19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
5 star Luxury..........NOT!!!!
"To whom this may concern.
I have recently traveled to your complex on Saturday 27th August for a weekâs family holiday with my husband and son. After doing extensive research into your complex via many different web browsers and recommendations, we decided to choose the Royal Knossos and were excited to enjoy the experiences you had to offer.
I am afraid the rest of this e mail isnât pleasant reading and I would like to think you take this complaint exceptionally serious.
We were collected from the airport by private transfer; a driver met us at the airport, however throughout the whole journey he decided to make 5 calls on his mobile and drive quiet erratically: at one point my husband was going to ask him to stop, as his driving to say the least was not careful.
He unloaded our suitcases, waited for a tip!!!! Then we entered the reception. This is where I should have known what was to come. No one welcomed us, no welcome drinks on arrival and an abrupt man checked us in that certainly wasnât helpful. A porter took us to our room on a buggy, opened our door and that was it, nothing else â no instructions on how the air con worked etc. Once the lights were turned on I burst into tears. This was a holiday that was paid for out of my grandmaâs recent inheritance and I wanted to make this holiday one to remember and create a lot of happy memories with my family that she would have been proud of.. Nightmares were made not memories.
The beds were so hard more like a block of concrete, my sonâs bed was disgusting ( pic attached ) how was he meant to sleep on that for a week? As we arrived on a late flight we missed the evening buffet. Stale sandwiches were left in the fridge (which didnât work) and were completely inedible ( pic attached). Cracks in the tiles and the bathroom that needed modernization about 20 years ago!! Wasnât quite sure on how that hair dryer complied with any health and safety tests as it became extremely hot!!! I rung reception immediately to explain my utter disappointment and dissatisfaction and my response was, âsee the manager at 10am tomorrow, I can do nothing nowâ. That was a nice welcoming, concerned and understanding response!!!
The following day, after a dreadful nightâs sleep, as all three of us slept in the double bed due to the fact the single bed was completely unacceptable and totally uncomfortable; we were shown a different room that was smaller! It had the same basic layout and still not the standard expected from a 5 star hotel as advertised!!! We decided to stay in our own room as this nightmare was now starting to seriously impact and take over and spoil our holiday; we were thankfully we were only there a week; thank goodness we werenât there for two weeks! We requested softer beds, a different bed for my son and tea / coffee making facilities which I couldnât believe were not already provided!!! They arrived but didnât work nor was the milk replenished on a daily basis!!!
The rest of the holiday still was a disaster and one I wouldnât ever like to experience again. I have bullet pointed the other issues which caused me to have a very stressful and upsetting time at your resort.
â¢ When booking the Al La Carte restaurants something which we were looking forward to, we realized we only had the choice of 2 although the brochure states more options were available. We had to select our meal from a menu at the point of booking!!! I donât know what I want to eat in 5 daysâ time! Part of a dining experience is choosing from a menu what you would like to eat on that evening. The lady was exceptional rude. At this point I was starting to think that this rudeness and lack of concern was the Crete / Royal Knossos culture â should I just accept it I thought?
â¢ When eating in the buffet restaurant we were completely shocked that we had to go and get our own drinks!!! No one explained this to us or showed us where to get them from or that we could choose any other drinks. Unless you were âfriendsâ with the Restaurant Manager and visited regularly they didnât want to know you!!! This was made clear on every visit to the buffet restaurant. Luckily we didnât eat three meals a day, by choice we missed breakfast as we couldnât face the rugby tackle three times a day trying to getting your food and drink!!! The lunch at the beach barâ¦. What is the point of this âvoucherâ system which was the same food and self-service as the main buffet?
â¢ Drinks â disgusted that we had to pay extra for selected wines at the Al La Carte restaurant!!! Is this not an all-inclusive resort with 5 stars?? On the last evening we ate in the Greek Tavern the food was lovely and I ordered a bottle of wine and my husband decided to treat himself and have a Jack Daniels, which we knew we had to pay the additional supplement of 2.50 Euros as it was a branded spirit. The waitress accommodated our request, took 15 minutes each time to get the drinks as these were served from the Main Bar, upon signing for the additional drinks I learn that we had to pay full price 8.50 Euros for the Jack Daniels as were eating in the restaurant. Really! â¦ so we are paying the difference for a waitress to walk 100 meters to get the drink, If we knew that was the case we wouldnât have ordered them! (See attached picture)
â¢ Other than one polite waitress, the staff at the main bar were clearly not interested in working especially in hospitality - all they were bothered about was chatting to their colleagues. On several occasions we requested drinks more than once and took on average a 20 minutes waitâ¦ thatâs unless you tip them and then you are their best friend!!! Should that be the case?
â¢ Pool area has cracked tiles, grit in the water, not enough sun loungers around as people were putting towels out in the evening for the following day. The sun loungers were the old ones you used to see on the beach not the ones that you advertise on your website by the pool! Pool toilets always dirty!!
â¢ Our room was âcleanedâ every day!!! The bed was made and towels replenished. At no point was the floor mopped or the top of surfaces cleaned or the milk used replaced!! As a 5 star hotel surely this is the basics of ensuring the customer receives a good service and value for money, this was not a cheap holiday! The cleaners didnât communicate with you or leave that personal touch when coming back to your room. It was bad enough that the fridge didnât work but also the air condition was ineffective. We had this on high most of the time but either the filters needed cleaning or it was broken!!
As an avid traveler on family holidays this is the worse hotel I have ever visited. Usually I am not a complaining person; however I really need to express my views and complaints directly to yourself to give you the opportunity to compensate me and my family appropriately. You advertise yourself as a family 5 star resort; there is a nothing 5 star about your complex, I feel this is a complete misrepresentation."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of September 2016
Four star service
"We stayed here for five nights half board and had a very good experience overall.
We had a lovely room overlooking the garden in a quiet area. It was spotless inside and had a small terrace area where we could have a drink and read. The air con kept the room nice and cool and the only real fault was that the shower in the bathroom just gushed water and had no proper spray head on it.
Gorgeous, lush gardens surround the complex and it was just a two minute walk down to the private beach. The beach is clean and you'll have no problem finding a sunbed. It was a bit more tricky round the swimming pools as there was evidence of the towel brigade being up and about early, but on most days we had no problem. The pools are large and clean and there's a big waterslide for the kids.
We stayed half board, so it was the usual buffet fare. Overally this was good with lots of choice and really fresh and delicious. We would have preferred them to keep the restaurant open an hour later in the morning and evening, as finishing breakfast at 10am and dinner at 9pm was a bit early for us. Service from the staff was generally good, although we had a surly waitress one evening who was rude when we asked where we could sit as there was no clean tables. A tip if you're half board is to have your lunch at the beach bar rather than the snack bar by the main pool as it's not much more expensive and you get table service and more choice.
Not that good. We kept getting pestered by a member of the animation team who we nicknamed Andi Peters because of his camp mannerisms! We only went to one evening show which was OK to pass half an hour but nothing more. One for families really. There were a variety of singers/combos in the bar who ranged in quality from half decent to absolutely appalling. A Greek guy who murdered Lionel Richie's Hello was the worst, while a four piece band with a female on lead vocals was the best. A male/female duo with a guy who fancied himself as Mark Knopfler were also a bit ropey and every so often he'd launch into a self indulgent Dire Straits or Pink Floyd guitar solo. We kept our spirits up by pretending it was Eurovision and doing commentary Terry Wogan style.
The only time we felt let down (and slightly embarrassed!) was when we decided to have dinner at the a la carte restaurant. It said in the guest booklet that we could "substitute" our meal at the main restaurant for other restaurants on the complex. When I booked I stupidly forgot to ask if there was any surcharge and assumed there wasn't one. However, when we arrived we quickly realised when we opened the menus that a three course meal would cost us at least 80 euros each. The waitress explained that the "substitute" reference in the booklet meant we would get a 12 euro discount each. Looking at the prices, we realised it would probably just about cover the cost of the starter. Being cheap skates, we made our apologies and quickly hot footed it over to the cheap seats at the main restaurant! They should make it clear in the booklet that you only get a discount and it doesn't cover the cost of the whole meal.
The only other problem was when we came to check out and they tried to charge us 10 euros for drinks they said we'd charged to our room account with our evening meals. As we'd paid cash every night we disputed this and asked for the receipts we would have had to sign. Unsurprisingly, they didn't have them and the member of staff apologised for the mix up.
Overall this is a decent place to stay but I would rate it as four stars rather than five. My friend had a massage at the adjoining spa and enjoyed it very much."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of July 2008
before booking this hotel as usual i rea...
"before booking this hotel as usual i read many peoples reviews and experiences of this hotel which you can expect being good and bad as we all have different views.This hotel is an absolutely beautiful place.The rooms were just as pictured.very clean everything you would need and expect from a 5 star rated accomodation.The short walk down the path to the beach is lovely.There were seven of us that went on this holiday me and my partner his two boys my two girls and my daughters friend.My daughter and her friend had a vip room near the beach while the rest of us had a adjoining family rooms further up the hotel.We pretty much spent every day sat next to the pool where the water slide is although we did venture out on a bike ride down to hersonissos itself. The kids had great fun on the water slide as we did too.The restraunt is faultless a wonderful aray of foods to suit all tastes.The bar is great you basically can have anything you want no restrictions on makes or brands, as we had gone on a all inclusive basis.The kids loved it while we the adults sat by the pool the kids sat at the bar drinking cocktails(kids) hot chocolates.makes a change.The atmosphere is warm laid back very friendly and professional the staff were faultless.The animation team were round getting you involved in the activitys on a daily basis should you be willing. The kids got very fond of them and by the end of the holiday they were inseperable.This is a absolutely quality holiday destination and is faultless in everyway.The views over hersonissos and other near by resorts are absolutely breathtakeing which you can view from the main bar or walk a minutes walk just out to the side of the hotel.we visited hersonissos 2 yrs previous just me and my partner and absolutely adored the place. this hotel was further on from where we stayed although having a moped at the time we had travelled past this to see other resorts.it is about 15 min walk away from hersonissos town.it costs 7euro in a taxi and about 16euro to malia.I would definately without a doubt return to this hotel its perfect.The only down side is having to come home, we have been home a week today and how we all long to be back. if you read a bad report on this hotel its just rubbish or the people writing it must just be unhappy very very hard to please people. happy holidays "
- Travel date: Sat 7th of June 2008
"Well... What can i say!!!
This hotel is amazing from start to finish... On arrival you are welcomed by the friendly check in staff and then driven on a golf buggy to your room. The rooms are spacious and clean... the only downside is that the balconies are not that big. The bathroom is massive and is cleaned daily with fresh towels.
The room we had was right by the main pool and we never heard any noise from it day or night...
The beach was really narrow and the sea really choppy so we only swam in it once and we both nearly drowned as there was so much seaweed in it!!
Entertainment was fab, animation team preformed in the ampitheatre every evening and then there was a live act in the piano bar every night. There was also a great wine bar that opened at 8pm and an amazing fish resturant that overlooked the sea.
There was not a lot to do around the hotel. There was 1 bar and 2 gift shops plus a car rental place and a resturant. If you wanted to walk into the resort it takes about 30 mins and a taxi costs about 7 euros. Its a fairly easy walk into the centre but all uphill coming back.
We took a taxi into Malia one day which costs about 15 euros 1 way which was well worth it!! It was quite quiet during the day time but a fab beach made the day for us. Stalis was also about 10 euros in a taxi which was ideal for a quiet day.
I really cannot say enough about this hotel. The food was amazing, the staff great, and the facilities top quality.
I would definately go back and reccommend it to anyone!!"
- Travel date: Fri 6th of June 2008
Great Overall Experience
"My wife & two children stayed at Knossos Royal Village in August 2007 for two weeks. We found the hotel facillities, especially the pools excellent especially for children.
Upon arrival, we were upgraded to a villa with a private pool shared with 6 other villas that overlooked the beach.
The main restaurant served a buffet breakfast & dinner that was of good quality. Two other a la carte restaurants were also available at an extra cost but we did not use them as the food in the main restaurant was excellent; you would have to be a very fussy eater not to find the food acceptable.
Probably better to go all inclusive due to the cost of drinks but there are plenty of shops & cafes nearby so the room fridge was put to good use.
It's about a 30 minute stroll into Hersonissos if you want some nightlife and although cheap, is mainly for the English & Dutch 18-30 crowd.
Better to go up to the old part of town above where you will find plenty of cheaper bars & restaurants.
Only drawback for us was the beach. Very course sand and shingle which made it uncomfortable to walk on. We hired a car for a week and found plenty of better beaches west along the coast, one of the best being near the airport !
Entertainment was put on every night by a lively animation team who did their best to - 'entertain' with some cringe making sketches.
All in all a great 4 star hotel and we would recommend, especially for families with a couple of lively kids to please."
- Travel date: Thu 29th of May 2008
DEFINATELY NOT 5 star
"Me and my family stayed here in July 07, our travel agent told us it was a five star superior hotel. I would strongly disagree with this and say it would probably be a good four star. We were expecting pure luxury especially at the price, but we did not get this at all.
If you are looking for peace and quiet this is certainly not the place to go. There is a constant pumping of loud music around the pool areas and very pushy animators asking if you want to join in activities every two minutes. We escaped to the beach which is not golden sand as shown. It was still noisy as the beach went on for miles taking into account many hotels. I would also warn small children to be careful when swimming in the sea as my daughters cut themselves several times on sharp objects that have been dumped on the sea bed.
There is a lot of activities, if you are in to that sort of thing. There are water sports, kids club, yoga, aerobics and so on.
Another thing is that the hotel is not in Hersonissos as stated it is actually about a ten minutes drive away. Good job too as it is party central. One day we hired a car and drove through Hersonissos at about nine in the morning and there were still drunks roaming about from the night before.
The rooms are spread about in different buildings we were lucky we were in a quiter position. Some face onto the main walkway to the hotel main building, i would expect the noise at night would be dreadful. At night we could hear noise from the neighbouring hotel but it was'nt too bad. The rooms are spacious and relatively clean. The bathrooms are quite dirty and the baths leak when you take a shower. The cleaner came everyday but often at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I would recommend to upgrading to a VIP room which has a sea view and private pool.
If you are allergic to heat I would not visit this hotel in order to make the most of the day we got up at 6 had breakfast and went out in the sun between 8 and 11 we then came in till about 4. The heat was unbearable and temperatures reached about 40 degrees in the afternoon. If I was to go back to Crete I would visit in April or OCtober when it is cooler.
The food was good but not delicious. The beach and pool bars were rather expensive and it often cost us about 50 euros for our lunch. The entertainment at night was extremely poor and drinks at the bar were also very expensive. I would recommend not to ask for lemonade as it was severly tainted.
The hotel is in a nice location with views from the top of the hill over crete. There is a villa complex attached which looked very luxurious and more like 5 star. Our trip was completeley ruined by a 30 hour delay on the way back. The main airport at Heraklion was certainly not 5 star more like a health hazard! We travelled with MY Travel and the service was very poor. So much so we would never use them again.
Crete as a whole was very nice and I would recommend a trip to a small village called Isos where there was an idyllic beach. I would definately return to Crete but not this hotel, probably one of the highly rated ones in Elounda like Blue Palace or Elounda Beach as these looked like a proper 5 star hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 21st of May 2008
beautiful place, great services
"We've spent just 5 days in this beautiful place, but they were among the best days ever. This is one hotel that really keeps up to its 5 stars. The rooms were rather large, very well equipped, quite proper for a four members family.
We really enjoyed the pools, as well as the beach.
My one advice: do not rent a car in the hotel, from Hertz, but go out to the city of Hersonissos, only 2km away, and you'll find much better deals."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of May 2008
"Going to Crete is a very nice experience. Knossos Royal Village is part of a chain called Aldemar and it is located on the beach but not in a townie neighborhood. Is a nice resort with all you need to relax, nice buffet restaurant with quite a lot of choices plus some a la carte restaurants opened alternatively. The bungalows hosting the rooms are having nice terraces with superb view to the orange trees. Also the tavern has a nice atmosphere. For kids they have a theater and a nice pool. If you want a have a look around try the rent a car outside the hotel which is a good deal and go to Koutouloufari, a nice village up in the mountains/hills."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of March 2008
My wife and I and our two sons (12 & 10)...
"My wife and I and our two sons (12 & 10) stayed at this resort for two weeks during July/August 2007. We had booked a family room and upon arrival were pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to one of the VIP villas, Ariadne, overlooking a private pool in front of the beach. The salt water pool was exclusively for the guests staying in this block only and so was very quiet, even though it was high season. Although this was great for us, our children tended to use the main fresh water pool which has a great slide and consequently attracts other children - but good fun for the adults too! Apart from Brits the other guests mainly Russian, Italian, French & German.
Facilities were very good (though the room air conditioning was a bit temperamental during our stay due to power cuts). The main restaurant was excellent with a very good choice of food. Whilst we had intended to use the a la carte restaurant, we found the choice in the main buffet to be quite sufficient without the need to pay any extra for the a la carte. As with the rest of Greece the only issue here being the lack of smoke free tables - especially as the Russian guests seemed to 'eat' cigarettes!
As you would expect in a resort hotel, bar drinks are not cheap but easy enough to put the room fridge to good use and buy wine/beer from one of the many local supermarkets.
Animation team were great and worked hard to entertain. There is a disco which is well away from the bedrooms.
Again as with most resorts, beach water sports were expensive; cheaper and better can be found elsewhere on Crete. Good snorkeling (safe for kids) off the beach.
Only a couple of faults: We would have liked the beach to be more sandy. However, it's very coarse and stony which makes it uncomfortable to walk on without shoes/sandals (especially when hot). Much better beaches are a car drive away - one being where the locals go, close to the airport.
Hersonnisos is close by for the 18-30 crowd, with plenty of cheap bars and cafes but having been there once I would not go again!
May sound a bit picky but the only other issue we found was that the tiled areas around the pools to be VERY slippery when wet - a number of children and adults slipping badly when we were there. Therefore think twice to go here if you have difficulty walking.
Overall, a very good hotel for families and I would recommend staying here but need to hire a car to get out."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
As with most hotels, the Royal Knossos a...
"As with most hotels, the Royal Knossos attracts wildly varying reviews and I can only express my own experience. Travelling as a 40+ couple, towards the end of the season, I would firstly recommend the hotel on this basis. I have no doubt that the atmosphere would be entirely different at the height of the season - as with any popular holiday destination.
We stayed on a half-board basis, in one of the VIP Sea-View rooms. The room was exactly as promised and, whilst I would have preferred a little more space, this was as described in the brochure.
We were allocated one of the ground floor rooms, which meant we had a small, furnished terrace and a beautifully kept, salt-water pool which was for the exclusive use of guests within the block. On the far side of the pool was the sea. Housekeeping was of a good standard and the maids were polite and discrete.
The main, buffet restaurant offered an astonishing choice; nobody could leave feeling hungry. The atmosphere cannot be described as intimate but the restaurant is designed to serve a large number of guests. Breakfasts were enjoyable but it's well worth paying to use the a-la carte restaurant for dinner on a few evenings in order to get a true 5-star feel. This offered fabulous, friendly service and an excellent menu - even for an awkward vegetarian like me!
Hersonissos is within easy walking distance if you are relatively mobile! The town has a good variety of shops and attractions. We didn't visit during the evening...
Our overall experience was excellent. This is no city boutique hotel but all realistic expectations were reached and often exceeded. I have no hesitation in recommending the hotel and have already booked a return visit."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of November 2007
A pleasant getaway!
"I stayed at the Knossos Royal Village in Crete for a 6-day conference back in June 2007. Overall, this resort hotel is splendid and worth the long trip from Los Angeles to Athens (14hrs) and then a connecting flight to the island of Crete (40 mins).
I had some minor problems during check-in though. There were many people attending the conference so it appeared that they were overbooked. After sorting out the brouhaha with a helpful manager (told them I booked my reservation 5 months ago), I was given a room with an amazing view of the beach.
Food selection in their restaurant was varied. I was surprised to see they had other non-Greek cuisine at all. As this resort is quite secluded and nestled away from the airport, you pretty much have to eat all the time within the resort's vicinity.
There were activties too being offered - water volleyball, aerobics exercises, dance routines, and others. The staff members spoke English and were very friendly. At night, they would have themes on performances. I stayed up late one night and actually attended family night.
Resort clientele was predominantly families. There were a lot of kids running around while their parents were mindlessly doing their own thing. It's was safe actually so you do not have to worry about any harm.
Swimming is best early in the morning and late afternoon. It was really hot - almost 90-100F by midday. Water was azure blue clear and you can walk pretty much about 10-15 feet away from shore and still be standing up while in the water.
On the day of my departure (at 7AM!), the concierge arranged for a cab to pick me up at 530AM.
I would recommend this place to anyone that might want a quiet, secluded, and off-the-usual path vacation. I ranked it Above Average (insted of Excellent) because of their overbooking hassle. They ought to know their capacity well."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of October 2007
Not anywhere near a 5-star
"We spent 3 nights at this property in May for our honeymoon. When arriving in the lobby it seemed as though we arrived at a lovely hotel - when getting to our room -we found this was not the case.
The quality of the room was not up to par - old tattered bedding, poor air-conditioning, poor housekeeping service.
The food was suitable - but certainly not what one would expect at a 5 star property.
The area we did like was the beach - there was more then enough sun beds avail - and for the most part eh beach was very peaceful (except for when the overly annoying animation team would come 'round)
Overall - if you are looking for a below average vacation at a property pretending to be a 5 - star book here - otherwise find a decent hotel to spend your money at."
- Travel date: Thu 18th of October 2007