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“Great resort, nice quiet location.”

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Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete
Ranked #7 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 18, 2013

The Resort:

This is an excellent resort, lovely contemporary architecture and beautifully maintained, all very fresh. This is a big hotel complex spread out on the side of an east facing hill sloping down to the resorts private beach. Although the resort is big (circa 250 rooms?), it is spear out, so it didn’t feel crowded at all. As far as I could see, all rooms had sea views and get morning to midday sun. There are five restaurants in the resort (Greek, Italian, Asian, Fine dining etc.), we only tried the Greek Taverna on the beach, which was excellent, if 2 – 3 times the price of the local off-resort restaurants, I suppose to be expected.

There is a small funicular to help you get up and down the resort, but it can be slow and sometimes quicker to walk. The main road from Elounda to Plaka runs through the resort and separates the beach facilities from the hotel accommodation, but there is a pedestrian underpass, so you only need to go out onto the road if you want to walk to Plaka.

Breakfast is excellent and is a huge American style buffet, complete with cooked on request omlettes / waffles etc. and champagne.

The staff in the resort are numerous and all excellent, very helpful and fluent in English (and probably many other languages).

The resort has it’s own private beach which is stony and would be hard to walk on but for paths and duckboards connecting all of the rows of sun beds. There are towels available at the beach. There is a watersports centre and a PADI dive centre both on site at the beach (but no jet skis). You can private hire the speedboat for EUR35 return for a max of four people to take you to Spinalonga, which I highly recommend! There is an excellent beach bar and they take orders from your sunbed. There is a spa centre which looked excellent with all the facilities you would expect, together with thalassotherapy and various treatments. There is a pontoon you can walk out on and dive and swim or snorkel in the sea. While it is not a coral reef, the snorkelling around some of the rocks near the pontoon wasn’t bad at all. Careful f walking in as there are some sea urchins around.

There are a number of pools around the resort, a big salt water pool on the beach (with a shallow pool for kids), an indoor pool at the spa centre and a smaller, quieter pool in the Asian dining complex at the top of the resort. The pools all seem to be 1.3m deep.
There is free WiFi in reception only (internetfree) and paid for access around the resort (blue_palace).

They will give you an iPod dock on request. There was no cashpoint in the resort. There is a Hertz car rental desk in reception which is manned part time with a dedicated phone at other times. They deliver and pick up from the resort.

The Room:

We booked a superior bungalow with sea view and private pool. The pool was private only in that it was separated from other pools for rooms either side, but it was visible from occupants of other rooms sitting on their verandahs (ask me how I know!). The verandahs are quite private and east facing, with a great view of Spinalonga Island and gets the morning sun – sunrise is great if you are up! The pool is small and 1.3m deep, but fine for relaxing in. The rooms are very fresh, light and airy of course with air-conditioning. There is a separate shower and bath and there is a range of good quality toiletries provided. The bed is huge but quite firm - too firm for us. There is an arrangement of push button lights that signal housekeeping, they were excellent at respecting the ‘occupied’ (i.e. do not disturb) light. Housekeeping was excellent, with a morning make up and an evening turn down.

My only criticism was that there was no in-room tea and coffee making facilities.

Off Resport – Plaka:

This is the local village and a mere 500m walk away along the road to the north, easily visible from the resort. The road has a sidewalk for about 2/3rds of the way then you walk along the road for the rest, not a particularly busy road, but keep your wits about you! We really liked Plaka best of all and would consider staying there in a hired apartment next time. There are at least 12 restaurants / tavernas, two bars, one mini-mart and several tourist stored / boutiques. It all feels really nice and a little bit above the usual tat. Best place we found was also pretty cheap, the taverna along the road under the trees next to the Pine Tree Bar, good food, quirky service and very sensibly priced! You can get frequent boat trips to Spinalonga here.

Off Resort – Spinalonga:

This is the historic island that guards Elounda Bay. Started as a Venetian fortress, then and Ottoman fort, then a Leper Colony until 1957, now unoccupied. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours max to see the place and walk around the island. You don’t really need a guide as there are plenty of placards around the place in English. It gets pretty busy from 11:00 to 14:00 so best to visit early or late (closes at 17:00). Small admission charge. We took the speedboat from the resort, well worth it!

Off Resort – Elounda:

Not very impressed by Elounda. Bigger town and still a fishing port. The port bit is scenic with loads of restaurants and bars. The town was a bit tat with basic grade tourist shops. Get a taxi from Blue Palace for EUR 7. Far preferred Plaka!

Other Things:

The only other thing we did was to hire a car and do a self-guided trip to the Palace iof Knossos. Drive about one hour back to Heiraklion, then turn right and head inland for a few miles. It was pretty busy, but people spread out once in the complex itself and a very interesting place well worth seeing if you care at all about history. The town of Heiraklion might have been OK, but we timed out.

Summary:

Very impressed indeed with the Blue Palace resort. A large resort, but didn’t feel like it when you were there. Staff were excellent and unfailingly helpful. Fantastic breakfast. Loads of facilities, restaurants, pools and a large private beach. Very close and an easy walk to Plaka. Expensive (but I suppose you have to expect that). Just a shame there was no in-room tea / coffee making facilities.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CheltenhamSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded July 6, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed review after your recent stay at the Blue Palace, which I am sure, will be of use to other travelers considering a trip.
I was delighted to read that you had such a nice time with us and will make sure to pass on your wonderful comments to our staff. We take great pride in the Blue Door tavern as all guests find it one of the best outlets in the resort, while it offers delicious traditional Greek dishes just next to the sea and enjoy the amazing view of Spinalonga island right across it.
Your overall pleasant stay while in our resort is the inspiration and motivation we seek in order to keep striving for only the best services for our guests.
We look forward to having you back for another relaxing holiday.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager

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926 - 932 of 1,768 reviews

Reviewed June 14, 2013

Amazing Hotel, Friendly helpful staff and lovely spacious rooms and the views are jaw dropping. The bathrooms are top notch!
When we first got here, we were given the tour of the hotel. The spa is lovely but expensive and the gym is pretty modern too! The Vernicular lift is a bit annoying as other people have mentioned but you do get used to it or use the club golf carts to get where you need.
The hotel seems to cater for children very well and if you are pregnant or with someone that is, this place will suit you down to the ground.

You only get free wifi in the main reception which is a bit of a bind but good when you are letting breakfast digest. The breakfasts are very good with a fantastic range of food.

If you can get the half board it is worthwhile as the prices for food is also very expensive (burger and chips off the snack menu is 20 euros). There are a choice of four restaurants, one Greek, Italian, Asian and Grill. By far the best is the Grill called 'Flame'. On the half board there are a few supplements but it is mainly for fish as this is the local delicacy. If you can get the interchangeable half board added in to your package for free as it gives you the chance to venture out at night and swap your evening meal for a lunch.

Going Out - The cab driver told us it was a 5-10 minute walk to plaka which was fine and a 20-25 minute walk to Elounda (clearly he had never walked anywhere in his life as it took us about an hour to Elounda!)
Plaka is very relaxing and some good restaurants (the carob tree and giorgios). Plaka is considered the relaxing place to be by the greeks. The restaurants are very proud of their selection of fish and will show you it if you are thinking of having some.They also don't mind if you want to go for a swim before eating as strange as it may sound, you just need to ask...some of the places can be a bit pushy in getting your business which can get a bit annoying.

Elounda is nice but most of the bars are poor. Apart from the bars and restaurents, there isn't much else. The best places for views and to eat are on the banks near to the 'ferryman' restaurant. We went to the Ferryman too as we had been recommended by a few people, whilst the food was very good as they had recently got a celebrity chef working for them , the price tag matched - overall a good meal but wouldn't go back! We would recommend the Kanali restaurant which is right next to the canal (hence the name) but only on a non windy day! It was good food and good friendly staff.

Overall a very relaxing holiday and we said we will go back!

Room Tip: Be wary of the rooms with pools as most are cold and to get a heated one costs a lot more.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mike1081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2013

Dear Guest,

I am pleased that you enjoyed a wonderful experience and felt that our quality of product was to a high standard, which was equally matched by the genuine friendly manner of service, that each of our team endeavor to deliver on a daily basis.
Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us and other reviewers and we certainly look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

If you have not been to Crete, the first thing you want to know if how big the island is. It's probably best to divide your stay into regions and use the Blue Palace as one great place to stay. We got a room with a pool which we loved. What a luxury! The beach is great but early morning and late night dips into your own private pool is a real treat. The local Plaka has some nice seaside resturaunts and it was fun to rent a car for daily excursions but in the end this is a resort you really never need to leave.

Room Tip: Lots of people comment that a pool is not necessary. I think it is a must. Try to get a room with pr...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful review following your stay at the Blue Palace. It is great to know that you truly enjoyed Crete as it is indeed a beautiful island and we are privileged to be situated in one of the most amazing areas of it.
It was a pleasure taking care of you and we look forward to having you back at our resort so you can once again enjoy our hospitality and some relaxing time.


Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis

General Mnager

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Reviewed June 12, 2013

I can’t find enough superlatives to describe this resort. Simply put, this place embodies what a 5-star property should be. The combination of service, location & amenities gelled into a most pleasant experience for us. We have been to a few 5-star hotels & this clearly ranks among the top.

POSITIVES:

Staff/Service: Appear to be genuinely friendly yet professional - axiomatic as soon as one walks into the lobby. Special kudos to the front desk staff. We were escorted by the concierge to our room & briefed on the key areas of the property. Room attendant consistently serviced our room & nightly turn down service was a nice touch.

Building/Rooms: Nicely apppointed. The complex is built on the side of a hill overlooking the beach & the island. We woke up every morning to a view of the island of Spinalonga. I doubt that there is a room with a bad view on the property.

Location: Rental car is recommended but not required. There’s a small town (Plaka) reachable within 10 minutes of walking. The fishing town of Elounda is < 10 minutes by car with a lot more choices, things to see & places to eat. Even more so is the city of Agios Nicolaos- 15-20 minutes by car– great shopping & entertainment. Public transport is available but expect an all day trip. Need to arrange for airport transfers Euro 85 each way (private). Look into one week car rental – could be cheaper but don't trust your GPS too much.

Beach: Although rocky, they built wooden platforms with 2 lounge chairs & umbrella. Very cozy & relaxing & far enough from the next platform to give you some privacy. This was the most relaxing part of our stay.

NEGATIVES:
None of a significant nature although some gym equipment could use upgrades but it is overall well equipped.

This is a well-run resort & appears to be aimed (& succeeding) at maximizing guest satisfaction. Congratulations to the management team & staff!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Itchyfeet024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded July 6, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your outstanding review. How great to read all your wonderful words about our resort.
It is a pleasure to know that you loved your room as we are indeed very well located and do have the beautiful view of Spinalonga island for which we take great pride in.
I truly appreciate your very rewarding compliments about all the team which I was more than happy to pass on to everyone.
Once again, thank you for an amazing feedback and for choosing to stay at the Blue Palace. Hopefully you will give us the chance to welcome you back in the future for another royal holiday.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager

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Reviewed June 12, 2013

A true get away. Full luxury resort, all around. Gorgeous architecture in public areas, stunning views, luxurious private abodes with private infinity plunge pools and patios mean you don't need to leave your room. Add to the mystery and history of a fantastic island a perfect, plush, and idyllic resort setting to return to after a day of adventure - though you may not even want to leave the resort.

The much appreciated private plunge pool is off a private patio large enough for lounging, eating and sleeping has a view of the creepy yet beautiful Spinalonga Island, a former leper colony. The island is easily accessible from the resort and worth a boat ride to check out and hike around its now abandoned premises and natural beauty. The food matches the top quality of the rest of the resort, or you can walk ten minutes down the road to Plaka and eat on the beach for more modest fare and "new best friend" service from the waiters. The service of the concierge is as fine as you get. The only note, plus or minus, is that the resort is "out there" and takes a while to get to the most historic sites of the island. A trek you won't mind making, knowing what you're coming back to.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BexofNapa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2013

Dear Guest,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor and give us your feedback on your stay with us.
I am very pleased that you were thoroughly satisfied with your overall experience during your time in our resort.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for choosing to stay at the Blue Palace and I look forward to welcoming you back in the future for another great experience.

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager


Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed June 11, 2013

This place is too amazing to put into words or photos, you really have to visit. The place is pretty much a city on its own. There is not really any reason to leave, with amazing restaurants and great swimming on the property. Unfortunately the location is kind of far from a lot of the best parts of the island. I was also not too impressed with the spa treatments, but was relaxed just by the peaceful surroundings. There is a three night minimum stay, but we loved it so much that we stayed longer than planned. Would highly recommend for couples and families. There were also a lot of very pregnant women that seemed happy.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Andrea W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Dear Guest,

I thank you for your positive feedback.
We love to indulge all of our guests and I am delighted to learn that we have fulfilled your expectations in such a level that you decided to extend your stay. It was our pleasure taking care of you and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to the Blue Palace.

Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis

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Reviewed June 10, 2013

We've stayed at the Blue Palace before and we were eager to return to this delightful resort tucked into the steep hills of Elunda. We always ask the hotel to arrange for a taxi to pick us up at the airport since we have no need to drive once we arrive at the hotel. We were greeted by staff as the cab pulled in and we found the service to be just as anticipatory and just as seamless as it was in the past. Everyone is friendly here. Our room looked out over the bay at the magical and mysterious island of Spinalonga and we encourage everyone to read The Island by Victoria Hislop before you arrive since it gives an intimate portrait of Spinalonga and the fishing village at the foot of the hill called Plaka.

We come here to unwind and the charming beach, pools, spa and beautiful location all contribute to that sense of relaxation. You must spend an afternoon wandering around the nearby town of Elunda where you can stop for a light lunch at any of the many waterfront taverns where the food is always good and the prices range from cheap to reasonable. The very best tip we can share is to wander down the hill (a ten minute walk) to Plaka in the evening for dinner at one of the restaurants – our favorites being Giorgios and Captain Nikolas. The food is wonderful, the service casual and the prices more than reasonable. The breeze blows in from the bay and do not be surprised when the occasional town cat wanders in for a snack. If you return to the same restaurant the next night you will be greeted like family. By the end of the night you will know the staff by name and you will likely be involved in conversations with neighboring diners from around the world. It is the way things are done in Plaka.

Without fail we would end our evenings in the stunningly beautiful cocktail lounge off the main lobby of the Blue Palace which overlooks the entire property. From the comfy overstuffed chairs and sofas you sip your drink as you look over the dancing lights below and the brilliant stars twinkling in the clear skies above.

The Blue Palace is a combination of great design, great service and great location. Thank you management and staff for yet another wonderful visit and we will be back again in another two years or so.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sotikre, General Manager at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete, responded to this reviewResponded July 6, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your continuous support and for taking the time to leave us your feedback.
It was a pleasure to learn that you chose to stay with us with your return to Crete. I would like to thank you for highlighting the service that our staff provided during your stay. I have communicated your feedback to the teams and they are all very happy to know that they made your stay even more special. I am certain that this will serve us as a source of inspiration to achieve even higher standards of excellence in the future.
Once again thank you for honoring us with your visit and we certainly look forward to having you back for another relaxing getaway.


Kind regards,

Sotiris Kremastiotis
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete

Address: | P.O. Box 38, Elounda, Crete 720 53, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Elounda
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#4 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#4 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#6 Family Hotel in Elounda
#9 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: $266 - $990 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete 5*
Number of rooms: 251
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the wild beauty and unrivalled island style of a bohemian luxe resort with emblematic sea views, crystal clear waters, sparkling infinity pools, world class cuisine and bespoke services. All this combined with the resort's beach experience create a unique setting , where time seems to stand still. Blue Palace, a setting of wild grandeur. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Palace Resort And Spa
Blue Palace Hotel Elounda
Blue Palace Resort & Spa
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete Elounda

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