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Highlights

One of only two Marriott Autograph collection hotels in Greece, this luxurious, family-friendly hotel set on a hillside with panoramic views to Spinalonga, the island of Hislop’s best-selling novel, has first-rate service, first-class restaurants, a blue-flag strip of sandy beach and a decent spa.

Best Bits for Kids

Glorious ice cream milkshakes, mocktails, fully stocked kids club with crafts and activities daily and the latest Xbox games for teenagers. There’s also a full range of spa treatments especially for kids.

Best Bits for Parents

Dance under the stars, sip cool wine and signature blend cocktails, enjoy a couples massage in the tranquil Soma Spa or unwind with aqua yoga.

Endorsement Quote

Writer Joan West:

I travelled with my husband and two daughters, Beatrice (three) and Arabella (four) for a week at the end of May. We particularly enjoyed the spectacular panoramic views of the sea and the ancient island of Spinalonga. The hotel was extremely child-friendly without being overbearing; it was all very discreet and beautiful. The staff seemed genuinely passionate about children and did everything they could to be helpful and friendly.

Hotel Vibe

Laid back, secluded luxury. You really do feel like you are on your very own private island. Exotic flowers and darting geckos adorn secret hillside villas above a private beach cooled by whispering pines. Think white linen shirts, golden tans and jewelled flip-flops, worn on long balmy evenings. Dress for supper and enjoy people-watch as the setting sun bathes the island of Spinalonga in a gorgeous caramel hue.

Rooms

Accessibility

The hotel cascades down a very steeply sloping site but is cleverly designed to minimise the impact of this, while maximising views for every room. That said, the paths could be steep and are not particularly smooth (made from attractive local stone). These pathways could be challenging for families using wheelchairs, so it’s best to check ahead with the team before booking, to find out specifics.

Family Traveller's Recommended Family Rooms

The fabulous family pool suite features two bedrooms, a king-sized bed and two sofa beds with private balcony and pool. Escape the mid-day heat for a quiet siesta, or cool off before supper with a dip in your private pool.

Rooms

All rooms (except private residences) are either single suites, which are individually designed, featuring sofa beds and cot (on request) in the open-plan living room, or two-bedroom suites for those with older children.

Each suite has a generous balcony, so when the little ones are in bed, there’s space for adults to enjoy the balmy evenings. There are also eight luxury private residences for those on a more generous budget, featuring a helicopter landing pad and private butler!

Activities/Things To Do

Activities / Excursions Outside the Resort

Taste buds buzzing? Head into one the many local villages and try some authentic olive oil or try your hand at traditional cooking in pots over outdoor fires. Whatever your fancy, Domes of Elounda will take care of organising your perfect trip. Snorkelling, diving, bike riding? They’ve got you covered.

Best Family Beaches

The hotel has its own Blue flag beach with plenty of shade and grassy banks. The beach is narrow but the waters are shallow and clear making it a perfect place for children learning to swim or just enjoying a paddle. Crete is renowned for its stunning beaches. Plaka beach and Elounda beach are both a five-minute drive away. Both have fantastic views and offer a little slice of paradise close to the hotel.

Kids Clubs

Domes Crèche and Domes Kids are both managed by qualified staff who have been trained with UK kids specialists Worldwide Kids.

Domes Crèche is suitable from four months to four years and costs 45 euros for the whole day including lunch.

Domes Kids is for five to 12 year-olds. It’s free and includes specially designed children’s activities and programmes.

Please note, during peak seasons you will need to prebook childcare, as spaces are limited.

Facilities

Digital Detox / Digital Overload

The teen room is ‘fully loaded’ with Xbox, Playstation4, PSP, Wii and (wait for it….) Guitar Hero. All rooms have satellite TV channels and movies.

Hotel Shop

There is a small onsite shop selling essentials like suncream, nappies, shampoo and wet wipes. If you want some nice souvenirs or postcards pop into Plaka and explore the traditional craft and local shops.

Pools

Pools are open 7am-7pm. There are five swimming pools – two saltwater, one inside and one outside (over 16s only) and three freshwater. The main pool, which is just below reception, is for over 16s only and the best children’s ones are a buggy ride away in Domesland. This isn’t necessarily an issue for families as you may want to spend your days on the hotel’s small but beautiful beach where loungers are drawn up right next to the gently lapping waves under a row of pine trees.

Spa & Pampering for Adults

The black mosaic tiled saltwater pool is lit by huge floor to ceiling windows, which look out over the pool and bay. There’s a hamman, sauna, steam room and a range of Elemis inspired treatments. I was lucky enough to experience a Hot- mineral body boosting massage, a stimulating deep massage with hot oils on my body and ending on my face.

Spa & Wellbeing for Kids

The Sweet Spa corner is just for kids. There are pedicures and manicures available for young hands and feet and a social super hero hand and foot massage just for boys. Children tend to love the 40-minute massage in which they can relax in a room with their parents while the lovely Rena helps their growing muscles relax.

Sports

There is an excellent water sports centre as well as tennis courts and a gym with personal training and yoga. For golf lovers the island’s only 18-hole golf course is 40 minutes away by taxi.

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

At breakfast, delicious fresh pastries, mouth-watering fresh fruit salads and freshly cooked eggs in any style to suit even the fussiest of eaters.

There are four resort restaurants to choose from. Tholos is a buffet style restaurant that offers a different dining theme each night including traditional Greek and Asian. There are handy lower buffet tables with food for children so they could pick their own and not rely on parents picking them up to peer at dishes. (But watch out – chocolate donuts and sticky sweets are toddler height!) Children’s supper starts at 6.30pm at Tholos, after this the hotel restaurants turn into quiet zones, so if you want to feed them later on it will have to be inside at Tholos or in your room for room service.

Topos 1910 is for the more discerning palate. The restaurant boasts a beautiful decked area leading out over the sea, ideal for sipping delicious wine, eating fresh local fish and watching the sunset.

Yaosai is an Asian fusion restaurant appealing to anyone craving exotic flavours and spices with stunning views over Spinalonga.

Blend is an Italian inspired gourmet restaurant with crispy fresh pizzas to die for and another great option for breakfast. There are children’s’ menus available and the waiters are happy to offer to warm milk or puree food for babies.

Greek food is a great option for families, as it’s easy to order lots of little dishes for lunchtime to share, encouraging the children to try different things.

Please note that Domes of Elounda is a stylish hotel and there is a dress code in the evenings; wet shorts and grubby t-shirts will be frowned upon for evening meals

Location

Getting There

The hotel is one hour by private transfer or taxi from Herkalion. It’s a twisty road along the north coast, with breathtaking views over the Sea of Crete. After the flight the drive is a little tiring, but the destination is absolutely worth the journey.

Location

Domes of Elounda is located in east Crete, north of Agios Nikolaos and south of the seaside resort of Plaka. The hotel overlooks the sheltered Elounda bay and the UNESCO world-heritage site of Spinalonga, providing perfect swimming conditions and crystal clear waters. In short, a stunning, private spot that oozes luxury and calm.

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