Location: on quiet road, discrete entrance, set in green well tended grounds, cleverly landscaped with pretty paved pathways and romantically lit arches, running down to a small quaint private chapel sat in a square with a few boutiques and onwards down to a small beach, gently sloping into the sea to one side of the hotel. To the other side access to the water is down steps straight off paved rocky terraces into the sea. Bungalows with private pools are discreetly dotted about in the gardens or form staggered lines looking straight out to sea. This is one of a number of 5 star hotels along a strip in Elounda. It has two neighbouring sister hotels. We visited 5 other hotels - Elounda Mare was the best.
Clientele: generally older couples or couples with very young children. Its a quiet traditional hotel, discreetly elegant. Evening entertainment is limited to cocktails, a piano player and dinner; or a small lounge with a selection of books; or a TV room.
Cost: a glass of wine starts at 8€; a flute of champagne 19€; a half bottle of wine starts at 20€; a bottle starts at 30€; bottled water starts at 4.60€ (we never saw saw tap water served); two cups of tea served in your room 13€; cocktails start at 11.50€.
Food: Half board means a 5 course meal of a decent standard in the main hotel (the Deck) or else you receive a 30€ credit per person to use in one of the other restaurants in the hotel or one of the sister hotels for dinner (or lunch). The main course alone at dinner in the other restaurants start at 33€. The food is varied and of a good standard but the Old Mill is easily the best being set in the grounds and very romantic. The restaurant in the main hotel is fine but lacking in much of an atmosphere. The Fish Night at the Yacht Club by the beach was 80€ per person - all buffet, no waiter service - and frankly not worth the money. The Greek Night at a sister hotel was 70€ per person but we didn't try that. The alternative is a 7€ one way taxi trip to Elounda (or 20 min walk) or 13€ one way taxi trip to Agios Nikolaos, either way the food is less than half the price.
Porto Elounda De Luxe Resort and Peninsula All Suite Hotel are the sister hotels: the best part is the Six Senses Spa adjacent to the Porto Elounda, voted the Best Spa by the Times. An experience, treat yourself. A decent massage is 90€ and you then can use the rest of the spa facilities on a complimentary basis. or just pay to use the facilities. Otherwise just ask to be shown around - completely free and worth it. There is a free shuttle service whenever you want it, that will take you between the hotels, otherwise if you prefer to walk it takes 15 mins along a hot, dusty but flat and otherwise reasonably pleasant walk on a road - there are few pavements in Crete!
Freebies: the 6 complimentary freebies in your room are replenished as often as you like as are the two complimentary bottles of still water daily; 260 mins in room internet access (but connection poor) lounge better; fresh fruit in room on arrival; space in the fridge to put your purchases (small supermarket nearby).
Room: we stayed on the third floor in the main hotel. Plenty of room. Decent sized balcony. Large marble bathroom. Double basins. Jacuzzi bath. Separate walk in shower (bit small and cheap sliding door). Dressing gowns and slippers.Towels could do with being softer but ok. Large comfortable double bed. Range of pillows.View straight out to sea through floor to ceiling sliding doors. Fantastic. Noisy air conditioning/kitchen ventilation that services one of the restaurants which disturbs sleep on occasion. Sunrise is 7am. Use the wooden external slates to cover the windows if you want to sleep in. Breakfast closes 10.30ish.
Staff: excellent; polite; helpful; accomodating. Its one of the things that sets this hotel apart.
- 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