Crete reimagined through a sustainable lens

Crete’s an island of superlatives. The largest Greek island is rich in both ancient history—going back to the Minoan civilization 4,000 years ago—and flora, a botanical Eden thanks to its setting between Europe, Asia, and Africa. It’s no wonder that our newest member hotel, Cretan Malia Park, wants to do its utmost to protect this unique corner of the world.

With a certification from the iconic Blue Flag eco-label, Cretan Malia Park’s dedication to responsible living is deep rooted. The hotel’s expansive botanical gardens that are filled with wild foliage, palm trees, cacti, Indian fig, and local banana trees play a significant role in the layout and design of the spaces. The abundance of plants offers a unique reference point and source of inspiration for the hotel’s architecture and style in the form of murals, silhouettes, “living (plant) walls”, and tactile natural materials throughout. The hotel’s three restaurants not only use local ingredients—handpicked from the organic garden on the property and sourced from local farmers—but also compost the natural waste from the kitchen.

During summer months up to 70 percent of the hotel’s water is solar heated and any used oil is collected and sent to biodiesel production companies. In collaboration with a local NGO, the hotel has reduced its contributions to landfills and regularly participates (and encourages guests to) in beach cleaning drives. As for the future, Cretan Malia Park aims to reduce plastic waste by using recyclable and biodegradable materials, serve sustainable menus at the restaurants, extend the list of eco-cultural activities for guests, and clean the air and water. The property also plans to free its gardens of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and improve soil health through certified sustainable landscaping. The hotel is working with local beekeepers to help increase bee population. Staff are encouraged and supplied with the know-how to do organic farming in the low season and collaborate with the hotel on its new take on farm to table.

Taken together, it is clear that this resort takes its environmental responsibility seriously. But it is also a place where guests can try out wines from Crete’s recently revived wine industry. The property also offers a holistic approach to wellness through treatments, yoga, and meditation outdoors. A Little Explorers Kids Club, nestled in the resort’s lush gardens, as well as various high-minded and healthy dining options, bring ease and a new spin on carefree luxury to this exquisite Mediterranean property.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020