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Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel
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Reviews (445)
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All reviewsyacht clubold milldeck restaurantprivate pooldeluxe bungalowsix sensessmall sandy beachmain buildingsister hotelcretan styleglass of champagneparadise on earthhotel groundshalf boardshower cubiclegreek winebit dated
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282 - 287 of 445 reviews
Reviewed July 16, 2008

We spent three fabulous nights at the Elounda Mare. We had a ground floor room with patio overlooking the swimming pool and then the sea. The room was comfortable and large and well layed out. Two caveats: the beds in most of Greece are not plush and are usually two twins pushed together, and the room can seem cave like when the shutters are closed for privacy.
This hotel has very few Americans and we enjoyed that. The front desk staff was amazing at securing taxis to take us into either Elounda or Agios Nikolas for dinner. The breakfast was huge, delicous and came with a gorgeous view. There is a small beach with water sports however we really enjoyed sitting cliffside. There are lounges and umbrellas spread over the property waterside on the rocks with ladders to enter the sea. It was very private and beautiful. We waterskiied with the water sports desk and rented the sailboat with captain for an excursions around Spinalonga. This was the highlight of our stay!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Andbrecal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2008

We have just returned from Elounda Mare in Greece,Crete! We had a real relaxation. This place is perfect for your body,soul and mind. The gorgeous hotel with beautiful garden,amazing seaside (perfect for being alone with your thoughts and emotions), excellent food and its unique hospitality, that impressed me so much! It seemed that it's your second home,where all that paradise was created just only for you!
Only the last days I felt myself little bit boring, because this hotel is very very calm, for real relaxation and rest, so one week is more than enough.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank ravdiamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2008

We booked this hotel via a luxury auction Web site and were delighted to get a 5-night package, including breakfast, plus dinner for 2 one evening for a very reasonable price.

Had we paid normal rates, we would have been disappointed in the value for money, as the hotel is really lovely, but had inconsistencies in its service. We admittedly are quite critical travellers, so I am sure most guests of this hotel would be happy in their stay. However, as we stayed during the shoulder months, and the hotel was practically empty, we did sense that perhaps standards for such a 5-star hotel weren't quite there.

We arrived late at night and were shown to Bungalow 40. The seawater pool was being filled as we arrived and the man helping us with our luggage handed us a welcome letter that was for a completely different couple and room. Given that we were in shoulder season and it was clear that there were lots of unused rooms and bungalows, it would have been nice to have been offered the option of an upgrade.

Bungalow 40 was OK, but I'd advise avoiding it, as it is located next to the property's church and overlooks a private beach and pavement, which is great, but means that there is a constant flow of pedestrian traffic to the side and below you -- so you actually cannot enjoy your "private pool" in private.

The bungalow room was a bit smaller than we had expected, but it was clean and tastefully decorated in Greek furnishings with white walls. The bathroom was very nice, with a whirlpool tub and stand-alone shower.

Outside our private garden wasn't so nice. There was a large olive tree blocking out most of the sun, so where there should have been plants or grass, we had a big patch of dirt. Also, the tree blocked most of the sun, so lounging was a bit chilly. The private pool was freezing cold. The hotel does say that they only heat the pools during shoulder months, but I literally couldn't swim in it as I lost my breath each time I attempted to get in. Also, the night we arrived, the noise from it being filled up was so loud it kept both of us awake. And, our pool light didn't work until the day before we left (despite us asking for it to be fixed a couple of times) -- had we wanted to swim at night, it wouldn't have been possible. For families with young children, I was also surprised that the pools had very deep ends (they're only small!).

The Elounda Mare is actually part of 3 hotel properties sitting next to each other, and guests of any of the hotels are welcome to use the pools, restaurants and bars at any of the hotels. However, there wasn't much information about the hotel or its sister properties in our room -- or a price list or information about the amazing Six Senses Spa. There wasn't even information about our mini bar and prices!

Breakfast each day was very nice and easily filled us up so we didn't need lunch, but overall the service at the hotel was a bit care-free -- we usually had to grab someone to ask for coffee after sitting at our table for 10-15 minutes, and the front-desk staff always seemed mildly annoyed.

The best part of the hotel (or rather the hotel complex) was the Six Senses Spa -- absolutely amazing in every way. If you stay at the Elounda Mare, you have to spend a day at the spa.

The Elounda Mare is located fairly close to Elounda town, and it was pretty easy to walk there (although I wouldn't want to do it in the heat of mid-day in mid-summer). We'd highly recommend an art gallery called Circada, as well as a restaurant in Elounda called Mam's -- both had wonderful, friendly people and Mam's was amazing food for great prices (try the mixed grill!).

So, overall, a lovely place. Would we stay there again? Probably not, even if we got a great package deal. It was nice -- but kind of annoying as it just didn't feel totally 5-star. For the price we paid, perhaps OK -- but I'd be super upset if I had paid 5-star prices.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Pommefranate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2008

This was our third visit to our favourite hotel and although the Elounda Mare maintains that ranking there has been a distinct change to character of the hotel. Three years ago the hotel was almost exclusively populated by adults but that is no longer the case. Although our stay was, again, over the first two weeks in June it seems that many foreign visitors from the newly-affluent Eastern European countries do not mind taking their children out of school during the term.

This resulted in a far more crowded and less quiet atmosphere, particularly at breakfast when it occassionally resembled an overcrowded nursery. This, in no way, reflects on the waiting staff who coped with their usual friendly efficiency. In fact, the staff are one of the highlights of this hotel - without exception they are first class. In particular the reception staff and chambermaids are of the highest standard.

Eating out in Elounda is pleasent enough but the lack of variety offered by the many almost identical traditional Greek restaurants can pale after two weeks. Also it is no longer cheap to eat out in Elounda. The Ferryman remains the best for fresh fish but for an excellent alternative try The Tryst on the main road, it is virtually the nearest restaurant to the Elounda Mare. Run by a charming couple, every course over the four times we ate there was beautifully cooked and very reasonably priced. Be warned though, the portions are on the large side!

After a wonderful holiday at the Elounda Mare brace yourself for Heraklion Airport, especially if you are flying on one of Monach/Olympic giant Airbuses. After a wait of an hour for our cases on arrival (and we were one of the luckier ones) it took us over 1 Hour 40 minutes to check in, about half of the time spent in a long disorganised queue, in 30 degree heat outside the check-in building.

Stayed: June 2008
1  Thank FiveStarSoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2008

The Elounda Mare is a bit of a paradox. It is not especially luxurious, glamorous, flashy or stylish. You might even say it's not really five star, if what you are after is American-style coached fawning service a la Ritz Carlton.

But what this place does, it does brilliantly, making it, in our opinion, perhaps the very best relaxing beach hotel we have ever stayed in.

The rooms are super-comfortable, with everything you need, beautifully maintained, and spacious. We had a one bed bungalow with private pool, about 25 yards from the beach, which was well worth it.

The grounds are lovely - not over tended but like a relaxing Mediterranean garden, and are so enormous that even when the hotel was almost full the place seemed empty. The views everwhere are wonderful, with benches placed in shady spots overlooking the rocks and sea. We went to the small but gorgeous beach every day, and had our pick of loungers. The sea is magnificent - clear opal and aquamarine, enough breeze and waves to make it interesting, but very swimmable in May.

Great buffet breakfast, with hot food to order instead of in steaming sweaty bains marie. Lunch fantastic at the Yacht Club right on the water (silly prices though) .Dinner served elegantly with waiters in white tuxes, and of a most enjoyable, rather than a gourmet standard - but who needs that on hol? What I want is to relax and enjoy myself, in pleasant surroundings, with happy and helpful staff. I'm not that interested in scoring food out of ten and moaning about how long it takes for the waiter to offer me a drink on my lounger.

Be warned - it's very quiet here - no nightly entertainment or music by the pool. But we had a lot of fun frolicking in our pool and the sea, ploughing through the holiday reading, and going into Elounda (nice town - eat at Marilena and Ferryman) in the evening.

Staff are the perfect balance - helpful and friendly and genuinely interested, without being overbearing.

Only minor quibble is the food and drinks prices which I think must push lunch and dinner trade into town.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank DenbyBlade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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