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“Potential for a 5* but should operate without TUI (budget tour operator)”
Review of The Rοyal Blue

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The Rοyal Blue
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Panormos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2017

There's a huge potential for this facility (bungalows, rooms, pools, beach, etc...). It's currently operating in alliance with TUI which is rather driven by budget consideration than meeting a full 5* quality expectations. The housekeeping and waiters are gentle, attentive, smiling and make you feel delighted (special thanks for the table served restaurant waiters: Miltos and Andreas). While the breakfast buffet is at the expected level, the diner buffet is no close to any 5* hotel we came across. Moreover, if you choose a Luxury hotel, you expect table served service (as opposed to the current hotel's strategy to go for mass - German- tourism; hence their alliance with TUI). We opted to dine at the two restaurants (Elia and Kulinarium) which served amazing local and international dishes, all accompanied with super Cretan wines (cooks and waiters were very attentive). The Island Bar & Sushi serves excellent cocktails and great sushis. Some concret example of irritations: no daily fresh water/fruits in the rooms (room service for a 0.7L bottle cost 6.5EUR while at the next door market you can get 6x1.5L pack for 3EUR! - this is not 5* this is ripoff). You can't get more than one pool towel (towels don't fully cover the sunbeds, and are make of standard cotton fabric with no amazing size/engraving/etc...). Front desk is a joke, no personal touch, no even remembering your room number (let stand your name) upon two consecutive visits (10min away), while there's plenty of staff in the lobby standing around - no one seems engaged to approach you to offer help/service.

Room Tip: see view rooms. rooms with jacuzzi or rooms with shared pool
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Marc V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 - 17 of 885 reviews

Reviewed 28 September 2017

Rooms are Tired and dated the gardens are a weeds paradise with no colour other than a dark green, the trees and bushes reguire pruning, in some cases they totally blocked out sunlight in some rooms, the paths are not user friendly if you are elderly or infirm it would`nt take much to trip and fall, I could go on but I will refrain, from this subject, Now the Management they are totally out of touch with reality. They think Paying 5 or 6 floor walkers escorting you to a table for dinner or breakfast with their inane chat 2 at most would be sufficient, dont they realise most people have eyes and legs and can find a table by themselves and the money saved could be used elsewhere for the guests benefit The General Manager believes their Pricing Policy is comparable with the rest of the Islands Hotels prices, he is wrong, 25 to 30 Euros for a bottle of wine which can be bought from the supermarket just down the road for 4 to 6 euros, 7 euros for a Pint of terrible draft beer and from 4 to 5 euros for a bottle of water which again could be purchased from the same Supermarket for 4 euros 40 cents for a pack of 4 beers and 25 cents for a bottle of water, and most other thing you would have thought complimentary for guests you have to pay for, and this next comment was from his own lips, its a doozy, he says himself and the hotels board prefers to see 8 to 10 bars empty other than full because it keeps the unruly element out even though all the bars are staffed with a barman and 1 to 2 waiters/waitresses, I am pleased my hard earned money is not invested in this chain of Hotels, I have never seen so much waste of money and resources that in no way improve the Hotel. I agree with the family from Ottawa Canada comments, Others will disagree but I am allowed my opinion.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank davewestw00d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2017

This is a Heavenly hotel in paradise. As soon as you arive you feel relaxed, with the pleasing architecture and friendly welcome. The staff made us feel like Gods and Godesses in Mount Olpympus. The owner of the hotel, Mr. Kostas, is very pro active and dynamic. All staff are very attentive and kind. Everything you want from a hotel you will find here, and more. When we arrived late at night they had left a meal and 2 bottles of wine in our room. The swimming pool is fabulous , the best in any hotel we have been to. The sea view is great and the atmosphere is so calm and tranquil. The other guests sitting around the pool with us were very friendly as the happy atmosphere is contagious. There is a variety of entertainment including greek dancing and music, international music , tenors and latin music etc. We had alot of fun in the island bar which has a dj, Yanis, most nights and You can choose any music you want.Anthoula is there to mingle with the guests and ensure you have a good time, the godess of fun !, and Dimitri looks after your every need here and in the beach bar. The room is good and clean ,The view from the balcony excellent as we overlooked the pool, the sea, and the landscape.We found a very good deal with the Yield manager Kiaglas Lefteris so may be better to book direct with the hotel. George Klados , the operations manager introduced us to the hotel owner, Kostas Troulis and other members of staff who were all very friendly at the welcome cocktails event which was a very happy, intresting moment We would recommend the spa pool, there are several different jets, the water is warm and if you book, the pool is for your private use for almost one hour. The staff are excellent in particular Anthoula,who goes the extra mile, Pavlos, Yanis ,Irini, MIltos and Andreas, impossible too mention them all,Christos makes the best omletts !.
We have been to Crete 4 times but this was the best hotel and the best holiday we have had.The Hotel is in the middle of the island and if you have plans to visit places you are in the best location to go in any direction. We would recommend hiring a car as there are so many beautifull places to visit, including Knossos palace,Festos palace Malia palace balos beach,crissie island
elafonisi ,vai beach, matala prevelli, Heraklion museum, Rethymno, Chania, and monestaries to name but a few. Everything in this hotel is the optimum, pleasent, a heavenly hotel in paradise. We will definately be returning for two weeks for my birthday 30 June next year. I hope this review helps you, believe me this is the best option.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank christoszeus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2017

My partner and I specifically chose this property because it was adults only (no kids splashing around) and remotely located, for an opportunity of rest and relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. We were primarily looking for ocean views, access to a pool and spa/massage services. This property excelled in those areas, not so much in others. These are our Pros and Cons below.
PROS:
1. Lovely property (well laid out with many different areas and great oceans view all around). Excellent balcony view room with great nightly sunset views. Lobby is airy and beautiful. Landscaping is quite lovely.
2. Excellent SPA services (clean, spacious and MANY different treatments available). World class.
3. Housekeeping staff and cleaning staff were all friendly and attentive.
CONS:
1. Front desk services and management completely AMATEUR. Not knowledgeable of basic locations in town. Upon arrival, we were sat down and basically were attempted to be upsold on packages including buffet and tourist tours. Felt cruise ship like and cheesy. No personal touch.
2. With such a large property, no one was assigned to show us around to where all the facilities and amenities are located. Just a map. "Where is such and such located?" Answer: Look at your map. Missed opportunity.
3. When you walk into the huge lobby daily, 4 or 5 people are standing around by the desk, waiting for you to approach them. No one greets you by your name. Deer in headlights feel. Very stiff. Lacking experience, warmth and character. All what's necessary for a 5 star property.
4. Cheesy list of activites printed on Xeroxed piece of paper. We've seen better list of activities from free YMCAs in the States.
5. No local Cretan flavor and culture represented in the hotel. Felt very generic.
6. HORRIBLE FOOD. We are not snobs. But local fare was not represented well. On property "restaurant" options were confusing, specifically what is open on what night and how to get there. Mainstays most night are the dinner buffet services. Free breakfast buffet has many options. Mostly European continental fare lacking flavor. Pool side food offering mediterannean fare where horrible in flavor.
5. Clientele. If your are a modern, well travelled young adult, hip and fun, you will find mostly older, prudish couples from Germany, Greece, etc. on holiday just laying about and roasting on lounge chairs and lapping up the generic buffet fare. Felt like a 60 and older facility for European pensioners.
6. Transportation. For such a large property, the only transportation they partner with to go into the local town is a rickety "choo choo train" bus clearly designed for kids that stops at other hotels and properties on the way to to town. Not 5 star. They will call you a cab though that arrives within 10 minutes for 7 euro to go into town. The choo choo train bus is 4 euro. What's the point?
OVERALL:
Step up your personal service, attention to detail and your food and you will have a 5 star property. 3 stars at best.

Stayed: September 2017
6  Thank localrusticglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2017

1. Next to a busy highway with big trucks going by twenty four hours a day and in the middle of no where
2. Crappy check in
3. They do not honor confirmed reservations and try to offer anything they can to get you to settle
4. All inclusive does not even include free water with meals, be ready to pay seven to ten dollars Canadian for one bottle
5. Buffet food is not even average and if you complain about a certain item they will offer you a shot of vodka so you won't complain to the front desk
6. Rooms are outdated and baths are old and no real shower
7. If things don't work in your room ie minibar fridge or bath they take forever to fix(in our case we needed fridge to work so my wife could keep her diabetes injections cool and we told them ten times and for an apology they sent us a chocolate cake with nuts and we told them she had a nut allergy. When asked to speak to a manager they never seem to be around)
8.bar is extremely expensive, $54 for 3 drinks and bar is always empty and service is poor and don't complain if the drink is not well made because bartender gets upset
9. Entertainment in the evening is the worse I have seen in twenty years
10. Management is never around and no one accepts accountability for screw ups
This was our thirty fifth wedding anniversary and they did just about everything wrong to make our stay crappy
Claims it is a five star and is at best a 3 star

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank lynnisabelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Rοyal Blue

Address: Panormos, Crete 74057, Greece (Formerly Sensimar Royal Blue Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Panormos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Panormos
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Panormos
#2 Romantic Hotel in Panormos
#2 Family Hotel in Panormos
#2 Luxury Hotel in Panormos
Price Range: R2 060 - R4 506 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Rοyal Blue 5*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5* Sensimar Royal Blue Resort & Spa, is a tranquil exclusive resort, with its own private bay and an endless horizon of Cretan Blue. The complex consists of 38 public and private swimming pools as well as colorful gardens which extend throughout the resort. Natural stone has been used extensively with dedicated passion for detail, in the decoration of all outdoor areas, thus creating the perfect mix between sophistication and natural elegance. Guests will be pampered beyond conventional luxury with singular service standards and the renowned Cretan hospitality. The understated elegance of the 190 rooms, suites and villas, the uncompromising unique flavors of the resort's cuisine, the unique settings for the organization of your events and the mystical magic of the Pure Senses Spa are just the introduction to an experience that extend beyond the realms of a luxury resort. Outdoor Facilities (Private Beach, Beach services, 2 Tennis Courts, Tennis lessons upon request, 1 Mini Golf Court) Hotel Facilities (Express Check In - Check out, Wi-Fi Internet Connection, Internet Corner, Parking, Car Rental services, Multilingual staff, Guest Relations, Doctor on call, Destination Assistance, Postal Services, Security services, 'Gems and more' Jewelry Shop, Mini Market & Holiday Boutique, Dry / Laundry cleaning service) Personalized Services (Private Dining options, Special Meals upon request, Luxury transport upon request, Transfer from/to the airport upon request, Private Chef Services upon request, Business center & secretariat services upon request) In-Room Amenities (24hrs Room Service, Private Dining in Room upon request, In House Villa Treatments upon request) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sensimar Royal Blue Hotel Panormo
Sensimar Royal Blue Resort And Spa

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