Greece › Crete › Elounda Hotels
by Santorini Dave • Updated: March 8, 2023
Best Places to Stay in Elounda
- Best Luxury Hotel: Elounda Beach Hotel
- Best Hotel for Families: Porto Elounda
- Best Hotel for Honeymoons: Cayo Exclusive
- Home to Crete’s most opulent beachfront resorts, Elounda is a favorite among Greek celebrities, foreign royalty, and other well-heeled international travelers. Many of these resorts are all-inclusive and on private beaches.
- The Elounda area is actually a string of smaller villages running for about five km down the coast from Plaka in the north to just past the main village, Schisma Eloundas (Elounda village), in the south. Most of the area’s luxury resorts are north and south of the main village, not in the village itself.
- The natural beaches outside of the resorts tend to be pebbly or downright rocky. The best public beach is Paralia Schisma Eloundas in the main village. Dianiskari Beach is a hard-to-reach but rewarding spot for snorkeling. The gorgeous, manicured beaches inside the resorts are largely manmade and open to hotel guests only.
- Spinalonga Island and Spinalonga Peninsula run parallel to the coast to form the serene Gulf of Korfos. Hotels between Plaka and Elounda village sit on this most tranquil stretch of sea. Hotels south of the main village sit on Mirabello Bay, which is almost as calm.
- A visit to Spinalonga Island is a must. Its 16th-century Venetian fortress was converted into a leper colony, operational until 1959. Tours are available several times a day with boats departing from Plaka (a 10-minute ride) and Elounda village (a 30-minute ride).
The 9 Best Hotels in Elounda
1. Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 63000
Lavish, five-star resort sprawling across two white sand beaches with a private marina, helipad, and saltwater pool. A second, indoor-outdoor, hydrotherapy pool is in the spa. Five restaurants and four bars serve a wide range of cuisines, from Greek to Nikkei, with sea views, poolside, or on the beach (plus access to all dining at neighboring Elounda Bay Palace). Contemporary accommodations run the gamut from rooms and suites to bungalows and villas, all with private balconies or terraces, most with sea views, 90% with hydromassage baths, and many with outdoor private jacuzzis or heated swimming pools. A kids’ club and teen activity program keeps junior guests entertained, while full-moon parties, nightly live music, Cretan nights, an open-air cinema, watersports center, basketball court, and more are on offer for all.
2. Elounda Mare Hotel
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 68200
The first Relais & Chateaux resort in Greece (and still the only one in Crete). Five-star Elounda Mare sits on a sandy, private beach with a seasonally-heated, sea-view pool, separate kids’ pool, and a comprehensive wellness center with a thalasso pool circuit. Gourmet dining is incredible at the three award-winning, al fresco restaurants and one lounge onsite; guests also have access to the restaurants and bars at the hotel’s sister properties, Porto Elounda and Elounda Peninsula. Rooms and suites all feature sweeping views over Mirabello Bay, plus private balconies/terraces, marble bathrooms, and twice-daily maid service. Bungalows, villas, and the Minoan Palace add gardens and private pools, heated on request.
3. Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 68000
Family-friendly, luxury resort set in a sandy cove with a beachfront pool and a nine-hole golf course. The top resort in Crete for families, Porto Elounda is home to an expansive kids’ club with an attached water park, two pools (one shallow for toddlers and the other one meter deep for older kids), water slides, soccer camp, dance lessons, and more supervised activities. Teens enjoy access to water skiing, soccer, scuba programs, sailing, golf, and tennis lessons, along with a dedicated space for tabletop gaming. Rooms and one to two-bedroom suites boast sea views and furnished balconies with the option to add a shared or private pool. Villas all include a private pool, garden, and two bedrooms. Two flavorful Mediterannean restaurants, a beach bar, and pool bar are on offer, along with 24-hour room service. Guests here have access to all the restaurants at adjacent Elounda Mare and Elounda Peninsula.
4. Elounda Peninsula All Suites Hotel
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 68250
Five-star resort on a private, white sand beach with a seafront pool, private yacht, and open-air cinema. Ideal for large groups, families, or wedding parties, this all-suite and villa property offers roomy accommodations beginning with 48-square-meter Junior Suites and expanding up to the 400-square-meter, 7-bedroom Diamond Residences for up to 14 guests. All feature private terraces, marble bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs, and a welcome bottle of wine or champagne. All but a few Junior Suites and one Diamond Residence (the Koufonisi) include a heated, private pool (Koufonisi sits on the beach with direct access to the sea). The culinary program features a new outpost of renowned Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, plus a Pan-Asian restaurant, Greek a la carte breakfast, a breezy cocktail lounge, and a wine cellar with tastings. Dining and children’s facilities at Elounda Mare and Porto Elounda are available for guests’ use.
5. Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 27721
Sophisticated, boutique resort on a hillside arranged around a heated pool with a separate kids’ pool and holistic wellness center. The resort’s private, full-service beach club is a short ride away in the hotel’s private shuttle. Dining is delightful at the hotel’s two Cretan restaurants, one casual and one fine dining, both featuring fresh-caught seafood and farm-to-table meats and produce. The pool bar serves light refreshments all day. Babysitting service and a kids’ club with guided activities is on offer. Suites and villas all feature marble bathrooms, separate living rooms, and room service until midnight. Upgraded accommodations can add private pools (heated or cool), infinity pools, massage rooms, saunas, full kitchens, and in-room laundry.
6. Domes of Elounda
Hotel Phone: +30 23108 10624
Luxury resort with views of Spinalonga sat on a private stretch of sandy, natural (not manmade) Driros Beach. Four restaurants and four bars offer creative spins on Cretan and Greek fine dining, comfort, and street food paired with local wine, craft cocktails, and fresh juices. Five-star facilities include an adults-only pool, a seasonally-heated all-ages pool with two smaller pools attached, and a tranquil spa with yet another pool (heated and indoors). Families can avail themselves of the teen club, Montessori-based kids’ club, movie nights, and family yoga sessions. An all-suite and villa property, spacious units range from 58 to 450 square meters in open-layout suites up to four-bedroom residences; all feature an outdoor private jacuzzi or pool (villas have heated pools). Great location on the calm Gulf of Korfos, about a 15-minute walk or even shorter drive to the Plaka Marina, with boats to Spinalonga.
7. Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 44700
Stylish, boutique resort on the hills overlooking the sea with breathtaking views toward Spinalonga. Two freeform swimming pools set in tiers share the main sea-view terraces with three creative Mediterannean restaurants and two lounges. Rooms, suites, and villas are built up the hillside behind, accessed by a pair of glass-walled funiculars offering sweeping views on the ride up. Accommocations all feature private, furnished terraces with al fresco dining tables; all but one room type include private, outdoor pools (heated on request). Music, wine tastings, and a full-service spa complete the experience in the main building. Down the hill, the hotel’s beach club and restaurant sits on the pebble beach of Plaka, easy to access with the resort’s complimentary shuttle. From the beach club, it’s only a 5-minute walk to the Plaka Marina for boat tours to Spinalonga.
8. Elounda Bay Palace
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 67000
Five-star resort in a garden setting with an outdoor saltwater pool and separate children’s pool fronting two white sand beaches. A vast range of rooms, suites, bungalows, and villas offer plenty of variety, though all have private, furnished balconies or terraces and marble bathrooms with mountain, garden, or sea views over Mirabello Bay. Upgraded rooms add shared pools or private, heated pools; the largest villas include fully equipped kitchens and up to three bedrooms, sleeping six guests comfortably. Four restaurants and three bars serve a range of Cretan and Greek cuisine seaside and poolside. Guests here have access to all restaurants, the spa, and the kids’ club at their sister property, Elounda Beach Hotel.
9. Blue Palace Resort & Spa
Hotel Phone: +30 28410 65500
Ultra-luxe resort on a pebbly, private, serviced beach in the Gulf of Korfos with two main pools (one heated, one cool), kids’ pools, and a premium spa with a heated pool, hammam, sauna, and jacuzzi. Bungalows, suites, and villas all include balconies and sea views toward Spinalonga Island. Top-tier accommodations add private heated pools, infinity pools, and jacuzzi baths. Upgrade to “The Haven” for a private breakfast experience, private gazebos on the beach, a dedicated concierge, and a range of tailored experiences, including free beach yoga and an exclusive spa treatment. Farm-to-table dining, Asian fusion, seaside Italian, a Greek taverna, and a Cretan restaurant make up the complete gastronomic program.
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