Our Managing Director, Helen, is out in Crete on a family holiday. She’s just finished a stay at the beautiful Domes of Elounda (read her days 1-5 diary here), and has now arrived at the hotel’s sister property, Domes Noruz Chania…
After breakfast we said goodbye to Elounda and made the three-hour journey to Chaniá, at the opposite end of the island. On our travels it was obvious to see that the scenery changed completely. Elounda had a backdrop of impressive mountains and intruding rocks, whereas Chaniá has more of a greener vibe, with sandier beaches and bushier terrain. One couldn’t ignore the huge amount of olive groves on our journey, with our driver suggesting there are more than 40 million!
We are ending our holiday at the Domes Noruz, sister hotel to Domes of Elounda. It’s an adults-only, ultra-trendy place that has won loads of architectural awards since opening a year ago (and well deserved they are too).
We quickly settled in and the afternoon was spent in the gym, sunbathing, strolling along the beach, cooling off in one of the pools, plus, back at our rooms, sipping a G&T with our feet dangling in our private plunge pool (every room here has its own plunge pool).
The evening started with a beautiful sunset, watched from the hotel’s open-air Moët & Chandon bar as a DJ played chill-out music and videos were projected onto a wall of the hotel.
Then more amazing sushi, followed by dinner in the outdoor part of the hotel’s restaurant. A really interesting menu, and I had beetroot ravioli which was sensational. This place is right up my street and the service ethos is at the same impeccable standard as we found in Elounda. But Domes Noruz has this underlying sense of coolness that is rare, but once found you’ll never forget.
We awoke to a beautiful blue sky, and also a beautiful spread for breakfast. The quality of the food here at Domes Noruz cannot be faulted, and the breakfast was no exception (it tasted even better with a glass of bubbly). The ambiance in the restaurant is pretty special – the closeness to the beach is one thing, however the decor is super-stylish, from hanging benches to comfy lounge areas. It all gives you the sense of luxury without being over fussy.
The hotel booked a guide for us to explore the old town of Chaniá. This meant we spent most of the day sunbathing, and I have to say, the views make for a perfect excuse to indulge in an Aperol spritz (or maybe two!).
Chaniá is a large town, with a history that includes the Venetians and the Ottomans, and Verso, our guide, helped us make the most of our walk round the old town. Of course there’s the usual shops selling the usual memorabilia, but what you notice when you get into the back alleys is how stylish everywhere is. Small artists’ studios, boutique hotels, cool bars and shops selling such lovely things, unfortunately (or fortunately) our suitcases are now verging on overweight for our return flight! (For more info on Chania, take a look at our 5-minute guide.)
Just like when we visited Aghios Nikolaos, we relied on the concierge to recommend a restaurant and again we were not disappointed. Judging by the number of people trying to get a table, this is a particular favourite with the locals. The Cretan pie was definitely a highlight, as well as the Greek wine (again not letting us down).
Tomorrow we plan on an early morning yoga session, and never have I had such a perfect location for sun salutations! I can’t wait to lounge by the beach, and we hope to sample the incredible sushi again… it is a hard life being on holiday here!
Every holiday has to end at some point, and it’s safe to say that none of us were quite ready to go home, but we decided to make the most of our last day.
A morning stroll along the beach allowed us to really take in the beautiful scenery, and the sheltered bay that surrounds the hotel is a popular spot for the locals to have a morning swim.
After lunch, my daughter and I had a massage in the spa. The deep-tissue massage treatment that the spa offers was stunning, its partnership with Elemis means the products are beyond fabulous. After the treatment you are able to chill out in the spa’s private pool, sauna and steam room area. Another added touch that makes the experience even more luxurious. We emerged a couple of hours later completely relaxed.
We spent our last evening at the open-air bar, and was again in awe of the coolness! The playlist from the in-house DJ was again brilliant, and Domes Noruz really follow the quote that they showcase in every room – “a world without music is no world at all”
Stunning sushi was then followed by the chef’s latest invention, ‘tiramisushi’ (essentially sushi-shaped tiramisu), which was extremely yummy, even if it’s bad for the diet!
At both Domes hotels, Domes of Elounda and Domes Noruz Chania, you arrive as guests and leave as friends. Even though the fabulous surroundings and ambience both hotels offer is unique and incredible, none of it would be as special without the professional, polite and welcoming staff at both hotels.
My whole family and myself would like to thank everyone that helped make our holiday as memorable and special as it was. It’s safe to say that we will definitely be visiting again! Thank you!