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“Nice hotel, ideal for relaxing”

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Avra Imperial Hotel
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Kolymbari
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 28, 2011

We spent a very nice holiday here with a baby of 1,5 year.
We booked a room with shared pool, which is easy when the baby is napping in the afternoon. But we got an upgrade to a room with a private pool and seaview! Pool was about 12m² so quite big in comparison to other hotels. Ideal for our little girls' first swimming attempts.
The food was really good. It was mainly greek food, so perhaps that's why some people give it a bad score? We stayed for 10 days and there was enough variation to not get bored in that time. Breakfast is heaven, pancakes, waffles, cakes, eggs...
The harbour and town is actually just a few houses, not really something happening there. But you can take the bus (coach bus, comfortable) about 15 min to a more tourist place.
Although the hotel was fully booked, it didn't feel like that, enough room by the pool, quiet places to find, a lot of beach for few people... you can really relax here.
Bad points: organization ! When you go to the restaurant at peak times, you can wait a long time for a seat or a waiter. I think the people working there have good intentions, very friendly, but still need another season to get things right.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ilse V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 24, 2011

Brand new hotel, with excellent rooms and wonderful pool.
While some of the services were not really at the highest standard (as previously mentioned - at the restaurants, but also the reception and some of the spa staff), the animation team deserves congratulations. Erica, Guna, Karolina, Vadim, Mario were extremely friendly. We enjoyed playing tennis, French balls, darts, ping-pong, the cocktail game, stretching, aqua-gym and even playing with the children at the mini club. Also the evenings were very enjoyable: starting with the Cretan evening, and continuing with the musical quizz game, the men vs women game, the Tutti Frutti show (brava Erica and Mario for the puppets number!).

Some tips:
If you want go to Gramvoussa (beautiful places!), look either for some local agency or rent a car. Take comfortable shoes - you have to climb a cliff to reach the Venetian castle.
Elafonissi is worth to be seen (it's windy sometimes) - also privately, with a rented car.
For shopping both Chania and Rethimnon are good (Chania a bit more expensive). We also liked a lot wandering on the narrow streets in Chania (the old town by the port).

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank ladyro10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

The hotel is beautiful and new, the rooms are nicely furnished, the food was very good, with lots of variety and even that we were there during the busiest time of the year (middle august), we never had to wait for a table or couldnt find available chairs in the pool, this was very good! For the men going there dont forget to carry with you long pants for the dinner, otherwise you wont be able to get into the dinning room!!! I could see that the management is really working hard on "service", they are really trying to mAke it happen but meanwhile there are still some very bad and extremely NOT polite waiters, which is a pity,there are few waiters that woldnt even answer when we said kalimera (good morning) or good evening...the hotel also doesnt have coffee machines in the rooms, for us it was horrible because we have a baby and would have to boil water early in the morning, anyway we called room service and in less than 5 minutes someone brought it to us. If you dont rent a car there is almost nothing to do in the hotel area, so its really a plus if you can rent a car to see part of this beautiful greek island.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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2  Thank cestlaviebaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2011

Unlike other Greek hotels, this hotel is a true 5 stars: Luxurious, Spacious, pampering. Lots of pools (general public: 2000msq, and many private pools). Newly opened. Rooms are big, clean, and those with private pools are superb.
Generally a great hotel to stay, so why the "but":
Mainly due to food area and entertainment.
Food: Food itself is reasonable and with quite a big variety, tho I would expect a more of the local\ Greek authentic. As being opened just 3 months ago, unfortunately they still do not know how to cope with high time of dinner\breakfast times- long frustrating ques, and annoying "bottle necks" at the personal serving (e.g. meat at lunch, omelets at breakfast). Waiters and waitresses are too few, so every small request is a time consuming mission...
You have to buy your drinks, even water, and prices are outrageous.

Which brings me to the second point: pricing of any extra is generally ridiculously outrageous, and since at 100 meter walking distance there is an INKA (a local supermarket chain), and many taverns in front of the sea, so most people seems to avoid hotel services (very stupid policy of the hotel....)
The other remark I have is as a resort, you would expect animation for the kids. You have just for the really small ones. For the elder kids and up\ teenagers--nothing.
Being located 25 kms outside of chania means that unless you have a car, or count on 1 hour !! (and more) public transportation, there no entertainment, but yours....
A little remark on communication: Hotel claims to offer a free internet option and WIFI.
Well, internet only with cables which are scarce and so not available, Wifi only in SOME parts of the lobby (...), not anyway elsewhere.... On top, they seems to define that web surfing \ VOIP is impossible (verified with many other travelers, too). All I could do is get emails on my Gmail. So did others, too. So actually- no effective internet.

To summarize: A great hotel, BUT should improve restaurants functioning, extras too expensive, great for either couples, or very young kids (and not families with teenagers), ideal as a base camp to go out and come back to the pampering room and pool.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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9  Thank oronp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2011

First of all, let me tell you the positive facts. We really enjoyed our stay at this hotel. It really is a modern, newly opened hotel and you can see that a lot of effort has been put into creating this resort. It might serve as a flagship for Cretan or Chania-based tourism. You can see that immediately upon entering the great hall. Cretans are very proud of their ancient Minoan culture and symbols in Linear A script (the name "Avra" everywhere), as you can see there. It is to bee seen, how the management of the hotel will keep up to this mission and how they will maintain quality and ever higher standards demanded these days. One can derive that from the many comments on this internet site.

One of the major plusses is the extravagant beach right to the hotel. You just need to follow the path through the hotel area (there are several complexes) along some magnificent apartments with their own exclusive pool in front of them (daily cleaned). The beach is equipped with a freshwater shower and very comfortable deck chairs. The personnel is constantly watching for trash or non-admitted strangers. However, most positive is the silence and exclusiveness (might change one day). It is so relaxing and unlike nearby noisy Platanias or Agia Marina that you will really enjoy it! Beach bar and water sports offers available.

I have no critique about the rooms. We had a sea view room on the highest floor (you can see a farm below) at the backside (pool view rooms are centered to the large pool in the middle of the complex). Therefore we enjoyed the silence. Rooms remarkably clean. Daily toiletry change. Even had to stop personnel from cleaning the room too often (one should tell them to have a better look at all these modern signal lamps at the aisle).

Now the bad things. Judge for yourself!
Not so comfortable was the arrangement of the buffets each morning and evening. Ok, it is good to have the possibility to have another table each time, but the waiting time in front of the servants constantly asking you "inside or outside?" was way too long, even if they did their best. And of course, you always have it the Greek way. Greeks (and some other nationals) usually do not wait in the queue (just in case you expect the British way, do not be surprised). One really develops a way of arrogance towards others and becomes a better hunter each day, since the fight for food is merciless. And then there are the prices for the drinks - WAY too high! (Everybody orders still mineral water, the sparkling one costs you more). Try and get a car (car rental available in the great hall of the hall) and you will see real Greek prices in Crete. Everything is much cheaper outside (love those real Cretan salads). However, car rental prices used to be much lower if you glimpse into the Michelin guide vert. Must be an economic crisis effect. Gasoline prices very high on this island!

Back to the hotel and the waiters. Some of them are doing their best (even though their linguistic skills could be better - I recommend always using the same phrases, small talk just leads to confusion - yeah that is definitely a bad fact for Greek tourism). Here one can also observe the Greek way of tourism. It is mass focussed. The personnel is not looking for individually satisfying your needs, but to satisfy as many people as possible (which leads to quite moderate quality levels). Some waiters did not even care about putting enough cutlery on your table. I have to say, in this respect the hotel does not match up to a 5 star hotel, according to European standards. But then it would be better to go to France, Italy or Croatia for a more exclusive summer stay.

Another negative fact is the child factor. Nothing against children. They have excellent animators and facilites for children. But i would rather say that a 5 star hotel at such a calm location should definitely focus on exclusive guests only, travelling without children. This mass tourist fact and all the noise added by guests simply downgrades the overall athmosphere. Trust me, you will know what this means at buffet times when waiting at the orange juice machine each morning, struggling with the kids (the hotel could definitely buy another 2 fresh juice machines or optimize the tables according to demand). Might be better during fall or for congress tourists during the year (congress hall and spa exist - the spa, even though open during summer, by the way is rather something for winter).

As for the rest, the showers all along the pool area, the Italian restaurant for a nice lunch and all the rest is just fine. Really impressive is also the little amphitheater that is being used for evening shows and animations. There is even a newly constructed chapel in the hotel area (Cretans are very religious one can see).

All in all, I think it is up to all the other commentators. I for myself really enjoyed the stay. Do not miss to get outside from time to time (Chania is really beatiful). Kolympari is a bit disappointing but gives you basic facilities (supermarket, post office, bus and petrol station). Else, do not expect special evening charme, nope. Go to Avra if you want to have an exclusive stay, a nice exclusive beach and elegant rooms (yeah, king size beds would be preferred, the single ones put together bother). However, one cannot choose the right tourists. Avra simply attracts people with lower budget or not so exclusive manners. For now that is the Greek illness. Change that!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank tequilasunrise13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2011

Amazing hotel....The rooms are just perfect, especially those with the sharing and private pool! Many thanks to Mrs Eirini Pologiorgaki The Front Office Manager....Your service is of very high standards...Well Done Eirini! We highly recommend this hotel for those who have great expectations...Definatelly the best hotel in Chania!Thank you again,we had great time with our 16-month old baby son!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank elefteriaagio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

We use to stay in differents five stars hotels around the world and i have to say that this hotel doesn't reach any 4 stars,,,,, The beach is outside the hotel and there is not sand but only peebles and the sands beds are not ready until 10. If you want to have breakfast after 9, you have to wait outside the restaurant for an half hour because they don't have free tables. After eight nights i asked to the reception when they planned to change our bed linen and they told me that's service is on request.......and in any case they wouldn't change ours bathrobe!!!!!!!
In your room you have a message like this "every second day during morning hours you can ask your housekeeper to replace your beigh beach towels with new ones".....such a shame ours housekeepers nont came before 4 p.m. , not really a good hour to take place at the beach............ I tried to buy a sun cream and it is cost 25 euro. In the shop just in front of the hotel i payed for the same cream 12 euros. It same to be a good spread for the hotel!!!!!
The positives points are the spa (when the kids are not in because they are allowed....) the pools, qnd the rooms that are spacious and modern.
I don't want to pass all the time on the negatives points because i think that the only point of view is that hotel is a three stars on european category and not a five like proposed in Greece (greece is still europe, as well?????).

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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9  Thank Tciutciu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Avra Imperial Hotel

Address: KOLYMVARI, Kolymbari, Platanias, Crete 730 06, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Chania Prefecture > Platanias > Kolymbari
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kolymbari
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kolymbari
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kolymbari
Price Range: $114 - $695 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Avra Imperial Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 328
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Also Known As:
Avra Imperial Beach Resort And Spa
Avra Imperial Beach Hotel Chania Town
Avra Imperial Hotel Crete/Kolymbari

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