10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Terrific holiday - A five star hotel in its infancy
"We have just returned from a really great week at this resort - booked thru Lastminute.com. It proved to be great value - the hotel has only been open two months
We were met at reception with a cool towel and cold drink which was great after the taxi from the airport (the hotel arranged this 70 Euros).
We had booked a garden view room and were pleasantly surprised when we were given a garden view room with a shared pool - this was brilliant for our five year old daughter. The room was clean and modern and had tea and coffee making facilities. The design of the resort is beautiful - cut into the hill side.
We stayed on a half board basis - the food was definitely 5 star.... couldnt fault the choice. A tip of where to sit for dinner - ask to sit in the smoking section ... if you go to dinner at 7 - you will get to see the sun go down - and no one is smoking that early in the evening. Also this area is less busy.
Kids club - there is a small kids club - aimed at toddlers/young children and not one you could really leave your child at. Our daughter loved it - the slide and the toys and it made a nice change during the day to use a different pool. In the heat of the sun the children could do colouring in the "caves" and fresh orange and toasted sandwiches were provided free at lunch time.
The spa was lovely - if a little expensive. You have to pay to use the indoor pool which is not clear in the brochure - 30 Euros. I never saw anyone in it. I had a pedicure 30 Euros which was one of the best I've had.
There is a small shop on site - 80 cents for a large bottle of water - good value by hotel standards until you walk up the road to the mini market (5 mins away) and they sell water for 25 cents.
The hotel is a little remote if you like to go out walking - we took the land train to the local village one afternoon and the bus to Rethymnon on the saturday - market day. That was an easy and cheap trip which we enjoyed.
The beach could be described as "work in progess" - a lot of work is needed to make this a proper beach that children could play on or indeed walk on. Make sure you are wearing sensible shoes if you go for walk as the pebbles and stones are very rough.
To make this a truly five star resort these are the areas we think they need to improve on
House keeping - I think the ladies were over worked - things like toiletries not being replaced and toilet rolls not being left meant phone calls to reception on a few occasions. On one day towels werent left. We gave up asking for tea and coffee. Some times the room wasnt cleaned until late in the afternoon when we wanted to relax in the room.
The restaurent - there didnt always seem to be a dress code for the waiting staff so you didnt know who was who. Most staff didnt know that there was a childrens menu - worth asking for a treat for the children.
Pool Service - if you sat by the main pools water and melon were brought around but if you stayed by your own shared pool there was no service.
Evening entertainment - there wasnt really anything
Satellite TV is offered but given that there is nothing to do in the evening they should increase the range of TV programmes to include films and a greater choice.
Gym - I did find it - but the equipment wasnt plugged in and it didnt look like it was finished. the room is a little remote and not sure I'd feel safe on my own if I had an accident as it appeared to be in the basement.
Overall we had a really fab holiday - wanted to stay longer , great value in a little oasis of calm."
- Travel date: Fri 11th of September 2009
Just amazing....worths every single penny
"We stayed with my family for 5 days and we had an amazing time! The views are just breathtaking, the room was gorgeous and comfortable, the staff was very friendly and sweet. Didn't have any problem with room servise, on the contrary we found them very professional and fast. Very quiet at nights and only 10 min drive to Rethymnon. Definetely a unique experience! Don't miss the spa treatments! I would definetely reccomend it!"
- Travel date: Mon 7th of September 2009
Fantastic modern, but romantic 5* resort
"We just came back from 7 nights in the Royal Blue and I can only recommend the hotel to anybody!
The hotel is definitely not older than from last season, very clean, the staff is super friendly, the rooms are spacious and most have a group pool in front of the room (you share it with 8 other rooms (always 2 rooms in one small cottage above each other).
There are two main pools as well (one salt water), they are on different levels on the hill. It is very quiet, also in the pool area, as the kids area is away from the main pools, and a lot of parents stay at the small pools close to the rooms. The more expensive suits even have there complete private pools with view on the sea.
The main building with the restaurants and bars has terraces, which overlook the sea, and the sunsets are just awesome.
We had the Ultra All Inclusive package, which I can recommend, otherwise it is getting fast expensive, as the location is very isolated (perfect for the lazy sun-bather). And you get good value for your UAI package as all alcohol is top brands, and the include local "house wine" was fantastic.
Car rental is available, but also the public bus does stop very near to the resort.
I know I rambled on for quite a while, but it was so perfect, I just needed to get it off my chest ;)"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of September 2009
Excellent, stylish hotel with helpful & friendly staff
"Great looking hotel that looks 5 star and tries its best to achieve that. Very pleasant swimming pools filled with seawater but no beach to speak of and rough sea prohibits swimming. Staff were extremely friendlyand helpful if sometimes a little lacking in training (given 5 star aspirations). The rooms were fresh, spacious with good bathrooms. Restaurants were very good (especially the Italian one which had the best waiting staff). Choice at lunchtime was quite limited and could be improved upon especially in terms of providing local food and healthier options, Would reccommend the hotel but opt for the all inclusive deals as otherwise food and drinks can be expensine eg7.5 Euros for a G&T; 4.40 Euros for a local beer. Little in they way of attractions within walking distance and well worth hiring a car. Beautiful terrace for evening drinks but little in the way of entertainment."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of September 2009
2* Service & Bring Your Own Towels
"I write this review from the poolside of room 140. We are on the final day of a 2 week stay - my family consists of three girls under six and our friends who have two teenagers.
The key things you need to know:
- pool towels in the Royal Blue Resort are a controlled substance, a bit like cocaine in the UK. The hotel doesnât seem to like giving them out - not even for cash. Most days we had to beg for them, some days we had to hunt for them, occasionally âborrowâ them from other guests sunbeds. If you come, bring your own.
- don't be fooled by the five star rating. The hotel structure and facilities are probably low four star, the service in general is one star. Rooms are serviced when it suits the hotel Some nights ours were serviced in the early evening, but only after several calls to reception. (And for some reason, room servicing doesn't include cleaning of the cups and glasses you've used?) The reception staff are generally evasive, promising things which do not materialise.
- the food in the Symposium restaurant (included in the half board tarrif) was generally very good.
- Drinks are very expensive - 6.5 euro for a glass of local wine. If you like the local wine, they sell the same stuff for 3 euro a bottle in a supermarket 50 yards away from the hotel. Some nonsense with beer as well - a couple of nights we asked for draft local beers (half the price of the same beer in a bottle) to be told there was no draft beer. A little questioning established that this actually meant the waiting staff had been told not to offer the draft beer which was in plentiful supply in the Cigar Bar 20 meters away. We adopted a self service approach - i.e. walk to the Cigar Bar, buy to draft beers for 4.5 euro each, and carry them back to the table ourselves.
- our final day was marred a little by the hotel refusing to offer us a late check out time. (which we were willing to pay for.) Normal check out is 12.00pm - but don't worry, you won't oversleep because a maid will call on the dot of 9am to check your mini bar. (They should put her in charge of towels, she is very efficient.) With three young children, and a 3.45am flight home we were hoping to pay to keep a room until the late evening. This was beyond the Royal Blue for reasons we canât establish. There are many rooms around our pool that have been vacant for the whole of our stay - I can only deduce they are expecting an unprecedented stampede of new arrivals this evening. I hope they bring towels."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of September 2009
good design and food, not perfect services and no beach
"The hotel is newly build palace with the ambitions for "best of the worlds hotel" - all I was looking for was a good service and some activities to relax
Hotel is in the middle of nowhere, 4km from nearest village, so nothing for evening promenades, it's built on the rock, so you are supposed to spend the night at the areal. You can rent a car and travel around. The is no good beach in walking distance.
BEACH A POOLS
There is no beach to mention, see the photo - the waves were dangerous to enter, due to big rocks...
Some apartments have own pools, however there are two big pools, you get a free towels and drink service at one of them. However the pool didn't look very clean from inside.
Fitness has only cycle and running machines, hope they will add some more by the time. There is a tennis court and basketbal court ...but there are not comming people, who would like to sport :)
I liked wi-fi spots all around (I came to work at first place)
The best thing there - lot of food varieties, 3 restaurants (greek, italian, asia) with superb food and meals, bar with coctails and more - surely use "ultra all inclusive" programme - worth the money!
Sometimes we really had to wait for water or drinks, but suppose that the hotel was full. Terrace bar with coctails all inclusive was really great!
The hotel tries to reach 5* but I am afraid, that didn't happend during our stay...my complaints
- few of stuff - I don't get the business plan, but there is so few crew, according to what they want to provide...leading to abusing young girls to work 14-hour shifts a day, tiding up rooms, sometimes our room wasn't clean at the evening, sometimes missing towels, sometimes still bit dirty (surely not five stars)
- minibar urgenies - although we had all inclusive, I had to urge 5x times to fill our minibar, what was supposed to be filled every two days (they did it twice during one week) - some rooms had roomservice with dinner delivery, some had't even towels or drinks
Excellent food and restaurants in the middle of nowwhere, very designed hotel but with lack of corresponding services."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of August 2009
A totally relaxing experience!
"This newly built resort is definitely recommended for relaxation, tranquility and . Suited for couples with young children. Astonishing service quality, very good food. Last, but not least, the central swimming pool is filled with sea water. Cons: For those who want a nice beach, this is not an option for this hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of August 2009
Unique, special, definitely recommend this place
"Myself and my partner booked this holiday last minute, and were very pleased to find that the five star description was exactly that. This is a fabulous place, very brilliantly designed and appointed beautifully. We had a fantastic, romantic week away in beautiful surroundings. We took the all inclusive deal and it was excellent value for money. We would have spent four times that cost of the all inclusive package had we not taken it.
Our room was lovely, although we were slightly disappointed as after checking out their website, the only rooms photographed were their special larger rooms and suites, so ours was smaller than expected, but still fantastic.
We were very disappointed with the poor reception staff, they were actually quite rude. But, this was the only poor thing about the week. Fortunately we had little contact with them apart from arrival and departure. Don't expect to be asked if you had an enjoyable stay, if everything was ok, and to be wished a safe journey home, because it won't happen! All the other staff at the resort were very lovely indeed, waiters, waitresses and bar staff all very friendly and helpful.
The food was fantastic, with loads of choice and excellent service.
So, apart from the reception staff, whom I suspect just have ideas above their station, I would describe this hotel as very special, and I recommend it whole heartedly."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of August 2009
5 Star luxury from morning to night!
"I have just got back from a week in this amazing new hotel in Crete. It truly is one of the best hotels i have stayed in. When it says its 5 star it REALLY is! The cold towel reception when we arrived was a a blessing after the heat. The rooms were very modern and clean and inc a jaquzzi bath. From anywhere in the hotel the view is spectacular, looking out right over the ocean. So relaxing sitting around the main pool with the sea behind you. Cold towels, ice water and watermelon give out around the pool is a nice touch. The food was amazing every night had a wide selection, the staff were great, attentive and very polite. Would recommend this hotel to anyone. Best thing to do is look at the website www.royalbleresort.com once you see it you will book!!!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of August 2009
Tranquil, attractive 5 star hotel
"Just returned from a wonderful week at this newly opened hotel. Stunning main pool over-looking the sea and lovely outdoor terraced restaurant looking out to the pools and the sea beyond. Our accommodation was in beautiful, calm surroundings and we had two good sized rooms (and bathrooms) set in the low-rise village-type complex. Our particular rooms were grouped in a horse-shoe shape with just a few others and opened onto a smaller shared pool which was never busy.
The hotel had a very calm and relaxed feel to it, though of course this may partly have been because it wasn't completely full ! There was good attention to detail (water and cold flannels for sun-bathers), fresh towels at all times, a good standard of cleanliness and attentive service. The food was very good and plentiful, lots of fresh fruit and some freshly cooked to order things such as pancakes, waffles and omelettes at breakfast. Candle-lit dining in the evening with everyone making an effort to dress up a little, and the generous buffet self-serve never overly busy with any queues when we were there. The staff were always pleasant and eager to help. Interestingly there was a whole area dedicated as a 'cigar bar' with a menu of expensive cigars to chose from. This bar never seemed to be occupied by any guests and we were curious as to the intended clientele it was targetted at.
We were a little apprehensive as the hotel had only been open a few weeks. However as we had got a good last minute deal we were prepared to put up with any teething troubles. In reality there was little to complain about - the gym was obviously not finished, was in need of more equipment and the two pieces of kit that broke during the week were not fixed. As you would expect much of the planting is new and yet to mature but there was still enough greenery and flowers to appreciate. Though not a fan of 'entertainment' , perhaps one or two nights of short (and professional not tacky) entertainment for an hour or two would have been welcomed and not spoilt the overall feel of tranquillity. Perhaps a little quiet for teenagers, though ours didn't seem to mind.
Nearby Panormos (5 mins drive max and land train operating) was a very attractive village to visit, with small but pretty harbour/beach area and tavernas. The sandy Cat Cafe beach just further round the corner was great for playing around in the waves. The old town at Rethymnon (20+ mins drive) was lovely for strolling around and shopping.
The hotel will fully deserve its 5 star rating (after just a little fine tuning) and we would definitely pay a return visit, though whether the eventual price will allow once the hotel has really found its feet is another matter .........."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of August 2009