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“Lovely, but expensive and could do better on the final stretch...”

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Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort
Ranked #18 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Lovely, but expensive and could do better on the final stretch...”
Reviewed 30 August 2013 via mobile

We stayed here 7 nights, and it was really nice, with good facilities. But boy was it expensive - we expected it to be, but we were surprised a couple of times. Overall though very high quality hotel, facilities and service, though the latter fell off a cliff after we checked out, whole waiting for our evening transfer to the airport.

First off, the registration was efficient and polite. We arrived after 9:30 so they provided a cold plate for us im the room. Nothing special but fresh and plentiful.

The room was clean and had a beautiful view of the sea, but there were 3 of us, and they simply opened out the sofa in the same room which would have been provided if there were only 2 of us.

The facilities were good - a quiet and attractive beach, with a lovely pool, which was not at all busy. There were watersports and sailing trips, as well as golf, football and tennis.

There were several restaurants on site, and as we booked half-board, dinner in the buffet was included - it was pretty good, but what I would call standard tourist fare, though the salads were fresh and there was a good choice of hot dishes (drinks were
charged extra). On three occasions we chose not to eat there (it was too samey to eat there every day), and we we were give a €40 credit against one of their other restaurants, for use the same day. That doesn't sound too bad until we found that a simple lunch for 2 adults and a child was typically €70-80! We did find a lovely little taverna down the road called Akrohoria (a quick taxi ride away) where the food was excellent and very reasonably priced in comparison.

A final disappointment awaited us after checkout; we were refused a late checkout (even at our cost) but our cases sat in the unlocked room for 5 further hours. We could not charge lunch to our room, as we had already closed out account) and the on site restaurant we went to did not take credit cards. The nearest cash machine is in Elounda, a taxi ride away, but they will exchange money at reception - but it was a difficult exercise because they explained the bank takes a 6% commission, but what they actually meant was that they charge €6 (I doubt the bank has anything to do with it, because the rate applies was already 4% away from the spot rate).

All in all it was a lovely stay, but at the price I felt the service could have been a little more polished. And if you insist on handling the foreign exchange in such a ham-fisted way, get an ATM installed!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GoodFoodIsImportant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013

we just came back from our 2nd vaction at this hotel .
the last one was in April , Off season and was't so good .
but now in full season we saw and enjoy all benefit of this hotel .
we took delux room with privet pool and this is very recomended .

the room are big and clean , the location in Elounda is agazing very close to the city and also close to Igios niolagios ,and Plaka .


the SPA is amazing and tritment are very good .

Cons - everything in the hotel is very expensive . so be ready for that .

Room Tip: Room with privetor sherd pool is very recomended
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shimi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2013

We stayed just four nights, and that wasn’t nearly long enough. It is a truly fabulous location. We were in the main building and our room had a terrific view of the resort and the ocean – the sunrises were amazing. The beach is small, but more than adequate, and the water is reasonably warm and clear. It is easy to get an umbrella and lounge at the pool next to the beach. The food at the main restaurant (buffet style) is good, but not special. The spa is very nice.

Despite the beauty of the resort, don’t set your expectations too high. Even though the room rates are exorbitant, don’t expect value and service commensurate with what you would get in the U.S. if you paid these rates. The worst is the water/drink situation. It was about 95 – 100 degrees when were there, yet there is no water fountain near the beach or pool area. They want you to buy their overpriced drinks. We figured out that we could just order a cup of ice and use that to cool down (note that we also ordered drinks each day). However, one of my daughters “abused” the system – she got three cups of ice one day – and she was cut off from getting any more ice. Yes, really. So, if you go there and they limit the ice or charge for it, you can blame my daughter.

Generally, you have to reserve with either full board of half board. Juices and water are included at breakfast. However, tap water is not allowed at lunch or dinner – you have to order a bottle of water for about 4 or 5 Euros, so your half board suddenly starts to cost something extra.

To fully enjoy this hotel, you need to be mentally prepared to spend lots of money and pay outrageous prices, otherwise you will be aggravated. As my kids said, “If they could charge for the air, they would.” For instance, they charged us 35 Euros for each of our three kids at Greek night. However, when it came time to eat lunch at a restaurant other than the main buffet, they only gave us credit for two kids – they claimed our third kid was considered free (funny, we had to pay for her for Greek night). Also, to use the meal credit at a restaurant other than the main buffet, you have to go the front desk and get a note allowing you to do this. They give you a 20 Euro credit per adult and 10 per kid. This amount is clearly inadequate to cover your lunch or dinner, and your meal will cost twice that – more if you order wine or beer.

Internet access – it’s free in the lobby, but there is a charge to use it in the room or other parts of the resort. If you try to access the Internet in the lobby when it is crowded, your device will have difficulty connecting because the bandwidth is limited, and the teenagers watching TV/downloading music/playing games hog the bandwidth. You just need to be patient and persistent.

The resort has a 9-hole, par 3 golf course. You can play 18 holes because the back nine use a slightly different tee box for each hole. The nice part is that almost nobody uses the course, so you can play a relaxed game. The greens aren’t maintained very well, but the cost to play is quite reasonable. The hotel rents clubs – 5, 7, 9, pitching and sand wedges, and putter – so there is no need to have your own clubs if this is the only place where you will golf. They also give you three balls and one wood tee (theoretically, you can get additional tees at the pro shop, but the club pro didn’t show up that day yet we somehow made one tee last the whole round).

If you stay in the main building, it is a bit of an ordeal to get to/from the beach. Fortunately, they have a golf cart that goes up and down every 5 to 10 minutes. The drivers are friendly and will stop to pick you up if you are walking.

One way they add value to their adjacent sister property, Elounda Peninsula, is to allow those guests to have different chaise lounges from the regular folk. The big spenders get lounges that look comfortable, while the masses at Porto Elounda get the world’s most uncomfortable lounges.

In the room, I very much liked that the resort was generous with towels. Plenty of towels and excellent quality. The air conditioning worked well, and there is more than enough closet space. We were able to upgrade to two adjoining rooms with a private pool -- seawater and not heated. Interestingly, the room with one large bed had a small bathroom and shower while the kids' room (two twin beds) had a large bathtub, large shower, and a separate sink/toilet room. The room had an adequately-sized safe, and enough electrical outlets so you can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

We attended Greek Night, which consisted of Greek music and Greek dancing in the lawn area near the beach pool. The buffet had a large selection of Greek food. It was obvious the chef took pride in his food, but I think the quality of the ingredients was limited by the budget given him by the hotel. Strangely, most people had left before the third round of Greek dancing, which was the liveliest round (Zorba, etc.).

Our kids enjoyed the kid zone, which has a small pool, two waterslides, and a sports area (soccer and a six-foot basketball hoop). However, this area is open just in the mornings. They also have an Arsenal soccer school on a larger turf field. Note that the coach is not an actual Arsenal coach – he just coaches kids in the Arsenal style of play. We chose not to pay 30 Euros per kid per hour – the session looked just like a typical AYSO practice, and the coaches at AYSO pay closer attention to the kids.

We went into the town of Elounda once. It is a six Euro cab ride one way. As with other cities where the cab drivers choose not to use their meters, the drivers will try to rip you off. The hotel might tell you to walk – that it’s just about 1 kilometer and will take you 20 minutes. Not true – it is several kilometers and will take about 30 to 40 minutes. Take a cab. The town has lots of souvenir shops and some nice waterfront restaurants.

Lastly, this hotel would fall apart without Tenia. She works at the concierge desk (it seems like she is always there) and she has all the answers. The difference? On our last morning, we made a special request to have breakfast delivered at 6:00 am because we had to get a 6:30 ride to the airport. Tenia wasn’t working at that time, and breakfast was 15 minutes late. And, the porter was supposed to help us with our bags at 6:20, and he was late. However, our van didn’t show up. Fortunately, Tenia came to work around 6:45 that morning, and she was able to find alternate transportation for us, got the original transportation provider to pay for our alternate transportation, called the airline to tell them we were running late, and called our van en route to confirm our ETA and to make sure the airline was expecting us. Wow!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank cjplus3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013 via mobile

We have just returned from our fourth visit to these hotels. We returned to Porto Elounda this year having also stayed at Peninsula. We had an lovely room and pool overlooking the golf course and bay. The staff are all charming and friendly. We tend to eat out most evening as we love the surrounding restaurants in Plaka. The water sports are amazing with great waterski tuition from Takis and Nik. Would we return again? Of course!

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Laura W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

We stayed at the hotel for 5 nights .We were 9 adults that booked four rooms.
Two of the rooms had bad smell and we've asked to change them. After some discussions with the hotel manager he upgraded us to privet pool rooms.
It's my second time in this hotel and for sure not the last one.
The beach is the most beautiful I have ever been to. The food, service, privacy, quality of the food and the atmosphere all around the hotel is splendid.
For those who are seeking for all of this, this is the perfect hotel for them.
We were traveling by car to all the east part of Crete and we didn’t see a beach as beautiful as the Porto elounda beach.

Room Tip: take the privat pool rooms near the spa
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ozadka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new hampshire
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2013

Crete was our last stop on our 2 week vacation. The Porto Elounda is about 1 hour ride from the airport. It has a more "American style resort" feel with larger rooms and expansive property. Clean rooms with lots of space but air conditioning never seemed to cool enought. We were on a partial meal plan with buffet breakfast and buffet dinner. We were allowed a 20 euro credit if we wanted to eat in the al la carte restaurants. Which would have been a "drop in the bucket". The buffet's offered a large variety of quality food and many very delicious authentic Greek dishes. We went to the Greek night- musicians and dancers were great and wonderful to experience some Greek traditions but it which was overpriced at 70 euros per person. Many of the wait staff were unfriendly. Thanks to Tenia at the front desk for sending us some cold plates when we arrived late and helping decipher our final bill which was very confusing. Be aware of charges-save reciepts and be specific when ordering in the restaurants. Waiter asked if we wanted bottled water, they poured it into our glasses, we did not see the bottle so did not realize until we got the bill that they served us Evian at 8 euros per bottle when there were other less expensive options. The area and coastline is beautiful. Water color is unlike anything I have ever seen. We rented a boat and paddle board-reasonable price in comparison to other water sport rentals in other islands we visited. Great end to a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pengel8200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
exeter, nh
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2013

We just returned from a 2 week Greek vacation, covering 3 islands including Crete. The Porto Elounda was our last stop before returning back to Athens. We arrived late after the restaurant closed and Tena (manager at the front desk?) arranged for us to get something sent up--many thanks to her. The property is a beautiful large resort. The buffet at breakfast and dinner is very very good with a tremendous selection. We signed up for the Greek night dinner the first night...not realizing it was 70 Euros per person. We did receive a 20 Euro discount but it was a bit of sticker shock. Honestly the Cretan dancing was wonderful, but the food in the inside buffet was actually better. The coastline around Elounda was gorgeous, we actually rented a small boat and explored which was great to have the water sports option. The only downside was we did run into some waiters with a consistent sour attitude waiting on us--for no apparent reason. When I joked if it was because we were Americans, one shared privately that it was probably the case.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank exeternhgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort

Property: Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort
Address: 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Elounda
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#9 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#12 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only golf-and-spa resort on Crete is a whole world on its own, with the "World's Best Spa" according to the Sunday Times' "Travel" magazine 2007. Rooms and suites all have panoramic views of the bay of Elounda over the green expanse of the golf course's 9 holes. Children are particularly well catered for, with a dedicated facility offering indoor and outdoor play areas, a lawn-laid olive-grove, a water-park and a sports field. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Elounda Deluxe Hotel Elounda
Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort Crete

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