We've been lucky enough to stay at numerous 5*+ hotels across the world and the Blue Palace is 5* in most respects. We spent a week there in September and it was a fantastic break. Granted, you're not going to get the same level of exceptional service that you would get in the Middle East or Far East, nor the unique charm of the Caribbean, but then this is Greece so you wouldn't expect it!
The setting is simply wonderful with the hotel overlooking the enchanting Spinalonga and built into the surrounding landscape. The hotel design is great, particularly the lobby area - the hotel feels small but it is actually quite a large resort. The views are beautiful.
Location wise, it is perfect - a 5 minute stroll to the village of Plaka and a 5 minute taxi journey to Elounda. Fantastic for those of us that like to explore and try local restaurants etc.
We chose a room (the hotel calls them bungalows for some odd reason!) with an infinity pool. We were unsure about the pool after reading the comments but we decided to go ahead and it was a good decision in our opinion. The pools are cold but very refreshing and we would use our terrace area to sunbathe on until around 1pm each day before heading to one of the main pools. Our neighbours either side also used their pools daily until the early afternoon and although they aren't very private, at least you get talking to your neighbours!
We found that the staff at the hotel were very helpful and always happy to help in any way. The concierge service could be better but the reception staff and the staff at the lobby pool (particularly Maria) were excellent. However, the service at the beach was pretty slow.
Food wise, we only ate in the Blue Door which was very nice but the lack of local waiters/waitresses was a shame (all seemed to be Russian or Eastern European.) What it really needed was some charismatic locals serving you to create a more authentic experience. Breakfast was excellent with a huge choice and a fantastic setting on the terrace.
As everybody says; stay well away from the funicular! We asked for a room in the newer part of the resort away from the funicular and the room we were given was very nice and in a perfect position.
The only other negative point, that is mentioned a lot in other reviews, is the lack of free WiFi throughout the hotel. It's quite amusing seeing the number of guests sat in the lobby with iPads etc downloading content, and whilst it made me smile, it is quite embarrassing for a 5* hotel not to provide this free of charge and throughout the entire hotel.
In summary, this is an excellent hotel with helpful, friendly staff in a brilliant location and reasonably priced for a 5* resort. We will return to the Blue Palace in the future and would definitely recommend it for a relaxing holiday.
- 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