21 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"My experience at this resort was mixed. My room smelt of lavatories most of the time and the room was damp, even the bed linen! It was a ground floor room, there was a balcony but no sun at all. There was random entertainment but no leaflets or notices - only advertised in French! On the day of departure I was offered a courtesy room but it was occupied at the time I was given. Did not get a shower and changed my clothes in general toilet block. On the good side the food was amazing, all public areas very clean, most staff very helpful and efficient , fantastic location with amazing views even though very isolated on a cliff. Amazing swimming pools but very hilly terrain - not suitable for people who cannot use lots of steps or climb hills."
- Travel date: 1st April 2018
My boyfriend and I have recently returne...
"My boyfriend and I have recently returned from a one week stay at the Athina Palace. We had an absolutely fab time and fail to see what people are moaning about...especially for the price? We established that on average most people had paid about Â£300pp...what do people expect for that amount.....The Ritz?? The hotel was spotless and the staff extremely helpful and polite. Yes, the hotel was secluded but a coach came right outside the hotel reception every morning, at 10:00 and 11:30 to pick you up to take you to either Agia Pelagia or Heraklion at a small cost of 2.40 euro...a small price to pay to go and see some really beautiful places. Agia Pelagia, the small town in view from the hotel was beautiful, a really good place to go if you want a change of scenery from the hotel. You can get the bus there in he morning and get a taxi back whenever you like at 15 euros. The views from the hotel were amazing and although it was a bit of a trek down to the beach and back a shuttle bus was provided to take you there and back every 30 minutes if you are lazy like me?? The rooms were clean, airy and spacious with a nice sea view balcony and the maid service was excellent. Room was cleaned and towels and bedding changed everyday! The food was ok...it wasnât 5* I grant you but it was edible. What us Brits have to remember is that this is a national hotel...it caters for different nationalities and their different cuisines, which I have to say the hotel did extremely well at. I suggest to those people who felt that having veggies at breakfast and so forth wasnât acceptable to go to Blackpool or somewhere for a week where you will get pure English cuisine. The presentation of the food was excellent and new trays of food were being brought out regularly to ensure it was all hot and fresh. The wine and beer on tap was also a big plus side at lunch and dinner. The puddings and bread selection were out of this world and the huge measures of alcohol were sure to keep us amused in the evenings we must have put on loads of weight, although with the hills and steps of the hotel and the opportunities to play tennis whenever we wanted, we should have worked most of it off. I would recommend this hotel to couples/romantics or young families (not after too much night life) who just want a holiday for pure relaxation and to people who simply just want to recharge their batteries....it certainly did the trick for us. We would definitely go back if we were after that sort of holiday again. "
- Travel date: 30th September 2005
We have just returned and need to put pe...
"We have just returned and need to put people right of the good and bad points of this hotel. Do not go B&B or half board as it will cost you a fortune there is nowhere else to eat except at the hotel and you will be charged a fortune at least 25 Euros per person per meal 6.50 Euros a drink. You are literally stuck in the hotel there is no escape unless you spend a fortune for taxis or hire a car. We walked to Lygaria (2 miles up and down a mountain) I didnât think I would make it back, when I enquired about a taxi I was quoted 15 Euros each way every little thing costs. Now the Hotel This hotel is not 5* I would estimate 3* STAFF - were mostly friendly especially Katrina lovely & friendly but kept getting into trouble for her effort POOLS - good there is the main pool but too lively so we remained at the more relaxed one, (but be warned we got into trouble for speaking (by a German) CLEANLINESS - excellent, everywhere, towels and bed linen changed everyday FOOD - mmm - well it was ok but you have to understand you are in a different country the food could have been hotter but the sweets were excellent I must have put on Lbs ENTERTAINMENT - total rubbish radios blasting in both bars for the staff. Finally this place would be good if all you are looking for is 1 week of pure relaxation. We spent two weeks and booked it 3 weeks before we left from Teletext and we found out people booked back in January for cheaper, also donât get a taxi when you arrive at the airport go with the transfer bus the taxi cost us 60 euros return."
- Travel date: 31st August 2005
My husband and I have just returned from...
"My husband and I have just returned from a week at the Athina Palace Hotel. Having read the reviews prior to our holiday we were disillusioned to say the least. On arrival at 3am, our first impressions of the foyer and surrounding areas were excellent. We were checked in immediately by an extremely pleasant and efficient receptionist and taken to our room by courtesy bus. The room was clean, comfortable and cool and the views were spectacular. We arose the next morning and faced breakfast with trepidation, to our delight the food was excellent - no queues or fighting for food and the staff were friendly and helpful. This experience was repeated at lunch and dinner. There were four adults in our party and there were no complaints about food or the dining experience. Local wine was good but at a reasonable cost of 18 euros we purchased a very good bottle of red wine each evening with dinner. During the week we spent time at the pool and on the beach and had no difficulty attaining a sunloungers at noon or later in the day, the sunloungers at the beach cost a miniscule 5 euros per couple for the whole day. The staff in all of the bars were extremely friendly and efficient, all guests were served within minutes. While local spirits were available, premium spirits could be purchased cheaply. The males in our party regularly tipped the waiters - much to their surprise and appreciation. With regard to some of the reviews I have read, I encountered guests looking for things to complain about and clearly unhappy with even the highest standards. I have stayed in 5* hotels in the past(Crete included) at an average cost of 400 euros per room per night and accept that the hotel is not of this class but given the cost for a week I was not disappointed with any aspect of my holiday and suggest that those who complain quadruple their holiday budget for next year. The panoramas from all areas of the hotel are superb and a roadway (not steep) is an alternative for those who have a problem with the steps. In addition the courtesy bus passes all points every half hour. I would have no hesitation in returning to this hotel and encourage future guests to treat the staff with the respect that they deserve."
- Travel date: 31st July 2005
We have just returned from a wonderful w...
"We have just returned from a wonderful week at the Athina Palace Hotel. We were totally impressed with all aspects of the Resort, including the food and we had excellent value for our money. The buildings were all beautifully maintained, the marble steps and the landscaping of the gardens were a joy to see. Yes there were lots of steps! some slippery steps but it was good exercise. One member of our party had walking difficulties, but the little red bus running every half hour from reception to the beach and back proved invaluable. The accommodation was spotless, towels and sheets changed daily our nightwear was presented in a beautiful fan shape every day. Our room was ample enough for a family of 4, the best aspect was the balcony with its views over the beach, it was huge. The air conditioning was excellent and easy to use. Only problem encountered in room was the hairdryer, it kept knocking the electricity off, and did four nights running!! by the 5th night we were used to Cretan wind blown dried hair. After calls to reception the problem was fixed within 10 mins by the caretaker. The swimming pools were spotless and very clean (no horrible smell of chlorine on skin after swimming), large pool a huge hit with the children, and the smaller pool by the restaurant by the adults who wanted peace and quiet. We had no problem obtaining sun beds any time of day. The beach was lovely, it was cleaned daily, the sun beds on beach were only 5 euros for 2 beds and parasol all day. We also managed a free attempt at scuba diving off the beach. The hotel staff were most pleasant, especially at reception and nothing was to much for them, we did not have to wait very long for our drinks at the bars or wait for our tables to be cleared in the restaurant. The animation team were excellent and very hard working. They did not pester people to join in daily activities, those who preferred to relax by the pool were left well alone! The way that the team managed to converse in three languages on all activities was a credit to them. Members of our group took part in various activities including Water Aerobics, Spoon Diving, Tennis Ball and Potato Catching (hilarious). "
- Travel date: 31st July 2005
We booked this hotel last minute for a 1...
"We booked this hotel last minute for a 1 week sun-break and not a main holiday. After booking I read the reviews and was very worried, in fact I would have cancelled if I could have got our money back. The holiday turned out great and I would have no hesitation in going back for the same bargain price. I honestly donât know what the people who wrote the previous reviews expected. Yes the hotel is in the middle of nowhere, yes there are steep gradients because itâs built onto and into a Cliffside. To compensate for that the views from all accommodation balconyâs are wonderful and the hotel run a shuttle bus down to the beach and back every half-hour, the bus will stop at different points of the complex to pick-up. The 3 pools are wonderful, all with great views. The staff are very friendly and helpful. We waited no longer at the bars than any normal English pub. There is a bus stop outside reception that takes you to Heraklion, from where you can connect to any part of the island. The air-conditioned buses are limited to 9:00 & 10:00 out and 14:30 & 17:30 back but thatâs the times you would need anyway, to go out for a days adventure. To conclude, if you enjoy the Nightclub scene or Silver Service, donât go. Anything in between you will enjoy."
- Travel date: 30th June 2005
My husband and I stayed at this hotel fo...
"My husband and I stayed at this hotel for a week at the beginning of May 2005. Before we went we read many negative reviews about it and sensed even at this point that most of these had been written by whingers. We were right. This is an immaculate hotel in a picturesque setting, clean and well maintained with very helpful and friendly staff. The food was delicious, yes we did see the occasional vegetables at breakfast, but we also saw people eating them! Has it ever occurred to people that sometimes when you go abroad you see things that you might not see in England? This hotel caters for more than just English tourists and we didn't notice the chef holding guns to guests' heads to make them eat the vegetables. Joking apart, the food was excellent and beautifully presented. My husband and I are both vegetarians and had plenty of variety. In fact, it was just as well we were only a week otherwise I may have put on a lot more weight! The hotel is built into a mountainside overlooking the sea. It became apparent from the various walks we took that the surrounding area is in the process of being developed. There are three supermarkets within walking distance, but these are a bit of a trek. There is a free red minibus that frequently runs guests down to the private beach area (and back), but we didn't use this as we needed the exercise. There is also a very comfortable air conditioned green coach that picks guests up from the main car park area and ferries guests to and from Heraklion for the mere 2 euros each way. There are a lot of steps due to the geographical surroundings not a sadist hotel owner so if you are unfit or disabled it may be worth making use of the lifts or visiting an island that is less mountainous, such as Corfu. Car hire is availabe at an expense - we didn't bother as we were only there for a week. For people keen on exploring the Island I would recommend hiring a car on arrival in Heraklion. The animation team were great, very friendly and keen to get guests motivated into working off those pounds, but left you alone if you just wanted to relax. Each evening they laid on a different programme such as bingo, music quizzes or a talent contest. We used the swimming pools, played tennis (free racquets and ball from reception), table tennis and pool, all facilities and equipment were well maintained. Our room was big and very, very clean. A maid changed the sheets almost every day and our balcony was huge! I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who doesn't have realistic expectations of what 5* is in a poor country. It exceeded my expectations and I have visited Crete 5 times before. To those of you who are after an all singing and dancing 5* hotel, I suggest you visit one in a richer country such as you own. "
- Travel date: 30th April 2005
I have stayed in 5* hotels in many count...
"I have stayed in 5* hotels in many countries - Egypt, Greece mainland, Madeira, Austria, Andorra to name a few. This was certainly no 5*. When I queried the rating on my return I was told it was because it passed all safety regulations for a 5* The hotel was advertised as having an indoor pool - but this was never open, and the outdoor pool was too cold to use. Lunchtime snacks were advertised but these were ham sandwiches put out at 11:30 and left out all day - presumably to toast in the sun. Food was always lukewarm - we complained to the kitchen staff and management but this made no difference. The trays of food should have been put into hot water in their holders - not into empty holders but no staff seemed aware of this. Cats wandered around at will - we had to request our tablecloth be cleaned of cat hairs before eating. Our room was very shabby - with pieces falling off the wardrobe, a solid bed with a thin mattress on a chipboard base. We needed extra blankets under the mattress in order to sleep. Drinks were unlimited it was true - but there were never more than 2 serving behind the bar. Nevertheless I did manage on average 12 Bacardies per night after wine with dinner and never once felt drunk - drinks were obviously 2% alcohol. I certainly could not recommend this hotel to anyone - nor after the way my complaints were dealt with by Sun star on my return could I recommend that tour company."
- Travel date: 31st August 2004
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Athina ...
"My boyfriend and I stayed at the Athina Palace for one week during September 2004. We had a decent time. We did not think the hotel was 5*. We did, however, think it was 4* or top class 3*. All inclusive is great - the alcoholic measures were obscenely large though! The rooms were big and clean and tidy and everything Iâd expect from a 4* hotel. Really nice bathroom etc etc - no problems with any of it, and yes, we had a sea view from our balcony. The views from the hotel in general are stunning. The hotel is, literally, in the middle of nowhere. We, however, knew this when we booked the holiday and if youâre just looking for a relaxing week by the beach/pool, Athina Palace does the job just fine. Be warned though - independent trips away from the hotel are expensive. The bus service isnât great but we heard of people whoâd used it without any problems. There are 3 pools, a kidâs pool and a Jacuzzi. Be warned - they are very very cold as fresh water is continually pumped in. Thereâs a good pool bar at the main pool - this is where the entertainment during the day runs from too. There were always things going on, entertainment wise, but no one ever bothered with it and we felt kind of sorry for the animation team :( The beach was nice - the beach bar does all inclusive drinks, which we werenât expecting! Itâs not shingle, itâs not quite sand but its very very fine pebbles and very comfortable to walk along barefoot. The sea was warm and clear. Thereâs a bus for the lazy (like me!) which runs every half an hour between the beach and reception. The food was excellent. Okay, by the end of the week, itâs become a bit samey but what can you expect from a buffet?! The food does indeed consist of basics - pasta, chips, a potato dish, breads, salads, pasta salads etc. However, there were always lots of meat dishes to choose from and different trays of vegetables, pasta sauces etc every mealtime. We *very* rarely saw food being reused in the next meal - and no, no vegetables turned up at breakfast! The food was usually very hot too. The snack bar at the pool wasnât wonderful but after the amount we ate at breakfast/lunch/dinner, we barely used it. Ice cream is always plentiful! The staff were friendly but the one thing which made the hotel a 4* not a 5* was that you saw the staff - in 5* hotelâs theyâre normally very discreet. It did occasionally take a while to get served but I think the hotel got it pretty right. By the end of the week, we were glad we werenât staying for another, not because we hadnât enjoyed it but because we felt out holiday could have been tainted by being there for another week - cabin fever may have kicked in a bit! I would go back, but only for a week at a time, and only for the same sort of holiday - pure relaxation in the sun. Sightseers - you will hate this hotel. Clubber/pubbers - you will hate this hotel. People looking for a relaxing holiday in the sun, by a pool or at the beach - you will LOVE this place. "
- Travel date: 31st August 2004
Bad Things: Hotel staff unhelpful ~ O...
"Bad Things: Hotel staff unhelpful ~ Only 3 bar staff on duty in evenings ~ up to 30mins wait. Food OK for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks poor during day. Watch out if you only book twin room plus 2 children ~ no room to swing a cat. Good Things: Clean beach towels every day. Room cleaned every day. Lovely views. Great beach. Overall ~ I would imagine this hotel would be vastly improved if there were more staff and they had training in customer service and communication skills. It was their attitudes that spoilt what could be a lovely place to stay. "
- Travel date: 31st July 2004
Poor service, poor food, poor entertainm...
"Poor service, poor food, poor entertainment and unhelpful staff. If that is 5* Crete style I am glad I never went 2/3*. Oh and I think I still owe them something at least that how I was made to feel despite spending a packet to stay in a room with a sea view which happened to be a tree. If you like stale left over cheese and ham in bread, well youâre in snack heaven. Because thatâs all, there was day in day out and if you fancy a late night drink, you had better buy one from somewhere. Because at midnight everything stops. Not that it started anyway, and one other tip donât dare to sit any later than 9.45pm at your table after you have eaten or you will be thrown in the dungeon! With it being a palace we thought we were going to treated like royalty well as Jim would say 5* my arse."
- Travel date: 31st July 2004
Do not stay hereâ¦.EVER..!!! This plac...
"Do not stay hereâ¦.EVER..!!! This place was booked and advertised as a 4.5 star hotel. We visited August 2004. These are the âfeaturesâ which many others and I found by stopping here. Meals Every meal, every night is pasta or chips and basic meat. Flies are everywhere in restaurant, on one occasion 6 at once on my table. I accept that you get flies but no attempts are made to reduce them. The Italian restaurant is open 3 nights a week and serves the same food as the one below but this one offers small slices of cold bland pizza and first goes at the stuff before it gets dropped into the trays in the standard restaurant. Water is not free so prepare to pay for it. They even serve Brussels and chips for breakfast. One morning my wife was told to go away when she asked her pancake to be cooked on both sides, as she didnât want to eat the raw runny mixture. Sports Facilities There is no Gym. The indoor pool is closed and is never open. Sports Facilities consists of a locked empty office with a few cables on the floor. The Bar It takes on average 20 minutes to get served at the bar in the evening. All Inclusive Snacks etc All snacks (ice creams, sandwiches etc), are not all inclusive despite whatever info you have to the contrary. One guy argued with them and took some sandwiches, which he said were all-inclusive as per the brochure specifiedâ¦Good for him and we all cheered. Until he was arrested by police for stealing sandwiches. He showed them to an Internet console and showed them the advertised info and charges were dropped. Entertainment There is nothing for children/teenagers to do apart from play around the pool in the dark and dangerous slippery steps. We entertained ourselves by queuing at the bar, attempting to find somewhere to sit or going back to our room and having an early night. The Rooms The bungalows are at best between 2-3 star. One couple we talked to had not had clean towels or sheets at all during the holiday and indeed on the last evening had nothing and were waiting until after midnight to get sheets so they could sleep. We booked a honeymoon 5 star suite and ended up with 2 single beds in an awful apartment with mismatching furniture, door that hung by 1 hinge and a shower thatâs electrical switch dangled near the shower head as it was not screwed to the wall. It was the sort of room youâd expect by paying Â£200 and waiting to see where you were going to end up. Standards do differ from country to country but this room didnât even come close to anything more than 3 star. Getting About There are steps everywhere and you need to be a hardened walker to get anywhere here. One man with arthritis was given a room with over 100 steps up to complex, he complained and they said tough. He had to hire a car to take him to the restaurant at 40 Euros a dayâ¦ 40 Euros a day to eat cold chips, brussel sprouts and covered in flies. Taxis Fees are expensive and vary depending how much they want to rip you off. On site shop. Not a bad shop but the shopkeeper maths were not the greatest, many occasions we had to point out that the change was wrong and he had charged too much. Summary: Go here if you are a sadist and enjoy misery and wasting money. This is not a bitter review, this is how it was and how it compares to many places I have visited and travelled to."
- Travel date: 31st July 2004
CHC Athina Palace Resort & Spa is also called
- athina palace agia pelagia