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“European Elegance? May Not Be for Frequent American Travelers”

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Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel
Ranked #15 of 37 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“European Elegance? May Not Be for Frequent American Travelers”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2014

While my husband and I had a pleasant stay at Elounda Mare, and we loved the spa at their neighboring property, if you are a frequent American traveler like we are, I frankly would stay somewhere else. The decor at the hotel is overwhelmingly Greek "country" -- classical Cretan fabrics, wooden beams (i.e, very U.S. 1970's or National Park-ish decor). If you are looking for sleek and modern, this is not the hotel for you. I was not happy that we had specifically reserved a suite--so that we could have 2 rooms, in case one of us wanted to sleep while the other did work--yet the hotel "upgraded" us to a pool room, with our own plunge pool, which was only one room. Moreover, it overlooked the air conditioning unit of another unit, blocking our view. Also, be aware that unlike American hotels (or even most international chains we found in Greece) you have to pay for the internet by the minute, which is a real pain. Two other issues--the mattress was rock hard. We seriously considered getting up in the middle of our first night and going somewhere else. Upon our request, management did bring a "coconut" mattress that was a bit softer and some better pillows. But again, this is just not what we would expect from a Relais et Chateau property. We also were surprised to find mold in the bathroom--the grout was really icky. I think that was because there were only two little windows that you could prop open, no fan or A/C. The ventilation really needs to be improved. Although the staff was very nice, views were beautiful, spa was great, and loved the breakfast, I do not think this hotel is as "luxurious" as it is advertised.

Room Tip: Beware that some pool suites do not have a clear view of the sea, but rather, overlook the roofs of...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank palena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harry_Maranghides, General Manager at Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Thank you for reviewing our hotel, for your good comments and your remarks.
Although you had a pleasant stay, we are sorry that it was not 100% satisfactory. To clarify a few points: The upgrade to a bungalow with private pool is almost always appreciated. Your booking did not mention that a separate living room was necessary; otherwise we would certainly allocate a unit with one. The mattresses are all Cocomat branded with a medium softness. In case a softer one is preferred, an over-mattress is used as in your case. Internet: 4 hours free use is included in a suite booking. Then there are various options for buying time. As for the style and décor, we would like to point out that Relais & Chateaux hotels must have their own character, among other standards. This is opposed to most international chain hotels that usually offer widely acceptable standards, and we believe this is what you mean by “frequent American traveler” standards. Our privately owned and run property is personalized, its discreet luxury based on Cretan style, and we agree that it is certainly not sleek or modern, this being obvious in our web site.
Again, thank you for your remarks and good comments.
Harry Maranghides
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2013

This was our third return to one of the most magical places in the Mediterranean Sea. The Elounda Mare hotel is spectacular and extremely comfortable, with well-kept grounds, beautiful lantana plants and pomegranate trees, and our own private pool attached to our suite was romantic and relaxing. Of course the Old Mill restaurant was a delicious dining experience and the service was impeccable. Thanks to all of the professional staff for their remarkable hospitality --we look forward to our fourth visit!

Room Tip: I highly recommend a suite with a private pool.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cambridge
Level Contributor
89 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

Great weeks stay, staff excellent, warm welcome and very good service. Looked at a number of other hotels on the coast and felt we had picked the best of those in the area, smaller and quieter .
Was a little surprised at the restaurant prices, eye watering rates in crete that the Burj al Arab would would be happy to charge

Room Tip: All rooms have great views , we stayed on top floor in the newer wing, quieter and best views
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Newtontj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Craven Arms, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

We stayed as a couple, the lovely rustic courtyard entrance has a fabulous view of the sea as you enter through the glass door entrance, the welcome glass of champagne was lovely, reception staff were always very helpful, spoke excellent English and even helped with our wifi problems. The hotel as previous reviews say is really first class, everywhere is very well maintained, clean and stylish. There is a lovely reception/ bar/book area.We stayed on the 3rd floor with a sea view, the room was not large but well equipped with a private balcony. We stayed half board and thought the food was excellent in the hotel restaurant, breakfast was also very good with a choice of freshly prepared omelettes, cooked breakfasts etc that were cooked to order. Yes drinks are expensive but am sure this is necessary to maintain and run such a lovely hotel. Staff are great friendly people, we thought it impossible to fault the staff. Sunbeds were plentiful and on many days we more or less had the pool to ourselves which was fantastic! The nearest tow of Elounda appeared a bit run down but obviously a result of current economic problems. There is a small shop near the hotel where you can buy more water if required. The only thing that would have made our stay better would have been a kettle and cups for tea in our room but we many hotels in Greece do not offer this facility. Would recommend this as a very relaxing, discreet hotel.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Shropsres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

Location: on quiet road, discrete entrance, set in green well tended grounds, cleverly landscaped with pretty paved pathways and romantically lit arches, running down to a small quaint private chapel sat in a square with a few boutiques and onwards down to a small beach, gently sloping into the sea to one side of the hotel. To the other side access to the water is down steps straight off paved rocky terraces into the sea. Bungalows with private pools are discreetly dotted about in the gardens or form staggered lines looking straight out to sea. This is one of a number of 5 star hotels along a strip in Elounda. It has two neighbouring sister hotels. We visited 5 other hotels - Elounda Mare was the best.

Clientele: generally older couples or couples with very young children. Its a quiet traditional hotel, discreetly elegant. Evening entertainment is limited to cocktails, a piano player and dinner; or a small lounge with a selection of books; or a TV room.

Cost: a glass of wine starts at 8€; a flute of champagne 19€; a half bottle of wine starts at 20€; a bottle starts at 30€; bottled water starts at 4.60€ (we never saw saw tap water served); two cups of tea served in your room 13€; cocktails start at 11.50€.

Food: Half board means a 5 course meal of a decent standard in the main hotel (the Deck) or else you receive a 30€ credit per person to use in one of the other restaurants in the hotel or one of the sister hotels for dinner (or lunch). The main course alone at dinner in the other restaurants start at 33€. The food is varied and of a good standard but the Old Mill is easily the best being set in the grounds and very romantic. The restaurant in the main hotel is fine but lacking in much of an atmosphere. The Fish Night at the Yacht Club by the beach was 80€ per person - all buffet, no waiter service - and frankly not worth the money. The Greek Night at a sister hotel was 70€ per person but we didn't try that. The alternative is a 7€ one way taxi trip to Elounda (or 20 min walk) or 13€ one way taxi trip to Agios Nikolaos, either way the food is less than half the price.

Porto Elounda De Luxe Resort and Peninsula All Suite Hotel are the sister hotels: the best part is the Six Senses Spa adjacent to the Porto Elounda, voted the Best Spa by the Times. An experience, treat yourself. A decent massage is 90€ and you then can use the rest of the spa facilities on a complimentary basis. or just pay to use the facilities. Otherwise just ask to be shown around - completely free and worth it. There is a free shuttle service whenever you want it, that will take you between the hotels, otherwise if you prefer to walk it takes 15 mins along a hot, dusty but flat and otherwise reasonably pleasant walk on a road - there are few pavements in Crete!

Freebies: the 6 complimentary freebies in your room are replenished as often as you like as are the two complimentary bottles of still water daily; 260 mins in room internet access (but connection poor) lounge better; fresh fruit in room on arrival; space in the fridge to put your purchases (small supermarket nearby).

Room: we stayed on the third floor in the main hotel. Plenty of room. Decent sized balcony. Large marble bathroom. Double basins. Jacuzzi bath. Separate walk in shower (bit small and cheap sliding door). Dressing gowns and slippers.Towels could do with being softer but ok. Large comfortable double bed. Range of pillows.View straight out to sea through floor to ceiling sliding doors. Fantastic. Noisy air conditioning/kitchen ventilation that services one of the restaurants which disturbs sleep on occasion. Sunrise is 7am. Use the wooden external slates to cover the windows if you want to sleep in. Breakfast closes 10.30ish.

Staff: excellent; polite; helpful; accomodating. Its one of the things that sets this hotel apart.

Room Tip: Ask for 3rd floor or above for full sea views in hotel. Ground floor rooms lead directly into the po...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JessandTeddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
514 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 371 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

This was our second visit to this haven on Crete, which is testament alone to it's glory. Set in the magnificence of the Elounda Peninsula the hotel offers peace and tranquility second to none. There is everything that the more 'mature' traveller might desire in terms of privacy and choice of type of stay. Private Villas with their own pools for the optimum privacy against the very comfortable hotel rooms that have use of the stunning (and often very quiet) pool. The hotel has its' own beach and, as an added wonder, the rock area in their own private little bay where bed chairs are set out and you can lay listening to the gentle roar of the sea. Beautiful.
The staff are probably the most wonderful this reviewer has ever encountered in all her travels. Nothing is too much. They make a holiday perfect.
There are, however, improvements to be considered.
The sun loungers are as uncomfortable as they could ever be (not acceptable at this level).
A rather lovely young lady visited the pool and rock area every 30 minutes to see what refreshments are required. They are subsequently brought to you. However there are insufficient choices especially the snack suggestions for light lunchers. Very inadequate and wholly expensive for the content.
We were very disappointed with all the restaurants on offer in the adjoining properties (owned by the same people). Other than the magnificent OLD MILL within Elounda Mare itself - reviewed separately - we were utterly disappointed with the bad food and service offered in the new fusion restaurant at the adjoining Peninsula Hotel and the Italian Restaurant in the adjoining Porto Elounda Hotel was simply dreadful. Bad food and badly cooked.
The Yacht Club, within the Elounda Mare, is the main stay restaurant where half board meals are offered and where most will have lunch in any event. We found the food really bad. We dined only once for dinner and vowed not to return. It was poor to say the lease. We lunched twice during our 21 day visit and found it ridiculously expensive for what was on offer. The least one expects is a decent Greek salad. It was not.

Other than that it's a gorgeous, relaxing and wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cheryl G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lviv
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

It was just one night in this hotel but I can affirm that staff is very well experienced & friendly, the rooms are spacious and well equiped. There is every thing to have unforgettable rest at the sea.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Iuliia_Hike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel

Property: Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel
Address: Dimokratias 10, Elounda, Crete 720 53, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Elounda
#5 Business Hotel in Elounda
#8 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#11 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#13 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Famed for its gracious and attentive service, this hotel is the embodiment of all-time-classic style and cultured luxury, where antique art and traditional architectural themes adorn all of its private-pool bungalows - each with its own terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea. Three fine dining venues reflect the Relais & Chateaux tradition of excellence, their culinary delights ranging from enticing lunchtime snacks to five-course dinners, with flambe and fish specialties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elounda Mare Hotel And Bungalows
Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux Hotel Crete

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