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Reviewed August 30, 2018

Week in a Family Room (728) with teen daughter and can only give an opinion on what we experienced...…..

Room great. Air Con quiet, Beds comfy. Daily Water in cold fridge. Lovely bathroom and great shower.

Staff fabulous. Never waited for a drink or service anywhere.

Food lovely. Buffet extremely good. Ala Carte restaurants both outstanding.

Pools wonderful Perfect temp, clean and loads of space. Sunbed reservation as always but we never struggled to get three together even coming out at 11am!

Animation Team work hard. Music great, lots of activities and Shows excellent. DJ at disco really talented.

Absolutely nothing to complain about in the entire week. Would love the one-use plastics to go as soon as they can....but am sure they are working on that.

Likely to rebook for next year!

Room tip: Quieter rooms at top of resort, not around lower pool area.
Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 336alicea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StellaHotels, Guest Relations Department at Stella Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2018

Dear 336alicea,


Thank you for taking time in writing this feedback on tripadvisor and for rating us this high!
We couldn't be more pleased to read you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday with us!
Your special mention regarding our staff is deeply appreciated!
Thank you again for choosing our hotel for your holidays,

Warm greetings from Crete,

Stella Palace Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2018

We stayed 5 nights in the Stella Palace hotel, two adults + 1 baby.

Our "experience" started in the check-in when we said we have a baby and a stroller, but they insisted to give us an upstairs room although same rate rooms are available in the ground floor. (No elevator for upper floor)
We did not argue much and took the upstairs room which turned out to be REALLY inconvenient, even more than we imagined.
It impacted our entire stay.

When we finally entered our room, we had an unbearable noise coming from the AC. We had to call the front desk 3 times until someone came to check, and said - "This is August, nothing we can do"
In addition, they promised us that a manager will come and check and it never happened.
We had to go twice to the front desk and demand another room before someone was willing to help. It took more than an hour for this entire saga to end and our baby was tired and couldn't stop crying.

The room itself was not very clean, it is very noticeable that there are places that they don't even clean.
The bed was comfortable, the setting was convenient, and the AC was not noisy in this room, so we stayed there.

However, it seems that service is not a problem only at the front desk, as when you walk into the dining room, its getting worst.
You can wait for over 10 min for a drink that you ordered, sometimes it will not even show up.
The main dining room is DIRTY; seats are sticky and its really not pleasant to eat like that.
It was like that during all meals - breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The food itself is not very delightful and is lacking variety. (Fish night was horrible)
There were meals where we left the dining room hungry.

The service in the snack bar & bars was refreshing and exceeded my expectations, especially after encountering the others.
The entertainment at the hotel is excellent and the evening shows were very nice.
The hotel pools are fantastic and it was enjoyable to spend a day at the poolside.
However, the tiles in the pool area are very slippery and we almost slipped more than once when we came wet out of the pool.

We ordered a taxi from the hotel from & to the airport which was excellent and convenient. We were very happy with this service.

We got a free dinner in one of the hotel gourmet restaurants as we stayed for many nights, we got the Mediterranian as all other restaurants were fully booked. The service at this restaurant was better than the other facilities in the hotel but still slow.
The food was average, we left hungry as well.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay, but will not be returning or recommending due to poor service, negative gastronomic experience, and low cleaning level. This is far from being a 5 star hotel.

Room tip: ground floor pool front
Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Ambassador771377
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StellaHotels, Guest Relations Department at Stella Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2018

Dear valuable Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write your comments on Trip Advisor following your recent stay at the Stella Palace.
We are truly disappointed we did not meet your expectations; this is certainly not the kind of service we offer to our guests.
Your feedback is important to us and please rest assured that all the issues you have raised have been addressed to prevent any re-occurrence in the future.
On a positive note, we are happy you enjoyed the shows and the pools and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future and prove to you that we can serve you better.


Best regards,

The Stella Palace Team

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Reviewed August 29, 2018

Returned from a 10 day AI holiday in August. We went with 2A + 7yr and 5yr boys in a 2 bedroom family room.

We arrived midnight and were efficiently checked in. We were allocated a room with a balcony but were quickly changed to a ground floor room on request. Food was avail for late check-ins but we went straight to room on the golf buggy.

The Room: The 2 bed family room is actually 1 large room with a floor to ceiling partition. It was comfortable enough with a double bed and 2 singles for the kids. There was a bit of a musty smell which I could have / should have complained about but didn't bother. There was also a small fridge replenished daily with water. This didn't work on arrival but was quickly fixed. There was loads of storage for all our clothes and the "rooms" were spacious enough.

The Bathroom was OK. There was a bath with shower screen which served little use in keeping water off the floor resulting in a flood every time the shower was used. This made the floor slippy so we used towels to soak up. The shower head was so loose, the shower waved about like a fireman's hose. This was repaired but the bracket was still too big for the shower so I ended up stuffing paper in it to secure the shower head.

The Patio area was nice with 3 chairs and a small table. The chairs were rickety and the decking had loose boards. Once again I'm sure we could have complained but it wasn't major enough. We were lucky enough to be positioned opposite the Kochyli Bar in block 6. This was far enough from the Amphitheater at night but had some nice music/artists which we were able to enjoy from the Patio.

The Pools: Amazing!, really clean and massive too. Our kids must have spent 10hrs a day in them and never once moaned about being cold. There were signs everywhere warning not to reserve sunbeds but this was ignored so we just has to simply followed suit! Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of sunbeds/beanbags but if you wanted a spot in a shallower area you needed to be a little quick of the mark. NOTE: They had mini sunbeds for the kids. I've never seen this before and it was a great touch.

We spent most time in the shallow section of the lower pool. There were activities to join in if you wanted but these were never pushed onto you if you just wanted to chill. Drinks were served quickly at the bars (the Cretian ice-tea is amazing). And the bar staff were really friendly.

The grounds were beautiful (although some of the walls were crumbling away and needed some attention) with cactus and palm trees in full bloom. The paths were cleaned on a daily basis every morning.

The Food: This was possibly one of the best AI holidays for food I have had. It was outstanding. In the main buffet restraint, there was something for everyone, the food was hot and there were themed nights as you'd expect. My fussy kids ate well every night from the Italian corner. We booked the "Veranda" Asian Al a Carte on our last night and watch the sunset as we ate. The staff were really attentive and made a fuss of the kids. It was a true high light. The Snack Bar in the middle of the hotel is fantastic with Hotdogs, wraps and ice cream for nibbles when needed. We never went hungry.

The Entertainment was great. We didn't go to any of the in-house shows but did see a Magic night, and 2 Acrobat shows. We all really enjoyed them and the set-up of the Amphitheater is fantastic. Plenty of room for everyone and you can see the shows regardless where you sit.

Beach was a disappointment. The sea is rough on this side of the island, hence they have a break built to calm the beach. We wanted to go snorkeling but its too murky so retreated back to the pool. Its a nice beach if you want to dig holes and build a sandcastle though.

We took a trip to the Dinosaur park up the road. It was a nice day out and recommend for Dino lovers. There isn't a lot more about, it's pretty remote, but the was fine for us.

In all, we had a great holiday. It's just a shame that the hotel doesn't quite fell 5* due to some pretty basic flaws such as dated rooms, useless shower screen, wobbly shower heads, sub-standard furniture and minor maintenance issues. Id recommend this for a great AI family holiday but if you're expecting true 5*, you may be slightly disappointed.

Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank scottd122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StellaHotels, Guest Relations Department at Stella Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2018

Dear Scott D,

Thank you very much for choosing our hotel for your holidays and for this review!
We deeply appreciate your personal opinion and take all your notes into consideration.
Thank you for recommending us for a family holidays!


Warm greetings from Crete,


Stella Palace Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2018

We recently enjoyed 2 weeks at the Stella Palace and there are a lot of really nice things about this place. However, this wasn't far from being called 'great times'.

On arrival, we found that sadly the room wasn't as described when we booked. Just so you're aware, family rooms don't have two separate bedrooms rooms - they are one large room with a wood and glass partition. even then, the partition has a 2 foot gap at the top to let the air conditioning circulate through, this also lets sound circulate through as well. this meant we had very limited privacy between our bed and where our kids were sleeping. That said, the room was a decent size overall and was clean and tidy and kept that way by the housekeeping staff.

We were in 509, a ground floor garden room, which had a small decked area, from which we could see part of one of the pools. It was also a very short walk from The Poseidon restaurant, so we could hear people setting-up and clearing away for service and a bit of background noise during mealtimes - but nothing off-putting.

Stella Palace is a long, quite narrow site which sits in between Stella Village and the newer Stella Island. The pools are large, freshwater and really good. There were also lots of sunbeds, so plenty of places to relax - although we did have one disagreement with a family over beds one day, which I'll not go into.

The reception and bar staff are among the friendliest we've met on holiday. These included Nikos, Giannis and Anna, who were always happy to serve us and say hello. The food was pretty good, with daily themes, so Tuesday night is Italian night. It's nice to have variation as well as the various pieces that are available each day. We were quite impressed that we could generally get into the restaurant and get a table pretty quickly. We were only waiting outside on one night for a few moments. We did feel a bit silly one night when we were told we were sitting in a reserved area of the restaurant, despite having been invited to sit there the night before.

There are also two specialist restaurants that you can eat at once each during your stay, Elia and The Veranda. We did pack long trousers for the night and even though there are signs saying that you can't wear shorts for your evening meal, pretty much every man was wearing shorts - even in the specialist restaurants. So, I'd have packed my case a little differently if I'd known.

There are some extras to pay for during your stay, for example 15 euro per week for a safety deposit box key and 4 euros per room per night for the hotel tax (payable on leaving).

As much as we enjoyed our stay, we do have a few suggestions as to how it could have been better:

1. Room layout. We got over the disappointment that we didn't have proper separate bedrooms within our room, but it's strange having the wardrobes in what's the room entrance/hallway, Perhaps having one in the bedroom would have made it easier for us to organise ourselves, also having 3 coat hangers between 4 people wasn't great, but a couple of days after asking, we did receive more.

2. Patio / deck area. There were 4 of us staying in the room, yet we only had two chairs. Far from ideal for a 5-star place, so a chair each seems reasonable.

3. TV. a minor grumble, this was located on our boys half of the partition, so not something I could really watch. A huge selection of channels, but the English language ones were things we'd only glance at to catch up with news; BBC World, Sky News, CNN for example. I counted half a dozen variants of the same Eurosport channel.

4. Drinks at the bar. Plenty of choice on the large double-sided menus, but not that many were available on the all-inclusive. It would have been nicer to perhaps have a wider choice of cocktails on the all-inclusive. No issue with this only being available up to 11pm. The Piano bar is quite a nice space beside The Veranda restaurant near Reception, not that anyone ever played the piano. There are also bars beside the two main pools and this is where we tended to go in the evenings.

5. Entertainment. We really didn't enjoy this. We did enjoy the acrobat show, which was two guys tumbling, we also quite enjoyed the show featuring the Mongolian strongman and a couple of double jointed assistants - although there was a worrying moment when an arrow bounced off the target and we weren't quite sure where it was heading. The shows we saw involving the animation team were poor, so we didn't bother. The shows are held in a nice amphitheatre, but the insistence of projecting graphics behind the performers onto a big screen was really distracting, especially when a big block of writing kept appearing explaining that it was a trial version of the software and that an upgrade could be purchased. On some nights, there was live music at one of the pool bars.

6. Animation team, we only really saw Dr Zulu when we were there. He'd announce his arrival each morning, invite us to play darts and then tell us what the show was that evening. The only time we saw anybody else around our pool was when it was the weekly Tombola, when the team were out (in force) and about selling tickets.

7. Activity locations. We based ourselves by the pool nearest our room. That seemed to have a daily game of water volleyball, but very little else. If you want to take part in things, such as aqua zumba or water polo, you'll have to go looking for it, because I don't recall anybody coming around telling us what was on, when and where. There is an activity board near to the main animation hut.

8. Drinks during mealtimes. As mentioned, the staff were great, including the waiting staff. Our only quibble was that we'd sometimes have to wait a while for drink with our meal or for a second drink. Perhaps if there was a soft drinks dispenser in the restaurant, that would have helped to take some pressure off the staff and meant we weren't waiting 20 minutes for a cola.

9. Opa. I'm guessing it is the guy in charge of the Animation team or the nightly shows, but could somebody please tell him that repeating the word 'Opa' does not create an atmosphere and does little for audience participation. His insistence that everybody who had a matching tombola ticket number shouted 'Opa' was irritating by the second ticket of the first week. Imagine how we felt by the end of 2 weeks ...

10. A whine about the wine. There are two specialist restaurants. At Elia, we had a superb 5 course Cretan banquet - it was wonderful food. At The Veranda, we had a hugely enjoyable Asian food experience too. We couldn't complain about it at all, except ...
At Elia, we were being pressured into buying wine to go with our meal. We refused, but the waiter kept insisting that we should have some. When we went to The Veranda, I asked if we could just have a glass of wine from the bar, but was told wine was the only bar drink we weren't allowed to order. I understand it's a hotel policy, but it seems a strange one.

11. Ice cream. This is the first all-inclusive holiday I've been on where ice cream isn't available after a main meal. Sometimes, this is all we fancied, but it wasn't an option - really disappointing.

Okay, so a few moans, but overall we really enjoyed the experience - maybe you will too.

Room tip: Rooms are either ground floor or first, so not too much choice.
Date of stay: July 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 66PAUL66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StellaHotels, Guest Relations Department at Stella Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2018

Dear 66PAUL66,

It is a pleasure to receive your warm words of appreciation following your stay in our hotel.
Guest satisfaction being our primary concern, it is rewarding to hear that you had a memorable experience with us.
We thank you once again for your review and look forward to welcoming you back to the Stella Palace Resort &Spa on future occasions.


Warm greetings from Crete,


Stella Palace Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2018 via mobile

After reading reviews, I understood clearly I would be going - with friends and their new baby- to a family friendly resort. Live and learn! This means families only, typically with multiple screaming and running children. If that describes your family, I imagine this is a great place. If not, go elsewhere. I felt like I was at kids camp all week with no quiet, adults only spaces. It was controlled chaos at all times- no such thing as relaxing poolside.

The facilities are lovely and reasonably well maintained. Rooms are simple but clean and a nice size. Some renovated with a nice design standard, others well maintained by needing modernisation.

The pools are immaculate, which is really impressive given the activity they host each day, and offer good variety. On the downside, the rule about not reserving loungers was NOT enforced at all. People began reserving seats for the day by 5:45 am- possibly earlier! If you had not claimed a seat by 8:30am, no lounger for you! Too much smoking by the pool by guests with no consideration for those around. The beach is a bit of a let down.

The food is pretty good by buffet standards. Charging for room service in an all inclusive is ridiculous and makes things more difficult for those travelling with babies.

Entertainment by the pool Monday Wednesday Friday is way way too loud given the proximity to rooms. We raised this issue with the front desk and bar staff multiple times and were treated poorly.

Unimpressed by the reception staff. They seemed unwilling to help address issues despite multiple entreaties for assistance. The overall level of service did not meet expectations.

Date of stay: August 2018
Trip type: Traveled with friends
1  Thank Un_Po_Di_Vino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StellaHotels, Guest Relations Department at Stella Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2018

Dear Un_Po_Di_Vino,

Thank you very much for choosing our hotel for your holidays and for this review! We deeply appreciate your personal opinion and take all your notes into consideration.
Thank you for recommending us for a family holidays!


Warm greetings from Crete,

Stella Palace Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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