probably heard about Domes. With five properties spanning
Crete and Corfu, this is one of the most famous hotel groups in the
Greek islands – and for good reason. These spacious sanctuaries
have a laid-back feel to accompany five-star service and
accommodation, so it’s unsurprising that they welcome many repeat
guests each year.
Multi-awarded Domes of Elounda is perhaps the most celebrated,
sprawling out as it does around Mirabello Bay on Crete’s northern
coast. Complete with one of the best private beaches we’ve seen – a
glittering aqua lagoon, icing-sugar sand, warm shallows, a gentle
decline – that overlooks Unesco World Heritage Site Spinalonga (an
island fortress and former leper colony), the hotel embodies the
very essence of a Greek holiday.
Where to start… A Rolodex of room options range from gorgeous
doubles for a romantic couple’s break to duplex villas featuring
hot tubs, private infinity pools and outdoor kitchens.
We were invited to experience the hotel’s highly stylish CORE
villa complex, where chic slate-grey pools meet spacious,
design-led interiors and utter privacy. Connecting doors are an
attractive prospect for families, while the set-up here is more
akin to a villa with amenities than a typical hotel – a
sought-after option in a post-pandemic world.
What’s for breakfast?
Head down to the deliciously monstrous buffet at Tholos, in the
main building, where your eyes will bulge at the delights on offer.
From local Greek specialities to full English fare, healthy to
hearty, smoothies to sparkling wine, these guys have it
How about lunch and dinner?
In typical Domes style, there are four dining options to choose
from. The jewel in the hotel’s crown is impressive beachfront TOPOS
1910, an à la carte seafood restaurant for those who want to push
the boat out.
In the mood for sushi? Yaosai is an Asian-fusion restaurant
dishing up authentic cuisine alongside views of Spinalonga, while
those wishing to travel to more than one place in an evening will
find plenty of international dishes at the Tholos buffet.
CORE, meanwhile, is a range of street-food-style stalls that we
found rather incongruous (someone definitely came up with “a
concept” here), but burgers and big tables seemed to be keeping
Of course, you’ll find a smattering of bars serving lunchtime
bites by the various pools and down on the beach, too, while
24-hour room service is also available.
Is there a bar?
Bars galore! Beachfront, poolside, in the main building, you
State-of-the-art spa including a hammam, outdoor fitness centre,
four outdoor swimming pools, indoor pool, children’s pool, games
room, watersports – the list goes on…
Things I should know
This isn’t a cutesy little boutique hotel. While it is popular
among couples, it’s incredibly family-friendly; if you don’t want
to see children on your holiday, it might be better avoided – and
definitely in school holidays.
What about their eco-credentials?
There’s a 12-page booklet detailing the property’s sustainable,
environmental and social-responsibility policies. Nice.
And their accessibility?
Fantastic. Going above and beyond accessible rooms, Domes of
Elounda has an accessible pool, fitness centre, spa, and so on.
Within a short walk I can find…
More of the hotel. This place is enormous, though manages to
feel not at all like a Disneyland-style resort, thanks to a clever
layout and architecture and high standards in everything from bed
linen to the brilliant staff. We saw more than one group requesting
a photograph with their favourite waiter.
If you’re wanting to explore further afield, Elounda is a
characterful harbour town, while Agios Nikolaos is the place for a