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“the paradise of harmony”

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Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel
Ranked #11 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 July 2008

We have just returned from Elounda Mare in Greece,Crete! We had a real relaxation. This place is perfect for your body,soul and mind. The gorgeous hotel with beautiful garden,amazing seaside (perfect for being alone with your thoughts and emotions), excellent food and its unique hospitality, that impressed me so much! It seemed that it's your second home,where all that paradise was created just only for you!
Only the last days I felt myself little bit boring, because this hotel is very very calm, for real relaxation and rest, so one week is more than enough.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank ravdiamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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283 - 289 of 443 reviews

Reviewed 18 June 2008

We booked this hotel via a luxury auction Web site and were delighted to get a 5-night package, including breakfast, plus dinner for 2 one evening for a very reasonable price.

Had we paid normal rates, we would have been disappointed in the value for money, as the hotel is really lovely, but had inconsistencies in its service. We admittedly are quite critical travellers, so I am sure most guests of this hotel would be happy in their stay. However, as we stayed during the shoulder months, and the hotel was practically empty, we did sense that perhaps standards for such a 5-star hotel weren't quite there.

We arrived late at night and were shown to Bungalow 40. The seawater pool was being filled as we arrived and the man helping us with our luggage handed us a welcome letter that was for a completely different couple and room. Given that we were in shoulder season and it was clear that there were lots of unused rooms and bungalows, it would have been nice to have been offered the option of an upgrade.

Bungalow 40 was OK, but I'd advise avoiding it, as it is located next to the property's church and overlooks a private beach and pavement, which is great, but means that there is a constant flow of pedestrian traffic to the side and below you -- so you actually cannot enjoy your "private pool" in private.

The bungalow room was a bit smaller than we had expected, but it was clean and tastefully decorated in Greek furnishings with white walls. The bathroom was very nice, with a whirlpool tub and stand-alone shower.

Outside our private garden wasn't so nice. There was a large olive tree blocking out most of the sun, so where there should have been plants or grass, we had a big patch of dirt. Also, the tree blocked most of the sun, so lounging was a bit chilly. The private pool was freezing cold. The hotel does say that they only heat the pools during shoulder months, but I literally couldn't swim in it as I lost my breath each time I attempted to get in. Also, the night we arrived, the noise from it being filled up was so loud it kept both of us awake. And, our pool light didn't work until the day before we left (despite us asking for it to be fixed a couple of times) -- had we wanted to swim at night, it wouldn't have been possible. For families with young children, I was also surprised that the pools had very deep ends (they're only small!).

The Elounda Mare is actually part of 3 hotel properties sitting next to each other, and guests of any of the hotels are welcome to use the pools, restaurants and bars at any of the hotels. However, there wasn't much information about the hotel or its sister properties in our room -- or a price list or information about the amazing Six Senses Spa. There wasn't even information about our mini bar and prices!

Breakfast each day was very nice and easily filled us up so we didn't need lunch, but overall the service at the hotel was a bit care-free -- we usually had to grab someone to ask for coffee after sitting at our table for 10-15 minutes, and the front-desk staff always seemed mildly annoyed.

The best part of the hotel (or rather the hotel complex) was the Six Senses Spa -- absolutely amazing in every way. If you stay at the Elounda Mare, you have to spend a day at the spa.

The Elounda Mare is located fairly close to Elounda town, and it was pretty easy to walk there (although I wouldn't want to do it in the heat of mid-day in mid-summer). We'd highly recommend an art gallery called Circada, as well as a restaurant in Elounda called Mam's -- both had wonderful, friendly people and Mam's was amazing food for great prices (try the mixed grill!).

So, overall, a lovely place. Would we stay there again? Probably not, even if we got a great package deal. It was nice -- but kind of annoying as it just didn't feel totally 5-star. For the price we paid, perhaps OK -- but I'd be super upset if I had paid 5-star prices.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Pommefranate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2008

This was our third visit to our favourite hotel and although the Elounda Mare maintains that ranking there has been a distinct change to character of the hotel. Three years ago the hotel was almost exclusively populated by adults but that is no longer the case. Although our stay was, again, over the first two weeks in June it seems that many foreign visitors from the newly-affluent Eastern European countries do not mind taking their children out of school during the term.

This resulted in a far more crowded and less quiet atmosphere, particularly at breakfast when it occassionally resembled an overcrowded nursery. This, in no way, reflects on the waiting staff who coped with their usual friendly efficiency. In fact, the staff are one of the highlights of this hotel - without exception they are first class. In particular the reception staff and chambermaids are of the highest standard.

Eating out in Elounda is pleasent enough but the lack of variety offered by the many almost identical traditional Greek restaurants can pale after two weeks. Also it is no longer cheap to eat out in Elounda. The Ferryman remains the best for fresh fish but for an excellent alternative try The Tryst on the main road, it is virtually the nearest restaurant to the Elounda Mare. Run by a charming couple, every course over the four times we ate there was beautifully cooked and very reasonably priced. Be warned though, the portions are on the large side!

After a wonderful holiday at the Elounda Mare brace yourself for Heraklion Airport, especially if you are flying on one of Monach/Olympic giant Airbuses. After a wait of an hour for our cases on arrival (and we were one of the luckier ones) it took us over 1 Hour 40 minutes to check in, about half of the time spent in a long disorganised queue, in 30 degree heat outside the check-in building.

Stayed: June 2008
1  Thank FiveStarSoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2008

The Elounda Mare is a bit of a paradox. It is not especially luxurious, glamorous, flashy or stylish. You might even say it's not really five star, if what you are after is American-style coached fawning service a la Ritz Carlton.

But what this place does, it does brilliantly, making it, in our opinion, perhaps the very best relaxing beach hotel we have ever stayed in.

The rooms are super-comfortable, with everything you need, beautifully maintained, and spacious. We had a one bed bungalow with private pool, about 25 yards from the beach, which was well worth it.

The grounds are lovely - not over tended but like a relaxing Mediterranean garden, and are so enormous that even when the hotel was almost full the place seemed empty. The views everwhere are wonderful, with benches placed in shady spots overlooking the rocks and sea. We went to the small but gorgeous beach every day, and had our pick of loungers. The sea is magnificent - clear opal and aquamarine, enough breeze and waves to make it interesting, but very swimmable in May.

Great buffet breakfast, with hot food to order instead of in steaming sweaty bains marie. Lunch fantastic at the Yacht Club right on the water (silly prices though) .Dinner served elegantly with waiters in white tuxes, and of a most enjoyable, rather than a gourmet standard - but who needs that on hol? What I want is to relax and enjoy myself, in pleasant surroundings, with happy and helpful staff. I'm not that interested in scoring food out of ten and moaning about how long it takes for the waiter to offer me a drink on my lounger.

Be warned - it's very quiet here - no nightly entertainment or music by the pool. But we had a lot of fun frolicking in our pool and the sea, ploughing through the holiday reading, and going into Elounda (nice town - eat at Marilena and Ferryman) in the evening.

Staff are the perfect balance - helpful and friendly and genuinely interested, without being overbearing.

Only minor quibble is the food and drinks prices which I think must push lunch and dinner trade into town.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank DenbyBlade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2007

We spent 6 nights of our honeymoon at the Elounda Mare. It was a fantastic experince! Upon arrival we were upgraded from a 'regular' bungalow to a deluxe, with great view of the Mediterranean sea and a lovely, private seawater pool. There was a bottle of chanpagne waiting for us and flowers on the doormat and petals in the bedroom. On following days, we kept receiving little gifts - chocolate, fruit... Service was impeccable - the bungalow and the pool were cleaned and restocked twice a day - but at the same time everything ws private and nobody was botehring us while in the room. We endep up not using the common pool at all. Food was great - fantastic rich breakfast buffet, and great restaurants (of course, they are pricey, but we found them well worth of the special occasion) We dined also on one of the other 'sisters' resorts and we found that a bit more 'family oriented' while at Elonda mare there were hardly any children at all. Overlall, despite the hotel being virtually sold out, if felt like there were few people around - I think becuase of teh way the landscape is designed, with bugalow nested all over and dozed of little alcoves by the sea for people to have some privacy. The only time we interacted with other people was during breakfast! We were in Crete at about the beginnig of the fire season - and we did experience fire behind the resort the last night of our stay - it was odd to dine with ashes floating in the air, but things were always in control (at least, they appeared to be!) We had one misshap - midway in our stay there was a problem with the water pump that supplied all the pools, so we did have one day in which our pool was getting quite low - luckily that was fixed the follwing day. Management was very attentive and responsive. One thing: road signs are ofetn a bit criptic and the entrance to the resort is quite hidden - we missed it on our way there, and on the following days we had to be extra careful not to drive past it.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Galadriel72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fotis_Kokotos, Member of the Board at Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2008

We are very happy to inform all TripAdvisor users that as of the 2008 season there are no more shared pools in our hotel. We have just completed a major reconstruction of our few older bungalows, creating brand new rooms and suites in their place, as well as a further renovation of our top-of-the-line accommodation, creating the "Minoan Royalty Suites", and the photography has been uploaded to our website for everyone's perusal.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2007

what a beautiful, serene place to stay!!! private beach, heated pool overlooking the sea!!! staff was very accommodating to your needs. breakfast buffet was good too. will definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with friends
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3  Thank flamingo777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2007

We have just come back having had a fantastic week at this wonderful hotel. The staff are very friendly and can't do enough for you. We found the food excellent especially the breakfast buffet which seemed to cater for all tastes and plenty of it. We wanted a relaxing chill out week and that is exactly what we got - so peaceful and quiet and very pretty. We had a lovely room on the 5th floor with spectacular views of the bay and everything was spotlessly clean. Can't find anything to fault and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jomat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel

Address: Dimokratias 10, Elounda, Crete 720 53, Greece
Phone Number:
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) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Elounda
#5 Business Hotel in Elounda
#7 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#8 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#13 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: £178 - £555 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Famed for its gracious and attentive service, this hotel is the embodiment of all-time-classic style and cultured luxury, where antique art and traditional architectural themes adorn all of its private-pool bungalows - each with its own terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea. Three fine dining venues reflect the Relais & Chateaux tradition of excellence, their culinary delights ranging from enticing lunchtime snacks to five-course dinners, with flambe and fish specialties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elounda Mare Hotel And Bungalows
Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux Hotel Crete

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