Over the coming weeks we are running a reader-written feature to help provide some positivity and inspiration to HfP – ‘My Favourite Hotel’. Today’s review is from Domes of Elounda in Crete.
A fortnight ago we asked you to raise your hand if you wanted to contribute your story. We were overwhelmed by the response, and we’re sorry to everyone we had to disappoint. Unless there is major news breaking, we hope to run one article per day for the next few weeks.
Today’s favourite hotel is Domes of Elounda in Crete. This luxury resort is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and is Robert’s favourite hotel.
Robert is probably one of our youngest readers at just 14 years old. However, as Domes is a family resort and you may be wondering whether your teenage children would enjoy it, we thought it would be interesting to publish a review with a younger perspective.
Over to Robert:
The Domes of Elounda resort in Crete is definitely the best place I’ve ever stayed at. I rarely get to see the sun so when I heard that we were going to Greece, I was very excited. And looking at the resort pictures online I really couldn’t wait to go.
My parents, sister and I stayed in one of the family suites and it really was lovely. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. I remember walking through the door and going “woah” – and that was not just because of the food that had been laid out for us.
We arrived after midnight, so it was dark when we first entered our room but when we looked out the window the next morning, we had our breath taken away by the view. I think everyone in my family would agree that the blue skies and vast ocean surrounding the Island of Spinalonga made up one of the best views we’d ever seen and probably ever will.
Domes of Elounda was so big that we travelled around in golf buggies and there was so much to do that we only left the resort once during our seven-day holiday.
But I also would say that the best part of our trip to Crete was just relaxing – sitting with a book and a slushie whilst the sun shone on us.
There was a small beach inside the resort which meant we never had to leave the premises. The sea was really warm and not very deep so we could wade out a long distance and look at the fish swimming around us.
Furthermore, there was a massive pool (by far the biggest I’ve ever seen) that we also spent a lot of time at. There is also as an adults- only pool and jacuzzi that I dipped my hand in but sadly never got to test out. Hopefully I can go back when I’m older and see what it is like.
The food at Domes of Elounda was incredible. When we went, I was allergic to dairy, soya and eggs (thankfully I seem to have grown out of this now) and they often made special meals for me which I really enjoyed.
The main buffet restaurant, Tholos, served great breakfasts and had themed dinners that we all enjoyed: Cretan night, Middle Eastern night, Asian night just to name a few.
A few other notable places were the adult only à la carte restaurant, Anthos, which my parents went to and had amazing food (unfortunately I didn’t get to dip my hand in that) and a restaurant overlooking the sea where you picked your fish from a fresh selection.
Looking back on my trip to Crete, the things I remember most distinctly are the activities we took part in. There was a spa, which my whole family took advantage of, as well as a kids playroom with table-tennis and lots of games consoles.
I also had a tennis coaching session, saw an awesome magic show and went kayaking with my dad. Best of all was going water-skiing for the first time. An instructor taught me what to do on the beach before sailing me out to sea to give it a proper go – it was absolutely amazing, and I will always remember it.
If that wasn’t exhilarating enough, my family and I took a speedboat to the Island of Spinalonga – just a five-minute ride from the main resort. Spinalonga has an incredible history – it was a leper colony, a defensive fort, and a refuge for Ottoman families fleeing Christian reprisals.
We spent about an hour exploring the island before speeding back. If you are lucky enough to go to Domes of Elounda, I would definitely recommend visiting Spinalonga.
In conclusion, Domes of Elounda is a great place to go and I’m really not sure what you could add to it to make it better (well, maybe a theme park …..) If you have children of my age then I would recommend it – happy children make a happy holiday!
The Domes of Elounda website is here if you want to find out more.
(Rob’s edit: This was, for some time, the best Marriott Bonvoy bargain anywhere in the world. The family suites at Domes of Elounda could be booked for 45,000 points per night whilst selling for over £600 in Summer. This was never going to last, of course, and after the last Marriott Bonvoy restructuring it jumped to 100,000 points per night on peak dates. This is still not bad in high Summer when you would beat my target valuation of 0.5p per point.)
Get extra bonuses when booking
If you are thinking of visiting Domes of Elounda, our hotel booking specialist Emyr Thomas can get you extra benefits as he is a member of Marriott’s Luminous programme for luxury travel agents.
All bookings via Emyr come with:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
- Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary wi-fi
You would also receive Marriott Bonvoy points as usual. You can contact Emyr via this form.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)