Just returned from 10 glorious days at the Blue Palace, a hotel that for once is BETTER than the website! We drove ourselves from Heraklion airport - picturesque drive of about 90 mins along the new national road, (as far as it goes). We drove our modest hire car to teh door, and immediately a 'groom' rushed out to get our bags, take our keys to park the car, and give us a cool glass of orange juice while we check ed in. This level of service continued the entire stay!
The hotel is arranged down the hill, with most bungalows having private plunge pools at the front, and EVERY room has an uninterrupted sea view. Larger villas are on the left of the main drive. A glass lift/funicular runs right down the middle of the hotel from the top reception area to the beach at the bottom, so you don't have to hike back up the hill after a day by the sea or dinner out!
We stayed in a Superior Bungalow, which was actually a large room with balcony and superb, uninterrupted views across to the island of Spinalonga. Large marble bathroom, incredibly comfy king sized bed and a large plasma tv complete with free internet access.
Breakfast in the top restaurant was vast - every kind of cereals, cold meats, cheeses, hot breakfast, juices, breads, pastries, fresh fruit, desserts, and even free champagne if you could face it. A lady would also cook you fresh omelettes or crepes while you watched. Stunning food, fresh as a daisy, and as much as you wanted on a table in the sunshine or in the shade.
Weather was superb - arrived in 25 degrees of heat and got up to 31 one day. Rained once - for 15 mins! Yes, this corner of Crete is a little windy, but actually most days we were grateful for the breeze. Beach is large pebbles with individual wooden decks with parasols and two loungers on each - walk on the concrete or the wooden walkways not the pebbles, or risk slipping onto your backside, as I did the first day! (Only hurt was to my pride!) Behind the beach is a large pool, which I had to myself every single time I swam - amazing. If that's too cool at 27 degrees, just pop into the spa (it's free to guests) and glory in their inside pool at 31 degrees, which was - empty every time I went. Also, women's only jacuzzi, sauna and superb marble traditional steam room (hammam).
Restaurants were pricey, so every Brit staying there did what we did, and walked down to the local village of Plaka, an easy and well-lit ten minute stroll from the bottom lift station.(Exit the lift, go up the stairs to the side, and then turn right across the footbridge. A metal gate opens with your key card to let you out onto the road. Follow the lights to the left to Plaka!) The five local tavernas on the seafront all specialise in fish which can prove pricey at Euro55 per kilo minimum; our favourite was Gorgona, to the right of the steps down to the harbour.
We loved relaxing in the Blue Palace so much, we really didn't explore too much! The (big) supermarket on the square in Elounda provided essential such as feta, meats, breads, water and wine for lunch (stored in our room's minibar with no problems), and we were surprised that restaurant prices in Elounda were a little cheaper than Plaka - effect of competition we suspect. Ag Nik was a disappointment unless you were shopping for jewellery. Our morning on Spinalonga was wonderful - catch the 0930 boat from Plaka (8 euros return) to miss the crowds. The 'craft village' of Kritsa was disappointing - tourist trap - bu the nearby ancient town of Lato was amazing, perched on top of a hill and views one side the valleys, the other to the sea and Ag Nik beyond. Just us and a few Swiss German hiker-types - wonderful. Go early in good shoes - the site is hot at midday and shuts at 3pm.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape to the wild beauty and unrivalled island style of a bohemian luxe resort with emblematic sea views, crystal clear waters, sparkling infinity pools, world class cuisine and bespoke services. All this combined with the resort's beach experience create a unique setting , where time seems to stand still. Blue Palace, a setting of wild grandeur. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Palace Hotel Elounda
- Blue Palace Resort And Spa
- Blue Palace Resort & Spa
- Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete Elounda