Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas is a true 'home away from home' - something I felt as soon as I arrived, thanks to the welcome we received from the fabulously friendly staff. This is a place where many families return every year and have done so for generations. It is easy to understand why; this resort is quite a spot.
The location is hard to beat, just a few minutes' drive from Elounda and its buzzing cafes and restaurants (do not miss the wonderful Ferryman taverna on the water's edge). It is also just across from the atmospheric Spinalonga Island, the eponymous location of Victoria Hislop's bestseller The Island, to which you must take a boat over and explore! The hotel is also right on the sea and has direct access to its own private beach, unlike most other resorts in the area.
We loved the fact that Elounda Beach felt more like a small village than a hotel, with its charming alleyways and a bustling square, home to shops and restaurant terraces busy with diners, entertainment and children dancing and playing together. There is a cute little chapel that you can visit too.
Each room in any category offers space, views, stylish interiors, and a balcony or terrace - which is ideal for families. The bungalows with private gardens on the ground floor are ideal for young children to play and run around safely, while the villas offer comfort, privacy, and the joy of a private pool or stairs going direct into the sea... heaven!
With COVID restrictions in place, there were slightly fewer activities for children on offer this year, but there was still plenty for my daughter to enjoy. The kids' club was running activities every day in the shaded garden behind the main beach and there was also a little playground nearby. For the more adventurous, there was a raft of watersports on offer - from water skiing to wake boarding and towable toys - and there is a PADI certified dive centre too. My daughter loved splashing and swimming in our private pool and snorkelling by the rocks to see a multitude of tiny little fish. She also enjoyed the live music with dinner in the village square, and the breakfast buffet was a real winner as always!
What really stood out for us though was the genuine warmth and friendliness of the staff. Service was efficient and always with a smile. It was lovely to see their connections with returning guests, while even new arrivals like us felt instantly at home. It was difficult to drag ourselves away as our short stay at Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas came to an end, and we look forward to visiting again soon!