Clinging to the rugged Cretan coastline just a couple of kilometres outside the historical city of Chania, Domes Noruz is a brand-new boutique hotel offering a chic, design-led alternative to more traditional Greek getaways in a part of the island not yet overrun by sun-baked tourists. The hotel's name is derived from an ancient festival celebrating nature, and their philosophy follows suit; striking sandy domes blend into the surrounding earthy landscape, with contemporary comforts meeting regional touches to create a cosmopolitan, laid-back atmosphere. Better still, it's adults-only so you can relax by one of the hotel's expansive swimming pools safe in the knowledge that you're not about to get dive-bombed by a screaming child. In fact, the only thing this place screams is "summer holiday" - and it won't be long before others clock on.
The hotel offers a range of rooms, from cosy "upbeat retreats" to the "ultimate haven", a sprawling beachfront villa complete with a 40 metre-square private pool, jacuzzi and dining area; with room for five, it's perfect for pals. Whatever you choose, respite is yours in the form oasis-like rooms of clean lines, pale wood and pastel blues, with features like Smeg fridges, Elemis bath products and fluffy towels completing a chilled-out, five-star experience.
What's for breakfast?
An extensive buffet has all the usual suspects, from hefty fry ups to a healthy corner overflowing with granola, fruit, nuts and every type of milk under the sun. Look out for Cretan specialities, too.
How about lunch and dinner?
Head to Zeen, the hotel's main restaurant for local dishes such as seafood (the octopus is divine), cured meats and fresh salads - ideal for lunchtime sharing and matched by a robust selection of regional wines. The raw bar serving sushi and cocktails is an unusual addition for Crete and brings international flair in-keeping with the hotel's sophisticated vibe.
Is there a bar?
Yes, the poolside bar will keep you well-lubricated while you sunbathe and is a prime spot to watch the sunset.
It's all about the spa. While you'll struggle to tear yourself away from the glassy swimming pools, plush loungers and golden beach, the subterranean wellness centre is the ultimate zen set up, featuring an inky blue mosaic pool, sauna and steam room - ideal to unwind before dinner. Those wishing to stay active on holiday will be impressed by the well-equipped gym, while a personal trainer is on-call should you require extra motivation.
Things I should know
The local restaurant and bar scene in the area, Makris Toihos, is somewhat limited. On the upside, Chania is just a short taxi ride away and it feels like you've discovered a hidden corner of Crete, where you're more likely to bump into Greek holidaymakers than your next-door neighbour from home.
Within a short walk you can find…
The hotel is set right on Agioi Apostoloi beach, making a pre-breakfast swim mandatory.