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“Nice hotel. Great Vacation” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 36 Hotels in Elounda
Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nice hotel. Great Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2006

We have been to Greece several times. We have always had a wonderful time when we have visited in August 2006. That being said....our expectations are not the same as they would be when we stay at a five star hotel in the U.S.

Although wife and I stayed at the Blue Palace on Starwood Points, we know and appreciate superior service and accommodations. That is what we received from the Blue Palace.

ARRIVAL-
When you get to the airport you do not realize how far away you are from the resort. Expect an hour trip and about 60-70 Euros. It was actually cheaper when we arranged our return to the airport through the hotel. I also preferred that the fare was added to my room bill prior to departure.

Upon arrival we were met by a staff person from the Concierge desk who after making sure our bags were taken to our room while we checked in. We arrived before noon but were advised that our room was ready. We were also pleasantly surprised when we were advised that we had been upgraded to a suite. We were promptly escorted to our room by the concierge who along the way pointed out the features of the hotel.

ROOM-
Our room was both spacious and immaculate. It consisted of two levels (the bedroom upstairs and the living room downstairs) both of which had a bathroom and a balcony. The management had also provided us with a complimentary (and much appreciated) snack that consisted of fresh fruit and a bottle of wine. Our room did not have a plunge pool but as we prefer sitting by the sea so we did not mind.

HOTL AMBIANCE-
The views from most anywhere in the hotel were breathtaking as it overlooks the sea. I agree with some of the reviews that the hotel is understated and lacked some personality. There was no real Greek flavor to it. The hotel also felt empty at times even though it had full occupancy when we visited. I am sure much of this had to do with guests being out touring the island. It's hard to fault the hotel for that. There is a road that dues separate the hotel but we did not have any issues as our room was much higher up.

HOTEL AMENETIES AND POOL-
The hotel pool is large and did not feel crowded. There was a shallow portion in which the majority of the children swam and played at and they did not disturb us. There are towels available by the pool. We spent the majority of our time sitting in lounge chairs on the stone beach. The setting was lovely and there was cocktail service from the waitresses manning the poolside bar. The funicular was interesting the first couple of times we used it but it got old....but even when we just missed getting on it only took about 5 minutes to return. Our attitude was that your on vacation, you can't let the little things get to you.

MEALS-
Although we ate breakfast almost daily at the hotel buffet which was quite good. We always had dinner outside the hotel. Here I will issue a word of caution- be prepared that the meal will unfold slowly. This is not because the waiters are not attentive but because dinner in Greece is an event that is savored slowly. They are giving you the room and time to have a conversation while taking in the scenery. If you are in a hurry, let your waiter know and they will accommodate your schedule.

We went to Elounda twice (6 Euro Cab ride) and St. Nicholaos once (17 Euro Cab ride). I can't recall the restaurants we ate at but they were just OK. We ate the rest of our meals at Plaka, the little village that is a five minute walk away. Although we sampled several of the restaurants, our favorite was Paleria Tavern. The Greek cuisine was authentic and wonderful. As both our parents were born there we know good Geek food. They also finished up the meal by giving us a small plate of fruit to cleanse the palate as well as a shot of Raki (Local moonshine).

FINAL THOUGHTS-
I agree with one reviewer that in many ways it is a luxury hotel but that some of the attention to detail of a five-star experience is lacking. Staff was always smiling, friendly and helpful. Our departure from the hotel was at 4 p.m. The hotel extended usd the courtesy of late check-out without us even requesting. Such little touches of thoughtfulness go a long way. We still had a great stay and would go back again. Next time we would spend some time sight-seeing

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Hastings
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2006

What a mixed review this hotel gets! We were quite apprehensive about booking this resort after reading all the bad reports, but we decided to go with our gut instinct and it really paid off. It is probably worth noting with both my partner and I have not stayed at many 5 star resorts, but neither are we chav’s. However, we are not tolerant of being ripped off or receiving poor customer service.

The hotel is beautiful, the staff are genuine and the spa is excellent. We found that if you treat the staff with respect and are polite to them, you will get the same back. We learnt a few Greek phrases before we went, and our stuttering efforts were rewarded with smiles (and offers of the correct way of saying it!). The Blue Door was the best restaurant. It is set away from the others about 1 minutes walk. Friday night Fish night is a must, with the catch of the day to choose from! If you fancy a chance, Captain Nicholas in Plaka is a nice Taverna with good food and excellent waiters (they help make the night so entertaining!). The Finnicular does not run on warp speed, but we filled in the time talking to other people about their stays (all good by the way) and local places they had visited and liked.

The only thing I can understand people criticising is the coldness of the private pools. Luckily we are from an English seaside town where the average temperate is -5’c in the sea, so we jumped in! We rewarded ourselves by opening a cold beer, getting our Blue Palace bath robes on and looking out at Spinalonga Island, going for pre dinner cocktails on the huge outdoor sofas, and having a wonderful meal with great service. Life could be worst in our opinion!

  • Liked — Clean rooms with plenty of space
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — If the mini bar is a bit too pricey, there is a shop in Plaka that is very cheap
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, England
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2006

I have been to Elounda before so knew what to expect. This hotel is nearer plaka which is more of a fishing village with a few traditional restaurants - which has a less commercialised feel than elounda.
The hotel was nice - it was clean and the staff were friendly, however there wasn't much atomsphere and it lacked personality.
The glass lift down to the beach was good fun to start with but fast became annoying as we had always just missed it!
The restaurants were only ok. The exception was the orangerie which was lovely. The hotel could do with another restaurant as it all got a bit boring and we were only there for a week! So went into Plaka instead.
The room was nice - we had one with a private pool which was FREEZING - the rooms didn't have a dvd which i think it needed as most hotels these days have the facility.
The building itself is quite none descript as its built into the landscape so not that pretty.
If you are planning a trip to Elounda - I would stay at the Elounda Bay Palace or the beach club - which i have stayed in and preferred. Failing that go to Cyprus and stay in the Anassa which is beautiful!

  • Liked — Spa
  • Disliked — Boring
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Theodoros, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 26, 2006
Dear Valued Guests,

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude that we have received so many reviews from Trip Advisor members. Feedback is always appreciated and it only makes us try harder and with more enthusiasm to fulfill our promise of luxury. It is understandable that from many reviews there will be the occasional guest who may not have found our resort to his or her liking. While we readily accept this, we welcome the opportunity to address here some of the issues raised in the reviews.

I have noticed that a few members of Trip Advisor, comparing us with other five star deluxe resorts worldwide have expressed some negative views about our service. Having stayed in some of the resorts mentioned, such as Las Ventanas in Cabo San Lucas, the St. Regis in New York, Amanjena, La Mamounia, Cap Juluca and a number of Four Seasons properties worldwide, I can only say that service, feeling and atmosphere has differed greatly in all these properties and so it should. Sophisticated travelers acknowledge the fact that cultures and people are different and this is reflected in the way they approach service. At Blue Palace we try to promote the Cretan hospitality for which our island is known for and we are proud to receive so many comments about our staff friendliness and their genuine willingness to make guests feel welcome and pampered. Extensive and constant training, tough assessments and mystery shoppers from third parties constantly review the service standards and we are very proud of the positive reviews we have received.

There has been a comment focusing on the mix of our clientele and on the different rates. Our clientele are primarily well traveled individuals from around the world. We also have some Tour Operator business, which I can assure you are very upscale. I am sure no-one would consider the Elegant Resorts or Airtours of this world a mass tourism operator. As far as rates are concerned, any traveler would know that length of stay, time of year, special offers and most importantly timing of the reservation can influence rates. It is natural that somebody who books their vacations for July 2007 today could get a better rate from someone who will make the same booking a few days before arriving at the hotel.

In regard to comments about the character of our Olea Restaurant; Olea is one of our five restaurants, where breakfast is served on beautiful veranda with splendid potted olive trees and excellent sea views. A beautiful American Buffet is laid out daily including Greek delicacies, live kitchen, French Champagne and a great selection of other dishes. Breakfast is always included in our rate and has always been regarded “excellent” by our guests. Also when guests choose to have breakfast in their room, then a rich Continental breakfast is offered with only a 4.20 € surcharge per room and per order for the service and not full price as a reviewer wrongly asserted. We also offer other breakfast alternatives such as healthy or the Greek, which have a different price. Most guests appreciate this flexibility and choice.

In regard to our Ultimate Guest Service, this feature was created this year with a genuine desire to pamper guests and take care of special requests. The team has added a lot to the guests’ overall experience and continues to undergo extensive training. It is understandable that in its first year, this service may not have always been up to the standard intended. We will continue to work at it until we get it perfectly right.

Regarding our pools, the 104 infinity pools that are scattered around the resort are considered by many our trademark and judging from our reviews leave a deep impression. A few reviews here mention that the pools are cold and not very private. We found that in a warm climate like ours, many more guest do not want to pay extra for a heated pool. However, we still offer a great selection of features, including heated pools and absolute privacy, available for every taste and we clearly state which room types have them.

Finally a word about our poor funicular elevator, which had some criticism. The elevator performs a great service taking people to and from the beach effortlessly and it is only one of the ways to reach the level of the beach. One can choose between walking down through the little paved pathway or take a driven club cart. Naturally, the funicular takes a few minutes to go up and down, but all funiculars do!

We all feel very proud here at Blue Palace that we are getting so much feedback through our questionnaires and through personal contact with our valued guests. The greatest complement is our number of repeat guests and the fact that this number is growing dramatically. We accept and welcome criticism and we would like to assure you that we are putting great effort into constantly improving services and facilities. This is a never ending process that we perform with great enthusiasm.




Yours Sincerely


Theodoros Frangos
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2006

The Blue Palace was the first stop on our Greek Island honeymoon and we thought the hotel was wonderful.

First of all, just asthetically speaking, it is a beautifully designed hotel. Very fresh, modern, but blends into the scenery. We were so impressed off the bat. Very luxurious!

The service is wonderful. Our tranfer from the airport, which they arranged, was seamless. From the moment you arrive they don't expect you to lift a finger and are SO polite. Room service is prompt. Plenty of beach chairs, pool chairs, etc. The staff was very helpful. They even sent a cake to our room that said "Happy Honeymoon"!

Our room was very big and comfortable. It was quite plain - not full of any impressive furniture or decorations...but it was totally fine. We almost prefered not having so much clutter. We had a small private balconey overlooking the water which was great. Some rooms have gorgeous private pools.

My only negatives -- and they are small -- are:
Skip the restaurants in the hotel They are overpriced, and the meals outside the hotel are much more authentic and better.

There isn't much near the hotel. If you are going here, expect to spend most, if not all, your time on the hotel grounds. We only left to eat dinner. All the sites and attractions require renting a car. But we were perfectly happy to stay at the hotel. We loved it!

  • Liked — Luxurious
  • Disliked — Restaurants on-site
  • Tips/Secrets — Request a room with a balconey or pool
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan, NY
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2006

One word, brutal. Any positive reviews are by folks who either (a) got very, very lucky or (b) have never stayed in a true luxe property (think Cap Juluca in the Carribean, Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton's in most places, heck, even a W does better than these folks...)

So bad, in fact, that I contacted SPG corporate in the U.S. (wondeful folks, by the way) to complain about it and SPG's policy is to contact the properties directly to respond to customer issues. After two weeks, even SPG corporate department couldn't get a response from the Blue Palace, so I was credited with points for a two night stay!!! That's got to tell you something!

OK, where to begin:

pro's (limited as they are)

- pretty location, good views from the rooms (if unblocked - beware)
- nice design, spacious suites, luxe bathrooms
- attractive physical facilities, spa, etc.
- good (albeit expensive) beach restaurant (good luck trying to get to it at night, BTW, no furnicular, no staff willing to drive you down in a golf cart and one girlfriend in heels for dinner does not a good combination make)

con's

- one-star service (absolutely no effort, ever, to help. Coffee in the morning in your room. Forget it. You have to order a full breakfast for coffee?? Help with baggage, why help, when you can gossip with co-workers. Wake up call requested? Never happens. Need directions -- "go that way")
- freezing plunge pool (why bother having it if you can't use it)
- the furnicular from hell -- it takes 15 minutes to get anywhere (bring a cocktail along for the ride)
- did I mention the poor service?

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Service
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't GO!!!!
  • Stayed October 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset, England
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2006

We wanted a relaxing holiday after working hard all year, and chose the Blue Palace after looking at the lovely website. Everything looked perfect. I travelled with my husband and teenage son. We were personally collected from the airport, and despite the recent security threats our flight etc ran seamlessly to time. Our taxi took us to the hotel and we arrived around 21.30. After being personally greeted with 'welcome to the palace' and informed that unfortunately the restaurant was now closed we were told a meal had been layed out in our room.
We were taken to our room by a club car, by a well dressed, well spoken consierge who was very helpful. Our room was beautiful and we saw a cold plate, cold wine and a vase of flowers, it was a delightful welcome to Crete.
The room over looked the bay and island of Spinalonga, which is set in blue waters. We chose not to have a personal pool and enjoyed all the outdoor pools and the pool in the spa, so did not feel like we had missed out. It was an amazing view from our balcony, and it had the wow factor when we opened the curtains on our first morning. What else can I tell you about the room, it had everything we needed, the bathroom was well stocked with big fluffy towels, amazing toiletries and the room was serviced twice a day.
The food was divine, we ate in the main restaurant for breakfast and dinner and did not feel the need to dine anywhere else as the choice, taste and service were excellent. The waiters were friendly, attentive and very professional. My compliments to the the chefs who must work very hard to produce such a choice of delicious foods. At lunch time we ate in the beach bar, which suited our teenager.
We used the spa, which was an extremely tranquil experience, making use of the thalassotherapy and massages. We spent most of our day basking on the beach and being tended to by the girls who serve drinks and the man in the kiosk who is helpful with beach towels and helping you move your sun lounger.
I was sad to leave at the end of our stay as we had a wonderful time and totally relaxing holiday due to the fantastic hotel and the personal service it offers. The Palace is exactly like the website, perfect.
The most amazing and confusing thing I found was that I had read some of the scathing reviews on this site prior to my holiday and I cannot understand why they didn't enjoy it as much as we did. We will certainly go again...as soon as possible!

Stayed August 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2006

The best. We got a private pool, (not heated you have to pay extra money for that)and a cute patio area. Has a great spa, huge pool, and is right on the ocean. Staff is at your service 24/7. I remeber one time at 12:30 my daughter spilled water on her bed, we called up the maid service, and they came, changed that sheets, everything. Food was excelent. Great way to relax. The down side: Horrible beds. Also expensive. Only go there if your willing to spend, spend, spend. (Or you'll have to pull some strings.) Other than that, had a nice time, nice neighbors, and relaxed.

  • Liked — Everything, the fact that my kids were engulfed by the view, and that it was relaxing.
  • Disliked — The beds. Couldn't sleep.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#6 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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