Our four day stay in this resort place turned out to be a big disappointment. I had booked a double/twin room with sea view and just breakfast; and we were upgraded for free at check-in, which seemed more of an issue for the staff than for us.The place is in the middle of nowhere and luckily we had a rental car to get away for day trips and to have dinner outside. It is very much a compound and more like a cruise ship on land than a beach hotel. We also realized that most guests were package tourists walking around with colored arm bracelets indicating their paid package service.
The problem started at check in when the desk staff started listing all the 'features' that require extra costs, some quite surprising like the use of safe in room costs a daily rate, WiFi is available for charge per day and per device (this was a first for me); and since our upgraded room was on the edge of the compound the Wifi signal did not reach that far and we had to ask for the cancellation of the charges since the staff appeared completely unaware of this circumstance. We were told that vouchers for dinner or lunch can be obtained if we decide to stay in the resort and the price would be €18 per person. Once we tried it turned into a logistical and administrative nightmare to obtain the voucher because the staff did not know who would issue the voucher, where the forms were, how much it would cost, etc - it ended up to be €20 pp. Also during check-in, we were informed about the pool/beach towel arrangement. We had to deposit money to receive a towel card per person allowing us to check out one towel per day or less frequently. Once when my towel fell into mud at the beach and I dared to replace it a second time that day I was told in uncertain terms that I would not get a towel the next day.
More general, the staff seems challenged and easily faced with consternation over minor issues. At the front desk we experienced constant chaos in dealing with issues and a completely lack of awareness how to deal with one guest comprehensively at a time. There are constant interruptions from questions among the staff, running around asking others for answers, etc to the astonishment of the guests being serviced. When we checked out it was just us in front of the desk with four staff behind the desk - and the same sense of chaos and hectic. Simply incomprehensible.
The place is vast and apparently still being expanded. As two adults we did not use the children play areas or water slides but noticed that not everything was functional or running - this was in August. The beach is on the small side and very little to do for water sports. As there was a pool limited to adults and clearly marked as quiet we tried to spend some time there every day reading. Inevitably kids would climb over the fence or once a father with his 3 kids walked in and advised them to use the pool having passed all the signs indicating it is not for kids.. And it was left to other guests to point out that this pool is limited; the only staff at the pool bar did not react.
Our room was nice, clean, large and bright with an inset Jacuzzi and surround sound system (not sure about the plus of the latter). We were told several times it is a renovated room as if we need to know this in order to appreciate it. However, there are some architectural concerns we raised at check out: the one time one of us used the Jacuzzi, the adjacent toilet room floor flooded to the point the water would run out the room into the bathroom and bedroom; at the entrance and near the bed are large wall panels with arrays of unmarked light switches and no matter how much we tried there was no logic about knowing what switch operates what light. Some of them seem to not work at all or were not connected; the toilet room lacks any ventilation and any odor has only one way to go, namely through the door panels into the bedroom; the toilet also does not feature a brush or sanitary napkins; the room did not have a bathroom per so but instead a free-standing double sink counter and when we complained about the drain stopper not working - they would not lift via the lever in the back - we were shown by the cleaning staff how to pull it out completely and put it aside as if that solved the problem.
We only paid for breakfast and were glad we did. The buffet is serving masses of people and that is the feeling we never lost in the four days. Lots of the same every day and not very tasty or of high quality. To get a small glass of freshly squeezed oj would have been €2 extra at the buffet, apparently not part of our plan which included breakfast buffet.
Overall, we were impressed when we arrived but quickly disappointed and the issues are just too numerous. The five-star rating is truly a joke.
We did not read the reviews on here carefully before booking but now, looking back and reading what others have written I question some of the exuberant comments for their validity.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Minos Imperial is set in the Emerald Bay of the traditional fishing village of Milatos which is 45 km from Heraklion Airport. Minos Imperial is the perfect choice for a memorable luxury hotel experience offering genuine hospitality and a truly unforgettable service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Minos Imperial Luxury Beach Hotel Milatos
- Minos Imperial Luxury Beach Resort And Spa
- Minos Imperial Crete
- Minos Imperial Luxury Beach Resort & Spa Milatos, Crete