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“Travelled a few years ago but..” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Belvedere

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Royal Belvedere
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Hersonissos, Crete 70014, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #75 of 185 Hotels in Hersonissos
Stevenage, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Travelled a few years ago but..”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Really enjoyed this when i was slightly younger, went with a few families in a large group and had a fantastic time. Enjoyed the hospitality and the hotel is great for families. Huge pools with plenty to do. Animation staff were fantastic. Only downside that it is not for people that have mobility problems as it is located on a steep hill. Crete is a beautiful island anyway and would recommend this resort and hotel for families. Also in a good location to visit all amentities such as Spinalonga and close to Malia for more of the party animals!

Room Tip: Try and get a room in the main building, the accomodations located outside of the main building are...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013 via mobile

the hotel is lovely and clean, towels and bedding are changed every day.. it's a big hotel with 3 swimming pools which gives you a great choice of either swimming in the big olimpic pool where the entertainment takes place or relaxing by the small and quiet one... the food is fresh and delicious, a big variety to choose from. . there are plenty of traditional greek cuisine served but if you don't fancy it there are chips, salads, different meats, soups also available... I seriously don't think the food was that repetitive as other reviews are saying. .. the location is good..just 10 mins from amazing and so pretty Star Beach and shops and restaurants. .. the only disadvantage of the location for some people could be the fact that the hotel is located on a quite steep hill but don't worry it's not Mount Everest and a bit of walk definitely helps to burn off all the calories you consume every day. .and for those who have got mobile difficulties or don't fancy walking the hotel provides a both ways transport to the beach three times a day. .. all inclusive package is ok..just a normal standard you get in other hotels.. I was all inclusive plus ( booked through Thomas Cook) and I was able to order some other drinks *(coctails, bayleys, liqueurs) if you want your drink to be served in a glass just order it in lobby bar...it's understandable drinks are served in plastic cups in pool area but some people still moan about it. .the only downside is entertainment in this hotel. .
for kids they do a great job but there is not much for adults neither at day time nor night time. .in fact they are dreadful... keep shouting to the microphone. . looks like they want to entertain themselves not other people...really low standard of animation team! apart from that can't see any other problems. its up to you what you will make of your holiday. . I personally had a fantastic time! for greek standards it is 4 star hotel!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Market Harborough, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Just got back from the Royal Belverdere - sept 27th 2013 after 7 days away with my husband, first time without the children and first ever stay in a hotel and we have never done all inclusive before. So nothing to compare this hotel to. So a fresh novice Opinion. Luckily the school holidays had finished so not many children mainly couples and older people I can only imagine how busy it would be with families in high season. Position is great but wouldn't recommend for anyone with mobility problems, on a hill with a steep walk back up from the beach, terraced around the hotel with lots of steps and ramps but its hillside position gives you lovely views if you get a room with a sea view, insist on one If you book or you may end up looking at a hotel wall. The hotel and grounds were very clean, rooms and all areas cleaned everyday, fresh towels and bedding daily. Parts of the hotel old and dated but still maintained but the decor is iffy. Pool areas all lovely. Lots of food on offer but repetitive, always lots of fruit, salad, veg, cheeses and fresh rolls/bread and lots of puddings and ice cream but all meat dishes very poor, mince, beef liver, processed ham, rabbit, chicken wings, stewed beef, pork belly etc choose wisely and you can make a decent meal out of everything on offer but the hot stuff was never hot. Snack bar has little to offer during the day, chips, toasties always ham and cheese and served cold and ice cream but some afternoons the the snack bar makes pizzas and they are nice and I'm not a pizza lover. Drinks all ok but the wines not the best but the gin tasted like gin and the cocktails were find but don't expect to get a decent pint or a nice Shiraz but Nothing tastes brilliant in a plastic cup.
Entertainment awful, embarrassingly bad. Nothing pretty about the immediate surrounding area very tacky shops, bars, and star beach! Which is brilliant if your 18/20ish and like boozing all day and dancing In front of a foam machine. Turn right at the end of the hotel drive and there is a beach with beds etc, but it's a good walk. We got a cab from the hotel to various places, the harbour, the old town and a couple of other traditional villages, cabbies excellent, friendly, they know the best places and related to most owners of the best places to go, the taxi fares were very reasonable and there are lots of lovely places to visit if you are prepared to travel. The hotel staff were very helpful but the place for me lacked any atmosphere. Pet hates for the week the transfer 2 hours from the airport for a trip that should have been an hour tops but we had to make lots of. Individual drops having never done a package deal before It came as a bit of a shock, lesson learnt. biggest hate for me, no tea/coffee facilities in the room so had to wait until breakfast 7.30 for tea in a pot cup which is the only time of day you will get one for the rest of the day you can only get tea from the snack bar in a plastic cup and at night from the bar . Tea isn't available in the restaurant at lunch or in the evening, I didn't realise how much a cuppa meant to me until last week. We didn't have to pay for extras, pool towels, assorted cocktails, fresh juice etc because we booked through Thomas cook and had a gold band booking apparently the the top bit of the hotels all inclusive package but it didn't give you much extra, we still had to buy water and suffer the rock hard mattress! We would't book again unless it was outside the school holidays and the hotel was on a really good cheap deal and we would just use as a nice clean base, with nice views and good pools to go exploring other areas of the island. Not bad but if this was 4 star I'd hate to see 3 star and would want 5 star for the money we paid. Highlights Weather was perfect 28/30 degrees and I bought a Prada bag, Says it all really.

Room Tip: We had room 121 excellent views, great position for getting a drink and taking it back to your room...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

I went to this hotel with my wife in August. The hotel is very large and due to this, quite impersonal. With it being August there were mostly families here. The hotel certainly catered for children, which is ideal if you have a young family, however, not so good for those that want to relax, without having a child dive bombing into the swimming pool every minute.
With it being all inclusive, the food was repetitive, and the different meats, quite fatty, some nights the meats were nice, but the majority of the time, they werent. Due to this, we ate out a lot of the times. The drinks, although not premium, unless you wanted to pay extra for them, we're fine. Wine, spirits and pils lager not watered down.
I had read reviews about the hotel, before I went, a lot mentioned the hill up to the hotel from the bay. When we first climbed it, I thought, this isn't as bad as people were making out, however, it got steeper and steeper. This as it happened was not such a bad thing as it helped me to decide to hire a quad bike, which made our holiday, being able to explore the island.
You do have to pay each day for the mattress to go on top of the sun bed 2 euros, however most people didn't bother with one. You also have to pay for a key for the safe in your room, which cost me 35 euros for 9 days. The hotel does have Internet access which is free if you are in reception/ bar area( try to get a signal!) but if you want to use it in your room, you have to pay.
I wouldn't go back to this hotel as I think they need to iron out some of there problems, although I must say it was very clean and the staff are courteous enough. I have already booked to go back to Crete, next year, this time staying in one of the 3 villages, up from the Belvedere. I will be writing reviews about the villages after this review, all glowing, most impressed, please take time to visit the villages and you will understand what I mean.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for two weeks at the end of August the pool areas are nice and cleaned regularly, towels in the room are changed daily and room cleaned round although bedding wasnt changed in two weeks. The problem with this hotel is the food its awful, repetative cold and of an extremely poor standard, and the staff are rude. The drinks selection is poor plastic cups is ok around the pool but not in the bar on a night!

I read both good and bad reviews before travelling and overall was quite dissapointed its most definatley not a 4* All Inclusive for the money we paid! The animals that are mentioned in reviews are kept in poor cramped conditions and the smell is awful if the wind is blowing in the right direction its all you can smell by the pool! Overall I wont be travelling back to this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaton Delaval, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Holiday 10-17th September. All inclusive should mean just that. Shouldn't have to pay 1.5 euro per day for mattress for sunbeds, as it happens we bought a li-lo so at least we had something for our money. Food quite repetitive and wasn't very hot, 2 euros for freshly squeezed orange juice, so wouldn't pay for that. We were given blue bands to start with but next day given gold bands and were told we could have beach towels daily and selected cocktails because we booked through Thomas Cook. Animators worked hard at night and were quite good even though they mimed all the time, their dancing and co-ordination were excellent though.

Rooms were a bit dated and the bathroom had an awful smell in it, but hardly in there. Wouldn't say this was a 4*+. Weather

Room Tip: Always book a high floor.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Durham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

I have read many reviews about this hotel, some good, some bad and after completing a 2 weeks holiday, felt I would give my honest opinion. We have travelled to various places over the years and stayed All Inclusive on numerous occasions. I strongly feel that the All Inclusive here was a disappointment and far inferior to anywhere else in which we have stayed. I have, however, tried to include positives and negatives, in the hope that it can be of some use.

Hotel location
The hotel is actually part of the Belvedere resort, which comprises of both the Royal and Imperial Belvedere. You can use both hotel facilities and it is actually very difficult to see where each one ends and the other begins.
The complex is at the east end of Hersonissos and sits up on a hill. There is a rather grand entrance/driveway. Many people have complained about this "heart attack" hill. Personally, we didn't find this too bad, as there are many shortcuts to avoid the worst of this steep incline. There are also a variety of animals to be seen, which include 2 donkeys, goats, land turtles (tortoises to you and I!) and some Cretan partridges. So at least this means that the children don't whinge as they walk up and down.
It's a 10 minute walk from the main hotel to the street where there is a supermarket (reasonably cheap) and within minutes, you have several other shops which lead into the main "strip" of Hersonissos.

Facilities
There are numerous pools between both hotels. There was a quieter pool near the Imperial, but this was rather deep and not really suitable for children. (So maybe nice for the adults to escape to!) The Olympic pool is just that and is stunning. Be warned, this is the noisy pool, as all of the activities take place here. It starts at around 1m deep, but quickly progresses to 4m, so again, tread carefully here if you have children. There is a shallower childrens' pool adjacent, although most people tended to be playing bat and ball here, so not really easy for little ones to splash in.
Further down there are 2 childrens' pools, one with slides. (Not large slides, more suitable for little ones or less confident swimmers.)
There was also a smaller pool nearby, which was shallow initially, but went up to 2.5m. This was the pool which our 12 and 8 year old seemed to enjoy the most.
Sunbeds were fairly easy to get, although if you favoured a particular spot, you needed to be with the larks. (Fairly commonplace on holiday!)

My biggest gripe about the pool area was the absolute rudeness of some guests. There was a mixture within the hotel, although the vast majority seemed to be French. I am sure that there some lovely guests of this nationality, but I'm afraid the less polite ones reared their heads time and time again. They thought nothing of pulling up a sunbed under someone else's umbrella. On two separate occasions, we spotted different families moving other sunbeds to ensure that they had shade or a specific spot. This was even when people were actually sunbathing under these umbrellas! They had no respect for any other guests - they wanted something, so were going to make damn sure they got it!

Bars
Several bars, but all serve drinks out of plastic cups (health and safety!) unless you are drinking in the main bar. Even then, if you have a soft drink, then it comes in a plastic cup. I was so exasperated at one point, when I wanted a soft drink for my mum one evening, that I asked for a glass of ice and proceeded to pour the coke into it. (Sounds extreme, but the soul was recovering from her bug and needed something pleasant!)

Rooms
Rooms at the Royal are within the main building, or there are bungalow rooms. We were in the main building, room 441, which overlooked the sea. (Opposite numbers have sea views, even numbers have a mountain view.) This was a standard room, but it easily fitted 2 adults and 2 children without actually tripping over one another. I am an extremely fussy person, but could not find fault with the room, much to my family's relief. The room was cleaned every day by an extremely friendly maid, who loved to teach you Greek lingo. I have never stayed in a hotel which changed the bedding so regularly, as it seemed to be nearly every day.
I was pleased to be in the main building, as it meant that reception, royal bar and restaurant were within a short walk.)

The only down side to being in the hotel was the actual inconsideration of some of the guests. Doors could easily be slammed, but after this happening a couple of times, you are aware... not so some of the guests who came up at 1,2,3,4am, talking loudly, slamming doors, running up and down the corridors. One one occasion I actually got up at 4am to see what all the noise was about, to find a couple of lads crawling up the corridor, whilst a bemused female stood giggling!
Then there were the children whose parents were watching the "entertainment" and so amused themselves by running up and down in the lifts, pressing buttons willy nilly and waiting for unsuspecting guests to get in, then press the lift button to stop them moving.

Another occasion, security were called, as a Liverpudlian family were causing mayhem and locked a member of their party out of one of the rooms. He stood knocking the door, shouting to be let in. A few guests were complaining that children were frightened and within minutes security appeared. The youngsters had obviously been left whilst the parents were drinking etc and they had to contact the parents to resolve the problem. (Bearing in mind this was around 1AM!)

All Inclusive Options
We have stayed All Inclusive for several years and had many different experiences. Even so, to me, AI should be that - AI. Instead, it seems that if they can charge you for any extras, they will.
Towels are 1 euro 50 per towel per day. Sunbed mattresses were the same. (Do without, or look for some of the canvas style loungers scattered around the hotel.) My biggest shock was to discover that there is no bottled water included in the price. You need to buy your own bottles.
(Other hotels we have stayed in have usually left a bottle in the fridge for you on arrival!) You could get a glass of water from the bar or restaurant, but signs were everywhere saying you could not fill bottles up with water. By the bars you had to ask for water to stop people topping up their bottles. You can purchase water from the hotel shop at 70cents (49cents at the supermarket), which isn't a great deal, but add this up over a 14 day holiday...
AI drinks were limited. It included local soft drinks, wine and beer and spirits, but no cocktails, schnapps etc. Some people had all inclusive plus, but this seemed to give very little extra, apart from a choice of 3 cocktails which did not look very exciting.

Food (Oh my goodness, avoid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
The main restaurant looks fine, but tread with caution from here-on-in. This was like feeding time at the zoo and is something which I NEVER want to experience again. Pushing, shoving, grabbing... Children ran riot - it's fine to let your little ones run around the restaurant, apparantly (even our rep commented on how badly behaved some of the foreign youngsters were!) This is an all inclusive buffet - so watch in wonder as guests fill their plates to overflowing, doing a balancing act as they head back to their table.(Even our 8 year old asked why they could not just go back for more!)
If you stood in a queue and someone behind wanted food, hey, you just felt a shove, or more often, a hand would appear in front of you as they grabbed handfuls of whatever caught their eye. Forget tongs when hands can do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a case of spot the Brit, as many a time you would hear a voice snarl, "TONGS!"
This may sound extreme, but our party of 6 ALL experienced a nasty sickness and tummy bug, which we are sure was caused by the poor hygiene in the hotel. We were not the only ones to suffer, as I spoke to several other British families who were experiencing the same problem. (This was not a case of over indulgence, as we are not huge drinkers or eaters.)
I think part of the problem was the actual guests, but I am also a little cynical about the food preparation too. My husband is a chef and noticed that one of the snack bars was storing steaks on top of pre prepared toasted sandwiches! (We avoided them from then on!) I also feel that so much food was consumed by the gannets, that it got to the point, anything will do to fill them. I am sure that many items of food were reused and reused again. This can be common in the hotel environment, but as my husband says - how long has it been out for(dangerous to then put away and re-use) and also, how many times has it been reheated or reused?
The quality of food was debatable too. Sometimes it seemed to be okay, but then the next night, you were faced with grey looking, fatty chunks of pork, beef or rabbit. There is a show cooking section, but this only meant one type of meat or fish - usually chops or fish we found - and not that appetising. There was a pasta section, but the sauce was watery and tasteless and not really suitable to eat as a main course.
In all my years of going abroad, I have never experienced such poor quality food and the fact that we were all ill speaks volumes. If this was my first experience of AI I would not be in a hurry to try it again!
If only there had been a joint to be carved each evening - nothing fancy, just a decent piece of meat.

The Greek restaurant was a complete contrast to the main restaurant. The service was spot on and the food tasty. It was a rotisserie and included chicken, lamb, sausage and a type of gyros chicken kebab. Plated . Not haute cuisine, but my goodness, a HUGE improvement to the main zoo. People queued, didn't overfill their plates etc. It was a breath of fresh air!

Hersonissos
Not really the "real" Crete, as it is very commercial. Nice enough place, but you could be anywhere in the world. You can get a land train to see a little further, which my parents really enjoyed. They also took a trip to the west of the island and were impressed with how pretty everything was when you got out of the resort. In particular, they found Rethymnon a pretty place and also enjoyed a visit to Chania.

Excursions
Do not pay the tour operator prices, as if you walk on to the main street, excursions are half the price. We went to Ella travel (on the same side of the street as the hotel, just past the car rental places) and paid 19 euros 90 per adult for Spinalonga, with children being half price. This was an express tour, but we could have paid 26 euros for a boat ride and bbq to go along with the visit. This exact same trip was 58 euros with jet2! (78 with Thomas Cook according to another lady on our trip.)

Spinalonga
This is a must see and the reason why we went to Crete. An absolutely beautiful place. The journey was stunning - Elounda where the rich and famous go looked gorgeous! The sea and beaches here were what we expected of Crete.

Koutouloufari
This tiny village is out the back of the hotel. What a beautiful place. It is a 10 minute walk from the main reception. Here you will find authentic tavernas, small family run gift shops...an absolute provelege to speak to some of the owners. One little girl, who could only have been 3 or 4, was learning English and happily tried to tell us about her parrot, turtle and dog in a mixture of greek and English, as we browsed in her parents' shop.


Summary
To sum up, this hotel is ok. It has potential, but I cannot see us going again, or recommending it to others. Yes, we know "This is Greece" but after travelling to other developing countries, have never come across what we saw in this hotel in Crete.
For anyone who wants to see what all inclusive should be like, TRY ELSEWHERE.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Belvedere

Address: Hersonissos, Crete 70014, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Hersonissos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Hersonissos
#35 Luxury Hotel in Hersonissos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Belvedere 4*
Number of rooms: 330
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Belvedere Hotel Chersonisos
Royal Belvedere Hersonissos
Royal Belvedere Hotel Hersonissos
Royal Belvedere Crete, Greece

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