Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete
What We Love
- Onsite olive groves
- A pair of flood lit tennis courts
- Grilled catch-of-the-day at the resort’s taverna, Blue Door
- A bottle of local honey wine presented upon arrival
What To Know
- There is a supervised kids’ club
- Even basic rooms (the Superior Bungalows) are furnished with king-size beds
- The resort is home to a dive center and a PADI-certified instructor
- Guests have easy access to the property’s private pebble beach
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
A seaside paradise that gracefully delivers in both the kid and grown-up categories is increasingly rare, making this bewitching beach getaway especially precious. The property’s award-winning spa, with views of Elounda Gulf, caters to both adults (thalassotherapy; hammam-inspired body massages) and younger travelers, who can choose from treatments like The Princess Glow or the Mini Mani. While the resort makes a strong case for staying within its enchanting white-washed confines—there are five restaurants including a locally-sourced steakhouse and an outdoor jazz lounge—its cerulean neighbor makes for some stiff competition. For the best of both worlds, pairing the resort’s gracious hospitality with its beguiling backdrop, drink in a sunset on one of the countless daybeds at the Isola Beach Club, or try your luck at underwater photography at the private beach while the tots embark on one of many guided adventures, from Cretan dance classes and crash courses on Greek mythology to tennis “happy hour” (read: free lessons) and bike rides through the stone villages of neighboring Mirabello.
In the Area
The resort is an hour’s drive from Heraklion Airport, and within strolling distance of the buzzing tavernas of the village of Plaka. Honeymooners can hop aboard the Blue Palace’s very own caique, or traditional fishing boat, and glide around the rocky isle of Spinalonga, filled with ancient Roman relics, while indulging in a distinctly Cretian wine and cheese platter. Families shouldn’t miss a visit to the Cretaquarium, a refreshingly modern home to a legendary shark tank and over 200 marine species. Alternatively, the concierge can also arrange for golfing, equestrian and go-carting excursions. Areti Monastery, a fortress-like expanse with 12 ancient cypress trees (said to represent each of the apostles) is just about 10 miles away.
How to Get There
This is what luxury should be. Our room had a beautiful view of Spinalonga that we could enjoy from our deck and private pool. We tried a different restaurant every night (including one room service) and enjoyed each unique cuisine and experience. The breakfast buffet gives you the opportunity to try local baked goods and the fresh local yogurt. Champagne and a Bloody Mary bar for extra relaxation.
The resort is a little out of the way so I highly recommend renting a car. It is about 1.5 hours to the Palace of Knossos but totally worth the drive.
Staff was amazing. We were lucky to have perfect weather in the middle of May and we took the boat to the island which is a must do. If you go, remember to bring money to get into the island...easy to forget as we walked from the beach to the boat with only a room key. Read The Island (Hislop novel) before going - makes the walk into town that much more meaningful.
The reviews we’d read meant we expected high standards. It didn’t disappoint. We arrived late and were offered a beautiful meal on our terrace. First impressions were fabulous. We had a lovely room, with the most comfortable bed and heated private pool. Our view was directly onto Spinalonga and was charming. We had half board and made great use of the main restaurant. The food was super for both a veggie and meat eater. The service was wonderfully attentive. The bar, other restaurants and the beach were as fantastically staffed. The service was truly excellent in every area of the hotel. We loved the speedboat to spinalonga as others have mentioned. My husband also enjoyed the diving from the blue palace’s happy diver team. We will definitely return and highly recommend.
My wife, five year old and I spent a nice five days at the Blue Palace. The room was excellent with an amazing view of the Spinalonga Fortress. The staff were exceptional and made us feel like family (to the point where my son tried to bring Sisi from the Spa home with us!) He also really enjoyed the kids club doing crafts and creating things on a couple of afternoons. Maria there was great with him.
While it was on the shoulder season, it was still very pleasant weather most days. When we arrived the sea and the pools were too cold to swim. We were able to use the indoor heated spa pool, but only before noon for kids, which was a bit disappointing. When the water warmed up we enjoyed the pools and the sea, although the private pool off of our room was just too cold during the visit. (I would recommend requesting a private pool room with more direct sun all day).
The Blue Door restaurant and the breakfast restaurant were both excellent and we enjoyed daily breakfast during our stay. Unfortunately the lounge restaurant near reception was hot or miss. A wrap we really enjoyed the first day came out soggy on a later meal. When my wife complained, the waiter apologized, but did not offer anything to compensate (as I would expect from a five star experience).
We enjoyed the turn down service which provided fresh towels and bottled water. It was nice after a day of swimming and hiking.
I would highly recommend a stay!