Originally constructed as a ‘posh’ extension to the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort which it adjoins and consisting only of suites and villas, the Elounda Peninsula affords sea views from every one of its 54 units, most of which also have their own salt water pools. It is a quiet haven built on a rocky peninsula, close to the lively activity of its aforementioned neighbour.
As part of the Elounda complex of three hotels built and operated by the same owner, guests can use the facilities and dine in all the properties which connect by an on-call shuttle. Those on a meal plan (such as half board) get a generous €30 per person reduction on the restaurant bill. This is worth it as the food at the specialist restaurants—in particular The Old Mill at Elounda Mare—is superior. And remember to check which restaurants are open on which days when you check-in, or you might miss out on some of the dining experiences.
Although very peaceful, there were times during our stay that we felt we were on the Marie Celeste with not a soul around: the indoor pool area was deserted and the bar was unmanned. Where were all the guests? The place, however, did come alive on the nights the Calypso restaurant was open.
The style of the Elounda Peninsula is contemporary when compared to the more classical feel of the Elounda Mare. It’s clear that the owners have tried to attract a different crowd, but the Elounda Mare exuded an air of accumulated contentment that the Peninsula aspired to but had not yet developed.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Room upgrade upon arrival
- Subject to availability
- Early check-in / Late check-out
- Subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.
- Detailed Review +
- Facts & Amenities +
We were escorted here after a sojourn at the nearby Elounda Mare hotel, and we received a friendly and professional welcome from the multilingual reception staff. We were shown straight to our room which was down two sets of stairs, there being no lift in this part of the building.
Rooms and suites
Our room was a Collection One Bedroom Suite: a duplex with the bedroom situated up a curved, wooden stairwell on the first floor. On the lower level, through a set of double doors and down a short flight of steps, was the living room.
Through the patio door was a deck with a daybed, two chairs and a private pool, segregated from neighbours on either side by a wall with a view out towards the water but in our case, also looking out on other hotels in the vicinity. So if you want a truly superb view, make sure you ask when you book as suites on the west-facing side look out to the open sea. Some even have direct beach access.
Unfortunately, our pool area was quite windy whenever we ventured outdoors; the dividing walls created a vortex effect which made for some strong gusts. Plus, the orientation of the space meant we were in the shade for most of the day—not an ideal spot for sunbathing.
The living room was modern and starkly decorated with roughly finished white walls and an abundance of wood. The suite is intended for up to three people; the sofa could be converted into a bed for number three. There were facilities to accommodate this additional guest including a storage cupboard, a bedside table and a bathroom.
Upstairs, the stairwell divided the main bedroom from the bathroom with copious storage for clothes and luggage. Of course, there were all the usual facilities of a safe, coffee machine, mini bar and other necessities. The bed was large and comfortable and faced a full-size patio door which led out to a balcony overlooking the downstairs pool area.
These same doors had remote-controlled blackout blinds which, unfortunately, did not meet. Nor did they extend the full width of the window, so a full blackout effect was not happening.
WiFi throughout the property was excellent. There was a TV in each room and a DVD player and a data port by the desk. Air conditioning in both rooms was strong and easy to use.
The bathroom was spacious and very luxurious with a non-slip hardwood walkway between the marble on the floor. At one end was a large jacuzzi and at the other, a space-age shower with multiple watering points: a signature statement of Elounda’s design team.
The WC with bidet and separate hand-basin were in a separate room.
Meals at the hotel are served in two locations. The Calypso restaurant is open daily for a super buffet breakfast with wonderful freshly squeezed juices, an excellent array of Greek fruits, yoghurts and other delicacies including eggs and hot dishes. Altogether, it’s as good as a breakfast buffet can be. Facing west, it has stunning views of the distant hills across the bay.
Calypso opened on alternate evenings for dinner during our stay and hosted a French-influenced gourmet menu. Dishes such as lobster with rhubarb and pepper, or beef with figs and potatoes were delicately presented and finely prepared.
The second on-property restaurant which we missed, the Koh Pan-Asian, offered an impressive location on the seafront which involved a walk around the headland. The evening views should be splendid from this space built over the rocks and the sea. Better yet, the glass flooring reveals the waves and other sea stuff below your feet as you dine.
Back in the main hotel, there was a bar with a nice outside space, but it was not manned during our stay, so any drinks we ordered had to be brought from the pool bar of the neighbouring hotel some distance away.
Spa and wellness
The hotel has its own indoor pool, together with an attached sauna, steam bath and treatment rooms. These did not seem to get used as the extensive spa facilities operated by Six Senses at the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort probably take all the custom and are available as well to Peninsula guests.
The Six Senses Spa, a buggy ride away, is a celebration of water and glass. From the central tepidarium one can access the indoor/outdoor hydro pool, the thermal suite with a Finnish sauna, the saunarium (sauna with less dry heat), and the steam room followed by the cold pond. If you still crave water, you can try the Ottoman hammam experience with its foot baths, body scrubs and massages.
Pool and beach
The Peninsula has a private beach which isn’t easy to reach. We had to cut down a path between the villas which wasn’t very well marked. The only other way to get there was to walk down the approach road into Porto Elounda and then return along the shore, following the signs saying ‘private’. This didn’t seem very well thought out and there were very few people at the Peninsula beach. Maybe guests preferred their personal/private pools during the day or perhaps they chose to hit the Porto Elounda beach. Either way, we were almost alone here.
Alone but well looked after. The stone harbour encloses this small, man-made strip of sand which is protected and very easy to swim in. Around it are sunbeds and parasols spread out at discreet distances from one another. Staff are in attendance for beachside service of food and drink which are brought from the beach bar at Porto Elounda. There were spots for rock swimming as well.
The rooms and villas are well equipped to host children and families, but the public facilities at Elounda Peninsula are not designed for the young. Most would probably opt for the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort next door. The facilities there include the Kid’s Ark activity centre and a crèche.
Staff and service
The reception staff here were friendliness personified. Any request was answered immediately and fully. The wait staff (most of whom we had met at other food outlets in the Elounda complex) were charming and efficient although wine service in the Calypso was somewhat slow.
Other guests seemed slightly younger than at the nearby Elounda Mare; there were several Russian families as well as British and French. The spirit of this resort meant that a wealthier demographic would look to stay here, but the Peninsula probably has not yet acquired the hardcore regulars so prolific at the Elounda Mare.
We were told we needed to depart three hours before our flight from Heraklion airport. A car was arranged, check-out was quick and efficient, and we were waved away with a smile.
How to get there
1 hour by road transfer from Heraklion Airport