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“Totally Amazing from start to finish” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare

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Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Box 32 | Rethymnon, Panormos, Crete 74100, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Panormos
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Totally Amazing from start to finish”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

First Tip :- I booked this hotel direct and with flights £3700.00, Thomas Cook price £6000.00. Well we arrived around 8.30pm with a fantastic welcome from reception staff, check in very quick and efficient porters superb cases to room within 10 minutes can't remember his name but he will remember my youngest daughter Charlotte. Allocated room 2234 Family Sea View(OMG what a view)bungalow away from the main complex. We realised very soon that although I had requested this room was too far away from the main complex itself as our 6 yr old is like Nemo and in the pool all day. Upgraded the following day to room 4109 (£200.00 euro's and Thomas Cook wanted £1000.00) family suite 2 rooms 2 sun terraces with 15meters from the Phaethon Bar with your own pool. Maria in this bar is totaly superb and Elli on Maria's day off well done both and keep up your spotless high standards. The food is very good and all I will say is that it can be a little bit repetetive but hey they can't always do everything so no more said. Entertainment Team where do I start without them you may as well stay at home!!!!!!, they work so so hard from morning through to after midnight 6 days a week, Water Gym, Aerobics in Phaethon Pool brilliant, teeney club games after 12.00 very funny and something to watch whilst doing absolutely nothing. Mini disco superb and most the evening shows extremely funny John Travolta Night and Best of the Best AMAZING!. My daughter and I(13) scuba dived and I would highly recommend Paradise diving centre 95 euros each 2 1 hour sea dives down to 15 meters, the one advertised in the hotel were asking 145 euros for the same thing. Car hire with Sixt in reception very very good and reasonable. We booked a taxi transfer direct with the hotel 160.00 euros return George 0030 6986068374 cretantaxiservice@gmail.com over 20 euros cheaper than other taxis in resort 40 minute transfer very safe driver and good english. The only thing I have to maon about now is I am in the UK writing this review and as the enterntainment manager would say CATASTROPHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,064 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (213)
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English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

My family and I (18Year old and 16 Year Old) stayed here end of July, overall we had a lovely holiday. Bad bits first, on arrival I was a little disappointed by the room it did not look like the brochure, but the room itself was clean (most important), did not feel the second bed which was basically a camp bed was good enough for a 4 star hotel family room, but our main problem was with the bathroom, firstly the toilet seat was cracked and the toilet brush holder was broken, therefore everytime the toilet was cleaned the brush (and germs) were put on the floor, after a day we also noticed that the floor was constantly wet and realised that the toilet was leaking from the back, not good, we complained about the toilet brush twice before it was put right and it took three complaints from us and a further complaint from our First Choice Rep (who was brilliant) before it was repaired, again would not expect this from a 4 star hotel. We also found that the toilets in the general areas were not kept very clean and never had any toilet paper so were obviously not checked on a regular basis. The only other gripes are having to get up at 5.45 to even stand a chance of a sunbed and the fact that so many people reserve sunbeds all day and don't come down to the pool until 2pm I do feel the hotel should remove these, we did also feel that there could have been more sunbeds supplied especially around the oblong pool. Also the very grumpy staff in the onsite supermarket and the very rude guy Christian who served food in the restaurant in the morning, he should take tips from most of the other serving staff who were all lovely.

Now on to the good bits, when we arrived (1am) we had plates of food and fruit and a bottle of wine which was very good, the animation team were first class, never pushy but encouraged people to join in, were always smiling and the evening entertainment was excellent every night. The grounds are fantastic, as are the views and the private beach areas, the facilities were also very good. The food was excellent, the food can be repetitive but that is All Inclusive we always stay on this basis and this is the best food we have had, the choice is huge and the sweets were gorgeous, lots of places to eat during the day, loved the afternoon tea (again gorgeous sweets) by the pool, one thing for sure you should never go hungry. The All Inclusive drinks were also better than you normally get. This hotel is very remote but there is everything you need on site, the nearest village Panorma is very small but the Little Train is good and also try the trips they do to the caves etc its a different way to explore the area and we had a fantastic day. The nearest town is about 35 minutes on the local buses which are very good, but buy your tickets before you leave the hotel. The air conditioning was very good in the rooms and also it did not turn off when we went out, so we always returned to an ice cold room We hired a car which was brilliant to explore the island but if you don't have a car or use the buses there is nothing near by, but as mentioned before the entertainment and activities within the hotel are first class. I would definitely return to this hotel and I would recommend it to friends, we did have problems and they were sorted out but only because we were persistent, we felt the problems it had were things that should have been put right as general maintenance and not waited until guests complain and if this was put right this would be a very good hotel.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

We stayed the start of the summer holidays for 2 weeks. We arrived at night and we had booked a sea view so we had to wait till the morning. On first inspection of the room we were a bit disappointed. We were in the hotel block and the room was very basic. We woke up to a sea view at the back of the hotel, but most of the hotel rooms have a sea view so don't bother paying for one! We asked to move to a 'nicer' room and the hotel reception moved us to the bungalows which are lovely. (We paid 93 euros for 2 weeks). If you do this please go through your rep as they might be able to do it for nothing as we found out!! Jazmine the first choice rep tried her hardest to get our money refunded but upgrades are at the 'hotels discretion'. She did however get us a check out room till 9 and sent bottles of wine to our room.
Be prepared at this time of year for the heat. We could only manage 5 minutes on the sun bed then straight in the pool!

Pro's - Animation team are just FANTASTIC. All of them were great, but we have to mention Simone and Georgi who really go that extra mile. Our daughter (9) loved all of them. During the day there were lots of activities planned for children and adults. Entertainment at night varied...they definitely worked hard!

Grounds - just lovely. These alone are worth a five star rating.

Food - Lots of choice.

Cleanliness - spotless.

All inclusive - this goes on till 12 in the cocktail bar, then till 1.30 in the disco (all ages)

Staff - all really friendly. (Apart from the staff at reception...they let the hotel down)

Location - This is beautiful, a bit remote, but Panormo is only a little train ride away and that is gorgeous, very quaint and traditional. Lovely for a meal out.

Pools - 6 different pools. All salt water apart from 1 (see below)


Saltwater pools - You do get used to them but they really do sting your eyes!!

Sunbeds...usual moan!!

We had a fantastic time and will return when our daughter is a teenager. This hotel is superb for families with teenagers as they are well catered for during the day and night.

Make sure you explore the ground as this is where you'll find the fresh water pool which has fantastic views of the beach.

I would definitely recommend this hotel. A huge thank you to all of the team who made it so special for us.

Room Tip: Go for a sea view bungalow.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012 via mobile

We (self,husband, 1 yr old, 12 yr old and extended family) stayed here for 10 nights starting 26 July.


Like others have said it was very repetitive and what was dinner one night would be lunch the next day. Now I can't complain about not wanting to waste food in these times but things like 'sausage salad' & 'fish in mayonnaise sauce' are not appealing! Also I was rather puzzled as to why the food seemed to be aimed at other Europeans when there were almost twice as many British as any other nationality. That being said you will always find something to eat, even if it would not be your first choice. Breakfast is about the best meal of the day and the kids loved the pancakes and waffles (if you are early) plus it goes on until late if you don't want to be up first thing.


This hotel was advertised as having 'international branded drinks' as part of the all Inc which swayed us when booking as we have experienced some paint thinner drinks in other hotels before. While the drinks in the Creta panorama are nice and drinkable, I did not see any brands that I recognised (and I have lived abroad too). When I enquired about this I was informed that drinks such as 'smirnoff etc' are premium brand drinks and not available as part of the all Inc unless you are Spanish?!!! Also, you are not allowed any cocktails other than the cocktail of the day, but that is another story!


The service we received was really mixed. The restaurant staff went above and beyond to help us. Particularly the young woman on the door who took our baby's bottles into the kitchen to clean them properly every day. I never got her name and the waiting staff always had a smile and nice word despite the mess and chaos our little one produced.

I'd also like to mention Doris, who served at the entertainment arena most nights and always had a smile despite how busy it got.

Unfortunately not all the staff were as nice. The was one particular barman at the entertainment arena who actually snarled when you asked him for a drink and slammed them down on the counter. I suspect he may have been forced to work there at gunpoint! We always avoided him when possibe but When we asked him for a black russian (vodka & coffee liquor) on our last night he refused and told us that we were only allowed the cocktail of the day. This is despite the fact we had had this drink numerous times from various other staff throughout the previous 9 days. The reception staff seemed to have a similar attitude. If you asked them anything you were made to feel like you were bothering them!


Now I knew they were salt water pools when we booked this holiday but I can not emphasise enough how salty they are. If it gets in your eyes you will be in pain. It reacted with the kids sunscreen to sting them and destroyed any clothes that it came into contact with. I think there are also chemicals in there too. Of course the pool area is slippery. This happens anywhere tiles are wet!

On the plus side we never had any problem getting a sunbed, as long as you are a bit flexible. The main pool fills up fast but there are others available and we were even able to get 7 beds together at 8 o'clock one morning.


I have never come across an animation team more dedicated and they ensure that no one needs to be bored day or night. While the evening shows are not exactly Broardway standard you can see a lot of work has gone into them and they fill a couple of hours a lot better than other teams I have seen in 5* resorts. My only grumble is they stopped my 17 month old from participating in the mini disco because he was doing his own thing rather than following the actions!?! He had 2 people with him to ensure he could not come to or cause any harm so this really put a dampener on our holiday as we had to ensure we were not in the arena when it was on because he would get upset that he couldn't take part :(

A couple of words to the wise- if you don't pay for the BBQ or beach party you will be bored on a Thursday. Not very fair!


The grounds are beautiful and the views breathtaking. However the actual rooms are a little run down. We had a shower curtain pole fall down, a bath that wouldn't empty, a door that wouldn't lock and a unit with a faulty door that fell off and hurt my babys foot!

Overall we had a good holiday but I wouldn't return. Sorry if this review seems to go on a little but I wanted to give as a complete a picture as possible.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 11 nights from end June to early July as a family of four. The hotel and complex is beautiful, really clean and well maintained. We stayed in a superior bungalow which was nice and spacious, although they are two storey blocks and there is a little walk (only a few minutes) to the entertainment but well worth it as its really quiet there. They are in the quietest location on the front side of the main building, the waterfront bungalows are on the opposite site which are single storey but nearer the entertainment complex. You can pretty much get food at any time during the day - breakfast served from 7am to 12 midday! Great selection of food. The entertainment team work extremely hard and are great with kids. There are several kids clubs for different ages 6 days a week which is no extra charge and is open 10:30am - 12 and 3-5pm (my 4 year old loved it). The beaches at the hotel complex are pebbles not sand but you can get a little train for 2euros per adult into Panormo a nearby town which has a lovely beach and shops. We had a wonderful time and would go back there - would recommend!

Room Tip: Superior bungalows are in the quietest location
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

Just returned from 1 week holiday. (31.7.12) Travelled with husband and 2 teenagers (15 and 13 yrs) Thoroughly enjoyed the break:- Pros;- beautiful gardens, excellent views, lovely relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, animation team worked very hard throughout the day and kept our 2 teenagers thoroughly entertained along with the many other teenagers. Felt like a safe environment. Rooms spotless clean, towels changed daily, great air conditioning. Pools great temperature.

Cons;- Food was a bit disappointing, trays of food not filled up quick enough, therefore often had to queue. Have been to many AI properties before in Turkey and have found these to be offering a better stadard/quality of food. Lots and lots of pasta dishes, pasta salad, pasta with bacon, pasta bolognese, pasta with cheese etc offered every day - get the picture -1 or 2 pasta dishes a day would have been enough.
Also did not agree that if you wished to use the facility of the indoor pool then you had to pay, for this. No mention of this on the net. The loungers at the beach incurred a cost of 4 euros each, since they belonged to the property felt this should have been included. Also themed nights "BBQ Night" and "Beach Party Night" (Thurs) came at a cost. If like us you didn't want to go it was tough because the animation team were all there and so for that evening there was no entertainment on just within the Lobby Bar a man playing keyboard. The teens club in the afternoon - one of the activities was "Banana Boat" but if you wanted to participate then it was 10 euros. Also did not know before going (never been to Crete before) that you had to put the toilet paper in the bins provided and could not flush it down the toilet. Apparently an island thing not the fault of the hotel.

Had to be up early for a lounger, hotel needs to enforce that if they are reserved for long periods of time then the towels should be removed.

Did not find the beds in the rooms comfortable at all. Very hard.

All in all had a lovely time and I would recommend it however on a personal level don't think I would go back myself it didn't quite tick all the boxes but we all like different things.

Room Tip: Got to see one of the suites which was decorated exactly the same as the rooms within the hotel. Ju...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

We (husband, son aged 17 and daughter aged 15 and I ) stayed for two weeks at the Creta Panorama. On arrival, the reception staff were friendly and efficient and made a real effort to ensure we had suitable rooms (we had asked for adjacent rooms but none were available so we ended up three rooms apart in the main hotel which was fine). Rooms were a very good size for two people and were very clean, and kept that way throughout our stay. The hotel itself and surrounding grounds were also immaculate. Food was great with plenty of choice throughout the day, and the desserts were to die for, as my expanded waistline proves! You helped yourself to soft drinks at most of the bars and in the restuarants which meant there was no queuing. The restaurant staff were friendly and efficient and made sure tables were cleared very quickly. Our daughter went to 'teeny' club (and made so many new friends) run by the lovely Maro who I think deserves a medal for keeping them all under control and occupied and also for his enthusiasm! Must mention some of the other animators, George, Mena (great Zumba instructor) and Aaron. Thank you for your hard work.

Just a few negative points which didn't ruin the holiday but I feel I should point out. We have been to many all inclusive hotels but this is the first one where we have had to pay a non-refunable payment for safety deposit boxes (48 euro per room for two weeks) which we felt was unfair. We also had to pay to use the gym, which had seen better days (18 euros per person for 6 days) and the wi-fi (25 euros per connection for two weeks - teenagers can't live without internet!). You also had to pay to hire tennis rackets although the courts were free to use. These are all minor issues but we felt it didn't make the hotel fully inclusive. Also if you like to walk into a town this is not the hotel for you as it is on a main road in the middle of nowhere (which didn't bother us as we were looking for a relaxing holiday).

We all totally loved this hotel and would add it to our list of places to re-visit. We met lots of lovely people, so thank you Creta Panorama for a memorable and relaxing holiday!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHoteles, Online Reputation Manager at Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare, responded to this review, August 2, 2012
Dear family,

What a delight to read your extensive review full of wonderful comments on our Iberostar Creta Panorama. We always strive to achieve maximum customer satisfaction and it is very motivating and pleasant to see that on this occasion we reached our goal.

Regarding the inconvenience of the extra charges, we would like to explain that the reason for it is that not all off our guests have the same priorities; therefore we established the policy to only charge for the basic services when you book. Like this all guests can extend according to their preferences but no one pays for services they actually consider unnecessary. We are very sorry for the nuisance this might have created.

On the other hand we are very satisfied that you are so enthusiastic about all of our prime pillars to offer a splendid stay to all our guests. Service orientation and helpfulness of our staff, cleanliness of the in- and outside installations, gastronomical delights and a perfect location are the 4 most important elements of our company and reading that you find all 4 marvelous, fills us with joy and proud. We thank you for high lightening these aspects of your holiday as they motivate and stimulate us to keep meeting our outstanding quality standards.
We hope you had a nice journey back home, and we can´t wait to may welcome you back among us to thank you personally for your encouraging review.

Best regards,

Online Reputation Manager
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare

Address: Box 32 | Rethymnon, Panormos, Crete 74100, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Panormos
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Panormos
#1 Family Hotel in Panormos
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Panormos
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Panormos
#2 Romantic Hotel in Panormos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare 4*
Number of rooms: 454
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 4-star IBEROSTAR Creta Panorama & Mare Hotel offers all-inclusive accommodations in Panormo. Perched next to two private coves, this top family-oriented hotel on the island of Crete is ideal for travelers looking for vacations full of traditional Greek charm. With breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea, this tranquil enclave is the perfect locale if you want to relax in a comfortable yet fabulous environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Creta Panorama Hotel Panormo
Iberostar Hotel Creta Panorama
Iberostar Hotel Panormo
Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare Panormos, Crete, Greece

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