Jess, aged 13, writes: When I found out that we were to be travelling to Domes of Elounda in Crete for our summer holiday, I was really excited. We don’t usually visit sunny countries, let alone “luxury” resorts, so I couldn’t wait to relax in the sun, go swimming in the sea, and eat loads of delicious food. However, I didn’t realise that it was going to be so much better than that…
We stayed in a family suite, and it was lovely. The rooms were large and spacious and upon arrival after midnight, we had sandwiches and fresh fruit in our room in case we were hungry! The bath products smelled amazing, and there was even a hot tub outside (though it took us a while how to work out how to use this!)
The view from our villa was gorgeous, and was so fantastic that it made its way onto our Bests of 2015. We arrived at Domes of Elounda late at night, so we couldn’t see anything out of our window until the morning. When I woke up and opened the curtains, I audibly gasped as the view was so stunning – the sea was a beautiful vibrant blue, the sun was high in the sky, and the famous island Spinalonga was in the middle. I ran into mum and dad’s room, basically commanding them to draw their blinds as it was just exquisite!
There were so many different food choices at Domes, and everything we tried was delicious. My favourite place was Topos, a fish restaurant beside the sea. We loved the fresh fish and mezze (especially the fried courgette with tzatziki). The food tasted so fresh, and it was miles nicer than the Greek restaurants in London. We also loved the Minoan cooking, which is made outside Topos once a week. Everything is cooked outside in Minoan-style ceramic pots, and there was lots of bread, soup, meat, and salads.
The main buffet is named Tholos, and the breakfasts there were amazing. There were smoothies, cooked food, fruit, and looads of delicious cakes. They also made special food for Robert as he has allergies, which we all really appreciated. The buffet had special themed nights, such as fish night, Cretan night, Middle Eastern night, Greek night, and Italian night, but our favourite was Asian night due to the scrumptious curries. Mum and dad also had supper at the à la carte restaurant, Anthos, which they really enjoyed (and which was adults only!)
The beach at Domes of Elounda was one of the nicest I’ve ever been to: the view was magnificent, it was quiet, there were lots of places to sit (including some shade which we all appreciated), and there was the bar and the Topos restaurant nearby. The sea was fantastic; it got deeper and deeper very gradually, so we could wade in really far and go swimming. When you looked down, there were plants and possibly fish beneath you, and the water was so clear and blue. Some days, we spent our entire time at the beach as it was so lovely!
There was a water sports centre on the beach, and Robert was really looking forward to having a go. He went water skiing and says: “it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, it was so amazing and I want to do it again”. Dad and Robert also went canoeing in the sea, and we all took a speedboat to the island of Spinalonga, which was so much fun.
We also spent lots of time by the swimming pool, which was absolutely massive. There was a special pool just for the adults, but (obviously) we didn’t go in that one…
The Soma Spa at Domes of Elounda is luxurious, and there is even a special menu for kids. I enjoyed my watermelon facial, and mum and dad loved their massages. Domes also has lots of other activities in the resort, such as play rooms for kids (including table tennis and video games), private tennis lessons, and a magic show. All of these aspects made our visit even better.
We went on two trips during the holiday – one to Spinalonga, and another to Knossos. Robert has written about Knossos here, as there was so much to see that we think it deserves its own post! The palace of Knossos is a beautiful ancient palace, which proves that the Minoan civilisation actually existed. During our visit, we saw incredible murals, antique vases, and archaic architecture. It was utterly fascinating, although it was really hot…
We also took a speed boat to the island of Spinalonga, which only took five minutes. This was so much fun, and I loved having the wind in my hair and seeing the water splashing around us. Spinalonga has a very long and interesting history – throughout history, it has been a leper colony, a fort for defence, and a refuge for Ottoman families fleeing Christian reprisals. We spent about an hour exploring the island: climbing up old buildings, visiting an old church and a haunting cemetery, and then relaxing in the shade under trees. It was picturesque, but simultaneously so strange to think of such a pretty place being almost a prison to those with leprosy.
In conclusion, we adored our holiday at Domes of Elounda in Crete. Everyone was just so kind and friendly, everything looked and felt so luxurious, the food was delicious, and there was just so much to do. If only we could go back…
Disclosure: we were very fortunate to be hosted at Domes of Elounda, although they had absolutely no input into this piece. Rooms start from £120 per night for sea view suite, including breakfast and taxes. We flew to Domes via Easyjet and (because it was summer!) flights were not cheap – around £500 each. One upside was that we flew via Sovereign Holidays, which meant we had lounge access – a real boon as the flight was delayed!
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