Candia Maris Hotel

7  / 10
Average rating (11 reviews)

Traveller reviews

4 / 10
New owners, bad standards, not value for money

"I travel extensively and only stay in 5* resorts and by experience I would rate the Candia Maris Resort 3* max. This hotel very recently changed hands and most of the reviews on here reflect the standards of the previous owners. Although the room rates are not unreasonable; the hotel is clearly understaffed, the food is appalling with a severe lack of local cuisine and everything is grossly over priced.

Per person, one week cost £1,350 (£664 for 7 nights with breakfast + a daily average of £100 for 2 coffees, 2 small bottle of water, 1 small fruit juice, a 2 course dinner and 2 alcoholic beverages), compared to £1,350 for 2 weeks at a true 5* resort in Cancun with all the luxurious trimmings you could dream of.


Extremely expensive with more emphasis on quantity than quality, e.g. €3 for a small bottle of Coca-Cola brand water, €4.50 for a coffee, €7 for a small fruit juice and the cheapest meal is €30 for a sloppy buffet saturated in dill. Great if you plan on killing yourself with substandard food, not so good if you expect 5*, as that is what you are paying for, nor if you enjoy sampling the culinary delights of the country you are visiting (if you are not prepared to even try it then stay at home with your fish and chips).


Tidy and comfortable but the housekeeping is atrocious, basically folding the towels and straightening the bed covers. During the entire week, the floors were cleaned once, only the sink area in the bathroom was cleaned and the bed sheets were not changed at all. Room service trays were left sitting outside the room for almost 24hrs and I had a ridiculous collection of dirty glasses on the desk by the end of the week.


Amoudara is central on the northern coast of the island and is perfect if you are planning on sight-seeing. However, it is not the kind of area I would feel safe or comfortable strolling around alone. The Cretan Sea is lovely and the beach was okay.


Excluding the rooms, the hotel is generally well maintained and clean - don’t sit on the sofas on the lobby bar balcony though unless you enjoy being eaten alive!


The staff are absolutely fantastic; friendly, very helpful and they work really hard. The facilities are reasonably good but it is predominantly self-service, no pampering, no luxury – not 5* at all.


The beds are quite hard, but not uncomfortable. Unfortunately the room doors are not sound-proof - so don’t count on a relaxing lie-in.

  • Holiday details: Aug 2010, Breakfast Included, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Stay in Elounda instead

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10 / 10

"We have just returned from Herssonosses. We stayed in the Creta Maris Hotel. This was a great hotel certainly lives up to its 5 star rating. The staff very helpful, the restaurants within the hotel were excellent with a good variety of food both greek and universal. The rooms were kept very clean and tidy. Even the pools and beaches were kept clean every day.

We did a trip to walk the Samaria Gorge which is 18 kms. This trip is a long full day up from 5am in the morning and we didn't return until 10.30 in the evening it was well worth the trip the views were magnificent. I was glad that we walk regularly as it can be a little hard on the leg muscles.

Spinalongua is alovely island even though it has a checkered past. First as a fortress then used as a leper colony. It seemed ironic to us that for years people weren't interested in the island and now there are tourists visiting the island.

I find the people very friendly and helpful whereever you go. I would have no hesitation in recommending this part of Crete.


  • Holiday details: Sep 2006

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10 / 10
Almost perfect for us!

"We're a couple from Sweden who stayed at Candia Maris for 1 week in july this year. We had high expectations but was even more impressed when we came there. The staff was unbelively friendly and serviceminded without being "pushy". The room was great and very fresh - the bathroom was huge!

We enjoyed the food - tough we didn't find "anything else" then the "buffetrestaurant"during our stay. Afterwards we understood that there were other restaurants in the area but we didn't look for them and were perfectly satisfied with the "buffet". If we had stayed for a longer time we had probably wanted some more variation of food (?!). The female of us tried massage and pedicure at "Thalasso" and was impressed. Oilmassage and pedicure for 2 ½ hour, very professional done, at a cost of 50 Euro...that's encerdibly cheap!!! The only "aber" was the early mornings... Our first morning we went out about 09.30 just to find that ALL sunchairs already was booked by these blue towels.. Next morning "lady of the house" went out 06.15 with 2 blue towels just to find a lot of sleepy German men booking sunchairs and then they went to bed again... When we where there it stormed so much that you couldn't swim every day in the sea and IF you wanted a sunchair with HAD to be an early morning bird "yawn"... We also had some good laughs at the "Animation Team" and their desperate yells about "water-polo-games" & "cocktail-games" etc etc.. But "the feminin guy" in the team surely got himself a name for all of us and his voice will ring in our ears for months to come.. ;-) We also liked the mix of all nationalities. We enjoyed the excellent capuccino and espresso at "Romantic Bar" and also their good "Bloody Mary, Tom Collins and everything else they served us. We were looking for an totally relaxed holiday and we found it! We will be back!!! Also will we give a big hug to the very nice dogs that hung around the place and hope for that you all who visit the hotel will give them a pice of meat...or two...

  • Holiday details: Jul 2006

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6 / 10
Worst we've stayed in

"We stayed in the old part of the building and is probably the worst accomodation we've stayed in. It was small, no air conditioning and a smelly shower curtain. Speaking to other guests the new part of the building sounded much better. The food in the hotel wasn't too great. Breakfast wasn't too imaginative and dinner was watery soup, the choice of 2 meat dishes, 1 fish and always an omlette. Dessert wasn't too bad. Evening entertainment varied each night from of a man playing a stereo, a woman singing, a magic show and a quiz night. But like the rest of the hotel was basic."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2005

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6 / 10
The Petty Things People Moan About!!

"We stayed at the Candia Maris for 2 weeks and found the staff excellent in all areas (bar and restaurants). The hotel was spotless throughout and the quality and variety of the food could not be faulted.The 'power station' that spoilt the view for a particular guest could onlly be seen in the distance and even then it was difficult to see in the heat haze as it blended in with the mountains and coastline!

My only criticism was also regarding the loungers.Although the Germans are reknowned for 'reserving' loungers from 3.00am onwards,an English party of 2 adults and 2 boys had already'reserved' 4 loungers when we went down to the pool after breakfast. Their towels were on the loungers until they returned to them at 3.00pm in the afternoon.This was totally ignorant and discourteous to the other guests.

Unfortunately,the hotel would find this type of behaviour very difficult to curtail as it does happen at most venues.

All in all,a brilliant holiday with courteous and efficient staff,clean surroundings and excellent food!

  • Holiday details: Sep 2005

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4 / 10
Very Good, But CLientelle Changing

"This is a great hotel. Don't get me wrong. The food in particular is a real feature and the all-inclusive menu is top notch. We have been going for a few years now, and the main criticism I would make is that it is strting to lose a bit of its spark. This is because the clientelle has been changing from Western European to allot of Eastern Europeans, particularly Russians. As a result, the staff in Animations (i.e. kiddie clubs and activities) have also been changing to Russian speaking (i.e. Russians). Overall, these changes are making Candia become more of a 'push-and-josstle' resort you find in the Eastern block, where manners and etiquette are becoming non-existent as you battle rowdier and rowdier Russians. Believe me, I am not exaggerating- over the past 3 years, the effect has been very noticable. The locals will tell you the same thing. As a result, we will not be going back, and will look at other resorts in Crete. After all, if we want a family holiday full of rude Russians, we can alwasy go to Russia or other Baltic resorts."

  • Holiday details: Jun 2005

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4 / 10
Poor service; rooms and facilities need a makeover

"We stayed at the Candia Maris June 5 – 8, 2004 on a World of Vacations package that took us to Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Athens. The Candia Maris near Heraklion, Crete was our least favourite of all the hotels we stayed at, and was the only one we definitely would not revisit or recommend.

Check-in/registration: Our negative impression of the hotel stemmed primarily from the poor service and bad attitude we encountered with many of the Candia Maris staff during our stay, and especially during our first night at the hotel. We had the misfortune of arriving late on a Saturday evening, following a flight from Rhodes, just at a time when the front desk clerk was busy chatting and flirting with one of the bellhops. She appeared tremendously inconvenienced and irritated by having to check us in, and obviously was annoyed by our audacity to ask questions about hotel facilities, to inquire how late the restaurant was serving dinner that night, and to request a second room key (one for each of us). She ignored most of our questions – in fact, she never stopped chatting with the bellhop, in Greek, the entire time she was checking us in – and then very brusquely barked incorrect information about the restaurant’s location and hours at us. The bellhop in turn gave us incorrect information about the restaurant, as well as incorrect directions to it. Luckily, we found it just minutes before its 11 p.m. closing, and were able to forage a snack from the few items left on the buffet. After dinner, we asked the front desk clerk where we could obtain bottled water (the taxi driver who brought us from the airport had warned us not to drink tap water and to make sure we drank only bottled water while on Crete). The desk clerk told us the hotel’s convenience store was closed at that late hour, but said we could obtain water from the lobby bar. We went directly there and stood at the bar; however, the bartenders blatantly ignored us and served other guests instead, including people who arrived after we did and who stood behind us at the bar. One of the bartenders overheard us complain to each other about being ignored, and finally asked what we wanted to drink. When we said we were trying to get some bottled water, he looked irritated, and poured us two glasses of tap water. When we said we wanted bottled water to take to our rooms, not tap water to drink in the bar, he gruffly pulled two 1-litre bottles from below the bar, and said they would cost 5 Euros each! We told him we considered that to be outrageous price gouging, but he insisted that was what the hotel charged for bottled water. We didn’t accept the water and the next day discovered that the downstairs convenience store sold 2-litre bottles of water for a quarter of the price. Shops directly across the street from the hotel sold water at even lower prices.

Our room: The hotel is shaped much like a squared-off letter “U,” with guestrooms located in two long, rectangular, three-storey buildings on each wing of the structure, and restaurants, bars and other common facilities located in the section linking the two wings. The standard room which we were assigned on the second floor looked dowdy, dated and dark, much like many of the hotel common areas and facilities. It had three single beds, and the mattresses, pillows and bedlinens all felt and looked like they should have been replaced years earlier. The room was clean, though, and had a spacious bathroom and a large balcony. The balcony offered a reasonably good view of some of the hotel grounds, a range of mountains in the distance, and a partial view of the sea. Unfortunately, the air conditioning system provided very little cooling. The room was constantly hot and stuffy and we could only imagine how unbearable conditions would be during July and August when daily temperatures would be considerably higher.

Dining: We were on an “all-inclusive” meal package at the Candia Maris, which meant we were entitled to buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. The food selection and quality at breakfast was reasonable, but the serving staff were extremely slow to bring coffee to the table (coffee and tea appeared to be the only breakfast beverages not dispensed by machines at the buffet tables). In fact, we felt certain the servers were deliberately ignoring us, because they would repeatedly pass by our table to offer refills to other guests, but would pretend not to see us gesture for coffee or hear us request it. The food selection and quality were excellent for lunch, especially since guests had the option to obtain meals from both the main restaurant and from a nearby cafeteria-style snack bar that offered indoor seating plus tables on a shaded patio overlooking the hotel pool. The restaurant offered “heartier” buffet fare for lunch, including several pasta selections as well as fish, chicken and beef dishes, salads, and roasted and steamed vegetables. The self-serve snack bar offered a good variety of hot beef, chicken and fish dishes, as well as burgers and fries, hot dogs, yogurt, ice cream, baklava and other desserts. The food variety and quality at dinner was reasonable, and guests could help themselves to wine, beer and soft drinks from machine dispensers located at the end of each buffet table. On our third evening, the restaurant offered a special lobster dinner which was not part of the all-inclusive meal package (we can’t recall the price, but we do remember it was very expensive). A waiter in a suit wheeled a cart laden with lobster from table to table, trying to persuade guests to order the special dinner. Whenever diners declined (likely because of the steep cost), he became visibly upset and angry. Each subsequent time he passed by, he became more aggressive and urgent with his sales pitch. We got the impression the restaurant may have ordered far too many lobsters, and was desperate to sell them off. We didn’t appreciate being badgered during dinner, and felt uncomfortable each time he approached.

Hotel amenities and facilities: The hotel has two outdoor swimming pools situated between the two wings of guestrooms, close to the restaurants and bars. Next to the pools is a large waterslide facility, which was not operating during our visit. There also is an indoor pool, located in a separate building connected to one of the hotel wings. Both pools close early (by 6 p.m.) each day. Although the hotel did not seem to be anywhere near full capacity during our stay, it was almost impossible to find vacant lounge chairs anywhere near the pool after breakfast. However, we did find vacant sunbeds and palapas on the hotel’s very pleasant soft sand beach, which was about 200 metres from the main swimming pool area. There was a jogging track on the hotel grounds just beyond the indoor pool, two lit tennis courts a short walk (several hundred metres) down the street from the hotel, a convenience store on the lower level of the main building, and a bar in the lobby. Just off the lobby is a ballroom in which an animation team provides lively entertainment each night. The hotel also boasts a huge thalasso spa with a gorgeous indoor pool and a fitness centre that was well-appointed with top-of-the-line exercise machines and equipment. Access to both the spa and fitness centre was not part of the all-inclusive package, however, so guests had to pay a daily fee to use those facilities. We asked one of the front desk staff what it would cost to use the gym, but she had no idea what the fee was.

Hotel location: The Candia Maris is conveniently located in the Ammoudara resort area near Heraklion, on a busy street lined with shops, tavernas, nightclubs, hotels and car rental offices. A local bus stops outside the front of the hotel, and the ride to a bus depot near the archaelogical museum in central Heraklion takes between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on traffic. A bus to the fascinating Knossos Palace archaelogical site departs from a separate depot, about a 10-minute walk away from the first one.

Conclusion: Although we enjoyed our visit to Crete, and especially our half-day outing to Knossos Palace and a day trip to the Venetian-era city of Chania, on the island’s northwest coast, we were very disappointed with the Candia Maris. Although we liked the location and the food, we found that the hotel completely lacked ambience, and felt and looked cheap – it definitely is not the four-plus-star resort it claims to be. In our view, the guestrooms and common facilities are long overdue for thorough updating and renovation, while the hotel staff clearly need to improve their attitude and customer service substantially. We will not return to this hotel.

  • Holiday details: May 2005

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10 / 10
I was impressed!

"We stayed at the Candia Maris in April of 2004. I was very impressed for the value. It is an all inclusive resort and quite pretty. Since it was the off season, we didn't use the beach facilties, so I can't really comment on that part--except to say, the views of the beautiful sea is awesome! The pool area is beautiful and very well kept. My only complaint about the resort, is the out of way location. It was very difficult to find and we drove around for quite some time trying to locate it. Other than that, I would definitely stay there again--especially for the bargain rate we paid!! Off season may be a bit cooler, but if you are into exploring Crete and enjoying her history, this is a great place to stay!"

  • Holiday details: Mar 2005

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8 / 10
Nice... like a cruise ship on land

"The nicest hotel we've stayed in yet in Greece. Beautiful grounds, great service, and an all inclusive format made staying at the Candia Maris relaxing and trouble free. Great buffet meals in the restaurant are served three times a day with snacks in the two snack bars at other times. Many might appreciate the open bars here where the house drinks are always free. Interesting entertainment abounds including local musicians and dancers who entertain in the restaurant each week. Several pools and two massive water slides complete the property. We were here for only 4 nights and would like to go back again soon. Candia Maris is a great base location for your Cretan vacation."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2004

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6 / 10
Dirty beach, not quite a five star hotel.

"We stayed in the Candia Maris hotel in Amoudara, Crete (close to Heraklion) from 12 october until 19 october 2003. We enjoyed the holiday, but there are quite a few things about the Candia Maris Hotel that bothered me.

The Candia Maris is a five star hotel. I would personally rate the Candia Maris as a 4 minus stars-hotel, for several reasons. Here they come:

1. The Candia Maris hotel beach is VERY dirty, covered with cigarettes and other trash. It was never cleaned. Also, we found our feet stained with crude oil several times after swimming. This is probably due to the proximity of Heraklion harbour (just a few miles away).

2. The view from the Candia Maris beach is very unromantic. Looking west, you see the electrical power plant (with the wind blowing from the west, you can even smell it) and to east is the city and port of Heraklion.

3. The Candia Maris hotel restaurant is poorly cleaned. When our 2 year old boy spilt something on the floor under the table, we could always find it, still there, the next few days. His babychair was never cleaned when we came back to the restaurant for the next meal and once I saw a little grey mouse running off through the restaurant.

4. I requested the Candia Maris hotel to provide a babybed for our three years old daughter. This was provided, but they charged me 52,5 euro/week for this! I think that a five star hotel that advertises as being a children's paradise, should have provided this for free!! This is the first time that a hotel made me pay for a babybed! Oh, by the way, when you come late or early in the season when it gets a little cold: the entrance to the indoor heated swimming pool is not allowed to children under the age of sixteen.

5. Half of the hotel's pool parasols were unusable because the pin needed to keep them open was missing.

6. The orange juice at the Candia Maris breakfast buffet was of the powder + water type. In a five star hotel, I expect fresh, natural orange juice!

The good things about the Candia Maris are the good food, the nice and clean rooms and the friendly staff. (staff: one or two exceptions!)

CONCLUSION: If you already booked the Candia Maris, don't worry. It's not a bad hotel and you will probably enjoy the stay as we did.

However, if you haven't booked already, then think twice before booking the Candia Maris! It is NOT WORTH the five stars you're paying for and it's a fact that you can book much better and nicer hotels in Crete, for a price comparable to what you would pay at the Candia Maris hotel.

  • Holiday details: Oct 2003

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10 / 10
Excellent holiday

"Just returned from a week at the Candia Maris and wish I was still there.Every aspect of the hotel is outstanding.Excellent choice of food at the buffet restaurant plus 2 other a la carte restaurants with no extra charge.As all guests are All Inclusive you can go to any bar for a drink.There is a pool bar and a beach bar where the service is excellent and in the evenings the lobby bar with the terrace looking out over the pool.The standard of drinks prepared was again the restaurant there are self service taps for soft drinksks, beer and wine, you could have as much as you wanted, the beer tap was even used at breakfast by some guests we saw.Although the majority of guests were either german, french or other europeans the entertainment was always spoken in english as well.The daytime animation team were on the go all day with different activities you could join in.the only negative comment i could make is the lack of entertainment in the evening.The same animation team offered amateur stage shows and games.One night there was a greek night in the restaurant with live music and dancing but that was the only night.The lovely lobby bar could do with a piano being played to give it some atmosphere rather than the large screen showing football matches.if you have kids they will love the water slides and the hotel mini club which will keep them entertained.On the whole an excellent hotel and if you are going I'm sure you will not be disappointed."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2003

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Address: 72 Andreas Papandreou Street, Crete 71414, Greece