To be honest, we were initially dissappointed by the Elounda Mare when we arrived. It doesn't look like the glossy website, being a relais chateaux and combined with the quite high price we were expecting something quite differernt. We saw quite a few people rowing and leaving on their first day so I expect this is a problem for them. The hotel is quite dated (built in '82 and partially and I mean only partially renovated in 2008), the rooms are not modern but practical and do have amazing views. We had a family room with a private pool, but the kids couldnt really use it as it was very deep and too much chlorine in it. The front desk/ bar area is very 80s and certianly doesn't have a wow factor but the staff is very nice and it is cosy. Once we had readjusted our expectations the place grew on us and we did have a lovely week. We are a tricky group to please as we range from 2 to 75 years but everybody was very happy there and they looked after us well. Because they are in the same group of hotels as the Porto Elounda and Elounda Peninsula they 'share' some of their facilities like the Six Senses Spa and the Kids Ark - whilst it comes across on the website as this is part of the hotel - it is in the neighbouring hotels and they will shuttle you if they can. The beach is great, sheltered and lovely, the fish and the lamb chops are amazing at the Yacht Club and all around probably had the best food (though i wouldn't reccommend Fishermans Night unless you love buffets) in the hotel. We also tried the Old Mill which was good but I think we prefer things like fresh fish and a greek salad than fancy food on a beach holiday. Because of its location you have all these different hotels and villages (Elounda and Plaka) close to it so it is easy to go out for meals elsewhere. We went to the Blue Lagoon at Elounda Beach and it was the worst sushi I have ever had - but a nightcap at the Veghera Bar is well worth it. We also went to 1910 at Domes of Elounda which was nice and had a special setting. Overall the best food we had during our stay was the salt baked fish in Plaka. And try the lovely little bar/cafe where the taxis drop you off, it is great especially in the afternoon after a trip to Spinalonga. Also try Kanali in the Elounda Bay - it is truly a special place. We also rented a car and drove to Kritsa to get some local olive oil, see Panagia Kera and Lato which was well worth it.
If you want a flashy,glamorous hotel with a wow factor I don't think this will do it for you, but this hotel succeds where many fails, it feels as it is run as a family business does deliver on cosy and traditional. Overall I would say it is a lovely hotel in a special location - and we would certainly go again.
- Also Known As:
- Elounda Mare Hotel And Bungalows
- Elounda Mare Hotel
- Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux Hotel Crete
- 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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