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Stelios Gardens
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Reviews (214)
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All reviewsfitted kitchenrefurbished roomsmall kitchenevery other daylovely cocktailsclean poolgreat pool areaamazing weekan amazing hotelrecommend staying heresecond weekgreat holidayweek holidaysun loungersmaltamaria2min
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179 - 184 of 214 reviews
Reviewed October 2, 2011

I paid £440 to stay in this dump! It was infested with ants and when we complained they blamed us! The rooms were mopped with a dirty mop each day and the maids tried to close the door so we could not see while we were at the pool. She would not change the bed sheets only turned over the pillow and remade the bed. They were very rude! At 11am on the day we were supposed to check out at 12pm the maid constantly banged on the door and then came into the room to get us out like we were kids late for school although we were 24 and 36. She would not leave although we told her told go as we still had an hour eventually she left but kept banging the door all the time! The shower curtain had blood on and was never cleaned although we pointed in out to them. The shower curtain didn't keep the water in and the floor was constantly wet with the ants swimming in it! Only upside was the pool was nice and clean and music was good!

The room and service was disgusting.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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1  Thank ms_decline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2011

We travelled as two girls aged 21 and 22 on a clubbing holiday and had the worst experience at this hotel. Firstly, it was dirty, the maid came in and 'cleaned' 3 times but there were ants all over the floor, the sheets had stains on them and nothing about the room felt clean.
The hotel staff were extremely rude, Yannis being the worst of them all. I was unfortunately mugged in the middle of the holiday, on the road right outside the hotel when me and my friend were returning one night. Despite being in earshot of the hotel and screaming out at the time, the hotel 'guard' was asleep at the doorway! I was extremely shaken and in a bit of a state when we entered the hotel, our room key was in my bag that was stolen along with our safe key. The 24hr reception staff were useless. My friend was insistent on calling the police, despite this the barman shrugged and said there was no point, that there were Albanian gypsies everywhere and there were like the Mafia! I was told that I would have to wait until 9am in the morning for a room key, as only Yiannis could provide this. What was the point of the 24hour reception?
A few other guests at the hotel were attacked by what sounded like the same group that night, many younger girls came back into the hotel distressed and upset. The hotel is very close to the bottom of the strip and close to the beach BUT is situated on a dark side road which seemed to be a prime spot for muggings. I spoke to a few guys who had phones etc stolen on this road. What annoyed me most, was out Olympic rep warned us all not to go to the beach at night as it was unsafe, but did not say why or mention that the gypsies like to walk on the same road as the hotel at night. We would have ensured we walked back in a bigger group if we had known...
The next morning Yiannis was unsympathetic and rude to me. I had no sleep, despite some kind boys lending my friend and I their room until morning, and I was still shaken up. He eventually provided us with a room key, but said they had no spare safe key and I would have to pay to get the safe broken into. I regretted carrying the safe key with me, but had only done so as it seemed unsafe in the hotel to leave it in the room!! We had heard from other guests that they had money/phones/jewellery stolen from their rooms. Yiannis was unhelpful and awful in arranging for the safe to be broken into, he made us wait until the next day, despite us saying we had no money and needed to pay to go to the nearby town to report the incident to the police. He begrudgingly lent us 50euros after I literally broke down and cried in front of him. After all of this, my bag was miraculously found by Yiannis on our last day in the hotel, after I had paid for a new key and for the safe to be broken into. Suspicious I think...
All in all, it was obvious Yiannis hated English tourists, from his treatment of my friend and I and the security guard who had a baseball bat!! Despite its close location to the beach and strip, please please stay somewhere safer and where you will be treated better....

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Gemma G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

Whilst I appreciate you get what you pay for and thought I had a bargain booking this location, as the brochure stated it was a tranquil location, they didn't mention you would need tranquilisers to get any sleep!
The room we were put in only had a small window so felt like a prison cell.
This location would be ideal for party goers 18-25ish, who do not wish to have any sleep, other than on the beach.
We transferred to another location in Stalis for the 2nd week which was far better for us...
So, yes a bad choice for us but be warned if your over 30 and want at least some peace and relaxation, choose more wisely!!
During a week stay the room was sort of cleaned every other day, sheets never changed, towels changed once.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank LilyH707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Before you book any holiday it's important to ask yourself exactly what you need from the hotel part of your vacation? A family type holiday may be looking at pool size, how close to the beach, hotel entertainment and many others. For many partygoers, 24 hour access, a decent bed and some basic facilities are all that's required. There are, of course, as many variations of need as there are people who travel, but some fundamentals will be needed by everyone. I read several reports on "tripadvisor" before I travelled (and after I had booked, to be honest) about this hotel and was not expecting great things from the hotel.

A major complaint seemed to revolve around the changing of sheets and towels and I found this complaint to be upheld. My two week trip saw the replacement of these items just once during my whole stay. I said nothing to management either before or during my stay so as not to influence my treatment from that of others. Now, many may think that one change of sheets and towels in two weeks is sufficient, but I would remind you that the temperature in Crete during summer months is often in the 20-25 degree range AT NIGHT and there is NO air conditioning. If, like me, you are prone to skin leaking in this heat, your sheets will be a little damp by morning! After several nights of this treatment...well, I'll let you work it out for yourself. As for the towels, a few days of sun cream application followed by a shower later in the day will leave it looking as if you've been washing the floor with it! I also noted that if you are in your room at the time the cleaners arrive, a five minute tidy up and mop of the main walk-through areas is all that will be done. No return visit for a proper clean-up here! I was told before I left that a request for clean towels or sheets would be honoured, so ASK for them!

Now, I am a generous sort when it comes to tipping, and chambermaids, room service etc will always be glad I was there, but this place deserved nothing in my opinion and until management insist that this service is uprated they will continue to be downgraded because of it.

I only ate at the hotel once and decided that the food offered and presented was poor, especially by Cretan standards. Many others are in praise of the (live-in) owners for their efforts in welcoming and pleasing guests during their stay. However, it seems that women receive far better treatment than men. This may be due to the owner paying more attention to their needs for his own pleasure than anything else, but do not expect more than general pleasantries boys!

Criticism over, now the good (or at least acceptable) areas of the Stelios Gardens. A safe is available in your room for the prompt payment of 30 euros (on arrival at 5am in my case) for a two week stay, 20 euros for one week. My room included a telephone, which I never used but did not have a television, air con or even a fan. I believe it is possible to rent a fan but you might be better off to buy one and sell it (or give it away) before leaving. (I imagine that part of the rental cost involves the extra power use involved), but I didn't explore the option myself, preferring to cool down from the inside with a selection of beers. The sink has two inbuilt electric rings and a working refridgerator is provided. A small dining table and chairs in the diner were complemented by a single extra bed and a single wardrobe, with bedside tables and a small chest in the bedroom. All lights and electrical equipment were in working order.

Be reminded that, in common with many other parts of Greece, Cretans ask that you not put toilet paper into the toilet. Please use the bins provided...ughh, disgusting but necessary to prevent drain blockage. I wonder, has anyone suggested to the authorities that they use bigger drain pipes? Just a thought! I usually buy bottled water to drink but used the tap water for cleaning teeth and filling kettle without ill effect.

Although I never used the pool, it appeared clean, was tidied each day and the pool and bar area kept clean generally. The loungers were plentiful and were arrayed on the lawn adjacent to the pool as well as around the pool itself. Several supermarkets are within a five minute walk, but the Spar shop is biggest and best value, although a little further away. There are several ATM's around the town, including one at the Spar, but be warned they are not restocked at weekends! It's also a good idea to warn your bank of your intention to use your card abroad before traveling.

There are a good selection of restaurants close to the hotel, many of them offering Greek or Cretan dishes. Do try them, you're unlikely to be disappointed. I found the cost of buying anything in Crete to be comparable in price to the UK and in some instances, higher. This is almost certainly because Crete, being an island, must import almost everything and transport costs the world over are never cheap. You might also consider hiring a car whilst you are there. I rented a small, 4 door Hyundai for a week at 200 euros to include all insurances, from Sterling, who I would recommend. Be warned that petrol is around 25 pence a gallon dearer than the average UK price, but using a small car for one or two people is more cost effective. Use a larger car for 3 or 4 people for the bigger engine which is necessary on some of the steeper roads.

Seeing Crete in all it's glory is a wonderful experience and I heartily recommend it. Take a guide book to explore the magnificent mountains, deep gorges, hair raising hair pin bends and beautiful villages combine with a warm welcome and the tastiest fresh tomatoes and cheeses make the effort well worth while for a day out. For those a little more adventurous, try driving to the extreme west of Crete and visit Elefonissi beach. A fine sandy beach with gentle waves and several bar/cafe's to choose from, for lunch or a beverage, although you might have to queue for the loos and changing rooms! You will need to plan an overnight stay for this trip as it involves 7 or 8 hours of driving from Malia but the sights en route and Elafonissi beach are worth it.

I'm afraid I have wandered far from the Stelios Gardens Hotel but I wanted to impart some memories of my visit to Malia and Crete and I find that the hotel is only a small part of that experience. Overall, I am delighted with my last-minute holiday to Malia, Crete. As is always the case, it pays to venture beyond the confines of your hotel and resort if time and money permit. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and am planning to return next year to visit my new friends Gina and Deano at the Squeeze bar (check out their facebook page), as well as the fun people of all ages who like to talk, drink and engage in the idiots quiz. Another shot of Jagermeister please Gina, yamasssss.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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Thank truckerontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2011

Firstly, the location is fantastic, close to the beach and close to the main strip but without the noise at night. Our room was very clean and comfortable, considering it was just being used for sleeping/showering/breakfast. Our maids were polite and cheerful to us whenever we saw them. Stelios Gardens has a great pool area with plenty of loungers for everyone, a comfortable seating area by the bar and good atmosphere. It's a real oasis with plenty of flowering bushes, fruit trees and palms. Our biggest gripe though has to be the fact that we were turfed out of our room at midday on our last day and our flight was not until 3am the following morning! We would have had to pay another 30 euros to use the room from 12 noon until 7pm the same day! Everyone had to leave their luggage in the reception area and get changed for their trip home in the toilets. This means that we didn't actually get 7 nights accommodation at all - only 6! Yannis was not exactly the most genial host in the world - I have travelled a lot, especially the Greek islands and no-one was as off-hand as this hotel owner, although he did teach my husband two new forms of backgammon but went off in a huff when he found he was losing! The promised BBQ and Karaoke evenings never materialised either and everything was overpriced. When has anyone paid 3.50 euros for a slush puppy or a can of Fanta before? Having said that, we still had a lovely time and will visit Crete again. Just one more thing -- Greece... please aircraft spray your beaches like they do in Spain and most European coastal areas to get rid of the mosquitos! I was eaten alive on my legs sitting at the bar!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MrsTrebor2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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