with its coloured bottles on shelves behind the barkeep, is a beautifully stylish poolside oasis, where you can enjoy your favorite drink and the wide vista views.
Spa and Wellness
The Armonia (Harmony) Spa, operated by Aegeo Spas team, features a large indoor relaxation pool, a steam room, three treatment rooms, a sauna, a hair salon, and a nail salon. A team of experts caters to your individual needs with an extensive range of treatments and superior products which relax, renew, and rejuvenate you. Try the Cretan Massage with warm olive oil & raki, the de-stressing Gentle Kiss massage with lavender, or the King & Queen treatment for couple, inspired from Ancient Greek Mythology. You’ll find inner peace and harmonious balance between mind and body during your visit.
The resort’s pool area is a stylish relaxing oasis, with two big swimming pools, each well over a hundred square meters, custom-designed parasols, comfortable sunbeds and breathtaking views. Absolutely beautiful, especially during dusk.
The Cayo’s exclusive private area on Plaka Beach is only 250m from the resort. It features a pebble beach with a walkway into the sea, private parasols, sunbeds, and the Stone Beach House – a laid back lounge serving creative cocktails and fresh Mediterranean-based fare. A shuttle which runs to and from the beach/town runs from 7:00 to 23:00, and is both convenient and useful.
Cultural and art performances and live music events are put on at the resorts’ amphitheater, whose scaled-down design mimics that of ancient Greek amphitheatres, and provide the perfect opportunity to meet and share impressions with other resort guests.
Cayo’s state-of-the-art facilities, including three conference halls and a small chapel, can accommodate any event you desire, from sumptuous weddings to corporate events. A team of experts stand ready to cater your every need.
In the Area
There are several water sports and diving centers close by for active sports lovers, offering water skiing, wakeboarding, jet skis, tubes, stand-up paddles, and sea kayaks. Sailors will appreciate the protection of of Mirabello Bay, and windsurfers will find inviting spots in the area of Agios Nikolaos, of which Cayo Resort is a part.
There are more than 100 hiking and cycling routes, maintained by the municipality of Agios Nikolaos, with marked trails taking you through evergreen forests, scenic mountains, and valleys and gorges. The rock climber’s favorite, Pezas Hill, can be found just east of Agios Nikolaos, with four imposing rocks (Minoas, Talos, Istronas and Panas), hiking routes of varying difficulty, and breathtaking views of Mirabello Bay and the Lasithian mountains.
The Plaka village is only a short walk away (there is a free shuttle from the hotel) and it has some nice cafes and restaurants. The city of Elounda is 10 min drive from the resort (8€ with a taxi). Elounda is a place of great historical significance. The original ancient town of Olous is a nearby sunken city. The cosmopolitan Agios Nikolaos city is 15 km away, with its famous “lake with no bottom” and many places of interest– a great destination for day trippers who will have a hard time exhausting all its sights in one outing.
The region of Agios Nikolaos include such attractions as Spinalonga islet, which you can visit by using one of the water taxis from Plaka, which leave every half hour. For the first half of the 20th century, Spinalonga was Greece’s last leper colony, and the focus of the bestseller by Victoria Hislop. There are no traces of leprosy, or of the former unfortunate inhabitants of the island, but you can wander through their deserted village, where leper suffers lived, married, had children, and died.
There is also an old Venetian fortress on the islet, built of the site of an even older, ancient fortress which protected the ancient city of Olous at the foot of the Bay. Spinalonga Islet has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other points of interest in the area include the islet of Kalydon, connected to the mainland by a causeway, with its beautiful secluded inlets, and Kritsa, near Agios Nikolaos, one of the oldest villages in Crete, with the ruins of the ancient Minoan village of Latos and its fortress about 3km away.
Plaka, Schisma Elountas 720 53
+30 28410 447-00
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