The Best Room At...The Blue Palace

·5 min read
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace


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It would not be an exaggeration to call Agapi Sobokou the "Queen of Crete." But instead of the title being bestowed on her because of her lineage, she has worked hard for that title. She is a second generation hotelier and CEO of Phaea Resorts, a company started by her father, that Sobokou and her sister, Constanza, now manage together. "We love getting involved in every single detail and making sure that everyone feels like our own personal guests." (This, from firsthand experience, is true.) More than anything, Sobokou looks to bring like-minded people together. In June, Sobokou sat down with Town & Country to discuss The Blue Palace, perhaps the crown jewel of her company's five hotel portfolio, why she is bullish on tourism this summer, and how her family's history bears some resemblance to an ancient Greek myth.

Photo credit: Christos Drazos Photography
Photo credit: Christos Drazos Photography


What do you consider "the best" room at The Blue Palace? Why?

My personal favorite is the Island Luxury Suite. Each named after a Greek Island that bears a special place in our hearts. Modern design and iconic blue and white colors create an instant sense of tranquility and a feeling Mediterranean laid back luxury. There's absolute privacy, and an infinity pool and enlarged veranda frame the beautiful views of UNESCO nominated Spinalonga islet.

Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace

What is the nightly rate?

Rates start at 825 Euros in low season, including breakfast and all Haven amenities and services.

Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace

Your family has a long history in Crete. Could you tell us a little about it?

Both my are parents some from Crete. Our history goes back in time. My sister Costantza and I grew up on the island and our vision to create hotels and experiences that speak about a truer, more timeless Greece was shaped by our love for our it and for our people. Our father, Yannis Sbokos, was amongst the pioneers of tourism in Crete when he started the company in the late 70’s. He was an educated visionary who helped shape quality tourism with the seed money he received from his mother, an inspired entrepreneur in the 50’s and 60’s, who set up network of women in the villages to produce hand woven textiles and Cretan embroidery, which she then exported as far as The United States and Australia. One could say that her story follows the ancient tale of a strong matriarchal society build around the Minoan Goddess dating back to 2500BC, traces of which matriarchy you can still find in today’s society. As the company grew and we came to be part of it, we helped shape its future working together with our father. Costantza, an architect by training, was involved in the design and development, while I was involved in sales, marketing, and operations.

Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace

Now that you and your sister are running Phaea Resorts, what is your vision for the company?

We have traveled the world and appreciate how important it is to be truthful to your vision and to your heritage and innovative in how you share it. Design and aesthetics, a strong focus on sustainability, and our own passion are central to everything we do. We love creating concepts that respect our history and our people and give prominence to a truer, more timeless Greece.

Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace

What would you tell hesitant travelers to reassure them about coming to Greece this summer?

That there is no better time than now! Thankfully, Greece has handled opening tourism in a very organized and composed way, applauded by many. As a country we have pushed for a green certificate for those vaccinated or with negative 72-hour PCR test to create thorough, yet easy, protocols to navigate. This is already in place creating a sense of confidence. Greece is a country dependent on tourism. From the little places to the bigger ones, from the local tavernas, to the beautiful bars and little shops, everyone understands that we are in this together . Greece has opened up again, as beautiful as ever, to receive guests.

Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace

How would you spend your perfect day at The Blue Palace?

Wake up and feel amazed by a sunrise that will take away your breath. Go for a run along the coastline towards Elounda and return for quick swim in the cobalt blue waters of Blue Palace’s beach. Breakfast at Haven feels like being served at a private home’s courtyard. Must-try dishes are seasonal Cretan delicacies and organic fruits from our garden, organic eggs, and our honey produced in the premises are a must. If you are feeling adventurous, hop on board our traditional wooden caique. Every voyage she makes is part of a bespoke experience. You might want a day snorkeling off a deserted beach, followed by a barbecue lunch. You might choose a sunset cruise around Spinalonga, with a breath of sea air to sharpen your appetite for canapes and champagne. Food in Greece plays an integral part of a perfect day – for us it is a lifestyle, an eternal way of life. Just a quick stroll along the beach, you'll find timeless traditional Cretan cuisine at Blue Door Taverna, once an old fisherman’s stone house. As the sun sets, I wouldn’t miss the amazing view of Spinalonga and the Aegean Sea covered in pink hues from the majestic veranda of Arsenali Lounge Bar, along with a cocktail, to experience true old-world luxury and glamour. Finishing the day with dinner al fresco at Anthós restaurant. It isn’t often that you can watch an entire cooking team in their open-air kitchen as they prepare an elaborate menu.

Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace
Photo credit: courtesy of The Blue Palace

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