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Reviewed June 21, 2014

Having trawled through numerous websites looking for a hotel that would cater for our young family (boys aged 4 and 1), I stumbled across Pilot Beach. It doesn't appear to feature on the radar of most UK tour operators so we booked direct with the hotel and received a 20% early booking discount. Sophia in the reservations department was very helpful and attentive to queries and arranged a complimentary return airport transfer from Chania for us.

It is fair to say that this a German and Russian-centric hotel. In fact, we didn't come across any other guests from England until our penultimate day! This might be a problem if you are planning on utilising the kid's club.

The hotel is a large but beautifully manicured complex with a stunning mountain backdrop. Our family suite (4215) was located opposite one of the smaller pools yet was still convenient for the main building. The rooms are not über-luxurious but served our needs more than adequately. There was a fridge so we could store cold drinks and there were a few nice touches such as robes & slippers. English TV channels were distinctly lacking however and being charged €1.70 a day just to use the room safe seems a tad unreasonable given the fairly hefty room rates. There were also some hairs left on the shower wall from the previous occupants and the grubby paw prints which our sons put on our duvet cover near the start of the week remained there for the duration of our holiday.

The food is buffet based and although tasty and varied, became slightly monotonous after a few days. Buffets also seem to bring out the worst in people when it comes to etiquette e.g. guests pillaging the strawberries right at the start of the meal leaving nothing for anybody else. I would agree with other reviewers that the food wasn't very hot but unfortunately this also seems to go with buffet territory. The dedicated children's buffet from 11-5 is a nice idea but serves largely unimaginative choices (pizza, pasta, fish fingers etc) so our kids generally ate with us. The waiting staff are very efficient and polite and on one occasion point blank refused to allow me to clean up the mess my youngest had made on the floor. Sadly, dinner on our last night was spoilt by a certain World Cup football match, resulting in everyone piling into the dining room en masse donning their football shirts and flags painted on their faces. 'In order to maintain hotel standards, guests are required to dress appropriately for meals in our restaurants'. Hmmmmm.

The facilities are really what makes this resort stand out. The pool areas are lovely and never felt too crowded despite it being a large hotel. The children's pool with slides was a big hit although the lifeguards didn't act on the fact there were children in the pool who were clearly beyond the upper age limit of 8. The hotel is on a fabulous stretch of sandy beach with gently shelving sea, and despite the rather tedious sun lounger bagging going on, we never had difficulties finding a spot. The evening train ride around the resort was enjoyed by children and adults alike. Whilst I can't comment on the calibre of the nightly entertainment, the amateur posters advertising it certainly gave the hotel a rather cheap feel e.g. 'Miss Pilot night', 'Brazil night'. We were also plagued 3 times by the resort photographer en route to dinner having been told on the first occasion that there most definitely wouldn't be the opportunity to purchase further photos.

A word of warning regarding car hire. There is a car rental company called Sixt who have a desk in the basement of the hotel. We were going to hire from them until my husband checked on-line and discovered he could hire the same car through the same company and pick it up from outside the front of the hotel for a staggering half the price if he booked via the website!! He still had to visit the desk within the hotel to collect the car and was given rather short shrift for his astuteness!

If you are expecting decadent a la carte menus, unparalleled service and high standards of decorum from fellow guests then this is probably not the hotel for you. A lot more attention to detail is required to elevate this to a truly 5* hotel. However, it is an extremely family friendly resort in a lovely part of Crete.

Top tips: visit restaurant Alana in Rethymno for delicious Cretan food in a lovely setting away from the hustle and bustle of the harbour, spend a day visiting the Amari valley, have lunch at one of the tavernas up the hillside overlooking Lake Kournas to avoid the tourist throng

Room tip: Ask for a room by one of the smaller pools
Date of stay: June 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank lovelyickleang
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

The hotel was situated by the beach near the town of Georgioupolis. It was a clean and modern hotel with the villas spread over a large area giving a spacious surrounding. We were driven to our room with a pool view after checking in at reception. The room was spacious and clean. We have a choice of two restaurants for breakfast and three for dinner.There was a big choice and variety of food both for breakfast and dinner, and they were good. The staff at reception and at the restaurants had been very courteous, polite and helpful and our compliments especially to Giorgos at the restaurant upstairs. We cannot comment on the facilities at the hotel as we were out most days. Although it was a two-hr bus ride from the hotel to Heraklion, the bus stop is just outside the hotel. From the same bus stop we also visited Rethymon, and another day took a bus from across the road to visit Chania. The mountain tour organised by the hotel was very interesting including a visit to an olive factory. The cost was very reasonable too. The complimentary olive oil given at the last day of our stay was a nice surprise. We enjoyed our week's stay here very much and hope to return in the near future.

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank S0uC
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Let me start by saying that reviews are very much based upon previous experiences, so can be subjective dependant on what and where you have been before.

The trip from the Airport to the Hotel is about 45 minutes by car through windy roads, so if you get travel sick as my wife does and did, then it maybe an idea to have some sickness pills and or bags at the ready.

We arrived at the hotel just before midnight, where we were met by a very friendly receptionist who took some very brief details, assured us that our luggage would be safe and escorted us to one of the dining rooms for a cold buffet and a beer, which was a nice touch. After eating and fully checked in we were driven to our room.

We were situated not so far from the main pool and restaurant area which concerned us a little as were worried about potential noise and potentially the main pool being the busiest. How wrong we were. No noise could be heard from the restaurants and or entertainment areas and the main pool never had more than about 30-40 people around it which was amazing considering there were 800 people within the complex at the time. We never had any trouble getting a sunbed.

The grounds are maintained to a very high level with lovely planting and pathways. The main pool was cleaned twice whilst we were their, and staff were always milling around cleaning and maintaining.

The beach is magnificent, my wife is not a beech person but we went for a walk a few times down to the beach mainly to burn off the food. The beach is a 5- 10 minute walk from the main reception, you walk through the grounds then under the main road. The main road never bothered us, but that probably had more to do with where we were situated, but let me re-assure you it is not the M25. By the beach you have the second pool, a restaurant, children's arcade, pool table and a bar. We didn't really use these facilities other than to say they were all clean.

A few people have commented on the entertainment, and yes its not a theatre experience or similar to going a paid live show, its what the animation team have organised which for me was much much better. They had a belly dancing evening, a magician (who I thought was good), Greek night then the other nights were made up of various quizzes and games, which we really enjoyed.

We don't have children, but this is a perfect place to bring your little ones, they have their own dedicated play pool with slides and ships etc and the childrens club looks great with their own soft play area, ball pit and arts and crafts, it looked great and the staff always looked as though they really cared for the children and there happiness.

The room was well equipped, with a hairdryer, dressing gowns, slippers, plenty of towels, toiletries. Tv with only about 4 English channels, but you get to catch up on the news, I don't go on holiday to watch TV.

Food, the food selection was fantastic, something for everyone, I do get what some people have said about it getting a bit repetitive i.e. main meal is a choice of 2 or 3 hot meats and 1 fish, but you have a whole heap of options outside of that. Our only complaint was that the food was never that hot! This has been commented on previously and I have to agree.

Breakfast: Selection of breads, croissants, cereal, full English, pancakes, waffles, fruit, yogurt. etc etc

Lunch: you can have lunch in one of three places, the pool restaurant which you choose from a menu, we didn't eat here but it did look good. The main greek restaurant, where again you had a choice of 3 meats and fish and a whole heap of other things. Then the third is the Italian Pizzeria thing, which is quite easy to miss, its tagged onto the side of the greek restaurant, originally we thought this was just for children, but no....pizza for all...and pasta and various other bits and pieces.

Dinner you have the choice of all inclusive in the main restaurant or the beach side restaurant, or the Greek restaurant. We didn't go to the Greek restaurant for dinner, purely because my wife has food allergies and it makes things difficult. The food is all very good, my only quarm would be that it is just luke warm.

All in all this place is lovely whether you have children or not.

One other point that we did complain about was the fact that they had two companies having a conference half way through our stay for 3 days - what a lovely place to have a conference...our issue was that they were given presidence over seating areas and table service within the restaurants at lunch time and dinners meaning that we had to sit out of the sun and wait for our table to be cleared and layed. The customer service manager did apologise and offered us a free Spa use, which we had included within our package anyway and to be honest whilst the spa is beautiful its only an indoor pool, steam room and sauna. (No Jacuzzi?)

One other gripe was that some beer glasses were left by the pool for two days without being cleared, we always took ours back ourselves....but I thought it was a bit of an oversight.

To clear up the full board and full board plus confusion.

Full board is breakfast, lunch and dinner, full board plus is breakfast, lunch and dinner with drinks at lunchtime and in the evening. (Tea & Coffee and juices etc included in breakfast)

Drinks outside of Full board Plus are quite expensive 5 Euros large beer, 9 Euro Mojito, Gin & Tonic 7 Euros. There is a little shop on site that sells alcohol, and they don't seem to mind you using and drinking that around the pools etc.

As per the heading of my review, that little bit of effort would really make a difference, hotter food a Jacuzzi in the Spa and Conference attendees use an alternative space to eat.

All in all a really nice holiday.

We

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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8  Thank NathanFryer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Just back from a last minute booked stay at the Pilot for a week.
Staff generally wonderful especially round the pool.

The stay was a great success, the place is factiously clean, staff are very good.
Rooms a little 3/4 star definitely not 5.
We spent the days round the beach pool and restaurant for the whole holiday as this area is a far better, closer to 5 star and was really lovely. The main area and restaurant is a bit like Butlins well not quite but a bit of a free for all.
Evening entertainment is frighteningly bad!
Overall had a great time but not 5 star. But please don't get me wrong. My wives smiling and tanned and my kids laughed all day and had a fab time.
They just need to up the stakes on the food a bit especially if your there for two weeks.

Room tip: make sure your not anywhere near the road
Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2014

We have just returned from the most enoyable week spent at the Pilot Beach Resort, Crete. The accommodation was excellent: spacious and clean, every member of staff was extremely helpful and pleasant throughout our stay. The food was good, and the gluten free menu I required was accommodated well at every meal without fuss or problem. The area is pleasant: a very enjoyable stroll along the sandy beach takes you to the nearest village, and with access to a frequent bus service to other main areas just outside the hotel grounds, there was plenty to do and see without the necessity of hiring a car. Although there is a slight problem with traffic noise from the main road, this did not affect our stay overall. We look forward to returning soon.

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank jenny-209
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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