We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Got mystifying bad treatment to point of feeling persecuted”
Review of The Old Phoenix

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Loutro
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
The Old Phoenix
Ranked #4 of 8 Loutro B&B and Inns
Glasgow
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Got mystifying bad treatment to point of feeling persecuted”
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We booked to stay at the Old Phoenix because of reading good reviews online, but I now wonder if these were out of date.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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank BrianBlessedsBeard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

61 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    24
    24
    8
    3
    2
See reviews for
11
38
2
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Henley in Arden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2009

We booked a week at The Old Phoneix after seeing it featured in an article for the best European hotels under €100. For a mere €37 a night it was certainly excellent value for money.

Located in an isolated cove, it takes a 2 hour taxi drive, a 20 minute ferry ride and a water taxi to reach the hotel. It is possible to walk from Loutro over the hill, but not if you've got any luggage more substantial than a light rucksack - I would definitely recommend arranging a water taxi to take you round. (As well as the convenience you get a much more breath-taking view from out in the ocean.)

Do not expect the conventions of hotel check-in or formalities. They simply had my name written in a diary, handed me a key and there we were done. All rooms have balconies looking out to the sea. As you would expect from the price, the accommodation is fairly basic but absolutely nothing to complain about. You'll quickly learn to be careful with the shower hose or you'll end up A over T when there's water all over the floor. Our double room had twin beds which we simply pushed together, which I'm assuming is the standard for all rooms because they have a lot of families/odd numbers to cater for so it's probably easier to have this set up.

All meals are charged separately but the prices are very reasonable - I think the most expensive meal we had was €9. The food is really really good. Very fresh and well cooked. My partner had all sorts of recently caught fish, fresh goat and pork. I stuck to fairly simple things but even the pasta and the yummy pizza especial were delicious.

If you're quite active, the hotel sits amongst various hiking trails and it's only about 15 minutes to walk to Loutro where there are a variety of restaurants/hotels if you fancy a change. There are also various canoes, kayaks, lilos and water sports paraphernalia available to rent from the hotel. Sun loungers & parasols are on the pebble beach and are apparently also subject to hire fees, but I think this might be for non-hotel guests as we weren't charged. Incidentally, you'll have to take your own beach towels.

All in all, we had a really nice, peaceful break for a week without breaking the bank. The other hotel guests all seemed to be Greek or French families as it seems to be off the beaten track for Brits, which is not necessarily such a bad thing. This is a lovely, intimate hotel where you can do as little as you like with lovely hospitality and only the delighted squeals of kids playing in the sea and a symphony of crickets (and the occassional goat!) to break the tranquility. We will definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CloggInns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Loutro
0.4 mi away
Daskalogiannis Hotel
Daskalogiannis Hotel
#2 of 2 in Loutro
35 reviews
0.4 mi away
Hotel Porto Loutro
Hotel Porto Loutro
#1 of 2 in Loutro
189 reviews
6.7 mi away
Hotel Calypso
Hotel Calypso
#1 of 1 in Agia Roumeli
61 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Taverna Akrogiali
Taverna Akrogiali
#2 of 8 in Loutro
56 reviews
0.4 mi away
Villa Niki Studios & Apartments
0.4 mi away
Hotel Porto Loutro on the Hill
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Old Phoenix? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Old Phoenix

Property: 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing