We arrived mid-October 2013, travelling from the UK via Thomson. I have certain minor issues with Thomson which aren't relevant here or with the resort, and will be taking up matters with them by direct letter.
First impression of hotel was not good as we were 'dumped' outside the hotel off the coach (no rep from Thomson to greet us, nor had one accompanied the whole distance from the airport) and were told to "wait with our luggage" by a passing Concierge. Wait we did, for about 20 minutes, when one of our group decided we should maybe ask at Reception as to when we would be checked in and shown to our rooms. It then became apparent we should have checked in immediately on arrival, as is usual, and then gone back outside and waited with our luggage, whereafter you are taken to your room by the Concierge/Porters. I had also 'pre-registered' with the Nana Beach via their website several days earlier, hoping to avoid lengthy check-in procedures on arrival, but despite my protests to the contrary, I had to fill in a registration form which takes about 10 minutes or so, having to dig around in my luggage for passports and travel details. A little annoying.
We then waited outside again for a few minutes, and a golf type transporter arrived, onto which was loaded our luggage (and ourselves) and we set off to our room. Literally 20 metres further on, if that, we stopped at our room! We could have walked there instead of waiting for a porter. However, nice touch with the cart though, for rooms further into the resort, and amusing for us at the time!
We were shown to our very basic room - Room number 512 - not at all inviting on first view. The beds looked pretty uncomfortable, and the first thing my wife did was bang her leg against the wooden corner of the bed which was covered by the over-blanket. The edges of the bed really do protrude out quite a bit so watch your legs when walking by them! The beds were, in actual fact, quite comfortable, and the linen was clean. You also need to be very careful of door-stops screwed into the floor! These are 'toe stubbing' accidents waiting to happen! We covered ours with a thick towel.
Unfortunately, the room was not quite as nice as I anticipated for such a resort. Furnishings and fixtures were pretty basic, no feel of any luxury - but the room was clean although it smelt 'damp'. We found out why later....
The bathroom - usual fixtures and fittings. However, the shower had the most uncomfortable anti-slip mat in it I have ever had the experience of standing on! I can't explain quite how it felt, but it was rough. I'd liken it to standing on rough concrete perhaps? It was also too big for the shower tray so was curled up in the corners. Again, a small thing which divides the quality of the room from other hotels I've stayed in. No thought had been given to the matter, and someone had simply placed "a one size fits all" in the tray. Minor point, but noticed. The problems didn't stop there though. The shower wasn't particularly good in terms of water flow. This was no power shower by any imagination. Then, to my absolute horror, the water temperature was suddenly scalding! Luckily, I managed to turn the water off immediately, but this could have been a SERIOUS issue for a young child. The water also went from scalding hot to freezing cold within about 10 seconds, and then back again. I actually had to turn the tap to almost cold to prevent further instances of this - not a pleasant experience after a day of travel! After I'd finished showering and stepped out onto the floor, I nearly slipped over. I'd stepped into what can only be described as a flood.
I wondered if I had maybe not shut the shower door correctly, but on further investigation I discovered the 'leak' was coming from somewhere under the sink unit adjacent to the shower cubicle. We had to use several towels to mop the flood up. It only occurred when the shower was in use, so I gauged the shower to the be the problem. This was also the source of the damp smell, as the water had stood under the sink unit, and obviously 'stagnated' over time.
We then set off to explore our 'home' for the next 10 nights.
I have to say, Nana Beach is very pleasant, clean, tidy and is landscaped very well. The aroma coming off the Magnolia's was quite something. Bougainvillea was everywhere, growing off balconies, pergolas, up walls etc. The rocky terraces down by the waterfront are superb areas for quiet relaxation, as are the 'relax' pools (one of which is adults only). We spent several days stretched out on the sun loungers at the latter, with but a handful of other guests for company. Very quiet and peaceful. The overall layout of the resort is like a village - that is, there are blocks of rooms, each fashioned to look like small apartment blocks, accessed by narrow 'authentic' streets akin to a small village. It creates a very comforting atmosphere.
The other main pools are more geared up for families, or those wanting a bit more 'life' and social interaction.
There are numerous places to obtain buffet food and/or drinks around the complex; the food on offer varies at each location, from authentic Greek Salad to beef burger and chips! So if the relax pool is your thing, but burger and chips is your intended diet, you'd have to walk virtually from one end of the resort to the other. Not a problem for us in the slightest though as it is a pleasant stroll through the gardens, or via the main seafront promenade.
We had of course reported our shower and indoor 'swimming pool' to the Thomson rep, but had to wait until the following day to be moved somewhere else. This was done without any question however, and we settled into a much nicer room, albeit with the same basic furnishings etc. It was more pleasant because the French doors opened out directly into the landscaped garden, the smell of Magnolia wafting in our direction. Our previous room overlooked the service area, mentioned later.
On the subject of the Thomson Rep, Dan, he was extremely helpful in orchestrating the move, entertaining at the arrival meeting, and was able to sort out a problem I'd had en route during the flight, although not quite to my satisfaction but not through any fault of his own. We didn't really bother with any on-site entertainment, so I can't make any comment on the "Animation" team.
Regretfully, whilst nowhere near as bad, the shower in the second room (659 Apollo) had a similar issue to the previous one. Thankfully though, the water only ran cold for brief instances, and then back to normal temperature again. I wasn't keen on asking for yet another room, so decided to stay and put up with it. This room had a bath/shower combo, but the taps for the bath didn't work, so no bath for my disappointed wife. The anti-slip mat only covered a tiny portion of the bath, so care had to be taken not to step off of it and slip whilst getting in or out of the shower. Again, it was uncomfortable to stand on. No leaks though!
Another problem however that does need to be addressed, is the early morning noise in the service area at the back of the main building! Every morning (weekends included) we were awoken around 6:15am by loud bangs and glass being emptied into a collection vehicle. I didn't see what it was, but I presume it was a refuse type vehicle collecting bottles from the glass collection area. I am an early riser normally, but I would prefer to do this myself, rather than be woken by such a noise.
Management: this noise is quite simply unacceptable at that time of the morning for your guests. We pay a considerable amount of money for a peaceful holiday, not to be woken by the VERY loud sound of glass crashing into the back of a collection truck! There are a lot of rooms in the vicinity of this area, so a lot of guests would, I imagine, have been disturbed.
The food in the various outlets was good, and there was plenty of choice. Hygiene was not a problem and staff were observed wearing appropriate attire when handling food. We only had one issue that concerned us - this was in the A la Carte 'Greek' restaurant, when the waiter sneezed, covering his face with his hands, but then proceeding to place bread into a basket with his hands and take it to a table. Regretfully, we had already eaten our meal, or I would have got up and left that establishment and eaten elsewhere.
The only other issue we had, was at the Thalassa buffet restaurant. We were greeted rather enthusiastically by the Maitre d', but on being shown to our table, the waitress seemingly ignored us, not offering us any wine or drinks. We had to get our own wine from the fridge, and then ask her to open it. A little embarrassing. The food from the buffet was also not very warm.
We didn't eat there again, choosing the more popular Athina restaurant. Again, the Maitre d' was enthusiastic, but very welcoming. We generally sat and ate in the same area, and were attended to by Irina (Irena?). She became our 'favourite', and always welcomed us with a lovely smile, offered us drinks, talked to us, and generally made us feel so welcome. If Management read this, she is one of your best members of staff there and should be promoted!
We showed our gratitude at the end of our holiday in the usual manner.
We also ate at the Italian restaurant, but whilst the food or service wasn't bad, it wasn't anything exceptional. Perhaps I had too high expectations.
Overall though, the staff - from cleaners to bar staff, waitresses/waiters to receptionists - were all very friendly, very helpful and greeted us accordingly. We tried to use Cretan (Greek) when saying 'good morning', 'thank you' etc, and I believe they appreciated this. By the end of the holiday, I was as enthusiastic with my greetings to them, as they were with me!
The range of fully inclusive drinks is fairly broad (we were surprised to be able to drink Baileys on an all inclusive arrangement!) however, the red wine does take some getting used to! Quite a good selection of cocktails - no measuring of ingredients here, with free pouring bar staff!
We took two excursions whilst there. Spinalonga and the 4x4 Safari. Both quite expensive, but both very worth it if for nothing else with the former but the Guide we had who was very informative of the history of the Island. For the latter, we had Simon as our driver (along with a miserable bunch of British tourists...ho hum!) but he again was very informative, cracked several dreadful jokes through the day, but made absolutely sure we had a fantastic time. Zeus's cave isn't anything fantastic (certainly not worth the admission fee) but the climb up to it, then the climb down and back out of the cave is something to talk about! The views over the plateau are simply stunning.
Crete? My first time here, but it is pretty, touristy/commercial in parts, stunning mountain scenery, very friendly people, surprisingly clean (I say surprisingly, but if you've ever been to the building site that is Cyprus, you'd understand!) and generally a welcoming country.
All in all, I would return to this resort, however, I would be very aware of some of the issues I outlined earlier, and would probably do more to get them resolved somewhat more to my satisfaction than I did on this occasion. Dodgy plumbing and basic furniture you can probably put up with, but the early morning noise is quite simply unacceptable! We didn't notice it, but I would imagine more in the season when busy, the outside theatre opposite reception may cause disturbance for anyone retiring early?
Nice resort, fantastic staff, but there are equally priced holidays to, for example Turkey, where the class of room is better and facilities somewhat more luxurious without the price tag.
I appreciate others will have had complete satisfaction from the resort and will wonder at some of my comments, but I believe I have been fair in my review, and have simply written my experience as it happened.
Try to avoid any rooms immediately to the right of the main hotel building. This is where the servic...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.