My partner and I stayed at the Elounda Blue Bay with my 2 year old daughter for 2 weeks in May, whilst my parents were staying at the same hotel.
First impressions of the hotel were quite good, the reception area and bar / games area are all open plan on split levels. It looks quite modern and stylish but I'm afraid the modern and stylish ends there!
We were given a lower level room because we had a 2 year old with buggy etc, which was a reflief as the climb up to the hotel was horrendous. I'm 24 and although not the fittest person in the world, by the time I had staggered up to the top of the hill I was ready to have a cardiac! I can see why it's been nicknamed heart attack hill! There is a lift from the main hotel building up to the rooms but I think it only goes up to the 2nd floor which is where we had to get out and then climb up more stairs until we reached our room. This hotel is not fantastic for pushchair users even if you get a lower level room, and if you are disabled then please do not even consider coming here - it would be virtually impossible to get around in the hotel or even get TO it!
I used the toilets in the reception twice and the smell was horrendous! It appereared to be coming from a vent in the wall (the toilets are underground). There were dead flies on the floor which I think had passed out from the smell! They burn incense sticks in reception and I reckon that is to cover the smell from the toilets as it drifts up the steps!
THE ROOM - the room was very basic, smaller than expected but clean. Towels and bed linen was changed daily which I thought was good. We requested and paid for a sea view room, but I think all the rooms have a sea view so we needn't have bothered! I must say the views from our room were fantastic, which I suppose is your reward for making it up heart attack hill! Bath is tiny with a shower over, even though the shower is wall mounted you have to take it out and hold it as the bracket doesnt hold it up properly. You can't flush paper down the loo in Greece which I think is totally unhygeinic - you get the impression everything is a bit dirty for some reason, everywhere smells of poo. Sometimes the tap water was brown, and there's a grill on the bathroom floor where you can see your dirty bathwater draining away. Our overflowed at one point which wasn't pleasant. You get a fridge and TV in your room, and a safe that you have to pay extra for.
We had requested a cot for my 2 year old and sure enoug there was a travel cot waiting for us. However it looked old and tatty, and broken in places, and when my daughter woke up in the middle of the night with half her body stuck out of the side of the cot I realised the cot side had ripped away from the bottom!
There was a patio and small garden to the front of our room, but this is totally unsuitable for children! We had to keep the doors closed permanently as there is no barrier around the garden, a child would drop straight off the end!
THE FOOD - The food is good, but not much choice for a 4 star hotel. I noticed a few times things that I think had been made from leftovers of the night before or breakfast. Breakfast is really not fantastic, we hardly bothered with it as we were hoping for cooked breakfast every day, but there were only 2 or 3 hot things every day which was always beans, EITHER sausages OR bacon OR an omelette type thing which looked and tasted like it was made of leftovers. If they provided eggs they were always boiled with their shells on. Puddings at dinner were also poor, there was a choice of two types each night, and one of the choices was the same thing they provided every night! There is also ice cream and fruit, but the fruit was poor quality.
THE STAFF - The staff are great. Staff on reception are particularly friendly and helpful, and very good at their job plus speak very good English. The Finnish lady who runs the mini market is also very friendly. The problems with the hotel obviously lie within the management, not the staff.
ENTERTAINMENT - There isn't any! Well, not if you don't pay for it anyway. In the two weeks we were at the hotel, there was ONE night of entertainment. And the hotel had the cheek of charging 6Euro for the privelege! However the disguised this as payment for the 'free' cocktail you got as part of the night. Well, we certainly weren't going to pay for the entertainment but we sat outside in the bar area and saw the whole thing for free!
FACILITIES FOR CHILDREN - None except the indoor 'playroom' which is below reception. It is a good idea but the toys that were in it were all broken. The room is coverd with padded mats which is good for young children (0-3 ish) but seems pointless when all the toys are broken! And there is nothing for older children.
POOL - The pool is good, there is a large one and a smaller one for toddlers. However beware as the area around the pool is very slippery when wet, plus the childrens pool is slippery inside the pool, i went in with my 2 year old and slipped right over! I have it on video to prove it - how embarrassing!
In the two weeks we we at the hotel, it seemed to be in preparation for the high season. There was alot of tweaking going on around the hotel, hiding pipes and fixing things. There also was alot of building work going on around the hotel, we were on the beach one day and I counted six lorries full of rubble and building materials go past in 5 minutes (very noisy!).
THE BEACH - The hotel has it's own private beach at the bottom of heart attack hill. The 'sand' is awful, it is very stoney and also very dirty. In places it's like mud. I was very close to complaining a few days before we left because of the workmen who were on the beach doing their work around us while we were trying to sunbathe! I was sunbathing topless on the first day until a group of about ten managers and workmen came onto the beach and stood behind out sunbeds talking and arguing, throwing big boulders around, digging and painting. Then one of them got out an electric drill and started drilling holes in the walls to fix the showers. I had to put my top back on as I felt uneasy and none of us could relax or get any peace and quiet while this was going on. We went on the beach the following day thinking they had finished all their work, and found the beach hut was now open and they charged us 7.50Euro for 4 sunbeds and an umbrella! They said it was because high season had started. Er, ok so the beach belongs to the hotel which we paid for, but we still have to pay you for the use of sunbeds?! To put the icing on the cake, half an hour after we got on the beach, the group of 'managers' turned up again, followed by 10 workmen and some big wooden structures which they spent all day fixing onto the wall behind us to make changing rooms. They then went on to lay some 'decking' on the sand, and they actually had the cheek to move a couple who were in their way! The Management obviously had no regard for us guests whatsoever. Why could they not do this after 5pm?
This hotel is being run on a tight budget but their prices are certainly not budget! The Management is terrible and the hotel only seems interested in making as much money as possible without considering the guests.
Elounda village is about 15-20 mins walk away, and is quite pleasant. Everything is quite expensive though, more expensive than home I think. If you go the other way from the hotel there's a little village called Plaka (I think) which is quite nice, but apart from that there's nowhere else to go and nothing else to do unless you get a bus or taxi somewhere. And everywhere is quite long way apart from Ag Nik!
I'd say Elounda is more suited to the older person, not children or young adults as there are no facilities and no nightlife. Sorry this review is so long, I didn't want to miss anything out!
- 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