Between the tiny fishing village of Plaka and the increasingly chic port of Elounda on the island of Crete, Blue Palace looks out across its own private beach towards the incomparable view of Spinalonga Island, a National Monument of Greece.
The setting is one of virtually unspoilt, wild grandeur, because Blue Palace is so perfectly assimilated into its surroundings. Most of its rooms, suites and villas with their private infinity pools, form groups of low-rise buildings in local stone. All sharing the same spectacular view, they are set among fragrant gardens of purely indigenous species; citrus, olive and palm trees, under-planted with Cretan herbs and flowers.
The long, spacious sweep of private, white pebble beach has also been left au naturel. Its raw, Cretan beauty has merely been threaded with wooden walkways for bare feet to happily pad between the private lounging decks of the central beach, the cool gazebos of the exclusive Haven and the vibrant social focus of the Isola Beach Club. The aesthetic is driftwood elegance, indigenous charm and bohemian luxe, all very good reasons to spend your whole day, and much of the evening, on the beach.
Blue Palace’s interior architecture is inspired by Crete’s past and the influence of successive invaders, including the Arabs, the Ottomans and the Venetians. Rugs, divans, tiles and antiques are offset by natural stone and wood. The beguiling blend of cultures culminates in a faithful reproduction of the Venetian Arsenali, or shipyard, at Heraklion, an 11-metre high vaulted hall that makes a stunning frame for views of Spinalonga, and a natural spot for cocktails or iced coffee.
On an island with enough fascinating history, architecture, culture, scenery and outdoor activities to fill several lifetimes, guests are often surprised to find themselves slow to leave the property, or even their quarters. This is no coincidence.
For a start, the welcome here is in the kindest and most noble traditions of Cretan hospitality. The gentleness and the ambiance produce an immediate feeling of having arrived in your natural home, to be personally looked after by your Luxury Collection Concierge. Nothing is too much trouble, in fact nothing is any trouble at all. The grace is effortless.
Contemplate the cobalt blues of the horizon, the myriad shades of the Mirabello Gulf, the soaring azure skies and the glinting blues of over one hundred private pools, like a sparkling mosaic of Ottoman tiles set in Mediterranean gardens. These are the blues of Blue Palace, where luxury meets in harmony with nature, and wild beauty meets unrivalled island style.