The best hotels in Rethymno combine the city's beach access with the Cretan culture, serving up local specialty dishes alongside historic stones under the sun. Whether you're enjoying a former schoolhouse turned boutique, savoring suites accompanied by one of Greece's best restaurants, or slowing down on a wellness-focused farm stay, it's hard to go wrong with these options.

Steris Elegant Beach Hotel

Photo courtesy of Steris Elegant Beach Hotel

For an affordable option just opposite the beach, try the Steris Elegant Beach Hotel. Families will appreciate the easy beach access and in-room kitchenettes for easy snack times. The Venetian port is also just a 10-minute walk away.

The 32 rooms, apartments, and suites are modern and cheerful, with bright, colorful accents and enticing views. Start with breakfast or sleep in and visit the Ambrosia restaurant at any time of the day. If the sea isn't calling to you, hop in the pool instead or order straight from the snack bar to your sun lounger.

Pepi Boutique Hotel

Photo courtesy of Pepi Boutique Hotel

Find a quiet retreat in the center of the Old Town at the adults-only Pepi Boutique Hotel. You don't have to choose between history and sun, either; the beach is just a 10-minute walk away, while the museums, cafés, and nightlife of Old Town are just outside your door.

The building was once one of Europe's oldest primary schools before being used as the headquarters of a cotton and silk business, then becoming the family-owned boutique hotel it is today. The 18 rooms surround a garden and a small outdoor swimming pool. Linger in a deck chair under the palm trees or head into the hotel's wine cellar to explore their historic collection.

Avli Lounge Hotel

Photo courtesy of Avli Lounge Hotel

Travelers in search of a gastronomic Cretan experience should head to the Old Town's Avli Lounge Hotel. The cluster of renovated Venetian buildings includes 10 suites, a wine cellar, a shop full of local artisanal products, and one of Greece's best restaurants.

The suites have been designed to complement their surrounding streets with colorful and romantic sophistication and exposed stone. Slip into the floral courtyard of the Avli restaurant for a fresh Cretan breakfast or romantic four- or six-course dinner from the internationally awarded kitchen. Finish it off with a visit to the highly curated wine cellar for a glass or tasting class. If you're feeling inspired, cooking classes, wine tastings, and olive oil experiences will help you learn to recreate the flavors of Crete even back at home, with a little help from the products in the store.

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Art Hotel Veneto

Photo courtesy of Art Hotel Veneto

If you'd prefer something a little artsier in Rethymno town, head to Art Hotel Veneto. The 600-year-old building was once a Dominican monastery and is now home to 12 suites, one of the island's standout restaurants, and a unique art shop to surround you with Cretan culture.

Details like stone arches, bright accent walls, and elaborate wooden doors set the scene in the rooms and suites, and the deluxe suites even have their own private lobby areas. Check out the private backyard and wine cellar, then head to the Veneto Restaurant for unique local dishes that have been certified by the Agronutritional Cooperation of Crete, alongside a wine list that received a gold distinction from Vinetum. Try your hand at a wine-tasting or cooking class, then stop in the art shop to bring home just the right memento.

Rimondi Boutique Hotel

Photo courtesy of Rimondi Boutique Hotel

If you want to luxuriate in the Old Town, head to the Rimondi Boutique Hotel. The property has three separate buildings, all marked by distinctive architecture and attention to detail: the Palazzo Rimondi, where part of the building dates back to the Venetian occupation; the Rimondi estate, which includes pool view and spa suites; and the Rimondi Residences.

Find 20 rooms and 13 suites by wandering past hidden pools and through tranquil stone courtyards to plush textiles and crisp white accents. Take a dip in one of the multiple swimming pools or bask on the roof terrace. Then savor the all-day menu at the main restaurant or enjoy sophisticated cocktails and light bites at the pool bar.

Kapsaliana Village

Photo courtesy of Kapsaliana Village

If you're looking for an indulgent family agritourism experience, head outside the city to the Kapsaliana Village. This luxury retreat amid one of Crete's largest olive groves focuses on "stripping off contemporary excess and replacing it with balance and equilibrium," emphasizing respect for nature and fellow humans, autonomy, sustainability, and collaboration.

The property was once a village of roughly 50 inhabitants centered around an olive mill. It's now a complex of rooms and suites, along with a swimming pool, lounge, and restaurant, all designed with respect to the original structures and natural materials. Tour the estate and learn about the history of the olive mill, then schedule a yoga session or massage to reach peak relaxation; an outdoor excursion like hiking, mountain trekking, or sea kayaking; or a culinary education with a cooking or bread-making class. Complement it with a breakfast buffet, casual lunches, and fine dining dinners at the hotel restaurant, or hide out in one of the hotel's aperitivo corners for an intimate drink.

Dalabelos Estate

Photo courtesy of Dalabelos Estate

If you'd rather stay out in the countryside, try the Dalabelos Estate. This agritourism complex near the Angeliana village, close to Panormo and roughly a 20-minute drive from Rethymno, includes 10 modern stone studios and two luxury villas blending into the Cretan countryside to create a holistic wellness retreat.

Dine on Cretan cuisine in the spacious courtyard, made from products grown on the farm. Wander through the olive grove or fruit-tree-filled orchard, gather vegetables from the garden, and even participate in chores like feeding the chickens or collecting their eggs. Participate in weekly cooking classes, folk music nights, or pottery classes to get extra interactive. Hop on a mountain bike or join a guided hiking tour to go out into the surrounding nature, or simply enjoy it from the poolside or your own private jet tub.