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“Relaxing Couples Holiday All inclusive”

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Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
West Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Relaxing Couples Holiday All inclusive”
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Have just returned from our first trip to Elounda Village Hotel Elounda Crete from 1 to 8 September 2013. Can recommend it for a peaceful and relaxing holiday and would definitely return there.
.FLIGHTS Travelled with Thomson on 787 Dreamliner from Gatwick . Upgraded to Premium cabin on way out and extra leg room seats on way back. Very comfortable plane.
HOTEL Had some trepidation about hotel having read some reviews, But was so pleased we chose this hotel, It was perfect for what we wanted..relaxing, peaceful holiday.No under 16s, no noisy infants.
FOOD The food in all 3 restaurants was excellent, So much choice, such kind and attentive staff. Greek Evening at Symposium was brilliant.
BEACH We always had the sunbeds we wanted by the private beach and we were impressed that the beach attendant patrolled to stop beds being "reserved" by people putting towels on them at breakfast. There was a complimentary bag and beach towels provided.
ALL INCLUSIVE We were glad we had booked the "all inclusive" package and that we knew to choose the items with the "House" sign against them on the food and drinks menu shown as included in the all inclusive price. We have had Caribbean "all inclusive" holidays in the past and found this European "all inclusive" was more restricted than them,so be careful to stick to the items marked with the "House" included sign.
VIP CHECK IN We paid for the VIP check in /airport lounge at Heraklion through Luke, the Thomson rep. It was worth it. What a fast service, we were through check in and passport control in minutes. The VIP lounge was tiny but adequate.
SUMMARY A relaxing, peaceful, break with excellent food, lovely staff,
ANY NEGATIVES ? There are steps down to the private beach which might deter less mobile visitors; the swimming pool is small by comparison to many hotels; there are limited English channels on the TV (news channels mainly)compared to the Russian, French, Italian, German, Greek etc choices.But these were such minor points for us when compared to the beautiful gardens outside and the view of the ocean from our room. Who wants to watch TV when you can sit outside in the beautiful weather and gaze at the ocean.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (510)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We spent a fortnight at this lovely hotel from the middle of August on an all inclusive package. Our bungalow room was very comfortable with a large bed. The all inclusive deal is good value because you have access to the two al a carte restaurants at no extra charge apart from the Lobster nights at the Mirabello on Monday evenings(35 euros). All inclusive meal and drink options are marked by a house symbol on the bar and restaurant menus and there are plenty of choices. The main buffet restaurant always offered a good variety of freshly cooked food. The service at the hotel was very friendly and helpful- we particularly liked the Mirabello restaurant at lunchtime and in the evening- with great views overlooking the bay and fabulous staff. The themed nights were good fun and of a better quality than those we have experienced in other "5 star" hotels- the hotel duo" the black and white stripes" were very talented musicians. Guests took the trouble to dress nicely for dinner and in fact shorts are not permitted in the main lounge bar after 4pm.
The beach is reached by a series of steep steps so older guests need to take care. The hotel' s policy of not allowing guests to reserve sun beds was pretty successful thanks to the efforts of a member of the staff who worked really hard to make sure it didn't happen. The cove and open water on the other side of the pier was great for snorkelling- the water is deep though. Beach towels are changed from 10am just outside the beach bar. On the beachside is a water sports company separate from the hotel and a Padi dive centre- lots of guests used these facilities during our stay. The pool is lovely but not really big enough.
Unlike some other reviews,we had a pleasant experience in the hotel spa- my husband had the Cretan massage which he found to be excellent and I had a facial which was lovely. We were able to use the sauna,steam bath and indoor pool for upto an hour before our treatments which was great.
The local bus stops outside the hotel three times a day in the week and goes to Elounda(1.6 euros) and to Aghios Nicholaos(1.7 euros). There is more to see in Aghios Nicholaos with some nice shops,bars and restaurants- the Piano bar has great views over the lake and the harbour . We chose not to take advantage of the Thomson trips and made our own way to Spinalonga from Elounda(10 euros) and to Knossos using the local buses which are fantastic- you need to take a taxi to Aghios Nicholaos bus station (13euros) where you can catch the local bus to Heraklion (14 euros return). You get to see a bit more of Crete and in your own time. The museum in Heraklion is fabulous and only 10 mins from the bus station and worth seeing before you take the bus (2euros) or taxi (10 euros) to Knossos .
The hotel has a great mini market and also a jewellery shop which seemed pretty competitive compared with some of the very high prices locally.

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow with a sea view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank janeyaldridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kent
Level Contributor
58 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We had booked a bungalow with a shared pool and the all inclusive package. When we got there the pool turned out to be not much more than a metre wide and ran along the front of 4 rooms - fine if you wanted to impress the neighbours with your front crawl in an extremely straight line but breast stroke would have been out of the question! So not exactly what we had envisaged! After expressing our disappointment we were asked to wait a few days for an upgrade, and negotiated a private pool for a reasonable additional charge. This was in a good location and afforded us a greater amount of privacy along with a great view.

The beach was always busy (as were the pools), and if you were later than about 9:30am it was impossible to find a sun lounger. There was also a fair amount of debris in the sea / harbour area a couple of mornings. The attendant wasn't keen to help to clear it up and a few of us paddled in and collected plastic cups etc. but I really think the Hotel should have arranged for someone to check everything was spick and span for an hour each morning. However, it was a great place to snorkel - debris aside the water was very clear and so many fish....

All other areas of the Hotel were very clean. Most of the staff were wonderful - extremely helpful and friendly, and worked very hard to make sure we had a pleasant stay. The main restaurant and the Mirabello Restaurant were great, the Beach Bar was very popular and staff were exceptional. The Symposium Restaurant was not so good in terms of ambience, service and quality of food. We couldn't experience the Gala Night or the Greek Night as both were fully booked even though we went to put our names down for both events within hours of arriving at the Hotel.

The gym was very small given the size of the Hotel, and didn't open until 10am! The one running machine, although working, was in need of repair as the button for increasing the speed was faulty. The little things like this let the Hotel down and in my opinion made the standard more of a 4 star.

I was also aware of a number of people who had had to go to a different Hotel for a few days at the start of their holiday as the Hotel was over booked - including some honeymooners, which I thought was really unfair on them. Lets hope management take on board the few comments which are coming up on a fairly regular basis and seek to restore their Hotel to the 5 stars it purports to achieve.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank lizKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

We had a wonderful holiday in Greece. The hotel its very nice, the rooms, the view, the food, the service, everything, we really enjoyed. It is not very close to the towns but we did walked and really enjoyed, we also rented a car in the hotel and the service was very good. We would love to go back soon! The Spa its nice and I personally loved the Greek yoghurt for breakfast! Breakfast was outstanding.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank pattyaragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frinton-on-sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

My wife and I just returned from a 7 day stay. We had a sea view villa (556) which was set back behind two other villas but still had reasonable views. The rooms are clean, adequately furnished and the bed was very comfortable with a choice of pillows. The bathroom was a little tired in its decor, small but workable, and the shower is in/over the bath.
We were on a Half board basis and the Hotel offers a good dining experience in the main restaurant for breakfast and evening meals. You have the choice to dine in two other restaurants (bookable) but you need to obtain a voucher to give you a 12 euro per head discount.
The hotel is a little behind on smoking laws as it is allowed everywhere! Much to our annoyance and I am sure of most other non-smokers, we found ourselves having to move on more than one occasion to avoid inconsiderate fumes.
On a more positive note, the hotel does not tolerate people reserving sunbeds, We arrived at the beach about 9.30am each morning to find plenty of choice.., well done.
The gym is a little small, although its fair to say that thankfully there was never more than 4 people in it at any one time that we attended..
The hotel and restaurant staff were all very courteous and friendly, keen to help and always on hand. The beach bar seemed to struggle a bit at busy times so you need to be a little patient, but kick back and enjoy the views.
The hotel grounds are well kept and beautifully presented. We didn't see any rubbish on the beach like some other people on here have commented. Beware that the steps down to the beach from the hotel are very steep, infirm/ elderly may need a little break half way, I believe there was an elevator but we never saw or used it.
On the beach or at the jetty, you will be out of your depth very quickly. Bring your snorkel there are some fish to see although not in abundance.
Taxi drivers all charge the same, most are newish E class Mercedes.
A taxi to Elounda is 7 Euros, nice little fishing village with a few shops and restaurants, we recommend the Friends Bar to sit and people watch. A lot of the trips sail out from here too, so you can check out prices along the harbour.
A taxi to Ag Nicolau (st Nicholas) cost 13 Euros, the best place to visit in our opinion, great views , great bars and good food. Try the Alexandro rooftop bar, amazing views from here too.

All in all, a superb hotel with theme night dining, also great to get out in an evening by taxi (nothing in walking distance). I recommend a stay here but be aware the bar prices are a little too high in my opinion ie: G&T and a pint = 14 euros. Buy your room booze in town.
We booked through thomson who took care of all our needs adequately, we booked extra leg room on the flight and VIP lounge for the return journey is a must. The Airport is somewhat busy, you will no doubt be offered a VIP fast track and lounge for the return at about 37euros each. My advice, take it!

Room Tip: If you can afford a pool villa these looked very nice, but we had a sea view villa which we enjoyed...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SByland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Just returned last night from elounda village, we wouldn't want to put people off this hotel who have already booked to stay here because its not that we didn't like it but we don't feel it is 5 star standard. If it was classed as a 4 star we wouldn't be so harsh on the rating but the service , the pool , the beach bar facilities and the food in the main restaurant aren't in anyway 5 star .

The pool and beach bar are in need of improvement as they seemed a little shabby to us, also some of the sun loungers ( the blue ones ) which are dotted around which we had to use a couple of times as the better ones were already taken partly because of people reserving beds before they go for breakfast, aren't what you expect to see at a good 5 star hotel. Also the service in some areas are lacking that extra touch which we have received in other hotels before and some of the staff aren't that pleasant and dont seem genuine . On the other hand we ate at Mira bello on about six occasions the food was nice and all the staff there couldn't of been more helpful and friendly .
The decoration of our room and the cleanliness couldn't be faulted very nice with good air con , we stayed in a bungalow room on all inclusive basis so the mini bar was stocked daily with a few drinks that are included in the package .

We had a similar bad experience in the spa as Am1992_11 has mentioned above which resulted in us being in quite a bad mood for the rest of the day.

We could go on but don't want this to be a long winded review. All in all, we wouldn't stay here again and wouldn't recommend it as a 5*. We hope Thomson will start to take on board these reviews and re access their rating and also hope the hotel will try to make the necessary improvements or down grade the hotel to a 4* with the price to reflect the rating. We paid 5* prices but didn't get that level of service.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Helen_and_Carl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Having just returned last night from our stay at Elounda Village, I was very surprised to read the dreadful reviews below as we had a fantastic time. My boyfriend and I arrived at the hotel at 2am and were greeted with very friendly reception staff. We had been upgraded from a bungalow to a superior sea front room (305) and were pleasantly surprised to find platters of food, water and wine waiting for us given to us on a complimentary basis as we’d arrived too late for dinner!

The room was very nice and clean, with an enormous bed! The shower was a little hit and miss depending on time of day with the temperature varying every 30 seconds. Tea and coffee facilities were as expected, our only niggle was they kept forgetting to replenish our milk. We didn’t tend to use the mini-bar as it was quite pricey.

We were half board so had buffet breakfast and dinner included. The breakfast was excellent with a great variety of choice, the evening meal buffet could have been better in our opinion: the dishes were a bit random and sometimes seemed like they’d been sitting there a while. A couple of nights we had dinner in Elounda, which is very easy to get to in a taxi (7 Euros). We wouldn't recommend walking in the dark as the roads are very busy and narrow.

The drinks were quite expensive but the cocktails were worth every single penny: take a tip from us and always order your cocktails to takeaway from the beach bar - you get double the amount compared to drinking in! The Mai Tai is so strong it could knock a rhino out!

The hotel staff were very friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble. The staff at the beach bar and the mini-market were really nice and made you feel very welcome and valued (coming from London we’re not used to this!).

We spent a lot of time by the pool and didn't have any problems finding a good spot, provided we got there early and “reserved” a lounger. The infinity pool was lovely with views over the ocean.

We went on the trips to Knossos Palace and Santorini, which were great. The trip to Santorini was a bit of an ordeal – bustled from coach to boat to coach with a shouty tour guide speaking lots of Polish and some English, however once there the island was absolutely beautiful and stunning. Picture perfect, well worth a visit! We would probably organise our own transfers next time though.

On the last day our return flight had been delayed by 4 hours, which meant a few more hours of sunshine! The Thomson rep was very helpful, and the reception staff gave us beach towels to use and we had free use of the showers in the spa.

All in all, a very good holiday! The staff were really wonderful and friendly.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nicola S
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

Property: 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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#3 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#14 Family Hotel in Elounda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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