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Our review : Daios Cove in Crete

Daios Cove is certainly Crete’s most successful 5-star hotel to date, and one of the very best in Greece. With its brand-new spa and high-tech treatments, it offers a premium wellness experience under a sparkling sun. Pascal Languillon, CEO of Luxe Wellness Club, tells us about his stay at a hotel that was not previously a major European wellness destination, but is now becoming one…

A resort on the edge of a turquoise sea

The imposing resort is well integrated into the landscape (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Daios Cove is a resort located in the most popular area of Crete, the region of Elounda and Agios Nikolaos, where the majority of 5-star hotels are found. This region of Crete is a kind of local Saint-Tropez. The advantage of Daios Cove over its competitors is that the hotel has its own cove. No other hotel in sight!

On paper, Daios Cove ‘s size is impressive. Just think: 300 rooms, 5 restaurants, 2 bars and even 2 funiculars… And yet, the resort’s integration into the landscape has been a success. Hotels of this size are usually concrete towers that disfigure the landscape; here, the materials chosen and their color, as well as the distribution of villas on the hillside, mean that the resort seems to blend into the landscape.

The resort’s virtually private beach (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

As soon as you arrive, a hostess will take you to admire the view from the resort’s highest point, a platform above reception. It’s a good way to take a first photo, but it’s also a good way to get your bearings. My eyes were immediately drawn to the water features: the various pools, and the resplendent sea below. What a pleasure it was to take a dip a few minutes later!

A very summery atmosphere (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

If you choose Crete as a destination, it’s obviously for the sea, and at Daios Cove it doesn’t disappoint! The water is perfectly transparent (you can even see a few fish with a snorkel) and deliciously warm. What I particularly liked about this hotel is that you can see the sea from everywhere, all the time. All rooms face the sea (no sad “garden view” here), as do all the restaurants, but also most of the spa, the fitness room, the yoga room… It’s a lot of fun!

Sea-view rooms with private pools

Unsurprisingly, my room 619 had a good sea view. The nice touch was an individual pool for those times when you didn’t want to frolic in the resort’s large communal pool… This pool is particularly useful at sunset, with or without a drink in hand.

Rooms are a minimum of 40 m². They are spacious and functional. Bathrooms feature both shower and bathtub. Nothing to complain about, everything is clean and well thought out. However, I found the bed perhaps not soft enough for my taste. Management plans to renovate all the rooms in 2024, after refreshing all the common areas in recent years, including the magnificent spa as we’ll see below.

Pascal by the private pool (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

A magnificent spa that rivals the best in Europe

Obviously, as a wellness expert, the main purpose of my stay was to test the Daios Cove spa and see how it compares with the European leaders. Is the ambition to become one of the best wellness hotels in Greece justified?

The spa’s rather strange name, Kepos By Goco, impresses right from the reception room, certainly one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in a spa to date, thanks to its splendid sea view and ultra-modern, uncluttered feel.

Spa reception (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The fitness room is equally impressive, with a wide range of equipment and treadmills facing the sea. Note the boxing gym and all the dedicated BXR London facilities. The facility offers sports coaching classes several times a day. A large room for yoga and gentle activities (gong baths) also allows you to practice facing the deep blue sea.

The magnificent view from the fitness room (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

A bright indoor pool allows you to swim when the weather’s not great (a rarity here). So it’s mainly used for aguagym and REAX RAFT classes, a kind of yoga/pilates practiced on what looks like a stand-up paddle, only wider and more stable… The spa also features an indoor hydrotherapy pool with jets for massaging tired shoulders and backs. It completes the “Vitality Experience ” area, offering a therapeutic circuit with sauna, steam rooms and sensory showers.

Indoor pool with sports activities (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The spa also boasts 16 treatment rooms, which is a significant number. Beyond the size, what really stood out for me was the quality and range of treatments on offer .

Complete wellness programs with advanced diagnostics and biohacking

Daios Cove has invested in cutting-edge technology and biohacking to offer guests an advanced , modern wellness experience, not just a few traditional massages as too many 5-star hotels still do. Few places in Europe today can boast a hyperbaric oxygenation chamber for deep organ oxygenation. I’ve only seen them at Clinique Nescens in Switzerland, at the Rosebar Longevity at Six Senses Ibiza, and at RAXka Wellness Clinic in Bangkok, so it’s still a rare piece of equipment.

Daios Cove also offers cryotherapy, which I was quick to do. This 3-minute treatment in freezing air (-85°C) reduces inflammation and boosts the body’s overall energy level. The facility also offers vitamin intravenous treatments, LED light therapy for the face (see photo below), infrared sauna, and colon hydrotherapy with a machine that allows you to perform the treatment yourself in complete privacy.

I’m no stranger to the world’s most advanced medical spas (see my articles on Chenot Palace Weggis and SHA Wellness Clinic, among others), and here I was able to gauge the seriousness of the diagnostic phase. Daios Cove has a doctor on site (making it a medical spa), and a nutritionist.

I was able to test the Styku 3D body scanner, which scans a person in 3D. To do this, you had to stand on a rotating table facing the body scanner and hold a pose for 40 seconds, the time it took to complete the rotation. Results: I’m in the top 10% of most athletic men in my age group. What great news!

Hydrotherapy pool with jets (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Another interesting test is that of metabolism, with a device that measures respiratory flow (CO2/02). Surprise: I tend not to burn fat easily. It seems counter-intuitive given my build, but the nutritionist managed to explain to me that if I’m thin, it’s mainly because I live a very healthy lifestyle. Second piece of good news, then.

I had a truly exceptional facial by a therapist called Aggeliki. With products from the 111SKIN range, which specializes in treatments inspired by cosmetic surgery. The treatment was very complete, with a mask too (see photo above), and the therapist was really good with her hands. At the end of the treatment, I felt like I’d had both a Kobido and a micro-lifting! The skin has undeniably regained its radiance.

A perfectly orchestrated body massage by Marina convinced me that Daios Cove has recruited the best talent in Crete for its spa. I get fussy over time, and here I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of care.

The Cretan diet: a triumph for taste and health

Daios Cove has 5 lovely restaurants. In every restaurant, there are numerous “wellness” dish options. My three favourites were, in no particular order: RHO, for its raw cuisine full of flavour and extra healthy, Ocean for its fine cuisine by Ducasse Conseil, and Taverna for its authentic Cretan cuisine. It’s scientifically proven that the Cretan diet keeps you healthy and long-lived (see research on the“Blue Zones“, the places in the world with the highest number of centenarians).

Taverna restaurant terrace (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Among the dishes I liked best during my stay, I’d first like to mention the “Steamed grouper with mini broccoli and iodine emulsion” from the Ocean restaurant, let’s continue with the “Beef carpaccio with graviera cheese, sourdough bread, herb pesto, pickled onion”, to end with the “Carpaccio of sea bass, sea fennel, kumquat and citrus” from the Rho restaurant.

Cretan breakfast at the Taverna (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

But if there’s one moment I’ll remember in particular, it’s the Cretan breakfasts served in the Taverna, with its sumptuous sea view. I’m a big fan of feta, olives and tomatoes. Here they are mixed in a bowl for breakfast! Add to that hummus, fruit salad, eggs on avocado mousse, and a delicious almond milk cappucino, and I was full every morning.

What also impressed me throughout Crete was the quality of the products. Here the tomatoes are really tasty, the olive oil is powerful, the feta is tasty… For that reason alone, I know I’ll have to make another trip to Crete soon!

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Our feeling

Daios Cove has succeeded in creating a first-rate wellness offering within its trendy, pleasant resort. A brand-new spa, top-quality treatments and healthy cuisine go hand in hand here with a turquoise blue sea and a very summery atmosphere. A hotel that knows how to do everything and that convinced us!

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Rates: from 500 euros per night in high season. Additional wellness programs. Exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefits.

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