This May, the Sales and Marketing team headed out to the beautiful Greek island of Crete. With so many highlights to speak of, this is just a snap shot (with honest feedback) of what we loved and why.
Our first port of call was a night’s stay at the impressive Elounda Beach Hotel Resort & Villas. Our rooms enjoyed a superb waterside setting where relaxed on our balcony listening to the sound of the sea lapping against the shore. The accommodation was so elegant and spacious, the sea-views were endless and the peace and tranquillity plentiful. Our first evening was spent at ‘The Kafenion’ hotel restaurant where we indulged in a superb meze of Greek dishes (the odd glass of wine!) and traditional Greek coffee. The atmosphere at the hotel is so relaxed with a superb level of service from every staff member we met. We felt it would be rude to not test out the cocktails and headed to the hotel ‘Sail Bar’ where we concluded our amazing evening with an Espresso Martini by the sea.
The following day was packed with hotel inspections which involved a tour of every element of each hotel ranging from the various room categories to the dining, leisure and spa facilities. We were in awe of the quality of the accommodation we were visiting and the choice of room categories available was incredible. An over-riding theme was that so many of these luxury hotels feature so many room and suite categories many with individual pools, many with large villa choices and the option of private butlers and chefs also available. No matter how big or small your party size there is something to suit and sleep everyone. We loved the amount of private pools available – just perfect for a cooling dip in the heat of the Greek summer!
For anyone seeking boutique luxury and complete privacy we would highly recommend a stay at the Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites which boasts its own Private Beach Club. Here there is a unique choice of beautifully designed accommodation with individual infinity pools, stunning interiors and mesmerising views out to Mirabello Bay. After an action-packed day we were thankful to unwind at one of the two restaurants on site and enjoy a sublime evening meal hosted by the delightful hotel owners. We spent the night here and to be honest didn’t want to leave the next day, it was a whirlwind stay and we wanted more of the same!
Moving slightly further along the coast of Elounda we visited the Blue Palace Resort & Spa and The Domes of Elounda both providing picture-perfect settings where you can enjoy stunning views out to the uninhabited island of Spinalonga. It’s a view you’ll never tire of and an island we’d really recommend you visit full of fascinating history. For anyone who loves a good holiday read then we must mention a fabulous book called ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hislop which is based on the magical and mysterious island of Spinalonga (a former leper colony). Within walking distance from this area of Elounda is the charming setting of Plaka where you can spend hours relaxing and enjoying some of the islands divine cuisine or a sundowner with a view out to Spinalonga – this is a little slice of Cretan heaven everyone should experience if staying in Elounda.
Our final port of call within the Elounda area was to the three sister hotels called the Elounda Peninsula, Elounda Mare and Porto Elounda, all with the flexibility of sharing their facilities. Each property had something different to offer for both families and couples. Our particular favourite out of these three hotels has to be the Elounda Peninsula which consisted of just 54 suites many enjoying an individual pool.
Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas offers the ideal escape for anyone seeking an ‘away from it all’ holiday with a guaranteed sea view. It’s located in its own small bay and boasts a variety of accommodation choices as well as a plethora of leisure facilities and dining options. A real positive is for guests staying in a suite or villa there is the option to book All Inclusive. We would suggest hiring a car to get out and about and discover a bit of the island as this really is a luxury retreat away from anything else.
Another highlight of our visit has to be the impressive resort of St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas situated not too far from the cosmopolitan resort of Aghios Nikolaos. It’s a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and rightly so. This is where you will find genuine Greek hospitality from the heart, personalized service, superb food and impeccable accommodation choices ranging from luxury rooms and suites to luxurious private villas. After a day full of hotel visits we were lucky enough to indulge in a much needed spa treatment before popping our dancing shoes on and enjoying the hotels very own Greek Night. The wine flowed, the entertainment and atmosphere was fantastic and the endless choice of Greek buffet dishes was enough to require an elasticated waist band the following day! Despite the in-room smart TV’s and contemporary furnishings, there’s a real nod to Greek tradition and design which we absolutely loved.
Lasting impressions were undoubtedly Greece has come a long way over the years in offering complete and utter five-star luxury. There are so many hotels that feature individual pools, offer divine cuisine, superb wine and excellent facilities. You are always guaranteed a warm, friendly Greek welcome and the service is genuine and from the heart. You’ll find all properties offer complimentary kids clubs for 4-12 yr olds (many of them ran by Worldwide Kids Company) and nothing is ever too much trouble with the hotels more than happy to organise anything and everything a young family may need. Many of these hotels have been beautifully and thoughtfully designed to resemble Greek villages where the accommodation is thoughtfully spread-out and many feature their own Greek Orthodox church –ideal if you’ve always wanted a Greek-style wedding.
Crete is a beautiful island and what many people don’t realise it is, it is the perfect holiday destination for a late summer or, October half-term escape as the weather stays so good.
- Travel Writing
- Food and Drink
- Indian Ocean
- Take to the Fairways
- Family Inspiration
- South Africa
- Spa Escapes
- Middle East
- Honeymoon Escapes