Swaying palms, Indian figs, and banana trees are part of an exotic garden that serves as a strong reference point… and a dynamic architectural element that animates the property. The hotel’s modernist structures were constructed in the late 1980s by Antonis Stylianides, who once worked with Bauhaus legend Walter Gropius. Cretan Malia Park was fully renovated in 2018 by Vana Pernari, who used assorted colors, materials, and styles from multiple design eras, while still maintaining a strong Cretan identity.
The hotel uses traditional materials, textures, and colors of Crete, as well as curious indigenous objects to curate a warm atmosphere. Walnut, chestnut, and bamboo combine with rattan, ceramic, stone, and brass to create a palette of wood tones, mustard yellow, copper-red, blue, green, and orange that imparts a relaxed, boho mood in the bright, airy rooms. Murals artistically bring the nature of Crete inside the living spaces and serve as main focal points for the interior design.
With the Explorer’s Kids Club, nestled amongst the lush gardens the little ones will love the children’s kitchen for baking activities, the play area, an environmental awareness space, and a performance area for dance and theater. Outside, one finds a playground and a small organic garden for kids, who can participate in the hotel’s green program. A separate hut doubles as a quiet space for teenagers who want to read and relax.
The hotel’s three restaurants—under lauded chef Athinagoras Kostakos—use ingredients handpicked from its garden and from local farms to serve a sustainable selection of Cretan, Italian, and Mediterranean specialties. An abundance of Cretan wines allows guests to experience the island’s recently revived wine industry.