Royal Marmin Bay Boutique & Art Hotel is a 5-star, adults-only hotel and spa about 10 km north of Agios Nikolaos, on the north shore of eastern Crete. Due to its relatively undeveloped location, the hotel’s environment is very quiet, and kilometers away from anything resembling a night spot on an island that is partly famous for its various party scenes.
It’s the first certified energy efficient hotel in Greece. Some green features include solar water heaters, gray water being routed to the hotel’s gardens, cooling system heat recovery, with heat used to heat water, energy efficient windows, use of chemical-free cleaning products, a spa that uses only organic products of biological origin, and use of organic, locally-sourced agricultural products in cooking.
The hotel is near the northern end of Elounda Harbour, a long inlet ending at the hamlet of Elounda, 5 km to the south. The view is to the east, across the Harbour, where about a kilometer away the brown hills of the uninhabited Kalydon, or Spinalonga Peninsula rise. The peninsula is commonly called “Large Spinalonga,” to differentiate from a small island at the harbour’s mouth, Spinalonga Island, about 2km northeast and in full view of the Royal Marmin Bay. Spinalonga Island, by virtue of it being a long-closed leper colony, is Crete’s second busiest tourist attraction after Knossos.
The topography of the hotel grounds is interesting: it’s elevation drops some 160 feet as the property descends over its 400 linear feet to the seaside. This makes for a terraced series of buildings, with the roof of the large central building, housing the hotel’s reception, being used as the hotel’s main swimming pool. This large infinity pool offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Harbour, the peninsula, and the mountains of mainland Crete further to the south and east. It’s one of the finest views that you will find in any hotel, anywhere in Greece. There are an additional 19 private pools on the property belonging to some of the hotel’s suites and rooms.
Construction mimics traditional Cretan architecture, with native stone walls, and strategic placement of columns, as you might find in Knossos.
Guests especially liked the quality of the linens, the beach service, food, the view, the staff, the room layout and décor.
Note: The gradient makes for some steep downhill and uphill walking, which may be a problem for elderly guests. A lift and golf buggy are available to manage the grade.
Because of the way the property is sited, all of Royal Marmin Bay’s 97 rooms have views of the sea, and of Spinalonga Peninsula. Room décor is full of interesting architectural elements such as wall murals of arches, columns and doorways, making the room pleasantly appear more spacious. Colors are generally muted blues and crèmes, with liberal use of whites and off-whites. Many wall fixtures and furniture handles are in decorative gold leaf. This being a boutique hotel, rooms are not enormous, but are extremely tastefully appointed.
Bed sheets are of Egyptian cotton, long famous as one of the finest cottons in the world due to the length of their fibers which allows a super-fine weave with no compromise in strength. This gives Egyptian cotton a greater resistance to stress, along with a superior ability to absorb liquid, making for deeper brighter, and more long-lasting colours.
Standard Mediterranean Room with Sea View
Room features king size bed with sheets of natural Egyptian cotton, bathroom with shower and amenities, towels and bathrobes of natural fabric, mini bar, satellite TV, and WiFi. Private furnished balcony or terrace offers splendid sea view.
Superior Mediterranean Room with Sea View
Luxuriously appointed room with furnished balcony or terrace divided from its neighbors by walls of native Cretan stone. Wonderful views of Spinalonga and the sea. Equipped with 5 star-class comforts and amenities. Bad has padded headboard, and floor to ceiling windows bring the bright Cretan sun into your living space.
Deluxe Room with Sea View
Room is paved with high quality marble, with marble-clad bathroom. King size bed with high thread count Egyptian sheets guarantee a comfortable, refreshing sleep after and active day. Furnished terrace lets you enjoy the great view of the surrounding topography, sea, and islands. The Deluxe Room allows you to enjoy the best of Crete in the most comfortable surroundings possible.
Deluxe Room with Jacuzzi and Sea View
This special room comes equipped with your very own Jacuzzi on the balcony where you can sip a glass of wine in the evening, watch the night sky come to life, and soak your muscles in the soothing warm waters. The room’s corner location makes for a living space bathed in the clear light of the Mediterranean. This extra special accommodation will provide you and your significant other an unforgettable vacation experience. Room comes with all the premium-grade amenities one could expect in a 5-star resort.
Deluxe Room with Private Pool Sea View
This unique room provides you with your own pool, so, theoretically, you can spend your entire vacation ensconced in this top shelf accommodation. At any rate, you’re free to take a dip at any hour of the day with the barest minimum of effort. Try soaking in the pool at midnight while the stars in the firmament wheel overhead. There aren’t many of these unique rooms available at Royal Marina, so grab one whilst you can. In all other aspects, this room offers the complete list of amenities, so you’ll want for nothing.
Food and Drink
Royal Marmin Bay uses only organically-grown, locally-sourced food, excepting meats. All dishes use world famous extra virgin Cretan olive oil.
The resort boasts three restaurants, three bars, and a traditional cafeneio for your dining and drinking pleasure. In addition to the main restaurant, Athina, there is the Samari Sushi Bar and Restaurant, and the Poseidon Italian Creative Cuisine & Fresh Fish Restaurant. The bars are both near the water. There is the Dionysus Lobby Bar, the Minoas pool bar, and the Icaros Beach Bar.
The Athina Restaurant is named after the virgin Greek goddess of wisdom, who was the patroness of her namesake, the city of Athens. It is a high class, spotlessly clean buffet-style eating spot, where you can dine in comfort indoors, with ample views of the exterior through floor to ceiling glass, or al fresco, on patio. Restaurant is well-appointed, with comfortable, upholstered furniture. The menus features Cretan, Greek, and international food choices. There’s something for everyone at the Athina Restaurant. Events such as cooking shows are regularly showcased.
The Samari Sushi Bar is a beautifully appointed outdoor venue which allows customers a stunning view as they nosh on their favorite sushi menu items. You’ll see expert sushi chef Dannie Mira hard at work in the restaurant’s food prep area making really tasty sushi creations, which you can then enjoy along with the view.
The Poseidon Italian Creative Cuisine & Fresh Fish Restaurant is named after the god of the sea presents a daily catch of the day for seafood, as well as a wide range of expertly prepared Mediterranean dishes, included a number of different seafood items. The a la carte menu offers all kinds of gourmet food choices, including a choice of several fresh seafood items. You don’t want to miss Thursday nights, when a special lobster menu is on offer, accompanied by live Greek music.
The Dionysus Lobby Bar is where you want to be to meet someone for an aperitif, or to relax and people watch, or just to have a few moments reflection which you read the news or compose an email. It’s the resort’s main bar and as such is a hub for guests both coming and going.
The Minoas pool bar is just the place to enjoy a refreshing juice break from fun in the sun in the pool, to relax in your umbrella shaded sun bed and sip a crisp, cool beer, or to sit at bar side and enjoy pleasant, relaxed conversation as you sip a cocktail whipped up by the bar’s expert mixologists.
Spa and Wellness
The Euphoria Spa is considered the crown jewel of the resort. There are tons of choices as to treatment packages. Spa has a sauna, steam bath and face/body treatments. The deep hydrating facial is a customer favorite. There are 3 massage rooms- one for couples- 2 steam baths and 2 saunas, as well as manicure and pedicure services and a hair salon.
Trained therapists will craft the treatment regimen that best suits your need. There are a number of holistic and alternative therapies from different regions around the globe. Organic skin care products are used for facial and body treatments.
Royal Marmin Bay has a unique infinity pool on the roof of its reception building, giving unforgettable views of the surrounding harbor, bay, and island and peninsula of Spinalonga. There is also a private beach with beach bar to serve your needs as you bask in the Cretan sun or swim in the bay’s crystal clear waters. There are lots of water sports available such as water skiing, wake surfing, and wake skating, among others. Take some lessons from the resort’s certified instructors and enjoy yourself in complete safety. In addition, there are towed inflatables available such as inner tubes and water couches.
GT Cruises has yacht cruises available for guests at the Royal Marmin, for sightseeing trips along the coast to any site you desire. Snorkeling equipment is also available.
In the Area
By far the best-known tourist attraction in the area is very close at hand, at just a few km north of the resort. Spinalonga, a tiny (400m x 200 m), teardrop-shaped island, is best-known for its recent history (1903-1957) as a leper colony. It was made famous by the British writer Victoria Hilsop in her novel The Island (2005).
The now uninhabited island draws between 1,500 and 2,000 visitors daily during the summer, making it the 2nd most-visited archeological site in Crete after Knossos. It is an arid, rocky, and well-fortified islet. The fortifications were built by the Venetians, who recognized Spinalonga's strategic significance at the northern end of Mirabello Bay. The Venetians put up their fortifications in 1579, atop the ruins of an ancient acropolis. The Ottomans took over Crete in 1669, but the Venetians on Spinalonga held out for another 46 years, until 1715. It was the last vestige of the Venetian presence on Crete.
Spinalonga was one of the last leper colonies in Europe. Although it officially closed in 1957, it was not until 1962 that its last inhabitant, an Orthodox priest, left. He had been performing liturgical services for the dead, which in the Orthodox Church are performed at 5 different intervals after burial, the last one being 5 years after death.
Boats to the small island can be found from Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, and Plaka, a village about 1 km opposite Spinalonga across the mouth of the harbor.
Other places to visit in the area include the picturesque tourist town of Agios Nikolaos, where you can enjoy a night out, and from which you can purchase tickets for trips to Knossos, the capital of the ancient Minoan Empire, to Zeus Cave, or Psychro Cave, considered the birthplace of Zeus.
These and other activities ensure that your holiday at Royal Marmin Bay Boutique & Art Hotel will be a memory maker you will discuss for years in fond rememberance.
Elounda Crete, 720 53
+30 28410 422-51
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