I have just returned from a week's holiday at the Cretan Royal Dream Hotel in Kato Stalos, Chania, Crete and wish to share my very positive views and experiences with others. Our stay was from the 18th to the 25th of May 2010.
Following a request from me, the hotel upgraded us to a superior Room with sea view from our mountain view promotional one, without any charge. Upon our arrival Serge showed us to our rooms and carried our suitcases. As neither my wife nor myself smoke, we had a problem, given that the previous occupants appeared to have smoked in the bedroom (despite the no- smoking policy in rooms that the hotel has) - and we felt unhappy about that, so I rang reception to ask for some air freshener, only to be approached again by Serge 10 minutes later, with an offer, from the Hotel Manager no less, of two equivalent Rooms on the same floor that did not smell of cigarettes. The choice was entirely ours!
Now this is what I call first class, customer-orientated service and it was the beginning of a great holiday experience for us, so where shall I start? Firstly let me state that I have been travelling to Greece for over 30 years, am quite well versed in the culture and like it, love good Greek food and can be very difficult when standards and taste are not up to scratch and do not take kindly to excuses and poor service!
ROOM : Our room was very well appointed, quite plush and spacious, exceptionally clean, with top quality bed linen and towels- (cleaned daily with fresh towels)- and every day our fantastic chamber maid Geta, would leave for us one of her lovely artistic creations on our bed, made entirely with our clean towels and fresh flowers! We are really so grateful for this as it was beautiful and refreshing to see someone take the trouble to do something so nice! (Please see some of the attached photos).There is a double electric ring if you wish to cook and a choice of a Filter Coffee making machine or a Kettle if you prefer to make instant coffee and we chose the latter. We had a rather nice bathroom bedecked in gorgeous light brown marble, a spacious double wardrobe and a lovely balcony overlooking the sea and the main road in front of the hotel. (We actually did try the lovely sandy beach and were really pleased with how clean the water was.) Room furniture was both more than adequate and of a very high quality. Our beds were supremely comfy and once you shut your balcony door, what little traffic noise there was, disappeared completely.
FOOD : We were on a Half Board basis , which meant breakfasts and dinners at the hotel restaurant. The food was really great...!! In fact it was so good, we were really looking forward to it! Sometimes in both HB and all inclusive cases it means that food is average and perhaps boring, as we found a couple of years ago in Rhodes. Not here, however.!! Whether you are vegetarian or not, you will find at least 4-5 dishes every day, that you can enjoy! It is traditional greek cooking at its best with wonderful salads, superb Jadgiki and breakfasts to kill for...really!! Choice, freshness, taste and quality, were absolutely top notch. Not really surprising when, as we found out, the Chef Kostas Tsimbourakis, is one of the top chefs in the whole of Crete and so well established, that he is often invited as a judge in culinary competitions at the Geek Academy of Taste, no less!. You will see him every night as you enter the restaurant and he is there to explain and assist with any food queries. A really lovely man, young but immensely gifted and experienced. The food in this Hotel, is without a doubt, one of the best we have experienced in Greece!
POOL, COMMON AREAS, STAFF : The hotel has a really nice Infinity Pool and a smaller one for children, both scrupulously clean and very attractive, indeed. There is a great pool bar, manned by George (one of the most amazing Cocktail makers you are likely to find! Some of his creations are real multicolour works of art...He is also such a lovely, friendly man!!) - and Manolis his young protégée, who is also a really lovely, polite and helpful guy with masses of charm. All outdoor and indoor public areas have lovely comfy chairs and tables and are of a really high standard of construction as an English Builder we met pointed out to us, more than once! All of these are beautifully lit at night and create a relaxing and classy atmosphere. What really makes this hotel extra special, however, is its exceptional staff!! Yes, I know we hear this said so often but in this case it is utterly true!
We were impressed and amazed by the service you receive everywhere, as nothing seems to be much trouble, so without missing anyone we hope, we would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation to the following : Ioanna, Anna and Charoula at reception, together with Rena, for being so nice, friendly, willing to help and having a lovely big smile, each and everyone of you. To Angelos, Antonella, Magdalene, Manolis , Cristina and the Chef in the restaurant , for making sure each visit there was so enjoyable and for your quick and so accomplished service that made hard work appear to be so smooth and effortless on your part! To George and Manolis at the Bar for being so, so good , pleasant, friendly, funny and quick....and last but not least, Serge, who is so nice and helpful, that he is an asset to this hotel. Thank you all so much, as each one of you played a part in our stay being such an enjoyable experience! We would like to come back, that is for sure...
EATIG OUT - COSTS: We ate out quite a few lunchtimes in Tavernas further down from the hotel, on the main road and found again that the food was fresh, tasty and very reasonably priced. We paid 18 Euro(Approx. just over £15!!) for two sizeable and very tasty Chicken Souvlakia with Bread, Jadgiki and a large Greek Salad, so any ideas that Greece is suddenly more expensive than before, are simply not true at all. You can eat really tasty food ,with great variety, very reasonably priced and you get a lovely drink or sweet with your bill, as a thank you. Really compared to the Spains and Turkeys of this world, you cannot beat Greece! We also ate one lunchtime at the Hotel and their food was also excellent and very cheap!
OVERVIEW : This is a Hotel with a great atmosphere, amazing staff ,excellent accommodation and food that is very good indeed. It is located in a nice area, is not massive (approx. 100 Aparts/Rooms and 3 or 4 suites) but offers such a unique relaxing experience, it almost makes you feel you are with your friends and, indeed, this is what all staff become by the time you leave. It is unpretentious, has plenty of quality everywhere you look and you get a nice class of person - (Not meaning loaded etc. but rather nice, decent, down to earth people from England, Sweden, Norway, The States, France, etc.)-who go there to have a really good time..! If you want plenty of noise, hassle etc. then look elsewhere. This Hotel has class and it shows!!
Finally, the price we paid for our stay, given the total quality in this place, is phenomenally cheap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.