This hotel is part of the Aquis group and caters for, I would estimate, 40% Russian, 25% German, 25% French, 5% other nationalities (Scandinavian mostly) and 5% Brits. It caters mainly I would suggest for the under 40s, although there were some wrinklies there too, such as my wife and I. I am 70. I believe they have a rather non-sophisticated clientele, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. In essence, because of our age perhaps, but also because we travel a great deal, it didn’t wholly suit us. However, we spent a week here in glorious sun-shine, and made the most of it. As with all my reviews, I shall try to be as fair as possible.
The entrance to the hotel is bang slap in the middle of the main Hersonissos high street, with grounds sloping down to the sea front via the two swimming pools and dining rooms.
Pros - Ideal for shopping, easy access to all rooms which are cleverly spaced at different levels around the grounds and top swimming pool. No noise from traffic. Great view from our bedroom, of the top pool and sea in the distance. Not that we needed it, but all areas are accessible for disabled people. There was a very small sandy beach just below the hotels’ beach bar, with limited access down dodgy rock steps, and providing you are a reasonable swimmer, it is quite a nice place to cool down – fairly secluded too.
Cons - The main "Beach" - is a public beach, a relatively narrow strip of volcanic sand, upon which the hotel has a number of beds and umbrellas - at least I think they are the hotels - there were so many others on the beach, all different colours etc. Some days, there wasn't a square inch of gritty sand to be seen because of the crowds. Not our idea of an ideal sea-side. I’m not sure if you have to pay for the privilege of using the beds.
Ours was number 166, and quite adequate for just a week stay.
Pros - Nice view from balcony, comfortable beds (2 singles pushed together ) extremely comfortable pillows, kept very clean, air-con efficient, fridge, TV, (only news channels, but that didn’t bother us) wi fi, nice furnishings, and well decorated.
Cons - Very small bathroom (as mentioned by others) no bath – only shower which was really cramped. Slight “drain” smell continually in bathroom – but not really too much to bother reporting to management. Fridge not stocked, and not very efficient either, as it was built into the dressing table furniture, without vents, so it was struggling to keep the temperature down all the time. The balcony was 1m x 2.5m approximately – big enough for people small enough!
Two large pools with sun-beds and umbrellas arranged around them.
Pros – Both pools kept in pristine condition
Cons – although there were notices about, concerning the “reserving” of beds, our Russian and German friends nearly always ignored the advice, and most were “taken” before 9.00am. They were also very close together, regimented in 2 rows deep on a couple of sides – not our cup of tea, so we nearly always used the man-made sandy patch alongside the tennis court and adjacent to the beach bar.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner all self-service from the same bain-maries. Drinks, including coffee, tea, wine and beer self- dispensed at lunch time, but served at the table in the evening.
Pros – Lovely smiling welcome each meal-time, either from the Maitre-D, or in his absence a charming girl – didn’t get her name though. Salad selection was quite varied and acceptable, if not repetitive. Bread at mealtimes was magnificent – don’t know if it was made on site, but a great selection and “more-ish”. Coffee was good quality and always fresh. We ate a couple of times in the “Olive Tree” restaurant, and the food was excellent I have to say. Unlike a couple of other contributors, I didn’t mind paying the extra for two large filet steaks I had for one main (beat me – couldn’t eat it all!) cooked perfectly to my choice.
Cons – Sorry, but we were not impressed with the food at any of the meals in the main restaurant, and found it difficult to find anything to eat which was not bland, not hot enough, with soggy batter on fish, undercooked pasta, cold chips, and a plethora of minced meat concoctions which all tasted the same. Most lunches and evening meals there were 3 or 4 different types of pasta, and 3 or 4 varieties of potato cooked in different ways, - the cheapest “filler” in mass catering. I really do think something has to be done in this department – it would appear perhaps the Chef’s budget is set too low, because for a hotel purporting to be a 4 star, the food quality and variety just wasn’t there. It is also hard to understand why battered fish is kept in bain-maries, which inevitably will soften the batter and render it inedible. The same goes for the fries, which were either cold, or luke warm at the most, but soggy. Bacon, served twice for breakfast during our week, was streaky, but again, soggy – I do like mine crisp, but that’s a personal thing.
Pros – Only “pros” in this department. All members of the staff (bar one, and that person was in “Reception”) were courteous, worked with a smile, were attentive, very smart, and went out of their way to serve you properly. The Maitre, Nikos, has been mentioned here before – I must endorse those comments, and say he really looked after us both, and went out of his way to make our stay far more enjoyable than it might have been without him! He knew his job – it showed! Too many others to single out, but one “Star” was Kostos in the main bar, who was an entertainment, and good fun. Also Leftheras (think that’s how you spell it) the head waiter I believe, was a true professional at his job. Zoe, one of the waitresses, made us very welcome on our first day, and looked after us so well for the rest of our stay.
There are 3 bars, a lobby bar – which we never saw open, the main bar overlooking the upper pool and the stage, and the beach bar.
Pros – I have already mentioned Kostos – he was exceptionally good at his job in the main bar. The other bar staff were also polite and friendly, and measures given were ample.
Cons – Drinks for “All inclusive” were limited, and a premium had to be paid for anything not on the list you are given on arrival. The AI whiskey, Gin and Brandy were all quite acceptable as was the beer and wine and “house” cocktails but ask for a pina collada, a standard in any other hotel, and you had to pay extra. The lobby bar was never open as far as I am aware, although I don’t think we would have used it – it was some way away from the rest of the action. Mention has been made before about the length of time waiting for drinks. This happened once to us – 45 minutes – and we were right by the bar. However we mentioned to the Maitre, Nikos, and service improved substantially for the rest of our stay. The beach bar only served wine or soft drinks during the day, along with DIY tea and coffee. The water for the tea was never hot enough – it was one of those instant coil type water heaters behind the bar, so we gave up on that idea.
A team of 3 people – the “Animation Team”, did the bulk of the entertainment, and kept the guests busy with team games in the pools, volley ball and so on.
Pros – What a superb team, who did a great job, bearing in mind they were catering for several nationalities, all with different senses of humour, taste etc. and different age brackets. At my advanced age, I have perhaps a more subtle idea of entertainment, but for those younger, or young at heart, then maybe the organised daily sports, and less sophisticated evening entertainment would suit them. However, I stress I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 nights the team performed on the stage, and laughed my head off with the rest of them. Max, Paulina, and Daniel, we salute you! Thank you for your energy, your bright smiling faces, your sense of fun, your dedication to your jobs and your professionalism. I hope your agency or the hotel is paying you what you deserve! The 6th night included a very good professional dance group that performed a series of dances from different countries, and the 7th night was a Greek night, (at extra cost) with the inevitable Greek dancing.
Cons – none really, other than for an “All Inclusive Hotel” perhaps the Greek Night should have been gratis. Oh yes..... both pools and the small beach had pipe noise very day, from 10am all day long – different noise (can’t really call it music) for each venue, and LOUD. This had been commented on before, I know, but WHY, WHY so loud. It really spoiled our relaxation overlooking the sea – we couldn’t hear the waves or concentrate on reading a book it was so loud and incessant, and whoever chooses the noise really does have some sort of problem. If it was just “background” music, it wouldn’t have been so bad – but there you go....
To summarise then....
A clean modern hotel in a good central position, with 2 nice pools, excellent staff, rather naive, but enjoyable entertainment, with plenty of organised sports if you want them. Don’t expect cordon bleu food, but rather school dinners, in refectory lines of tables, and self service, unless you are prepared to pay a lot more for excellent meals in the a la carte restaurant. They called it “a la carte”, but it was “table d’hôte” really. “All inclusive” in this hotel is not inclusive as in most others. A lot of extras have to be paid for including such things as fresh orange juice at breakfast! Bedrooms are very small, bathrooms even smaller, but clean, with fluffy towels! Take ear plugs for the pools or beach area!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At a distance of just half an hour from the Heraklion,at the outsckirts of Hersonissos Silva Beach Hotel operates as an all-inclusive resort hotel, where one can choose from a plethora of activities or if otherwise inclined just relax on the beach or around the pool. The Hotel was renovated during winter 2010. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, HostelBookers, Despegar.com, Travelocity, TripOnline SA and Odigeo so you can book your Silva Beach reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Aquis Silva Beach Hotel Chersonisos
- Aquis Silva Beach Hersonissos
- Aquis Silva Beach Hotel Hersonissos
- Silva Maris
- Silva Beach Crete, Greece