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“Not a true 5*hotel by international standards” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas

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St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas
Ranked #1 of 100 Hotels in Agios Nikolaos
Certificate of Excellence
Murkle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Not a true 5*hotel by international standards”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

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.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Honesty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerGreece, General Manager at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for the very detailed review on your recent holiday with us and kindly be assured that your recommendations will be considered. We feel that our prices correct and reflecting the value of the service, location and quality as all other 5 Star properties you have visited before, but of course we respect your opinion.
Thank you very much for staying with us and we are pleased to see that you consider the price paid worth the holiday and the inclusions.

Kind personal regards,
Costas Sp. Zarbalas, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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967 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (158)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Hoylake, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

I realise I am out of kilter with other reviews but if a comfortable bed and room are important to you then this is not for you. For the price I was disappointed to find the bedroom was tight on space, the safe wasnt working and toilet was leaking. We were not allocated a different room and it took 3 days to fix the toilet and the safe - well it never happened. I can cope with things going wrong - that's life. But the bed!!! after two nights I had back ache and asked if I could either change room or mattress. The managment said there was no other type of mattress available and produced a mattress topper which was added to the bed. Not much better so back to management again. Another mattress topper on top of the first mattress topper - bearable. I though maybe i could sleep on the day bed/sofa in the room - no way too hard! maybe on the sunbeds on the balcony - ha ha they were deck chairs. The only respite was around the pool. I saw an advert recently for a greek hotel and they named the brand of mattress as an enticement so maybe its a greek thing. Its not 5 star by any means and its not cheap. Food reasonably pleasant but I have had better. The staff made a real effort and without them the lack could of comfort could have ruined the week but they saved the day.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank poppy1026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

This hotel with a little work could have gone from 3 stars to 5.


Pros:
The staff was very friendly / helpful.
Good location with beautiful view
Spacious room

Cons:
Internet was pretty much non existent with how choppy and slow it was.
The pool was just as salty if not saltier then the ocean.
The beachfront they have was only about 70 feet with the water being a collection spot for small garbage. It would have been very easy for someone to skim this out daily I'd think.
The ac while working did a very poor job of cooling. The group and I suspect the problem was with the ac filters not being changed in a very long time. We believe this due to the four different rooms had poor ac performance as well us all waking up with soar throats. The second night some of us slept with ac off and those who did felt fine while others that left it on had soar throats once again. If you have ever gone running up a bunch of stairs in a sky scraper building you'll know what I'm talking about with the ac filtration and having soar throat afterwards.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Oxbrent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerGreece, General Manager at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. Our Management Team will consider seriously all points raised although I cannot say that I agree with the core of your comments, especially on internet speed and our seawater pool.
Kind personal regards,
Costas Sp. Zarbalas, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clitheroe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at this hotel for one week with my wife. On arrival we were upgraded to a junior suite with a lovely sea view and just a few steps from the pool and breakfast terrace. The room was spacious and airy with AC. The grounds , pool area and sea terrace are well kept, with staff floating about to bring drinks etc. the Pool bar serves a good selection of hot and cold food during the day as well as wines and beers. Dinner is served in a lovely restaurant in the main building, it is a "set" type menu with soup, Buffett salad, choice of mains, and sweets / ice cream. On one occasion the restaurant was full when we arrived, but after a short wait in the bar area, a table was found. The only criticism of the hotel, and it has been mentioned in previous reviews is the cost of wine and sprits, I don't mind paying for 5 star but 35 e for Pinot is a bit excessive.
Having said that we both agreed that the hotel is definitely worth a visit.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank skirover01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerGreece, General Manager at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for taking the time to post your great review on your recent stay with us and for highlighting your satisfaction with the accommodation, views, location, staff, food and dining options which is highly appreciated. Your comment on drinks prices is noted.
We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back at the St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas very soon.
Kind personal regards,
Costas Sp. Zarbalas, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tavistock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

Stayed at this resort for our eldest grandsons Wedding, Execellent service from all the staff and went out of their way to make us feel welcomed and comfortable throughout our stay.
Wedding Perfect, Well done Yainis. Holiday Superb. Special thanks to Christopher AKA George Clooney, Michael and Costos to name but a few.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SidneyWhale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerGreece, General Manager at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your kind feedback following your recent holiday and attendance of your grandsons wedding. We are so happy that we were given the opportunity and trust to make your grandsons and his bride’s day so special both for them and for you as their guests.
Yiannis, Christopher, Michalis, Costas and the rest our staff is joining me in sending your all the best regards and hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back very soon.
Kind personal regards,
Costas Sp. Zarbalas, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northwich, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

Have returned following our second stay at this hotel. Hotel staff are extremely friendly and professional and nothing seems to be too much trouble. The facilities are top notch and the food is fantastic.

Great Job Nicos and team!

Room Tip: Deluxe Junior Suites are very good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Robins175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerGreece, General Manager at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your kind words of praise following your second visit at the St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas. We are extremely happy and grateful that we succeed in our efforts to give our valued guests the desire to return year after year.
Nikos is joining me in sending you our best personal regards, hoping to have the pleasure to welcome you for your 3rd visit soon.
Kind personal regards,
Costas Sp. Zarbalas, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

We visited in May with our baby daughter.

Overall we had an amazing time, the service is impeccable. We were made to feel very welcome, nothing is too much trouble. They are very accommodating to babies and children - without it ever feeling over-run or dominated by kids.

We wanted a pool holiday, just relaxing at the hotel mainly and it was perfect. It would be hard not feel relaxed here. It's been designed so it always seems quiet, and tucked away in a private cove.

Our room was beautiful - we asked to move as we wanted a sea view and that evening we were upgraded to a beautiful suite.

Advice to parents - take mosquito cream for children. They supply mosquito plugs but we didnt realise that till the second night.

Food was generally great. We were half board. Beautiful restaurant (go early for outside table). It's buffet with some dishes cooked fresh and served at the table. I wouldn't recommend the lunch place, very expensive. Not very inspiring. Jump in a cab and go the the ferryman in elounda or somewhere in town. You'll find delicious authentic Greek food.

Drinks are pricy. Lovely piano bar, worth the price for great views. We mixed ordering drinks in the wine/bar and buying our own from the shop 10 mins away.

We are thinking of returning next year, we can't really fault it.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nlm83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerGreece, General Manager at St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your great review on your recent holiday with us, highlighting the location, relaxing ambience, children-friendly atmosphere, luxurious accommodation, food quality and our staff’s service.
We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back next summer.
Kind personal regards,
Costas Sp. Zarbalas, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas

Property: St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas
Address: Thessi Nissi 10, Agios Nikolaos, Crete 721 00, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Agios Nikolaos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
#1 Luxury Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
#1 Spa Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
#2 Family Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
#4 Romantic Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas 5*
Number of rooms: 107
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

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