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“Fantastic Hotel - exceeded expectations!”

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Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 27, 2012

We booked the Aquilla Elounda Village through Thomson 4 days before we arrived in May this year as a last minuite holiday.

From the moment we arrived this hotel exceeded our expectations. Welcome drinks in reception, the fantastic service, our luggage was taken straight to our room for us and we were then taken to our room - WOW! We had a bungalow room with shared pool and see view, it was beautiful we had a lovely vase of roses in our room, fruit, raki, wine and champagne on arrival.

We had booked half board but due to the room we had picked we were part of a Mythica package which is well worth the extra money as this entitles us to eat in not only the buffet but both of the a la carte restaurants for free in the evening as many times as you like. Both the Mirambello and Symposium were excellent, Mirambello was my favourite. The food was amazing and view of the bay beautiful. We had to pay extra for drinks but we didnt mind this as all of the food was included. Drinks were priced as you would expect for a 5 star hotel with a bottle of house wine around 20 euros but they had happy hour 5-9pm on cocktails which was good and they were lovely!

The hotel itself is set on the rocks with lovely gardens, lots of water around and very peaceful (no children screaming in the pools was a bonus for us) the beach was small and had hardly any sand but there were a number steps directly off the rocks were you could swim in the crystal clear sea. You could also rent a boat or canoe if you liked.

You could quite happily stay in the hotel all of your holiday, as it's so relaxing (don't miss the spa which is downstairs very good massage!) but don't miss the beautiful surroundings you are in, Elounda is a short walk away and is a beautiful fishing harbour where you can take a lovely old boat over to Spinolonga. There are also some fantastic tavernas i'd recommend the Ferryman for really great Greek food at reasonable prices. You can try the Happy train or go on one of Thomsons excursions - the 4x4 safari trip was great fun and takes you into the real Crete!

The hotel is based on a new Couples concept which was ok, we did expect there to be a few more younger couples there as my boyfriend and I are in late twenties / early thirties but in the main there seems to be a lot more older couples. Although what I would say is not everyone was in a couple so if you were taking your mum or best friend away you wouldn't feel out of place.

Fantastic holiday, loved every minute - would definitely recommend to all!




Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
9  Thank djc1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 26, 2012

Lovely hotel - laid out like a village. It's a really beautiful place. The pool(s) are small but fine, but it has its own beach and small harbour area. It's a couples hotel, (no children) which makes it really quiet and perfect if you want a get away from it all type of time. The food is excellent - the main restaurant is self service buffet style and good. We also went to one of the two a la carte restaurants and the food there was excellent too. Especially worth a mention are the cocktails! They were lovely - especially the apple martini and the raspberry marguerita. We didn't go all inclusive - drank loads and still the bill didn't come anywhere near what the upgrade cost would have been, so we made the right choice. The main bar is really nice - a great big barn of a place, but very modern - the whole place is modern in fact and very well finished. And extremely clean. A very nice hotel with very friendly staff who can't do enough for you. It's a 7 euro taxi ride into Elounda. It is a bit steep in places though so if you aren't very mobile then this wouldn't be the right place for you - there are quite a few steps - no problem for the averagely fit/mobile person though. They have put a lot of effort into being environmentally friendly too. The A/C is very quiet, which is nice and whilst we didn't use the spa, it looked very nice (and new) when we had a tour.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms don't have a sea view - so if you choose the absolute cheapest be prepared for...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank yofatdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2012 via mobile

Second visit in 3 years to this superb hotel. All staff extremely helpful and friendly. Excellent food, endless choice at both breakfast and dinner to suit all tastes which was constantly refreshed. We had a sea view balcony room which was definitely worth the additional premium. Waking at 6am to see the sun rising over the horizon was the icing on the cake. Elounda village we will be back and hopefully in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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1  Thank Devondolly123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

Aquila Elounda Village was superb! The beach, although small, was clean and did not get over crowded... There are othe sun lounger areas on decking and the jetty as well as around the 3 pools! Food was fantastic and the service from everyone we met at the hotel was great.

We did day trips out to Knossos and Spinalonga via Thomson. These were well worth the money as the guide's knowledge was invaluable (only complaint we had was the slightly random "beach" we stopped at on the way back from Spinalonga... More of a rocky outcrop... Wear flat shoes!)

The hotel itself was pristine and the rooms were very comfortable and very well equipped (we had a garden view bungalow and it was beautiful.)

This holiday is best suited to a couple looking for a proper chill out holiday without the mad night life offered by so many hotels. There was live music most nights which set the mood beautifully.

Although the village of Elounda is a 50 minute walk away... Which can be a bit arduous up a hill I 27degree heat... The hotel will call a cab for you (usually a nice smart Mercedes!) and it only costs 7 euros to Elounda, 13 to Plaka (well worth a visit!) and 17 to Agios Nikolaous.

We will certainly return (especially as we got engaged here! So very perfect!)

Room Tip: Garden view bungalow
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Helen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

A lot of thought has gone into the design of this resort with small blocks of rooms laid out to look like a Cretan village with little herb and vegetable plots among the olive and citrus trees. Beautiful grounds and stunning views but site very steep with many steps which the tour operator does not warn you of. These are poorly lit at night. Three great restaurants - choice, quality and service exceptional, staff very friendly & helpful. Rooms lovely, many with sea views. Entertainment rather poor for a resort of this quality the baronial hall of a main bar lacks atmosphere so is pretty dead after 10pm. Choice of TV channels for British guests is not good as the only English ones were news channels, no entertainment. Taxis to nearest towns are expensive as it is fairly isolated. Guests would benefit from provision of a hotel shuttle to Elounda or Agios Nicholaos as the walk to the bus stop is up a very steep hill.
Having said that the management did invite guests to meet them and seemed keen to hear our opinions which is a first for me so lets hope they respond positively as this certainly is a stunning place to stay!

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank somersetgirl011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

If you read the brochure properly before you book then you get exactly what you wanted at the Elounda Village.

It's beautiful, set in a gorgeous grounds with stunning views, quiet and amazing for a relaxing couples holiday. You are greeted with champagne at reception, your cases taken to your room and are provided with welcome fruit, wine and water in the room - from the first experience of the hotel it really is 5*. The food was delicious no matter where you ate, the buffet lunch and dinner could be just as good as the A la carte restaurants. The All Inclusive option is definitely worth the money - whereas some hotels fall down on this, the Elounda Village excels. Although it's the first year they've done AI we couldn't fault it. Most of the spirits were named brands rather than local alcohol, you could eat at the A la carte restaurants as many times as you wanted rather than just the normal '1 visit per stay', (you couldn't have everything on the menu but the selection they had for AI was very good), the AI wine is very good and you can order bottles not just glasses, good selection of tasty AI cocktails and the mini bar is free and stocked daily (although make sure you only have the 'free' items as some things that are stocked you do have to pay for.)

Yes the evening entertainment is very sedate, but that's what we wanted. The resident duo are very good and play a good mix of up to date and classic songs. The Brazilian dancers were certainly entertaining (tip for the men - don't sit in the front row unless you want to join in and become famous for the duration of your stay as my boyfriend did, he secretly loved it) and the beach party was a good laugh as the staff seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the guests. Perhaps one more night of planned entertainment within a week would have been better though. And if you want something more lively you can always hop in a taxi to Elounda for 7Euro or A.Nikalous for 13Euro.

You get beach towels which you can change for clean ones on a daily basis by the beach. The beach is small but a perfect size for the hotel. You do have to get up early if you want to sit by the main pool but we were more than happy on the new decked area which has beds rather than loungers. (All the sun loungers are new for 2012). Also new is the jacuzzi set right on the cliff overlooking the sea - definitely worth a visit in the afternoon to chill out. The spa is amazing too, we had a couple's massage which was one of the best of I've had. There's about 4 different steam rooms to choose from and 2 saunas and an indoor pool - we made the most of these on two afternoons when it was cloudy and we were virtually the only ones in there.

We had booked a seaview bungalow which was huge and felt very private and secluded with a huge balcony - we couldn't hear or see anyone else which was lovely (only bad thing was the bathroom had no window and the sealant on the floor tiles was a bit manky where the shower leaks under the shower door), the view was lovely although I would call it a 'partial seaview' with half the view being the neighbouring golf course and mountains. Half way through the holiday they 'upgraded' us to a room with a shared private pool. It was nice enough and we did appreciate waking up to the view and used the pool every day - however, as it is part of the main hotel rather than a bungalow it lost its feeling of luxury slightly, you could see straight into the next door rooms and balconies and our bathroom actually overlooked next door's balcony so you had to keep the broken blind closed and even then I'm sure you could see in! I'd say an upgrade should have been to one of the room's higher up on the corner with it's own pool (not shared) with loungers and one of equal size (both of which they had promised as we were dubious about why they were upgrading us).

We only left the hotel twice in the whole week - which just goes to show how good it is. We did the 4x4 trip which was great if you know nothing out the Cretan culture and way of life - very entertaining and informative at the same time with beautiful views in the mountains.

One tip - take mosquito repellent and sting relief! We got bitten loads and hadn't brought anything with us and the stuff they sold in the on-site shop was useless. You can use the plug -in the repellent you get free in your room too.

Also, I'm not usually a huge fan of package holidays, but Thomson got this one absolutely right. From the coach transfer, to the non-pushy welcome meeting to the service provided by the reps all week - couldn't fault them.

This was our criteria for a holiday and we got exactly what we wanted:
A quiet location with no screaming children - YES
A cliff-side hotel with beautiful scenery not set on a long sandy beach with masses of huge hotels surrounding you - YES
No cheesy evening entertainment - YES
Water activities available for during the day - YES
Delicious food - YES
Good All Inclusive options - YES

Only points for improvement/annoyances are:
- AI 'snacks' need to have a wider choice and include fruit, we never found anything we could eat
- For a 5*hotel I would expect more fruit at breakfast rather than just watermelon and a fruit salad made mostly of apples
- 3 nights of entertainment rather than 2 (excluding the resident duo who finish at 10pm) would have been better for a 1 week stay
- Hire a smiley receptionist for the day shift!
- The water sport people charged my boyfriend for us using the pedallo (as I'm the one who booked he didn't know it should have been free which it says in the brochure)
- The design of the hotel isn't quite right - when getting in the private pool the water went over the edge and into the room below - oops. The bathroom doors in some of the rooms are sliding doors and have no handles so impossible to close. In our particular room there was no plug socket near the mirror and they hadn't replaced the old style 'hotel' hairdryer for a proper one so I couldn't see to dry my hair
(all very small things - but do start to add up when it's a 5* hotel)

Overall though an amazing relaxing hotel, perfect for a quiet getaway and a great location if you want to explore (although we didn't). We'd definitely go back.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Millie041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

We're back in the UK after staying at the Elounda Village hotel 3rd-13th May 2012. The whole holiday totally exceeded our expectations from start to finish. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, better than in the photographs and the setting is wonderful. You could have problems if mobility is an issue as there are lots of steps and ramps (It's built on a hillside) but saying that we saw some extremely disabled people being ferried about by the hotel porters on buggies!
We stayed in a room recommended by a previous review and were not disappointed, the most gorgeous view and soooo peaceful!. To the previous reviewer who says the hotel is boring, I would say YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH! This is NOT an 18-30's holiday destination but a classy, relaxing, peaceful, hideaway with no tacky entertainment and noise either day of night (Bliss!) They have a Susie singing on an evening accompanied by Lee on piano who were absolutely gorgeous to listen to. Food was fantastic, put loads of weight on in 10 days! Cakes to die for!! Staff service was brilliant, especially in the bar and our Thompson reps,who were really and friendly and helpful were ther every day to have a chat with. Drinks are expensive in the hotel but we bought beer and wine from the supermarket in Elounda which was much cheaper. The lady in the hotel's jewelry shop is very helpful, she's english and lives in Crete and had some excellent day trip ideas for us. Elounda is so beautiful and ok, is a fair stroll away but a pleasant walk (with places to stop for coffee and chocolate cake on the way!) To be fair the pool areas although lovely, arent very big and I can imagine it's difficult to find a sunbed during the day in the high season, but there are loads more down by the private beach and the'res plenty of sea to swim in! I can highly recommend a trip to Spinalonga, a 4x4 safari into the mountains with Gary who is a fantastic guide and the dive centre run by the lovely Lucky. So basically this was a perfect place for us and we'll be booking again for next year!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lulu_luvs_borneo
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 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#2 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
#2 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#14 Family Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: $148 - $606 (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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