The only reviews we could find for this hotel before we went were from a few years ago, and were less than impressive, so we were a little apprehensive. However, I’m happy to say that things have obviously changed for the better.
Firstly, the hotel stands next to the Old National Road, giving very good connections. It’s only 15 minutes from the airport, Knossos took only 10 minutes and we even got across to Gounion in the South in 75 minutes.
The road is quite busy, so we could hear quite a bit of traffic noise from our rooms, but during the day this was completely drowned out by the cicadas who chirp merrily from the trees in Crete all day (and I mean all day!). We were at the very front of the hotel, and I should imagine the rooms to the back are much quieter. The road was sheltered from view by shrubs and trees. It was certainly nice and peaceful by the pool. Planes also fly nearby on their way into Heraklion airport, but this wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds!
Our first impressions were very favourable, with a large, clean and tidy entrance and reception. Our rooms were very spacious each with a balcony. There were twin beds rather than doubles, which anyone with romance in mind might want to take into account, but the beds can be pushed together if need be! The rooms were clean and in good enough order. We didn’t try the TV or the air conditioning, but they were there. The bathroom was adequate although on the old side. Don’t expect a power shower – you have to hold it up yourself, but it did the job. The bathroom was cleaned every day, but we were there for 5 nights and the sheets on the beds were not changed, although they probably would have been if we had asked.
We were booked on a bed and breakfast basis, and breakfast was self service every morning on a nice terrace under the shade of creepers and vines at the front of the hotel. Breakfast was bread, crispbread, jam, cheese, sliced meat, cornflakes, orange juice, tea or coffee. It wasn’t the most sumptuous spread, but was adequate to get the day started.
There was a very nice pool out the back with sunbeds which was open to hotel guests from 8am until 7pm. It was clean and well maintained and my boys loved it.
There is a small supermarket just around the corner which does basics. The beach is either a 20 minute walk straight downhill from the hotel or there is a very nice beach a little further on at Kato Gouves. We walked there in about 20-25 minutes. Kato Gouves has a selection of very good tavernas and bars (the Athevoli and Bar Ilios by the beach were both very nice with friendly staff and tasty food). There is also a larger supermarket there.
If you wanted the sort of holiday where you just camped by the pool for 2 weeks, you could do it here, but you would probably want to find more luxurious surroundings for that sort of holiday. We used the Hotel Irene as a base for various day trips around Crete and it was absolutely fine for that and very reasonably priced.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.