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Reviewed February 13, 2012

Lovely hotel overlooking Spinalonga. We arrived late at night and were greeted with glass of champagne before being taken to what we thought was our room with a pool only to find out that we had been upgraded to a jacuzzi room. Nothing could be done that evening and we had to wait until the morning to be relocated to the type of room we asked for. Unfortunetly this took most of our first morning and although handled well by Emma the CS representative took some of the shine off our introduction to the hotel.
Apart from that we had a lovely time - the two restaurants (the 3rd was not open) were very good, one being the buffet and the other 1900 down by the beach. The bar was excellent with a great barman and service. The rooms were cleaned thouroughly every day to a very high standard. We did not use the beach but it seemed adequate. We also did not use the indoor pool as you can only use it if you are having a treatment. Beware of this as it is not advertised on their web site.
Overall a lovely holiday however I agree with a previous reviewer regarding the children. It is promoted very much as an adult hotel but 70% of the guests had very young children with them. It made breakfast very noisy unless you manage to get a table outside. Also early evening in the buffet restaurant and bar was noisy with children running about. This is not their fault as there is nothing for them to do and no children's area apart from by the beach for them to go to.
I would definately recommend the hotel but be prepared for the children and it is very pricey for food and drink. But a great experience overall.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms/patio's have little privacy and are very much overlooked. A number of the jacuzzi rooms had very samll and dark patio areas. The best views seem to be at the front of the hotel and up on the top levels. Don't worry about the climb they have buggies that can come and pick you up.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Lesley K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
domesofelounda, General Manager at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review our resort.

We are very happy to know that you indeed had enjoyed yourselves during your stay and I will make sure to convey your kind words to my colleagues.

With regards to the children, you will be happy to know that Domes of Elounda began on 2011 collaboration with established UK childcare specialists Worldwide Kids Company (formerly PB Kids) in order to enhance the childcare services provided. Domes crèche and kids club absorbs the greater number of our little friends, who are really excited and of course animated there. In fact this year the kids club will implement an even more enriched program of activities for more recreation and creativity!

In addition the resort operates quiet zones and family friendly zones, which enable couples and families respectively to relax and have the vacations that they dreamed of with all the amenities and facilities at hand. For an even better facilitation of the above, there has been added a new quite zone inside Tholos, our main restaurant and also Anthos Restaurant that have partnered with HYTRA, a Michelin awarded restaurant, will be an adult’s only restaurant.
Furthermore this year we will integrate pergolas and natural fences to emphasize privacy between the suites and confirm privateness within the resort.

It will be our pleasure to welcome you again and have you experience Domes of Elounda anew.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2012

My wife and I arrived to warm welcomes on October the 6th. We had a long flight and were happy to see smilling faces. While waiting to check we were served a complimentary drink. Nice way to begin what i consider one the best vacations i have had so far.

The room we stayed in had a great view of Spinalonga. The bed was nice and comfortable, the room was clean and fresh fruit was waiting for us.

The shower did have some scale on it, but it was explained to me the water is very hard, so they clean it almost daily.
It was nice and cool weather so we did not swim the 1st 2 days, but we took a nice boat tour to the island, they pick you from right on front of the hotel at a pier.

The way to the beach is gorgeous, you walk down a pretty path adorned with flowers and it so much nicer than other resorts around where you have to cross the road. Here you walk through a tunnel under the road , there are benches to relax and enjoy the day.

We decided to try the couples massage, and that was fantastic , i highly reccomend any service at the spa.

The food was good at the buffet, the servers were polite. The best meal we had was down at 1900, on the pier at night. Nicely lit courteous servers.

We will definetely be back again!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
domesofelounda, Guest Relations Manager at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2012

Dear Guest,

What a wonderful review!

Thank you for taking the time to post this, I am glad the team has lived up to your expectations and we all look forward to welcoming you again, hopefully soon! Make sure to let us know of your future arrival and we will make sure to create another lifetime experience for you and your wife.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2012

We stayed at the Domes in October and I've been hesitant to write a review but feel I must. We were looking for relaxing holiday - peace, quiet, relaxation and sanctity. The website looks great? - yes?

1. We believed the resort would be for adults wanting some r&r. The website markets itself as such - can you see any photos of kids in the gallery? When we arrived however it was clearly not what was expected - there were young families everywhere.

2. Restaurantation. Website promised 3 - we were limited to 2. The main restaurant served average buffet food but not what you would expect of a resort claiming to be luxury. Don't be fooled that James Martin (UK Chef) visited there - he must have been payed a lot.... I had a yoghurt in a glass jar at breakfast that had a clear mould on it. Go to Elounda village for food at a tenth of the price.

3. Expensive - not really value for the premium paid.

4. The indoor swimming pool was about 5m x 5m....

5. I didn't think there were enough activities overall.

The things that saved this from being an absolute disaster of a holiday were some of the staff - Emma on the management team perceived we weren't enjoying it and gave us free spa treatment, free breakfast in room for the week and was the consumate professional.

Some of the other staff at Topos 1910 restaurant and the bar (who unfortunately I cannot remember the names of) were both friendly and perfectly trained.

The villas were quite pleasant and the jacuzzi made up for it.

I won't be back and hope that people looking for a retreat will not be fooled by improper website marketing.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank GastroCraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
domesofelounda, Guest Relations Manager at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience online. It is our ultimate aim to have happy and satisfied guests and that is where your feedback makes a difference. Initially, we do apologize that you feel that you have been misled, but let us reassure you that this was not the case.

As it is vital to have your points addressed, let me reply accordingly:

1. We do not market ourselves as a couple’s resort only as this would not be correct and that would lead to false conclusions. The website does have a family page and also hints in many ways that our resort accommodates families, adults and children. In addition, Domes kids club absorbs the greater number of our little friends. With regards to the R & R (rest and recreation), we do not feel that the existence of families can hinder the guests from recreating and we are truly sorry, if that occurred. Since there are people that do feel that way and we appreciate that, we will introduce more adult zones this year. For example, Anthos Restaurant will be an adult’s only restaurant.

2. Of course as opinions can always range from glowing reviews to critical ones, it is nice to bring this matter up. The dishes of our three restaurants vary and there is a wide selection of flavors to choose from. We feel sorry that you did not find them as tasteful as you have imagined. For your kind attention, we have recently enriched our menus for broader appeal and we have partnered with HYTRA, a Michelin awarded restaurant, for an even more absolute dining experience.

3. The rates are official and they can be found online, there are no hidden costs. The value is on a par with the premium services, the amenities and the facilities offered.

4. It is correct that the size of the indoor swimming pool is not big. The specific pool within the Soma Spa Facilities serves solely the purpose of relaxation prior to and after the spa treatments, the holistic therapies and the gym exercise. It is preferable to work out at the outdoor swimming pool, which is larger.

5. Again, we do believe that this is something that has to do with the individual’s needs. There are some guests that are looking for a complete relaxation and prefer to lie on the beach all day long during the holidays and other ones that do prefer to be more active throughout the vacations. We believe that Domes of Elounda delivers both effectively. We do offer a wide range of activities, namely: spa treatments and holistic therapies, tennis court lessons, yoga sessions, water sports like wakeboard, waterski, canoe, pedalo, kneeboard, PADI O/W diver courses and other similar activities, boat trips and golf games to a close by golf court and many other recreational opportunities. If there is something missing, we would be grateful, if you could share it with us in order to enable us to integrate it to the other range of activities, if, of course, it is a plausible activity.

We are not so often criticized about improper website marketing, but we are surely open to words of reproach.

Thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns; we will take them into consideration.
We hope that in the future, you will visit us again and you will perhaps alter your perception.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

The first time I visited the hotel was 2 years ago and I had the best time of my life.
I decided to return back this summer since the exotic resort at Krabi (Tailand) did not fulfilled my expectations.
I will not repeat again all my positive comments since you can read them on my previous report.
The hotel within 2 years did not change at all but it became even better…
This hotel is a true diamond! Fist class service, luxury and modern rooms, delicious food, fantastic beach, helpful personnel!

Thank you Domes of Elounda…!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Arnie_MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Summary: Could do so much better - has a lot promise which it fails to deliver

First of all the good
The view from everywhere – the main hotel and room was excellent
Room space - excellent in a 1 room suite (except balcony see below)
Staff service – not excellent but sufficient though patchy
Effect of the holiday – Relaxing, peace & quiet (most of the time)

The Bad - General & Environs
Domes references both on its website and in its lobby upon the Conde Naste Traveller award but the standard of the stay in September fell far short of what one would expect.
Sanitary problem - historically smelly drains have been a problem in the Mediterranean but it has been successfully fixed in most places but this is not yet the case at Domes
The rooms are spread across the hill in small blocks with interconnecting paths – which are mostly well lit. However not all steps are illuminated, these inconsistencies caught us both unawares, causing us to nearly fall in the same place on two different occasions (sober)
As part of welcoming (or part of the post booking process) guests could be asked what times they would like their hot tub to be on - some folks like to sleep late or go to bed early – at the motor pump is noisy outside the bedroom.
Guests relations staff shouldn't sit around on Facebook in the main lobby during the evening (which was observed) but should go and chat with guests. Maybe sit with guests post-meal offering drink for chat & feedback. So that hotel can seek to attain continuous improvement - standard is certainly no longer commensurate with Conde Naste Traveller award
In lieu of old fashioned in room manual (which was missed), a late arrival pack should be offered for those who want to retire immediately on late arrival or don't want to be disturbed and just want a quiet holiday. Rather than having to then meet up with a member of staff on another day to find out what’s where etc.
The spa sent a consultation letter – but it presumed that men want sports massage and ladies don't. The letter did not highlight range, flexibility and value (but on enquiry flexibility and value did seem to missing)
Given how much of the world is becoming smoke-free - a dedicated smoking area would keep all happy, especially as bar sells cigars. The open plan bar area with two separate verandas is all pro-smoking – so on a breezy evening, a smoker can fumigate the whole area. On one occasion it was observed that in the space of 30 minutes, 12 people entered bar and left straight away because one person was smoking a cigar
Hotel paperwork does not give consistent or accurate information with regards to bar/restaurant opening times. This confusion is reflected when speaking with staff who also gave inaccurate information upon occasion (e.g. Oh yes the beach bar is serving food [at 6pm] when in fact only served daytime snacks earlier in the day)

The Bad - The Room & Marketing Spin
Shower needs deep cleaned (many months of old limescale all around)
Bathroom floor grouting looking dirty – a steam nozzle cleaning would easily refresh
Replace or discard bathrobes which very tired, ripped & course (good for exfoliation). Such robes are not becoming a hotel of this standard. Also do not presume that all guests are less than 1.7m or less than 70kgs - many men are easily 1.8m or taller
Very intermittent wifi in rooms
Copper sink has peeling cling film over entire inner surface that is akin to peeling skin - looks unpleasant and is probably easy place for dirt to build up up. This has obvious hygiene issues
Some rooms have verandas, others have fully open balconies whilst other have balconies with closed ends (which desperately need ceiling fan as impossible to have air movement)
Balcony furniture is inadequate - 1x chair is only wide enough for children. Table is wrong height for dining.
The balcony which measured 4.2m by 2m had the hot tub – which meant the remaining space was only 2.3m by 2m which felt very crampt and was not big enough for anything else especially for in room dining.
The bed really needed to be replaced – on the “telephone side” the Bed/mattress was tired/collapsing but was still “freshish” on other side

The Bad - Children
Previously Domes portrayed itself as an exclusive destination, whilst not being child unfriendly - it appeared to cater to couples primarily. However in the last year, perhaps in light of the economy and trying to compete with neighbouring larger establishments - this is now a child friendly hotel, as demonstrated by children running around main restaurant at 9pm. Another evening a family arrived at 915pm with children of 3 & 5 years. Or a couple bringing their baby in a buggy into the bar (live DJ, noisy and smokey atmosphere) at 2240. Not wishing to criticise their parenting skills, the issue was that such events impacted upon those wishing to a child free evening and hope to achieve one at a later hour.
The dining situation could easily be resolved by opening the restaurant from 1800 and making an age restriction of 16+ for after 2000. Is the target demographic really child loving or does the targeted market merely contain some parents. The vaunted separate “adults only area” is academic when it is a 3m wide strip along the edge of dining area of 15x20m – separated by a rope which still has children running through. The other hotel restaurants have no separation at all.
Domes is an expensive, luxury resort which risks compromising its proposition by trying to cater to too many markets in an non-thought out approach. It begins to look like a small version of Porto Elounda just up the road
There is a childs pool next to the main pool - yet parents are allowed to put their nappied toddlers in the main pool.

The Bad - Dining
Having tried all dining experiences offered by Domes - we could see no evidence to their claimed "dedication to Haute Cuisine". At best, it is basic but adequate and at worst, school dinners are superior. Whilst the hotel may host "annual Festival de la Gastronomie" there is no evidence that this may have benefitted the menu or standard of cooking for the rest of the year (unless it was truly abysmal before). It is worth noting that we writers have been described as epicurists & gastronomes – not being ones to complain but normally seek out the best and praise.
The menus as a way of catering to the multinational clientele had 4 way translations (Greek, English, French, German). But these translations were inconsistent. For example:
“Pecan Pie (ENG), Gâteau au Noix (FR)” but turned to be nut sponge
“Grilled Veal Fillet (ENG), Filet au bœuf au gril (FR)” but turned out to be mystery meat (Veal is Veau in French)

In summary - would we return? Unlikely, the same or better quality can be found elsewhere at a fraction of the cost. There was nothing unique about Domes of Elounda in comparison with our global experience.

Room Tip: Book carefully as some rooms have oblique views, others are overlooked, whilst others have great features but have been retrofitted to the newer standard poorly
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank SimonBP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
domesofelounda, Guest Relations Manager at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

It saddens me to read that your Domes of Elounda experience with us did not meet your expectations and for this I sincerely apologize.

Domes of Elounda is built on a hillside looking out to spectacular sea views and Spinalonga Island. It welcomes couples as well as families, who as a matter of course spend their vacations in luxury and in high spirits. Fine dining and high quality amenities is our standard and we do pride ourselves in our friendly and efficient service. You will be happy to know that we at Domes of Elounda indeed take all feedback seriously and take the necessary measurements to rectify any misfortune based on candid and objective remarks.

For instance we already took the following measures and ascertain:
-a stronger WiFi connection within the suites,
more detailed consultation letters and designated areas within the resort for easier navigation,
-a partnership with HYTRA, a Michelin awarded restaurant for a unique culinary experience, only for adults,
-integration of pergolas and natural fences to reinforce privacy between the suites,
-this season there will also be a beach manager at disposal to pamper our guests; making sure that our guests are enjoying themselves wherever they are!

In fact, we would love to welcome you again as our guests in the future and experience Domes of Elounda at its best; perhaps changing your perspective about our resort.

In the meantime, if you wish, you may contact us in person to discuss the issues thoroughly.

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