*Arrived in Elounda August 25th and Departed August 30th
A couple of years back, Chris’ eldest brother, Brent, advised us to get a Starwood Hotels American Express points card. While not as tangible as Marlboro Miles or Camel Cash, the rewards purchased with these points are much better than the logo laden baseball caps, tents or, if you were a chimney, personal kayaks bought with your retirement years. We have been squirreling away our points ever since that day.
The Blue Palace Resort & Spa in Elounda, Greece was the first place we significantly dipped into our cache. It was a fitting time to enjoy some luxury as our stay coincided with Valerie’s birthday. All the hard days of travel of the last month were to be washed away with 5 days of lounging by the beach, by the pool and in first class accomodations.
We arrived very late in the evening and were instantly mesmerized. The lobby was stunning, beautifully lit up, and oozing with understated elegance. Everything you would expect from a high end resort. Because of our Gold level status, we were upgraded to a suite with a private pool. Moments later we were helped to our abode and greeted with a bottle of Ouzo and bowl of fresh fruit. As the clock hit midnight and it became the 26th, we raided the minibar and popped open some bubbly and dark chocolate to ring in Val’s birthday. As Val shares her birthday with her grandfather, Alik, we Skyped him to wish him many more happy years.
The next morning, we started off with breakfast in bed and Val’s favorite – egg’s benedict. Chris arranged for Val to have two fabulous spa treatments – an olive oil/sugar scrub and a hot stone massage. Both were fabulous and much needed, it was wonderful to be pampered after 3 months on the road. We finished off our day at Asia Blue. Even though it was expensive, we find ourselves missing Asian food a lot, so it was a worthwhile splurge.
We don’t have many tales to regale you with as we pretty much spent all 5 days within the confines of our 300 sq ft of bliss. We ordered room service for 11 out of 15 of our meals, lounged and read on our private balcony, cooled off in our private pool, and reveled in the stunning views. Doing nothing is highly underrated!
We did venture into the neighboring small town twice, for dinner and lunch. It was very quaint with several restaurants and shops. We were quite surprised at the price of fish though – 55€ per kg! We figured that in Greece we’d be eating lots of fish, but at that price we just couldn’t bring ourselves to order it.
We feel a little bad that we didn’t explore Crete more, but we needed to take a break from exploring and just focus on recharging our batteries. The Blue Palace was perfect for that and we left feeling rested and re-energized. Crete is a big island and we will definitely be back one day to see it in its full glory. After five days of being lazy bums, we were ready to get back into the traveling saddle and were off to the center of the world – Istanbul!