We booked back in February because of a very good deal through Travelzoo and glad we did. We got a 2-week stay at the beginning of October for a very reasonable price on half board basis with a room with private pool, which clinched the deal for us.
The room was great and the private pool absolutely amazing, especially when it got really hot again in the second week. We never had a private pool before and certainly made use of it! Food was the best we ever have experienced in any hotel, variety and freshness second to none. I especially would recommend to try the roast of the day (chef carves it and it changes daily) - we has some great chateaubriand etc. The only problem was the difficulty to get coffee at breakfast, it took ages and sometimes never came. It is only served by the staff and they are always busy with clearing tables etc. When they come with a (small) thermos of coffee it often run out before they made it to our table. Other than that it was good, too. Fresh (fresh) orange juice, too.
The comments about many (small) children in the hotel are true. During our stay there seemed to be a lot of Scandinavians with children, most of them well behaved, but we had a very noisy family as neighbours for one week which spoilt the tranquility a bit for us (door banging, shouting and screeching late into the night and early morning). But that is not the hotel's fault and we never reported it as I was not sure what they could have done about it (we did not want to change our room as it was perfect otherwise).
Kolymbari is very lovely small village which - apart from the big new hotel - has retained a lot of it's charm as a little fishing village. We loved strolling past the tavernas in the afternoon and often eating some small snacks (especially in Palio Arhontiko) with a bottle of wine for little money and just let the day pass us by. The friendly attention and good food and service were great there (always a free Raki and a free desert at the end). You could watch the little fishing boats going out and coming back with their catch of the day.
We did not hire a car, but booked some excursions in the Hotel which was no more expensive than elsewhere. We walked the Samaria gorge, which was breathtaking. We also took the bus to Chania several times and found this very easy to do.
The Spa was good, too, and we used it once when the weather wasn't that great, but unfortunately they had changed their policy of adults only and had allowed children into the Spa in the mornings, which spoilt the sauna and steam room experience as they just run around and in and out, left doors open and their parents were nowhere to be seen. I would definitely book into an adult only hotel next time, not that I don't like children (I have 2 of my own), but there is a kids club for their entertainment and if they don't like that I would expect the parents to supervise and entertain them so they don't spoil other guests' holidays.
The hotel has very comfortable sunbeds on the beach (wooden with mattress) which we made good use of and the breeze of wind from the sea was very welcome on hot days. The water was comfortable to swim in, although it was as others already mentioned, stoney and definitely easier with shoes to get in and out.
The season coming to an end and some hotels in the area had already closed for the winter. We were told that the Avra was going to close down on the 26th October, and staff had started to remove the watersports equipment from the beach and were taking parasols down. On the positive note though the hotel only seems half full, plenty of sunbeds, tables at dinner time etc.
All in all we had a great time and if it had not been for the very noisy neighbours would have been close to perfect. Thank you, Avra.
We had room number 11127 which is the end of the row of private pool rooms on the first floor, overl...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Sir/ Madam,
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Thank you for staying with us during your recent visit to Crete and for taking the time to write this comment.
We are delighted to read your comments on our premises and services!
We truly look forward to welcoming you for the third tome in Chania!
The Management of Avra Imperial Beach Resort & Spa
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.