21 Dec Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to go when you are very decisive to go on a holiday – especially when traveling with kids. At this moment I didn’t even realize how special this specific vacation was about to be (to be continued). This vacation was the first (overseas) trip as a family since our daughter is born. When looking for a new destination we quite often end up looking at Italian places – we just love Italy because of its food, wine and lifestyle. This is our number one place to go!
We now however added a new one to our list: Greece! I have to admit, we were a bit skeptic – especially concerning food and wine. But oh Greece, you treated us so well! We are really impressed. We stayed at the Blue Palace & Spa five star Resort – such a wonderful place in the hills of Elounda. Our room – overlooking our private (heated!) infinity plunge-pool & with a spectacular seaview – was specious, modern and light. I especially enjoyed the shower with a nice tiny window with the same beautiful view. Architecturally, all well done. When you think of Crete, you might think of a party island. This hidden treasure however is anything but – it truly is a relaxing place, outside the amenities of mass tourism in the surroundings of the Cretan capital of Iraklion.
The resort is really big – but you don’t feel lost in space at all and you don’t feel like a ‘number’ either. The employees are very kind, well informed and the service is good. We very much enjoyed the private beach, the pools (also the inside Spa pool was perfect for baby swimming) and the Isola beach-bar with healthy food and drinks. The resort is very children friendly – it even has a kids club and kids yoga – and still not crowded with screaming kids and therefore suitable for both families and honeymooners!
From the hotel it’s a 5-minute walk to the nearest village, called Plaka – I definitely recommend having coffee at this place or, when your arrive in the afternoon, sip a glass of ouzo. But if you are looking for traditional Greek food in a romantic setting (and if you are a foodie like me) you must go to Elounda (5 km), a former fishing town, and make sure to have a reservation at Ferryman Taverna or Kanali. Both are amazingly budget proof and yet super yummy restaurants located in this little gem of Greece. In Taverna you should order dakos, a traditional dish (tomatoes, cheese, bread and oil all mixed together to let the flavours infuse) or freshly caught fish.
But if you fancy to stay in the hotel during your stay, there is definitely enough entertainment and diversity in food – within the resort premises. From Japanese to traditional Greek and from Italian to a Steak House. And from a big variety of day excursions to tennis and from cooking workshops to water sports. The possibilities are endless!
But of course it’s worth getting out to see the the Spinaloga Castle (Kalydon) which is very nearby and the famous archeological site of Knossos. The latter a bit crowded by busloads of tourists and also a bit of a climb but nonetheless worthwhile.
p.s don’t forget to start each day with a glass of prosseco a the breakfast buffet!
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete
P.O. Box 38, Elounda, Crete, 72053, Greece