Crete’s Only Relais & Chateaux Hotel: The Luxurious Elounda Mare

“Crete’s only Relais & Chateaux Hotel: The Elounda Mare

If elegant and luxurious are your favorite holiday buzzwords, then head to Crete’s only Relais & Chateaux hotel: the Elounda Mare, where you’ll enjoy Greek hospitality, fine food, and gorgeous scenery.

 

2-The-Peninsula-Mare-part-of-the-complex

White cottages  look out onto the turquoise waters of the Mirabello Bay

The Elounda Mare Experience

An hour from Heraklion International Airport, and between neighbouring sister hotels, Elounda Peninsula and Porto Elounda, the five-star Elounda Mare sits in the centre of the cove overlooking a stunning turquoise waters of Mirabello Bay on the northeast coast of the island.

You will find there a private 9-hole golf course, several private beaches, a state-of-the-art Six Senses Spa, several pools, a nursery and kid club, a shopping centre, an art gallery, private sailing and motor yachts, tennis courts and of course all kinds of water sports. A complimentary shuttle service is available to get to the different spaces of the hotels’ complex.

 

3-Beach-of-Elounda-Mare-Hotel

Beach at Elounda Mare Hotel

Dining

It’s a good idea to arrive hungry. There are no less than nine restaurants and six bars open to guests at the the three different hotels with the “dine around” program. You will hardly be able to try them all during your stay and can choose from Japanese, wine cellar, Italian, seafood, Greek and Cretan as well as special thematic dinners with live music.

Three of these restaurants were recently awarded as among the best in Greece.

 

4-Elounda-Mare-beach-restaurant

Elounda Mare beach restaurant is just one of many you can sample

The Toque d’Or prize is awarded to Greek restaurants recognised for their fine cuisine, excellent service and immaculate environment.

A team of experts travels throughout the country each year on an incognito basis reviewing hundreds of restaurants before making their demanding selection. The three awarded restaurants at the Elounda Hotels & resorts are the Old Mill at the Elounda Mare. The second is the Yacht Club, also at Elounda Mare. The third is Calypso, found at the Elounda Peninsula. Go ahead…try them all!

 

5-Our-suite-at-Elounda-Mare-Hotel

At Elounda Mare Hotel all rooms, suites and bungalows have a sea view

 

Rooms & Bungalows

The bungalows offer a great experience with a private heated pool with seawater and garden. Built in the middle of the lush gardens on the seaside each bungalow has its own spirit and decoration and offers total privacy. You will feel there like staying in your own holiday home.

Don’t expect outrageous bling-bling. The decoration is subtle with white walls, authentic Cretan materials, a fireplace in the lounge area and a vast marble bathroom.

 

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Some rooms have private pools

Small bonuses will make your stay even more enjoyable such as the welcome gift, Nespresso coffee machine, tea set, hypoallergenic or feather pillows, breakfast on your terrace next to your pool. You can even stay here with your pet.

The Elounda Mare recently renovated its seven Minoan Royalty Villas and its Minoan Imperial Villa. These huge accommodations can welcome up to five people (seven in the Imperial Villa) with one to four bedrooms. They are built right on the seafront with a vast outside space and unobstructed views over the Aegean Sea. Some of them have a private fitness area, sauna, marble Turkish baths and a kitchen.

 

7-Many-architectural-artefacts-in-the-hotel-belong-to-Spinalonga-ruined-city

 

The Elounda Mare has been an iconic hotel in Crete for 40 years and a member of the Relais et Chateaux since 1988. Through the following four decades it has managed to remain one of the best resorts in Greece.

***

BeSeeingYou In: Crete

Good to know: The resort is only a 15-minute taxi ride to the pretty harbour at Agios Nikolaos

WOW! Factor: Elounda Mare was the first hotel in Europe with bungalows and private pools

Tip: Take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island, the setting in a best-selling novel by Victoria Hislop

 

Author bio: Annick Dournes

Photos: ©Frederic de Poligny and ©Annick Dournes

 

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Elounda-Mare-seaside

 

9-The-chapel-of-Elounda-Mare-Hotel-perfect-place-for-weddings

The-chapel-of-Elounda-Mare-Hotel-perfect-place-for-weddings

 

Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
Annick Dournes and Frederic de Poligny are two French tourism journalists who travel the world for many years. They will share with you their very favorite experiences of worldwide travels. Those about France, their native country, will be found on a regular basis in their chronicle “Meanderings through France”.

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