This was our first family holiday and we paid a lot of money (in our eyes) for the perfect all inclusive holiday. Unfortunately that wasn't what we got. Although the room we had was ok and was kept very clean the bathroom and shower were tiny, so much so you couldn't close the sliding door when sitting on the toilet and had to fight with the shower curtain to have a wash!
The biggest issues we had were with the entertainment, quality of food (lack of it), bed reservations and the fact that on our supposedly all inclusive holiday we had to pay €1.50 per day to hire a mattress for the beds by the pool.
If you stay at this hotel expect to have to be up at 6am to reserve beds by all of the pools, on our first day we had to physically move beds from one pool to another to allow us to have somewhere to sit as 99% were reserved with towels even though there are signs all around the hotels that state is is forbidden to reserve. We brought this up with our rep but she said there was nothing that could be done.
As for having to pay for the mattresses - we paid for all inclusive so that we didn't have to spend any additional money. To then find that we had to pay every day for comfort that should be included in the price we paid was very frustrating.
The food was pretty poor and as a result we ate out 3 out of 7 nights as we just couldn't stomach any more beige, bland food. This is mass catering on a grand scale as there are 2 hotels that are being catered for but there was a complete lack of taste and acceptable variety, the children's selection was chips and rice and one piece of meat every night and very rarely was anything piping hot.
The snack bars during the day serve chips, pizza (cold) and something they claim is a toastie (2 slices of bread, half a slice of ham and cheese) in never ending streams. There may be local spirits available but if you want a cocktail that is made up of those spirits you have to pay extra. We brought this up with the rep and she said that you need to get all of the spirits you know are in the cocktail and make it up yourself! The kids are happy but it isn't great.
The hotels are predominantly occupied by French, German and Dutch, not many English at all and the English that we spoke to had pretty much the same experiences as us.
The fact there are not so many English may be the reason why the entertainment was so sexually orientated and accepted by the majority of guests. While we appreciated that the 'shows' they put on are after 9.30pm the fact that they encourage children to sit at the front of the stage while the staff perform the full monty, throw darts at each other, pop balloons in various sexual positions etc. is totally unacceptable.
The staff don't appear happy in their work at all and struggle to raise a smile. In contrast if you leave the hotel and walk up into the village or down onto the front the locals couldn't be friendlier. We strongly recommend the Nikos Family Taverna on the strip opposite star beach. Great food, prices, atmosphere and staff are fantastic.
The pools are ok but the majority are 2.5m deep and there are no lifeguards. All are salt water which the kids don't seem to have a problem with but we weren't keen. There was a stagnant water smell near the kids pools and we never saw any of the pools being cleaned.
All in all the holiday was ok, the weather was great but we won't be returning and we will be complaining to the holiday company as their online brochure is mis-leading.
This isn't a 4* hotel and if you're thinking of booking it I would strongly recommend that you read as many reviews as possible and think again.
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- Also Known As:
- Imperial Belvedere Hotel Chersonisos
- Imperial Belvedere Hersonissos
- Imperial Belvedere Hotel Hersonissos
- Imperial Belvedere Crete, Greece