Situated three miles away from Hersonissos along the peninsula of rocks is the grand, all-inclusive 5 star luxury resort, Aldemar Royal Mare – the heart of Greece. The resort stretches across a distance of mere 2 kilometres from one of the most visited aquariums in town, Aquaworld. Aldemar has everything for everyone – fun activities and swimming pools for children, an excellent Thalasso spa, and an assortment of restaurants. Besides, the luxury resort also overlooks a sandy beach, fit for summertime fun.
The resort’s Thalasso spa is big, bright and modern with a bevy of staff in attendance. Guests on ‘Elements all-inclusive packages’ can enjoy a free spa combo: half an hour frolicking in the massage jets of the large Aqua pool (with a trainer putting you through your paces), 15 minutes in a bubbling hydro-jet bath and half an hour’s massage, as part of the bundle. Other facilities include four tennis courts and a modern fitness center with sauna and hammam.
Another attraction within easy reach is Crete’s only 18-hole golf course, just under four miles away. There’s private parking on site for those with a car. Large, eye-catching glass chandeliers lend a touch of style to the main reception, although corridors lined with faded green carpets seem rather tired. There’s plenty of space between buildings, which are tucked away behind low hedges and linked by long alleys, giving a sense of privacy. Areas away from pool and play areas are peaceful, even when there are a lot of children.
The 384 rooms are split into several basic categories. Bungalows for two (with the possibility of adding a fold-out bed) are spacious and modern with unimaginative décor: dull pastel-colored walls, eye-wateringly bright green and blue curtains, and wood veneer furnishings. Mattresses are solid. There’s plenty of cupboard space and a ceiling fan if you don’t like air-conditioning. Bathrooms have tubs or showers and double sinks. Elements packages also offer fruit and soft drinks.
VIP rooms are basically the same, but with some extra services. The best for privacy are the pool-sharing bungalows, which are like tiny, self contained villages built around nicely landscaped pools. Honeymooners should pick one of the two junior seafront suites, or the Presidential suite, of which both have private pools.
The main Symposio restaurant is the usual huge resort-style space, but there’s plenty of outside seating with sea and pool views. Buffet meals are varied, with plenty of hot and cold options, local dishes, salads, fruit and desserts. The resort’s flagship restaurant is the Candia, which serves rather scrumptious Mediterannean-fusion food. El Greco is a traditional, tavern-style Greek restaurant and Albatross, overlooking the beach, and serves seafood. There’s also an Asian restaurant serving sushi. The resort has several all-inclusive formulas: the Dine Around is a good bet if you want to sample all the restaurants without paying extra.