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Special feature: Elounda Solfez Villas, Elounda, Crete

Elounda Solfez VillasLast October we were honoured to be the first guests ever to stay at the newly opened Elounda Solfez Villas. Situated high upon a hillside overlooking Elounda, this small group of properties raises the bar on self-catering accommodation to an entirely new level and comes with a stunning view over the whole of the Bay of Elounda. Elounda Solfez VillasAs the name implies with self-catering accommodation, you normally cater for yourself, but that needn’t be so at these villas.   Firstly, you can choose a Cretan delights package which means that you can arrive to a well-stocked fridge and freezer, fresh fruit and vegetables, Greek wine, etc. – ample provisions for most of your stay. Elounda Solfez VillasYou can also request all manner of services not normally associated with self-catering, whether it be a regular pool attendant who’ll ensure your villa’s private pool is free of leaves and any other debris, a daily maid service or whether you would simply like your own private chef to come and serve you breakfast or dinner. Elounda Solfez VillasWe stayed in Villa Re which sleeps six; the entrance door took us into an open plan lounge and kitchen on the middle floor. The lounge was equipped with a large flat-screen TV, DVD player and music system, and led out to an outdoor terrace where you could dine whilst basking in the sunshine and taking in the fabulous view. Elounda Solfez VillasUp a floor was the en suite master bedroom with a large window at the foot of the bed, dramatically overlooking the Bay of Elounda, and a small balcony that you could sit out on.  Down a floor from the lounge there were two further bedrooms – a double and a twin – each sharing a bathroom with bath and shower, plus a washer/dryer and security box. Elounda Solfez VillasFrom this lower level, you could get direct access to your own private infinity pool, sunbeds, a small garden area and a dedicated barbecue corner with accompanying dining table and chairs.  Nothing had been overlooked here – if you so wished, you could spend the whole time in your villa, revelling in the views and relaxing in the peacefulness of the location. There is however plenty to see and do in the area.  A hire car is recommended since the villas are situated on the outskirts of Elounda, but you do have a fabulous Six Senses spa within walking distance, courtesy of the previously reviewed Porto Elounda de Luxe Resort which can be used by guests staying at the Elounda Solfez Villas. Having such great facilities on the doorstep rather sums the place up – I don’t think I’ve ever encountered self-catering accommodation where so many fantastic services are available should guests wish to use them – services that are normally only associated with top hotels and resorts.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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