We had high expectations of paradise island villas given the claims they make for themselves on the website and the reviews on here and elsewhere. However we were very disappointed when we stayed there for three nights this week following four nights at hotel ammos near Chania.
We had a wonderful welcome from Eleni and Paul and they provided very warm and responsive service. However their efforts weren't enough to make up for some fundamental problems with the resort.
First, it certainly doesn't feel as though it was purpose built as a five star destination. It seems as though they have bought up a bog standard villa development and put in a load of marble and some Phillipe starck fittings and got in a good photographer who could hide the numerous cheap touches in the re-ferb. On driving up to the main building (photos of which don't appear on the website) ours hearts sank. It just had no atmosphere or warmth and just didn't look or feel right.
Secondly, the location is really pretty dire. True there are some sea views, but look the other way from the swimming pool and you realize you are surrounded by scrub and wasteland. It might only be 850m to the beach, but that is a tatty beach backed by some big three star resorts. It certainly isn't somewhere you would be happy to walk anywhere from.
Third, we really didn't think the resort is (small) child friendly. Our villa had huge steps everywhere - no two rooms were on the same level - and having had a close look at the website photos it looks like the other villas are similar. It also had a very tight spiral stair case which was a pain, although there was a stair-gate at the top. Also, the pools were all very deep so not suited to little ones and the playground had equipment which must have dated from the 1980s and was in a horrible rusty, splintered state.
Finally, our experience of the restaurant was of very mediocre cooking and an uninteresting menu. We only ate dinner the once but that was enough - we went out for all other lunches and dinners.
We had hoped to end our holiday with a bit of luxury, but ended up wishing we had spent the whole week at Ammos on the other side of the island.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know about your stay in Paradise Island Villas. We truly welcome and value all comments of our gusts. It is our policy to be close to our guests and encourage them to offer us immediate feedback while still staying in our Resort, so we could act and improve their stay immediately. Direct feedback always helps us to try harder, in order to exceed your expectations and provide exclusive luxury services.
We are very pleased to hear your positive comments and kind words regarding our Boutique Villa Hotel’s service and the friendliness of our personnel. We do try to offer a different accommodation and hospitality experience to our guests and we are happy you experienced that as well in one of our villas. The Paradise team makes a continuous effort for personalized and concierge service and through extensive training we try to improve day by day.
We are really sorry that while you stayed with us you did not brought into our attention any of your comments in your review, so that you could give us the chance to do something about it.
Regarding your comments:
Our website is focused on offering as precise information as possible to our guests. All information about our location, villas, facilities and services as well as detailed descriptions and photographs are offered on our website. Our photographer is good indeed, as he had good material to work with. No styling or Photoshop is being used in any of the photos presented, to alter the real atmosphere of our hotel. From the description of our location is clear that we are located on the hillside of Anissaras, as well as that our villas are all two storey maisonettes, built into two levels, based on the unique Cretan architecture. Pictures of our villas show the architecture and spiral stairs in our villas. We are really sorry that you did not share your concerns about the different levels in the villa, as you were wrong about it all villas being the same: there are villas with no levels on each floor. Sharing your concerns with us then, could have given us the chance to offer you another villa fulfilling your needs and requirements. We should also mention that you were complimentary upgraded to a Superior three bedroom villa, from the Senior (one bedroom villa) that you had booked, offering a master bedroom down stairs, on the ground floor, which you could easily have used, if you found the spiral stairs difficult to use during your stay.
Pools/child facilities: every villa offers a private pool which depth follows the rules and regulations of the EU, with max depth of 1.50m. We also offer two communal pools of different depths, staring from 60cm. This way all our guests have the chance to choose and enjoy a pool up to their preferences. Our Boutique Villa Hotels is family and child friendly, offering all possible and necessary facilities to families with children of all ages. You missed to mention all the complimentary baby facilities that we had placed in your villa: baby cot, high chair, baby monitor, baby bath, toys for the pool, kids’ cutlery; as well as a DVD library with cartoons and kids’ movies. We also offer a special kids menu, designed for our little guests.
Regarding your comment for the playground: our play ground is located in an olive grove with grass, offering a nice setting with shade so kids could play safely. Our equipment could not surely be from the ‘80s as mentioned, as the hotel opened in 2007. We offer a variety of toys, as well as branded ones, like two swings and a slide of Fisher Price, and all other equipment is maintained frequently, to ensure they are kept in the best possible condition. Some of the toys in the play ground are designed for older children and are not to be used from babies, as they could be safe.
About our location: we are located in Anissaras, a very tranquil and developed area of the island, offering private villas and small country cottages, away from any city noise or crowed areas of a town and touristic resorts. The area provides seclusion and privacy, important features for our guests. The views from the main pool are to the Cretan sea as well as to an olive grove of 10acres of olive tress and to the lovely cliff of Harakas, which is charmingly lighted during evenings. We are really sorry you did not enjoy them, while staying with us.
Beach: our location offers easy access to several different beaches, depending on what the guests are looking for. The nearest beach is just 5-10mins walk from our location (approx. 850m), offering a long coast of almost 4km of beach, where you will find a couple of big hotels but also parts that are more remote and quite. There is also a variety of beaches at a distance of 1-2km away, with organized water sports and activities and services on the beach (food, drinks), snorkeling, family friendly ones, with sand; you will also find some more isolated and ideal to do snorkeling and fishing, and others with more young people and several activities. Our Concierge offers all this information to all our guests.
As far as food is concerned: all our menus offer a variety of dishes looking to satisfy all different tastes of various nationalities: breakfast menu offers a lavish selection of European, American and local dishes and in our Ambrosia Restaurant, we offer Mediterranean and Greek cuisine of local produce. Fresh meat, fresh fish, local vegetables, and all our meals are prepared using our own olive oil from our trees; everyday our chefs prepare the "dish of the day", featuring home made Greek and Cretan recipes. We are really sorry that this one time that you visited our restaurant, did not meet your expectations. We would have appreciated your comments at the spot so we could find a way to satisfy your tastes.
We are really sorry that you did not come in contact with our Management Staff during your stay, in order to bring to our attention any of your issues and give us in that way the possibility for providing all possible solutions and make your stay even more pleasant. We would like to express our apologies for any inconvenience caused during your stay with us.
Dear Guest, working with the greatest enthusiasm, constantly improving our services and taking into account your well intended, constructive criticism and comments, we truly hope that you would give us the opportunity to welcome you again in our hotel and we are confident that your highest expectations can be exceeded in Paradise Island Villas.
The Paradise Island Villas Management
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.