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Hotel Sensimar Royal Blue Resort and Spa Hotel 3 star
Easyexperts
Rethymno, Greece -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This isolated 5 star Cretan village facing the sea combines modern and traditional architecture. Natural elegance and sophistication are the order of the day at the Royal Blue Resort, which is particularly proud of its wonderful spa. If you're looking for a beach holiday, however, you can forget it, although there are some 30 private pools within the hotel grounds.

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    • Hotel Sensimar Royal Blue Resort and Spa

      Sensimar Royal Blue Resort and Spa   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Sensimar Royal Blue Resort and Spa

      Sensimar Royal Blue Resort and Spa   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.8 /10

    The hotel is located 13.5 mi from Rethymnon and 34 mi from Heraklion, along the major road linking east to west, although you'd never know it, given the peace and quiet that reigns within the grounds of the hotel. A nearby bus stop will connect you to the capital in one hour. Other than that, you'll not find any shops or restaurants in the immediate vicinity, unless you head to the neighbouring picturesque village of Panormo. A pleasant stroll along the unspoilt and, as yet, under-developed coast will take you there, with a church, a few restaurants, and a selection of craft shops along the way. If you'd like to do the tourist thing and have access to a car, Arkadi Monastery is not too far away and is a great opportunity to take the old road that winds through the villages and the green Cretan countryside.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The hotel's 190 guest rooms come in several categories, namely Guest Room, Suite, and Villa, with or without a sea view. Those in the first category are bright and spacious, with a floor area of around 30m² and 2 sliding glass doors that open out onto a small balcony with a table and chair. Downstairs, alongside the swimming pool for that particular block, the rooms on the ground floor have a small terrace with greenery. There is also a lounge area complete with a bench seat that can serve as an additional bed. The modern and bright decor features wooden materials with attention to detail, such as the mosquito repellent plugged in when guests arrive and the small lavender bags placed in the wardrobe. You'll love this very classy touch: to let others know you don't want to be disturbed, you can switch on a little light outside of your room from the comfort of your bed.The large bathrooms are equipped with 2 marble wash basins, a big mirror running the length of the wall, and a selection of brand name hospitality products. All of the bathrooms also have a bathtub and a whirlpool bath.

    Overview 7.95 /10

    Opened in 2009, the modern architecture of this hotel was inspired by Crete itself. Some of the materials used came directly from the work carried out to drill into the earth and extract the rock. The rather discreet resort spans some 173 acres and therefore blends in quite well with the surrounding landscape. The entrance is particularly spectacular, as the superb views of the sea catch your eye just before you go through the main doors. Once inside, the minimalist and distinguished design is particularly striking, from the marble and the lighting (particularly at night) to the arrangement of the bench seats and the large picture windows looking out over the sea. The only thing you might find a little disconcerting is finding your way from one floor to another to reach one of the 4 bars, one of which has a cigar cellar, the restaurants, the gym, the hammam, or the superb spa.
    The resort is laid out in the form of a myriad of little villages featuring minimalist facades and the guest rooms are housed in one storey blocks arranged around 28 private pools. The idea was to recreate a Cretan village where guests can have a pleasant stroll around the quaint little tree-planted alleyways. The sign-posting is rather sparse though, so it can get quite disorientating. Leisure facilities include 2 large main swimming pools, one of which is Olympic sized, which afford spectacular views out to sea and are lit in royal blue at night, reflecting the name of the hotel.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The hotel boasts 3 à la carte restaurants, one Polynesian, where guests can enjoy Pacific, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cuisine, one Mediterranean, and one Italian, all of which enjoy beautiful locations with views of the horizon. The main 350-seater restaurant serves a copious buffet in a large, well decorated dining room. A number of tureens bear a fine selection of dishes, without forgetting the unmissable Cretan counter, where a variety of local specialities are available. The menu changes on a daily basis and is renewed every 2 weeks.

    Beach 6.45 /10

    The small man-made beach is nothing special, furnished with just a few deckchairs and parasols, and the colour and quality of the sand are certainly not the most inviting. A stone and concrete sea wall protects the beach from the current, but you're still better off sticking to the small furnished natural terrace just above the beach, overlooking the waters below.

    To know

    Although many guests come here in search of peace and quiet, families are also welcome. The reception areas are immaculate and there is a beautiful little pool for the little ones as well as a mini-club catering for 2-12 year olds with a supervisor present from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Internet access
    • Spa

      beauty salon, sauna, hammam, stretching

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, aqua gym, aerobics, football, volleyball, jet ski, step

    • Whirlpool bath

    advantage

    • The sophisticated architecture and decor
    • The 30 swimming pools
    • The calm and beauty of the place
    • The bar with the cigar cellar

    disadvantages

    • The unappealing beaches
    • The swimming pools cannot to be used after 8:00pm
    • The sign-posting, which can sometimes cause you to get lost in the little alleyways of this Cretan village

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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