Elounda Mare Hotel
Elounda, Schisma Elountas 720 53, Greece
Photo courtesy of Elounda Mare Hotel
Elounda Mare HotelResting amid verdant gardens overlooking eastern Crete’s Mirabello Bay, the five-star Elounda Mare Hotel is a family-run Relais & Chateau property that feels like a stylish cocoon—no wonder it has entertained everyone from Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio to Kathleen Turner and Lady Gaga. Designed in the manner of Cretan mansions, the 92-unit resort makes generous use of stone and timber, with warm shades of white and red splashed throughout; balconies or terraces and full-length windows look out on the sapphire Aegean, and bungalows and suites include private pools and fireplaces. While the hotel itself has three restaurants and a bar on site, guests have access to five other restaurants and three additional bars spread among two sister properties, which are separated by olive groves but reachable via golf-cart shuttles. Chances are good that you’ll spend your days sunbathing on the private sandy beach or near the salt-water pool, but guests can also arrange to use shared facilities, like the spa and nine-hole golf course.