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“Nice Location, Poor room and poor management!!” 1 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 #12 of 36 Hotels in Elounda
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Nice Location, Poor room and poor management!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

We arrived at the hotel on the 10th August 2013 at around 9pm. On check-in we discovered that notwithstanding our booking for three rooms together, we had one room in one part of the hotel and two in another part. We asked them to try and do something but they said the hotel was full. We went for dinner and returned to find that they had managed to find us three rooms together. There were three children in one of the rooms. We went there in darkness. The next morning we discovered that notwithstanding our confirmation said "Spectacular Sea View", we had been given nothing of the sort and had been placed away from the hotel in the corner of the property. This was to be contrasted with what we booked from the website. Don't be fooled by the website. The room did not resemble the room we had booked and was totally unsuitable in the layout for three people. I lost count of the times one of us bumped into the centre piece of the room. There was not enough room "to swing a cat".
We went to reception to complain about the room on our 1st day to be told by the Asst Manager, Lefteris, that the hotel was full and that there was nothing that could be done until at least the next day. As we were only there another two days, we suggested that it would be too late by then and that they should do something about the price of the rooms. He suggested initially that we could have a meal in the hotel and then retracted it very quicly when he realised there were nine of us and offered a couple of bottles of wine!! We rejected this out of hand and asked him to come back to us.
After a day, he still had not contacted us and we went to reception to see him. He said he had left a message but none of our phones had one and was still offering a couple of bottles of wine. We said it was not good enough but he said that was all he could do.
On our last night, I received a phone call in my room from Babis, who was the duty manager. I explained the position to him, he was very sympathetic but after two further calls during which I waited in my room for 45 mins, he offered some Spa treatments for the next day, this was not possible as 5 of our party were leaving at 4.30am! He then offered 3000 Starwood points per room, again I told him this was unacceptable and he made an appointment for me with the General Manager for 11am the next morning. This was the last day of my summer holiday but I wanted to resolve it so I turned up at Reception at 11am. By 11.20, We still had not been seen and we were then spoken to by Claire, the Front of House Manager, who said the General Manager was not now available. This was totally unacceptable but once again I went through everything with her and I was to go back at 3pm to see her. When I went back at 3pm, the General Manager has apparently been spoken to and I was told that 3000 points per room was all that was offered.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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 appreciate your feedback regarding your recent stay at the Blue Palace.
I apologize for the areas we fell short of your expectations and I have taken on board your comments for future improvement.
I do hope that we will have the future opportunity and pleasure of welcoming you back to the Blue Palace.

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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915 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (201)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

We arrived at the hotel at 10.30 pm and loved it from the moment we arrived . The reception staff were very friendly and helpful and immediately arranged a table for us at the Blue Door restaurant . Our bags were taken to our rooms and we were whisked off to the restaurant in a golf buggy.
We were upgraded on arrival which was fantastic. The room was very beautiful with amazing views over spinalonga . The next day however, we realised that we would not get any sun at all during the day on the veranda or pool (probably to do with the time of year) .We asked if we could be moved and were given a different room within the hour .This room also looked over Spinalonga.
We could not find a fault with the staff, the facilities or the other guests
The restaurants are staffed by very friendly people. We particularly enjoyed Flame and the Blue Door . We also walked to Plaka in the evening (5 mins) and ate in a few of the lovely tavernas.
Portion size in Plaka is huge so be warned. It is also incredibly cheap.
A really lovely holiday in a very happy hotel !

  • 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
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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 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

It gives me great pleasure to know that you had an enjoyable stay with us and found everything to your satisfaction and I appreciate you sharing this with others.
I was so glad to know that we met your expectations in terms of the facilities we provide and most importantly the service. We really enjoy creating a memorable stay for all our guests and I am glad this shows.
I do hope you will come back and stay with us again in the near future as we will be more than happy to take care of you.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
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
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, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, England
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 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
4 helpful votes 4 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
50 helpful votes 50 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
51 helpful votes 51 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
Report response as inappropriate
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
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#6 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#7 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 Resort And Spa
Blue Palace Hotel Elounda
Blue Palace Resort & Spa
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa Elounda, Crete

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