We have travelled the world quite extensively and been lucky enough to stay in some true 5* hotels; Lillian fells in the Blue mountains Of Australia, Jumeirah Beach and Emirates Towers in Dubai, Club Towers at Lebua in Bangkok to name a few. These hotels all had excellent service and pretty amazing food on offer.
St Nicolas Bay Resort is not a true 5*hotel by international standards but may well be by Cretian standards! This was
Our first trip to Crete so have no other Cretian hotels to judge it by.
First of all we would like to say there is nothing wrong with this hotel and this is not a negative review. There are just a few areas they be improved on.
General appearance of public areas and grounds is very good and all well cared for.
Rooms: we booked a standard sea view room and that was what we got despite the manager (Nikos) telling us he had given us a free upgrade......but shhhhhh don't tell anyone. This is something he appears to tell everyone to make them feel 'special'. However, this had the opposite effect as we had already done our research and knew what a standard room should look like, we got what we paid for. The room was adequate, clean, tidy. It was a very similar style to a Premier Inn. It did have a separate toilet & bathroom. The double bed was 2 singles pushed together. The room did not have a proper shower it was above the bath on a flexible hose with head and get this....something we have not seen since the 1970's, a shower curtain, not even a screen. Oh how lovely it was to feel the cold wet curtain cling to your flesh as you took a shower.......lol. The towels, bathrobes and toiletries were of a good quality.
Sticking with the room there are mosquitoes in the evening that do come in, we thought great there is a mosqueto net above the bed but it turned out to be for decorative purposes only. There was a plug in available in the room but despite this we still got bitten so a real mosquito net would be a real benefit. Plug sockets are not attached properly in some cases. When removing electrical appliances be careful as we ended up with the plug socket in our hand too.
Pool: it is a salt water pool with sun loungers and parasols for guests to use, towels are available too. This is a very nice area to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. The staff regularly came round to ask if you would like drinks. We did not use this service due to the extortionate cost of the drinks. We are not tight however, we do like to get good value for money. We paid 20cent a liter at the supermarket for water, the hotel were charging €4 a litre that is a 2000% mark up on shop prices. Water is an essential and at the temperatures we were in they should not be making such huge profits. A lot of the guests are elderly and probably not able to walk into town let alone carry it back so the hotel are taking advantage of this. I know they are there to make a profit but this is extreme on an essential item.
Next door to the pool is the Blue Bay restaurant, this appears almost like a separate business as it is so different to the rest of the resort. Staff are genuinely friendly and the food is excellent. The rest of the resort could learn a lesson on customer service and food quality. We ate 3 meals here and each one was of a very high standard. The ice cream was proper premium ice cream.
Talking of restaurant, the main restaurant where you take your dinner if you are on HB, is very well laid out with a choice of inside or alfresco dinning. Nice crisp white linen etc but the food lets it down. We eat there for the 7 nights we were at the resort. The choice of first course from the salad bar area was good, the main course was very hit and miss, considering it is supposed to be cooked to order most of the time it was so over cooked it became almost flavourless. This was both true of the fish and meat dishes. Having ordered ice cream at the Blue Bay restaurant we decided to order ice cream here, how disappointed we were, there was plenty of ice but not much cream, it was pure white, tasteless and on a par with Tesco value vanilla I would imagine, definitely not a premium product. If you are on B&B do not use this restaurant as it is €35 a head before you add on drinks.
Staff: on arrival you are greeted by Nikos who has such a warm welcoming smile and manner. When going to him with a problem the facade slips a little. The table staff at breakfast and dinner do the job efficiently but there lacks friendliness and warmth and they are not interested in small talk unless of course you are a big spender when they will fawn over you. Pitiful really. Our experience of all the housekeeping staff was very positive they always had a smile and were friendly.
Overall not a bad holiday at the price we paid. £699 including flights, HB and €50 in resort credit each but would not be worth anymore than this in our opinion.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A spacious Balcony or Terrace in each Room or Suite provides a private and secluded open air lounge to sit and relax with great sea views.- From the secluded privacy of your room balcony / terrace only 2 minutes walk through flower scented gardens to reach the private sandy beach and sunbathing terraces. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Saint Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel And Villas
- Saint Nicolas Bay Hotel
- St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas Crete/Agios Nikolaos