30 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

This was our third time at the Creta Pan...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Wed 20th of December 2006

"This was our third time at the Creta Panorama in two years. My wife is a wheelchair user, so we do our research to make sure the hotels we stay at are suitable.

We were very happy with our accommodation which was on the ground floor and a very easy for her to get around. The staff were very helpful at all times and not to be faulted. The food was superb and there was always something that we both liked.

We have stayed at a lot of hotels all over Europe all inclusive and this hotel is by far the best all round. We will go back again for sure."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 20th of December 2006

This hotel in northern Crete is perfect...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Sun 1st of October 2006

"This hotel in northern Crete is perfect for a week of complete relaxation. Despite being a fairly large hotel, the 6 swimming pools and many bars and restaurants mean there is the space to make it feel like a much smaller quieter resort if you desire. The main pool area is generally very busy with children and daytime activities but the smaller pools are perfect for peaceful sunbathing.

The rooms are excellent and maintained to a very high standard and the food although generally buffet style is very varied and almost constantly available.

The resort is a little isolated but contains everything you require for a relaxing holiday."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 1st of October 2006

I've had a fantastic holiday, the staff...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Wed 13th of September 2006

"I've had a fantastic holiday, the staff were very friendly and we made friends with most of the animation team. The hotel was in a good location. The scenery was beautiful and the coves were nice to swim in.

There was a lot of sports to try and the animation team were very energetic. The shows were funny and great to watch. The food was amazing and the waiters and waitresses collected your plates promptly. They were friendly and polite and so were the bar staff.

The salt water pools weren't as good as I expected. They stung your eyes but were clean. The flight was awful, the plane was very cramped. When the taxi drivers took us to our hotel they weren't being very careful and we didn't feel very safe.

Overall it has been a fantastic holiday! Thank you xxx
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 13th of September 2006

fantastic holiday

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Thu 6th of December 2012

"Having read the last two reviews I would just like to put anybodys mind at peace if you are just about to go, we travelled there on 20th June 06 with my son (14) and had a fantastic holiday, our flight was delayed so we didn't arrive until 3am, we were staying in the superior bungalows opposite the hotel(room 4113) we were greeted with a bottle of wine, bouquet of roses & bowl of fresh fruit in our room upon arrival, there are several swimming pools in this hotel , our room overlooked the second largest pool and beyond that the sea, you get fantastic sunsets from most rooms in this hotel, we found the staff very friendly, and particular Maria who runs the poolside bar made every effort to make our holiday enjoyable.
The hotel was well run, clean and very spacious nothing was too much trouble for the staff, Brits were in the minority but that didn't cause us any problems at all, the hotel bar staff were friendly and served a different cocktail & "mocktail" for the kids every night.
The hotel grounds are expansive and there would be alot of walking to do if you are in one of the far bungalows, so I would recommend asking to be near to the hotel
The food was fantastic, last year we stayed in Iberostars Kerayka Golf in Corfu which we thought was great, this was as good if not better, loads of choice , and fantastic sweets, you will really put the pounds on during your stay !!!
The entertainment was not bad, it is geared more towards younger children, but all the entertainers including Nino did a good job certainly the kids enjoyed it.
There are watersports down in one of the coves, this is run by a chap from Leeds who will take you out on "LOTTIE" the speedboat for a trip around the local caves for about 80 euros (for the three of us) this was a great trip and lasted about 1 hour, they take photos of you on the way back in which are put onto CDRom for 20 euros these are very good
There are two other coves owned by the hotel which were great to snorkel in with the depth being about 20foot by the mouth of the cove, plenty of fish to see, infact so many that you end up swimming in shoals of them!! there is a charge for the sunbeds at the coves, this is about 3 euro per bed per day.
The hotel also had .22 shooting & archery which we took part in and was good fun.
The only bad point is that you are about 1 hour way from the capital which will cost you 50 euro each way by taxi, we visited the capital Herikalion and walked around the museum which was v.interesting, there are two main shopping streets in Herikalion which sell all the tourist stuff as well as boutiques for the wives & girlfriends to endulge themselves in !!
All in all as we only went for one week we felt there was enough to do at the hotel and only left the complex to go to Herikalion once
I have included some photos for you to view and hope you enjoy the hotel s much as we did"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 15th of July 2006

relaxing break

3
Average
by
Reviewed Sun 14th of October 2012

"I booked this hotel after reading previous reviews and it seemed to rate okay.
First impressions of the hotel were that it was a lovely and modern building.When we checked and we were shown to our rooms (i had requested two next to each other for us and our two teenage sons which we didnt get) They were clean,a bit basic but we did have nice partial sea views.The only food available as we had arrived about 10.00 pm was a basic cold buffet which for people with children is no good so they sat and ate nothing.The breakfast however turned out to be their favourite meal of the day and they soon filled their plates .Lunch by the pool was great to begin with but by day four/five it was becoming very boring so we didnt really bother with it after that.The evening meal was okay nothing special but there was enough variety for the weeks stay,glad we werent there for another week. The beach was as someone else pointed out were small coves and down a steep hill so we preferred to stay by the pool.We caught the train to Panormo ,i expected more than was actually there and we ended up catching a taxi back to the hotel after about 10mins ,Dont bother going! This was our only excursion as we discovered how far the hotel is from any of the towns and as we had heard the public transport wasnt up to much so decided not to bother. The pool area is VERY slippy and dangerous, we witnessed people slipping over and i found myself slipping everytime i ventured anywhere.The hotel toilets are not cleaned enough especially by the pool during the day,even though It is a busy hotel. The staff we found to be very miserable and unhelpful, the only polite one was the main bar person who was always cheerful and always remembered your drinks .We probably wouldnt go back to this hotel but it turned out to be a pleasant stay apart from the few minor points i have mentioned."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 19th of June 2006

panorama- What you should know before you think of booking

3
Average
by
Reviewed Sun 11th of November 2012

"I was expecting a lot from this hotel after reading all the great reviews. Unfortunately I had failed to be read between the lines of other reviews- and I feel it is only fair to point out a few things people should know before booking.
GOOD POINTS
Very clean and well kept- the maids are great.
Animation staff are really funny- Nino is hilarious as is the italian guy. The have performancesevery night in their open air theatre, which are corny but Nino really makes it a funny show.
The bar staff and friendily and attentive.
The gardens are beautiful and the coves are nice.
It is nice in quiet if you want to get away from everything.
The Safari jeep excursion isa must and was the highlight of the holiday- there are two drivers Pavlos and George. Pavlos is fantastic and a wealth of knowledge. It is not a wild safari drive- just a great trip round to the sbeautiful, unspolit south and a nice meal.
BAD POINTS-
It mainily caters to Germans and the food is mostily German based, there are vey few British people , but mostily German, Italian and French. I love meeting other nationalities but it means not only is socialising difficult but the hotel is geared towards these nationaliteis.
The hotel is linked with the german based thomas cook and holds specail events for them - plus they book tables in the restaurant specially for German tourists.
The hotel is VERY far out from anything the nearest place is panoroma which is not walkable to but you can get a bumpy train ride to - I wouldnt bothere it is NOTHING like the photos and is mostily empty. There is nothing worth seeing, it is mostily run down buildings and the people are not very friendily.
Rheythmon is about 40 minutes by bus but it is an awful packed bus journey and it is very hard to get the bus back. Allow rethymon had a nice old town the main town is VERY busy- similar to a hot swaety london. Personally I felt it was not worth going ot and would avoid it if you have children as their is loads of chaotic traffic and you probably have to stand on the bus for forty minutes. Apart from these two places their is no way of getting to see anywhere else apart from excursions.
So if you want to see Crete the Panaroma is a definate hotel to avoid.
Their is no beach just small purpose built coves .
The food- we though there was a varity of restaurants but it is just one big resturant diveided into two. Their is a buffet which seemd quite good on the first day but after a few days of the same food ( salad, chips and german sausage, sweet casticky cakes- for breakfast ) you get sick of it. It is the only hotel I have ben to where their is chips for breakfast, the pasta is soaking and there were lots of flys sitting on the food- so much that I avoid the salads and deserts after a few days. Very disapointing as I was led to believe the food was excellent- maybe if you are not British- or dont mind sharing your dinner with flys! We tried to book the other restaurant but no one was helpful with this and when we found out how to- it was reserved for a german event and we couldnt get a table until the night we had left !.
The hotel reception staff were cold and rude.
On a personal note the following happend to me and I am pointing it out for two reasons- incase it happens to you too and it demonstrates to me bad management and customer concern.-
When we arrived we watched as everyone else was given their keys and still we had not recieved ours. Finally the reception staff gave us our keys and the porter started to escort us outside the main building into the cret mare bungalows. I was shocked as I had bboked the hotel, requesting a middle floor 10 months previousily- I certianily didnt want a bungalow in the creta mares grounds. The bungalow they gave us was in front of a main walkway and was a family room- unsuitable for a couple. When we complained the reception mamage said he had gave us an " upgrade"- I simply wanted what I had booked. He then decided we were unreasonable and we spent three days of a 7 day holiday arguing with him. I remembered the same thing happening to someome else who placed a review on here -so it is probably a common practice as the hotel had fully booked the main hotel building due to a conferance. I have now returned from holiday and am in the process of taking the matter up with Thomas cook.
Personally I wouldnt go back and was hugely disappointed. It may be suitable for you but I am sure there are better hotels in crete. On the comments book some people had wrote that this was not the ususal standard of an ibreostar hotel, I must agree and have been to far better 4* hotels.
THE AIRPORT- the airport is not too bad excapt one thing- on the way back they scan every case before check in- this means you have to wait outside in the sweltering heat- standing. Sometimes for over an hour. We were lucky and got through good- but a lot o people were not sp fortunate , their are cannppoys outside but the queue is biiger than these and one couple told us they had to wait outside in the sun, with no seat for an hour waiting to get checked in. So it may be worth your while- especailly of you have children to get a private taxi and beat the queues."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 3rd of June 2006

Going back in 2007

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Thu 29th of November 2012

"Really enjoyed the hotel and the surrounding environment. It lived up to all the reviews previously read here. Being the start of the season it was quite quiet at first and not every thing was operating as it would in high season, but that is only a minor niggle and this improved in our 2nd week when everything was open and the place was much fuller.
Food - excellent choice, quality and quantity.
Rooms - excellent and our maid, quite an old lady, worked her socks off
Reception - wamred up once they knew you and were superb when we needed help when our son had an allergic reaction to a peanut and we needed a doctor urgently
Pools - great, plenty of them. Mind out when the tiles around the pools are wet as they are extremely slippery
Entertainment - very good, the team work very hard and are really friendly. Try and guess where Nino the chief entertainer is from, it'll cause lots of arguments and he is superb. Some concerns about control/supervision of mini/maxi club especially on busy days.
Shop - onsite shop is a treasure trove and the people running it are really nice and do their best to help (an airline for inflatables is at the back of the shop).
Bars - staff get to recognise you and have excellent memories
So many people of different nationalities made it a real buzz and with the kids playing it showed that language is no barrier to the kids!

Already booked for 2007"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 1st of June 2006

Recommend this fab hotel - spotlessly clean, stunning setting....

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Thu 29th of November 2012

"We booked through First Choice Premier after reading the reviews here.
We chose early May because we prefer the quieter season when there are fewer children and it's not too hot.

It was certainly quiet and we had 3 very cool, windy days which were disappointing. But then the weather changed and it was perfect.

The hotel came up to all expectations - everywhere was spotless - the rooms, pool and dining areas, all of the extensive grounds. There was still some maintenance taking place as we were so early in the season but it did not affect us. They seem to be continually developing and improving the complex. The gardens were beautiful - with colourful flowers still out and scented hedges all around. The views were stunning.

Could not fault the room - clean, light, spacious, good mirror-doored wardrobe, private balcony with table/chairs, drying rack, wonderful view over garden, pool and part sea.

It's not for those who want a real beach holiday - but they do have several small private coves with some sand and plenty of clean facilities such as toilets, changing huts, showers, sunbeds (small charge) and a lifeguard. The sister hotel, Creta Marine, on the complex has 3 bays where water sports etc take place but they hadn't quite got going while we were there. There's a choice of pools, depending on what suits - the busier main pool with activities etc for families and quieter ones in other areas - all in lovely surroundings with bars, showers and toilets etc. There are sunbeds in the garden areas overlooking the sea. The beautiful grounds are very extensive with lots of attractive pathways linking all the facilites.

The animation team had a full schedule of sports and activities going on for children and adults. We did not go to the evening entertainment but there was something different each day and it seemed really popular.

The food was really marvellous - plenty of choice for all tastes - well presented and fresh. There was even a small 'dieters' table with a few low fat/sugar options. The range of desserts and cakes was surprising. We have never seen this on our other Med holidays. As it's all inclusive, you could always find something to eat at most times of the day, which is ideal if you want to go out and about and don't quite make it back for lunch. There was a wide variety of drinks always available from various bars and cafes. There were 3 choices of cocktails (one non-alcoholic) available each day. We did suspect, however, that the bar staff gave priority to Germans, who (as mentioned in other reviews) outnumbered the Brits

One night there was a themed dinner with a set menu, dimmed lighting and roses and candles on the tables. In busier times, though, bookings need to be taken for these evenings. There were different aperitifs each evening, on entering the restaurant. The service was excellent, with used plates removed quickly and discreetly.

It's the perfect place If you like to stay around the hotel all day and evening and make full use of all that's available. It's certainly extremely good value if you do this.

We wanted to explore, so we took the public bus from outside the hotel to Rethymnon. There was standing room only - not enjoyable for a half-hour journey! But it's worth a visit for the old town, fort and shopping. (Taxis are always available at the hotel entrance).
There is a 'Little Train' which goes from the hotel on different trips on alternate mornings, then each afternoon it goes back and forth about every hour to Panormo, the nearest little harbour village (3km). It's unspoilt, with some shops, taverns and post-office.

We booked a trip to Knossos through our rep. This is also worth visiting if you like old historical sites, but we had to stand around listening to the guide all the time and only saw what he showed us. Then we called at Heraklion museum, where again, we had to follow the guide around. This was boring so we went off our own to explore till pick-up time.

We also hired a car locally, for 2 days and went to Chania which has a lovely old Venetian area and harbour. We also drove up into the mountains, visiting 2 caves, and a village selling pottery. The scenery was spectacular - olives groves, traditional villages and old ladies in long black dresses!

Overall, we had a fantastic time, especially as the hotel had so few guests. We oursleves would not visit during high season, as we imagine it would be extremely busy, although the complex is huge so should accomodate all."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 9th of May 2006

Iberostar Creta Panorama

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Sun 11th of November 2012

"I went to this hotel last September and had a good time. The hotel is lovely and rooms are very clean and tidy. The food is excellent and with plenty of options.

We paid for 2 sea view rooms and one sea view but when we arrived we were told they weren't available and said they were uprading two of the rooms to a suite. Although they classed it as an upgrade the suite was just a bungalow outside an is no better than a room in the hotel. Probably worse. Definitely don't stay in a bungalow if stairs are an issue. Not only are there a lot of steps to get back down to the pool and hotel itself but you have the chance of staying on the top floor of the bungalow.

If you like a hotel with lovely pools then this is ideal. There are plenty and the main one is an excellent size (even has a nice pool bar that you can swim up to). If you like a nice beach then this is not for you. The beach is just a cove with a small section of sand. Definitely not what I'd call a beach.

The evening entertainment is very poor for English speaking people."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006

Stayed in the Creta Panorama in July '05...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Fri 24th of February 2006

"Stayed in the Creta Panorama in July '05 for our 10th wedding anniversary. One of the nicest hotels that I have stayed in (and there's been quite a few).

The food was excellent. The room was nice. The hotel is situated in a nice position with 3 private coves shared between Creta Panorama and the hotel next door. There is a little water sports business operating from the pier between the coves where you can water ski, wakeboard, banana, ringo or just hire a day boat yourself to see the coastline.

There are several hotel swimming pools hiding in all crooks and crannies.

The sunsets are amazing from the restaurant's terrace, so ensure you eat outside if only on the 1 night.

Downside - We had an Italian Job experience on the transfer from the airport to the hotel. A taxi picked us up (organised by our Tour Operator), driver didn't speak a word of English and drove erratically through this town of narrow streets with only an inch to spare either side of the car. 1 hour journey approx."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 24th of February 2006

I think Mr Vigeron's comments in the las...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Thu 10th of November 2005

"I think Mr Vigeron's comments in the last review were a fairly accurate description, as we found the hotel (from the 18th to the 23rd of October 2005). I would just make a couple of further comments;

GENERAL:
The hotel Creta Mare is run within the Creta Panorama - the main difference I believe is that you can only book the garden bungalows through the Creta Mare, and only the main hotel block and sea view bungalows through the Creta Panorama (that is how the receptionist explained it to me). So any review you see for the Panorama then (apart from rooms) will equally be relevant to the Mare.

SURROUNDINGS :
The first thing that was particularly notable about this hotel were the beautiful, almost exotic gardens. the whole hotel was beautifully landscaped with pretty pathways and terraces. If surroundings are important to you then this is definitely the hotel for you ! We were watching humming birds feeding in the gardens as we sat out at breakfast in the mornings.

ACCESS FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS :
Secondly we were struck how wheelchair friendly the hotel was (even though we are able bodied ourselves) - with easy access to the beach and all facilities.

HOTEL AREAS :
There were lots of different places you could hang out during the day, (many different pool areas, coves, lawns, terraces etc) so we never got bored, all well maintained and clean. In fact, for the first time actually felt that we had not had the full benefit of the hire car we had paid for, nor seen much of the island.

RETHYMNON :
We did drag ourselves out a couple of times to Rethymnon Old Town which was quite quaint. We did a trip on the fantastic looking replica pirate ship that leaves from the Old Port, which sails past the hotel to Panaromo most days and visits the sea caves (nothing special). This was great fun for the kids as they were allowed to steer the boat and the crew dressed as pirates.

BEACHES :
In addition to the hotel's private coves (very safe for bathing & inflatables, due to their sea barriers) there is also a public shale beach with easy access from the hotel (Rethymnon side). Here a (slimy green) river met the sea and a large flotilla of friendly ducks hung out, which my kids enjoyed feeding. The public beach was fairly deserted when we were there.

FOOD & DRINK :
The standard of the food and drinks was very high even at lunch times. There was food available practically all day long, with early diners and late diners well catered for. We found the wine was fine, and I think we are reasonably fussy - but then we are not French Mr Vigeron! It was great that the drinks were all self service (on tap ) so you were not queuing up at the bar during the day. The ice cream was also constantly available (it wasn't my kids that dropped it into the pool - honest !) and was a reasonable quality too. We never had a problem with stomach upsets - but we are always very careful even brushing our teeth with bottled water etc.

AMMENITIES & STAFF:
Yes, there were a few areas of the hotel that were closed up (mainly some of the pool bars), and a few of the activity programmes were not running, but this did not materially affect our level of our enjoyment at all. As mentioned the animation team (what was left of it) really did an excellent job and their language skills were superb. My kids loved them.

OVERALL :
The hotel is dominated by Germans - but we did not find this a problem, even if they are a tad competitive over the sun loungers (after all it must have been annoying to their fellow Germans too, since they were the majority !)- surely its not a reason for not booking somewhere? Personally, we are always pleased to see Germans at the hotels we stay in because they demand higher standards than the majority of us Brits. Viva La Difference!

Overall this hotel is rated 4* but I would say it is getting very close to 5*. It was difficult to find anything substantial to fault it and it was great value for an all inclusive - particularly if you book flights & hotels etc separately on the net, if you have a family - we saved around £350 doing this and that's with a hire car for a week (OK that was a bit of a waste since we hardly used it!).

I would definitely recommend this hotel (unless you want a clubbing holiday), and am beginning to become something of an Iberostar addict - this is our second experience of their hotels (we went to the Panorama on Kos last year) and have now booked the one in Marmaris, Turkey. Great hotel chain!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 10th of November 2005

Having extensively looked for and found...

by
Reviewed Wed 2nd of November 2005

"Having extensively looked for and found comments on the hotel before going on holiday, I thought I would bring my own contribution here. For convenience purposes, I will put my review under headings so one can directly go and read what is of interest. However, I must first make some general comments.

We (family of 4, two children aged 4 and 6) went to Creta Mare on October 19th 2005 flying from Switzerland to Heraklion. The first couple of days was a disaster, weather wise. Cold, windy, miserable. Then it got very hot for the season (24oC) and the rest of the week was definitely beautiful, clear skies and lots of sunshine. There was an light October breeze in the air, but the sun was so strong you could hardly feel it.

The main problem we experienced was that a lot of the facilities were closed. The hotel was well under staffed and this was a reality we experienced throughout our stay. Having read so many negative comments about “the invading Germans” or like “our nations just do not mix well”, I feel compelled to say, here, that being French, we do not have any particular problems with German people albeit the “morning battle for the sun beds” which was unfortunately an inter-nation reality. In fact, the only little problems we had were with uneducated British children pouring ice cream into the indoor pool which, in my opinion, is not enough to condemn an entire nation like some people seem to do on these forums.

On more things I find important to mention is that we stayed at Creta Mare. I didn’t find many reviews on the hotel as most comments seemed to concern next door Panorama Mare. In fact, the Creta Mare barely exists. We were dropped off at Panorama Mare on arrival, ate all meals at the Panorama, swam in the Panorama pool, went to the Panorama bay, our children danced at the panorama mini disco. The Creta Mare reception was closed, so as all its facilities, pools and bars! The Creta Mare is just an addition to the main hotel, so don’t expect lots of comments on this section of the complex. But what do you expect if you don’t pay high season full price!!!

Creta Mare is all inclusive.

It is definitely a hotel for families with children. Not for young couples or singles.

THE HOTEL

Creta Mare is a small branch of the main Panorama Mare. It consists of a reception desk and a bar. There are electronic games in the lobby. There seemed to be a patio with chairs but as everything was closed, we did not really experienced it.

The main hotel is huge. If you live in a house, go for it. The block offers great views from the higher floors. We live in a flat so we went for the family bungalows.

THE ROOM

Brilliant! We stayed in a family bungalow. We arrived there by night so our first impression was “hey, this is huge”. The room we stayed in was very big. It had one double bed and two separate beds for the children. It also had a kitchen (god knows why in an all inclusive resort) with a fridge. The bathroom was very nice with all sorts of Iberostar shampoo and shower gadgets. Two negative points: the design is a little outdated and the room seems bare and cold. When you leave the room, the electricity automatically switches off…which is not so great for the fridge. The bottles of mineral water never got cold.

And the view! It was absolutely tremendous. We had a little patio in front of the room with a magnificent view over the sea. Magnifique! Splendide! Merveilleux!

And the chambermaids did a wonderful job. The room was left spotless everyday. Thank you so much.

THE BUFFET

The food was incredible. Varied, succulent. It changed every day. Greek specialities, international (mainly suited to the German taste) cuisine. We had breakfast in the buffet in the morning. It was always brilliant.

We also had dinner there. Make sure you get there early. People eat as much as they can and we found that latecomers to dinners were only offered a lighter variety. It is amazing to see what some huge-belly Gargantuans can swallow. But I did not witness any fight!

Do not book in for the Theme restaurant. The tavern does not exist. It barely consists of a separate section of the main buffet restaurant where you are served at the table. We did not like the food (fixed menu, no choice) and we had to buy our wine. Compared to other experienced we had in other hotel, this was a real let down.

DRINKS

Loads of imitations of known brands for the children. Help yourself fountains of Coke, Fanta etc. Mineral water everywhere. We actually preferred beer which is drinkable ( I mean drinkable). The white local wine you have in the restaurant is ok but we could not drink the red.

You can have all sorts of cocktails and coffees throughout the day. The hotel was understaffed so the cocktails consisted of juice taken from the juice fountain and local liqueurs poured directly into the glass. But it was low season…

THE BEACH

We loved the bays. In fact, we spent most of the time there. There are of easy access and lovely kept. We just loved them. Make sure you take some euros with you as you have to pay for the sun beds. But we found normal as there is a life guard on duty and the place is just so well kept and suited for the children. Prefer the Panorama bay to the Creta bay.

THE POOLS

The pools are lovely. We counted 6 pools! There are two pools at Creta (side pool with view over the sea, sports pool for your lengths, kiddies pool at the mini club, cold in October, very cold) and 4 at Panorama. The main pool (salt water) is nice, the heated indoor pool is brilliant for the kids. The exclusive bungalows section has its own pool, apparently.

SAUNA AND FITNESS

We did not try but took a peep. It did not seem well equipped, understaffed. And it is 15 euros a week!

ENTERTAINMENT

As I said, this was low season. There were 3 animators instead of the usual 16!

But they did their best, they were always showing fantastic spirit. It was hard work for them.

I can’t praise them enough, Nino (the Fakir!) was fantastic, Nick was a star. Thank you also to them for speaking French to us as there were 90% German, 5% British and 0,04% French speakers in the hotel. Apparently, in September, the hotel is at 80% Italian speaking, so congratulations to them all.

SPORTS

There are tennis courts and tournaments which I liked (although I could not find a partner in October!) and archery/rifle shooting. We got help from Nino who used his bow to get our soft ball that had got into a tree but did not try the activities.

All football, volley ball etc are geared towards teenagers who seemed to have a ball. No sports for adults though.

FOR THE CHILDREN

Children are extremely well cared for. There is a lovely mini golf in the Creta mare grounds. The children’s playground is very nice too (albeit somewhat out of fashion). Our children loved the beach, sandy with warm clear calm waters. They loved the indoor pool, the mini disco. They also liked the buffet although my son managed to spill his ice cream twice on the floor and was seriously hit on the head by the swinging plate of a hunger-stricken guest. The mini club is nice. The Belgian animators are ever so friendly with the kids, speak all languages perfectly and at the same time. Special mention to “Joke” from Belgium, she was an “amour” with our kids.

THE STAFF

The staff were very very nice…but the hotel was understaffed. So some areas like the reception or bar waiters did not show 4-star standard service. It was very difficult to obtain information from the reception, activities ere not well indicated, the pools info (20o?18o?) obsolete and the repletion staff were clearly stressed up and overworked. I made a fuss as I refused to carry my luggage from the room to the reception on departure day. There are electric cars that normally do this for you but no drivers about. Ah, it must be so nice in the high season

INTERNET

Internet access is extortionate (5 euros for 1 hour) and available through 2 pc standing in the middle of the main lobby so that everybody can stop by and take a look at the e-mail you’re writing. Can do better!

SLIPPERY FLOORS

Oh dear, so many falls! How can you can you make such an engineering disaster? The floors are very slippery around the pools when wet. We spent one week asking our children not to run around the pools and witnessed many a fall.

SUN BEDS

All sun beds were taken/reserved by 8 am. I can’t imagine what it can be like in the Summer.

SUPERMARKET

Well handy, small shop. Get your local bus tickets there.

PANORMO

Get on the little train that picks up guests in front of the hotel every hour. The children loved it, it is cheap and reliable. It takes you to the village of Panormo, very nice for a taste of seaside Crete on a miserable windy day.

RETHYMNON

Get on the local bus to town. Extremely unreliable bus service, packed with tourists (you have to stand). But this is part of the experience, everybody seems to go to town when it gets cold or overcast. We liked the port and old town. Never seen so many gift shops though. We loved the Greek. The NEVER hassled us, let us walk into the shops and have a look round. This was lovely.

MINERAL WATER

You cannot drink tap water. The hotel reps ask you to buy water from the supermarket but we just filled our bottles from the water fountains in the bars. Much cheaper.

BELLY PROBLEMS?

Yes. And lots of people around us too…

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Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 2nd of November 2005

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