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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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Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stayed 8 nights for our honeymoon in this little paradise resort.
When we arrived after a long day travelling we were swiftly checked in and dropped to our room by one of the many golf carts in the resort.
On entering the room we were greeted with a complimentary bottle of Champagne and a honeymoon cake this was a nice touch as 4 days later we also received a second bottle and a cake for my birthday.
We stayed in one of the shared pool rooms which are excellent but we actually used the bigger pool during the day.There was always plenty of beds and the choice of food and drinks between the pool bar and the beach bar were excellent not to mention the quality of the staff they are some of the best i have ever seen.
Breakfast was excellent and the choice was more than enough for anyone.
I have to mention our waiter Oleg this guys will go far he should definately be in high management if i had a restaurant i would hire him in a heart beat.
The only negative that we would have is the evening entertainment it is shocking.
This may be down to the fact that most of the guest seem to be on Half Board and by the time they finish piling the food onto their plates they seem to disspear back to the rooms and hibernate.
The choice of food at the restaurants is good but the al al carte restaurants take alternative nights for opening.
However this enticed us out of the resort and to get the small train down to the local village of Panormos this place is a gem.
The character and the friendliness of the locals is second to none and i believe that if the resorts worked closer with these places it would be of mutual benefit to both.
Porto Parasiris is a restaurant run by two brothers and these guys are just the best.We enjoyed 3 Fantastic nights with them with excellent food and drink at reasonable prices.

I will return to the sensimar and definately to the village of Panormos.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JayoIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

if your going to this resort make sure you get a sea view or partial seaview as most oth dirty ers are at the front area by the road. saying that when we arrived the 1st flush of the toilet broke it, we had to phone to get the water turned off, one of the hot water taps had to be changed as it didn't work and a 40cm crack in the shower glass was disturbing, apart from that the food was the best, and could not be faulted, but the drinks were very expensive, nothing was included in the evening meal. the evening entertainment was really non exsitant, the waiter put on a show 1 night and the was a "disco" till 11.30 another night. it is very isolated in that respect, the nearest village was about 2km away, panoama beaches were small and full of cig buts bits of plastic etc, and the village was full of graphty but the taverns were ok. beware of the drivers, the roads are not crowded except in the main towns, but they do not care about white lines bends or thin roads. the minoan and roman ruins are worth going to

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank paul b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

We chose this hotel after a lot of research – including Trip Advisor. I was mindful of the quite negative comments of some on here and so it was with some trepidation that we arrived here at about 9.45pm, after some hassle at Heraklion airport (but that’s another story..)

What I would say is that although this advertises itself as a five star hotel, this should be clarified as a Greek five star hotel. It is not a five star hotel as one would know and expect in other countries; it would be recognised as four star I should think. Having stayed in a number of five star hotels across the world, this just does not fall into that category.

Contrary to some reviews on here, we were welcomed with smiles and nothing but courtesy by reception although we did not see the welcome drink and refreshing towel that were offered to others who arrived at what might be deemed a more sociable hour. There were a couple of members of reception staff who were more frosty than the others which was more their general demeanour than anything else but when you are the ‘face’ of the hotel and first point of contact, frostiness is not the best trait to display.

The restaurant had closed for dinner but we were told that some sandwiches would be delivered to our room. They duly were and were sufficient to chase away the pangs of hunger we had.
We were taken to our room in one of the golf-buggy style vehicles used to ferry people and materials around. The complex resembles a village in its design and I think has been well planned. The outside lights of our complex were not working but this did not mean a foreboding of other ills. We stayed in one of those which shared a private pool and the room was very spacious as was the bathroom. There was a welcome package of fresh fruit and a bottle of the local wine. The wine was drinkable but the fruit was never replaced which we found somewhat amusing. There is a minibar but it is not stocked. One has to contact reception but as this didn’t bother us, we didn’t make the effort.

We had a proper double bed – not two singles pushed together – and a ‘double’ bathroom, i.e. one which has two washbasins in it. Despite it being ‘five star’, the plumbing on Crete can still not cope with toilet paper being flushed down the toilet although there was no sign, message or indication to point this out. Also, the shower attachment dangled rather precariously from the higher hook; it usually resting at a lower retainer. The rate at which the water drains from the bath is also very slow.

The private pool arrangement worked very well. Our pool was shared by ten rooms; five blocks of two. However for the first few days of our week’s stay, we had it to ourselves for most of the day. Our pool area also was quite private; we only had pedestrian traffic nearby if there were those meaning to approach us or people were lost. Other ‘private’ pools were less so; fronting on to thoroughfares across which both people and golf buggies would pass. There were some private villas on site which did likewise and I for one would not have been happy if I had paid all that extra money only to have people passing nearby and staring in at me. The complex has a total, I believe, of 38 pools on site. There are two main pools for general use: one detraction from having a private pool is the inability to ‘people watch’.

The food was generally good although it did not vary much at all. Breakfast was the same each day as far as I could see although the selection (both breakfast and dinner were self-service buffet style affairs, another non-five star trait) was wide. A lot of Germans and Russians stay at this hotel and I agree with others’ comments that the food is geared towards these palates. That said, it was all perfectly edible and none of it was bad or poor. However, even in the week that we were there, we had a repeat of a dinner main course choice (there is usually a choice of three of four freshly-cooked main courses).

The waiting staff are generally very friendly. We were well looked after by Oleg and I know from chatting to others staying there that they were equally pleased with the service they received from their waiters.

There are also a couple of a la carte restaurants on site: one Italian and one Asian. They are not open every evening so you will need to check and plan ahead if you do want eat there.

The hotel has a couple of bars where the service is generally friendly although one waitress was rather surly, we found.

There is a mini-mart on site which avoids the need to leave the grounds for minor provisions. It seemed relatively well stocked. There is a larger ‘supermarket’ about 200 yards away from the hotel entrance if needed.

There is not much around the hotel in terms of things to do. To the west are a couple of other large quality hotels and to the east, along what presumably was the original road, is the little village of Panormo. A land train runs to and from Panormo from early afternoon to evening. The village is worth a visit and a stroll around. Pleasant little harbour and a public sandy beach. There were a number of tavernas and one couple from the hotel we spoke to had eaten in the village and were complimentary about the food.

If you want to go further afield, buses run along the main road to Heraklion and Rethymnon. My recommendation is the latter: much cleaner and prettier.

I would recommend the Sensimar Royal Blue Hotel for a holiday where you want to relax and recharge the batteries. One major advantage to us was that it is child-free and that appealed to others we spoke to. It’s not a perfect hotel but for quality and value for money, it is competitive.

Room Tip: Pool-sharing rooms are the most private generally. Private rooms/villas are not all that private in some areas of the complex.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Hutch38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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
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5  Thank subee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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