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“Crete is an island of family-owned resorts, and one of the most long standing luxury properties on the island, which has attracted the likes of Lady Gaga and European royals, is the Blue Palace. A complex of an open-air temple of a lobby and dozens of sand-colored villas that are built into a rocky hillside that spills down to the Gulf of Elounda, the five-star property is currently being run by its ambitious next generation: two sisters Agapi and Costantza Sbokou, both extremely focused on design and sustainability.”

“Crete is an isle of unbridled luxury and authentic beauty, and I will indulge both at the inimitable Blue Palace Resort. It’s owned by local philanthropist Agapi Sbokou, who not only services every need of her guests (curating cultural and gastronomic experiences across the island), but also supports the local community (in low season, staff receive training and support in sustainable organic farming) and the environment (from protecting bees to using sources of renewable energy).”

“As the southernmost of the Greek islands, Crete is also the hottest. April makes a great shoulder season with the mercury rising amiably before summer’s sweltering peak. Take advantage of thinner crowds with lazy days on blockbuster beaches. Note that the further south you go, the more likely you’ll find a truer Crete, unbothered by resorts. Spectacular, rugged mountain drives thread through lazy villages, where tavernas typically produce their own meat, cheese and wine. You can bet on a few free rounds of house raki after the meal, too. Better plan on staying the night.

Where to stay: We have plenty of recommendations for the best Greek Island hotels, but for Crete, we like the Blue Palace Resort a in Elounda”

“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.”

“The iconic Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort, Elounda Crete set on a coastal hillside in northeast Crete, promises a destination abounding with rich history, intriguing culture and wild natural beauty. Summer 2022 brings a variety of new, thoughtfully curated services to the legendary resort showcasing timeless Cretan culture, local sustainable gastronomy, unforgettable family experiences and au courant amenities while further celebrating the region’s legacy.”

“In Crete, there is no better value than Blue Palace Elounda, A Luxury Collection Resort, Crete with private pool suites and a host of resort facilities.”

“The iconic Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort, Elounda Crete set on a coastal hillside in northeast Crete, promises a destination abounding with rich history, intriguing culture and wild natural beauty. Summer 2022 brings a variety of new, thoughtfully curated services to the legendary resort showcasing timeless Cretan culture, local sustainable gastronomy, unforgettable family experiences and au courant amenities while further celebrating the region’s legacy.”

“This five-star family-run resort is beautifully positioned between the fishing village of Plaka and Crete’s Elounda Beach. Perfect for a relaxing resort break or as a base to explore the nearby National Monument Spinalonga Island, Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort, Elounda, Crete, overlooks the Aegean Sea with its own private beach.”

“Positioned between Mirabello Bay and the port of Elounda, the beachfront Blue Palace Elounda Resort is one of Crete’s most notable high-end resorts. The hotel honours traditional Greek architecture, with travertine tiled floors, mosaic walls and minimalist furnishings in shades of white and blue. Guests are met on arrival by soaring stone arches, which dramatically tower over the hotel’s vast pool.”

Best honeymoon hotel for: sun-seeking in Crete

“A patchwork of rich, earthy pink-hued stones make up the gorgeous façade of the Blue Palace, which is located between the small fishing village of Plaka and the bustling port of Elounda. This secluded retreat is understated luxury at its finest and blends indoor and outdoor spaces to let the breath-taking Cretan countryside do the talking. From the stunning rooms to the private pools, gardens and verandas – every space was designed to maximize the beautiful landscapes that surround the hotel.”

“Wade into the crystal-clear waters of Mirabello Bay. Sail around the ancient fortifications of the nearby isle of Spinalonga. Soak up every bit of the sunset over white-peach Bellinis at the poolside bar. Whatever your chosen aquatic adventure, you can’t go wrong with a strapless suit inspired by the beauty around you—plus slides, sea salt spray, and a feminine puff-sleeve cover-up.”

“Low platform beds and sofas abound; the food skews elegant but straightforward Hellenic; and the nearby Mononaftis beach looks about as perfect as they come. If old-school is your preference, Blue Palace in the port of Elounda is fresh off a vibrant renovation of its villas and suites, many of which have private verandas or pools.”

“The perfect holiday haven. Of the 225 rooms, suites and villas, 52 suites and 4 villas come with private pools. The best are the duplex suites which offer a pool and a sunbathing area downstairs and have a shaded terrace upstairs which is lovely to eat on. All the rooms come in muted colours with cool stones floors, supremely comfortable beds and lovely Greek Apivita amenities.”

“Set on a private pebble beach in the northern coastal town of Elounda, Blue Palace maintains an authentic Cretan vibe compared to its slick resort neighbours. There’s no main building to speak of, instead bungalows, suites and villas – mostly all with private pools – are dotted around a slope that leads down to the beach. There’s also a wooden fishing boat to putter across to Spinalonga island, an open-air cinema on the beach, and a taverna set in an old fisherman’s house right on the water serving up just-caught fish and Greek meze classics.”

“Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort, is a slice of heaven in the southern Crete city of Elounda and a destination location well worth the trip. There’s a private pool in each villa, several excellent restaurant options on the property as well as a host of water sports available from their private floating dock– so there’s no ’need’ to leave.”

The most iconic luxury getaway on Crete —a family-friendly island considered a Covid green zone for its low case counts and large health-care system—has recently introduced a hotel within the hotel. Called the Haven Collection, it comprises jasmine-shrouded villas and suites with access to a private beach and a helipad. There’s also a retrofitted, traditional fishing boat that can be used for barbecues at sea, and an open-air cinema on the shore.” 

In the first-ever collaboration of its kind, Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort, Elounda – Crete, partners with Venice’s legendary The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, to present the Blue Aperitivo this summer season, at one of the most majestic verandas all over the world; Arsenali Lounge Bar, at Blue Palace.

“The Cretan Sea, swimming around the relics of Spinalonga, dominates the horizon views from this white-washed resort. Comfortable rooms offer simple modern style, you can lounge on the private beach or gaze over the edge of infinity pools, and five restaurants ensure you are kept well-fed.”

“There’s a timeless corner of Mirabello Bay on the north-east coast of Crete, where wild mountainous beauty meets crystal-clear waters and every glance towards the dazzling Aegean showcases the intriguing, historic island of Spinalonga. The Blue Palace Resort & Spa reflects a unique environment with its contemporary take on old-world hospitality and a celebration of the gastronomic legacy of the region.”

“My time at the Blue Palace had taken on something of a dream-like glaze. As well as its outstanding beauty, delicious food, and elevated accommodations, the resort was remarkable for its attentive staff, who watched out for your every need while never intruding.”

“Cretan village culture may seem far removed from the experience of the island’s luxury hotel offerings. But the Blue Palace, whose stone villas, cyprus trees, palms and tranquil swimming pools sprawl down an eastern hillside to a little pebbled cove, is deeply infused with the culture of this southern Greek island. That means a focus on family, hospitality, food and drink.”

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