Thanks to the very generous people at Silver Travel Advisor and Simpson Travel, we’ve just spent an amazing week in Western Crete at the GK Beach Hotel. As you know, I’m a keen comper and I always have my suitcase packed for my next trip, so I was able to combine my travel experience with my comping hobby by adding several reviews onto the Silver Trip Advisor website and I ended up bagging this wonderful prize.
First thing first. Let me tell you about the first class pre-departure service we received from Simpson Travel. A personal booking service, the offer of car hire or private transfer to our hotel, a generous 20kg luggage allowance each, proper luggage labels and meet and greet at Chania airport on arrival with a cool bottle of water.
On arrival at GK Beach we were met by Chris and Sev, our Simpson Travel reps who showed us personally to our junior suite (room 1A) and gave us a run down of the facilities. It was fabulous to have such a personal touch. Simpson Travel also provided us with a gift of Cretan honey, lavender oil and some oregano (handy for those Greek salads). As we were on a B&B basis, they also provided a very generous 50 euro voucher towards dinner and drinks at the hotel.
The hotel is small and friendly. All the communal space is outdoor and is, in the main, shared with the general public (with the exception of the pool and certain designated sitting areas and sunbeds for Simpson Travel guests only).
Our room was bright and spacious with a mini kitchen area so we were able to knock up a quick lunch…..well, until, that is we discovered the village bakery at Kalyves, then it was pies all the way (spinach, feta, potato and burger!).
Breakfast was an absolute delight and included Greek yoghurt, thyme honey from the owner’s hives, feta cheese, a selection of fruit and veg, a cooked selection (eggs, bacon etc), pastries, excellent quality coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, PG Tips, and the yummiest sourdough bread.
The location of GK Beach couldn’t be better. It is right on the beach, five minutes to the local supermarket and 20 minutes walk to the centre of Kalyves with its many tavernas and shops (oh and the aforementioned bakery).
We dined at GK a couple of evenings. The food is fresh and made to order. We both had this very tasty sea bream.
We spent our days walking into the town which has a lovely little harbour, mooching about and generally doing nothing. There is of course much to see in and around the Souda Bay area, but as we are in the process of moving house, we just wanted to chill out.
The evenings we didn’t spend at the hotel, we tried some of the local tavernas. In Provlita, right on the seafront, I had the most delicious lamb chops I have ever tasted in my life. The Greek salad served there was a jewelled masterpiece too!
My favourite thing to do the whole week, was to sit under this tree in the main square in Kalyves, reading my book, and drinking coffee.
We had a fabulous break! Thanks so much to Silver Travel Adviser and Simpson Travel for such a wonderful experience. Crete has worked its magic on us. We submitted to the gentle pace of life and have come home refreshed and ready to move house!