Cayo’s Exclusive Resort & Spa
A story by Kaya Jay

Wellness luxury where nature and design unite.

Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa opened its doors less than a year ago in Elounda Bay on the historical titan island of Crete, Greece. The luxury resort was thoughtfully designed to blend into the surrounding mountainous landscape, and to optimize the sunshine and air exposure to highlight the local climate’s beneficial features.
Each of the stylishly-decorated 70 rooms and villas command stunning views over the bay and the famous islet of Spinalonga, a candidate for the UNESCO List of World Heritage Site. Spinalonga is an archaeological treasure, one of few remaining examples of Venetian fortress-building in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cayo's developers, passionate world travellers themselves, brought to life a longstanding dream to redefine Greece's renowned hospitality with exceptional services and luxury, all performed in the most discreet elegance. They chose Elounda Bay as the home for their dream project, after falling in love with the spectacular location on many previous visits. 

Elounda is a picturesque and tranquil fishing village with a natural and authentic feel. It is a world away from Crete’s bustling capital, making it a coveted holiday location for affluent travellers, celebrities and royalty in search of privacy, wellness and tranquility. The views over the azure bay are mesmerizing, and invite visitors to many tranquil hours of gazing at the horizon and the Spinalonga islet. It holds a magical attraction for anyone who sees travel as a life experience and not simply a holiday, and Cayo’s initiators recognized these kindred spirits and how to cater to their needs with specialized and personalized services.

Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa is purposely built to support those travellers, offering luxury, comfort, elegance, and gastronomic brilliance for discerning gourmands. Clients who desire high-quality personalized services and experiential adventures, and list privacy, security, and deep restorative wellness as the top of their priorities. 

The property enjoys a clear design DNA throughout, aimed at an eco-friendly connection to nature and Greek culture. The style is described as bioclimatic, meaning that it is entirely adapted to its surrounding landscape and aimed at heightening the sense of wellbeing of the visitors. 


Famous architect and product designer Gian Paolo Venier played a crucial role from the start. Inspired by the unique location and his deep personal affection for Greece, G.P. Venier artfully integrated traditional materials and elements into every aspect of the design. He combined elements of modern European culture with Greek and Cretan traditions in innovative ways.

When asked about Cayo’s Exclusive Resort & Spa in a recent interview Venier said:

When the project was presented to me, I was excited for various reasons: it was something motivating and absolutely challenging at the same time. It was a large project, extremely diversified, where every single room is different from the other and everything is designed with sustainability in mind. The icing on the cake: it is in Greece! A country I love everything of. Its traditions, lifestyle, colors. Greece feels like home to me.
The landscape was so powerful that it would have been impossible not to take it into account, even if I wanted to. From the exterior colors, homogeneous with the surrounding nature, to finishings, we looked for a smooth transition between nature and architecture.
We opted for cobblestones, traditionally used in Greece for paving churchyards or old squares, to add a playful touch to the walls. We dived into traditions to refresh them, and we used the same method for all materials, with a common thread: at Cayo, everything is about respecting nature

Beautifully designed interiors and stylish exteriors with private swimming pools and a panoramic view invite guests to immerse themselves in Cayo's world of exquisite elegance.

The resort has lavish facilities with spacious, magnificently decorated communal areas. There are four restaurants with beautiful outdoor spaces and stunning views, two bars, two grand communal swimming pools, a spa, a permanent spot on Plaka’s pebble beach, an outdoor amphitheatre, a fitness centre, a conference centre, shopping boutiques and two cable cars to connect the different areas.

Cayo's way of life presents wide range of choices ranging from seclusion and relaxation to eclectic off-resort activities, including private boat cruises, sea sports with qualified instructors, visits to nearby towns and museums, and inland excursions on a beautiful mountain path through centuries-old villages, lovely chapels and awe-inspiring monasteries. For the adrenaline-seekers there is hiking, cycling and climbing.

Among other ambitious projects, Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa plans to develop and establish its presence with sister properties in other famous Greek islands. A story to be continued.
Kaya Jay
Kaya is a creative storyteller at heart, with almost two decades of experience in media
directing, story editing and interviewing. Raised between her native country of Belgium and oriental Malaysia, she is a global citizen with a profound love for travel, different cultures and unifying human stories. She has divided her time between Europe, Asia and South America, and currently resides on the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain.