Resort-style luxury with boutique character. Drop your bags at Blue Palace Resort for flawless service and elegantly subdued design, topped with authentic Cretan traditions.
This romantic beachside haven offers a luxury take on Greek island life where couples can drop their shoulders a couple of inches and slip into island rhythms. Fruity cocktails are ordered from sun loungers at the push of a button, giving you both more time with that glorious Aegean sea view, or to sip alongside private pools. The hotel’s romantic (and rather photogenic) caique boat takes honeymooners far out to sea, oenophiles can enjoy a Cretan wine tasting experience, and foodies should book into a cookery class with Blue Palace Resort’s executive chef, where traditional Cretan cooking hacks roll out on sun-dappled tables amid the olive trees.
Set the scene
One would be forgiven for believing that kings and queens really did once reside at this elegant fortress upon arriving at the Blue Palace Resort. A magnificent entrance of sweeping arched ceilings and floor-to-ceiling pillars frame a glittering ocean as you breathe in the unmistakable heady scent of jasmine. On-demand buggies zip guests to and from their secluded sea-view bungalows past vibrant bougainvillea and pink-hued stone walls to the impressive stretch of crystal blue sea and buzzing beach bar. Come sunset, the majestic Arsenali veranda is speckled with pops of colour and gold as guests enjoy aperitivo of classic cocktails and champagne before dinner.
Greek, pared down chic is the theme that flows through the rooms at the Blue Palace Resort. With a subtle palette of milky whites and ocean hues, the rooms feel calm and cool. Almost all are ocean-facing, offering guests generous, hair-raising views of the Aegean sea. Notably for honeymooners, 142 of the hotels 251 rooms have their own private pools. For the ultimate honeymoon, luxury suites and villas also have their own sun-drenched secluded terraces and outdoor seating area, as well as in-room bar and spacious living area. Classic black and white photographs displaying island life through the years gone by are a nod to the heritage of the hotel and one of many aspects that celebrate Cretan style and culture here. Nightly treats rotate between local delicacies of almond cookies, Greek delight, and sun-dried figs, and turndown features delightful organic face mask placed on the pillow, leaving guests feeling nourished, pampered and ready for another day at the beach.
Food and drink
Of the six restaurants at the Blue Palace Resort, it is near impossible to pick a favourite. The heart of the hotel though is The Blue Door. An old fishermen’s building here before the resort was even built, it is perched right over the sea Inviting smells of tomato and oregano waft from the kitchen as you are led to your table. It is rare to find a hotel restaurant that feels truly authentic but The Blue Door effortlessly transports diners to a taverna untouched by tourism. The food here is unfussy and traditional. Grilled prawns with horta (a wild leafy green foraged in the Cretan hills) are flawlessly cooked and sing under the squeeze of charred lemon. Mezze of fava bean dip, aubergine with pine nuts, and beautifully cool tzatziki will have you scraping from the bowls with warm home-made bread. Offering an elevated experience but remaining true to the food of the island is Anthós. Beautifully-presented plates of charcoal roasted beetroot and aubergine are cooked in an open-kitchen whilst a shoulder of lamb sizzles gently before being served with the steaming hot potatoes and herbs from the restaurant’s own garden.
The birthplace of Zeus, King of the Greek gods, and the site of Theseus’ heroic battle with the minotaur, Blue Palace Resort’s mythological claims are enviable and profound. The hotel’s architecture and design traces the landscape’s contours and colours, creating a sympathetic and gentle structure (yet a seriously luxurious one). All the comforts one could ask for are provided but at its core, the Blue Palace Resort remains gloriously Greek with an integrity chain hotels are unable to replicate. If Saint Tropez pulls in a flashy, glitzy set, this is understated and timeless, where tasteful, discreet wealth comes to relax.
Although not overly promoted as a family hotel, Blue Palace Resort is a wonderful place for children and weary parents. Suites can be furnished with baby cots and rooms connected. As well as a roster of beach and sea activities, as well as simply splashing about in the pool, a mini club to give well-deserving parents a break.
With calming water sounds and aromatic island oils filling the air, Blue Palace Resort’s spa doesn’t need to work hard to help guests unwind and reset. Massages feature top-of-the-range oils and body milks from luxury Greek brand Apivita with dedicated therapists tailoring their practice to any ache or tense patch. A fully-equipped gym and optional morning yoga sessions ensure a virtuous start to the day while a steam in the traditional hammam is the perfect way to end it.
Set upon Crete’s stunning Elounda coastline, Blue Palace Resort enjoys one of Crete’s longest private beaches and an unparalleled view of the historic island Spinalonga (recently nominated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO). Only a short drive away from the buzzing town of Elounda or a ten-minute walk to the pretty village of Plaka, those who wish to venture outside of the hotel will find plenty to do, that is they can be tempted to stray from their private beachside deck.
Junior suites from €685, Bluepalaceresort.gr
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