We booked a late holiday through Thompson's and like many others we read all the reviews on Tripadvisor which were very helpful. We wanted a beach holiday where we could swim in the sea. This was our main priority. We needed two rooms, one for my wife and myself and the other for our 18 year-old daughter. When we booked the staff in Thompson's Harrogate (Caroline) could not have been more helpful and informative and all the flights, transfers and Theresa the rep were spot on.
We asked for a quiet room with the two rooms next to each other which is exactly what we got. The rooms were at the back of the hotel away from the sea. The rooms were clean but a little dark and no view. We arrived at about 11.30pm and were told that a meal had been kept back for us in the restaurant. The meal was cold but none the less much appreciated.
The next morning we asked if we could upgrade to a sea view room and Miss Koumnas who I believe is one of the owners could not have done more to meet our request. We had two rooms (211 and 213) which were excellent. The upgrade cost 140 Euros in total but it was worth it to us.
The hotel was lovely and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The food in the restaurant was varied each day with a mix of usually four or five meat dishes, one fish dish and vegetarian options as well. It was tasty and well prepared. It is buffet service which makes the service quick and easy. I was impressed with the very quick replenishments when something had run out. There is no charge for the aircon in the rooms or free wifi in the lounge area which was great. There are three desktop computers in the lounge area which can be used at a cost of three Euros for one hour and as long as you remember to log out this can be used throughout the week at any time. Very good. There was some live enterainment on a couple of evenings during our stay which was OKish. At breafast on two occasions there was also some piano and sax music. There are two pools and a very small pool for very young children. These didn't seem to get too crowded during the day. Not the place for a quiet swim though with several large inflatables provided and balls being passed around. Overall we really enjoyed the hotel side of things. There is a charge of 12 Euros per week for the safe in your room. There is no kettle in the room but and the fridge in the room is very handy. The shower in the bathroom is very small with a curtain hanging down sticking to you so water will go everywhere on the floor - not a big problem though. Be realistic this is a 3* hotel and it is very good for that but don't expect the world and you won't be disappointed.
The beach couldn't have been closer. There is a charge of five Euros a day for two beds and an umbrella. This was about right for the area and I would prefer to pay for this than the aircon and wifi. A tall Greek adonis of a man walks around to collect the payment in the mornings and the beds are yours for the day even if you leave them to go for a siesta or lunch. There was absolutely no problem with getting a bed on the beach or near the pool, no one getting up at 6.00am to put their towels out! I mentioned earlier in the review that our priority was the beach and swimming in the sea. This is where the disappointment started. Unfortunately, on five out of the seven days we were there the red flag was flying and we couldn't go in the water. On the other two days the waves were still quite strong with strong under currents. Be aware of some large rocks about 15 feet into the water which cannot be seen. Don't expect a shallow sloping sandy sea bed as you enter the sea. There is a steep slope as you enter the sea and then the rocks so be very careful. This is not the place for swimming in the sea and I would not let young children near the sea here. Perhaps that is why most children were in the pools. The beach and sun beds are cleaned each evening and morning and the beach is kept very clean. You can order drinks and snacks and they will be delivered to you on the beach. The beach is a mix of sand and fine shingle but nearer the water's edge this turns into quite sharpe gravel with larger stones. My advice would be invest in aqua shoes on your first day (six Euros). The Hotel kindly provides beach towels at no charge - great.
The hotel is situated and set back from the main road. There are several shops including supermarkets, clothes shops, fir shops, fish feet cleaning shops and souvenir shops and a few restaurants. If you turn right at the main road there is a small supermarket which sells just about anything and where English is spoken well (very helpful). You can also catch a bus there to Rethymnon and you can buy tickets in the hotel or in the supermarket (about 2.40 Euros return). The journey doesn't take too long but the buses do get very crowded. If you turn right onto the main road and walk for about 5-10 minutes you will find a lot more shops, bars and restaurants. We found a small bar called Eyes which has free wifi and it's run by a Yorkshire man. On the night we were there they had live music which was great fun. There are a lot of different nationalities in the area particularly Germans and Russians with some Polish and Brits thrown into the mix. This was not a problem at all and English is widely spoken in the shops and bars. No one was too pushy there.
Overall we had a very enjoyable time there with the only disappointment being the sea and water's edge being unable to swim there. Would we go back? For the hotel and frienly staff - yes but for swimming in the sea - no.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- there are many different room types in the hotel.the guests meet the owners family uppon arrival and discussin order to find the right room for each guest ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Beach Rethymnon
- Hotel Golden Beach
- Golden Beach Hotel Crete, Greece