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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
- 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