My husband and I have just returned from a week at the Domes, with our two daughters aged almost two and almost four. We are now waiting to confirm school holiday dates before booking again for next year! It was amazing! The hotel and it's situation are breathtaking! I could rave about the warm shallow sea of Spinalonga bay, the pinch yourself beauty of sitting by the pool looking at Spinaloga itself, the "ohmygoodness I am going to have to try everything" fabulous food of the restaurant buffet and the picturesque cobbled hill of suite apartments, which make up the hotel accomodation. I am aware however that I could write forever on all of these points and I think the reviews on this website cover them.
I just wanted to pay a tribute to the amazing staff at the Domes. We could not get over how kind and welcoming everybody was. We arrived late at night with two tired children. The hotel had thoughtfully provided some sandwiches and other snack type food in our room, together with water and wine (which we didn't think we could face after the trials of the journey... Turns out we could!). There was a confusion around our booking, but the hotel graciously moved us to one of the two bedroom properties the next day, as soon as one became available. These are amazing, a little way away from the main hotel buildings, but the buggies can zoom you there in a few minutes, and I think this was one of the girls' favourite parts of the holiday!
The hotel is so impossibly glamorous and swish, that I was a bit anxious about how it would work with toddlers in tow. However the whole arrangement has been well thought out. Kids are allowed in the main buffet restaurant only and then only until 8pm. The majority of families are all finished well before 7.30pm. The restaurant food is fabulous and there is a counter of slightly more child friendly meals for any fussy eaters. This counter is lower than the others, so kids can help themselves. Whilst we were there, it was Halloween. So there were jack O'lanterns and other seasonal decorations on this table. All of the restaurant staff are incredibly friendly and professional.
There is similar consideration on the beach where there is a quiet zone right next to the beach bar and then a family friendly stretch of beach, next to the kids club, where all kids can borrow buckets and spades and other toys. When we were there the outdoor pools were too cold (although the sea was fine) but kids are allowed in the spa pool until midday. After this point it is returned to an adult only oasis of calm.
It is perfectly possible for a family to have a fun-filled, bucket and spade, Halloween loving, kid friendly holiday in the same hotel as a couple enjoying child free restaurants, peace and quiet on the beach and luxurious spa treatments in treasured silence. Having said that, I might be biased, but I think watching a couple of three years olds shyly dancing in front of the piano in the evening is a lovely part of being on holiday. I have seen other reviews saying that kids were running riot in the restaurant, all I can say is that whilst we were there, the kids were all having early suppers, so if you can wait until 8.30 you should be fairly certain of peace and quiet.
What makes all of this possible is the stupendous team of staff at the Domes. They all remember the names of the children and greet them with genuine warm affection each day. My kids went from high-fiving hello's on day one, to throwing their arms out for hugs by day 3! Special thanks to Christian, Katerina and Sergio and a massive thanks to Maggie in the restaurant. Watching my girls give Maggie hastily crafted goodbye cards made from paper and scribbled over with felt tips, before saying how much they would miss her, made me choke up!
I had been worried that given there is a crèche and kids club, all children would be absent from the beach and my girls wouldn't have had any playmates, but this wasn't the case at all. There were lots of little ones to make sandcastles with and share toys with.
Anyway I have to go now - need to look at flights for 2014!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 5-star Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection is set on the most privileged hill and offers luxurious accommodation with spa bath overlooking the island of Spinalonga and its Venetian castle. It has a spa and 5 restaurants serving haute cuisine dishes, a sandy beach and many swimming pools. Each of the air-conditioned suites is uniquely decorated and has easy access to the private sandy beach. They include a spacious living room with wooden floors and a satellite LCD TV. Some suites also have a private pool or open-air hot tub. This year, the new Domes Luxury Residences, along with the stunning Domes Ultraluxe Villas, come with the 'Haute Living Selection', essentially creating an exclusive haute-luxury villa boutique experience, within the already impressive resort of Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection. The spa of Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection includes an interior seawater pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub. It also offers rejuvenating therapies, such as facial and massage treatments. The 5 restaurants offer casual beachside settings or elegant dining rooms with panoramic sea views. Guests can taste progressive Greek cuisine, seafood and Cretan dishes. An Asian restaurant is also possible. The hotel is very conveniently located. The village of Elounda is 2.5 km away. Part of the Elounda myth, is the Venetian Castle on the Island of Spinalonga, the setting for Victoria Hislop's bestselling novel "The Island". The lively seaside town of Agios Nikolaos is within 12 km of Domes of Elounda. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Domes Of Elounda All Suites And Villas Spa Hotel Elounda
- Domes Elounda Hotel
- Domes Elounda Resort
- Domes Of Elounda, Autograph Collection Crete