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“Excellent hotel in a wonderful location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

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Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 38, Elounda, Crete 72 053, Greece   |  
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Ranked #11 of 36 Hotels in Elounda
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel in a wonderful location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

We've been lucky enough to stay at numerous 5*+ hotels across the world and the Blue Palace is 5* in most respects. We spent a week there in September and it was a fantastic break. Granted, you're not going to get the same level of exceptional service that you would get in the Middle East or Far East, nor the unique charm of the Caribbean, but then this is Greece so you wouldn't expect it!

The setting is simply wonderful with the hotel overlooking the enchanting Spinalonga and built into the surrounding landscape. The hotel design is great, particularly the lobby area - the hotel feels small but it is actually quite a large resort. The views are beautiful.

Location wise, it is perfect - a 5 minute stroll to the village of Plaka and a 5 minute taxi journey to Elounda. Fantastic for those of us that like to explore and try local restaurants etc.

We chose a room (the hotel calls them bungalows for some odd reason!) with an infinity pool. We were unsure about the pool after reading the comments but we decided to go ahead and it was a good decision in our opinion. The pools are cold but very refreshing and we would use our terrace area to sunbathe on until around 1pm each day before heading to one of the main pools. Our neighbours either side also used their pools daily until the early afternoon and although they aren't very private, at least you get talking to your neighbours!

We found that the staff at the hotel were very helpful and always happy to help in any way. The concierge service could be better but the reception staff and the staff at the lobby pool (particularly Maria) were excellent. However, the service at the beach was pretty slow.

Food wise, we only ate in the Blue Door which was very nice but the lack of local waiters/waitresses was a shame (all seemed to be Russian or Eastern European.) What it really needed was some charismatic locals serving you to create a more authentic experience. Breakfast was excellent with a huge choice and a fantastic setting on the terrace.

As everybody says; stay well away from the funicular! We asked for a room in the newer part of the resort away from the funicular and the room we were given was very nice and in a perfect position.

The only other negative point, that is mentioned a lot in other reviews, is the lack of free WiFi throughout the hotel. It's quite amusing seeing the number of guests sat in the lobby with iPads etc downloading content, and whilst it made me smile, it is quite embarrassing for a 5* hotel not to provide this free of charge and throughout the entire hotel.

In summary, this is an excellent hotel with helpful, friendly staff in a brilliant location and reasonably priced for a 5* resort. We will return to the Blue Palace in the future and would definitely recommend it for a relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the newer part of the resort - it's a short walk away but it's more peacef...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am very happy reading your comments, thank you so much for your time to provide the feedback. It is great to learn that your first visit to the Blue Palace was a great experience and we are honored that you chose our hotel on your trip.
It is wonderful to know that you enjoyed your accommodations as well as our excellent staff. I have shared your review with them and they are very appreciative of your kind comments. Providing our guests with the best possible hospitality and service has always been our mission.
Thank you for recommending our unique and individual hotel and I look forward to welcoming you back to the Blue Palace.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Kent, England
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

The Blue Palace was generally as I expected it to be. Most staff were pleasant and most, very willing to help. I give it 4 stars for the room we were in, 5 stars for cleanliness, food (in most restaurants anyway), spa etc.

The location is superb with views out to Spinalonga Island which is also well worth a visit. We made a mistake and went as part of a Thomson excursion. Although there was a very good guide (Maria), we couldn't hear her as there were so many other excursions there at the same time and it was very crowded. I would recommend just walking into Plaka and getting a local boat over and take your own time exploring the island. There is a book called 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop which would be worth reading as it explains everything you need to know about Spinalonga.

We booked a junior suite but it seemed to be just 2 rooms with inter-joining doors so we had a bedroom, a lounge area and 2 bathrooms! All the rooms were very plain with nothing on the walls i.e. any pictures etc. and the bed was 2 joined together. We didn't think our room was anything special as we'd paid for a junior suite with sea view. We asked if we could view a junior suite in the main hotel and the male receptionist was very unhelpful and refused our request. When I challenged this, he said every room was in use. This was not true (The 2 next to us were empty for a start). As I write this, my wife is looking at the Blue Palace website and it contradicts what we had. We were given water (2 small bottles) each night. The website shows 'fresh fruit and flowers and a bottle of wine replenished every 3 days. We had a bowl of 'dubious' grapes when we arrived and a small bottle of Raki but nothing after that. It also states Junior suites should have pure cotton-satin sheets etc. We did not have that. I would advise that if you book an upgrade from the standard room, check you have the right room.

I had asked for a quiet area as I'd read reviews stating that if you were near the funicular, you could be overlooked and it could be noisy. They certainly put us in a quiet area as there was only our room and 2 others in the same location away from the main complex (rooms 603 and 604 were ours). This was great as there was a pool outside which apart from the last couple of days, was ours alone. Maybe that's why we had our room configuration but that's not right.

We went half board which turned out a big mistake. On arrival, we asked where the restaurant was and were told the buffet restaurant (as advertised) was not open and that all the restaurants were fully booked until 21:30 hrs. Having spent the day travelling, we didn't want to be that late. We were fitted in to the Asian Blue restaurant and as we'd gone to Greece/Crete, we didn't really want a Chinese! We were told we would have to book for the restaurants and not all the restaurants were open every night. If we wanted something like Fillet steak then we also incurred a 'dine around' charge (effectively a surcharge) and as we'd already paid a considerable sum for our holiday, we thought this was very unacceptable . This was something not mentioned when we booked half board. There are some very good Taverna's in both Plaka (five minute walk) or Elounda (five minute taxi ride away and 7 euro's). There was much hype about the famous 'Greek breakfast' before we went. I couldn't see what that was unless it was the different olives and nuts together with the very sweet pastries. As for the 'Champagne' breakfast, it was cheap sparkling wine (i.e. J P Chenet £3.99 at Tesco). The breakfast however was very good in general.

I took my wife here as we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and wanted a great hotel. We didn't want a noisy, bustling place but somewhere to relax. That said, it would have been nice for some form of entertainment (some Greek dancing perhaps) even 2 or 3 times a week. They did have a pianist who did a great impression of Les Dawson with the amount of bum notes he hit and a bouzouki player twice a week at the Greek restaurant. One night, there was a Sax player (who was very good) but he played for about half an hour and that was it.

The hotel attracts celebrities and the well off. We didn't see any celebrities (or at least nobody we recognised) but we saw plenty of the 'well off'. The Blue Palace is certainly multi-racial with plenty of different nationalities! We found most, very arrogant, ignorant and generally not very nice. We did meet a few nice people but these were very much a minority. It's very much a 'snobs' Palace. They would look you up and down and then look down their noses at you. I watched them doing it to everyone so it was not just aimed at us. We went the other way and played a game with them by saying, 'hello' forcing them to acknowledge us! Most however, didn't reply. My wife summed it up as, 'NOT A HAPPY HOTEL'. The hotel doesn't have any soul and the atmosphere, we found, uncomfortable. I also noticed that there was not much laughter. Very strange when people are supposed to be relaxed and enjoying themselves.

At reception, the female staff were very helpful but we found the male staff quite surly. On a trip out (the 4x4 safari which was very good), we were told that Greek men don't like being told what to do. This was reflected in the attitude of the male reception staff when things weren't quite right. This was contrary to all our previous Greek holidays as we have been to several of the Greek islands and we have always had a great response/reception from the Greeks (which is why we go there). The attitude was only felt at reception as the Spa manager in particular was very helpful as were the men in the restaurants.

Bar and room mini bar prices were high (as I expected and was prepared for). However, 7 star Metaxa worked out at 172 euro's a litre and we found it at around 32 euro's in a local shop. That's quite a mark up.

Spa treatments are again very expensive (again I knew and expected this). I didn't go here without doing my research so none of it came as a massive shock. The treatments are very good. It was however, still disappointing.

My wife was ill one day (stomach bug?) and I asked if we could have our evening meal (as we were half board) in our room accepting that I would have to pay the room service charge. This was refused and told we could only order from the room service menu and pay the whole amount plus the room service charge. Considering my wife was ill, I was surprised that the hotel would want her to go to a restaurant and possibly ‘spread’ an illness bearing in mind if it had been something like Norovirus, how quickly that spreads.

As I've stated, we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. I wasn't expecting the world but some acknowledgement of that would have been nice. The hotel certainly don't give you anything for free. This was also the first time we've been abroad and not been given at least a fruit cocktail upon arrival. We were given a cold glass of water on arrival but that was it.

In the words of Harry Enfield, if you like using the expression, 'I am considerably richer than yow', then this is the place for you. If you like snobs, this is the place for you. If you like posing/posers, then this is the place for you. If you want to hide from other guests (sometimes a good thing), this is the place for you. It is certainly not worth the money and we won't be going back.

Room Tip: Make sure you get the room you pay for.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

The hotel is beautiful, the rooms are clean and comfortable, wonderful romantic view, the staff was welcoming. The private shore is great because the water are clean and it's a great swim. The buffet breakfast is amazing - a great variety of cheeses, breads, omlettes, salads and great cakes and desserts. The biggest let down was the private pool because the water were freezing and salty. It would have been great if there was a fresh water pool (not only the shallow one in the spa) because we had enough salt in our eyes from swimming in the sea. There isn't too much to do in the hotel but the elounda boardwalk is a 10 mins drive away.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback following your stay with us.
Along with the rest of our team, I was delighted to read such positive comments about your experience here with us. It is our pleasure to ensure our guests thoroughly enjoy their stay, and I am very pleased that we were able to assist in creating a memorable stay for you.
I do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Blue Palace in the near future.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

This hotel is built on one of the most unique landscapes I have been too: on a mountain side, all the way to the beach, overlooking Spinalonga (a small island with a fortress & a rich history). We spent a weekend there, but I would love to spend more time, as I found the hotel itself and the surrounding nature immensely relaxing. The staff was very helpful and professional and made our stay even more wonderful, stating with upgrading our room to an infinity-pool bungalow, overlooking Spinalonga. Good restaurant too (Flame steak house)!

Room Tip: The infinity-pool rooms overlooking Spinalonga are worth the extra cost!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review which is greatly appreciated and I am delighted that you had an enjoyable stay with us albeit short. It was my pleasure to pass your comments on to our team, who were as delighted to receive them. That said I do hope we do have the pleasure of welcoming you back on a future visit and perhaps for a few more days.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

This hotel makes a stranger in a foriegn land feel as though he is home and watched after.
The hotel grounds are flawless, the rooms and location are wonderful, the staff is supurb.
Really cant say enough wonderful things about the Blue Palace. My thanks to management, ownership and staff gor a great stay..

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful feedback, following your stay with us.
I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us so much and that with the attentiveness and friendliness of our team we were able to create a home away from home feeling for you. It is always a great pleasure for me to read about the memorable experiences we create for our guests, so thank you once again for sharing your thoughts.
I look forward to having you back in our resort for another very special holiday.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel, Switzerland
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

Let's be frank, the view, landscape and beach are simply amazing! The rooms were also very nice and cosy with a great view.

We spend a lovely week at this hotel, but we had simply expected more.

The first day at the beach the service was quasi inexistant and when we visited the hamam we noticed there was a hole in the water bucket, which you use to freshen up. We shared our concerns with employees at the receiption and were told they would take care of it.

Admittedly the service at the beach improved and was really good during the rest of our stay.

Unfortunately with respect to the hamam nothing was done and three days later the same bucket with the hole could be found there... Further we then decided to use the sauna, where my husband pinched his leg because the bench was damages, so damages that an entire piece of wood was falling off. Both things were brought to the attention of the Spa Manager and the Reception. We NEVER heard back from either one...

Finally I would not ordering room service, the food is just ok. The taverne at the hotel is lovely and you can go to Plaka in 5 minutes and eat very well. Oh, I almost forgot the gym must be revamped so don't expect any modern and up to date equipment.

I'm still rating this place as "very good", because if you are simply looking for a nice hotel at a great beach it will do it!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments regarding your stay at the Blue Palace.
It was a pleasure learning that you enjoyed the amazing views our location has to offer as well as your room. However, I was disappointed to learn of the delays in service and disappointments in the Spa. On behalf of our team, I sincerely apologize of these shortcomings. We certainly take your feedback to heart and will address your points with our team.
I truly hope that you give us another chance so that we can make sure your next stay is a more enjoyable one.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager
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uk
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This hotel has so much potential and it was very close to delivering on all levels, but they definitely let us down by some really silly but IMO major things which is why it gets 3 and not 4 stars.
So to get to the point, the hotel sells itself as having a buffet restaurant, it says it on the website, in all of the marketing literature and all around the hotel, including every lift. However, while we were there which was peak summer holiday season they decided to not have the restaurant open??!!
What this means in reality, is that every person in a truly massive resort are all trying to get tables in one of their 4 restaurants between 7-9pm. It didn't matter if you called up first thing, we weren't getting any table earlier than 9.15, which with 2 young children wasn't doable. Therefore 4 times in our 6 night stay, we had to get a taxi and eat out in Elounda. When we asked the hotel about this, they said the reason it was closed was that they didn't have enough people on half board who would guarantee that it would be worth opening. So for these people they gave them vouchers to eat in the restaurants.
The way I look at this, is that for the sake of the minority on half board, they have pretty much aggravated all of the rest of the people in the hotel, half boarders included in this, as they wouldn't have gotten a table either.
This is totally unacceptable as they are selling the hotel on this. The Asian restaurant was horrendous, everything tasted of bland gravy, we tried the Chinese, Thai and Japanese and they clearly couldn't cook Asian food at this restaurant. We sent our food back twice which we wouldn't typically do, but it really was very very bad.
The best place to eat was no surprise the Greek, Blue Door restaurant. Not only was it absolutely stunning in how rustic it was, the food was fabulous. We only went there for lunch a couple of times, because surprise surprise we could never get a table at night.
Second complaint was the wifi, wow this is truly awful. We were apparently in the best room in the hotel and they still couldn't accommodate us, even after finally on day 4 they set us up on our own private network, did we get some access. We had to login on 5 devices well over 20 times plus a day, as every time you went to connect it forgot you and you had to go through the rigmarole of connecting again by typing in your details. Most of the time the signal was shockingly bad, it was so-so by the pool, but in our room we didn't stand a chance, on our balcony, yes sometimes. When it came to pay, because wifi was included in our room price, we made them remove 50 euros per day that we would have been charged, because we refused to pay for something that caused us so much aggravation. This is where again a superior hotel should have said yes absolutely and we apologise etc. However, they didn't, they argued and said that they would have to escalate it. Given what we had paid, this should have been a no brainer. My husband couldn't be bothered with them, given that we were checking out that day and we told them to forget it.
I think because this hotel is so grand it just about gets away with leaving you to get on with it, but in my opinion that isn't 5 stars. The staff were very unhelpful, and were none existent by the pools. So if you needed anything, or wanted a drink, you had to go to the café which given the size of the pool area is a very long walk. In 7 days, one person asked me if I wanted a drink by the pool. There was just not enough staff around the hotel in general.
I wouldn't go back to the Blue Palace, but I would go back to Crete and probably Elounda. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, but no, the Blue Palace needs to improve its service and stop trying to cut corners, because they will lose customers.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent stay at our hotel.
Please accept my sincerest apologies for the service failures you encountered during your stay with us. As you can see from previous reviews, our service is typically where we shine. On behalf of my team and I, we are deeply sorry that this was not your experience and I sincerely apologize for this.
I was terribly disappointed to read that we failed satisfy your expectations in terms of food. However, I am glad that enjoyed your dining experience at the Blue Door tavern as well as its beautiful location. I have received your comments under strong consideration to make sure we get improved in the future.
Once again, kindly accept my sincere apologies for the areas where we have fallen short of your expectations and I do hope that you will give us another opportunity to prove to you the standards of service our guests have come to expect from us.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

Address: PO Box 38, Elounda, Crete 72 053, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Lassithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#4 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#5 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#8 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
#9 Family Hotel in Elounda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 251
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 Hotel Elounda
Blue Palace Resort And Spa
Blue Palace Resort & Spa
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa Elounda, Crete

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