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The Rοyal Blue
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All reviewsprivate poolsensimar royal blueisland barsea viewhalf boardcigar barmain poolhot tub on the balconycretan restaurantmain restaurantturn down servicesymposium restaurantcold towelsmini marketreception staffbreakfast and dinnernearest town is
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248 - 253 of 886 reviews
Reviewed September 19, 2013

I have thought long and hard about leaving this review, as aspects of our stay at Royal Blue were good. This is not up to the 5* standard, it is barely a 4*, it may look smart and swanky, but scratch the surface and you will be disappointed.

On arrival the young lady on reception was very warm and welcoming, and informed us that we had been upgraded free of charge, this was also the case for the couple checking in shortly after us. I think all the standard rooms were full, and they had overbooked!

Please beware, sometimes you are only upgraded for 1 night, then asked to move into a dark dingy standard room for the rest of your stay, this happenned to a couple we met, and they complained bitterly, but no offer to help was made.

We were kindly taken to our sea view suite which was well furnished, and on the surface looked perfect for our needs. We had a great view, large balcony with a hot tub (took forever to heat up).
If you are thinking of booking a sea view with a private pool, please note that you will be overlooked by the rooms above, so not very private!

Problems with the room: -

No hot water, only luke warm, we contacted reception and they said they would get maintenance to sort it, they did but only for 1 day! We managed to run a bath this day, however it took so long that the water was tepid again, also if you used the whirlpool it smelt very bad, I suspect not cleaned often enough.

Towels in the bathroom were very small, and badly stained, not the big white fluffy ones you would expect in a 5* hotel.

Sheets not always changed when we requested (you have a card that you leave on the bed).

Tea & Coffee facilities not replenished, we had to ask at reception every day, most annoying when you wake 1st thing and try to make a drink, you should not have to go to the restaurant for it. We were also told to use room service, this would have been charged extra.

The main restaurant where breakfast and evening meals are served is spacious, though can be very busy at peak times. Be careful where you sit in the evening, as the sun goes down it gets very dark outside, and all you have is a candle which does not illuminate the table at all.

The breakfasts were on the whole adequate, plenty of choice from fruit, cereal and cooked items, though some of these did seem a little obscure.
The main let down was the evening meal, very poor selection of hot foods, and most of it was kept in warming pans which resulted in luke warm food by the time you got back to your table.

On the plus side all of the waiting staff were extremely polite and helpfull, and made our evenings more enjoyable, if you make the effort to engage with them rather than just seeing them as waiters you will be rewarded, they can be very entertaining.

There are 2 other A La Carte restaurants, however these are not always open, and very expensive, especially if you are on a half / full board basis, as you only get a 25% discount off the food bill.

The main Pool and surrounding area is very good, plenty of options for laying in the sun, the beach is small and stoney, however there is a set up steps that will take you straight into the sea avoiding the stones, though quite deep water. The Pool bar, and other facilities were very good, and I can't fault it. Incidentally, the water in the showers by the pool was very hot, if only they could have piped it to our room!

Overall I think this is overpriced and more attention to detail is required before it can truly be rated as 5*, if you are considering this hotel, think again, do more research and find another, we will not be returning.

Room Tip: Always go for a sea view, other rooms are dark and small, though the 1st floor rooms are lighter. we had 302. Private pool is nice but you will be overlooked.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank T C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

This was my husband and I's second trip to Crete but the first to the Royal Blue Resort & Spa. Overall, we enjoyed our four nights as there were lots of positives:

- Great breakfasts; good quality, fresh orange juice, omelettes made to order (although UHT milk used for tea / coffee I believe), waffles, pancakes etc

- We were upgraded from a sea view to a waterfront view and received a complimentary bottle of champagne and cake as we were celebrating our anniversary

- The main pool was large and there were lovely views from the sun loungers

- The spa was beautifully designed and Antonio (?) gave me two of the best massages I've ever had - 10% - 20% off treatments was also offered for guests.

- The drinks were very reasonably priced for a 5 star resort - 4 euros for a large beer and about 7.50 for a cocktail.

- It was just a 7 euro taxi ride into Panormo where there were lots of very cheap, authentic greek tavernas serving delicious food

So why am I only giving it 3 out of 5? If I list the negatives they will probably seem very petty, and in a way they probably are and would be immediately overlooked had we had a wonderful hotel experience. Unfortunately, from the moment we arrived we did not feel particularly welcome. When we got to our room, which was smaller than I had expected and the bathroom was dated with mould and stains in the tiles' grouting and rust on the taps (certainly not what I'd expect from a 5 star hotel), the free wifi wasn't working (and it rarely did during our entire stay) so I phoned reception for a new code. The lady was so brusk she made me feel like an idiot. I had to phone back two more times as the code still didn't work and she tutted and huffed like I was being an inconvenience. From then on, anytime we had communication with the reception staff we sensed a distinct lack of desire to be helpful. There was rarely a smile and at one point a lady decided it would be wise to correct our English when we had asked to 'book a taxi'; apparently the correct phrase is 'phone for a taxi'. I am English by the way. Upon checkout, we were not asked if we had enjoyed our time at their hotel, reconfirming to us that they simply didn't care.

Having stayed at two other hotels on this Island, I felt that the Royal Blue Resort offered poor value for money. The rooms were much smaller and felt a little 3.5 star rather than 5. The toilets / shower facilities around the pool and in the spa are of a very high quality so it's unfortunate that the bedrooms and private bathrooms don't live up to these same standards.

In summary, I do believe you will have a very enjoyable time at this hotel but don't expect passion, enthusiasm or much of a welcome from the reception (I must point out that the staff around the pool and at breakfast were very friendly). Personally, I will never return to this hotel especially when in comparison I have stayed at far more luxury hotels in Crete offering friendlier service and more value for money.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank subee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We arrived at the beautifully lite blue spa resort. It was just turning midnight and after an 8 hours journey we where keen to check in and get some sleep.The man at reception was very welcoming and when I asked if it was possible to get some food he responded by saying some had been arranged for us in our room. With glee and excitement we where taken on a golf cart to our room., as soon as we approach the door number and passed a security guard, my heart sank, it was in a dark ally next to a cleaning cupboard. The room was seemed perfectly fine until we looked a bit closer - we had two single beds pushed together, and out our patio doors we over looked an over grown garden, no sharing pool in sight unless you went through the hedge round the corner and up three apartments.

Straight away we went back to the reception and requested another room, he was unable to help and told us to come back in the morning.
We couldn't get up quick enough but there was no fear of sleeping in as the cleaners woke us at 7am. We went straight back to main reception where the receptionist told us she would look into the availability of moving and asked us to return after breakfast. We came back and she had understood are requirements. A separate villa private pool and a double bed. It came at a cost of an extra 150 euros per night. Reduced from 200 euros we couldn't wait to move and get into it. We waited an hour as the villa was refreshed.
The first day of our relaxation was about to begin.


The villa next door was empty and from when we arrived till 9 pm that night there was a constant drilling hammering and banging as they where replacing the air con system. The pool had not been maintained and had a slime on the top of it. The phone didn't work the toilet seat had feel off and the personal safe had no battery life left in it so wouldn't work.. Within an hour the faults had been repaired. The toilet seat was left broken the whole stay and the pool was an ongoing issue throughout our stay.

The food was good (pretty much the same everyday, but we didn't expect anything different). Towards the end of our week the hotel was pretty busy, so there is a fight for food! For my last breakfast I waited 15 mins in a queue for eggs. The restaurant manager also pushed in for a couple of omelettes for himself. (Surely the staff shouldn't be eating at the same time as customers?!) The staff overall were very friendly and polite and worked really hard. If you want a week of relaxation, it's perfect, (you can't get anywhere without transport - and with exception of a mini market next door, there is nothing around).

The hotel really could be a lovely hotel, but they can't seem to maintain the standards. I would upgrade to a private pool (we had room 530) very private. Won't be going back, but was a nice holiday overall.

Room Tip: Room 533 was next to the cleaning cupboard. We upgraded to room 530 - well worth it!
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank Arryanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here, myself my parents and my now 4 year old in June 2012.
We had a horrendous 3 hour transfer on a very hot mini bus (which we weren't prepared for) we had no eater or anything as the transfer paperwork said it would only be 45 minutes!
My advice is GET A TAXI!
Anyways this was no fault of the hotels.
We were greeted at reception by a very friendly young lady and given juice and cool towels which we really appreciated!
We were taken to our rooms on a golf buggy, the rooms were next to eachother with a sharing pool and were beautiful and immaculate.
The food was fantastic and fresh,
Didn't sample entertainment due to having a 3 year old in tow.
The drinks at dinner were very expensive, go to shop next to hotel for cheap wine and beer although u can barely fit anything in the tiny fridge in the room.
The pools were spotlessly clean, we spent every day by the children's pool and most of the time we were the only ones there.
I can not understand why this hotel is now adult only as it has amazing facilities for children and we definitely would've returned!

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Jill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

After a frightening 45 min taxi ride from the airport ,we arrived at reception . First sight is quite impressive lovely modern airy reception area with nice seating areas . Spotlessly clean.
Checking in . ...... Not a good experience , reception staff are very frosty and un welcoming . This hotel caters mainly for German and Russian guests so there were language problems .most of reception staff aren't local people. We were told we were being up graded for our first night to a superior accommodation with hot tub ,( I had been reading reviews and noted that this sort of thing happens a lot) I should have questioned this but we were hot and just wanted to get sorted and cool off in the pool. We were told our room a sea view would be ready the next day and we would be transferred at mid day ..( difficult to understand what he was saying but managed to piece this together. )
We were taken to our accommodation on a golf buggy. It is more of a village setting built in to a hill . With crazy paving pathways ,very pretty. The restaurants reception bars etc are in the main building.
Our accommodation for that night was nice ( not what I'd call luxury but this is Crete and standards there are not the same as here.) we didn't bother un packing as we would be moving the next day.
We thought we'd un -wind by using the hot tub on the balcony . The view was beautiful we were on a top floor of a 2 storey block with a large balcony . We couldn't get the hot tub working so called reception for help. A man arrived very quickly and sorted it out.when we got in it we noticed that the people beneath us kept lookin up as though something was wrong .....the hot tub was over flowing and water was pouring down over their patio.... We gave up on that and went off to the pool.!
The main pool is very nice . Deep ,clear and cool just what you want to chill out in and you can actually swim in it.
There are plenty of sun beds and parasols.there is a nice pool bar serving food and drinks to your lounger or you can sit in the bar.
After a swim we went to look at the ""beach"". Not impressed. The red flag was up and waves were smashing against the rocky breakwater . There is a pontoon to get in the water or a little stoney bay where you can walk out into the water. Even though the pontoon was roped off people were still swimming .we used the beach a couple of times later on in the week when the yellow flag was up. You will need swimming shoes as it is really rocky in the bay . Not comfortable at all. As you go out deeper there is quit a currant and we witnessed one man get in to difficulty when we were watching one afternoon. It is better to go in off the pontoon. How this can be called a safe swimming beach fails me. Better to walk to palomos if you want safe sandy beaches ( about a 30 min walk or use the little land train2 euros each way)or stick to the pool.
The next day we went to reception at mid day to make them aware that we were due to move rooms and were ready to do so , they didn't understand at first then they told us to return to our room at 2.30 phone and we would be transferred with our luggage. We were feeling quite unsettled as we were living out of our suitcases still ,and wanted to unpack. We went off to our rep meeting and phoned reception on arrival back at the accommodation. We were picked up with our luggage and taken to our other accommodation where we would spend the rest of our hols, only to find that the cleaners had only just arrived to start cleaning our room so we were left sitting outside with our belongings for another 20 minutes !
We eventually un packed and felt like we could at last start our holiday properly ,we mentioned the whole episode to our rep ,she queried why this had happened but couldnt get an explanation.
Food .... Very good (although sometimes a bit salty) would have liked more Greek dishes , but a fair bit of choice , for both dinner and breakfast, ( never seen so many choices of fruit juice for breakfast!) the main restaurant is buffet style there are 2 more restaurants but we didn't feel the need to use them.
Waiting staff... lovely but a bit too keento remove your plate ..it became a bit of a competition to see if we could actually finish our last mouthful before they whipped the plate away.!,
Reception staff and ""customer relations " ?.?? We avoided and muddled through on our own dreaded having to go to reception for any queries regarding local area. customer relations walked away as soon as you said you were English.
activities ... A few themed evenings , some music not a great deal of evening entertainment , but this suited us.
Daytime. .... Aquafit , various fitness classes , craft things ,mosaic making painting,
Tennis court .
The 2 ladies on the entertainment team were good and included you more by translating to English for the French guests and the British ,but the man just spoke in German or Russian very uncomfortable as made me feel as I wasn't included. So tended not to return to the classes I knew he would be taking.
Outside the hotel.........try the little land train ,runs to the nearest village from 2.15 but they do 2 morning tours which they alternate . We did the one to meledoni and the caves . 15 euro each but 4.1/2 hours well worth it.
The bus to Rethymnon stops nearby . A bustling town worth a trip. Takes about 45 mins . But they do get very crowded lovely beaches there too. Best to get back on at the bus terminal as you may end up standing all the way otherwise.
The hotel is very quiet, child free, clean and comfortable and we had a lovely relaxing holiday . (even though as you can see there were issues at the start. ,!)
I have never seen so many pools in one hotel , there is the main pool and another largish pool with sun beds ,then there are private pools and ,shared pools between 4-5 accommodations.
They are all kept spotless and cleaned daily.
I unfortunately fell at the beginning of the holiday luckily no real damage but be carefully on some of the stairways as they are a white marble type surface and some times water trickles on to them from the plants , they become very slippery.
Would I use a sensimar hotel again?.........yes most definatly. The standard is good on the whole .
We loved palomos!,!!!!!

Room Tip: As long as you are away from the road I think most rooms would be quite good . Air con and sound proofing is very good . Sea view is nice but the garden rooms looked nice too.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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