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“6 Star Service - Genuine Care with a Personal Touch”

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Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection
Ranked #4 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“6 Star Service - Genuine Care with a Personal Touch”
Reviewed 27 August 2010

We recently returned from the Domes with our 3 year-old.
Its often difficult to understand what different people regard as good service so let me first note a few of the places we have stayed previously - Datai (Langkawi), Santiburi Dusit (Koh Samui), One & Only Royal Mirage (Dubai), Le Meurice (Paris), Serena Beach Hotel (Mombasa), Pangkor Laut Resort (Malaysia), Cotswold House Hotel (UK), The House (Barbados).

The hotel is situated on the side of a hill overlooking Spinalonga Island. It really does look picturesque.... the villas and suites are all constructed from local stone and little golf carts swiftly take you wherever you wish to go. However, on occasion, we decided to walk to work off the extra calories!!

It is unusual for Elounda because it actually has a beach. As many reviewers have noted before, there are loungers based under olive trees on the grass and other loungers on the beach under the shade of trees. These two areas are separated by a wooden slatted walkway on the sand. The beach is very safe because it shelves out very shallowly and our little one enjoyed the gentle waves. The beach team, particularly Palis, are out very early in the morning raking the sand and organising ready for the guests to arrive. They are also efficient at distributing water with lemon and ice at regular intervals.
Food is of a good standard. The main breakfast buffet is like any other breakfast buffet in a five-star establishment - egg station fruits, yoghurts, cereals, cold meats, freshly baked patisseries, breads etc . A nice touch was the large selection of teas available to choose from.
One could have lunch at the pool area (good club sandwich, excellent burgers) or at the beach restaurant (amazing marinated sea bass, perfectly cooked calamari, fresh greek salad, fresh pizza etc.). I felt the beach restaurant represented very good value for money given the quality of the dishes - the Sea Bass would be £8.00 or more in London. Here it was around £6.00. We ate dinner at the buffet which was of a high standard and beside the Pool which again was excellent (perfectly cooked Veal).
There is a good sized main pool which is not massive but more than adequate considering the extensive beach area. Next to the main pool is a kiddies pool (10m diameter).
The spa is excellent. I have to mention Nikos - this was undoubtedly the best sports massage I have ever had. The guy really does know his stuff - I slid off the table and crawled my way back to the suite afterward. Had to book a second round a couple of days later.... I would probably have been happy paying £200 for the hour - that is how good he is.
The kids club is excellent. Tonia really looked after our little one and nothing was too much trouble for her. She must be commended for her positive demeanour and caring approach - where did she learn to do origami, speak 3 different languages and keep so calm whilst taking care of all the energised children at the club?
Suites are top notch with excellent toiletries. We had two plasma screens in our one bedroom suite. The views are stunning - panoramic!!
Savas, the hotel manager, works very hard at making everyone feel special. He puts his heart and soul into the job - it shows. He is one of the the most passionate hotel manager's I have come across - nothing is too much trouble.
Also I must mention Emma. She went out of her way to make our little one feel special - surprises, presents, etc etc. Tonia (reception), Alexandra, Dorothee, Zlatina, Sofija, Katarina all deserve a mention. In fact all the staff work very hard to please - and it is genuine. Many thanks for all your efforts - we appreciated your warmth and postivity.

To summarise - if you enjoyed The House you'll probably like it here. The service isn't as formal as the Meurice but it is much more human. Occasionally things are forgotten but what we loved was the "staying with close friends" type feel of the place.

We will definitely return.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank beachncocktails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 26 August 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Domes in August for 10 days. We are avid readers of trip advisor reviews but have never felt compulsed to add our own review. This hotel deserves our unashamed praise. We always stay in 5 star hotels and finding one that caters for children in a subtle but friendly way was a real bonus.

The staff in the resort are so amazing. They are so child friendly!!!!!!!!!!!
The manager Savas is the best but so are the rest of the team, nothing was ever too much trouble. Upon arrival there was some confusion over our room booking but the true mark of an outstanding hotel is how they handle problems. Well again they came up trumps. Five stars all the way.

The location of the hotel is super if you want a quiet relaxing break the only downside is that you cant really walk from the hotel to any other restaurants or resort.

We would recommend this hotel over and over to anyone who has young children if they are used to staying in top hotels.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank adams010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2010

We had our private pool and outdoor jacuzzi. Kids loved it, so did we. The room was very elegant. Spa services are average and not very professionally organised. The restaurant is very good but not exceptional. The organised beach has nothing attractive. Service is outstanding. We had a problem with the outdoor jacuzzi, at 10 pm, and they fixed it within the next half hour. we were ordering snacks up to 1am. Very expensive but worth it. We were allowed to a late check-out.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spirot69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedfordshire, UK
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2010

When we checked in to the Domes of Elounda we started with a nice surprise - we had been upgraded! Having booked a private suite with pool, we were upgraded to a premium suite with pool, and I have to say that was really great. The room, pool and particularly the view were fantastic, with Spinalonga Island and dawn over the ocean being two spectacular highlights. I can particularly recommend swimming at dawn and last thing before bed - a pleasure denied in most hotel main pools as they tend to close mid-evening, but with your own private pool you can make your own rules!

The other thing that you cannot fault is the service. Others on this site have mentioned Samos, the tireless and selfless guest manager who always seems to be on duty and cannot do enough for you. Every hotel should have a Samos, but they don't and the Domes should do everything in its power to keep the one they have!

But singling Samos out is actually a little unfair to all the staff, who are unfailingly polite and helpful. There were clearly a couple of new starters on the team, but they were well-managed by their more experienced colleagues and still displayed great customer service even if they struggled with a particular question. The housemaids were efficient and friendly, and everyone from the pool cleaner to the minibar guy was friendly, spoke a little English and always had a smile.

The staff excelled at dealing with unusual requests - whether it was a third sun lounger for our room, or an impromptu (and off-menu) ham sandwich at midnight on arrival. For me this is the mark of real quality - dealing with something unusual in the same effortless way as they would deal with the routine. Staff are clearly empowered to do whatever is necessary to solve your problem completely. There are also plenty of them - no waiting about at any time while we were there.

Breakfast was buffet-style and was great - well-presented food, great choice, personal service and lovely quality. The bar area was pleasant, with friendly staff and gorgeous views. A small library is available if you have finished your holiday novel ahead of schedule! The spa looked great (although we didn't partake) and certainly smelled the part! There was a nice little shop for the essentials, and a couple of upmarket fashion boutiques if you are into your 'bling'!

Our overwhelming experience was positive, but for the sake of completeness here were the things that weren't perfect. Hopefully the hotel will read this and work to make other stays in the future even more enjoyable.

1) Unfortunately there was a smell of sewers outside our room on the final 2-3 nights. It only started late in the evening, after we had gone out to eat, but was very noticeable if we tried to sit out by the pool last thing before bed. I suspect it was the water supply that was being used for the garden sprinklers. We did report it on the final evening when it got just too awful to handle.

2) We booked B&B, as we like the flexibility to eat in or out of the hotel as the mood takes us. However, evening dining at the hotel really didn't work as well as you would hope. On the first evening we tried the main buffet restaurant. It was ok but nothing special, and we were rather shocked to discover it was 40 Euros per head excluding drinks - much more expensive than most of the local restaurants and not really able to justify that price gap. Also (and apologies to those who love kids) it was not very relaxing - a large proportion of guests were families with young children and the restaurant was noisy and not very intimate.

Unfortunately the other two restaurants were not much help. They don't seem to open every evening, and at the weekends the hotel runs a "festival of gastronomy" - a guest chef takes over for the weekend. What follows is, I'm sure, a gastronomic delight, and seems to attract visitors from all around, but for hotel guests you effectively have a choice of the afore-mentioned buffet or restaurants with extremely limited and very costly menus (90 Euros per head!).

The Domes badly needs an a la carte restaurant that is open every evening and serves a great range of food at a premium price that justifies its status but doesn't start to become excessive.

3) Having our own private pool (which was spectaular and absolutely made the visit) meant that we didn't make use of the communal pool area until check-out day. It was ok but again nothing spectacular - just a plain oval pool and some sun loungers. There were some nice leather recliner/sofas in a shady area, great for people like myself who will burn after a full day in the sun. But the main pool area, with its outlook straight onto the sea, is very exposed and the strength of the wind meant we weren't able to use the sun shades and we spent the whole day clutching our belongings to prevent them blowing away in the wind! I know the weather isn't the hotel's fault, but I understand the Meltemi winds are a feature of the island so some more thought is needed from the designers to make this a true haven all summer through.

It's easy to read a few negative comments and be put off, but please don't be. The Domes is a fantastic hotel, particularly if you are lucky enough to have one of the premium suites, with great service and a good location. If, like us, you aren't happy with the evening meal choices, do what we did - head a few minutes down the road to Elounda and enjoy some of the great local restaurants.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fuggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
53 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2010

Overall this is a well located hotel which goes out of its way to ensure you have a good holiday.

The good points:
1)The staff are excellent throughout and they all try very hard and are without exception friendly and extremely obliging.
2)The location opposite the island of Spinalonga is very picturesque. The sea is beautiful and in a protected bay - important for young children during the August meltemi wind period. The beach is sandy, narrow and long, with a cool grassy verge and shady olive trees behind.
3)There are some very nice touches which make an impression - glasses of iced mineral water at the beach, free tennis court again supplied with a cold box of water, no quibble over towels, toiletries etc. The kids ate half board for free on our deal.
4)The hotel had brought in a top Belgian chef for a Gastronomic evening which was excellent and also had invited the wine grower to talk to each table about the Cretan wines included as part of the dinner. A very special evening.
5)We stayed in a pool villa which was roomy and easily accommodated our teenage children in the sitting room on proper full size beds.
6)The rooms are well equipped with flat screen TVs, in room video and free internet.
7)The spa is good with experienced therapists.
8)The hotel is extremely family-friendly.

On the downside:
1)Some of the fittings in the rooms are a bit flimsy and showing wear after only two years.
2)The bathrooms are rather over designed. They are dark and get very hot so you are unlikely to feel like using the jacuzzi bath, in summer at least. The loo unit combined with bidet (!) is tiny and probably a challenge for those with a larger girth. Our power shower needed descaling but was great after I had spent time cleaning it with a needle.
3)Generally the half-board dinner was fair to good. The quality of produce was good but the buffet was not the most inspiring. The lunch menus were limited and we had a couple of disappointing dishes during our stay.
4)The gym needs to be bigger with more equipment, particularly a cross trainer.

We would certainly recommend the Domes of Elounda and its positives far outweigh some of the initial negative impressions. If you want a family run, very comfortable boutique resort rather than a major chain run luxury complex then this should suit you.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Flyfisher1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2010

A really overpriced & disappointing experience !

Despite great comments of former guests my family and I stayed 10 nights at the Domes.
The resort was supposed to be really fantastic and very luxurious at least in service, facilities & food. Well , it is neither. There is nothing really wrong with it, but for the price one pays, one should get much better. Overall very disappointing.

The positives :
- Staff was very friendly and helpful.
- Our room was lovely but why have they put jacuzzis on each patio when it was far too hot to use. No intimacy - most of suites were on view to people walking by.
- The small beach area was lovely & relaxing

The negatives :
- A real lack of attention to details. Fixing problems after calling up to 3 times the reception is not what you would expect in a so called 5 star hotel.
- Food at the main restaurant was a disaster : boring, lack of choice, lack of vegetables
- The Michelin star restaurant was a joke. Expensive with poor service and very average food
A taxi to Elounda or Plakis cost 7 Euros one way, but most of ther guests prefered to go to Elounda restaurants to enjoy simply cooked, fresh seafood, salads, etc, The hotel would do better if they turned their awful Michelin starred restaurant into a taverna.
- The kids club was pooly managed by a girl who didn't speak many languages despite a lot of French & Italian children - Any continuity in the activities. None of the activities displayed on the weekly program were performed by the staff.

All in all, I think that nobody at this hotel has ever seen what a luxury resort is. It is a problem if you try to be a luxury resort and charge luxury resort type rates.

AVOID !

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank langoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2010

The positives first
- The location is really nice
- The beach is very good. Shadow under the olive trees, grass, sand, clear water, shallow water for the first few meters.
- Almost everyone is genuinly friendly
- If you travel with kids, this place is good because there are so many of them that you will never have to worry about your kids disturbing others.

The negatives
- The hotel is horrendously overpriced at the rack rates. It's worth less than half that price. If you are getting a 200-220 eur night rate, then consider. Otherwise forget this place. We payed 440 eur/night for B&B accommodation and we know for sure (spoke with other guests) that the average rate is well below that price.
- I think that nobody at this hotel has ever seen a luxury resort. This is not bad per se, but it is a problem if you try to be a luxury resort and charge luxury resort type rates
- While the management tries hard to make the Domes feel like a luxury place, there is a lack of attention to the details that is typical of cheaper places. For example there is paint falling off the wall in our room, or the shower doesn't work. Granted these problems get fixed once you report them, but in a luxury resort they notice and fix it before you do.
- There is no privacy at all. From your balcony, you are completely exposed to sight (both from other balconies as well as from the street that goes from the reception area to the rooms)
- While everybody tries to help, you can feel that they are helpless. At the bar we waited 45 minutes for a pita and when we complained they said yeah sorry but don't you see we're busy? Not the answer you expect in a five star resort.

Net net - wannabe luxury, with luxury price ranges and below standard service. Totally overpriced.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank west1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection

Property: Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection
Address: Elounda, Crete 720 53, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#1 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#4 Family Hotel in Elounda
#4 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5-star Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection is set on the most privileged hill and offers luxurious accommodation with spa bath overlooking the island of Spinalonga and its Venetian castle. It has a spa and 5 restaurants serving haute cuisine dishes, a sandy beach and many swimming pools. Each of the air-conditioned suites is uniquely decorated and has easy access to the private sandy beach. They include a spacious living room with wooden floors and a satellite LCD TV. Some suites also have a private pool or open-air hot tub. This year, the new Domes Luxury Residences, along with the stunning Domes Ultraluxe Villas, come with the 'Haute Living Selection', essentially creating an exclusive haute-luxury villa boutique experience, within the already impressive resort of Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection. The spa of Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection includes an interior seawater pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub. It also offers rejuvenating therapies, such as facial and massage treatments. The 5 restaurants offer casual beachside settings or elegant dining rooms with panoramic sea views. Guests can taste progressive Greek cuisine, seafood and Cretan dishes. An Asian restaurant is also possible. The hotel is very conveniently located. The village of Elounda is 2.5 km away. Part of the Elounda myth, is the Venetian Castle on the Island of Spinalonga, the setting for Victoria Hislop's bestselling novel "The Island". The lively seaside town of Agios Nikolaos is within 12 km of Domes of Elounda. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Domes Of Elounda All Suites And Villas Spa Hotel Elounda
Domes Elounda Hotel
Domes Elounda Resort
Domes Of Elounda, Autograph Collection Crete

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