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“Not as expected..............”
Review of The Old Phoenix

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The Old Phoenix
Ranked #4 of 8 Loutro B&B and Inns
Reviewed March 25, 2011

We actually stayed in Crete in August 2009 but when I tried to write a review the hotel was not recognised by trip advisor, I have waited a long time to write this!! I read a review about another customer who also received extremely bad treatment at this hotel.

We booked for three nights at the Old Phoenix about 5 months before we were due to go to Crete. We had a holiday villa in Reythemnon, shared with parents and this was our chance to get away from the kids for a couple of nights, so we were looking forward to it.

From the outset we were met with total hostility. We tried to check in (around 2pm) and stood in reception (which was so dirty and untidy I was having serious doubts about the hotel) for about 10 mins hoping someone would help us. The restaurant was packed that day and waiters were running everywhere. At last, when someone came to us we were told to go away and come back at 6pm when our room would be ready!

We asked to see the manager who came to see us after about 10 mins. Bearing in mind the manager was working in the kitchen at this time which was open to the reception, so he saw everything that was going on. I have never, in all of my life, met such a rude person and after spending 20 years as cabin crew I have come across quite a few rude people in my time. He came up to us and said "What do you want". We told him that we were not happy with the arrangements and then he told us there was someone in our room and they would not leave until 6pm so the room would be ready about 8pm as they had to clean it! He then shouted at us "what do you expect me to do, throw them out of their room now?" We asked if there were any other rooms available and he sent us to the "sister" hotel which was across their shingle beach.

Once again we were met with total hostility from the younger members of the family who were probably annoyed at having their peaceful "sit about and do nothing" rest disturbed. We asked them if we could have the room and then move back into the main building at 8pm to our original room. We were told in no uncertain terms that this would not be possible and it was that room or nothing.

Guess what option we took? Yes, the nothing option. We hot-footed it back to Porto Loutro and after asking in a couple of hotels found a fabulous little room in a place called Pavlos with a view to die for. Mr Pavlos (who looks like Captain Birds Eye) couldn't have been nicer and we were treated with the infamous Cretan hospitality that unfortunately, the Old Phoenix is missing.

I will never recommend this hotel to anyone which is a pity as their website looks good and the pictures are exactly what it looks like but unfortunately the service does not match up.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Sinclair-Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (72)
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41 - 47 of 72 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2010

We are astounded at the negative comments we have read ,which had we not made all arrangements to go would have lead us to cancel. THANK GOODNESS WE DID NOT DO SO! This magical retreat had lovely staff and family who could not have been kinder nor more generous and hospitable.Wonderful setting had turtles coming to feed each morning, visible from the lovely covered restaurant terrace and beach.There were King Fishers and Eagles too.The food was fresh ,simple, hugely varied and most of it home produced: cheeses, oil, lamb, goat ,honey ,wine and raki.Days were spent lazing and the peaceful sound of goat and sheep bells and the wonderful stars at night all contributed to a feeling of relaxation and peace.We spent two wonderful weeks here without leaving or feeling the need to treck over the hill to noisy Loutro.However there are many hiking opportunities for those who wish to melt in the heat.We have reserved already,for next year and hope to meet up with Swedish friends made this trip who are among many guests who return time after time.We can only praise and commend Old Phoenix to others who enjoy gentle , unpretentious simplicity.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank bbcan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2010

We spent two weeks in this lovely hotel and we are already planning to go back. Warm greek hospitality, wonderful position, never so busy (even on August 15th!). A perfect balance between fairly basic comfort and isolation. Twice a day, every day, the goats' bells remind you that it is time to wake up or to have a shower, just before dinner. Very fresh meals, well cooked, raki and karpousi ending every dinner. The management is very uninformal, but efficient: whatever you need they try to give you. May be you have to wait for a while, but "Sigà Sigà" is the rule in Greece! Our friend Arturo, an albanian waiter, learned to say it in italian, too: "Cinque minuti!".
Located in an isolated cove, you can get it by feet or by water taxi. Once you are there you can choose to simply enjoy the beach, the sea and the food or to hike on several tracks, someone of them quite hard on summer.
Last, but not least: excellent value for money!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank ola-sto-dodeka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

The location is superb & a total chill out venue. The service is only average, with rooms cleaned once every three days. Not really a problem, except for the bathroom & toilet bins. Guests are charged for use of the beach beds & umbrellas which should be free for residents. The hotel is on the E4 long distance path & many people stop off for a swim although we never saw anyone collect money from bypassers. We already knew that there is no menu or price list for food or drink but this could unerve those who have not stayed before. The final bill has always been under our own calculations. We have never been over charged at this hotel. There is a family vessel with Boat Cruises written on the side, however the response to our queries regarding these 'cruises' was 'you have money? you can go anywhere'. Food enquiries as to what type of meat or fish are met with the response of 'big fish or small fish' or just 'meat'. We have been visiting South West Crete for a number of years & this is not a package tour destination. Yes it is 'quirky' but this becomes tiresome after awhile & despite it's uniqueness, there are other locations on this coast just as idyllic with far better service. I would reccommend this to a friend provided they fully understood what they were in for, but only for a short stay. The hotel is very popular with German clientele as well as Greeks at the weekends.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank VasiliGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2010

Having found The Old Phoenix on Tripadvisor listed as the 1st hotel IN Loutro we thought we'd give it a try. Listed as located a 15 minute stroll from Loutro suggests that it's just 'around the corner' however, it's probably wise to point out that the 15 minute walk with a suitcase is almost impossible to do unless you're young, strong and extremely fit! We gave up after hitting the first hill of rough stone and retreated back to Loutro proper where we found rooms. The next morning, determined to get to Phoenix we set off in walking boots, it is indeed a lovely setting, isolated and beautiful and the taverna food is good. I can imagine for a real get away from it all few days this would be a wonderful choice but don't think you're going to be able to check out another Loutro venue for dinner because the return journey back to your room in the pitch black could be trecherous!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EPM15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2010

Having read one poor review and one good review on The Old Phoenix I can only say that for us, on the two occasions we have stayed at the Phoenix the experience has been perfect. Do not expect staff to be rushing around falling over themselves to pander to every whim. Chill out and slow down, if you want a cold drink or an ice-cream help yourself from the fridge and tell the staff later. Yes they charge for the beach chairs, but when you are paying €35-€45 per room per night does it matter? As far as the food is concerned its plain simple traditional and very tasty. The waiters are friendly and very cheerful. The owners are there if you need anything and once you strike up a conversation you find them to be very friendly and interesting ( ask them about their honey and bees). The rooms are plain but clean and adequate for most experienced travellers, and as with any trip to the more remote areas of the Greek islands a torch, pocket knife, cloths line and sink plug can prove useful. Don't expect 5 star treatment or amenities. However if you want to get away from it all and be able to leave your belongings in the restaurant or on the beach without fear of theft as well as enjoying crystal clear water ,unspoilt surroundings and peace this is the place for you. We have already booked for July 2010!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Renone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2010

We booked to stay at the Old Phoenix because of reading good reviews online, but I now wonder if these were out of date. We were so unhappy there we cut our trip short. I have never felt so unwelcome at a hotel.

The location is stunning; the Phoenix seems to have built its success from attracting families who want a safe self contained holiday location for their kids; the position of the place is perfect for this, with a safe secluded bay and a hotel complex small enough to feel intimate but large enough to be exciting for children to explore.

However, after only a day or two, it became apparent that the service was not just indifferent but downright hostile. We spent several days wondering what we had done to offend the staff, then gave up and just left.

Two examples. I noticed the balconies to the left and right of me had washing lines so I went to reception to ask for one. The receptionist studiously ignored me as I stood there for a minute or so. So I politely asked about getting a line. The reply I got was, "I am busy. I am adding up bills. I am doing a job. Were I to get up and get you a washing line right now, I would not be doing my job" etc etc. The outburst was so unexpected, it took my breath away and I tried to laugh it off with my partner, but this actually set the tone of all our interactions. One morning, I asked if I could have some jam with my egg and toast. Waiter: "No, you order egg and toast. No jam with egg and toast. Either egg or jam." When I persisted that I only wanted a single sachet of jam, he harrumphed and disappeared, I could hear shouting in the kitchen, then 15 mins later, when I had finished my breakfast, I got my sachet of jam.

This was the tone of most of our interactions with waiters and hotel staff. We would be ignored when we went down to eat; we would be told breakfast was over, there was nothing left for us, when we were well within the breakfast times. We wondered if the bad service was because you don't pay for your food per meal but on a tab, therefore the waiters perhaps have no motivation to serve you well, as they don't get tipped per transaction. But when we looked to the right and left of us, the staff didn't seem to be treating other guests this way.

The food was poor quality with most of the menu items unavailable anyway; the kitchen didn’t seem to prepare good old fashioned Greek food, just microwaved Euro-grub. The odd Greek dish we did order was of appalling quality.

A sign on the pebbly beach informed us that guests would be charged for loungers etc. I thought perhaps this referred to visitors and queried it (as there was no other way on could sit on the beach). But no, this “Of course!” referred to hotel guests. I thought this was mean-spirited as there was no alternative way to sit down on the beach, and really this should be included.

After a few days of these interactions, we were miserable. We started escaping for dinner over the hill to a taverna in a neighbouring bay, Likkos, and the contrast was incredible; a warm, welcoming family who cooked amazing Greek food and didn’t seem to loathe us!

We nervously approached the Phoenix staff to say we wanted to leave early; it transpired they had got our booking wrong anyway so we were able to move to Likkos without any confrontation. The last few days of our holiday were utter bliss and I am only sorry we put up with our treatment for so long.

I have never bothered to post on TripAdvisor before, but the contrast between what I’d heard about this place and the miserable time we experienced, convinced me I should warn others! I don’t doubt that there will be other posters who have had a positive experience at the Phoenix, and those who think that we somehow provoked our bad treatment or have exaggerated. All I can say is, we seemed to be singled out, with no provocation, for exceptionally surly and unhelpful treatment by the staff. Why? Neither of us are imperious or demanding; we have experienced Greek hospitality and know the pace of life is slower there, so we certainly weren't snapping our fingers and demanding instant action.

Lastly, I am white and my partner is Asian. I have no concrete proof the staff were hostile to us simply because of that, but we were so mystified by our treatment that we were left contemplating this unpleasant possibility.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank BrianBlessedsBeard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Phoenix

Address: Loutro, Crete 73013, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Chania Prefecture > Loutro
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Loutro
Number of rooms: 28
Also Known As:
The Old Phoenix Loutro, Crete, Greece

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