We returned from a relaxing stay at the Elounda Palm just over 2 weeks ago. It was our first stay on Crete although we have stayed on several other Greek Islands before.
Our stay got off to an inauspicious start, after a long wait on the coach at the airport and a long journey (we were the second last hotel drop off) we arrived at around 22.30. The receptionist was troubled that we did not have an accommodation voucher, we showed her our only piece of paperwork from Cosmos an e mail that clearly stated "you will not receive an accommodation voucher", I said I would speak to our rep in the morning, she then made to take us to our room. I was walking with a stick and could not manage a case down the two sets of steps (2x10 steps) my husband struggled with both cases, there was clearly no one on duty to help with arrivals. The first thing we were aware of was the loud music coming from the bar, it was deafening maybe techno, not an expert, but was awful! We left the cases in the room which was OK and made for the bar we were desperate for a cold drink, the music was so loud we couldn't actually hear each other speak or communicate with the bar man, husband sent me to sit down, he came back with 2 beers, I have no idea how he managed to make himself heard, I was almost in tears by now, all I could think was how are we going to get through 2 weeks here. THE MUSIC WAS NEVER THIS LOUD AGAIN, I DONT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON OUR FIRST NIGHT.
We were in bungalow 595 with a sea view in the distance, the room was a reasonable size, colour theme orange, strange orange plastic light shade, king size bed with a very firm mattress (thank goodness our mattress wasn't on the floor, it does look as if it is in some rooms, I'd never have been able to get down to it or up from it), bedside drawers with reading lights, a large coffee table, 2 pointless pouffes, largish wardrobe with a couple of tiny drawers within (only big enough for underwear, we didn't actually use them) usual problem with wardrobes, it didn't offer a high enough drop to hang dresses up in unless you are less than 5 foot, mine all sat in a heap at the bottom. I was glad I'd packed some coat hangers because there weren't enough for two of us and I'm not a fashionista! There is a safe within the wardrobe, you have to pay an extra €2 per day for this, I think it's incredibly grasping of them, a room safe really should be standard in a hotel of this calibre. Dressing table and Perspex chair, TV and fridge, bathroom was the best we have ever had in Greece, our own hot water supply (tank in top of wardrobe) great shower cubicle in the corner with a terrific shower, the cubicle is small, we are not big people, we did wonder how a few other guests managed! The bathroom was cleaned everyday there was always a bit of a loo whiff, but it wasn't dreadful, the towels were changed every day, there are no free pool towels here, the hotel will supply them but at a cost. The air conditioning worked well, our fridge did not work, but we reported it the first morning and it was replaced later the same day. The veranda/patio area out side the bungalow could have done with a jet wash and a pair of comfortable chairs to relax in, what you get is a pair of uncomfortable narrow wooden arm chair, if you are chubby, you might not fit in it! I took a plastic stacking chair from the poolside down to use and the staff left it on our patio. You can sling your swimsuits and towels over the walls separating the bungalows to dry, these are around 6' tall and offer decent privacy.
The pool area is really nice and well tended, the pool is a decent size and is "salt water", there is a poolside shower for a quick post swim rinse, the loungers looked a bit shabby on arrival, but they all had their padded topper replaced half way through our stay, they are arranged on the far side of the pool under fixed umbrellas, there is a fair amount of lawn with trees over offering shade and extra loungers are stacked nearby. It was not terribly busy the first week, busier the second, there was a shortage of loungers on the final Sunday, I do wonder what happens in August. I think a lot of guests must have used the beach, there were couples & families we saw at mealtimes but never in the pool area.
Breakfast and evening meal are served buffet style. The ladies who work in the restaurant are delightful, really sweet and nothing is too much trouble. Breakfast was my favourite meal of the day, a huge amount of cooked and cold food to choose from, I loved the fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt & honey, there were savoury & sweet pastries, bacon, eggs etc in bain maries, cheeses, some cold meat, different breads, butter, honey, jam, dried fruits, I'm sure to have left something out! The tea is disappointing, but I think the water wasn't always hot enough and although the oranges were sweet & juicy the fruit juice was long life squashy stuff. Evening meals were interesting, lots to choose from, you'd have to be a real fuss pot to not find something to eat, all clearly home cooked, signage of vegetarian food could be better, husband found himself eating what he thought was an eggy vegetable flan a couple of times and then discovered there was also ham or bacon in it. Lots of salads to choose from, we often found we had plates full of curious combinations and to make us feel at home brussell sprouts were available a couple of times! They offered a range of flans, gateauxy cheesecakes, fruit, Greek honey soaked cakes and ice cream. The staff worked hard clearing crockery and making sure tables were cleared and made available quickly. It would have been nice if there could have been a barbeque once a week, but generally the food was very good. The pool bar was fairly quiet in the evening, we went back to our room to read after dinner and usually went to bed fairly early.
Elounda centre is approx 30 minutes walk from the hotel, we ate at Okeanis on the far side of the harbour one evening, food was amazing, well worth a visit. The town beach is just across the road and is OK, loungers & umbrellas for hire. We visited Spinalonga island the scene of Victoria Hislop's novel, a really interesting visit, it's just a shame that all the buildings that made up the leper community were knocked down in the 70s, the authorities didn't feel it fit in with the tourist experience they wanted to offer, now post novel, it was my main reason for wanting to visit! Elounda is pleasant and typically Greek, but I didn't find it particularly memorable. We had a relaxing peaceful holiday which is just what we had gone for, ideally I wish the hotel had been a little closer to the town, but it was not expensive to get a taxi. We hired a car for a few days exploring, we really enjoyed Knossos (busy, get there early) and lovely Mochlos to the East, last restaurant on far side of the village - food super!
Ps Excellent Wi-fi
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elounda Palm Hotel is a small family run hotel located in the most beautiful area of Lasithi, the Mirabello Gulf, in Crete. Just a few minutes from the quiet fishing village of Elounda and approx. 7km away from the lively town of Aghios Nikolaos. Set in attractive gardens the Elounda Palm Hotel offers lovely and spacious sea view rooms, bungalows and suites with sharing pool. New entry is the Mellow cocktail Bar by the main swimming pool and the open air lounge cinema. Enjoy your holiday! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Elounda Palm Hotel Crete