& villas By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
For centuries Elounda has just been a little fishing port but its charm and the beauty of the surrounding Mirabello Bay and its lagoon have made it one of the most popular and exclusive resorts of Crete.
Fine beaches, crystal clear waters, picturesque nearby villages, and great hotels… have made Elounda famous and trendy but its Cretan heart is still beating.
Venetians discovered Elounda bay at the beginning of the 13th century. Stunned by the beauty of the site they named it Mirabello you can translate into “look, it’s beautiful!” A name that still has true significance.
Its jagged coast hides lovely sandy beaches, and a string of mountainous islands protects it from the currents of the high sea making it an ideal lagoon for water sports.
There are also lovely ports and villages waiting for visitors where local people easily share their zest for life. In our today’s world where tourists are sometimes seen as invaders Cretan hospitality is not a myth and foreigners are more than welcome.
Elounda’s modern history began in the late 1960s. When movie stars, artists, politicians, or jet setters discovered this little piece of paradise it quickly became the place to be.
At the same time, luxury hotels were built to offer idyllic accommodations to these demanding guests. The “Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas” is one of the iconic 5-star hotels of the time.
This unique hotel has succeeded to stay as a top-level hotel during the last five decades never ending to enhance the guests’ experience.
The “Elounda Beach” is set right on the waterfront with extensive grounds planted with dozens of olive trees and flowerbeds. The hotel was built as an authentic Cretan port using local materials. Ancient Cretan decorative elements have been hunted across the island and incorporated into the hotel’s architecture.
There is also a village square with a lovely chapel where weddings and christenings are regularly celebrated for guests, and several restaurants.
The two private beaches are just a few steps away, as well as a small pier on which the Veghera Bar offers a perfect setting for a sunset drink or a late-night cocktail.
Space is the first word that comes to mind when talking about the “Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas”. This is particularly true in the rooms, suites, and bungalows of the hotel.
There are no less than fifteen different types of accommodation in the hotel and they all offer luxury, space, and privacy. Big balcony, big bathroom, big private heated pool, big private sundeck with direct access to the sea, big bed, big sitting area or lounge, big TV screen… you will undoubtedly find something to your taste.
You can even ask for a suite with a sauna, steam bath, or Jacuzzi, a bungalow with a private garden and pool, and a family bungalow for your whole family… this wide choice really is impressive.
The “Espace Vitalité Chenot” is much more than a mere Spa. The Elounda Beach Hotel proposes a holistic vision of the body and a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach, the Chenot Method.
You can thus get a medical consultation followed by a personalized treatment, a check-up, acupuncture or mesotherapy sessions, Bio-light diet courses, and many other treatments tailor-made for you. Wellness at its best.
As can be expected dining is a great experience at Elounda Beach. Each of the six restaurants has a different atmosphere and menu. Greek, Italian, Japanese, Peruvian, international… A very special mention goes to the “Blue Lagoon” which proposes a surprising but successful mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. The chef is simply brilliant and succeeds to blend Japanese and Peruvian products, tastes, and recipes on the same plate.
We had a wonderful time enjoying perfectly made “Tuna tartare with figs, foie gras and red fruits teriyaki sauce”, “Shrimps tempura, wasabi cream, passion fruit fluid gel, cucumber, and furikake”, “Slow cooked Iberico pork cheeks, salsify cream with truffle and chips salsify” and ended with a “Namelaka cream with Tonka, peanut butter sponge cake, gel with berries and red fruits ice cream” an original dessert filled with unexpected tastes and textures.
In each restaurant, you will be able to choose your wine from an impressive list. There are no less than 1,100 different labels from around Greece and the world carefully selected by the hotel’s sommeliers. It comes as no surprise that the cellar was awarded “Best of Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator magazine.
The hotel website proposes direct booking with special offers. You also have the opportunity to book your flight at the same time and benefit from lower fares.
The Elounda Beach Hotel won many international awards, including Europe’s Leading Beach Resort 2021, Europe’s Luxury Villa Resort 2021, Creece Best Wellness Resort 2021, and many more in previous years. The Elounda Beach Hotel is proud to be a member of LHW, Luxury Hotels of the World.
More information at: www.eloundabeach.gr
Text ©Annick Dournes
Photos: ©Frederic de Poligny or ©Annick Dournes
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