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“Wonderful hotel in every way.”

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Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 April 2011

When we arrived we were informed that our room had been upgraded and escorted there by a very friendly hotel porter. Our room was fantastic and the hotel had provided a lovely light meal in our room as we arrived late in the evening.
The next morning we woke to a breathtaking view of the sea and surrounding hills. We spent most days on the hotels private beach. The beach was very clean and the guy that was incharge of hotel water sports was really on top of keeping the beach that way. The hotel also provided beach towels which was very convenient.
Food in the hotel was very varied and would suit anyone's needs. However, it would have been nice to have more Greek dishes on the menu. The restaurant could become crowded at meals times and other guests had a habit of stealing others allocated tables! On the whole the caterings was good.
The bar/lounge area was very Romantic for drinks in the evening and the service was superb. We would definitely recommend the Raki!
We did travel into Elounda village some evenings and would highly recommend Poulis Restaurant for traditional Greek food and Cafe Del Mare for cocktails. We would also recommend a trip to Spinalonga but do opt for a boat trip with a tour guide (and bring along the book The Island by Victoria Hislop as a holiday read).
Overall, a fabulous holiday staying in a top quality hotel near a lovely romantic village.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Suzinthesun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,281 - 1,287 of 1,974 reviews

Reviewed 20 January 2011

We stayed here for our Honeymoon in July 2010. As soon as we pulled up to the front entrance we were gobsmacked. The entrance was beautiful and we were greeted with a glass of champagne. We were then whisked off to our room on a golf buggy! Room was really spacious, cool, but light and airy and balcony was large and bathed in sun most of the late afternoon and evening. Bathroom was again huge and well stocked with toiletries. Bottle of champagne in room was a lovely touch as well as the standard honey and nuts, fruit and local wine. Breakfast in the main restaurant was always plentiful and very tasty. Appreciated the local produce and tradition food on offer alongside worldwide classics - As was evening meals. Drinks were expensive in the hotel, but the cocktails were expertly made. We tended just to order mineral water at dinner - be care though, if you don't specify which you want, they'll give you the most expensive one! Pool area was always clean and we never struggled to find a sun lounger. Pool table and table tennis free to use. Shop onsite expensive but good for essentials. Next nearest shop was about a 15 min walk away. We managed it fine - it was 35 degrees so we took plenty of water and took our time but it was worth it for the views over the bay and the cheaper beer!! Definitely also worth a walk to Elounda town centre too if you can manage it. Takes about 45mins. Beautiful beach and sea food restaurants. Overall amazing holiday with beautiful resort, hotel and scenery. Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank rubixandrubix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2010

We stayed at the Aquila Elounda Village Hotel at the end of October, leaving the day before it closed for the winter. The purpose of our visit was to relax in comfortable surroundings and enjoy some decent weather. The hotel certainly met our expectations for comfort and relaxation and the Cretan climate did the rest!

We bought a Thomson package deal and paid extra for a sea view, which was well worth it. We didn't eat in either of the hotel’s a la carte restaurants as they were both closed at the time of our visit, although a section of the main buffet restaurant was cordoned off for those wishing to dine a la carte. Our room was large with a huge bed and a stunning view across the sea to the Kolokytha Peninsula.

Many other reviewers have remarked on the drinks prices – if you don’t want to pay them choose another hotel with cheaper drinks – you can buy cheap drinks from the mini market that’s about 500 metres from the hotel, but you can’t take these into the hotel restaurants. We found breakfast and dinner in the buffet restaurant to be good with a fair selection of dishes available.

The buffet restaurant and lobby bar are situated in the main building which is at the highest point of the complex. The rooms are mainly set in blocks around the beautiful gardens that sweep down to the sea, with a small beach and sunbathing area at the bottom. Many of the paths in the gardens are steep and there are a lot of steps.

The hotel is a fair distance from Elounda. We are reasonably fit 50 year olds and it took us 35 minutes to walk to Elounda harbour from the hotel – it’s a fairly narrow road without footpaths until you reach the outskirts of Elounda and we became very adept at leaping into olive trees and over walls to avoid the Cretan drivers who seem to regard pedestrians as moving targets. If you don't want to walk, there are taxis and buses. Once in Elounda there are plenty of tavernas and several shops. Boat trips to Spinalonga can also be booked there for considerably less than the price charged by the tour companies.

Aghios Nikolaos can be visited by taxi or bus. It is much larger and busier than Elounda but well worth a day's visit. Beware the touts trying to draw you into their restaurant, especially those around the lake.

In summary, the Aquila Elounda Village is a lovely hotel in a beautiful location. The staff were great and we came back feeling very relaxed and well looked after. There has been a lot of debate on this site about whether this is a 5 star hotel; my view is that it is both a 4 star and a 5 star, depending on the guest's budget. To explain further, if you pay extra for a superior room or suite, eat in the a la carte restaurants and are not worried by the prices of the drinks you will probably enjoy a 5 star experience. If you stay in a standard room, eat in the buffet restaurant and stick to a budget for drinks, snacks, etc., it’s a very, very good 4 star.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank Wilstaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2010

Stayed here for a week in late September so only half full. Rooms are ok if a little small but had great sea views. Private beach area is better than small salt water pools, Would image pool and beach area get quite crowded in peak time and for those less able there are quite a lot of steps.

Lobby bar is a great location for exceptional cocktails, if somewhat expensive (9-16 euro's). Stayed on half board basis buffet is ok but nothing special. Had one meal at Mirabello restaurant onsite, fantastic location overlooking sea, but average food and very expensive.

Walk to Elounda is about 40 minutes. Elounda is a nice little fishing post with some good restaurants especially Leonidas. Taxi is 7-8 euros or 13 to the bigger town of Agios Nikolaos.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank tce1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2010

Just returened from a week here - tho' wish we had booked for 2 weeks! Everything from the first welcome drink at reception to the final good-byes was first class. Maybe a surprise upgrade to a Junior Suite right below the infinity pool and with a view of the beach had a lot to do with our first impressions, but we were not disappointed as the week went on. The room was exceptionally comfortable - choice of 4 types of pillow from firm to soft (never had that before!!) and our terrace measured 4-5 metres. We watched the sunrise every morning from there!! We chose not to eat in the a la carte restaurants because the buffet was so superb, both at breakfast and dinner. Drinks were expensive, but it's that kind of place - but we always had a bottle of water and a glass of wine at dinner. We also met extremely nice people of different nationalities and that simply added to our posistive experience. The staff from the maids, gardeners, maintenance men, waiters anmd waitresses right up to senior manager and reception staff were amazingly polite and extremely efficient at all times. There was a Budget car hire in the reception area each day and we have never had such a trouble-free car hire before!
We will definitely go back.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank bigmacShetland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2010

We stayed here for 2 weeks, half board and were completely satisfied. Although, having read some of the other reviews here, I would say if you can't really afford to pay for the extras, don't stay here. You can expect a bill in the region of €200 - €300 per week, depending on how much you like to dine a la carte or indulge in watersports. Drinks are also expensive, with cocktails coming in at around €9-10. Although tour operators may advertise this as an adults-only resort, the hotel has a stated policy of accepting a limited number of guests under 18. But really, there is no provision for children here and families would be well advised to go elsewhere. We would say this hotel warrants its 5 stars.

The staff are very friendly and helpful and are quite good at anticipating your needs. Included buffet meals are consistently of very good quality. Paid-for a la caret dining is also very good. The rooms are beautifully designed and furnished. Some have stunning views and others have no views at all. Rooms with views come at a sizeable premium. The hotel is terraced into a steep slope leading down to the sea where there is a private jetty and a small sandy beach. PADI Diving and watersports are available here although the prices seemed a little high. Hotel entertainment seems to vary wildly between excellent and awful.

The hotel is located 3km from the coastal village of Elounda and it takes about 45 minutes to walk there. There is a reliable and prompt taxi service which gets you there for a fixed price of €7. If you bring back drinks from local shops to the hotel insteading of paying bar or mini-bar prices, you'll more than cover the taxi far. Local car hire firms are cheaper than from the car hire desk in the hotel.

All in all, a delightful stay; two restful weeks in a lovely hotel. We would go back.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank RichardMer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2010

This is the third time we stay in this hotel over the past 2 years and each time we have not been disappointed. We stayed in s room with a pool which was amazing. The rooms have fantastic views of the bay and plenty of privacy. The rooms themselves are excellent, modern, with lovely bathrooms and living space. Only negative are the curtains if you do not like to get up early, too much light gets through. The hotel is breathtaking when you first walk in with amazing water features and views.

The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, although I felt they could have done with a few more...they seemed to be rushed off their feet. Some of them also seemed to lack some experience.

The food was amazing, we were half board but ate most evenings in the three excellent restaurants, Symposium was our favourite with probably the best Cretan cuisine in the area. The chef is truly amazing and make sure you ask for his melon and watermelon sorbets. We also had a brilliant lobster night at Mirabello which was great value for money.

The hotel does a great job in providing a broad set of activities...greek music nights, wine tastings, dancing etc and they have watersports on sight (scuba, jet skis etc). The wine tasting was very interesting as it was focused on locals wines and it felt not many of the guests had much experience in them and in general found them delicious and great value. The quality of the presentation was high for someone who was doing this as part of his day job running all the hotel's restaurants and bars.

Overall a must visit hotel in Europe.

I did find alcohol prices expensive but this seems to be the normal for 5 star hotels in Greece. I would highly recommend the greek wines particularly the ones from Crete.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank TLondonHenley
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
Region: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Elounda
#2 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
#2 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: £112 - £309 (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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