Booked a very last minute week half board at the Nefeli Hotel in Platanias, Crete.
As it was so last minute I was expecting the worst.. but was very pleasantly surprised.
The hotel is in Platanias which is a very short distance from Rethymnon (a short drive or bus ride) and took approx 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours from Chania airport.
The hotel is very clean and modern The staff are professional and helpful.
We initially checked in and went to our room which was at the back of the hotel - the room was fine (I was pretty chuffed!) although it was twins beds, but when we opened the curtains to view our balcony we were gutted - the room overlooked the carpark and main road so was noisy and not very pleasant. We don't have any outside space at home so were looking forward to being able to sit out on the balcony. We asked the receptionist if there was any chance of changing rooms and they told us to come and see them after breakfast as they had some people leaving.
The next morning we did just that and they gave us the key to a new room without any problem. The new room had a double bed and a (tiny) balcony away from the road. You could even just about see the sea above the rooftops -we were very happy with this result! The room had a nice bathroom with shower only. The shower was great and never had a problem with lack of hot water - at any time of day. Also there was remote controlled airconditioning at no extra charge. You could pay for a safe for about 10 euros if you chose to.
The food was ok but not great. It saved us a fortune on eating out because the exchange rate was terrible when we went and Crete is no longer cheap! greek salad 5 or 6 euros, frappe or cappucino 4 or 5 euros, main dishes from 6.5 euros upto whatever you choose. The only thing cheap that we found was tobacco, everything else is like England.
Back to the food which is buffet style.. breakfast choice: bread, rolls, jams, hams, tomatoes, peach slices, scrambled or fried eggs (sometimes with sausage in it), cooked tomatoes, various types of sausage, bacon, + selection of cereals.. not all at the same time - they varied day to day. Evening meals had things like moussaka, pasta, ratatouille, stifado, various vegetables & styles of potatoes.... Desert was my fave; with baclava most nights + fresh fruits, blamonge or jelly, sweet pastries etc. mmmm
Platanias itself is ok. Plenty of tavernas, restaurants & shops, but no real focus to the place. Best to pop along to Rethymnon which has a little harbour and an old town with 'quaint' narrow streets to wander about in.
You can book coach trips to all the hotspots. For example it was 30 euros per person for round trip to Knossos (old palace & ruins). We tagged along with some people we'd met at the hotel who invited us along with them - they'd hired a car. Knossos is worth a look but a bit strange because the guy that spent a lifetime unearthing the palace has 'rebuilt' it in part, so most of what you are looking at is new. If you go I 'd recommend a tour guide to understand what you're looking at. I've tried it with just a guide book and it was rubbish. Took the guided tour this time & much more entertaining!
After being driven to Knossos I got up the nerve to hire a car myself. They had some great end of season deals and we got a little Kia Picanto for about 75 Euros for 3 days.
Hiring a car made the holiday for us. We avoided the motorways and drove up in the mountains.
A recommended route if you choose to drive is: Arkadi Monastery followed by Margarites village finishing up with the Melidoni Caves.
It's also well worth a drive to the south of the island. We drove down to Plakias. The drive was brilliant, if a little hairy at times - lots of hairpin bends up and down the mountains!
Overall a great holiday & if we were in the area again we would stay at the Nefeli.
Many thanks to all the staff at Nefeli Hotel who were extremely helpful at all times & friendly. :-)
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- Also Known As:
- Nefeli Hotel Platanias
- Nefeli Hotel Crete, Greece