My wife and I recently returned from an 8 day trip to Greece to celebrate our 5th year anniversary. We went the last week in May and stayed 5 days at the Blue Palace (Crete) and 3 days at the Grand Bretagne (Athens). Contrary to the last post, overall we had one of the best vacations we have ever experienced, specifically BECAUSE of the Blue Palace. I read through just about every review posted for the Blue Palace. MOST reviews were very positive with some of the negative comments centered around the cost of drinks (it’s a 5 star hotel), service from the beach bar (it is slow but the bar is not that far away), the slow furnicular ride to the beach (again, it is a short walk from the rooms) and from individuals who were in rooms which close to the service road or the furnicular. We took note of this from the reviews and requested room 323 (recommended from a fellow Trip Advisor post). It was a perfect room.
The Hotel is situated in a semi secluded area just past the town of Elounda. It is a beautiful resort with incredible views and amenities. The service was very good. The staff was very friendly and always willing to accommodate anything that you asked for. We did not have any service issues at all.
We stayed in room 323 as it was a corner room but I would also recommend room 330 (better view of the beach). The room had a private pool which was a little chilly in late May but I am sure would warm up nicely in a few weeks.
We ate at just about all of the restaurants in the hotel for lunch or dinner. There were positives and negatives written about all of them but we found them all to be quite good. The drinks at the hotel are quite expensive, even more expensive than we are used to coming from the Northeast part of the US. The best value is the wine.
The was spa is an exceptional experience. With staff members remembering you name from days before with out a thought and willingness to customize your experience to preference, requests.
We also ventured out of the hotel and had dinner in Plaka (5 minute walk) at the Paleria Taverna (try the lobster pasta). There are many little restaurants to sample or just hang out and have some drinks and experience Greek life.
We took several short cab rides (5 minutes and 6 euros) to Elounda and Agios Nikoloas (15 minute cab ride and 17 euros) – both great towns close by. In Elounda there are several places to shop and more restaurants than you could possible patron. Among the several “must do’s” - Make sure you go to Friends bar. We also ate at The Ferryman and had a very good meal. Agios Nikoloas is a bit more touristy but a very nice town with lots of shopping and restaurants, worth an evenings visit.
For some things to do, take a short boat trip to the island of Spinalonga. There is a lot of history and it is a nice early morning visit (opens at 9am).
Overall, we had one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever taken and can’t wait to go back to Crete (and the Blue Palalce) and visit some of the other islands.
Just as a side note – if you plan to visit Athens to see the sites, we highly recommend doing the in 2 or 3 days (at the most) prior to your visit to the Blue Palace. The days at the Blue Palace were very relaxing and serene, Athens was an entirely different pace.
If you are interested in the Grand Bretagne in Athens, please read our review of that as well.
- 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