12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We have now stayed in this hotel as a fa...
"We have now stayed in this hotel as a family for 4 years in the last 6 during the summer holiday period.
We have always found the staff extremely friendly and helpful.
Although rated as a Greek 5 star hotel it is less stuffy and more informal without losing its pride and quality.
If you want English food then don't come here. The menu varies from some English dishes and includes Italian, German, Greek and Cretan.
The evening entertainment is somewhat lacking only in that the entertainment team are mainly from Italy and speak poor English; The first Year being the best and most entertaining group.
The swimming pools (2 of) both have deep ends reaching between 8-9 feet. There are several bars including a pool bar, beach bar and a taverna which serves excellent lunch time fayre.
The beach is made from small rounded (smooth) chips which look like marble (about 2-5 mm across) which although unusual to stand on is in no way uncomfortable apart from the heat.
Be warned Crete is in an area prone to earthquakes, according to staff about 3 - 4 a year. We experienced our first last year which was quite an experience and scary only because nobody told us.
The following day we examined the building which bore no evidence of structural damage either new or old. Earthquakes to the Cretans are like thunderstorms to us; you live with them and although they hold some danger they vary rarely cause problems.
A car is advisable as the hotel is outside of the main town and although reachable on foot and by taxi a car will give you the flexibility to come and go and go further afield.
We always said we would never go back a second time to any hotel after a disastrous 2nd holiday in Majorca. However knowing that a good holiday is almost certain is worth the 4 hour flight.
Always shop around for this hotel. We have changed our operator to Airtours this year and saved our selves about Â£1000 - Â£1500 on other operators (and no I don't work for them).
See you there at the end of July 2007."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of April 2007
The hotel was excellent, very clean and...
"The hotel was excellent, very clean and all the staff very friendly. What we hadnât been prepared for was the overdose of Italian guests. We Brits were certainly in the minority. Even the food in the restaurant, although excellent, was geared towards our Italian friends, Spag Bol being available almost every night.
The entertainment was really a non-starter unless you spoke Italian, certainly not something to stop around for. Unfortunately though the hotel was virtually in the middle of nowhere and finding an alternative nightâs entertainment didnât prove easy. One evening we waited for 90 minutes to get a taxi into Hersonissos and once out there you could never be sure on getting a taxi back although we always did! The taxi drivers didnât like coming out to the back of beyond where Annabelle Village was nestled.
The pools were lovely. There were always plenty of sun beds, even late on during the morning. Plenty of clean towels available too. The small beach left a bit to be desired though, not very practical for swimming.
Give the gym a miss! The equipment was old and half of it didnât work.
Car hire essential on this holiday. Hersonissos isnât the most beautiful part of the island but further along the coast itâs breathtaking."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of August 2006
Wonderful week in Crete
"We have just returned from a trip to Crete. We had an all inclusive, (2 adults and a 10 year old boy) at Annabelle Village. It was wonderful. The hotel grounds were so amazing; flowers and foliage everywhere. I was so thrilled to see all the blooming bougainvilleas grown over the balconies lattice work throughout the grounds. There are hibiscus bushes all around and lots of shade to stand in when traversing thru to dining room or the beach. The Annabelle Village does have a lot of stairs. We sure felt it, since we seem to have the room as far away from the main bldgs as possible. I am not complaining since this provided me with some exercise during this vacation. We did get lost a couple of times going back to our room. My son decided to find several different routes to and from our room as a game. Our room was a double with a little alcove for my sonâs bed and it was air-conditioned (THANK GOD). It was wonderful to come back from a full day of sunburn to our nice cool room (the air, which, by the way cannot be turned on unless you close all the windows). The bathroom was a little dingy and not cleaned as well as I would have liked. But, overall, the housekeeping was fine. One thing I had not read from TripAdviser about Crete is that you cannot flush used toilet paper in the toilet. YIKES!!! That took getting used toâ¦ but, once we did, by the middle of the week, we were pros. The food for the first 3 days was wonderful. We enjoyed the âmost of the time air-conditionedâ dining room. They did food themes from Italy, German and Greece. After the Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively, the food kind of blended together. I really enjoyed the cold salad offerings since it was so hot outside. The all inclusive did provide my husband with all the draft he wanted and all the pop we wanted to drink. While we were there, the beach in front of the hotel was given the Blue Flag Beach award. We thought the beach was pretty nice, but so close from the hotel to the water. No that much sand (pebble actually).
The location of the Annabelle was okay if you have a rental car. The driving on the other hand was horrendous!! My husband, THANK GOD, drives like an Indy 500 driver and, although lost a battle with a huge tour bus, kept us accident free. We just had to back up the hill for a while until the bus could go by. The roads are not kept up, by anybody. Houses are built right up to the edge of the one lane roads, and bushes and trees are overgrown making it impossible to see around the corners. We went on a boat tour (not included) that was hilarious. We took the boat trip to Sissi and that was pretty nice, but got roped into going to a rundown Water Park as part of the package. We got off the boat at a rock quarry/dock and loaded onto two rickety bus/pickups. My son had to sit in my lap and we feared for our livesâ¦. Quite the adventure, but, beware of some of those boat tours. Overall, the trip was nice and parts of it relaxing, oh; our last day on the beach a guy came by and gave me a massage for 40 Min for 20 euro. That was wonderful!"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of August 2006
Annabelle Village - 5*????
"We have just returned from a week at the above hotel and have to agree with the other reviewers - definitely not 5*!
The hotel is geared towards Italians and the animation team totally ignored our family for the whole week.
The food in the restaurant was of a good standard but it was like feeding time at the zoo.. on several evenings we were shown to a dirty table and left to sit there whilst the waiter tried to replace the tablecloth etc... as it is buffet style the table is often cleared whilst you are queuing for the next course so we had to start again with drinks etc.
the gardens are beautiful and well maintained - sun beds are a luxury for which you would need to get up early and place your towels.
the hotel is a 6 euro ride from Hersonisos but taxi drivers are not keen to travel so be ready for a long wait - likewise our teenagers went clubbing and had to ask a few cabbies before one would agree to take them back to the hotel. The beach is cramped with old sun loungers so its impossible to turn towards the sun + the beach is very windy so we sat with towels around us on several days!!
all in all an average hotel albeit very clean!!"
- Travel date: Wed 26th of July 2006
Good Hotel but nowhere near five star
"My girlfriend and I stayed at the hotel from 27 of june until the 11th of July. To make the review easier to read I will list the postive and negative points in different sections.
Hotel is very clean and in particular the maid's did a fantastic job in cleaning our room.
The hotel's surroundings were excellent; lush gardens and a beautiful view of the sea.
Staff on the whole were always friendly and helpful. Whatever request we came up with they dealt with quickly and with a smile on their face!
The top pool (with the swim up bar) was a great place to spend the day sunbathing and drinking! In comparison to the pool near the beach the top one was peaceful and relaxing.
The restaurant felt like the staff were having a competition to cram as many people in as they could. It felt much more like a canteen than a restaurant in my opinion. The food was ok but no more than that.
The hotel 'entertainment' was terrible without exception. It usually consisted of a man playing a keyboard singing Frank Sinatra songs. Badly. Also a word of warning for people with children going to this hotel - the kids entertainment seemed to cater just for the Italian kids.
Overall the hotel is good but it is badly let down by the restaurant and the lack of entertainment. It is nowhere near to being a five star hotel for these reasons alone."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of July 2006
Great hotel, shame about Hersonnisos!
"We spent a very relaxing week at this hotel from 9th to 16th June this year. In general the hotel is really nice, with some things that exceed expectations and a few others that donât meet them.
Restaurants: there is the main buffet style restaurant, open from 6.30 to 9.30 for evening meal, 12.30 to 2.30 for full board guests and 7-10 for breakfast. The breakfasts were very nice with plenty of choice; food was always fresh and piping hot. Selections for breakfast include the following: Scrambled eggs with or without herbs and peppers, sausages, fried eggs, boiled eggs cooked both 3 and 5 minutes-nice touch, several pastry items that were Greek, yoghurts, jams, honey, croissants, bread rolls, bread for toasting, uncut loaves with a cloth and knife so you could cut your own slice, malt loaf, freshly squeezed orange juice, cereals and loads of fruit (melon, cherries, kiwi, pears, peachesâ¦.). This was all very impressive and tasty. Coffee is poured for you, and you can help yourself to many types of tea or juices.
Evening meal: again very nice selection, there was a section for many types of bread and rolls, a soup that was always lovely and never watery, about 14 different types of pasta or rice or pate or bean dishes (all cold), loads of salad items including different types of lettuce and all the trimmings and sauces, and a selection or about 10 hot items which over our week included pizza squares, pasta with different sauces, spaghetti, dolmades, many meat and fish options- sometimes breaded sometimes in sauce, potatoes of all varietiesâ¦.
We also had one lunch which was superb with loads of choice. Desserts were plentiful and tasty, traditionally Greek such as Kadafi and Baklava, with fruit and ice cream to supplement. The atmosphere we never found rushed, service was just right and you could sit there as long as you wished with as many courses as you could manage! Tablecloths always promptly changed and clean for next people.
The room we had was lovely and spacious, as was the balcony which we had to both put our arms out end to end to touch each side as it was so wide! It was always spotlessly clean after maid service, they would even wash up our glasses and leave them ready for use again. The balcony and room was swept every day, and we requested and extra pillow which arrived within the hour. Plenty of storage, although it may become tight if children were in the room. Free safe and fridge nice touches, complimentary toiletries and shower cap! Bathroom well appointed, the room had everything we needed. Only downsides are the lack of English TV channels (this sounds really sad but we like to have it on whilst getting ready to go out) and no coffee or tea facilities (we were ok as we donât drink much tea, but for a 5* this should be included).
The pool areas were nice; we used the top area with the swim up pool bar as it was quieter. Always very clean, if you were up early enough you could see the maids hard at work scrubbing the tiles etc. Sun beds did fill up but the amount seemed just right, we never went down before 10am and always got 2 together. Once we went to the pool at 1.30pm and still got two no problems. The pool bar had half price happy hour from 2.30 to 3.30; we took advantage of this as Cocktails were 7E full price which can work out expensive once you get a taste for them! The bottom pool had daytime activities, but we canât really comment on those. The hotel grounds are lovely and gardeners were always hard at work. Generally everything was spotlessly maintained and clean.
Staff were almost without exception very helpful, the lady at the pool bar was great. On our first day we went to collect our pool towels, we asked a man where we were supposed to go- he insisted we take a seat while he went and collected them for us. There was only one receptionist who was unhelpful- but the rest were lovely. The manager was also very visible, always chatting to guests in the restaurant and wandering around the grounds and pools throughout the day.
In terms of accuracy of the 5* rating, I would perhaps say a 4* plus would have been better, some things just werenât up to scratch. We have stayed Thomson Gold before, where staff bring cold towels and fruit round the pool in the afternoons, and they have professional entertainment most evenings. The Annabelle doesnât offer this, which would be good for a 5*. Some touches are nice, e.g. The 3 and 5 minute eggs, the porter who carries your luggage to and from the rooms, the prompt delivery of an ironing board if requiredâ¦. The entertainment wasnât up to much, the team (Italian I think) performed dances most evenings, but the stage area had plastic garden seats to sit and watch which wasnât nice. We tended to go to the top lobby bar with outside seating, much nicer but only a man and keyboard every night!
Location- this we felt really let the hotel down. We knew it wasnât in the centre of Hersonnisos (thank goodness!), but the area was really difficult to walk around. The roads didnât have paths around the hotel entrance; there was a particularly hairy bend we witnessed 2 near misses on. There is a supermarket very near, as well as a bar with big TV (essential for world cup games!). We would buy some sparkling wine for only 8E and chill it in our fridge (you get wine glasses in room), then sit on balcony and drink it! It is 6E for a taxi in to Hersonnisos; we didnât like this resort at all. You couldnât walk along the promenade without being accosted at every stop by people trying to con you by offering â4 for the price of 1â on drinks (as if!) We picked out and returned to what we thought looked like the best restaurant (Cave DâOuro) with white linen and candles etc. It was awful! This seemed like the best and was still bad, summing up our opinion of the resort in general.
Finally- the airport. We travelled with Thomas Cook and felt they let us down on every front, our return flight was delayed by 14 hours, during which they didnât even provide drinking water! A complete disaster, we would never use Thomas Cook again. The hotel reps, whilst very nice and helpful, was only in the hotel for a couple of hours 3 times a week- we had a problem specific to something she had told us and by the time she was back it was our last day and too late to sort it out.
Overall the hotel is really good with few negatives except location, but we wouldnât return to Crete. The capital was large, dirty and charmless, and even Knossos was a disappointment. Other resorts may be lovely, but we saw nothing that gave us a favourable impression of Crete as a whole. Pick up the hotel and move it to Corfu, we would return next year! So, You will enjoy your stay if youâve already booked, if you havenât- think carefully. Hire a car, and donât believe the brochure description of Hersonnisos as âCosmopolitanâ-itâs really not!!"
- Travel date: Mon 19th of June 2006
"Totally disagree with the previous review.We stayed at this hotel during the same week and had a fantastic time.We also have stayed at 4 and 5 star hotels around the world and can assure you this is in our top 3.The customer service was second to none and all the staff so friendly.The issue of there being no sunbeds is rubbish.We arrived at the pool / beach each day after 10.00 and politely asked the pool man for beds and he brought some immediately,not only that, he cleaned them as well !! The gardens and pathways were immaculately tended and the pools very clean.Choice of food was superb and service prompt and polite ,with serving staff always willing to engage in conversation/ help with any queries about local area etc.We hired a car just a few yards from the hotel..150 euros for 6 days ...so didn't use the shuttle bus.Wil definitely be returning !"
- Travel date: Thu 15th of June 2006
An absolute disappointment!
"Our party (2 adults, 4 children - ages 12, 11, 10, 9) have just returned from a week's stay (26 May - 2 June) at the over-rated AKS-Annabella Village, Hersonissos, Crete.
This hotel is an official 5-star and we have read a lot of good reviews about it. We were looking for a fabulous week away. How wrong were we!
Not wanting to bore the reviewers, we have listed out the negatives below:
- Insufficient sunbeds for the number of guests in the hotel unless you get up at about 8am and reserve the beds (which you are not suppose to). No chance of getting any after 10am.
- There were two restaurants, main buffet and an A La Carte. However, the A La Carte is only open for lunch and the buffet restaurant served good variety of the same food ("dressed up" differently) every day and night.
- Atmosphere in the buffet restaurant is "rushed", it is like sitting in the middle of Piccardilly Circus! You can eat a three course meal in less than 30 minutes and get indegestion! The staff's objective appeared to be "pack them in". This is like a canteen! Even atmosphere in MacDonald is better. Furthermore, the flowers on the table are practically dead - this doesn't do much to improve appetite.
- The shows put on every night is performed by hotel staff, using the hotel guests as part of their comedy show and its practically the same every night. Not exactly professional shows typical of a 5-star hotel!
- The outside walkways are always full of leaves and dusty. We saw one part of it being cleaned once during the entire week.
- Bedrooms space is limited if there is more than two people staying in a room (the 6 of us have two rooms). The balcony space is tight even for two people to sit down.
- The hotel is 3km from Hersonissos. The hotel shuttle bus into town ran only once a day - 14:45 depart hotel, 15:15 depart Hersonissos. Again, this is not of a 5-star standard.
- Some members of the reception is less than helpful.
There were some positives:
* The swimming pool with swim-up bar is nice. The lady who works at the swim-up bar is really nice, always cheerful and smiling. Top marks to her.
* Couple of the waitresses in the main restaurant were also very nice and friendly.
* The children's animation team seemed happy, energetic and very friendly.
* Hotel location is good with respect to beach (shingle).
* Several pools around the hotel, including one indoor - but sunbeds were a rare commodity!
We were truely disappointed with this 5-star hotel! In the last 10 years of extensive travelling, this is the first time we have made a complaint to the hotel manager who then tried to "buy" us with a bottle of wine. What we wanted was service, not a cheap bottle of wine!
We don't believe we are difficult to please and since we travel a lot and stayed in many 4-star and 5-star hotels around the world, we have build up a baseline of what is typical of a 4-star/5-star hotel and this is definitely not up to 5-star standard. Maybe something have happened to it during the winter months? Surely the reviews we have read can't all be wrong?!
During our stay, we have met two other parties with similar feelings about the hotel and service standards.
Definitely will not return to this hotel again.
The final straw that broke the camel's back is the state of Heraklion airport - it was no bigger than a shack and it was full of people and chaos! Long queues to x-ray machines, check-in and boarding gates and there was very few place to sit. Most people were sitting on the floor, stairs, and anywhere that you can park yourself. It is more like a holding area for refugees than an airport in a civilised country."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of June 2006
More Like A 3*
"Annabelle Village should not be rated as a 5* hotel. The rooms look like something out of the 70's and the bathrooms are very dirty looking with dated grey tiles. The bedrooms are basic and need total redecoration.
The food in the hotel becomes very boring after a couple of nights and the main restaurant is very noisy. You would be lucky to get a clean table cloth. You feel like you are on a converyor belt system.
The hotel caters for Italian guests and the majority of the entertainment is Italian.
The pool areas are average."
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of June 2006
"just returned from the annabel village, it was great we had the most relaxing time. the hotel was spotless with attractive gardens and great swimming pools. The staff could not do enough for you. the animation was fun and something going all day. we were half board and the food was very good. a nice touch was the small bottle of wine and water in our room on arrival,and once we settled in we had delivered a large bottle of wine and water and a huge bowl of fresh fruit. I would reccomend this hotel for families and also couples. i would definatley return. it was a nice walk into the centre but not suitable for those who dont like walking. we got a taxi back for 6 euros. there were some nice bars just outside the hotel for those who preferred to stay close. there were also some supermarkets and gift shops. we used the hotel shop which was the same price as in the town and sold a bit of everything. my only complaint and its a very small one was that there were no tea and coffee facilities in the room, next time i would take a travel kettle."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of May 2006
"I stayed at this hotel 18th-25th October,2005 with my husband and 2 children (3 and 1). It was a wonderful place. It was the last week of the season and as such the hotel - and whole island- was winding down. The hotel was only half-full which was a great bonus to us. The staff were fantastic and could not do enough to help, especially Michalis and Maria in the restaurant.
The food was excellent quality and variety, however we are vegetarian and there was very little presented at the evening buffet which we could eat, aside from the many salads. The staff were so helpful and accommodating and said they would cook whatever we would like. We were very impressed with this attitude but decided to stick with the tomato pasta and salads as it was only a week and we didn't want to put them out.
Someone had previously mentioned the number of steps and mobility problems some people would have within the hotel. I had read this and was very apprehensive as we had a pram with us. I need not have worried because there is wheelchair/pram access everywhere in the hotel and you can access every part of the village complex without having to use steps at all. I can't tell you how relieved I was. It's not signposted, though, so you can either find it as we did or ask reception.
The rooms were very big and comfortable. The daily maids did a fantastic job and not an insect in sight anywhere.
We had a fantastic week here and were very sad to say goodbye to such a lovely place with the nicest staff we have ever encountered. I have already recommended this hotel to several people who are planning to visit Crete and if we were ever to return to Crete we would definitely be staying here again."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of November 2005
"My family all visited the Annabelle from the 20th October for 1 week. The hotel is spotlessly clean and the staff are fantastic. Even though it was at the end of the season they couldnt do enough for you and the food and accommodation was fantastic too. Tip: The rooms on the ground floor are larger than those above we actually managed a fourth bed in our room and the terraces are really pretty. The pools are lovely we liked the one near the beach as the kids could choose where they wanted to play. I am a travel agent and very picky generally where i stay and i would certainly recommend this hotel to customers. Fantastic we will be back!!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 27th of October 2005