We stayed at the Blue Palace for 11 nights in June. The hotel had arranged for our taxi from the airport and they had provided bottles of cool water and wet wipes which were most welcome. The welcome on arrival at the hotel was a taste of things to come. I can categorically say that the best thing about the hotel is the staff. Every member of staff that we had contact with were friendly, welcoming and more than willing to go the extra mile. In particular, our housekeeper was extremely helpful and friendly. And not to forget the room service guys - always smiling and gracious.
Breakfast is excellent - the buffet is plentiful and lots of variety, too numerous to mention - including pink or white champagne - the real stuff!
We had a room with its own infinity pool. The room was large and comfortable. The ensuite is excellent and provided first class toiletries. My only regret was that I didn't take my own hairdryer. A comment on here said that the hairdryer in the room was good but if like me, you have lots of hair, then I'd recommend you take your own dryer. The infinity pool was supposed to be warm but felt quite cool. However, on some very hot days, this was quite refreshing. The veranda to the pool is good but not a place to sunbathe after 1pm as it's in the shade by this point. The rooms all appear to look out to sea so have excellent views of the sea and Spinalonga Island.
The pools on the resort are excellent and the sunbathing areas more than adequate. The beach is pebbly so not good for the feet but if you want to swim, then there are 2 jetties provided to get into the sea. Looking out to sea, the steps on the left hand side of the jetty is easier to get out of the water than the one on the right!
Our only *dislike* about the resort (for want of a better word) is that we were not too impressed by the restaurants on site. The Greek restaurant we tried on our first night and I wasn't too impressed by the calmari as it wasn't crispy and very chewy. Also, we tried the Italian and found the pizza base hard but not in a good way. Maybe if they invested in a proper pizza oven, this might improve the baking. However, we tried the Flame restaurant twice and were very happy with the meal and the service. Everything is provided in a very relaxed atmosphere with a fantastic view looking out to sea. The steaks were fantastic. This was the most pricey restaurant but we think it was worth it.
Room service - the staff service was excellent but not quite so with the food. We had the lobster and mango salad one night - I believe this was frozen lobster and it all looked a bit mushy on the plate. However, the fruit and parma ham was excellent.
Taking all this in mind, we would definitely recommend this resort to anyone.
Just five mins walk away is the village of Plaka which has approximately 6 or 7 tavernas. We ate at 3 of them and they were all reasonably priced with very happy/smiley staff (are all the Greek people so happy?)
We took a boat trip from Elounda to Spinalonga - it was a hot walk around the island and there wasn't much to see in my opinion but we did get some good photo shots. Take a bottle of water with you if you visit.
We also took a Fun Train trip up the mountain to a Cretain village (the blue train). As one who doesn't have a head for heights, I was dreading the trip (my partner wanted to do it) but it was nowhere near as scary as I thought. The views were amazing and the guide was extremely knowledgeable. We visited a taverna in the village - we had bread, cheese, ham and fruit salad for two (which was delicious), bottle of water and half a caraf of wine all for 11 euros. The taverna even threw in complimentary yoghurt with topping.
In Elounda we visited The Ferryman taverna - the food was excellent but I think we were overcharged for the fish! We also had to pay for bread and a dessert, neither of which we had ordered. On visiting another taverna in Elounda we were given complimentary bread and butter, cake and even a glass of raki! I can't remember the name of the restaurant but it was close to the square with a road going through the middle of it. The staff were good fun in that restaurant.
Hope this helps any future travellers to the region.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Blue Palace, Resort and Spa is a place of rediscovery. A member of the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2013, this luxury resort with exceptional charm, architecture and style, is the perfect hideaway to experience island luxury accommodations, authentic cuisine and the breathtaking beauty of a Greek island. Crete is a magical place. Spend a day exploring old villages, wineries and the ancient Palace of Knossos or simply unwind with cocktails under the enchanting arches of the Arsenali Lounge Bar. Get on board the traditional wooden boat “Meraki” which will take you around the coast of Elounda, followed by a BBQ on the remote island of Agios Fokas. Explore the island of Spinalonga with its Venetian, Turkish and Arabic monuments just across from the resort and finish your day with an authentic Greek dinner at Blue Door, the tavern right at water’s edge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Palace Resort And Spa
- Blue Palace Hotel Elounda
- Blue Palace Resort & Spa
- Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa Elounda, Crete