I visited here with my mum for a relaxing break at the end of August. I thought the hotel would be packed due to peak-time holiday season but we were startled to find just how quiet and tranquil this place was! (Sometimes we felt like we were the only ones there!) We were staying Half-board for a week and we opted to stay in a 'Sea View' bungalow (205) and were not disappointed! Champagne on welcome and the complimentary wine and confectionary in our room was a lovely touch.
The room was very modern and a good size. We requested more hangers for our clothes which were quickly delivered. The balcony was a good size and with a beautiful view of the bay towards Elounda which really lit up at sunrise. Nice touches such as the mosquito plug, extending clothes rack on the balcony, electronic safe, in-room tea coffee facilities, the beach bag, laundry bag and robe/slippers were thoughtful and practical touches which made our stay more comfortable. Our bathroom was spacious with a good powerful shower and a large ledge for putting toiletries on. Nice range of complimentary products were regularly refreshed too. Towels all very clean and soft. On the whole very well appointed and clean.
My criticisms (and suggestions for improvement) were:-
1.) There was no proper dressing table in the room -There was an office desk but no mirror nearby so things like straightening hair was a real chore and the hair dryer in the bathroom was very inefficient and sounded like it was on its last legs. (The mirror in the bathroom was, however, huge and with a good size ledge to put toiletries on but you couldn’t straighten your hair in the bathroom (no power) and the lighting was quite poor in there so applying makeup in the bathroom wasn’t ideal)
2.) The air con didn’t seem very efficient. Maybe it’s just habit of 'cranking it up' in hotels but it didn’t seem to ever feel cold in there and wouldn’t turn down below 18oC. Only felt a bit 'cooler'. We got used to this after a day or two though.
3.) Our bath had a glass screen that had no rubber seal on the bottom so water just flooded out all over the floor as soon as the shower was turned on. We solved this by stuffing towels under the screen to plug the gap when in use but, again, in a hotel of this nature, you shouldn’t have to do that. Plus, all the excess water puddled on the floor of the bathroom making it very unpleasant and un-hygenic.
The food was delicious! We stayed half board and did not feel that we needed or missed having lunch as we opted to eat well at breakfast and then have a good dinner in the evening. We found there to be plenty of choice for all tastes and everything was regularly replenished and looked very fresh. The wine IS very expensive here. This is a common, almost expected, feature of many hotels of this standard. Every night we had a glass or a bottle of the same wine in the restaurant (I think it was something like 21 euros a bottle) and we really enjoyed it. We did see exactly the same brand of wine at the airport for 5.49euros so this gives you some idea of the mark-up. No complaints whatsoever of the food. We did only ever eat in the main restaurant however and none of the Al a Carte ones as we really felt there was plenty of choice and good quality within the main restaurant itself (if we’d have had a 2 week visit we’d probably have opted for a la carte at some point).
My only suggestion on the food side of things was that I felt that there should have been more traditional Greek/Cretian dishes available on a nightly basis. I guess they limit this because they try and sell the 'Greek Night' in the al a carte restaurant but I think it would have been nice to have more lamb dishes available at least. (There was always Greek salads however) What this did mean was that when we did get Mousakka or the one time they served Lamb, we really appreciated it!
Not an advisable hotel if you have walking difficulties. Our room (205) was nice and close to the restaurant/main hotel complex but there was a series of hilly steps and uneven surfaces in order to get to the pool or beach. Not a problem for us and we loved the ‘villagy’ feel with all the bungalows and nice well maintained gardens.
The pool and beach areas were all very clean and despite it being peak season, we had no trouble at all getting a sun lounger and shade. The sea was lovely and clear. Would recommend saving a bit of bread from breakfast for feeding the fish with! Amazing! The gardens and grounds were also lovely to walk around and the overall feeling of the hotel was that it was very safe and secure.
1.) The beach area had several 'Cabanas' and some additional loungers facing the sea which, unbeknown to us, you had to pay extra for. I think this is pointless in a generally ‘all-inclusive’ resort. These facilities should be regarded as standard and just available on a 'first come first served' basis. I never saw anyone pay to use these whilst we were staying so they were wasted features. The same applied for some Hammocks which were in the Olive gardens. Great idea but asking people to pay extra money for a 'day' (who would sit in a hammock for a whole day?) is just a liberty!
2.) There was a selection of watersports and craft available but they seemed exceptionally pricey. It was a shame because we would have loved to go on the pedalos but just couldn’t justify the high price. We never saw them used at all during our stay. Had they amended the price by 10-15 euros, they would probably have generated regular use and income throughout the day. It was almost like the hotel didn’t want them to be used!
Our only real disappointment in this hotel. Although their house band, (Two young lads called rather bizarrely the ‘Two Amigos’) were very talented, it was all a bit ‘samey’ and they were British (I can see British bands at home thanks). We are in a beautiful country with its own rich culture and I felt that the hotel really dropped the ball by not offering more traditional forms of entertainment. Live background music of English pop songs just doesn’t do it for me as I can get that anywhere – id have settled for a Greek musician and a guitar or a Greek singer any day! On the weekly A la Carte Greek night (paid extra) you get feature traditional music and dancing but those not paying have to watch from afar or suffer the guilt of ‘gate crashing’ the a la carte night if you hadn’t paid extra to eat there by walking in and sitting down whilst everyone else is dining. The most popular entertainment night by far was Greek night and the Brazillian dancing which was also great. Why, for the rest of the week, there was no other live entertainment (aside from the 2 Amigos) except for a bit of piano playing/singing in the a la carte restaurants (all paid extra for again), I have no idea as this seems like it should be something imperative for a luxury hotel which isn’t centrally located in a resort and which relies on its customers buying drinks and choosing to stay there rather than head into town. The bar area was very lofty and a bit soulless/empty so you didn’t feel particularly like you wanted to linger there long. The outdoor seating area on the terrace looking out to sea was beautiful but, again, there was a real missed opportunity with a lack of good entertainment programme. After a drink or two we really didn’t want to hang around so we ended up going to sleep relatively early each night as there was nothing else to do. Guess that’s why it’s generally regarded as a couples retreat!
We walked to Elounda on a couple of occasions. I would say it is a good 35-40 minute walk at an average pace. Was a pleasant walk along a single road but certainly in the heat of the day, go prepared, lots of water/hat/suncream etc and I wouldn’t recommend it at night as it does get a bit remote and would be dark in many sections. The Aquila has a bus service to Elounda and there’s a local bus that stops at the hotel too but we were a bit confused as to the frequency there/back so never took it.
Unfortunately there’s a rather unsightly un-finished hotel next door to the Aquila which interrupts the views of several of the bungalows in the complex. Obviously its unfortunate for this hotel and nothing that they could do to help but if you don’t want to stare at a huge concrete block for the duration of your stay, maybe request not to be in a bungalow located facing this ‘feature’.
Also, don’t buy water in the hotel shop. There is a good little store down the road (about a 15 minute walk) which sells everything a lot cheaper and we ‘stocked up’ on water and even some wine and snacks from here several times.
On the whole we had a lovely time at the Aquila Elounda Village. We really enjoyed the food and the swimming and thought it was a very clean, well run hotel with a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. BUT it could literally have been placed anywhere in the world. We would like there to have been a bit more of a traditional Crete or Grecian feel – not like a theme park with gimmicky things. But particularly in terms of ambiance and choice of entertainment. The landscape was wonderful and the sea was probably the clearest I have ever seen however and I will always remember the wonderful sunrise we enjoyed waking up to each morning.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Aquila Elounda Village ELOUNDA in Elounda, an exclusive couples and adults only Hotel, for those who seek privacy as long as luxury, set amongst beautiful gardens and magnificent view of the Mirabello bay. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, Despegar.com, Odigeo, TripOnline SA, Prestigia and Tingo so you can book your Aquila Elounda Village Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Aquila Hotel Elounda
- Aquila Elounda Village Hotel Crete