Elounda Beach Hotel and Villa’s is a luxury 5* resort located on the North Eastern coast of Crete overlooking the picturesque Mirabello Bay. Open seasonally from May to October, the island is within easy reach of the UK with flights departing regularly from major airports. My flight from the UK took just under 4 hours; once we had landed and I made my way through the arrivals hall, my driver met me at the airport with a beaming smile and took me on the 45-minute journey to the hotel.
The hotel is set amidst a stunning landscape of lush gardens and overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with warm hospitality and a calming atmosphere that immediately put me in relaxation mode. The Cretans are known for their hospitality and this certainly was the case here. All the staff were warm and approachable with most from the local region, having worked at the hotel for years and some even decades; it’s clear that there is a genuine pride for the staff to share their insider tips of the region with the guests.
The grounds of the hotel resemble a small Greek village oozing luxurious simplicity matching the local architecture of the region. I loved getting lost in the mazes of cobbled lanes and manicured gardens taking in the uninterrupted views of the Aegean Sea.
In terms of activities, there is no shortage of things to do at Elounda Beach Hotel. The property has 2 private sandy beaches set in a protected bay and the comfiest sunbeds I have ever experienced with waiter service available with the press of a button. There’s a watersports centre offering sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, and kayaking as well as tennis courts, mini golf, beach volley, and fitness centre. Guests also have access to the facilities at the sister hotel, Elounda Bay Palace, including a schedule of group fitness classes, a sauna, and a steam room.
I stayed in a Bungalow Suite Sea View which had recently been refurbished beautifully with a large walk-in wardrobe and dressing area and a sitting area overlooking the sea and a spacious sea-facing terrace. The suite was fitted with all mod cons including a remote control bed, electronic blackout curtains which could be opened and closed at my bedside to admire the views in the morning and a bathroom with an incredible sunken bath.
The hotel hosts a vast range of room types to suit requirements and budgets spread between the main hotel building and as standalone bungalows and villas across the grounds; some with steam baths, sunken bathtubs, shared pools, private pools and direct access to the sea. Some of the rooms, especially the classic rooms, are more dated in style but I was told that all the rooms are gradually being refurbished.
The Wellness Facilities
The Espace Vitalité Chenot Spa is a haven of relaxation located on the top floor of the spa building. There is a rooftop pool rooftop pool overlooking the Aegean Sea and Mirabello Bay which is only available for guests who have booked treatments giving a sense of seclusion and exclusivity.
The programmes at the Chenot Spa offer an intensive and transformative journey of detoxing and resetting the body based on the renowned Chenot Method; this employs the latest scientific advances in relation to the functioning of the human body working along the lines of the ancient tradition of Chinese medicine, based on energy channels and balance, to establish a unity of body, mind and spirit.
My programme starts with a "bio-energetic screening" session which looks at the body's "vital functions" through resonance analysis technology. I hold two metal prongs connected to a machine that is said to detect imbalances and stresses in 35 different areas, from the adrenal glands to the liver, lungs and heart and allows the wellness team to tailor my treatments to detoxify toxins from the body and unblock the relevant vital energy flows.
This eases me into my programme with a daily hydro-aromatherapy which is a relaxing jet bath filled with detoxifying herbal solution followed by phytomud therapy where I’m covered in marine algae and wrapped up and left to relax on a waterbed while the nutrients soak into my skin before being led to a wet room for a very revitalising jet shower. This is followed by a bio-energetic massage which works on the meridian lines and detoxifying the body.
I booked onto the half board which I’d highly recommend. I felt spoilt for choice as this option allowed me to dine in any of the 5 a la carte restaurants each night from traditional Greek in a rustic setting to delicious Italian complemented by the sound of the waves to Japanese and Peruvian fusion to the beautifully presented fine dining restaurant. For those on a wellness programme with the Chenot Spa, you might consider complementing your programme with the Biolight menu which offers a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced meal plan.
Breakfast offered a vast range of choices from healthy to indulgent and you really are spoilt for choice with all the traditional Cretan cakes and pastries, meats and cheeses and everybody is catered for with even gluten-free cakes and lactose-free cheese. What I especially liked was that each option was marked with allergens, especially helpful for those with dietary requirements.
Who's it for?
If you’re looking for a Mediterranean beach and wellness break in a calm and luxurious seafront setting, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Elounda Beach Hotel and Villas to any solo traveller, friends, families or for a romantic getaway.