10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Just returned from 7-night stay in Amirandes. Our choice of the hotel was based on Trip Advisor reviews. I must admit that the personnel is very friendly and helpful, the hotel is new, clean and tidy, loved the room too. But sorry, I have to add some lemon into 5* reviews. The hotel is ridiculously overpriced. First the rates. We were going to book via their website but the rates were too high. Luckily, we found it much cheaper in a package through a travel agent. This comforts me as I'd have beed gutted if we'd paid full price. Secondly, food prices. I don't think that to pay 9.30 euros for a portion of watermelon is acceptable. We went out and bought a huge 7 kg watermelon and paid just 2.30! Club sandwich cost 19 euros! We are not tight for cash but these prices are insolent. We were on half-board which included breakfast and dinner. The former was good, no complaints but the latter left much to be desired. As was mentioned in the previous review, by giving 11 euros' discount for non-buffet dinner they revealed the cost of their buffet - 11 euros per person. We preferred to eat out. Thirdly, services. More then 10 euros per shirt and 7 for a piece of underwear. Things like internet or some water-sports equipment which can be complimentary in other hotels are to be paid for. I'm not even mentioning the spa- around 200 euros for a massage. Though it may be worth it, sorry, I haven't tried - was spooked away by the price. And a few words about the territory. Yes, the architectural style is appealing but the hotel is far from being cosy and welcoming (IMHO). It lacks greenery very much. A few palm-trees they have are dry and dead. I'd like to see more bushes and trees, but was surrounded by mostly stone. Some construction is going on behind the beach area. It's covered from guests with a short partition but you can see the pipes and crane anyway. The other half of the beach is framed by a cement wall that reminded me of a dam (I suppose they planned to decorate it in the style of the rest of the hotel but then abandoned the idea). Also the so-called sandy beach is artificially sandy - the sand is only in the area of the sunbeds, but to go into the sea you walk on stones which is quite challenging. Rubber swimming shoes is a good idea. We are definitely not returning there again. But we hope they'll make some improvement and wish them good luck in business."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2008
Expensive but top quality in luxury surroundings.
"We stayed here for 8 nights at the beginging of July for our honeymoon. You certainly get that WOW factor as you walk into the lobby and look down towards the lagoon which appears to fall into the sea! We had booked a family suite with private pool and whilst the suite was smaller than I had imagined it was all nicely furnished and spotlessly clean. The bathroom was a good size but not very well laid out. The shower cubicle was tiny and my husband had to turn the water off and open the door to wash himself! If the bathroom had been arranged differently then they could have got a decent sized cubicle in there. However, as we had requested a late check out and been given a courtesy room we got to have a peek at a standard double room which was spacious with a huge shower large enough for two! The private pool was a lovely touch but we preferred to have our loungers on the patio area rather than the grass and the sun didnt come over onto the patio until lunchtime so we would spend the first part of the day by the main pool. You will need to get down to the main pool at around 8.30am to get your sunbed although if you are not fussy over exactly where you sit then later would be ok. Beach/pool towels are available all day and you can change them as frequently as you wish. The water in the main pool is salt water but there are showers situated at the edge of the pool. We had lunch around the pool which was nice. The Greek salad was devine, the best I have had (approx 12 euros), also, the burger is devine, made from proper beef and hand made. For a large beer (Erdinger) you are looking at approx 7.70 euros and about 8 euros for a glass of wine. We were half board and the food was good but it did get a bit repetitive towards the end of the week. Although the dining area is lovely and the staff really friendly and helpful. If you are half board and choose to eat in any of the other restaurants you will be given an 11.50 euro PP discount. However if you are not half board and choose to eat in the half board restaurant then it will cost you 48 euros PP - I dont know why the discount for HB is so low? We had one meal in the Italian restaurant which was really nice, again expensive (35 euros for a bottle of wine and 25 euros for a lobster starter) but we enjoyed it. We ordered the pork for our main dish and it was huge, two really thick chops each, and after the lobster and taglietelle starters we were already stuffed! We would go back again but not with the children (they didn`t come on this trip), as it`s too pricey and they wouldnt handle the salt water pool although there were people there with kids. As the schools had not yet broken up these were mainly pre schoolers, I dont know what it will be like during the holidays? Great for honeymoon/romantic holiday or a break with older kids. The private pool is a nice luxury but we didnt use it for the last 3 days as it was so hot and there was no breeze, so we stayed by the main pool where you get a lovely breeze coming off the sea. The beach is nice but not the best, being slightly rocky and difficult to enter - not good for kids!"
- Travel date: 21st July 2008
Amirandes â the new flagship property of Grecotels
"This is the newest property of Grecotels. The resort is located in the North Crete, between Heraklion Airport and Hersonissos, in the village of Gouves. The design of the resort is astonishing â all wood, stone and glass, very, very nice. The majority of the complex is on 3 floors, it have many lagoons, pools and water effects. We stayed for 10 days in Amirandes family suite, with pool, which was very nice for my 2 and a half year daughter. The only minus I think is the too small bathroom, especially the toilet section (which also had no separate door) and the shower cabin was so small, so you can very hardly move inside. I believe that is the problem all around the resort. The food in the hotel is fantastic, although quite expensive (the deserts in Lago di Candia restaurant goes for +20 Euro!), prices on which many of the Milano top restraints would envy. However the quality of the food was without any compromise, even the Greek salad was made fresh with every single order. Our particular favorite was the Petrinus for the lunch, which served fresh lobster cooked as you like it (120 Euro per kg though), fresh fish, superb mussels (on a pan with wine) and shrimpsâ¦ You canât complain. The wine is very expensive â the Amethistos (famous wine of Kosta Lazaridi from Drama) goes for 45 Euro, compared to 24-25 Euro you can order it in the best tavernâs in Northern Greece (Thessalonica, Kavala, Halkidiki). The management of the hotel is striving to improve all the initial small problems (the resort is very young). The General Manager, the Food and Beverage manager are coming personally to every single table and are personally involved in the customer satisfaction to every single quest. It is normal for every new resort to have the so called âbabyâ problems I the beginning. For example one lunch our waiter has delayed our order, due to some misunderstanding and after we complained, the Food and beverage manager cancelled our bill plus he has organized a free dinner for us in the Blue monkey Asian restaurant. The predominant customers (80 percent) are the rich Russian people, which I have nothing in mind, but you feel a little bit like walking around Moscow. Amirandes hired many, many Russian personnel, to accommodate the wave of the super rich Russians. The beach in Crete is not so good, can not even be compared to the fantastic beaches in Northern Greece, I think Crete is a very overrated island. Iâve been to Greece 100 times, due to the proximity of my native Sofia, Bulgaria, and for example Sani Asterias Suites in Halkidiki is far better place to go. The beach of Amirandes is stony, and not so good. At Euro 600+ per night this is definitely not a cheap place, the villas in Amirandes go for Euro 2000 per night. The pools are clean and maintained well, basically Grecotel do a lot of things for the maintenance, which is o.k. Special shout out to the lady Viara from the personnel which was in charge for the kids theater and Amirandes kids club, she is fantastic speaking 4 languages, the kids really adore her she is lovely (of course she is Bulgarian!!!) If that particular trip was made only for the short travel time, because of my daughter, I would definitely go to other place like the Maldives or Malaysia or other place for much better value for money, better service and better beach. In conclusion, Amirandes have nice design, clean, well maintained, excellent food, but still some small problems in the service and organizations and the rooms are small. The resort is very expensive (35 Euro for beef steak), so I like it but Iâll not be back. Maldives is so much betterâ¦."
- Travel date: 7th July 2008
Outstanding hotel and stay
"My wife and I spent a wonderful week in June in this hotel. Although located off the beaten track, we did not suffer from this because with a rental car other towns, beaches and sites are within easy reach. The food in the main restaurant was very good, the service excellent and pleasant, and we were able to eat outside every evening. Breakfast food selection is equally very good with the usual major items being available and in particular my wife was very impressed with the selection of fresh fruit. Our room was wonderful and quiet, located and the end of a corridor with loads of storage space and a large enough safe to store my laptop in it. We enjoyed a partial sea view, a TV in the room with a DVD player and one in the bathroom and an extremely confortable bed. DVDs and CDs are available to borrow from the library and free of charge. WiFi is available for a charge in every room, although the connection speed is somewhat slow. It is true that the flight path for landing planes passes just above the hotel, but you may entirely disregard this, because Iraklionâs airport activities are very limited compared to other European regional airports. There are, however, a few issues worth while pointing out: - Local inhabitants tend to appear on the beach towards the end of the afternoon and make use of the hotelâs beach beds and umbrellas. Although the hotel has security personnel at the entrance, even the life guard on duty was unsuccessful in ensuring they would leave. All you need is a few billboards on the beach explaining that the beds are reserved for hotel guests only. - The hotel provides quiet and non-disturbing entertainment on most evenings, either in the small amphytheater or on the patio adjacent to the bar on the ground floor. However, the only way to find out what the program is, is to look through the documentation in the room, which left most guests startled, since they didnât even know this documentation existed, let alone the entertainment itself. A small board in the reception area every day would do the job much better to publicise the romantic saxaphone music or the Greek dancing"
- Travel date: 7th July 2008
what a wonderful hotel
"my husband and i have just returned from this wonderful hotel! we stayed for two very relaxing weeks. this is a very modern hotel only built last year, and i agree with other peoples reviews of it, the arcitecture is stunning! We had an ocean view luxury room which was very comfortable and spacious with a good bathroom containing a bath and seperate shower cubicle and even a t.v! The restraunts were very good with a good veriity of food.The breakfasts were particually good with a very good selection.The staff were very friendly and proffesional. I do think you need to hire a car as the shopping is not really within walking distance and also its nice to drive through the little villages.The beach is not the best but plenty of comfotable sun beds and shades for every one and even waiter service for food and drinks! The pool is indeed olympic size and lovely when lit at night in fact the whole hotel when lit at night is stunning. the entertainment was a bit hit and miss i think this needs improving .The majority of people staying there seemed to be german, Belgium and russian, not many english but everyone seemed to get on with one onother.All in all i would not hesitate to recomend this hotel to anyone that is looking for a very relaxing holiday at a very comfortable hotel with a good spa and treatment rooms and also an indoor pool."
- Travel date: 9th June 2008
An OK 4* for the price of a 5*
"All the reviews were so good maybe, I was expecting maybe too much for such a new resort. Although I will start by saying yes the architecture, beach and the service was great and made the rest bearable. And my stay was a bit improved once they fixed; the sound in my bathroom, the broken mirror, supplied me with a blanket, properly shut the adjoining door to the next room. It might seem like 5* but thatâs only on the surface; the holes in the bedspread, broken DVD player, the cheap finishing in the bathroom, and sloping bathroom shelves, small adjoining room they gave me (kids room) â which they did not change although I requested it, cheap doors and walls (making sound carry â which is the last thing you want in hotel catering for honeymooners). While the fruit and vegetables on the buffet were great, the fish wasnât at all fresh; although you can splurge in their other restaurants where the food was pricey but mediocre. The lack of regard for guests; filming 1 whole night for a local movie, which was noisy to say the least, and catering for a wedding another day which was shut down the outdoor pool area for half a day â and kept the hotel awake all night. While claiming to be a resort with spa, while they do offer massages and facials â the gym was a huge let down, only 4 cardio machines and some hand weights. Lost opportunity as they had a lot of fit people wanting to work out, but it was only 5 x 10 mt so was full with only 3-4 people â which was most of the time. Staff was super sweet but not at all knowledgeable about area or otherwise, but dealt quite well with the amount of complaints I heard around me. Shame as it really if had been done with better attention to details, and rooms properly checked before guest arrived, it could be a pretty amazing resort."
- Travel date: 5th June 2008
"*Architecture* The architecure is what strikes you at first. The architects built the hotel like an ancient Cretan palace. When you enter the lobby, you get a wonderful view on what they call the lagoon, a pool that seems to stretch into the sea. At night you can spot little stars shining through the water (like on the their official website pictures). *Situation* Not that bad, situated on a sandy beach, a bit far away from animation for those who love nightlife but you can take a taxi to Hersonissos only ten minutes away. There is also a bus every half hour to Heraklion and Agios Nikolaios. For our part, we rented a car for two days. Hertz is represented within the hotel. *Restaurant* The main restaurant (halfboard) is set around a beautiful pool, and located in 4 rooms but since the weather is nearly always warm enough in Crete, the guests can eat outside. The are also other theme restaurants but we didn't try them (cretan, asian, italian,..). If there were a negative point it would be the fact that the food tends to get less hot when you finish choosing your dishes from the buffet. It might be due to the system used to store the food. *Bedroom* We stayed in a luxury bedroom, very wonderful, nicely decorated, with a bang & Olufsen TV. The room was spacious, with the bed facing the sea, the balcony railing was in glass so we could see the sea directly through it from our bed. The bathroom was also very spacious with a separate shower cubicle *pools* A huge swimming pool is located near the sea and the beach. There is also a inner pool (in the spa which we didn't try) which is free during the low season. *Beach* There were many loungers available though the hotel was full. We didn't swim because the water was too cold at that time but the water seemed ok."
- Travel date: 20th May 2008
Fantastic Hotel - Phenominal Service
"Absolutely fantastic hotel in every aspect - room, staff, service, food, architecture....the list goes on.. This is a new hotel - opened in May 2007. Unlike other new hotels that I've stayed in there didn't appear to be any teething problems and the hotel looked stunning and made to look so with breathtaking architecture, the use of mature trees in landscaping and a feel in harmony with its beach surrounds. The hotel has three restaurants - we ate only in the Mediterranean one - beautiful fresh food and good service. The wine was very average and extremely expensive but it goes with the territory unfortunately. The breakfast is stunning - buffet but a wonderful selection from a vast array of cereals, Greek specialties, fresh fruit, meats, cheeses, hot selection....... The staff made our stay a memorable one - exceptionally thoughtful, attentive and professional. The staff knew our names from day one and were very helpful in suggesting restaurants in other hotels, different cities etc.... I would thoroughly recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: 1st October 2007
A week close to Paradise
"Iâve spent one week with my wife in the Hotel Amirandes, for a 25th wedding anniversary honey moon. We hadnât yet been in Crete and chose this hotel because of the its captivating promotion on their Internet site. In fact, the hotel entirely meet the released expectations and we found that architecture, decor, usefulness and service really touch perfection. Also food offer is excellent and quite varied, with a extensive high quality buffet, and a Mediterranean, an Asiatic and a Cretan âa la carteâ restaurants, besides the other two bistros for lunch time. Everything under a extraordinarily exquisite, refined and modern decoration. The imaginative mixture of stone, glass, wood and water is awesome. At night, lighting is a grand spectacle. Really, a masterpiece of design and theme. It still lacks of some vegetation, like leaves on the palm trees, or green grass on yards, which is comprehensible because of its recent opening and hopefully will be fulfilled soon. As only negative points, we must report these five ones: - The location: it seems they picked one of the worst and ugliest spots in Crete to place the hotel. Surely, there must be in Crete much more suitable locations for such a fantastic vacation resort. - The beach: the section aside the pool used by the hotel is quite bad â rocky, water not so clear, too crowded and unattractive landscape. It isnât understandable why they donât use the section in front of the hotel, where the water is crystalline, the sand clean and flat and the sight beautiful. - The pool: although magnificent in size and beauty, its water was really aggressive, because of too much chlorine, I think. - Shopping: since the hotel is quite isolated, if you donât hire a car, the shopping facilities provided in the hotel are quite reduced and far below its 5 star level. - Internet point (at the library): its use price is prohibitive. Moreover, weâve got a very positive note of the professionalism and know-how of the Grecotel chain, which we became very tempted to try again, in another of their Greek resorts. Antonio Arriaga (Portugal)"
- Travel date: 17th September 2007
Excellent resort hotel
"I stayed at the brand new Grecotel Amirandes in August 2007, barely a month after its opening. It should be noted that, even though the hotel had just opened, everything was in perfect working order, with very few exceptions (for example the landscaping was not fully developped yet), which were understandable and not a nuiscance in any way. First of all I must comment on the excellent architecture and overall design and decor of the hotel (especially the reception area), which creates an extremely serene and welcoming ambience. Also, I cannot give enough credit to the superb level of service. It is true that, to my experience, excellent service can be expected in most of the five-star Grecotel hotels. Nevertheless, Amirandes really stands out in the service department. I did not come across one member of the staff who was anything less than pleasant, polite, helpful, appropriately friendly and at the same time professional and efficient. Most of them really went out of their way to make sure that all requests could be met, that prefernces and habits would be remembered and that guests would feel welcome and cared for. (All you heard was "don't you worry, we'll take care of it", and they meant it.) Special praise should be given to the reception staff, who happily and promptly accomodated all our requests, from check-in to check-out. Another great contribution to the hotel experience is the staff of the restaurants and the bars. From the maitre d' to the waiters, they all made you feel that you were the only (as well as their favourite) guest. In two words, truly excellent hotel staff, truly excellent service. Our room was a seafront luxury bungalow, with a private swimming pool - nice enough, although not quite the extravagance one might expect from the room description. It was fairly large, with the bed placed on a higher level than the living area, with a lovely leather sofa and a nice, large B&O T.V. There was ample room for storage, dressing and grooming. The bathroom was spacious, with a seperate shower and WC. The bathroom also had an outside space (no one could actually see you) with an open air rainshower. The pool was decent-sized and (in this particular type of room) very private, as it appears to be slightly sunken and separated from the neighbouring rooms by a relatively high wall. We found it very pleasant - I suppose it could have a better view to the sea, but this would probably compromise its privacy, so its really a matter of priorities. Housekeeping was excellent, efficient and polite. The hotel has one large pool, with seawater. It is actually one of the nicest pools I have come across, with areas of it (inside and out of the water) covered by a type of wooden pergola which lets a little sun come through, so that no umbrellas are needed for shade, very comfortable sunbeds and very good poolside service (unlimited beach towels, prompt delivery of drinks and snacks, et.c.). There is also a nice enough beach, right next to the pool, with umbrellas and sunbeds. The spa is also very good, although not exceptional. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to experience one of the ayurvedic treatments, which were fully booked for the duration of our stay. Another thing worth noting at Amirandes is the restaurants. There are many different ones and all of them are excellent. I would particularly recommend "Xasteria", which serves a set menu of delicious and superbly executed traditional Cretan dishes, made with local organic products, from Grecotel's own farm. The chairs at the oriental restaurant are really something to check out! Breakfast is very good, great variety, excellent quality and also served at a very nice setting, around one of the lagoons and near the ocean. The hotel bar is very nice for a quiet drink after dinner, especially if you sit at one of the tables that are practically inside the big lagoon, with a terrific view of the lagoon and the main building. Overall, this is a lovely resort, welcoming and easy-going, with a chic-and-simple ambience, great for a relaxing, carefree, quality holiday."
- Travel date: 26th August 2007
Amirandes, Grecotel Exclusive Resort is also called
- Grecotel Amirandes
- grecotel amirandes amnissos
- grecotel amirandes hotel amnissos