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“Good Family Hotel!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Petra Mare

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Petra Mare
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ierapetra, Ierapetra, Crete 72200, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 30 Hotels in Ierapetra
Goathland, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Good Family Hotel!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed all inclusive in a superior room. We hired a car as it is quite a distance from Heraklion Airport.and while my husband assures me the drive over the mountains in the dark on the wrong side of the road is nto something he wants to do again, it only took us about am hour and a half. We arrived late, but were offered a cold platter each to eat, which was much appreciated! On entering our room we were disappointed to note that it was not as modern as the pictures on the hotel website showed. During our holiday we got the impression that the whole hotel was being slowly refurbished, we assumed in off peak times. Though dated, the room was bright, airy and spotlessly clean, and definitely big enough for all four of us! The housekeepers were thorough and friendly, and when my son lost some money he had hidden under his mattress they went through the dirty washing immediately and found it wrapped up in his sheets!!

Food wise, we were more than satisfied with the selection on offer. I can see how it might become repetitve if you sample everything at each meal, though. You wouldn't expect a hotel with a menu as opposed to a buffet to change the menu nightly - so why should the all inclusive buffet have a huge rotation of meals? The food was generally good, and on occasion, excellent. There was usually something being cooked pretty much to order to one side of the hot buffet, this varied on a daily basis. For breakfast there was a huge selection - though the sausages and bacon were not what we'd expect! Good selection of fruit, cereals, and the bread was baked freshly every morning... which is more than you can say for most hotels!

There was entertainment provided which the children took advantage of. The "animators" did come round the pool on a regular basis trying to involve you in the activities but easily took no for an answer if you weren't interested. The water sports on the beach just behind the hotel were good value for money, and when he realised I was pregnant the owner let me ride in the boat for free while the others got dragged along behind on banana boats etc! The evening entertainment was not generally our cup of tea, but the animators put in alot of effort and work very hard to make it entertaining for all - it can't be easy writing something that can be understood in four different languages.

Again there were not many english people at the hotel, and everyone we spoke to in the village said "AAh, with the Russians" When we told them where we were staying. Ierapetra itself is not a huge touristy place,there are shops and bars along the sea front, but we didn't find much more than that. We took the car out a couple of times just to go exploring, and found some interesting places only a short drive away, such as a huge gorge which you could walk through to an idyllic village, and some minoan ruins, as well as miles upon miles of secluded beach. Hiring a car is definitely recommended!

All in all we had a lovely family holiday, and would go back again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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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245 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

We travelled late September 2012 and spent 8 days at the Petra Mare. We rented a car and drove the 1.5hrs to the hotel from Heraklion airport. Ierapetra is a small town on the South coast of Crete - it is not really geared towards tourism with a handful of nice bars/ restaurants on the water front but little else to do or see. Ierapetra is relatively isolated on the South coast and it takes a good 30-45minutes by car to get to the next big town Agios Nikolaos.
The hotel was clean and looked in relatively good condition. The rooms were basic but comfortable enough with an empty fridge for your use and balcony. The bathroom was dated but adequate.
The facilities on offer included a lovely salt water pool with small buffet and bar, a gym, the restaurant (buffet style), a shallow kids pool with slides etc and kids club. There is also easy access to a stoney beach with a small water sport centre if you want to jet/water ski etc.
The pool was lovely if not a little cold - but very refreshing in the heat! Unfortunately there was butlins (family holiday) like entertainment throughout the day where the team tried to get you involved in the aerobics, water polo, dancing, beach volleyball, darts or table tennis. This tended to involve loud announcements and music over the loud speaker system and being hassled into taking part -NOT ideal if you want a relaxing break.
We were two of a handful of brits - the mainstay of tourists were overweight middle aged to older Germans, with some Dutch and French. There were also a fair few families with young children.
We went "all inclusive" which cost only slightly more then accommodation only. This included 3 meals in the buffet restaurant, access to the small cold meat/cheese buffet by the pool, and unlimited access to a local beer on tap, local wine, local brand soft drinks and "fruit juices" which were a post mix cordial. There was also a selection of local spirits - including their versions of all the usuals.
The food was fairly repetitive - a different meat was grilled every day and varied from lamb chops, to burgers or liver. The rest of the hot buffet tended to include a few local dishes, a fish dish and chicken dish or two and then the usual spaghetti, chips etc that tourists seem to love. There was always a cold buffet of salads and tzatziki and other dips, and a desert buffet generally consisting of banana flavoured sponges and jelly - with a few other local deserts.
Food was plentiful and quite edible, just not perhaps what you may be hoping for if you're after more traditional greek cuisine.

To summarise the hotel was quite adequate and clean, the food repetitive but edible and plentiful - the location really not ideal unless you plan on not leaving the hotel. If you're after a holiday with plenty of food, alcohol and "group activities" - and don't plan on investigating the rest of Crete then this is for you - if not then I'd strongly advise you look elsewhere.

I would recommend looking at Agios Nikolaos which was a lovely little sea side town town with lots of bars, restaurants and plenty of small shops to wander round - or preferably the absolutely beautiful Rethimnon which consists of a maze of small streets peppered with local restaurants and shops, and a historical Venetian Fort to visit. The rest of Crete would also be a lot more accessible from either of these towns - so hire a car and get out there investigating - there's plenty to see!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Oxford, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

The hotel itself is fairly dark and dreary and in serious need of an update. The room we stayed in was fairly basic but regularly cleaned and quite spacious. The view was of the distant mountains and a lot of construction, so we didn't spend a lot of time on the balcony. Perhaps the sea-view rooms would be better suited to those wanting to stay in for the night.

The biggest complaint would have to be the food and drink. Breakfast was a joke. If you're not interested in 'mystery meat' weiners and spam, extra salted greasy eggs, or salad; your choices are limited to cereal and yogurt. No fruit, no baked goods. Lunch and dinner were pretty much the same. The salad bar is the same every day, as is the pasta and the choice of desserts (which weren't too bad). There is a meat station where they cook one choice of hot meat. Kebabs seemed to be a reoccurring speciality. But that was pretty much it. Meal times became so monotonous that it was a bore to head in to eat. If you're a foodie of any kind, this hotel is not for you.

The only thing worse than the food was the choice of drinks available. One brand of beer (which my other half tells me was not too bad, better than Mythos) on tap, coffee, fizzy orange, cheap cola, lemonade and very odd tasting wine (on tap) and fruit juices (tasted more like squash without the water). Not good. The bar offered very cheap vodka, gin and rum. I tried some white rum and it tasted like paint thinner. Cocktails and any other drinks not mentioned cost extra. We ended up buying iced tea and beer from the gift shop and going out for cocktails every night.

The entertainment wasn't too bad. They have 'Animation' in the hotel, which means mini discos and music quizzes at night - we steered clear, but for families I'm sure it would have sufficed. During the day there were table tennis competitions, darts, water polo and beach volleyball.

I'm not sure if it was the time of year but we were the only English people in the hotel. Everyone else was Russian. This didn't bother us at all, in fact it was kind of nice. It did mean that a lot of the food and entertainment was based around Russian families and the town reflected that in the fact that they sold no English newspapers or books, but plenty for the Russians and Germans. There were no English reps based in the hotel. Other than that, I don't think it would affect your stay.

On the last day we were flying home in the evening but had to check out at 10am. We were able to continue eating and drinking until we left but when it came to showering and changing for the flight, there was no courtesy room or indoor shower and we had to change in the toilets by the gym, which weren't very clean. I would recommend keeping your room on if your flight is late in the day.

We chose Ierapetra because we wanted to see 'old Greece'; something akin to the towns of Lindos and Pefkos in Rhodes. Unfortunately, the town itself was almost as disappointing as the hotel. The people are lovely and very friendly, and there are lots of little cocktail bars along the sea-front (head towards the marina for the cheaper drinks); but if you're interested in something more, it will fall a little flat. There are a handful of good shops for souvenirs but clothes and book shops are expensive. It isn't exactly picturesque and once you've seen the ruins (of which there is no English tour or even an information booklet available) you'll need to leave the town for something to do.

It's also a tricky part of the island for excursions. It's really too far for most of them, but you can take the trip to Crissi Island (we decided against it as it was 20 euros each) but we did get the local bus (the bus services are pretty good) to Agios Nicolaos, which was a gorgeous town. There is an archaeological museum there and it's just a short boat trip to Spinalonga, which I would highly recommend.

Overall, we wouldn't return to the hotel. Unless all you want to do is drink coffee, sit on a shingle beach all day (the pool played loud dance music all day) and are happy to eat out, it's likely to disappoint.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton on Tees
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2011

We liked the food at this hotel and the saltwater pools provided plenty of fun for the kids (and their Dad!). The room we had was too small for the 5 of us and the evening entertainment needed some more thought and ideas. Nice kareoke night tho by the cocktail bar (my only hangover!).

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011

Accommodation was good as was the food. Kids pool was excellent but the adults pool was too deep. 1.7 metres all over, and only accessible from two ends. OK if you are a good swimmer. The walled jaccuzzi was underwater and we saw several swimmers hit their heads on it. The hotel pool staff held games and exercises every afternoon for about an hour with loud music which was a little annoying. Some of the music was rap and hip hop with English swear words in the songs. Not very good for the English kids to hear. The clientel were mainly Russian, German and Austrian so I don't suppose they noticed. We mentioned it to the staff but they just shrugged their shoulders and laughed. The lift doors were temperamental in the fact that if the first person in pressed the floor button they closed hard on the following people . We saw one or two people with large bruises on their arms because of this.

Room Tip: High floor sea view
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2011

We booked this hotel about three weeks before our departure date so the only real reviews we had were off this web site. First impressions were good nice and clean with A very helpfull night manager (we arrived at just after midnight and were told that some food had been saved for us if we wanted it) When we went down for our breakfast the next day and saw the variety of food available and the outside seating area we were really pleased.We found at all meal times you could get a outside table overlooking the sea if you wanted to.We found all staff really helpfull and most could speak english to varying degrees the reception staff inperticular were exceptionly helpfull. We took our nineteen year old daughter and fourteen year old son with us and both really enjoyed themselves.We went to the taverna at vainia a small village at the bottom of one of the mountains twice( just for a change of scenery nothing to do with the hotel food )it costs eight euros each way in a taxi but is well worht it we had three large beers three bottles of wine and three cokes a mixed plate of meats and kebas plus lots of different tapas type dishes and a greek sala for eleven euros each we were the only tourists in there and every table was taken it opens round about eight and is open every day apart from monday.

Room Tip: we paid ten euros per night to upgrade from mountain view to sea view
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

We are a family of 2 adults, an 11 year old girl and an 8 year old boy.

What made the hotel for me was the staff (especially reception). Always happy to help, despite the very long hours they work, 7 days a week.

The waterslides shown on the travel republic website have been gone for years. It is best to look at the hotels own website for this. (Travel Republic - get it sorted!) There are some good slides in the kid’s pool. The main pool was deep and good, mainly 1.7m.

Food was good, always something for us to eat. The hotel was very clean, the pool area hosed down every morning, and a cleaner picked up rubbish and emptied the bins during the day.

It was nice that is close to a real Greek town, it was not too touristy but had nice bars and a few tourist shops.

Since the British tourist jumped off the balcony with 2 of his kids 1st Choice doesn’t go there anymore. So a lot of spaces are now taken by Russians.

Entertainment every night, kids disco thing first, then the usual sort of Mr and Mrs and Karaoke. But the bar is good, the kids tended to play pool for 5 Euros an hour.

The shop is good and about the same prices as elsewhere.

We upgraded to a sea view for 10euros a night. It was worth it, but the Mountain View inland is good.

Transfer time on a coach is about 2 hours, an hour and a half by taxi. BUT when we arrived the transfer company kept us in the coach for an hour and a half as waited for other planes to arrive! We booked the transfer through travel republic.

If you take your laptop, the wireless is free. Or use their computer for 5 euros an hour.

I enjoyed the holiday and would recommend it, or go back again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Petra Mare

Address: Ierapetra, Ierapetra, Crete 72200, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Ierapetra
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Ierapetra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Petra Mare 4*
Number of rooms: 227
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Also Known As:
Petra Mare Ierapetra, Crete
Petra Mare Hotel Ierapetra
Hotel Petra Mare Crete

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