Our Reservations Manager, Sally, recently returned from a trip to Crete where she got to see and stay at some of our most popular hotels - Blue Palace Resort & Spa, Domes of Elounda, Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas, Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel, Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort and Elounda Mare Hotel Relais & Chateaux.
We touched down in Crete in the evening and, during our trip to Blue Palace, were struck by how breathtaking the scenery was. Rugged hills and stone-clad towns passed us by as we got closer to the hotel which fit in perfectly with the drama of its surroundings, perched on a hill and with gardens dotted with olive trees.
It was only the beginning, but I wasn’t sure if anything could top the dining experience we had at the Blue Door restaurant that first evening. It felt like you’d left Blue Palace and gone to one of the local taverns, with amazing Greek food and a really special atmosphere with views right over the beach and sea. We were also pleased to find out that Lady Gaga had hired out this restaurant when she stayed at the hotel!
After dinner, we took a 10-minute walk over to Plaka, a peaceful local village just 10 minutes’ walk away from Blue Palace, for after-dinner drinks.
The next day we all enjoyed a spa treatment each at The Elounda Spa. It was so serene and relaxing, and we got to make use of the thalasso pools, sauna, Jacuzzi and hamman before lunch at Isola Restaurant by the pool, overlooking the sea and the island of Spinalonga.
The day was rounded off with a sunset cruise where we sipped free-flowing Champagne and snacked on delicious canapés prepared by the resort’s talented chefs.
On our way to the next hotel, we stopped off at the impressive Domes of Elounda for lunch at Topos 1910 Beachfront Restaurant – the views from here were absolutely sensational as it’s set on a wooden pier over the sea looking out to Spinalonga island. The island was once used as a military stronghold, and a medieval citadel still stands there today which you can see from the hotel. In 1903, a leper colony was established on the island to keep people affected with the contagious Hansen’s Disease away from the population on the mainland. Spinalonga remained a leper colony until 1957, when the last of the patients were moved to Athens and the island was abandoned.
The next stop on our trip was the gorgeous Daios Cove which is set on a hillside overlooking a breathtaking bay. The infinity pool here is the length of a football pitch!
Another highlight was the spa which has two pools (one with floor-to-ceiling windows for amazing views), a Finnish sauna and heavenly hydro-massage facilities.
The views here really were stunning and we had cocktails at their trendy clifftop bar with great music. We had dinner at Ocean Restaurant which has been voted one of the top restaurants in Greece; the head chef, Dimos Balopoulos, was trained by Heston Blumenthal.
I stayed in a Deluxe Seaview Room with Private Pool. There was a beautiful marble-lined bathroom and a private balcony with my very own pool which I could sit in and gaze out over stunning views of the peninsula.
We then made our way to Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel. The Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts Collection is comprised of Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort, Elounda Mare and Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel.
We checked into our villas and suites and I was in a Peninsula Grand Villa which had its own private garden, swimming pool and outdoor dining area. I was in luxury with an Airbath tub, steam shower and seawater pool with direct access to the beach. I could happily have stayed for a couple of weeks!
We had an afternoon at leisure, where we were free to enjoy all the wonderful facilities of the hotel, including the watersports centre – we had great fun on the ‘sofa’ being pulled around the sea!
We headed over to Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort the next morning for a tour of the children’s facilities. Kids Ark caters for children of all ages, from babies to toddlers, and has numerous play areas, a children’s water park, ball games court and playground.
For the adults, there’s the amazing Six Senses spa with indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, luxurious relaxation areas and blissful treatments. The treatment I had here was my favourite out of the three I had on the trip.
That afternoon, we had the chance to visit the tennis courts at the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort and have a session with their tennis instructor. I’d highly recommend each and every one of the hotels we stayed at and wouldn’t hesitate to go back with the family in tow!
If you’d like to find out more about any of the hotels mentioned above, give me a call on 0207751 0660 to discuss your next luxury holiday to Crete or fill out the form below.