When we booked Stella Island Crete, we were looking for chilled luxury. The photos and videos online were amazing and we were sold instantly. So, what was it like to spend 4 nights at the resort in Crete… Let’s start from the top.
First impressions of Stella Island Crete and check-in
Arriving at the hotel was a breeze, our free private transfer was waiting for us at arrivals. We boarded the blacked out Mercedes and 20 minutes later descended into Stella Island. Immediately greeted by the staff, the hotel reception whisks you into the videos you’ve seen online – it definitely has the wow factor.
Check-in is very smooth, they waste no time providing you with a refreshing welcome drink. You login to the app where you can see everything the resort has to offer and make bookings for the restaurants.
Upon looking at the restaurants were shocked to see most were fully booked for the time we were at the resort… we’ll come back to that later.
To the room
We hopped on a buggy and to our room! We’d booked a ‘Luxury Swim Up Room’ my first impression was that the room was nice, however I did feel as though it wasn’t 5 star luxury. The open plan bathroom doesn’t allow for much leisurely bath time action (double sinks are a must IMO)… but as you move onto the terrace you are reminded why you booked the resort – it is stunning and unique.
I have to caveat my comments on our room by saying that the higher category room (Grand Overwater Bungalow) is stunning and more inline with what i’d expect from the resort but of course they come at a cost.
Upon further inspection of our room we were disgusted to find hairs on the floor that clearly did not belong to us, not the start to the 5 star holiday we’d been looking for and frankly unacceptable given the price tag. We swiftly called house keeping and went back to reception to make sure our issues were resolved. I have to commend the hotel General Manager for solving our issues and getting our holiday back on track. We were also taken to guest relations to sort out our restaurant bookings. If you are staying at the hotel I strongly recommend you do not allow them to tell you they cannot accommodate you at the restaurants, especially if you have the all inclusive package.
We spent most of our time on our terrace or at one of the restaurants – for this reason I highly recommend the all inclusive package! There are 5 à la carte restaurants, 2 breakfast buffets and 2 casual dining options so you are never stuck for choice. We were lucky enough to try them all – my favourites were:
- La Parrilla, the steak restaurant – the whole meal was lovely
- Paraisou, the Mexican restaurant – again fabulous from start to finish
- Makuti, a casual dining option – best for brunch and lunch (the club sandwich desert OMG!)
- Oceania, the seafood restaurant – one for the fish lovers, very good
They have a Japanese and a Cretan restaurant which were not to our taste. When it came to the breakfast buffet we skipped it most mornings and headed to Makuti. Another thing to note about the restaurants is that not all the meat and fish is fresh, this did impact the choices I made when dining.
The drinks are good, they have lots of cocktails and local wines, we were disappointed to see that there was no blush/pale rose on offer (my rose lovers will get this!) however we were told that blush rose is coming soon, due to our persuasion. The all inclusive package is daily until 11pm.
Every evening they have live entertainment, it’s on the tacky side however it serves its purpose especially as there isn’t much going on outside of the resort.
The resort is amazing, it looks just like the photos, however if you want the full luxury experience book a Grand Overwater Bungalow. If your budget doesn’t stretch to that then definitely get the swim up room and not the standard room type, it is still a lovely experience but i’d rate those rooms as 4 stars rather than 5 stars.
My top tips for staying at Stella Island Luxury Resort and Spa
- Get friendly with the staff – they are amazing and will look after you.
- The all inclusive package is worth it as food and drinks other wise are not cheap.
- Book your restaurants as soon as you arrive and if they have no availability sit with guest relations until they slot you in!
- Only go if you want to chill out as there isn’t much to do outside of the hotel.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Stella Island, comment below 👇🏾