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“Lovely hotel, enjoyable stay”

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Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 15, 2011

My husband, 15 year old son and I have just returned from two weeks at the Elounda Village. We were greeted with Champagne on arrival and an upgrade to a lovely room with a terrace and wonderful views. We had booked full board via Thomas Cook and so had breakfast and dinner at the Buffet, which we did think was certainly one of the best we have been to. Lunch whilst we were there was served at the Mirobello Restaurant, but as we tend to have a late breakfast whilst on holiday, we only had lunch a few times. As full board customers we were given a menu with buffet salads, then a choice of two main dishes, followed by a desert. Which was fine, so long as you liked whatever was on offer for the 2 mains. Our son preferred to have his lunch at the beach bar, which we paid for, as this was not included in the full board option. We did have dinner once at the Mirobello, which was very nice, and made a change from the Buffet. The hotel does do Lobster evenings, Greek evenings and there is the second a la carte restaurant, the Symposium, but all are over and above what you have already paid for. They do offer discounts, but you cannot swap a full board buffet dinner for anything else. We had a bottle of wine on our second night at the hotel, but otherwise stuck to glasses of wine, water/coke or Mythos beer (husband). I know that everyone comments on the cost of drinks at the hotel. Well, to be honest, we didn't think it was anymore expensive than what we pay at some hotels/restaurants here in the UK. We were not shocked when we settled up at the end! If anything, we were pleasantly surprised!
The hotel has a lovely salt water infinity pool, with the best views! We never had a problem with sun loungers, either by the pool or the beach. The hotel does not allow people to pre book loungers in the morning which also helps. We would wander down after breakfast and then decide where we wanted to be. We enjoyed snorkelling and there is a very good dive club, which was consistently busy. The beach is small, but immaculate. On days when the tide was bringing in all sorts of rubbish, the staff worked really hard keeping the water clean. The staff are wonderful, always smiling and pleasant. Nothing is too much trouble. One small thing, the loungers are really not quite up to sctach for a five star hotel, longer mattresses should be available.
Whilst we were there, the taxi drivers were on strike. It is not an easy walk into Elounda from the hotel. There is a bus service up on the main road, (up a very steep hill), and one once a day from the hotel in the morning, but we thought that the hotel, which has a mini-bus, should have a shuttle service into Elounda, and thought it odd that they didn't offer this service. The Thomas cook brochure had the hotel as no children under 12. Well, we saw a few toddlers whilst there. It didn't bother us, but if you had booked under the impression that there would be no young children present, you might feel short changed. There were quite a few older youngsters, mine included, but they were all well behaved. The hotel has a good mix of nationalities, French, English, Italian, which was nice.
We did two trips, Spinalonga and the jeep safari. If you want, you can do Spinalonga from Elounda without going through the rep, but we liked having our guide,Rita, who was brilliant. The jeep safari was great. Geoff, our driver, is fantastic, and we really enjoyed our trip. I think it was one of the highlights!
We enjoyed our holiday at Elounda village, and would go back, but there are other places we want to go to first!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank Lauren L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 11, 2011

My husband and I spent 2 weeks at Elounda Village for our Pearl Wedding Anniversary. We upgraded to a sea/ garden view room which was well worth the extra.
We arrived very late evening after one and half hour transfer. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the room, with cold meal waiting in room for us. I awoke and sunset next day and was amazed by the view from our room. Our room (759) was had direct sea view with no obstructions at lowest level. It was wonderful and sunrise was the most perfect i've ever seen.
We booked full board with Thomson. We became bored with buffet breakfast and dinner after a few days. There was plenty of choice but not really to our taste. At the beginning of our holiday lunch too was in the buffet restraunt, but moved to the mirabello a la carte after 2 days. We enjoyed the lunches we had at the mirabello, but was slightly disappointed one day when i didn't like either main course offered and no alternative was offered.
The price of drinks was disappointing and we spent the minimum we could, visiting local supermarkets to purchase water, Mythos beer and wine. I'm sure this hotel could make more profit by reducing prices encouraging guests to spend more.
We did two excursions with Thomson. The visit to Spinalonga is a must and the Jeep Safari was brilliant. Our guide Contantine on Spinlonga was brilliant as was Geoff our driver on jeep safari! These guys were really knowledgable and made our trips great!
We felt that the sunbeds werent good enough for a 5 star resort. Chairs needed cushions. The resort is some way out of Elounda and whilst we were there a taxi strike was on. It would have been good if the hotel offered a bus service into town to enable guests to get out and about. Sadly this wasnt the case and there were days/ evenings when we were really bored! Some brochures mention courtesy bus into Elounda!
Although we enjoyed our stay at Elounda Village, we paid at lot of money for our holiday as late booking and felt it wasnt good value for the money!
Finally Thomson state that bookings arent accepted for under 16s. Other tour operators are booking children into this hotel. Whlst we were there a toddler was at the pool area some days which we didnt really mind, but we did book this holiday to have a break from children!
This is a lovely hotel with some small issues that require attention!

  • Stayed: July 2011
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1  Thank WestEndG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2011

My husband and I spent two nights at the Aquila Elounda Village Hotel and enjoyed every minute of it. When we arrived we were told we had been upgraded to a superior room with a walkout pool. Unfortunately, it was night time and we had to wait until the following morning to see the view – amazingly beautiful. During our stay, we spent the days lounging by the pool and snorkeling in the sea. The food was great, albeit pricey, and there was such a selection for both breakfast and dinner. We enjoyed our time so much, we tried to stay another night but unfortunately, the hotel was completely full. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Would love to go back.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank USParisian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

We needed a quiet break to get away from it all. We usually take cruises but could not fit one in this year. Consequently, this was our first land based holiday for several years and we loved every minute of it. The hotel provides a luxurious reception where we were received with a glass of champagne and a cheery smile. We were allocated a room in the grounds being one of a block of four. The room was large with a small private patio and was very welll appointed and clean.

This is a steep site so not for the infirm although the hotel will provide an elecric buggy to get guests about on request. As it is there is not far to walk from the rooms to the small beach, breakwater and rocky platform where there are ample sun beds and a great view across the bay.

Despite a number of other hotels nearby we never heard a sound from them so this really is a tranquil place to relax. Whilst we understand that children are not barred from site there is little facilty for them and this seems to discourage families. There were no children during our 11 night stay.

All the staff are traditionally freindly and could not do enough for us. The food at the buffet is superb with all fresh dishes and some cooked while you wait. Do not be put off by the buffet descriptin it is the best we have encountered. Drinks are expensive and save for the first night we stayed clear of bottles of wine. It is a shame they are not cheaper as they would undoubtedly sell a lot more by dropping the price but hey this is a high class hotel and no more than you would pay for the equivalent in London!

There is also an a La Carte restaurant that is worth the extra cost if you want a little more intimacy than the buffet offers. The great thing is that onhafl board you can swap your evening meal for a lunchtime credit at this restaurant, particularly valuable if you want to sample the restaurants in town one evening.

The big plus was the ability to dive from the site. The dive centre is fantastic and subject to a separate review. Take the chance to get wet even if it is just a "Try Dive"

Lastly the hotel is around a 40 minute walk to the local town. If you are feeling energetic feel free to save a taxi fare. We did not and just paid 8 Euros each way when we went in to town where there are some superb restaurants and bars.

Would we return, you bet we would!

Room Tip: take a room in the grounds!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Greylagkarate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2011

Booked a week at this resort with Thomson holidays as half board package deal.
There's no doubt that it is a nice resort, nice setting, beautiful gardens, nice restaurants (There were 2 evening restaurants and one beach 'lunch' bar). We had booked the cheapest room option in the resort, which was a standard double room with garden/sea view. We were a little dissapointed with the room, typical hotel style, quite small with a TV, arm chair and bathroom. We did not have a private balcony, but instead had a small courtyard area infront of the main swimming pool, so there was no privacy if you wanted to step outside (ask for a balcony room if you are staying here). However, the rooms were very quiet and I didn't hear anything from the people next door.

The resort complex is set on a steep hillside next to the sea and you have views where ever you walk. The beach is small but has a sheltered cove to swim in (put your towl on a sun lounger in the moring if you want somewhere to lie down during the day). The resort is located about 2-3 km from Elounda village to the North, which has lots of restaurants and shops etc... I would say its too far to walk, and you may need a taxi or hire of bike/scooter. The other main town to the south (Nicolas) is around 10km, and has an even larger array of shops/supermarkets. I bought beers/soft drinks/crisps from the supermarket, which was a quarter of the price charged at the resort.

The Buffet restaurant is very good, large selection of dishes, and it changes everyday. I'll have to say it is one of the best buffet restaurants I've eaten at in a long time. Drinks are very expensive, including soft drinks and water, probably comparable to an expensive nightclub in London, or something along those lines.

One very important point to make (and I beleive another trip advisor reviewer had mentioned this before) is that although Thomson holidays advertise this as an adults only resort (+16), there were kids staying there under that age. We did not persist this matter with the Thomson rep as the kids were well behaved and we just didn't want roudy kids screaming and shouting all over the place, so it didn't bother us too much. However, if you really dont want any kids about, then I personally would not recommend this resort.

Overall, we wouldn't return only because it is very expensive, and we felt we didn't get value for money, and, it was quite a distance away from a main town.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank kiwipome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2011

The service was excellent all round, with a good sized and well appointed room. The location is superb and the views from our Garden Sea View room fabulous, although not a direct view of the sea with palm trees in between, we loved sitting on our veranda looking out with a glass of wine in the evenings. The hotel is located suitably far from the Elounda itself to give it that exclusive feel, with my wife and I able to walk into town in about 30 minutes and to the local mini market in about 10-15 minutes, albeit for those less energetic add 5-10 minutes to ecah and factor in a short initial incline, thereafter its plain sailing.

The food in the main restaurant was excellent, with a good variety of European and Greek food to choose from. Their Sea View restaurant is also very good, albeit a charge is made for this, but it is well worth doing it one night of your stay. The in house price of wine we initailly thought was high, but when compared to local restaurants is about 10-20% more which in light of the service your recieve is not too bad.

My wide and I would say this was the best vacation since our Honeymoon 12 years ago, quality, attention to detail and superb location.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank kevinrpjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2011

We have just returned from a fantastic holiday in the Aquila Elounda vilage hotel,
as a family with two 18 year olds and a 20 year old daughter we were concerned as to whether or not there would be enough to do for everybody,we were totally happy with the whole thing, the staff were excellent the water sports guys were very helpfull,we went on the jet ski.ski boat and the pedal boats they were also professional and pleasent ,the diving team very good My son did his open water diving coarse which is all in the hotel complex so no traveling ,the food in the restaurant was very varied and some reports said not very greek we found a good mix of food some greek some european a good mix.
We opted for two sea view rooms which is well worth the extra,there was allways somewhere for all of us to sit together eithe on the beach or around the pool.
We found the hotel has a very european feel to it with a mix of German French Italian and English,the policy of not accepting under 14 year olds we found gave a very calm relaxing enviroment throughout all the internal and external public areas.
We had a very late return flight and found the reception staff very accomodating the provided us a room at a very fair price,nothing is too much trouble.
Some reports said the drinks are expensive we were on a half board basis and added all our drinks to the room and snacks and then divided it up at the endof the hoiday it came to under 10 Euros each per person per day which we think is not to bad.
If You want a luxurious relaxing holiday consider the Aquila Elounda if you want to holiday in Crete but want it to feel like the Uk Dont Go.
We also went on the Land rover great adventure safari it sounds expensive at first but it is worth every euro the drivers are great and very knowledgeable it is in my view a must.
The Only things we found a little perplexing was that there was no bus into Elounda from the hotel and been 5 of us we had to get two taxis each time we all went out as they only seat 5 people in total,and in a 5 star resort you have to pay for water with your evening meal.
but thats a small price to pay for a great experience
we will be back

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank nigelandjayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila

Address: Elounda, Crete 72053, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
#2 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#2 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: $158 - $447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila 5*
Number of rooms: 235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The TUI SENSIMAR Elounda Village Resort & SPA by Aquila is 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. A heavenly paradise overlooking the pristine Mirabello bay, the Elounda Village resort, offers romantic getaways and superb accommodation suitable for couples in a genuinely stone built style. Elegant bungalows, suites and maisonettes mostly facing the glistening blue waters of the bay provide a complete seclusion and exclusivity. The resort is located on the eastern coastline of the island, 3km from the fishing village of Elounda, 7km from the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos and 65km from Heraklion city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aquila Hotel Elounda
Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa By Aquila Crete

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