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Crete reimagined through a sunstainable lens
10/03/2021

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  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.

Words Vidula Kotian | Originally published by Design Hotels

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.

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The Phāea Farmers Program

Phāea Resorts are committed to hiring local staff wherever possible and embrace that many work as farmers in low season, as Crete is a highly self-sustainable island known for its agriculture. We are investing in our employees’ agricultural efforts with the Phāea Farmers Program, providing support through collaborations with agronomists to train in organic farming methods and sustainable land use. Ultimately the program is creating more value and quality production and the resorts can source the highest quality local produce for use at the resorts.

There are currently 18 employees in the program cultivating 52 land parcels reaching a total of 19 local communities around Crete. Training programs include how to plant vegetables, theoretical and practical trainings on soil health and sustainable crop management, agriculture productivity and pruning practices in selected olive grove and vineyards.

A variety of products are produced including aloe, grapes, wine, herbs, honey, fruits (apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, citrus (orange, lemons, mandarins), olives/olive oil, seasonal vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, potatoes), dairy products, and raki, a traditional, Cretan grape-based spirit.

Maison Flâneur – a dreamy collaboration

Cretan Malia Park is excited to announce its new partnership with Maison Flâneur and Design Hotels™. In an exciting collaboration, Maison Flâneur is presenting a curated, limited edition of Cretan Malia’s art & design items, furniture & lighting decorative pieces and a unique catalogue of homeware.

For the new nomad that seeks interesting interiors pieces that are rooted in a destination.

Have you ever fantasised about the interiors of a hotel or restaurant to the point that you were tempted to cling onto an intricately decorated vase and leave with it under your arm?

Such objects can linger in our memory long after we’ve returned home – but the Maison Flâneur team have the answer.

A chef’s Culinary Chronicles

An Interview With Lefteris Iliadis

Born and raised in Crete, Lefteris Iliadis found his calling as a chef at an early age—a passion that took him into the kitchens of acclaimed Greek and international hotels until it pulled him back home. Inspired by the island’s rich UNESCO-protected culinary heritage, Iliadis, who heads the culinary offerings at Cretan Malia Park, believes that the most flavorful food is made simply with the highest quality, fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. He considers it a part of his job to inspire and educate guests about the surrounding bounty by taking them on tours of the organic kitchen garden and exploring the resort’s botanical gardens.

Originally published by Design Hotels

 

Agapi & Contantza Sbokou Recreating Crete

When hospitality is part of your legacy—as it is for Agapi and Costantza Sbokou, whose father founded the family hotel business—you feel a sense of responsibility to uphold the traditions that have helped the company grow over the decades. When you are from Crete that responsibility is magnified. “Hospitality is an essential element of our DNA,” explains Costantza. “We Cretans open our homes to our guests. We welcome them to our land in a unique and authentic way.” Indeed, “authenticity” takes on new meaning at Cretan Malia Park, marking a distinct evolution in the sisters’ vision of hospitality.

Words by Ken Baron | Originally published by Design Hotels

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