We had our first ever "all-inclusive" family vacation this summer at Kiani Beach Resort.
We have two kids aged 7 and 3 and we looked for a place that would combine some kids entertainment, easy beach access and safety. Kiani offers all that and more. The location is very quiet and all you hear at night is the sounds of nature. A sea view room is highly recommended though the mountain views are actually not bad at all. The two swimming pools (swimming pool and a kiddy pool) were very clean and conveniently sized to be able to monitor the kids without being with them all the time. The grounds of the hotel are perfectly sized so that parents can pretty much keep an eye on their kids wherever they are. The animation team was very friendly and managed to get kids and adults involved. They do face paintings, tshirt paintings, games etc. Some advertised activities not part of the animation team (like the donkey ride) were not that exciting and should be organized/set up better. The lifeguard/donkey walker/security/water sports/sunbeds and umbrellas guy was very friendly but had way too many roles and it would have been much better to have him as a full time lifeguard on duty. The evening entertainment was average other than the fantastic bellydancers who are probably the best anyone will ever see. The magician was good also. The fakir/fire show was just awful and should absolutely be dropped. The two "dudes" who showed up looked totally disorganized (a bit stoned maybe) and seemed like they just decided that night to do a "fakir show". The show is unfit for kids and too lame for adults.
Our main complaint would be the complete shut down of the sea side bar every night at 11 pm with no other options available. The lobby/lounge bar was never operated and adults had no other entertainment options on site. The seaside kiosk was always understaffed and one had to always stand in long lines to get a drink. Drinking water coolers/fountains should be available around the pool area for people/kids to get water instead of standing in line even for water. Snacks and ice creams offered pretty much throughout the day are quite good keeping the kids happy.
Food was good and the selection was very good daily. I believe that Kiani should look into upgrading the dinner part a bit with better selection and making it more of an event. Having some variety on breakfast could also be a plus while one would expect a 5-star hotel to have at least better coffee and maybe a chef making omelettes!
Overall a good value for money and very good for relaxed family holidays. A bit far from Chania but close to Almyrida which is a nice location with nice restaurants and a nice beach good for the kids. It is helpful to rent a car but be aware that driving around Crete is tiring.
Kiani is a bit of a let down for a 5 star resort but it would be great as a 4 star! They should either up their services some or drop a star. Some water sports would also be a very good addition. We would probably go back again.