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To help sprinkle a little sunshine into the ongoing winter lockdown, we thought we would share some reviews of beautiful places.
Today’s Saturday Escape is from our good friend and colleague at InsideFlyer Germany, Steffen.
The Domes of Elounda on Crete has been a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection portfolio since 2015. In general, the Domes Resorts hotel chain has developed into one of the leading providers in the luxury segment in Greece in recent years, despite strong competition. The reason for this is a special concept.
The Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection
As the name suggests, the Domes of Elounda is located in the village of Elounda, on the north coast of Crete. From Heraklion, where the nearest airport is located, it takes a little more than an hour to get to the hotel.
Often you already know in the first 30 seconds after you have reached a hotel whether it will be a good stay. This is exactly the case here: As soon as Katerina and Sofia warmly welcome us with beaming smiles, a direct holiday feeling sets in.
The check-in itself takes place in a relaxed atmosphere on the terrace of the hotel bar next to the lobby – a cool drink is served to go with it. After you have received all the important information about restaurants, possible activities and an overview of the resort, you will be driven to the suite or villa.
The resort is divided into two different areas, separated from each other by a hill. At the front of the mountain is the main area of the Domes of Elounda. In addition to a pool, various restaurants and bars, the lobby and the beach (one of the few sandy beaches on Crete), there are 78 suites along the slope.
On the other side of the mountain you will find the luxury residences and villas, around 40 in total. It is practically a “resort within a resort”, as this area has its own infrastructure with a bar, restaurant and pool. The special thing about the Domes of Elounda is that you won’t find any standard rooms here. The resort only has suites and villas, all of which are equipped with at least a private jacuzzi on the terrace or their own pool.
You may also be interested in: A pearl on Corfu – Review of the Domes Miramare, A Luxury Collection Resort
Luxury Residence in the Domes of Elounda
The Luxury Residences are perfect for families or even friends travelling together – but of course also for couples. All luxury residences and villas have at least two bedrooms, each with a bathroom. In the “Master Bedroom” of the Luxury Residence you are also lucky enough to enjoy a direct view of the beautiful outdoor area of the Residence. The design is modern, but refined with some local elements.
The heart of the residence in the interior is the spacious living room, which in addition to a seating area also includes a small kitchenette, where you can, for example, prepare small snacks or drinks. Of course, a Nespresso machine with more than enough capsules should not be missing.
The real highlight of the Luxury Residence in the Domes of Elounda, however, is the outdoor area. Here guests can look forward to a spacious terrace with a large private pool, which is heated. Such a large, beautiful and private outdoor area with a pool is very rare at a hotel, especially in Europe.
The terrace is also equipped with four sun loungers and a large dining table. There is even a desk in the rear pavilion – perfect for an “outdoor office”.
If two families travel together, it is also possible to connect two luxury residences next to each other, both inside and outside.
Haute Living Selection
If you are a guest of the Luxury Residences or the villas you can take advantage of the Haute Living Selection benefits. The Haute Living concept can be found in all Domes Resorts on Crete and Corfu, which helps set the chain apart from competitors. It includes, among other things, accommodation in a mostly separate resort area, access to the Haute Living Room, 24/7 concierge service and ‘dine around half board’ is also included.
The Haute Living Room is located by the pool and is accessible with the room card. The Haute Living Room functions practically as a club lounge: Here in the Domes of Elounda, small snacks and drinks, including house wine, beer and sparkling wine, are offered throughout the day.
Cocktails are also served in the evening. There is a concierge in the Haute Living Room, who takes care of all kinds of matters such as spa or restaurant reservations and excursions.
Food & Beverage
At the Domes of Elounda, guests can choose between a total of five restaurants and four bars. As part of the half-board dine-around package for Haute Living guests, it is possible to try out as many restaurants as you like during your stay.
However, every day begins with a delicious breakfast, which is served for guests of the residences and villas in the BLEND restaurant. This is right next to the Haute Living Room by the pool. While you can look forward to a large and high-quality breakfast buffet at regular times, the breakfast has been adapted to the COVID situation so that you can choose all food and drinks a la carte and have them served at the table.
The various options are convincing across the board: regardless of whether you prefer a sweet or savoury breakfast – everyone will find something here. In addition to freshly prepared omelettes, avocado toast, eggs benedict, warm waffles, fresh fruit and much more are on offer.
We also visited the BLEND in the evening -the tartare and the salmon were excellent. A dry rosé wine is perfect for this, so that nothing stands in the way of a long, mild summer evening.
In 2019, the CORE was also opened in the Domes of Elounda. This is an open-air facility that combines gastronomy, fashion, culture and art. There are small pop-up boutiques, a sculpture exhibition and food trucks where classic street food dishes are available. These change on the different evenings of the week, so there are sometimes Greek evenings, sometimes Italian evenings or a completely different culinary direction. The offer is supplemented by regular live performances by bands.
The resort’s most popular restaurant is TOPOS 1910, which is located directly on the sandy beach and serves classic and modern interpreted Greek cuisine. Especially lovers of seafood and fresh fish dishes are in good hands here. Both the calamari and the pasta with shrimp taste great.