More about Elounda Beach Hotel
Avoid conferences/ employee jollies at the expensive Elounda Beach!
Like some of your previous reviewers, we are used to very fine hotels so we know what a true 5 star feels like. We do not expect large conferences or staff jollies in such would-be 'exclusive' establishments!
We booked through Leading Hotels of the World to stay here for a week's break in June a couple of years ago. We found this expensive hotel to be of a high standard generally, with the clientele one would expect - that is until the corporate people on a jolly turned up - more of that later!
The food was generally excellent, though expensive; the room was quite large - 46 sq.m. - with a huge bathroom and large balcony. It was well equipped and well furnished, though rather dated in style The hotel and its pretty grounds were very well maintained but , despite the prices, high by even 5 star standards, the whole operation did not somehow have the polish of a true, 5 star international hotel. Being a beach hotel, though, perhaps you cannot expect the sophistication of the Ritz but its prices are not far short! However, the good service, relaxing atmosphere, clean fine sandy beaches - though small - and delightful clear sea were lovely and would have been some kind of compensation, had the hordes not arrived.
Our trip unfortunately coincided with an enormous staff convention - for 270, to be precise - held annually there by a well-known American management consultancy for its employees and families. Unfortunately some of these excited young families, complete with babies and noisy young children running amok,had no idea how to behave . Of course, to the privately paying guest, paying for exclusivity and peace, this invasion was a disaster. When challenged, management representatives apologised and admitted that taking such groups helped their balance sheet . However, the hotel markets itself as an exclusive enclave and we simply did not expect huge conferences. In an attempt to make amends, management offered us an upgrade to a sea front bungalow, but despite its lovely position, inside it simply was not up to the standard of our existing ' de-luxe' room so we turned it down.
The hotel is in a glorious position and nearby Elounda is quite attractive for a visit or for cheaper meals, should you tire of paying hotel prices. Without the corporate jollies, this hotel might be worth considering, despite its silly prices, but with the groups it is a definite NO - unless perhaps you also are lucky enough not to be paying the (hefty) bill!
Elounda beach is nice because it is deep in a bay, therefore there is not too many waves on the windy day.
It is however a busy beach, with lots of kids.
See beyond the Building Project
The Elounda Beach Hotel is one of those hotels that polarises opinion. 'It's too expensive', 'it's had its day', 'it's magical', 'it's a timeless gem'. In reality, there's a truth in all of those observations. But location aside (and that really is difficult to beat), what really sets the EBH apart from other hotels is the quality of its staff, a melting pot of various nationalities who go out of their way to make your visit an absolutely joyous experience. From the opening welcome at the taxi door to the closing hug as the reality of a flooded homeland beckons, the EBH staff surpass themselves. Everything runs like clockwork and when something doesn't quite meet your expectations, solutions are hastily found. OK, some of the prices of wine can turn you teetotal and the current building project is a bit too much of a blot on the landscape (weather -affected delay) but there are choices and the Management Team will go overboard to accomodate you away from any disruption. IMHO, the Elounda Beach Hotel is still a haven of top class tranquility. Oh, apart from the odd unexpected firework display at midnight which can be utterly spectacular (it's not often you hear shouts of 'more' from hotel guests...especially when they're a mile away!) Mr Klonos, the Asst Gen Manager, listens very carefully to the views of his guests and is absolutely dedicated to their well-being which bodes well for the future of The EBH.
Hotel is tired and average - Very disappointing for the price
Having just returned from the Elounda Beach, I felt it was worth sharing some thoughts - Elounda Beach has the name, the location and some great restaurants, but thats where the positives end. This hotel is simply living on its historic reputation, it probably WAS the best hotel in Crete twenty years ago, but although their prices now reflect a 50% plus price premium to other 5 star hotels around the world, the hotel does not even match a 4* hotel with its facilities and accommodation. You don't mind paying when a hotel is special, but the Elounda Beach falls so short. Its simply an average hotel, which is fortunate to have a good location.
The hotel is tired, old fashioned and basic. The foyer of the hotel is like a throw back from the 1960s, which is fine if you are paying a price than reflects a quaint traditional image, but you are not. The prices of this hotel are ludicrous. Initially we were shown a room priced at E1000 a night, and it was so incredibly basic - it was dark and literally had a bed, 2 bedside tables, a chair and a coffee table with fitted wardrobes along the one wall. The TV was a large old fashioned tube TV and the air conditioning unit was placed on the wall - like the ones you see in the old movies! Bathroom was better, but the room was small, basic and cramped. The private pool was small and un-inviting and it looked like it was going to be in the shade most of the day. Sun beds were white plastic that looked like they had seen better days. It was marketed as a luxury bungalow with private pool and a sea view. It was a complete rip off. At that price we should have been excited and thrilled with our room, instead we were so disappointed. We could move to another room, but at an additional cost of 50% more than we were expecting to pay. The new room was better, but still tired and in need of updating.
The location of the hotel is lovely, right on the sea front, but gosh do you pay for it. In addition to the extortionate room rate, you have to pay an additional 80E for breakfast which is self service and the food is laid out in the foyer on the hotel! If you fancy a drink mid afternoon - a glass of local Greek white wine is E16 in the bar. If you want to use the gym...you get charged extra.....what 5* hotel charges their guests to use the gym!! Its all part of the facilities of the hotel. Another example of this hotel squeezing as much money as possible from the guests. This hotel is one to avoid. We checked out after a few days. Prices do not relfect the facilities and service - its average at best.
perfect 5 days
I just wanted to speak up for the Elounda Beach Hotel. On this website some of the pricier hotels get a bad rap. This hotel provided a blissful 5 days for my husband and I. We had gotten a package for 4nights for 3 night cost with a free room upgrade. We were in the Imperial Building. My husband called the front desk and asked for another upgrade to a room with a shared heated pool and because it was available we got it for an additional $100 a night. Okay so the whole thing was very expensive--$525+ per night but was well worth every penny. The room was beautiful with many amenities, including a whirlpool tub, magic fingered adjustable bed, automatic curtains and tv-dvd system . We had a beautiful terrace with the heated shared pool, which had a swim against the current function, that had a view of the infinity main hotel pool and the Aegean sea. The complimentary hotel breakfast was complete with a service attendant cooking eggs, crepes and waffles, as well as, a huge cheese, fruit, cereal, pastry selections. There was even champagne available at breakfast at the vine covered loggia seating area. They had dining options that overlooked the sea and all of the staff was exceedingly friendly and helpful. We even thought that the Kafenion (traditional Greek) restaurant was better than in the town of Plaka nearby. The landscaping was beyond beautiful and the grounds (and our room) were immaculately kept. We have stayed in five star resorts (such as Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton--which have similar costs) and found this hotel to be comparable and definitely a better stay than the Blue Palace which we passed through on the way to Plaka. I have to admit that we did very well with the room rate due to the time of year we stayed but it was an extrememly memorable stay and well worth the money. The hotel does have more expensive rooms that are not in the main building or the Imperial building but are stacked up along the Aegean Sea as individual units or coupled with a few others but we thought the Imperial building with pool was perfect for us and the preferable option. A warning there are not many Americans (they mostly stay at the Blue Palace) and we did not make any new friends but we did not hang at the main pool or beach area so there was not really any opportunity for conversation. There were plenty of staff that spoke english and the other clientele spoke english to the staff even though that was not their native language. If you can afford to spend the money, you will really experience a special stay. Good luck with your decisions.
Mixed feelings about the whole experience.
We have just returned from 9 nights stay in a suite in the main Building.
The ground floor bedroom was well equiped with features such as Electric Beds which were adjustable to raise and lower the sleeping angle but they were so hard and squeaked and rattled every time you turned over. The electric curtains were a novelty but served little purpose..The steam maker in the shower could have been interesting but whether it didn't work or I failed to sort out the controls will remain a mystery. The bedroom itself was somewhat small and the clothes hanging arrangements were insufficient.
The lounge area was adequate from a size point of view but if you called for room service the room was too small to accomodate the usual Table on wheels with the folding side leaves so dinner was bought by three waiters with one carrying the main course, another the bread etc and the third the ice bucket and wine!
The suite included 4 TVs, being an LG Plasma in the bedroom, a Sony rear projection in the Lounge a Chinese plasma in the toilet area and finally an unidentified small TV above the bath. It is great fun trying to sort out how each remote works and when there are a couple of extra remotes floating around for the DVD player and MP3 player life gets complicated.
The light switching arrangements was also over complicated.There seemed to be three way switching at most positions for most of the lights and trying to work out how to turn the bathroom light on became a major exercise and it was more by elimination that you finally achieved the disired effect.The Air Conditioning was almost as complicated. There was a seperate system for the Bedroom wich was controlled by a digital LCD controller which seemed to have a mind of it's own and 20 was the lowest setting. In the lounge area there was an electro mechanical controller which was almost impossible to understand but at least the rooms kept cool.
All in all, the Management have made a good attempt at providing a High Tech room but sadly to my mind it was bit of a failure.
The Hotel ground were well kept and Club cars were available. It took a few days to sort out what was where and how best to walk to say the beach as there are many paths and routes some of which end up in a dead end at a Beach villa!
The hotel was undertaking a large refurbishment programme to the villas on the left hand side of the main beach. it would have been nice to have been advised before we booked but the noise or drilling and hammering steel girders into place plus the shouting of the workmen and the noise from the Readymix concrete trucks and the clatter of the Timber delivery to make the screening did not worry me too much but some people were quite upset by it all.
As has been said in previous reviews, the food is fine but somewhat expensive. The prices of the wines are so amazing that I bought a list home to show my friends as I feel sure they would think I was making them up.Here are a few examples ranging from the very very very expensive down to the Very very expensive.
1998 Burgundy 10,255.90,1990 Margaux 4,819.50, Californian Chardonnay 517.40 ,Greek Chardonay 212.40 . As for me, I was not too proud to drink the local wines from Crete and whilst it would not win any prizes, it was OK when chilled at 30.10 a bottle. The local wines sold in the Supermarkets for about 6 euros for an expensive bottle which would probably sell in the Hotel fo about 60 euros. My personal yardstick for gauging whether wine prices are fair is to look at a bottle of Veuve Cliquot NV Champagne. Usually I would expect to pay £60 to £80 a bottle in a good Hotel. At Elounda Beach it is 238 euros.
Did I enjoy Elounda Beach resort ? Yes.
Would I return ? No
I arrived on my first holiday in 5 years to relax and put my feet up. Inside 5 minutes on arrival I was whisked to my rooom and 10 minutes later relaxing on the terrace.
My only glitch (major one for me) as the people in the room next door deciding to put on the room cd player with Rod Stewart at full volume. I called reception and the duty manager, tried very hard to sort me out with an alternative room which he did so with grace and diligence.
My end room was great with a sea view and really killed off any reason for me to leave my room almost the whole of the week particularly with a view to die for etc!
I've read the other reviews re food prices etc but to be honest there is a choice. I had a room service Mousakka delivered to my beautiful sundeck for about 18 euros. OK it may not have been the 9 euro's you would pay in the village but there is a slight difference in ambiance! Also, I had a pizza another night for 14 euro's so please don't complain that there is not a choice of food options. I also used the main restaurants and had the most fantastic italian meal .Ok it did cost 80 euro's but again look at the environment which is beautiful and the staff really did care rather than go through the motions. Afterwards, I walked to Veghara bar which is a touch of the Maldives brough to Crete. Beautiful bar, comfy sofa's and again great service.
I could not speak highly enough of the management team at Elounda Beach. I am a difficult guest to please and I stay a lot at 5 stars hotels so know how standards can vary. This is a 5 start hotel BUT it this is a beach hotel and not the Mandardin Oriental and a different ambiance applies to both.
Did I enjoy it? Very definitely. Relaxing, great food to suit all tastes and pockets and a management team that really cares for the customer.
Extraordinarly expensive for such an average hotel. The rooms are out of date , the food is average at best and the wine is simply a rip off. This may have been a top end hotel 20 years ago , but today its nowhere.
Oh....and there is building work
A lovely hotel
We stayed in this hotel for a week at the end of June and it was lovely, we had a thoroughly enjoyable stay with very few complaints. We were moved from the Elounda Bay a week before we were due to depart due to a conference which was booked at short notice - but as this was an upgrade we were happy with this change.
I have noted the pros and cons below for information.
- The food in the restaurant is lovely, there is a choice of 3 main meals each day for half board and a large range of veggie choice on a special menu. There is also a hot and cold buffet for starter (in addition to other starters on the menu) which had a large range of choice. For half board you can only eat in the main restaurant (or get 20 euro reduction each in the other restaurants) but this is not a problem as the menu does change every night
- The staff are all very helpful and efficient.
- Standards of cleanliness are very high in the rooms and the communal areas.
- The rooms are lovely. We had 3 rooms in the Imperial building, 2 garden view and 1 sea view. All are very well equipped (large jacuzzi bath, cd player, flat screen tv) very new looking and presented nicely.
- Maid service is twice a day and they do an excellent job.
- Sunbeds on the pool and beach are comfy and you can always get one!
- The location is good (on the edge of Elounda) with about 25 minute walk to the centre but with the nearest bars and restaurants (that arnt in the hotel) are 15 minutes away.
- The cost of wine in the restaurant and drinks in the bars and snack bars are very expensive, the cheapest bottle of wine is 30 euros in the restaurant.
- One of the rooms was not ready when we arrived and it did take a while for this to be resolved.
Overall it is a fantasic choice if you are looking at hotels in this price bracket!
Great for Romance but Very Poor Value
We've stayed in Elounda a number of times and like going back for the friendly locals and the lovely views. If you get one of the newer rooms or suites in the hotel then they are spacious and comfortable although the bed was too spongy for my liking and could have done with being properly sprung. Bathrooms in the larger rooms are fantastic even if you do find yourself sharing it with a friendly cockroach. The furniture in some of the rooms is a bit tired. The restaurants are OK but unbelievably expensive (and I'm used to central London prices). If you want to really impressive someone this is a good place to take them, they will be swept of their feet, the staff are friendly and the atmosphere is great (despite some of the guests). Pay for a beach front bungalow and be pampered. Book directly with the hotel to get picked up by limousine from the airport but have a stiff drink before you check out because paying the bill will HURT...
Elounda Beach - KiDDDs!!!
Elounda Beach w/giant Orno Thriptis on horizon
Elounda Beach w/giant Orno Thriptis on horizon