Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection is obviously a stunning resort; with incredible views, luxury accommodation and top quality service, it’s a fab destination….
In the real world though, every parent knows that lovely luxury is just not enough. So we went behind the scenes and investigated the nitty gritty details of the resort- by finding out the real things that real parents need to know.
If I visit Domes, are we going to be surrounded by couples or expected to try and keep our kids under control all the time?
In short- no. It’s true that Domes is a luxury boutique beach resort, but it has a family friendly focus. The majority of other guests will be families, you’ll see scampering kids, shrieking babies and pushchairs everywhere so there’s no need to worry about everyone being on their best behaviour.
When we arrive, how am I going to get everyone to the resort?
You can book a transfer directly from the resort, something I’d really recommend doing because they’ll provide car seats/ booster seats for your kids for free, meaning you don’t have to worry about bringing them. They also provide Mercedes cars/minivans so you know you’re travelling in safe vehicle (i.e. not a questionable local taxi!)
We’ve had a long journey; my kids are screaming and I’m tired. Is check-in going to be a hassle?!
Nope- check-in is seamless and upon arrival you’ll be directed to an outdoor deck with really stunning views and equipped with champagne to help keep you sane, whilst your kids are supplied with plenty of juice and toys to keep them busy. Or if you’re staying in the Luxury Residence, you’ll be checked-in by the private poolside of your villa, so you can get settled straight away.
The resort looks quite spread out- will I need to lug my pushchair everywhere?
Again no- there are free taxi golf buggies all over the resort, just ready and waiting to pick you up and drop you wherever you want to go! (This is ideal for visiting the beach- you can literally bring all of your inflatables/baby paraphernalia/the kitchen sink…)
The Kid’s Club…
Is there a Kids’ Club or Crèche? Is it right for my kids?
The Kids’ Club is suitable for over 4’s- 12 years and is free to use, although it’s best to book ahead. It’s also operated to UK Ofsted standards so you can rest assured that your kids will be well looked after! There are plenty of toys, games, indoor and outdoor activities for them to enjoy. There’s also an outdoor play area, which is free to use and always open.
There’s also an excellent crèche suitable for ages 4-months-4 years, available to use at an extra cost.
Are the pools suitable for children?
Just try and drag your kids away- there’s a children’s pool with shade to keep them protected on very sunny days, a huge main pool and separate heated family freshwater pool in case they get a bit chilly.
If your child is not so keen on swimming (one of mine visibly turns blue in the water, even in heated pools) then there are plenty of giant cushions and beanbags around the poolside to plop them on.
What if I need to buy something important for my baby?
You can buy all the important baby supplies, like nappies, toiletries, baby soap, shampoo, lotion, wet wipes and EU baby food at the resort’s mini-market.
Bonus: you won’t even have to lift a finger, the resort staff will deliver it to your accommodation if you’d like.
My children are fussy eaters, will there be something for them to eat?
There are four restaurants that serve a whole range of cuisines, plus a kids’ menu with all the usual chicken nugget-esque staples. If your children have any allergies or intolerances, this can be catered for too.
We’ve booked to stay half-board, how does that work with the kids?
When you book to stay half-board, you can enjoy the gourmet buffet (which changes it’s cuisine each night) and your kids can enjoy the special children’s gourmet buffet. If you’d prefer to feed them from the kids’ menu or eat in one of the other restaurants then the resort is happy for you to do this- you get a set half-board allowance towards ordering a meal elsewhere.
My husband and I would like to eat dinner later, but would like to feed the kids first. Is this possible?
Absolutely, there’s a kids’ menu in every accommodation and one of the restaurants is always open during the day so feel free to feed em’, hire a babysitter and saunter off to the bar and romantic restaurants later! Yessss.
Can I get a baby food at the resort?
Yes you can order Hipp Organic baby food from reception or the mini-market.
I’d like to attend one of the special themed dining nights but I’m not sure what to do with the kids?
Domes have already got this covered- the Kids’ Club stays open till late, so you can bust your best Greek dance moves and enjoy some fine dining whilst they’re safely occupied elsewhere.
Is the beach worth a visit with our young children?
I’d definitely recommend taking your kids to enjoy the special family beach at Domes- it’s got really soft sand and the water is shallow so it’s really nice for paddling. The resort also provides some beach toys which you can pile on the free golf buggy with everything else.
There’s also natural beach shade thanks to the olive trees that grow alongside, which is really useful for avoiding that accidental lobster-child sunburn situation that always seems to happen on holiday (Even when they’re plastered in Boots’ Factor 10000+, how does that happen??).
Will I be able to visit the spa?
‘Ha!’ you might laugh- but believe or not, you may actually be able to enjoy the spa during your holiday.
If you don’t fancy leaving your child in the capable hands of the Kids’ Club, the Domes Spa actually has a range of junior spa treatments that are suitable for 5-15 year olds. So bring your youngster along too. Alternatively, palm your kids off on hubby and get yourself down there for some me-time!
The Soma Spa itself has the usual sauna, hammam, fitness centre, pool, treatment rooms and beauty salon that you’d expect, making it the ideal location to unwind.
Is there accommodation that’s suitable for my family? Is it safe for kids? What is there specifically for families?
Tots have picked out the best family friendly properties at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, ranging from fancy suites to uber-fancy luxury residences. I’ve listed some of my favourite family highlights:
- The televisions all have children’s channels
- There’s a twice a day maid service who are helpfully very flexible (happy to avoid nap times etc.)
- Free Wi-Fi in all rooms/residences (yes you are able to stream Peppa Pig, thank the lord…)
- Tots Essential Kit Guarantee in all rooms
- Special package- when you book for over five nights you get an adult welcome pack plus a kids’ pack that includes free first day children’s lunch, daily ice cream happy hour at the kids’ club (unsurprisingly very popular with little guests) Kids’ surprise box in the mini bar, Kids’ bed cartoon hero decorations, colouring books, travel cards, kids’ activity info and no tear bathroom products
(Sleeps up to 4 + 1 infant in a cot)
- There’s a really handy kitchenette with everything from a hob to a dishwasher that closes up into a space-saving little cupboard, perfect for those joyous baby moments like needing to heat up milk at 3am
- Upon arrival an OPEN BAR, I repeat, OPEN BAR is set up in your accommodation for the day *tears of happiness*
- There’s a dedicated villa manager, who is more than happy to help you with anything
- There’s an amazing private pool and terrace area including a waterfall and whirlpool, with a safety fence to keep tots away from the water whilst you eat at the outdoor dining table
- You are also given use of a pre-programmed mobile phone, to call staff members whenever you need them- ideal for good emergencies (like running out of cocktails) and bad emergencies (like getting baby sick out of a sofa). Nothing is too much trouble, staff are really happy to help.
- There’s a ‘pillow menu’- to be quite honest I usually have trouble finding time to enjoy a regular everyday pillow, but it’s a nice gesture.
One and Two Bedroom Family Suites with Sea Views…
(Sleeps up to 3 + 1 infant in a cot/ 5 + 1 infant in a cot)
- The sofa bed in the living room is more of a bed-sofa- it’s got a really good luxury mattress and side guards, so its ideal for a child to sleep on
- There’s loads of space in the suite, so you won’t feel cramped
- There’s a heated Jacuzzi outdoors, that also has a safety cover and fence
- The two bed also has an indoor Jacuzzi, with room to float a baby bath
- You can request to have a transparent safety fence placed on the balcony, so you can still see the amazing view but don’t have to worry about the safety of the balcony gaps
Two and Three Bed Private Residences…
(Sleeps 4 + 1 infant in a cot/ 6 + 1 infant in a cot)
- Perfect if you want the privacy of a villa holiday but also with resort facilities
- Welcome pack includes VIP check in/out
- Plenty of living space and catering facilities, ideal for feeding the fam when it best suits you
- There’s a washing machine (Goodbye baby-sick-smelling cardigan, hello sophistication! Well for the next 10 minutes maybe…)
- Again, there’s a dedicated villa manager which is really helpful if you need anything
- You can arrange to have a butler at an extra cost (Why not go for the whole hog ey?)
- The enclosed garden is big and spacious with plenty of room for play and the pool has (removable) safety fencing, so you can let kids race around without worrying
- There are only 8 private residences in this portion of the resort – perfect, if like me, you’re a parent that generally dislikes being around other people *not even slightly guilty*
- It’s in walking distance of the Kids’ Club and restaurants, so it’s easy to get everywhere
Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection is the perfect place for a family holiday. The level of service and little family extras make it feel like a very safe and happy place to be, plus you get all the added luxuries of a fabulous high-end beach resort. Well worth a visit in my books!