Alexander Beach Hotel & Village
12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Definitely the best hotel I have stayed in!
"We recently stayed at this hotel for a week before embarking on an Ocean Village cruise, but I was really sorry to leave the hotel and could happily have stayed for the full two weeks.
The location is perfect - you can step out of the hotel and onto the beach, although with the pool being so good we didn't actually go on the beach that often. We had a room with a sea view and the sunsets over the bay were lovely. The hotel is spread out over quite an area and there is plenty of room around the pool and gardens - getting a sun bed is never a problem at any time of the day there are so many. The main pool is a good size and there is also a separate 'quiet' pool which we didn't discover until near the end of our stay.
The staff are very friendly and efficient. The hotel is spotless. The food is plentiful and there is such a vast choice for both breakfast and dinner. Our nine year old son particularly liked the choices on offer (especially the freshly cooked pancakes or waffles at breakfast!).
We were so relaxed in the hotel we really didn't feel the need to explore the nearby bars or resort.
The British were in the minority, but this wasn't a problem and everyone was friendly.
There are daily activities/entertainment laid on and the only minor grumble I would have is that it wasn't always clear that the activities weren't suitable for children (e.g. our son was looking forward to the beach volley ball, only to be told that it was for adults only).
Overall, I think this is the best hotel I have stayed in and we will definitely be making a return visit."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of September 2007
"Stayed for a week from 28th June with Ocean Village prior to Cruise.
As previously stated there aren't many British guests, mostly German, Russian etc. However this didn't cause us any problems, always plenty beds at pools. Hotel is perfectly situated right on beach and handy for the bars/restaurants of Stalis (also 20 minute walk from centre of Malia). Staff are excellent all very friendly and helpful. Food is OK though the hotels allows you to swap dinner for lunch which we took advantage of as there is a kids menu at lunchtime but not at dinner. Not sure about kids club as our 8yo son was happy playing in pool and taking part in daytime activities (boules, darts etc etc). Evening entertainment was pretty naff to be honest but there are plenty of places to choose from outside. I'd recommend La Fontana restaurant for lunch/dinner (5 minute walk from Hotel).
All in all I would quite happily stay at this hotel again."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of July 2007
Just returned from the beautiful island of Crete.
Stayed at the Alexander Beach and it was a wonderful hotel in a perfect location.
The only down side was the 700 Germans that were there the same time as the 100 (allegedly!) British. Why sell an hotel to British travellers when the Hotel caters for prodominatley German guests. Myself, husband and 8 year old son felt intimidated in the dining area and round the pool as no-one wanted to engage in conversation etc. We had booked half board but after the 3rd night trying to but failing to enjoy the food we decided to eat out at night-there are some fantastic pubs and restaurants just outside the hotel so we didnt starve! We shouldnt really of had to do this but when your child is only eating bread and butter and ice cream at dinner what other choice did we have??
They offered to cook burgers or nuggets but the first attempt left my son spitting out the nuggets as they were raw in the middle!!!
I had read previous reviews about the hotel and realised that this was obviously a hotel used by many different nationalities but was shocked by the huge number of Germans. Who I have to say lived up to their reputation of being rude and arrogant. My son played football with a couple of the younger ones and didnt have any major problems but one night was shouted at by a very large German gentleman who scared the life out of my son all because he reached to get a butter when this rude person was queing!!!
Even though I wouldnt visit this hotel again it was a lovely place in every sense and hope that if you have a holiday planned that you dont pick the week that our European neighbours decide to visit!!"
- Travel date: Tue 12th of June 2007
An excellent holiday October 3rd -17th '06
"We are a party of 10 adults (5 couples) who regularly holiday together, and we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at Alexander Beach. The reception staff were very helpful and efficient at all times. Our rooms were excellent and superior to the ones we had booked. Cleanliness was good. Beach towels were available for a refundable deposit of 20E and could be changed every 2 days. All staff were friendly with a good command of the english language (in fact many languages). The position of the hotel was excellent, right on the beach with sun beds and umbrellas free of charge, convenient for Stalis, Malia and Hersonissos, and within walking distance of all three. Alternatively there is a "Happy Train" on which you can ride instead of walking. The food was very good with plenty of choice and optional waiter service for the main course at dinner most nights, and champagne at breakfast on sundays. The swimming pools were clean and tidy. The local buses were cheap, cheerful and ran a regular service to a veriety of places.
All in all an excellent holiday."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of November 2006
"This hotel was really not up to scratch. I mean it's fine if you just want a really cheap bargain basement break, but as I think people have said already, there is no finesse. I'm not sure whether it was the hotel or just the attitude of most tourist places in Greece but wheneve things go wrong they say that they will fix it tomorrow then offer some compensation. But all we wanted was what we paid for.
We had the same problems as the other guest as regards dinner, we NEVER got the table we were promised, despite assurances. We were also given a single room for our first night when we went as a couple, my friend had to sleep on the floor!
It is a good looking hotel though, I agree with other guests, but that doesn't make up for the lack of service. We didn't mind the German guests, we too speak some German, but the staff didn't seem to be as interested in us as with the German guests which we found mildly offensive..."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of October 2006
A good family hotel
"Having read the earlier very critical review after booking, we were worried about this hotel. To prevent similar problems, I contacted the hotel directly in advance to request adjacent rooms and a sea view if possible. After an exhausting and very noisy and chaotic night flight and coach journey (coach full - you will not be the first or second drop off in peak period despite this being a "Finesse" property) with Thomas Cook airlines (surrounded by loud teenagers on their way to Malia) we arrived.
The sea view from our room was stunning - but my sons (both over 6ft tall) had been given couches rather than beds to sleep on in their connecting room - they didn't fit on them! The air conditioning in their room was also not working properly. This could have spoilt the holiday - but (although it took time) the hotel took steps to remedy these problems to our satisfaction. Next day, reception replaced the couches with camp beds. It then took a further 2 days for the air conditioning to be fixed although an alternative rooms was provided following the intervention of the Thomas Cook rep. On the day we left, a maintenance man came in whilst we were packing to replace the camp beds with proper twin beds, so I'm still a bit unsure as to why these couldn't have been provided for our two week stay. As an apology for these problems, however, the hotel provided us with a small complimentary room in an appartment block close to the hotel to use whilst we waited for our night flight - this was much appreciated and demonstrates that they do take customer care and satisfaction seriously.
Once these situations were resolved, we found the hotel to be very pleasant. Yes, the guests are mostly German, also Swiss with some French, Russian, etc. We found this to be a positive rather than a negative with my sons having the opportunity to practice their German with other young guests and the very friendly animation staff who try to translate most things into English (and who even saw us off in the early hours when we left). There are no rowdy groups or singles despite the proximity to Malia (about 15 minutes walk to the centre). If you want to be surrounded by other English tourists and to play loud games all day, this is not the place for you. The other Greek staff were all efficient and most had at least some knowledge of English. The barmen were great fun, with an excellent knowledge of both Greek/Cretan history (thanks to Xenephon for that!) and English football teams! The entertainment is limited although there is a Greek theme night (fee payable) with barbeque which includes professional musicians/dancers, fireworks, etc. We saw a charming kiddies pool with mini slides, etc. although have no experience of the kids club. There's also a decent gym and an indoor pool/sauna etc that can be used for free for one hour each evening (or for a fee at other times). The beach is in two areas divided by rocks (good for snorkeling) - one is ideal for swimming and the other for water sports, and, it's right on the doorstep.
The Thomas Cook brochure suggests this is a quiet location. The hotel itself is directly on the beach and is quiet enough, but step outside and you are in a narrow but busy tourist street full of bars, shops, tavernas, etc. (no pavement so care needed to dodge the tourists on their quad bikes, taxis, hire cars, coaches etc which speed along).
We hired a car for 10 days and visited Knossos (try to go at week-ends to avoid huge crowds), the mountains/caves (fascinating rock formations and a long climb up - but donkey transport available!), Elounda (very pretty area - take a boat to the old leper colony of Spinalonga), etc. Also recommend the Boutari winery, near to Knossos, where they will give you an excellent guided tour and wine tasting for a very reasonable entry fee, film show included, and no obligation to buy further bottles (although we bought several excellent wines here). We never had a problem parking in the hotel, but we tended to go out immediately after breakfast and got back in the early afternoon. By night time, the spaces did seem to get full.
My sons appreciated the tennis court, pool, proximity to Malia and the efforts of the animation team to involve them (thanks to Karrina, Simon, etc.). We are fussy eaters but found the food to be above average (we were on half board). We did swap to the later sitting for dinner as the earlier one was a bit rushed and we were asked to leave the dining room once before we had finished our wine as they wanted to get ready for the later sitting. The good thing about having two sittings although it limits the time available to eat is that it avoids the queues for food that we've seen in other hotels.
There's a wide selection at both breakfast and evening meals and we only saw schnitzel on the menu once! Unlike other hotels we've stayed at on half board, we didn't feel the need to go and eat out because of boredom at what was available. It includes a good range of Greek food, plus roasts, pasta, salads, fish, etc., and an excellent fillet of beef in pastry on the gala night (the chef is a great character too and always there to greet guests).
Generally, this is a well run hotel. It is spread out so you might have quite a walk to the main pool/restaurant but this will be through pleasant gardens or along the path by the beach. This means that it never seems too crowded despite taking over 800 guests. It is worth paying to guarantee a sea view as there are wonderful sunsets. Despite preferring quieter locations, we would be happy to return if we go back to Crete. The hotel is very clean and well maintained throughout and although they are a bit on the small size, the rooms are fine. Decor is Cretan in influence and understated. Stone floors rather than carpet and limited lighting, but the bathroom functions well, a fridge is provided and a safety box in each room available for a fee. We left money, cameras etc out in both rooms and nothing was ever taken/went missing. The mattresses are firm! No room service or tea/coffee making facilities so we took a travel kettle for that all important late night cup of tea! A small shop in the hotel and plenty just outside the entrance, including a couple of small supermarkets and a pharmacy.
To avoid the chaos of Heraklion airport, and to beat the queues, we took a taxi on departure - only 40Euros (plus 5Euros tip) for four people plus luggage - can be booked by the hotel and well worth it to avoid the Malia crew on the coach and then long queues to check in (many flights take off at around the same time). This way, we had a short wait but were at the front of the check in queue and found a seat in the departure lounge (many people didn't and the airport shopping is very limited).
As a final point, I'd suggest that if you are pleasant and make the effort to get to know others, whether they are German, Greek or from anywhere else, this is very worthwhile. All the staff and guests we met at this hotel were friendly, pleasant and interesting company, so please don't make assumptions before trying to get to know people - broaden horizons rather than limit them by making assumptions!"
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of August 2006
"Like the previous review stated, we were also a little nervous of arriving at the hotel as we had booked our holiday before reading the very negative review on this site.
However, this review simply ensured that all our expectations of the hotel were exceeded and we had a fantastic, relaxing week in Crete. The hotel and grounds are exceptionally well maintained and the rooms are clean and comfortable.
The hotel surroundings are beautiful and there are plenty of options for spending the day relaxing in the sunshine. There are plenty of sunloungers around the main pool, however, as this hotel is very family friendly my partner and I chose to spend most of the time around the 'quiet pool' as this more suited our requirements. We thought this was a fantastic and thoughful option. Apart from that we spent lots of time on the hotel's beach which also has quieter sections if thats what you prefer. There is also a great choice of water sports on the beach which are reasonably priced.
We were a little disappointed with the entertainment but noticed that the entertainers were trying to include guests by speaking in mulitple languages. There is a majority of German guests at the hotel but there was no apparant prejudices and it seemed the Greek staff spoke English (as well as German) to a good standard....(I must improve my foreign language skills!) The best nights entertainment was the Greek Night with traditional dancing and a bbq.
We only had one evening meal at the hotel when they were having an Italian night buffet and we found there to be good choice and a reasonable standard of food. We loved the breakfasts as it was a self service buffet and there was great choice for everyone (but who wants raw onions or vegetables for breakfast?!)
However, there are plenty of tavernas with friendly staff within walking distance for alternative food/drinks/entertainment. Malia is within walking distance if you fancy it but we thought you may as well go to Blackpool! We would adivise hiring a car if you want to see some of the more traditional areas of Crete such as Rethymnon.
You would not regret your visit to this hotel-its lovely and we would definately go back if we wanted to visit Crete again."
- Travel date: Fri 11th of August 2006
"I was nervous about this holiday, as I had booked this hotel before the previous reviewer posted their review. I needn't have worried - this was a lovely hotel, in a delightful setting, with everything we needed for a relaxing holiday.
The hotel is large, and very pretty, set out in the style of a village. The rooms are comfortable, well equipped and clean. The beds were very comfy!! Many of the rooms are on 1st or 2nd floor level, accessed by steps, so not very elderly/ disabled friendly. I'd booked two rooms for my family, and requested adjacent rooms. As many of the rooms are family rooms or suites, it was not possible for us to be next door to each other, so we had a 2 minute walk between our rooms. This was OK as my teenagers are old enough to be independant, but wouldn't have worked if they were younger. It also made sharing the hair straighteners a bit of a logistical nightmare!!
The swimming pools are pleasant, and there are lots of sunbeds. Notices displayed by the pools state that the management does not tolerate reserving of beds by placing towels on them, although whilst we were there most beds were "reserved" by 10am! There are also lots of free sunbeds on the beach, for use by hotel guests. Beach towels are available from the spa. A 20 euro deposit (refundable) is required, and towels can be changed every 2 days.
The restaurant is spacious, with a large buffet area in the centre. Breakfast is self service from the buffet, with a good variety of food to choose from. Dinner is a set main course (choice of meat, fish or veggie) with buffet starter and sweets. The main courses were a disappointment most evenings, however on "gala" nights there were roast meats available on the buffet, which were much more palatable. There are 2 sittings for dinner and on arrival at the hotel you are asked to choose a sitting. You are then allocated a table, which is yours for the duration of the holiday. Our table was always ready for us, although it would be possible that if diners from the first sitting were late out, the table could still be occupied. There is an option to dine in the Taverna, which we did on just 1 occasion.
The small shop sells a variety of goods, with books and newspapers in English and German. There are also many shops and supermarkets in close proximity on Stalis Beach Road.
We found all the staff (maids, reception, bar, restaurant) to be friendly and attentive, and gave excellent service. Most of the guests were German, however there were also English,French, Italian and Greek guests. Entertainment was in German and English, although the childrens activities were all in German. This gave the hotel an international air - if you want English, go to Scarborough!
This is a lovely hotel, with four star amenities. The surroundings are peaceful and relaxing, but there is easy access to the bustling resorts of Stalis and Malia. I would definitely go there again."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of August 2006
The WORST hotel in which I have ever had this misfortune to stay
"My friend and I have just returned from spending a week at the Alexander Beach, which we booked via Thomas Cook. We had a truly awful experience. Thomas Cook's brochure said that this was a 4 star finesse hotel that they highly recommended. I stay in four star hotels every year, and I have never been treated like this before, in fact I eventually had to make a formal complaint to Thomas Cook, and we have received an unacceptably small amount of financial compensation.
When we arrived, the hotel had no room for us, despite the fact that we had booked nearly 3 months ago. They took us out of the hotel to an appalling apartment that had no locks on the doors, no airconditioning (it was 35 degrees), and a wardrobe that literally fell apart in our hands. We later found out that this was staff accommodation. We asked to speak to the manager who said we could have a room the next day inside the hotel.
We were taken to the other room which was only a one person room, in which they had put a camp bed, we stayed there for one night, as the manager said again that he could not resolve the problem until the next day. Neither of these rooms had a phone on which we could contact thomas cook, but fortunately I had my mobile. However, when we called, Thomas Cook seemed uniterested and said that if the hotel did not have a room there was nothing that they could do. Eventually we got the room that we had booked with a basket of fruit for compensation.
This was not a one-off experience, throughout our week at the hotel, we saw the hotel porters dropping dozens of guests at these apartments, and a member off staff mentioned that it is regularly overbooked. Expect that they will not have a room for you, not because of a logistical mistake, but due to sheer greed
In the restaurant we were ignored by staff, in favour of the German guests, and found this to be a common theme throughout the hotel. It is German owned, and around 85 - 90% of guests are German. ALL the entertainment is in German. One German guest actually got on stage one night and apologised to all non-German speakers, in perfect english and said he did not understand why the staff refused to speak English. He was quickly escorted away. The food is German, and German only, when we mentioned this to a member of staff they told us that schnitzel was not German food. Furthermore, it is extremely badly prepared, mainly consisting of a slab of boiled meat (usually veal!). You are required to book a table for dinner, yet EVERY time we went into the dining room, someone else was sat at our table, and we were moved to the back of the restaurant near the kitchen.
The shop sells only German newspapers and magazines, even though there are also British, Italian, Czech and Russian guests. The hotel manager refused to believe this, and when it was confimed he said that it was our fault for not buying enough newspapers.
When we booked an excursion to Santorini with Thomas Cook, the Hotel would not let the coach into the car park and this incensed the guide who drove away without finding us waiting at the reception. The hotel's car park has space for just 20 cars when there are hundreds of rooms, and so our hire car had to be parked on the extremely busy and overcrowded main road.
We finally spoke to Thomas Cook's area supervisor she said that the reason we had bad service is probably because we didn't tip the staff enough. Both she and the hotel manager were totally dismissive of any concerns we had, and implied that we were simply being snobby. We have both stayed at basic hotels before, such as East European youth hostels, so we can cope with basic. The thing is, the hotel is very pretty, it is simply that the service is non-existent, the staff are unwelcoming and disorganised, and Thomas Cook couldn't care less.
PS, the beds are like sleeping on the floor, at 24 we both developed bad backs. And you have to pay 20 euros for the beach towels"
- Travel date: Mon 5th of June 2006
"Just spent a week at the Alexander Beach Hotel and it was wonderful. The hotel itself was spotless. The food was great and the location was just perfect on the beach. When you go out the main gate there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. We found the centre of Malia to be the liveliest with a lot of disco bars. Stalis was busy too enjoyed the Irish Pubs especially "The Irish House". We could not have chosen a better hotel to stay in."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of September 2004
dear old st georges south
"Just returned from another late week at the alexander beach apartments. Still great value if a little tired and shabby(the rooms that is!) The rooms are typical of basic Greek self catering but are kept as clean as possible. They are poorly equipped, no frills!! Alexandros and Helen are excellent and charming hosts and do their best to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The rooms do need a good lick of paint, and properly equipping. My room fridge had a broken door handle which was engrained with muck and difficult to open, and the equipment was very sparse. There was a constant supply of piping hot water, and the sheets and towel were changed regularly. You get what you pay for.
The resort itself is absolutely lovely, relatively unspoilt at this time of the year, a reasonable selection of places to eat. We liked the Balcony, Sea food restaurant at opposite end of resort and Spiros on the beach. The bakery in front of the hotel serves a wicked english breakfast up to midday.
All in all, this is a great resort, the hotel is more than adequate and we will certainly return again."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of October 2008
This was a honeymoon trip, but I would t...
"This was a honeymoon trip, but I would thoroughly recommend the Alexander Beach complex to anyone.
Situated in the resort of Stalis, (far enough away from Malia to not have to worry about drunk British 17 year olds!) this hotel had lovely rooms, good food (varied although sometimes a bit odd - warm peppers and apricot mix for breakfast?) and an excellent beach, pool and gym.
Service was excellent and the staff could not do enough to help.
I'd recommend Stalis too - lots of nice bars and places to eat. Amazingly, there was even an English bar (the Rose & Crown) that served really good food but plenty of good local cuisine too. If you turn left out of the hotel there are plenty of decent restaurants at the quieter end of town.
If you decide to go to Santorini, I would advise against a day trip - far too much packed attempted in a long day - stay overnight and enjoy the island at your own pace instead!"
- Travel date: Sat 2nd of September 2006