The Blue Palace Elounda, Crete: classic luxury on the edge of deep blue Cretan waters

·4-min read
 (Blue Palace)
(Blue Palace)

Where is it?

In the Gulf of Elounda, on the east of the island, looking out onto beautiful honey-toned Spinalonga Island, made famous by Victoria Hislop’s book The Island. A five-minute stroll takes you into the charming fishing village of Plaka where handicraft shops entice and tavernas line the waterside. Fifteen minutes in the other direction is the port town of Elounda — a good place to pick up some Cretan olive oil and some local wine. Beyond that, the airport of Heraklion is just over an hour by car.

Style

The 195 bungalows, 52 suites and 4 villas are crafted from local stone and tumble down the steep hillside towards a pebble beach at the edge of the Aegean Sea. Design is tastefully sparing, with clean lines and a classic Greek elegance as found in the lobby complete with Travertine floors and soaring arches. The whole nevertheless allows the surrounding natural beauty to take centre stage.

 (Blue Palace)
(Blue Palace)

Food & drink

This year, a collaboration with Venice’s Gritti Palace (a fellow Luxury Collection hotel) and their acclaimed Bar Manager Cristiano Luciana has brought a not-to-be-missed aperitivo hour and the launch of the outside Arsenali Lounge Bar; try their seriously delicious Wild Fennel Martini. Food, across their five restaurants, comes in a wide variety of options from Pan-Asian to traditional Greek.

 (Blue Palace)
(Blue Palace)

At Blue Door, housed in an old stone, fisherman’s house, indulge in authentic mezze such as hummus and taramasalate with warm pita bread and simply grilled sea bass; all with a view of night falling over neighbouring Plaka. At gastronomic option Anthós, a central dish celebrates Cretan heritage, such as a goat stew typically served at weddings, but mainly the menu draws on the surrounding garden to create a fresh modern take on old favourites in a farm to fork manner.

There is also an olive oil tasting menu for those who want to get under the culinary skin of the island. Go there for breakfast just for their local sheeps’ yoghurt.

Isola, down by the swimming pool, offers all the highlights of the Italian kitchen. Those who want to explore the world of local firewater tsikoudia or raki, should book time with the sommelier, as there is the possibility here of making your own.

Facilities

Everything you would expect in a 5* resort is here. There is a large spa with Ann Semonin treatments, body massages and facials alongside manicures and pedicures. The well-equipped gym offers fitness classes from yoga to pilates and strength training. Alongside the private pools that many rooms come with, there are several big pools on the property. Up by reception is the Arsenali pool, which is heated, whilst down near the beach are the kid’s pool and another large swimming pool.

 (Blue Palace)
(Blue Palace)

On the beach there is a water-sports kiosk where you can book banana boat rides, water-skiing and more, whilst those who prefer land-based activities can enjoy the table tennis available. There are various experiences available to book: strongly recommended is the wine tasting aboard a typical wooden Caique boat, where the hotel sommelier, Leonidas, talks you through some of the island’s 70 wineries, accompanied by local cheeses.

Extracurricular

Hop into a boat down on the beach and a few minutes later alight on Spinalonga Island, famed as being home to one of the last active leper colonies in Europe. Built as a fortress in the 1700s, the island was occupied by the Venetians and Ottomans long before it became a leper colony. A fascinating mix of history on display and a good explanation of how life operated when it was a leper colony makes a visit really interesting.

Which room?

 (Blue Palace)
(Blue Palace)

Of the 225 rooms, suites and villas, 52 suites and 4 villas come with private pools. Obviously, an added bonus, even if the pools are small, these are worth the extra money. The best are the duplex suites which offer a pool and a sunbathing area downstairs and have a shaded terrace upstairs which is lovely to eat on. All the rooms come in muted colours with cool stones floors, supremely comfortable beds and lovely Greek Apivita amenities.

Best for

This is the ideal family holiday destination with something for everyone.

Details

Doubles from €412; bluepalaceresort.gr

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting