Founded by two Cretan sisters, Agapi and Costantza Sbokou, Cretan Malia Park offers a new take on responsible luxury that is deeply rooted in their love for the island. The hotel’s approach to sustainability is holistic, focusing on well‑being, slow‑paced living, environmental responsibility, and a dedication to preserving local history and culture. Originally a camping site, Cretan Malia Park is graced with lush, sprawling gardens that house modernist structures that were originally built in the 1980s. When architect Vana Pernari revamped the buildings, she kept most of the original structures intact, using sustainable, often local materials to create a nature-based, minimalist backdrop for the surrounding beauty. The property grows vegetables and herbs in an organic garden and uses traditional Cretan recipes to forge a connection to the ancient culture. Inside, family heirlooms and antique hand-woven textiles offered design inspiration and now sit alongside works by local artisans, creating a true, timeless picture of Greece.
Cretan Malia Park is housed in buildings that were originally constructed in the late 1980s. During the renovation, sustainable, ideally local, materials were used.
The hotel has embarked on a plan to reduce the use of plastics, integrate sustainable criteria for purchases, reduce food waste, and adopt sustainable alternatives in their day-to-day operations.
Innovative measures are used to reduce energy use, eliminate gas emissions, and conserve resources.
The hotel incorporates water-saving devices and procedures, has improved the efficiency of landscape watering, and controls leakage.
Locally sourced products are prioritized. The hotel strives to contribute to the development of sustainable local businesses that can be included in the supply chain.
The hotel is dedicated to preserving Cretan culture through Greek-led design, original artwork, and the use of locally sourced ingredients in traditional Cretan recipes.
Curated, soulful experiences showcase the best of local culture and nature. Guests can explore the heritage, taste local flavors, join mindful retreats, and more.
Guests can use the free bike rental service to tour the island. An electric vehicle charging station is available on-property, and electric and hybrid cars can be rented from an external partner.
The hotel uses video and photography, in-room communications, digital campaigns, email marketing, and PR to share its sustainability initiatives.
We spoke with the team at Cretan Malia Park to learn the latest on the hotel’s conscious journey.
At Cretan Malia Park, member of Phāea Resorts, we are committed to crafting sustainable yet luxurious guest experiences that respect our community and environment and give prominence to a truer, more timeless Greece that is worth being celebrated. We are conscious of delivering uncompromising service while focusing on minimizing our environmental impact and maximizing our social impact. With people at the core of our operation, enhancing well-being and personal development for all is vitally important to us.
Guests experience our dedication to preserving Cretan culture first-hand through our Greek-led design, original artwork, and traditional Cretan recipes made with local produce. We offer heritage events, children’s cultural programs, indigenous botanical and organic kitchen gardens, and wellness offerings focused on the island’s heritage. We are dedicated to hiring local staff and giving back to our community through initiatives such as recycling, farming, volunteering, and philanthropic activities in Crete.
One of our most ambitious programs is our Phāea Farmers project. We support the efforts of the staff who are farmers during low season, guiding them towards more sustainable land use and training in organic farming methods. In doing so, we create more value for their products, better sourcing for our restaurants, and forge a strong connection to the land of Crete.
What’s more, Crete brims with quaint and quirky local customs. The resort is dedicated to keeping these local traditions alive with such activities as grape stomping in August and fire jumping in June, along with supporting heritage events such as the Cretan Street Food festival, cliff diving competition, and the Spinalonga concert series.
Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, we felt challenged by the growth of tourism and the ways it has affected our landscape, local economy, and community. We felt that there was a vital need to spread our vision, to transform hotel operations in ways that preserve what is most valuable to us and our land. Moving towards a dedicated strategy around the sustainable development of our operations was essential.
We feel that travel and luxury are now being redefined. People want to be a part of things—to give rather than take, allowing them to go home feeling changed, fulfilled, and inspired. Cretan Malia Park is not just a lovely hotel where you can spend a few restful days: it is like big hug that stays with you. We are passionate about what we do and put our heart in it. We want to turn away from anything that is mass, commercial, and identical. We embrace innovation, sustainability and family values to create concepts that respect people.