Crete, Greece

Domes of Elounda

Rates per night from$218.67

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR191.19), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Perfectly rounded resort

Setting

Peaceful Mirabello Bay

A high-flying hideaway of intimate suites in blissful Crete, Domes of Elounda hotel is all about smooth-edged architecture with Moorish touches, first-class dining from the country’s only Michelin-starred chef, and the sun-soaked sand of the hotel’s private beach. A sparkling spa will have you feeling brand-new, like Aphrodite fresh from the sea.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A cocktail each; for three-night BlackSmith stays, a spa experience each instead; for five-night GoldSmith stays, a three-course lunch each instead

Facilities

Photos Domes of Elounda facilities

Need to know

Rooms

A total of 120, including 80 suites and 40 villas.

Check–Out

11.30am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability. Haute Living guests get express in-villa check-in/check-out.

Rates

Double rooms from $218.67 (€191), excluding tax at 13.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €4.00 per room per night on check-in.

More details

Rates include an American buffet breakfast.

Also

By booking a Private Residence, Luxury Residence or Luxury Villa, guests automatically become part of the hotel’s Haute Living concept, giving them access to a range of exclusive benefits. Included in their rate, the ‘À la Carte Dine Around’ allows guests to choose any item from the à la carte menu in any of the resort’s four restaurants (certain items are excluded; pre-booking is required a day in advance). Guests also get their own beach lounge area with pre-booked loungers at the Breeze Seafront bar, as well as one 30-minute babywatching session a day. On their first day, they'll also get a free in-villa open bar and free grocery service.

Hotel closed

The hotel closes for winter at the beginning of November each year and re-opens 25 March.

At the hotel

Spa, fitness room, library, free WiFi and tennis courts. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, Xbox (on request), minibar, free bottled water, Coco-Mat mattresses, bathrobes, slippers and O.live bath products. Guests staying in the Luxury Villas, Private Residences and Luxury Residences get a raft of special Haute Living extras, including exclusive access to the Haute Living Room, access to a members-only gym, a villa host, a mobile with a direct line to the manager and room service, an open bar on the first day of your stay, daily aperitivo, canapés and afternoon tea, sun loungers reserved on the best part of the beach and access to the Breeze Beach Lounge.

Our favourite rooms

For the most private of stays, opt for the multi-roomed Private Residences, which has a whirlpool bath tub, fireplace, living room (X-Boxes and PlayStations are available on request) and use of the chauffeured club car. For self-catering flexibility and a private pool, the Luxury Residences will suit.

Poolside

There are five: two saltwater pools, one indoors, one out and both for over-16s only; three freshwater pools (one unheated out of season), including an 800sq m family-friendly pool a buggy ride away from the hotel and a children-only pool. The main is for over-16s only and is set just below reception with views over to Spinalonga and the bay. The hotel also has a strip of private beach, lined with olive trees and wooden decking.

Spa

The golden-hued contemporary spa has a indoor seawater pool surrounded by sunloungers, mosaic-tiled treatment rooms and sweeping views of the Med from floor-to-ceiling windows. There's a hammam and sauna, steam room, frigidarium and tepidarium, beauty therapists, and treatments offered include facials, body scrubs and wraps, and a range of massages, using Elemis products. Guests can also use the 100sq m fitness room or book personal trainers and private yoga sessions.

Packing tips

All the glitters might not be gold but anything Midas-pleasing will look a treat with your Cretan tan.

Pet‐friendly

For €20 a day plus a one-time €100 cleaning fee, small dogs (up to 6kg) can stay in the Domes Private Residences, Domes Luxury Residences and Luxury Villas. Pups must be well trained and are not allowed in the resort’s common areas. See more pet-friendly hotels in Crete.

Children

Exceedingly welcome. There’s room for cots and extra beds in all rooms. The hotel has a crèche and a kids' club (book at least a month ahead as it’s very popular); a local nanny can be drafted in with a day’s notice for €15 an hour.

Best for

Under-12s, since the first two can stay for free.

Recommended rooms

There’s room for cots and/or extra beds in all of the rooms. Standard Family Suites sleep four in two interconnecting rooms and come with a raft of family-friendly extras, including free children's lunch on your first day.

Crèche

Domes Crèche for babies from 4 months to kids aged 4, run in partnership with UK childcare specialists, and staffed with qualified childcare workers. Sessions run daily 10am–1pm (a light fruit and snack lunch is included) and 3pm–6pm; the cost for under-2s is €45 a day for both sessions or €30 for one session (€35 and €22 respectively for ages 2–4). Little ones are given soft toys, noisy toys, books and building blocks, finger puppets and fire engines to play with, and outside is a supervised, shaded and fenced-off playground. The Kids' Club, for ages 5–12, is free and operates to the same timetable. Children are entertained with mini discos, amateur dramatics, team games and puzzles. Childcare is extremely popular and the hotel recommends booking via its online booking system a month in advance.

Activities

The hotel runs a range of water-based activities, such as snorkelling or surfing, and tennis lessons are held daily for €50 an hour with a private tutor (book two weeks in advance).

Swimming pool

The outdoor unheated saltwater pools are open 7am–7pm, but they're unsupervised so keep a watchful eye. The peerless main pool is just below reception, with sweeping views; it has a shallow end and adjoining paddling pool.

Meals

A children’s menu is available with mini burgers, nuggets and M&M muffins, as are highchairs, booster seats, colouring-in pads and crayons. Staff are happy to heat milk for you. Kids’ also have their own tea at 6.30pm in Tholos – after this, the restaurants’ outdoor spaces turn into ‘quiet zones’ so if you want to feed them later on, it’ll need to be indoors for a family dinner at Tholos. Outdoor eating is kid-free in the evening so nab a babysitter and make the most of some two-of-you time. As the sun sets, the Grand Domes Bar comes alive, offering inventive cocktails on the terrace and views of the Island (open 10am until midnight). There’s live music (mainly chill-out or jazz) on selected nights, and it’s divided into family and adults-only zones for please-all drinking with or without your offspring. There's even an ice-cream happy hour for kids…

Babysitting

A qualified local nanny or babysitter can be drafted in with a day’s notice for €15 an hour.

No need to pack

Cots, highchairs, buggies, stairgates, monitors, potties, baby baths and Xboxes for older kids can all be provided: request in advance, to ensure availability. You can buy nappies, wipes, baby food and basic toiletries from the resort’s mini-mart.

Also

Standard Family Suites have kiddie rooms decorated with Disney characters to make them feel at home, their own mini bathrobes and slippers, and No Tears bath products – plus welcome gifts of colouring-in packs and crayons, and surprise packs in minibars. Book one of these suites and children will get lunch free on their first day, too. If your room comes with its own pool or Jacuzzi, it’ll also come with a safety cover for it – good for child-proofing and peace of mind.

Food and Drink

Photos Domes of Elounda food and drink

Top Table

As far out to sea as you can get at Topos 1910.

Dress Code

Grecian god and goddess: loose, luxurious, linen-based outfits with a glint of gold.

Hotel restaurant

There are four to pick from. Tholos is a buffet restaurant in the main dining room. Topos 1910 is a decked promontory leading out to sea for fine-dining under a twinkling sky. Yaosai ('fortress' in Chinese) has Asian-influenced fare and tables with views out to Spinalonga. Blend is the resort's upmarket  Italian fusion restaurant. Dishes vary from season to season, depending on what local produce is available; a breakfast buffet is served here too.

Hotel bar

There are four bars where you can kick back and leisurely sip a glass of chilled Cretan white. The Yaosai Pool Bar on the edge of the main pool, the Pool Bar in the Domes Plaza and Breeze the Breeze Beach Lounge down on the beach (an area reserved exclusively for the Haute Living Guests), are all open for daytime drinking from 10am to 6pm, with views of glimmering water and day-beds to recline on. The Grand Domes Bar extends from reception with huge windows showcasing Spinalonga and the sea, and low white sofas, glimmering chandeliers, gleaming marble and stylish neutrals, which make it glamorously relaxed. At sunset, the bar comes alive, offering inventive cocktails on the terrace, views of the Island and live music (mainly chill-out or jazz) on selected nights.

Last orders

Grand Domes serves drinks until midnight, and last orders are at 6pm at the pool bar and Breeze Beach Lounge. Breakfast is from 7.30am–11am, lunch from noon-5pm and dinner from 6.30pm. Breakfast is from 8am–10.30am at Blend, dinner from 7.15pm–9.15pm.

Room service

An abridged selection is available at any time of day or night.

Location

Photos Domes of Elounda location
Address
Domes of Elounda
Elounda
Crete
72053
Greece

Planes

The island’s main airport, Heraklion is the second-largest in Greece, and one hour away by car. Fly direct from London Gatwick and from cities across Europe. There's a taxi rank outside the passenger terminal, or the hotel can arrange transfers in a Mercedes E Class (€99 each way, for up to four passengers), or in a Mercedes Minibus (€180 each way, for up to 16 passengers).

Automobiles

The nearest big town is Agios Nikolaos, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. From Heraklion, follow the National Road to Aghios Nikolaos (approximately 65km from the airport). As you come into Aghios Nikolaos, there’s a crossroads with traffic lights - turn left here, then right at the next set of lights, following the signs to Elounda village. After about another 1.5km, you’ll see a sign for Elounda on the left-hand side. As you reach Elounda, you’ll hit the village’s port, from here follow the signs to Plaka. Almost immediately before Plaka, see a sign pointing to the Domes of Elounda. There’s free parking when you arrive.

Other

Boat and helicopter are other, more dramatic arrival options.

Worth getting out of bed for

Make the voyage across the bay to the hauntingly atmospheric island of Spinalonga; it’s both an ancient fortress built long before Christ and the former home of a leper colony.

Local restaurants

In Elounda, try Olondi (+30 28410 41040) for a fresh fish and Greek wine combo. Nikos (+30 28410 41439) is another local taverna, serving up grilled octopus, sizzling sea bream and some appetite-whetting stuffed vine leaves. In Plaka, try family-run fish restaurant, Giorgos (+30 28410 41353; www.giorgos-plaka.gr) where the owners bring in the daily catch themselves. The seaside setting overlooks Spinalonga.

Reviews

Photos Domes of Elounda reviews
Sarah Jappy

Anonymous review

By Sarah Jappy, Wordsmith wondergirl

I’m lying as naked as a jaybird in front of a man that isn’t Mr Smith. This is disconcerting. To add to my unease, this stranger is more muscle than man: beefier than Popeye post-spinach, wide as a wall, and as handsome as Hercules. ‘No paper pants! No paper pants!’ – the thought pings around my head like a rabbit as I lie in the spa of our Greek retreat.

Bizarre images pop into my head: a plucked chicken, Oli Beale and his ‘bishop’ in Marrakech (see his review of Maison MK, if you need that explaining.) The Muscle (real name, Nikos; resident masseur at boutique spa resort Domes of Elounda) leans in, grabs my foot, and elevates my leg to a 90-degree angle. He leans in and whispers huskily in my ear: ‘Set your body free’. It’s too late. The giggles rise like bubbles. ‘I’m sorry!’ I sputter. ‘It’s just – I’m – terribly – ticklish!’

Half an hour later, I wobble my way across to Mr Smith at the outdoor pool soaking up that incredible Cretian sun. He’s surrounded by glamorous Europeans snacking on pasta and panini – men in tight trunks who look as though olive oil and liquid gold flow through their veins. Their Cavalli-clad women are equally fabulous, encased in sexy one-pieces and matching turbans. Inevitably, there’s the odd Brit or two to lower the style stakes, buried in Lynda La Plante and as prawn-pink as the Domes’ concrete curves. ‘How was your massage?’ asks Mr Smith, squinting in the sunshine. ‘Really, er, relaxing. When’s dinner?’

Supper at the Domes: now there’s relaxation for you. The hotel hosts gastronomy festivals, inviting internationally acclaimed chefs to cook for their guests. Luckily, we’re here when Yves Mattagne, an exceptionally talented French chef, has culinary control. Despite initial reservations (‘Will we have to talk to other people?’) Mr Smith and I are fizzing with excitement as we dress for the festival. It’s a wrench, though, to leave our boutique boudoir: a sea-facing suite with an outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking Elounda’s ink-blue bay.

Sleeping in the Domes of Elounda is like bedding down in a shell (with a lot more space, a lot less water, and no uninvited snails): stone and slate hues with splashes of turquoise, decorated with stacks of bleached wood, frosted glass lights that mushroom from the ceiling like sea urchins, and spiky green plants. Our suite is also deliciously private – a peachy, dome-topped pod with dazzling views. Snatching one last admiring gaze around us, Mr Smith adjusts his tie, I attend to my décolletage and we’re off into the night.

Drinks at the sleek main bar get us started, and we watch boats threaded with lights wend their way across the waves. Soon we’re summoned, along with an expectant party of guests. Tables are laid out by the pool, candles are lit, and a cavalry of waiters are dispatched to tend to us. The meal is so good, it feels illegal. Each multi-component concoction sounds like a science experiment: royal Belgian caviar with potatoes and quails’ eggs; crayfish with lime, tomato water, wasabi and sesame; sea bass with carrot harissa, rouille and saffron emulsion; coconut-raspberry marshmallow with caipirinha sorbet. And with each course comes a different wine.

After meeting the twinkly-eyed chef, and praising his efforts with wine-induced eloquence, Mr Smith and I slip away: just one thing in mind… Sleep. Back in our suite, we waddle onto the bed, unbutton trousers, remove binding garments, and breathe. (I’m setting my body free.) We wake the next morning, full, hungover, and happy. The sunshine pours in, and a knock at the door heralds breakfast. Breakfast! It’s hard to conquer another feast, but athletically, we rise to the challenge. ‘I couldn’t eat another thing,’ says Mr Smith afterwards, peeling a banana. ‘Me neither’ I say, nibbling on a cinnamon-dusted pastry.

It’s time to kill calories with a swimming session at the Domes’ private beach. It might sound as though we’re being incredibly lazy (well, we are) by not exploring Elounda itself, but this chic Greek hotel is a mini-empire: spa, three restaurants, two bars (one beachside), two pools, tennis courts and a boutique or two. There’s even a fleet of buggies to transport guests from hotel reception to sand (a four-minute walk). We muster the bravado to summon one but, somewhat to my relief, it doesn’t show up, so we wander down and stretch out on two loungers, right by the water.

‘I’m so full and happy’ says Mr Smith, from his Agatha Christie. ‘Me too,’ I purr. ‘I can’t imagine being hungry again’. Children splash in the waves. Tanned goddesses rub lotion into their bronzed husbands. Seven minutes pass. I prop myself up on one elbow and peer at Mr Smith.‘Topos 1910 tonight? It’s the Michelin-starred-chef’s fish restaurant and I’ve heard its seafood is some of the best on Crete...’

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Domes of Elounda’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The jacuzzi on the balcony, the beach and the slow pace of life there.

Don’t expect

Heated swimming pools (pools really cold out of season). The hotel should rethink heating at least one pool. The gym equipment wasn't great – it was partly broken and there were no replacement machines.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Sep 2018

We loved

We stayed for an amazing nine days in a Two-Bedroom Private Residence with its own pool. If there was an academy of premium, personalized customer service in the hospitality industry, all the staff at the Domes would be graduates. The resort itself is stunningly beautiful and the villa was a delight with everything bright, clean, modern and a good attention to detail and interior design. Every member of staff at all the venues greet guests with warmth, hospitality and an eagerness to make the experience perfect, which it was for us. The villa had a beautifully kept garden, a very well-maintained pool and inside everything you need; we were greeted with a welcome tray of food and drink – these small touches all add to the experience. We opted for one of these villas as they are very quiet and have lots of space between them; we had neighbours both sides, but no noise that troubled us. The villa was at the top of a hill, looking out on Elounda and the buggy system to take you up and down was never more than ten minutes away. We did note some grumbles on other reviews about waiting for a buggy but we just enjoyed the sun and the view while we waited and even used the hilly route down as an aerobic walk on some occasions. Food at Topos restaurant was first class, beautiful fish and seafood served very near the ocean; quite a lovely setting and an innovative menu. We chose mussels and a salad with warm haloumi for starters, followed by monkfish and chicken breast supreme for mains and ended with panna cotta and crispy meringue for desserts – all delicious. We also enjoyed the Japanese/Peruvian fusion restaurant; for the first of our meals we tried the salmon sashmi salad and tacos for starters followed by salmon sautéed and beef teriyaki; the waiting staff were very helpful in explaining the dishes. Breakfast at Haute Living was excellent too, as were all the facilities there. Blend restaurant proved to be our most popular – some of the choices we made were scallopine, duck pizza and the cheese platter.  For the main course we tried osso bucco (wonderful), carre of veal, monkfish and sea bass. Desserts included the famous tiramisu and the chocolate cigar – forget the calories and enjoy! Tholos – the main buffet setting (although it was a bit busy for our tastes) – offers Greek Mediterranean and multicultural cuisine. Two lovely gifts from Haute Living were a courtesy lunch for two at Topos from the full menu and two hours for two in the spa – delightful. Things to love about Domes of Elounda. The staff, the setting, the facilities, its position between Plaka and Elounda providing easy coastal walks, the sunshine and the beauty and charm of Crete itself. Highly recommend and will definitely visit again.

Don’t expect

Piped music in all areas! Haute Living – well worth having this package as wine is fairly expensive at around €8 a glass. Tholos is popular with families with children and hence can be quite noisy and very busy. There is a Quiet Zone, but the reality is that the noise of children screaming and the bustle of selecting from the buffet makes a quiet area somewhat ineffectual. We tried dining here on two of our evenings but were pretty disappointed; the food temperature was not maintained well and often was quite cold by the time it was on the plate. In a number of cases we noticed little fingers touching the food on display – not very hygienic to say the least – children being children! This was the least favourite restaurant at the Domes of Elounda but the other three excelled to counter this. This resort complex certainly deserves its 5-star rating and appeals to couples and families. The mix of two customer groups can be a challenge but the management have done as much as they can to cater for both groups and the majority of the fairly young families were a delight to share space with. After all, many older customers are grandparents too and the complex is ideal for an intergenerational holiday. Just good to be aware of the layout if sharing with little ones is not for you as the Haute Living is adjacent to the family pool area. 

Rating

Stayed on 23 Sep 2018

We loved

Our room, the lovely beach area, breakfast at Yaosai (by the pool, no kids allowed for brekkie), lunch at Topos (by the beach), dinner at Blend and the proximity to Plaka/Spinalonga (great for traditional Greek food and an authentic village).

Don’t expect

Peaceful dining – lots of under-5s when we are there in September. A wander back to your room – it's built on a hill, so unless you are a mountain goat take the golf carts on offer to everywhere on this vast resort. Give the Buffet dining a miss, it's ok.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Sep 2018

We loved

Great beach area, very friendly staff, lovely spa area close to a decent small town. The Ferryman restaurant in Elounda is the best Greek restaurant in Crete, amazing gourmet Greek food with a lovely owner.

Don’t expect

Late night parties.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jun 2018

We loved

The luxury residence was fab for young children, with everything on one level, and the private pool was huge. The luxury residences and private residences are all a buggy ride away from the main resort which made it feel even more private. The haute living package is awaesone with so much food and drink included that you could easily not need to purchase anything additional. However what really made this resort stand out was the incredible service. Every little detail was taken care off and the staff were very attentive and child friendly. We went in the second week of September and the resort was so quiet and the shared pools often only had one or two people round them. Kids club and babysitters were great and the restaurants on site were all really nice

Don’t expect

Luxury bathrooms, a child-free stay. We were very lucky to have quiet neighbours in the villas either side, however when we were walking around we did go past some villas having parties and playing loud music. If you want a quiet break be aware its pot luck who you get next door and the villas are close enough together that you will hear noisy neighbours!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jun 2018

We loved

The staff is beyond kind. The rooms are spacious and having your own private jacuzzi or pool is great. For a half-board buffet in a family hotel, food is great. Beach is gorgeous. Creche/Kid's club is very professional. Spa and therapist are amazing. Agios Nikolaos for a stroll and dinner in town.

Don’t expect

Ultra-designed rooms (they need a little refresh). Facilities at walking distance: especially with kids, you will constantly be using buggies to get you around, especially to the family pool which is on the other side of the resort. That being said, buggies are always available and driving around, willing to pick you up and drop you at the wave of hand, providing there's space aboard.

Rating

Stayed on 19 May 2018

We loved

The setting of the hotel, the villas and the helpful staff. We were not overly impressed with the standard of food on offer.

Don’t expect

Gourmet food, particularly in the buffet restaurant.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Sep 2017

We loved

The super-attentive staff. The village of Plaka (1km away) is a haven of small restaurants, bars and shops.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Sep 2017

We loved

The little beach, the rooms, the service and the watersports. Visit Plaka for excellent tavernas.

Don’t expect

Everything to go quickly – this is Greece!!

Rating

Stayed on 13 Jul 2017