Offering a unique eco-friendly philosophy in the heart of Crete – the larger of the greek islands, the Royal Marmin Bay Hotel in Elounda is both luxurious and sophisticated in style. With fantastic hilltop views, excellent facilities and service to match – the Royal Marmin Bay Boutique and Art Hotel is a great choice for a taste of the high end without breaking the bank.
The Royal Marmin Bay Hotel is a beautifully designed and well appointed hotel, with the exterior blending seamlessly into the natural landscape, with lots of stonework and green areas. The hotel has excellent staff and a standard of guest experience that met my expectations of a luxury boutique hotel, and on a number of occasions, exceeded them. Situated about half way between the two quintessentially greek fishing towns of Elounda and Plaka, and overlooking the stunningly clear Mirabello Bay, the hotel offers views up to the mountains behind and is perfectly placed for a romantic mediterranean hilltop getaway.
Built from natural stone, dark woods and large clear glass panels, the hotel has a look of elegance from a distance and an attention to detail that fits with the natural beauty of the rest of the island. The Royal Marmin Bay is a first for Greece, with certified energy efficiency and ecological luxury at the very centre of everything the hotel does. With excellent views out to the Kolokitha Peninsula across the bay, as well as the historic island of Spinalonga, guests at the hotel have plenty to see when they wake up each morning. The hotel has 88 rooms in total, so there is a fairly intimate feel to the hotel accommodation, with a mix of stylish suites with private pools and standard rooms with balconies and sea views.
During my stay, I had booked a deluxe room with sea views. Elegantly designed with white marble finishes throughout, crisp lines and an interior that emulates luxury from end to end. Despite all of the rooms being fairly close together in blocks, you don’t feel overlooked or as though your privacy is lost. Each rooms features a stunning bathroom, with olive oil based toiletries provided and some incredibly soft towels. The bathroom in the room I was staying in was incredibly spacious although the sink was a little too shallow, often leading to splashing when trying to get ready at night.
The facilities in the rooms were acceptable, the only reason for this is the fact that there is no tea / coffee facilities in the rooms, and despite the welcome book suggesting an iron is available, when requested, the front desk could not provide this due to issues with a previous guest, however, they did offer an alternative using their next day laundry service. To maintain the high standards of the rooms, things like this should be addressed as it can lead to disappointment. I would also say that if you stay during the low season, then you might find that some rooms are undergoing refurbishment and may need a little extra care when it comes to getting them ready for arriving guests.
The design of the rooms is definitely of the five star standard, with a beautiful finish and a level of cleanliness that is fantastic. The housekeeping staff really do take pride in their work, and the rooms are always kept welcoming and as fresh as the day you check in during your stay. Depending on which room you book, you will need to note that some rooms are higher up the hill than others. Most of the suites are at the lower, less steep end of the hotel grounds, with the standard rooms being much higher up. Make use of the shuttle car up and down to reception if you struggle with steep stairs.
Every member of staff at the hotel help to provide the five star service that you expect. They are welcoming, friendly and attentive and are all trained to a very high standard. I would particularly like to thank the staff for shuttling us up the hill and being courteous and attentive throughout our stay, knowledge of the area and genuine interest in making sure that all guests had a great stay really made the difference, they acted more as our concierge than a driver, and even after long days, they still had a smile on his face.
When it comes to the reception staff, every one I spoke with during my staff were friendly and helpful. No matter what time of the day, there is always someone on hand to give advice and assistance. Restaurant and bar staff are all very good at keeping things moving, glasses filled and conversation flowing. Immaculately presented and keeping the dining areas the same way – all the staff member have a polite, yet not overbearing presence.
Although I try to avoid the pool when I’m on holiday, the design of this area is also fantastic, sleek, refined and bright, while not being too open. The views from this area of the hotel are fantastic and considering the restaurant is on the other side of the pool, going for breakfast was a pleasure. There were plenty of towels and beds, although when it got a little busier during my stay, it became crowded and not really a place I personally wanted to spend a great deal of time.
The breakfast at the Marmin Bay is very good. There is a huge selection of cuisines to choose from every morning. There is a selection of fresh fruits, yoghurt, nuts, salad, cheese, meats, breads, rolls, pastries, cereal, pancakes, omelettes and cooked items, all of a high quality and replenished frequently during the service. This is one of the first five star hotels that has had a buffet style breakfast, and I have to admit, I was a little sceptical on the first day, as I thought this would reduce the quality and taste of the food, but I was wrong and I was left spoiled for choice by the end of my trip.
I only ate from the Poseidon Gourmet Restaurant and Grill at the hotel for one night as there are so many places to eat in Elounda or Plaka, but the food at the hotel was one of the best meals of the trip. Despite ordering the food to the room, it was fresh, and presented very well. There is a wide selection of dishes and the ingredients used were very high quality. The food tasted great and the choice between traditional greek flavours and more popular european dishes, with tastes of France, Italy and more were all intriguing. You’ll get good value for money and with the new Samurai Sushi Bar at the hotel – a wider variety of food options for guests at the hotel.
During my stay I was offered a complimentary massage and this was absolutely excellent. The staff in the Spa are very knowledgable, and highly skilled. All the massage staff are trained physiotherapists and this really comes through in the services that they can offer. I was quite badly sunburnt on my shoulders after a few days and opted for an aloe wrap to help alleviate the pain, the therapist was fantastic, had a great presence and ensured that our requirements were met and we were kept relaxed.
While unlike other luxury hotels in the area, the Royal Marmin Bay Hotel does not have a gym or health suite – but this really isn’t a disappointment. The pool is more than adequate for swimming, and there’s plenty of green space tucked away if you want to work out in private.
Staff – Fantastic – providing a level of professional service – from arrival to departure, everything is about caring and relaxation. Attentive, well presented and courteous throughout.
Food – Great variety in the breakfast buffet and fantastic flavours, a taste of the traditional as well as exciting new cuisines like sushi and mediterranean flavours. Dining available in the Poseidon Grill, Olous Kafeneio, Athena Restaurant and Samurai Sushi Bar. Menu is not too expensive with dishes around €11 each.
Atmosphere – Natural, Romantic and Comfortable. With their eco-friendly ethos and natural landscape surrounding the hotel, you’ll feel at home in the stunning mediterranean area.
Value – Great – with rooms from £120 per night, with breakfast included in the room rate, and access to the private beach when booked directly through the hotel website.
Star Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This post is not sponsored by the Royal Marmin Bay Boutique and Art Hotel or any related companies and reflects the personal opinions of the writer only.