More about Elounda Bay Palace
Having made extensive use of Trip Advisor when booking rooms in the past I decided to actually join in order to review this hotel. Myself, partner and two adult children - 18 & 25 have just returned from a week here. We booked a deluxe garden/side sea view bungalow - impossible to see the sea unless stood by the garden gate and two superior mountain view rooms for the children. We have all stayed at various 5* hotels and do agree that in room terms the Elounda Bay Palace doesn't necessarily compare. However the setting is magical, there is no pressure regarding sunbeds although they are still 'reserved' there seems to be adequate amounts so this isn't a major problem. We tended to sightsee and return to the hotel around 3pm - the beach staff always managed to set up four beds for us in a lovely position. The beach is perfect for children and there are lots of fun options available in the watersports. The gardens are beautiful, very spacious and look wonderful at night. We ate out every evening bar the 'Greek Night' but that is something we always do from choice.
I don't understand the previous comments about the public areas, they looked fine to me and the breakfast buffet was lovely. We four all like different breakfasts and had no complaints at all, I would struggle to think of anything that could have been added.
There is a good mix of nationalities, the staff were all lovely without the fake obsequiousness I have encountered in some hotels worldwide.
All in all a perfect place for a relaxing beach holiday with a lovely town closeby and lots of interest in the surrounding area.
Terrible Service...rude and expensive
We were invited by friends to have a drink at this hotel on the night of their arrival, as we were staying as guests of a local friend in the area. From the moment we got to the gate of this obnoxiously snob resort we were made to feel unwelcome. I would never in my life consider staying there. The man at the gate greeted us with an angry frown and made us wait in the heat, although we were invited by their guests. They did not offer any assistance in how to get to the seaside bar where our appointment was, and no other member of staff seemed to know their whereabouts either, as we asked everyone we encountered on the long hike. I think it was plain luck finding it. When we got there our friends were a little late too, so we asked for some drinks, only to have a repeat of the scene at the gate. We wanted no more of this, so we just decided to take a small walk to see the rest of the hotel and relax. To our total amazement, only a couple hundred meters or so further in the gardens there was an enormous construction site with men working late shifts and making deafening noise! We got back to the bar and our friends told us that they had asked us to meet there instead of their own hotel, the Elounda Beach next door, exactly so that we would not see this lunacy. Unfortunately, we had already "experienced" that. Then we saw the prices they were asking for (even the simplest thing was twice what you pay in the best cafes of Milano) and thought we had enough. After just a drink that our friends bought us we invited them to town where we had a great time at a local taverna. Please take our advice and don't go to Elounda Bay "Palace"!
Great for families, but maybe not anyone else
I just stayed at Elounda Bay for my honeymoon, and I thought it was nice, but it is so expensive, and seems designed for families with kids.
It is basically a compound, and since they have you there they take advantage of it. We payed 20 dollars for sun tan lotion, 10 dollars for bandaids, 10 dollars for plastic razors.
They charged my wife and I 60 dollars for 2 soups and a club sandwich for room service.
The place is very nice, and they have a great beach, and pool, but I think you get that in other places in Crete for a lot less money.
I would come back if I had small kids since you know they are safe, and they have planned activities.
I would say the staff was very friendly, and professional.
Lovely return visit but.....
Just returned from our second visit to the Elounda Bay. First there in 2004 and had a fabulous holiday then. We did have a lovely holiday again this time but felt that the hotel was not quite up to the standard it was in 2004 and should maybe take a good look at the place if they want to hold on to their "leading hotels of the world" title. Firstly, when we arrived the first thing we noticed was the name on the entrance (on main road) had two letters missing from the title, now you might say this is not much to complain about but first impressions are everything and this is not what you would expect from a "Leading Hotel of the World". The staff were brilliant as they had been in 2004 and went out of their way to help and oblige. The room seemed a little shabby for 5 star status but again adequate. We had a bungalow last time and this time stayed in one of the rooms in the main building. Also the place seemed to be overrun by "tinies" i.e. kids under the age of about 4, this is not a problem, I have been there and done that myself, but when some guests allow their children to run around the main reception area with no clothing on it is not what you would again expect from this particular hotel. The breakfasts were always magnificent and I don't understand how one of your reviewers could think otherwise, maybe the just have fantastic breakfasts in their own homes like this everyday! I must say the meals we have had at the main restaurant were mostly unappetising but then I have found this at most hotels throughout the world and it is far better to get out and about. There are several v.good restaurants in Elounda and Ag. Nik. Well, enough of the review, for all that I have said we will most probably return to the Elounda Bay in the future, because of its wonderful position, wonderful staff and perfect location for getting out and about. However, they really need to be taking a look at the bigger picture if they want to hold onto their "Leading Hotel" status.
Hotel in need of a refresh
We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Bay Palace and on the whole had a great time. The service and the hotels position on a private beach are certainly of a 5 star standard, but after that, it does go down hill I am afraid.
The glossy marketing brochures live up to “The Leading Hotels of the World” standards, however reality is different. I agree with the previous reviewer’s comments that the rooms are dated and certainly require a refresh. My wife and I travelled with our 17 year old daughter and reserved two rooms - a superior mountain view and a superior sea view room, both of which have seen better days.
The food provided at the poolside is very poor and is way overpriced. As an example we paid around £50 for a snack which consisted of 2 beers, a bottle of water, a diet coke, club sandwich, chicken slovaki and a Greek salad !! We also tried the hotels Greek restaurant for lunch which we wouldn’t rate much above average. Following these two experiences we were reluctant to pay the excessive prices the hotel charges and hence we eat out every evening.
We have stayed in top hotels such as the Four Season & Ritz Carlton chains in the past, where you expect to pay a premium for good food and beverages, however I would not put the Elounda Bay in the same category as these hotels.
Given the hotels overpricing for average food, we did sample lots of restaurants, all of which are of a similar standard to one another. The exceptions and the ones we would recommend you try are listed below:
1. Thea - The best restaurant we discovered and only a 2 min walk from the hotel (Turn right at the hotels entrance and head for Elounda). An excellent service is provided with high quality food at a price that is a fraction of the Bay Palace. You just have to try the Spaghetti lobster. We have eaten at many top quality London restaurants and I would put this dish on a par with those standards. We tried the same dish at Captain Nicolas in Plaka, which was OK but nowhere near the same standard.
2. Migomis, a piano bar restaurant that resides high on the hill above the lake in Agios Nikolaos. Prices are on the high side, but well worth one visit for the view and the ambience inside. Make sure you book in advance for a window seat (pianist starts from 8PM onwards).
3. Olondi, a waterside taverna in Elounda.
4. Mam’s House, a Greek taverna on the road into Elounda. This looks cheap and cheerful but is always busy, which is normally a good sign. It actually provides good basic food at low prices, served by Nikos the host who always has a smile and a welcome for all his customers.
Much better than some of the reviews we had read
After spending a fantatsic 10 days island hopping we checked into the Elounda Palace and from the moment we arrived to the moment we left we (my new fiance and me) had a fantatsic and incredibly enjoyable time and always felt like we wre being spoilt. We were greeted at the gate and lead to reception where we were given a tour of the grounds by a very helpful member of staff and seen to our rooms. By magic the luggage was there with a little note on where to find our car in the morning. A perfect late check in.
As written by other reviews the rooms are a little dated but 5 star none the less, the toiletries are superb I am led to believe and they were also happy to oblige with a few additional body lotions when cleaning the room. Breakfast was sensational and rivalled many of the best hotel breakfasts I have had and there have been a lot!
Elounda is truly a resort hotel which is connected to its larger and more luxurious sister hotel Elounda Beach hotel. The grounds are immacualtely kept and the staff very attentive and have obviously been trained in the art of not forcing tips down a customers throat. Across both resorts there are at least 10 places to eat, an outdoor theatre (very impressive), a couple of beaches, more than enough pool space and plenty of sporting activities including water sports, tennis, football, gym etc.
All in all, we had a wonderful time there. The service, staff, amentities, location are all 5 star althought the rooms are a little 90's which is not to say that they are not very welcoming and contain all the services that you would expect from a 5 star hotel.
We stayed in a mountain facing standard room which was ideal as the majority of your time was spent in the resort at the pool, beach, gym and bars/restaurants. The food is expensive but you would expect that. We travelled into Agios Nickolaos each night as it was always good to go exploring. Definately hire a car as there is so much to see in Crete and you dont want to ruin a luxurious holiday waiting for taxis all the time.
We nearly didnt stay here because of the write ups from some very disgruntled customers who obviously saw a different resort to the one that we stayed at. I am so glad we chose to stay here and will definately be back and encourage friends to stay there as well
Could be so much better
Stayed for 2 weeks family holiday, the setting is out of this world, just a shame the hotel does not live up to it.
No way is this a 5* hotel, rooms are shabby, supposed to have been refurbished recently according to the hotels info, heaven help those who had to endure them before the refurb which seems to have involved little more than throwing some blue paint onto the bathroom ceilings.
Common parts again tatty, the most unwelcoming reception & bar area with poor quality furniture.
Buffet breakfast nothing to enthuse about, restaurants & bars in hotel stupid prices, the only advise is eat out which based on the number of people leaving the hotel in the evening is quickly realised by any sensible guest.
Another example of them not being 5* is a policy of charges made to use gym which has second rate equipment, good hotels would offer this inclusive & have up to date equipment.
Another reviewer got it just right 4* hotel with 6* pricing
Lovely island, lovely people & great weather shame the hotel did not match up
Would I come back, to Crete yes, to this hotel, no way.
Just got back!
We have just spent our honeymoon at this hotel. When we arrived we were greeted by Maria who works in Guest Relations who gave us a quick tour of the hotel and showed us to our bungalow. Maria throughout our stay was fantastic and nothing was too much trouble. The room has many reviewers have said is pretty basic/functional. We opted for a 'Superior Bungalow, with sea view and use of shared pool'. Views were fantastic; use of the shared pool which was only for use of 8 bungalows was regularly invaded by people who shouldn't use it! Food and drink is very expensive so we opted to walk into town most nights or go in to Ag Nik which is a 10 minute taxi away. Town has a good selection of bars and restaurants but would avoid The Ferryman at all costs as we had a very bad experience on there on our last night.
All in all the grounds of the hotel are beautiful and the setting is fantastic. Not particularly a honeymoon destination in my opinion but a good hotel.
Run by accountants
A great location, with excellent staff. However it has the touch of a place run by the accountants rather than the sales/marketing staff. But firstly a little more detail about the place, it has extensive grounds, we strolled up to the sister hotel, the more expensive Elounda Beach, where there is more of the same.There are plenty of sun beds, but the mattresses were very dirty, and the sun beds themselves were clapped out. We were on B and B, the breakfast was good and as much as you could want. The smokers are everywhere in the restaurant, which I dislike intensely, but there are no dedicated areas for smokers, possibly that situation prevails throughout Greece. The town is about a 20 minute walk where there are plenty of tavernas.
I think hotels have a responsibility to provide meals at reasonable prices, but they don't here, dinner at the cheapest restaurant was 45 Euros each and the cheapest bottle of wine was 30 Euros. We only tried it once, it was a pleasant enough meal, but grossly overpriced. We didn't go near the other three restaurants. The result is, the majority of the guests all march off to the town where you can eat handsomely for a third of the price. The hotel bar is usually the place where guests gather, have a drink and a chat, not in this one, its empty, simply because of silly prices. A small glass of orange juice brought to the sun bed was 8 euros. I couldn't help notice, at the managers weekly coctail party the amout of small eats they had provided for the guests, (about 50) just three small plates of food, I didn't go for the food but it is an indication of the mindset of the management.
They do provide free internet facilities, with two good quality computers.
A beautiful resort with excellent staff. It all started with Maria, the beautiful one - as she calls herself, greating us at the front as our taxi pulled up. Maria is very cute and not to be confused with Maria , the married one, who works the front desk. In Greece, there are a lot of Maria's and Georges!
The room was great. I loved the dinner buffet and breakfast buffet. The meals are moderately to signficantly expensive, but what one would pay in a very nice hotel. Lunch was 100 Eu. for four, for example, while dinner buffet was about 200 Eu.
We arrived on May 8th, which happen to be the first day they were open for the season. Apparently they close for the winter for maintenance. This is a great time to go as there were only 50 - 60 guests in a place that has 250 rooms. Needless to say, we recieved very personalized attention. The general manager even came by and said hi and said he had missed us for the Wed. eve. manager drinks activity.
At one point, I went to check on getting a massage. The masseuse was not in. I did not leave my name but said thank you to the ladies at the spa. By the time I arrived to my room, Maria, yes the "beautiful" from guest relations was ringing me. She had found one in their "sister" hotel which is immediately adjacent and had confirmed openings for me with the transportation via golf cart ready to pick me up and take me when I was ready. Of course, the massage, was very good and my aching back did much better. At $150 Eu., it should feel better too!
At this time of year, however, the water was pretty cool and not enjoyable for swimming, unless you're from Minnesota or something like that.
Anyway, the staff were great. The room wonderful and our staff spectacular. You can walk just down the street one to two blocks for much less expensive food, but it's worth eating there at least one night, if nothing else for ease and enjoyment.
By the way, Knossos was cool, but pretty touristy oriented and seemed to be hard to tell what was original and what was new. My little boy even said, "daddy I think it was all fake... I saw rebar coming out of the 'rocks'"
The hotel will set up a taxi for you, yes at a price, who will simply take you around to anywhere you want. Certainly a nice luxury.
Views Over Gulf Of Elounda, Crete