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“Lovely holiday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Aquis Arina Sand

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Aquis Arina Sand
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kokkini Hani, Crete 71500, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Kokkini Hani
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Lovely holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We booked this in January this year on a travel zoo deal. We stayed at this hotel for a week starting the 2nd October. We booked this holiday out of season as we wanted to go when it wasnt too hot, but still nice. We wanted a peaceful, restful holiday and that is exactly what we got. We arrived just after 11pm, we were given a bottle of water but nothing to eat which was a shame as by trip advisor I had hoped to get a sandwich, but that wasnt advertised so couldnt grumble really. We had just missed the All Inclusive time for the bar so had to buy our drink that night. There was a couple who got on our bus 20 minutes after everyone else, so we should send them the bill!
The weather was lovely, we had rain one morning and on afternoon, other time there was beautiful sunshine. As we were right at the end of the season, we had less and less people at the hotel as the days went by as people left and wernt replaced. The staff were brilliant. The managers could smile now and again but generally looked quite miserable but the other staff were really friendly and very good, working really hard tirelessly. Eleni in the pool bar was totally charming and Niko in the main bar was excellent.
We went snorkelling in the rock pool on the right hand side of the beach, it was fantastic, clear water and lots of different fish to see. We didnt bring flippers but wished we had.
We had a lovely time sitting by the pool reading books soaking up the sun, having a dip now and again and popping to the bar for drinks and food every now and again. I really couldnt of asked for more and going right at the end of the season meant there was no hassle getting sunbeds or anything, totally fabulous.
Asking the locals to teach you a little greek and practicing hello and thank you go a long way to enjoying your holiday.
The food was ok. There was always something we could find to eat, there certainly was lots of selection. Some were not too good but other foods were really lovely. I put on over 5lbs in a week so it couldnt be too bad!!!
The rooms were fine, they were very clean. The shower was very powerful and the screen didnt hold the water back so the floor was always wet, but there is a towelling floor thing, so I simply walked that around the room after we had finished showering and there was no problem, it soon dried up after that.
We went out the hotel and got on the bus to the next town, quite a lot going on there, I got a bus back, it cost 1.70 Euros each way, another couple got a taxi back and were charged 30 euros, my other half bartered and got a taxi back for 8 euros!
The safe cost us about 17 Euros for the week and we booked a late checkout for 40 euros, well worth it as we then had the room til we left for the airport.
One downside is that the corridors can be noisy, so if you go please be aware of this and be considerate to others during the night and morning.
A thoroughly wonderful holiday, wish I was there now.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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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664 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (167)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

This is the thrid time we have holidayed with Aquis twice in corfu and our first stay at Arina sands. We spent the last week of the season with them and to be quite honest we had a great time.
What some people need to realise is the hotel is a greek 5 star, which in the uk is probably 3-4
star.!! We stayed on the third floor,accessed by lift or stairs no problem. The room was nice and clean and comfortable and the the beds were made up daily. the bathroom was also clean
with plenty of hot water, my only gripe was the shower head pointed the wrong way but no real issues.

The staff on the whole were helpful and pleasent . Eleni was very helpful at the bar and helped with our daughters many requests. the guy behind the desk was a bit abrubt but he was not rude and was helpful when asked questions.

The hotel was very nice and relaxing inside and out, The inside bar was very nice after dinner and the barman a happy chap and very good with our daughter.
The food was ok and they tried to cater for every one there was something to eat each night
and we didnt go hungry, there was a range of salads, continetal meats and mainly european dishes. It would of been nice to have more Greek dishes on the menu though.

I would like to say a big thankyou to the animation team of Harry.,Kate,Serena and Monica who put on some great entertainment for the kids and adults alike, whom made our stay even more enjoyable,

To sum up we had a great time,weather in the high 20's met some luvly people and would come again at the same time of the season we both feel that at the hight of season that the facilities would be a bit stretched to acomdate everyone.
I have read some poor reviews for this resort and i think quite a few are unfounded and quite un-true

  • Stayed October 2012, 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
    • 3 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

LIke other comments we booked this pretty much last minute after checking comments on Tripadviser. We always check and have never been disappointed.............until now!. All the negative points raised are so true. Flooded bathrooms - complained first morning - nothing was done. Pool bar toilets - disgusting. Also main hotel toilets lack servicing for the basic amenities.
Food is really really terrible. I never knew that spam/luncheon meat was so versatile - it was even served as bacon some mornings. As with others who have commented, we were forced to start eating out.
We did make a formal complaint to the Holiday Advisor who undertook to take our complaint up with management but hey ho he did nothing and disappeared on our last day, so this matter is still ongoing with First Choice.
We've never complained before and have never posted comments on this site, but feel really strongly that people should be aware how bad it is before they part with their hard earned cash..

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

I am not sure where some of the reviewers were staying within the Resort. We stayed for a week and this was 1 week before the Resort closed for the winter. We had a great time. I can say I found the staff to be friendly and pleasant at all times. Some may look a little stern at times however, when you speak to them as another reviewer says Good Morning, Thank you - they were fine. I was very impressed with the Animations Team who were great fun, positive and upbeat and tried their very best with the shows considering the reduction in numbers from the height of the season. I found the Hotel to be clean maybe a little tired in some areas but it was the end of the season.The houskeeping team made a great effort to deliver little extras within the room i.e."towel art" when servicing our room. The pool was of good quality and well maintained. My only negatives for the overall experience was the first 3 days the pool side music was a little loud and our room only had 1 key. I didnt go outside the resort so can not comment on local area.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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.
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We stayed at the Aquis Arina for 11 nights and loved it! The staff were excellent and always helpful so I'm not sure who some of the other reviewers were speaking with. We didn't encounter grumpy staff, in fact, quite the opposite. A 'Kali Mera' or 'Efharisto' go a long way; make an effort! We loved the bar staff, Niko, Katerina, Zacharias & Bogdan all work hard to keep everything tidy & the guests happy. The reception staff were always helpful and polite, the restaurant staff were rushed off their little pins (please don't overfill your plates and then leave half of it as so many people did, so rude & with the situation in Greece at the mo, quite sickening to see!!), lovely smiley Eleni, Dominica, the lady in the shop, cleaning ladies, the BBQ staff, everyone!

Our room was spotless, very comfy beds & yes, the shower leaked but not being funny...this is Greece. Hotel grading in Greece isn't the same as the UK, doesn't everyone know that, so why book if it bothers you that much? All part of the charm & in the heat the floor was soon dry.
Yes, it's on a flight path but it wasn't that noisy & they're gone before you know it, quite interesting to watch.

The Animation team were brilliant and were not at all pushy. We enjoyed taking part in the games & even one of the shows, had a great time. These guys worked so hard too, they had us in fits at times with their antics. Nice to have some music around the pool during the day too.

The pool is lovely, yes it's salty but after one mouthful of it you soon learn to keep your mouth shut. The surrounding area was kept clean and you can choose to use sunbeds by the pool, on the beach, on a grass area or away from the pool. The beach was lovely and there's a great place to snorkel, so many fish.

I do have to say we were disappointed with the food, not what I would call typically Greek. We always managed to eat but we didn't see the sort of food you would expect in a Greek restaurant, Stifado, Yievetchi, Gemistes etc. It's also quite nice to sit at the pool bar to eat lunch, a bit of salad, cheese and spinach pies and of course Tsatsiki, heaven!! We felt the restaurant was more geared towards the Russian guests. That was our one and only 'moan' about our stay. We ventured into the village a couple of times & to eat Greek, lovely stuff!! Oh, the Barbecue is well worth the 15 euros per person & they have a band so you can get up and try a little Greek dancing.
All in all we had a great time, met some lovely, lovely people and would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the staff at the hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
London
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Booked this hotel on the strength of web site and Tripadvisor reviews. I must have been staying at a different hotel to those on this site who gave excellent or very good reviews.

The exterior of the building is unimpressive but some of the interior public rooms are well presented. Those that are not include the public toilets that often lacked toilet paper, hand towels or driers that actually worked. The one underneath the pool bar was quite revolting. The games room looked like it had been an added afterthought and had nothing that actually worked.

Our room was quite big enough for 2 but had beds for 4. The restricted hanging and floor space might make it very difficult for 4 to share. The bathroom was very poor with rust, mould and a cracked hand basin. The shower screen did not quite cover half the bath alcove. Unfortunately, the taps and the shower head were half way up the back wall. Result, flooded bathroom and corridor. A complaint to the front desk brought about an apology and regrets that they could not get me a better shower situation as all rooms were the same. Management had been informed some time ago said receptionist and shrugged her shoulders. She promised to fix my problem and within 2 hours an extending pole had been put up and a lady from housekeeping arrived with a newly purchased plastic curtain. Problem solved.

The room was noisy because the hotel is close to the airport and on the approach path that ran down our beach just in front of our room. Soundproofing between rooms and floors is also poor meaning that every slammed door (card entry system to blame) on every floor could be felt and/or heard.

In general, we found the staff friendly and helpful with a few notable exceptions who were unfortunately in high profile positions. More later.

The real achilles heel of the hotel is the food and drink which are very poor quality. The buffet meals had on the surface, quite a variety of choice. Unfortunately, there were really only 2 choices, overcooked and tough as old boots or undercooked and nearly raw. The raw salad vegetables were the safest option but even here the lettuce was like none I have ever tasted before. It was tough and stringy and also found its way into some of the mixed salad choices. My wife and I ate breakfast, fruit or cereal and lunch, fruit or raw salad. After 4 nights of waiting in vain for the quality of diner to improve, we ate and drank out locally for 10 nights. There is one very fine independent restaurant in the next door hotel and several good Tavernas just up the street. As a result, we did not starve during our stay but it was annoying to pay again for something we thought we had already paid for.

The stated dress code for men for evening meals is long trousers, no swimwear or shorts. This was ignored by the restaurant manager even after complaint. He once asked my wife how her lunch was. When she replied that the meat was so tough she could not cut it with a knife he turned around and walked away as she demonstrated.

If the food was poor, the drinks were terrible. The brands used were obviously approved and passed by the management. Fruit juice that was liquid sugar with little hint of the fruit they were supposed to represent. Tea, coffee and soft drinks were dispensed from machines with brand names ingredients. The next time these machines see these brands will be the first time. Red, rose and white wine were on tap beside the water. Eyes closed, it would have been difficult to distinguish what you were drinking.

Local all inclusive spirits were brands that no local I spoke to had ever heard off. The Greek brandy, Metaxa, was obviously not a local brew in this part of Greece. Two thimbles full cost 6 euros. If the premium drinks were served by the thimble full, the other all inclusive brands were splashed about with gay abandon. The two male bartenders seemed intent on ensuring that no mater how many time you orders the same drink, it would never taste the same twice. The small list of approved cocktails were also poor because the original spirits were very poor quality.

The contract entertainment team worked very hard during the day organising activities, In the evening they ran childrens' shows and at 21.30 an adult show. Many of their shows were very entertaining and amusing.

Room Tip: Difficult one this because of the proximity to the airport landing path.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North West, England
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

I really dont get some of these reviews? Reception/Rooms shabby? They were not, in fact the reception was lovely and the only downside to the room was the bathroom (as mentioned by others) as it was in need of a refurb and the shower was badly positioned.
On our arrival at 10.30pm, we were given a bottle of water and a sandwich as the restaurant had closed and the porter shown us to our rooms, putting our cases on a trolley.
The food was very varied and even a fussy eater would find something to eat.
ALL the staff worked incredibly hard, from the cleaners to the animation team, and the restaurant staff worked tirelessly, clearing plates and re-setting tables - all staff were very helpful and pleasant.
I enjoyed a massage whilst there and myself and my husband had a fish spa for our feet - very strange but enjoyable!
The location was the best ive been to - you could spend the day on the beach and still get your drinks from the pool bar, it was that close.
Yes, planes fly over regularly, as its so close to the airport, but hey, that means only a 10 minute transfer!
None of the negatives i have mentioned were that bad that they ruined our holiday - we met some lovely people and had a very relaxing, enjoyable holiday. We only stayed a week and didnt want to leave.

Room Tip: if you can get a beach front room on the ground floor you can sunbathe on your own veranda with a fa...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Aquis Arina Sand

Address: Kokkini Hani, Crete 71500, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Kokkini Hani
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Kokkini Hani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Aquis Arina Sand 4*
Number of rooms: 235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Aquis Arina Sand Hotel has a superb beachfront location and it is famous for its good food, spacious accommodation and entertainment. It is spread out in 10 acres of beautiful gardens and lush vegetation making it an ideal choice for both families and couples. The Aquis Arina Sand has been designed with the emphasis on relaxation and fun and is set in magnificent gardens, dotted with palm trees and colorful flowers, overlooking the stunning Cretan sea.It is only 12 km from Heraklion city with frequent bus service and easy access to the main points of interest as Knossos, Gortys & Festos.Aquis Arina Sand invites you to celebrate the perfect holiday! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aquis Arina Sand Hotel Kokkini Hani
Hotel Arina Sand
Arina Sand Kokkini Hani
Aquis Arina Sand Crete/Kokkini Hani

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