And it’s not just the stars who are raving about this five-star resort – it’s a favourite of the top travel magazines as well: the hotel has just won an elusive spot on Conde Nast’s prestigious 2020 Gold List. Heather, one of our Greece experts, jetted off to Crete to find out why a stay at the Blue Palace should be on your wish-list for next summer.
Luxury and seclusion are fast becoming a new trend in the way we travel and thankfully, the Blue Palace delivers both. Ultra-chic rooms and suites overlook the glittering ocean and are decorated in a simple modern style, with eclectic artwork and splashes of cool blue. Opt for a more bijou style room with your own private plunge pool, or go all out and treat yourself to a suite with infinity pool and stylish canopy bed. After a day of relaxing in the sun, there’s nowhere better than your own pool to watch the sky turn pink over Spinalonga Island.
The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, believed life was all about the pursuit of pleasure, and the Blue Palace experience really embraces this idea, offering a smorgasbord of authentic touches only a Grecian holiday can bring. Indulge in Cretan Wine Tasting where the hotel sommelier will take you on a journey to savour the best wine labels on the island, enjoy starry-lit cinema nights among olive trees watching old classic movies (think Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany’s), join a Greek cooking class to learn how to make authentic Cretan dishes, or distil your very own custom made ‘Raki’, best enjoyed by locals with a ‘cheers!’ at the end of a meal.
The clue is in the name, so it may come as no surprise that the award-winning spa at the Blue Palace is one of the splendours of a stay here. Set directly on the beach, this tranquil oasis instantly transports you to a state of bliss with aromas of eucalyptus, soothing tones and low lighting. Signature treatments include olive oil massages and sea salt body scrubs, followed by a thalassotherapy session to elevate your experience. And the focus on wellness goes beyond the spa walls. Start your day with an energising Pilates session, zen out during a sunset yoga class on the dazzling-white pebble beach, or head out on an exhilarating hike organised by your concierge.
One of the highlights of any holiday has to be the food, and the resort’s 4 four à la carte restaurants dish up a delightful choice of cuisine with Greek, Italian and Pan-Asian flavours all on the menu. The Blue Door Taverna, which is set in an old fisherman’s stone house right on the water, is the star of the show. Graze on fresh pitta bread before tucking into the mouth-watering catch of the day, and on Friday evenings during the summer, enjoy a Cretan feast with old Minoan cooking, a bonfire and live guitar.
The Blue Palace overlooks the emerald waters of the Aegean Sea and the mysterious island of Spinalonga dominates the horizon. Made famous by the book ‘The Island’, by Victoria Hislop, the UNESCO-listed site of Spinalonga is a picturesque rocky islet with a rich history. As you relax on the open-air terrace with the resort’s signature cocktail (‘Tears of Chios’, a tangy twist of vodka, lime, basil and grape) in your hand, listening to live piano music and watching the stars twinkle above Spinalonga, you can’t help but feel there’s something magical about this beautiful corner of the world.
This feature was republished on 22 October 2020. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flanagan.