My wife and I stayed at this hotel for two weeks-11th Sept- 25th Sept 2008.We have stayed in typically 4* hotels in Spain, Italy,Turkey,Madeira .etc ,so think we have a reasonable objective judgement of standards.Firstly, the hotel is not as bad as some of the reviews suggest and it is difficult to understand how anyone can call the food "vile" or the staff rude ,as neither is true.
Firstly ,the good points;the staff are extremely helpful, in Reception and the restaurant service is particularly efficient, the restaurant itself being airy inside and there is an outdoor area as well, with fantastic views.It is never a problem finding a table and nobody bosses you about.You can eat where you like.The food is very appetising-breakfast is the usual split between catering for those who like cold meats ,and the British taste for a hot breakfast--bacon ,eggs ,and so on. The bread is very varied and good.In the evening,there are salad dishes and hot dishes-fish and goulash-type meat dishes, with vegetables(aubergines etc) cooked greek-style. There is a special emphasis on fresh fruit. The selection of desserts ,though ,is very limited -ice-cream and a couple of sweet concoctions.The dinner does not cater for those who don't like salads/vegetables and who are expecting British style food (fish and chips,roast meat,sausages etc).This is probably the explanation for poor comments about the food.Everything is very well presented and the choice varies each night for the meats (chicken,pork,veal)
The views from the apartments,if you have a balcony ,are spectacular and the bedrooms are large,if somewhat spartan-rough concrete walls,painted white.There are T.V. , air-conditioning and an empty fridge ,which we found very useful, as there is no restriction by the hotel in bringing in your own wine etc.(this is much cheaper than buying drinks in the dining room which we felt was expensive.) The rooms are cleaned every day with towels and linen changed every two days.
The pool is saltwater but is very clean with plenty of sunbeds which are easy to access and again it has very striking views.
The hotel is extemely quiet ,as it is high up above the road running to Elounda ,which is a 20 minute walk along the seafront-a very pleasant walk. along a paved promenade.There is a bus stop virtually outside the hotel with buses going to Agious Nikolas regularly during the day.
Now for some of the "bad" points.
There is virtually no entertainment in the evenings ,only a "cretan"evening once every two Saturdays!. The bar area is off the main entrance-kind of open-plan-and totally lacks any atmosphere and there is constant very loud music ,which makes sitting in it an ordeal. Also there is no restriction on smoking. There are no other public areas at all,for example a lounge or Reading Room as in other hotels.One has to go into Elounda in the evenings and although the walk is pleasant going ,it is not so welcome coming back!! The buses stop running at 7.0 p.m. from Elounda . A taxi costs 5 Euros.The approach to the hotel is up an extremely steep driveway( 45 Degrees!) and there is a further equally arduous climb up to the apartments.This makes going to this hotel a definite no-no- to anyone who is physically unfit or infirm.This should be made clear in the brochure,which it is not at the moment.
The Manos brochure mentions a beach bar on the beach near the hotel,but this is just a small kiosk ,which shuts in the evening, so that's misleading too. The beach is small and shingly and there is a charge for sunbeds and umbrellas although it is the hotel's beach.There is no waiter service around the pool at the hotel itself.
The steep hill is also a very real problem on arrival,especially in the dark ,as there is no porterage service and one has to find one's own way up the hill and pull one's suitcases up too.We are fairly fit(in our 60's),but again this would be difficult (almost impossible) for anyone unfit or disabled. .
We found the bathroom rather small and antiquated ,with blackened grouting and tiles. Also, in Greece one is not allowed to put any toilet paper down the pan.There is a waste paper basket with a lid provided,but obviously this arrangement is not to everyone's liking!! We got round this by showering!!
We enjoyed our stay overall and would recommend it within the knowledge of the hotel's limitations The hotel though, can best be described as doing a good job with efficient staff , who have no say in its owner's policies.,but really it's in need of a total refurbishment. It is 3* at most ,but it's 4* status is presumably exaggerated by add-ons ,which are not really justified. For example ,the "gym" has equipment which is extremely basic,old, and there are wires attached to adaptors, trailing across the floor. We were told that the hotel is owned by an eminent Greek
surgeon .There is a magnificent new sister hotel( The Dome)at Plaka a mile away (5*)which he has just built,and he is intending to get round to the Blue Bay next!! We found two weeks a bit too long ,as there is a limited amount to do in the area without a car,but if you want a really relaxing holiday and are not expecting a luxury hotel it is ideal. It is unsuitable for anyone physically unfit,because of its elevated position or for anyone who wants a lively nightlife scene. Also, there is very little to recommend it to children--not even a play area ,although there is a small child's pool
We visited Plaka and Spinilonga, went on the two hour "train"journey--(This is a motorised "train"which runs regularly between Elounda and Plaka).We walked across the causeway to a small beach, went to Knossos( A bit disappointing if you have been to Ephesus or Pompeii.) The best trip was the Safari in Landrovers(book this at the shop in Elounda, not through your Rep as it is cheaper and they use the same vehicles and drivers!) Agios Nikolas is pleasant too.
I hope you find this useful! Guy/Myra Booth.Edinburgh
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS NOW New concept, new services, new design Sentido Elounda Blu ... four star hoteling reinvented The "Sentido Elounda Blu Hotel", is situated in the international renowned hot spot of Elounda. The Greek islands' architecture is evident throughout Elounda Blu with earth colors that blend with the Cretan environment. The area's stunning views of the gulf of Elounda, the traditional town of Elounda, and the medieval castle of "Spinalonga" create an idyllic surrounding for a relaxing holiday. In front of the resort lies a sandy and well protected from the streams beach, that offers various choices to keep you by the sea water. The emphasis on the area's natural riches and the resort's services create an environment that fashions a vacation that must be experienced by all. Sentido Elounda Blu is a redesigned hotel with a brand new adult only(16+) concept that promises to offer a relaxing ambiance, with elevated services. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Elounda Blue Bay Hotel Elounda
- Blue Bay Hotel Elounda
- SENTIDO Elounda Blu Crete