Crete, Greece

Domes of Elounda

Rates from (inc tax)$305.54

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), 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 Thermae Experience for two in the spa, or GoldSmith members staying seven nights or more get a three-course dinner

Facilities

Photos Domes of Elounda – Crete – Greece

Need to know

Rooms

120, including 80 suites and 40 villas.

Check–Out

11.30am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $305.54 (€272), excluding tax at 13.5 per cent.

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR309.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include an American buffet breakfast.

Also

The sumptuous spa is decked out with metallic mosaics, lavish treatment rooms and a hair salon. Be sure to book ahead for the weekly Cretan wine-tasting evenings (Sundays at 6pm for €22 per person). However, you needn't limit yourself to just wine; many food and cocktail festivals take place throughout the summer months. Staying in a Luxury Residence or Ultraluxe Villa? Alongside a raft of free extras, for an extra charge you can request a personal assistant, a butler, signature dining and helicopter transfers.

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 Korres bath products. Guests staying in the Ultraluxe Villas and Luxury Residences get a raft of special Haute Living extras, including a villa host, private check-in, a mobile with a direct line to the manager and room service, an open bar on arrival, daily aperitivo and sun loungers reserved on the best part of the beach.

Our favourite rooms

For the most private of stays, opt for the multi-roomed Domes Private Residence, which has a whirlpool bath tub, fireplace-, living room (X-Boxes and PlayStations are available on request) and use of the chauffered 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; two freshwater pools (one unheated out of season), and children-only pool and a beach. The main pool is just below reception, with views over to Spinalonga and the bay. The strip of beach is 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, hairdresser and beauty therapists, and treatments offered include facials, body scrubs and wraps, and a range of massages, using Pevonia 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.

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.

Rates

More details

Rates include an American buffet breakfast.

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 – Crete – Greece

At the hotel

There are five 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 surf 'n' turf affair, with lobster and thick-cut steaks. Mesoyios has a buffet and an à la carte with Greek and Mediterranean fusion fare. Dishes vary from season to season, depending on which local produce is available, and a breakfast buffet is served here too.

At the 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, Mesoyios Pool Bar in the Domes Plaza and Spina by the beach, are both 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 Spina. Breakfast is from 7.30am–11am, lunch from 12pm-5pm and dinner from 6.30pm onwards. Breakfast is from 8am–10.30am at Mesoylos, 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 – Crete – Greece
Address
Domes of Elounda
Elounda, Crete, Greece
72053
Crete
Greece

Planes

The island’s main airport, Heraklion (www.heraklion-airport.info) is the second-largest in Greece, and one hour away by car. Monarch and easyJet both fly direct from London Gatwick. 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.

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 – Crete – Greece

Anonymous review

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 with us, 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

Childcare, pools (especially private villa pools) incredible level of service from all staff, concierges George and Joanna, location, weather. Kanali restaurant is an absolute must - to be honest we didn't leave the hotel for anything else! Three children (7,3,1) loved the Kids' Club and assorted activities, including the wonderful beach and family pool complex

Don’t expect

Romantic couples' break! This is all about families, and brilliantly done.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Aug 2016

We loved

The small and calm beach, the huge pool and the general laid back atmosphere. The child free areas are fabulous for when you've palmed the kids off! The fact that it is not all about the kids, but family friendly whilst recognising adults don't want the kids everywhere all the time.

Don’t expect

Consistently excellent service whether in the bars or reception. The hotel has grown in size and not sure the hotel is coping - we went two years ago and the service standards have slipped.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Jun 2016

We loved

Everyone was so wonderfully nice and helpful and the hotel itself was beautiful, fabulously well maintained and at the same time relaxed. Take a half day cruise and hire a car; the sea and mountains are beautiful.

Don’t expect

Being able to stroll along the beach and watch the sun come up.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jun 2016

We loved

We enjoyed everything at Domes of Elounda including the beyond excellent service of all staff members and their attention to detail. From the moment we arrived we were well taken care of and nothing went unnoticed. We especially loved the upgrade we got to a private villa that was stocked with a mini robe, mini slippers and even children's bath soap which I thought went above and beyond expectations. My husband and I both left saying it was the absolute perfect vacation with our 18 month old. We would most definitely go back in the future.

Don’t expect

Warm pool water. The pools (even the heated ones) were quite cold.

Rating

Stayed on 11 May 2016

We loved

Really excellent service from the staff at Domes. We saw numerous examples of staff going out of their way to help guests. Staff helped us to plan our days, arranged for birthday treats and made us feel very welcome. The rooms are amazing and the views fantastic. We also went to Palaria Taverna in Plaka, which was very good.

Don’t expect

To want to leave! We could have stayed for far longer.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Apr 2016

We loved

The pool in our villa and the main pools. Spinalonga is a must do, Plaka makes a lovely day trip - lots of small shops and tavernas. 10/10

Don’t expect

To want to leave!

Rating

Stayed on 29 Mar 2016

We loved

The suite and the view from the balcony. Nothing was of any trouble to staff, very friendly. Speed boat ride was very good!

Don’t expect

If you are looking for night life than this is not for you.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Mar 2016

We loved

Service from staff.

Don’t expect

To pay for restocking coffee in room.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Oct 2015

We loved

The private beach studded with olive trees, good food at the beach restaurant.

Don’t expect

In my opinion, good food (except at the beach restaurant), or the personal touch. I didn't think the prices for meals/extras were reasonable.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Oct 2015

We loved

I really enjoyed my stay at Domes of Elounda - the staff were extremely helpful and the luxury suite was a perfect home from home. The suite worked perfectly for us as two couples but would also be the perfect set up for a family - it was also immaculately maintained with room service coming twice a day and the pool being serviced everyday. Made use of the tennis court too (most spectacular view of the resort) where balls and rackets were provided, the spa (massage was fabulous) and the beach area (with very reasonable waterspout activities including paddle boarding, donating, private hire boats etc.). I would also strongly recommend the steak house and Topos 1910 was good too.

Don’t expect

I didn't think the buffet dinner (included) was very good – I didn't think the food was well cooked and personally found it far too salty. We only ate one night, but on that night we were not impressed at all.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Oct 2015

We loved

A few things stand out, firstly the spa, which is fantastic. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and very skilled and the treatments that we had were beneficial as well as relaxing. Secondly, the staff at the resort, without exception, are friendly and accommodating. And thirdly, the quality of the resort itself, which is very high. The resort may not be as glitzy as some but the five star rating is well deserved. We look forward to a future visit. We loved the Smith Extra!

Don’t expect

The fish restaurant, Topos is very nice but the dinner menus is the same as the lunch menu, which I found disappointing.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Sep 2015

We loved

The staff were amazing, the setting of the hotel like a little village, the family pool area, the breakfast.

Don’t expect

Lots of Greek food.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Sep 2015

We loved

Customer Service, choice of pool and beach, private pool, food, setting.

Don’t expect

Raucous night life.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Sep 2015

We loved

The view, the beach and the staff.

Don’t expect

Much privacy in the rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Aug 2015

We loved

Big resort but never felt crowded anywhere. Friendly helpful staff.

Don’t expect

The food is ok but not great.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2015

We loved

Villa with pool. Restaurant by the beach

Don’t expect

5-star service. The service is good but not quite that great.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Jul 2015

We loved

The beach - shallow enough for kids to play in without fear and really shady for those afternoon snoozes. I didn't expect the posh slippers for little people - very kiddy friendly.

Rating

Stayed on 29 May 2015

We loved

I liked the staff and quality of Luxury Residences.

Don’t expect

Food was good; could be excellent.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Oct 2014

We loved

We stayed in a new 'residence', which was very good, with plenty of space, v comfortable and a nice pool. The service was excellent - George even did some shopping for us. Restaurant on beach (Topos) is decent; very good location - lovely views; the spa.

Don’t expect

Kids' buffet is very convenient, though food not as good as in other restaurants for adults when dining together.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Oct 2014

We loved

The staff were without exception amazing - charming, helpful, efficient and with excellent English. Our suite was fabulous, the buffet restaurant was superb, and the private beach and stretch of lovely Mediterranean sea were just what we needed. And we also liked being upgraded on arrival to a suite with its own pool - on account of you, they said!

Don’t expect

The one failure was the so called "gourmet" dinner to which we treated ourselves. It wasn't, but when we told the manager, and without us asking, he refunded the whole cost. You can't say fairer than that.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Oct 2014