Rated 5 out of 5 by Matt21283 Heaven
This is the place to stay in Crete. It was the highlight of our vacation. I wish I could live there!
August 30, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Chirpee General comments
Being in a bungalow was somewhat inconvenient
The young staff was very polite (Dino concierge was excellent)and helpful and the hotel is well coordinated for car and taxi service
Not used to rocky beach.
Restaurants : Flame was good, Blue Door and Isola were average.
Breakfast was comprehensive and staff was friendly.
Plunge pool very good, but towels and robes need to be softer
August 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by RedVespa Casual Elegance Relaxation Defined
Blue Palace Resort and Spa, Elounda
Well, let’s start by introducing myself and the trip. My wife and I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We travel overseas about once a year with additional trips to a sun destination most winters. I also travel frequently for work. On average I do about 40 business trips a year that involve air travel. I consider us fairly well traveled having visited over 50 countries.
Past trips to this area of Europe have included Turkey, Greece and Italy. While we have been to a number of the Greek islands, we had not previously been to Crete.
The sole purpose of the trip was a vacation and time to relax. Our plan was to use the Blue Palace as a base. We spent 5 nights at the Blue Palace.
Drove to the Elounda where our hotel was. (Actually, the hotel is a short distance past Elounda near Plaka.) Greeted very promptly on arrival by the bellman and was given all the help we needed with our luggage. Valet parking was efficient and whenever we requested our care it was promptly brought to us. Walked to the front desk. Was immediately identified by the desk person as Starwood Platinum. The person checking us in excused herself and picked up the phone and called someone. The hotel director came out and personally welcomed us and wanted to ensure us that he and his staff were there to ensure our stay exceed expectations. Very efficient, warm and friendly check in process.
We booked the room on points for 5 nights. I never expect more than what I book. That way upgrades are a bonus. Being late June, I wasn’t expecting an upgrade (although privately hopeful for a room with a pool). We were walked to our room and had been upgraded to a suite on 1 level with a pool. Very lovely bedroom and living room. Separate shower and Jacuzzi tub. Appreciated. The room was spotless. There was a bottle of raki and a fruit plate to welcome us with a card form the hotel thanking us for choosing the property. The room was tastefully furnished and plain. (I mean this in a positive way.) I have read mixed comments on the private pools. Ours was not heated and could be seen clearly from the adjacent room. This being said, we thought it was a great addition to our stay. Very refreshing way to start and end the day. For us being unheated was fine. If paying, I recommend the pool, but that is a personal choice. It certainly added to our stay.
Each day we had breakfast on our deck overlooking Spinalonga Island. We enjoyed picking up some fruit and yogurt and had this on our deck that was for us. Ordered coffee which was promptly delivered with a choice of hot milk, milk to cream. We like lots of coffee, so day 2 and for the balance of the stay a larger thermos was provided. We never had breakfast in the hotel; however did check out the buffet. Looked like a good buffet; however we always prefer al a carte and would never chose a buffet. Plus, the room was a great place for breakfast. Did get up early one day, my wife slept in, the coffee bar wasn’t open yet. Went to the restaurant and asked for a coffee to go. Was given one and told it was no charge. Nice gesture.
One day our toilet backed up. Called for assistance. Someone arrived promptly and fixed the problem. So no concern.
There is an internet station by the front desk. As platinum, they gave me a code so it was complimentary. However for most there was a charge. Note, there is complimentary internet a short walk away in a secondary lobby that has a reading and sort of business area. So not sure why one would be free and the other be charged for!
Front desk staff were excellent and welcoming whenever we walked by. There to help without being over the top. Chatted a few times with the front desk manager. She was great help. Had the ability to combine a professional approach with being personable I took the time to drop off a note thanking her for the positive guest experience received before we left. She thanked us for taking the time to share our experience with a kind note and a local cook book. Seemed really interested in my thoughts on service etc.
The property never felt busy. I think this was by design. While upscale in service and quality, I would describe the experience as casual elegance rather than formal. Have stayed at a number of hotels that are fancier/more formal such as various The Danali in Venice and The St Regis in Rome. If you are looking for that type of experience, this place may disappoint. However each has its place. The Blue Palace is relaxed and casual in a warm and caring way. We love the St Regis in Rome and the St Regis in Florence; however this is a different type of experience and one we certainly enjoyed and will repeat.
We saw some young families enjoying the large common pool by the beach. The pool was never crowded and was warm. Not sure if it was heated or not though. For families, have to know what to expect. Was not really a busy family place, although the families we spoke to enjoyed the quiet setting. Never saw many teenagers.
One disappointment at the hotel was our meal at the Blue Door an onsite Greek Taverna. Awesome location and setting on the beach front. This is an old stone fisherman's house with lots of lanterns, white and blue tablecloths, and bright blue chairs. The food was excellent; however the service was rushed and while technically fine, it was not warm. My perspective, this should be a slow pace to eat. So if I was there again, I would order each course after one was completed. While our experience may not be representative of the norm, we would bypass this for local tavernas such as Ferryman's. Worth walking by to see the setting though as this was very good and full of possibilities! Price was higher than in town but not unlike what I would expect at the hotel. Some evenings we had a drink by the pool by the lobby. I think this is the Arsenali Bar, but not sure. Anyway, this was great relaxing setting that we enjoyed a couple of times before going out for dinner.
Never saw anyone swimming in this pool in the evening. Was used a bit during the day. Had sun beds, but as a pool to relax by or sun bath, recommend the beach. The hotel had a private pebble beach that was about 300 feet long. Lots of wooden walk ways to get around, so the pebbles weren’t a problem. We had planned to travel more of the island that we did; however time on the beach was relaxing and a great way to unwind for the beginning our 3 week vacation. Great service on the beach. Ordered wine and snacks on a number of occasions serve was friendly and fast. Also well priced for a hotel. Would strongly recommend time on the beach. Ski boats offered trips to Spinalongia however cheaper to make the shot walk to Plaka for the trip. Also could take diving lessons or water ski etc. from the beach. Swimming was good; however not the fish and marine life we often see in other parts of the Mediterranean, Caribbean or parts of Hawaii. There are sea urchins not far off shore, so watch for these and wear water shoes. Was a breeze most of the time on the beach. From our perspective, this was a plus. Could swim off a small floating dock that was not used by boats.
Overall, a wonderful experience. Would highly recommend this property for its ambience, setting, service and most of all for the people that work there. Casual, warm caring and focused on providing a positive experience that exceed expectations. Not a formal property. Know what you are going to and enjoy all it has to offer.
I guess a good way to end our review is to say, we are booked at the property for 10 days in July of 2012.
November 27, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by Berre Nearly perfect !!
Would take too long to mention all the good things.( great food , staff very friendly, very good accomodation) Minor thing; 8 euro for 1 h of (slow) WIFI is a lack!.( or 50 euro for the whole stay) Maybe some coffee on the room...
August 18, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Nikolaos Great property, but PLEASE illuminate Spinalonga island!!
We arrived at Blue Palace on the 15th of August, during the peak weekend of the season. Unfortunately my SNA certificates did not go through, as the property was running at 100% capacity. As a Platinum member, i received complimentary buffet breakfast and internet access. At the end of our stay, we were declined late checkout, but we were offered a courtesy room, in case we wanted to go for a swim.
The property is great, featuring all necessary facilities for high-end leisure travelers and amazing views of the sea and the Spinalonga island. There were many families around (perfect for vacations with the kids), but the property is also ideal for a romantic gateway. The staff is genuinely polite and seemed to be very well-trained.
During the first night of our stay, we had the opportunity to enjoy the Spinalonga island (that lies right in front of the hotel) illuminated. The view was majestic. Later, we learned that this was after the hotel's request, due to the presence of a VIP guest. Unfortunately, the second night the guest had departed and the lights were off. To our surprise, we learned that the cost for keeping the Spinalonga island illuminated for the rest of the season was just 2000 euros and that the locals were trying to raise the amount.
I can not think of a better way for the hotel to cater to their customers and gain invaluable goodwill from the local communities than significantly contributing towards the illumination of this unique landmark.
Tips for future travelers: The property is great, but i would recommend visiting the nearby villages also. Elounda is a little bit of a tourist trap, but Plaka is absolutely beautiful (walking distance from the resort). In Plaka we found amazing souvenirs and had delicious meals in great prices (do not invest a lot in fish, unless you can tell fresh from frozen). We recommend "Thalassa" in Plaka.
Recommendations to the Management:
1. The breakfast is not up to par with respect to other Luxury hotels around the world. During the hot Greek summer, i would suggest providing a bottle of cold water to each table and having a second person to help Ms Sofia at the crepes/omelet counter.
2. The internet connection is slow and requires logging in every time the device connects to the network. It might be useful to upgrade the software and the network capability. It was not a big deal for us, as we spent most of the time outdoors, but i might be for someone else in the future.
3. Our favorite spot, the couches on the outdoor deck, next to the check-in counter go completely dark after sunset. We were told that you can not use candles, because it is windy, but you can certainly use some kind of artificial light to capitalize on this beautiful spot.
Overall, it is a great property with a great deal of potential! Don't miss it!! ;)
August 20, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by ShellyJ Beautiful Resort
A beautiful resort with a fantastic view.Rooms are very spacious and comfortable. Restaurant service and food were very good. Pool/beach bathroom could use some care in cleanliness and maintenance but all others very nice. Staff are very friendly and helpful but beach staff could be a little more attentive. Although the spa looked gorgeous but we did not utilize it. A charge for our child to have a cot each not was high. I have never had to pay for him anywhere else.
August 13, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by dcg321 Gorgeous
We were in a sea view suite which was great. One of the best rooms I was ever in. Loved all the facilities.Restaurants are very overpriced and so we walked to the village next door for dinners. The hotels Greek tavern is reasonable and lovely for lunch.Breakfast is great. What we didn't like is everytime there was a power surge, the TVs turned on and woke us up. the front desk people were nice enough but poorly trained and every experience with them was n some way frustrating. Charging 50 euros for in room internet was not appreciated but the free wifi in the lobby worked reasonably well. Basic SPG card gets one nothing.
July 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Delightedone Superb!
A feast for the eyes, the mind, the body, and the soul! Beautifully maintained and staffed. Gracious and kind service with a friendly yet professional staff whose interest in your well being is genuine.
July 20, 2014