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Reviewed August 30, 2009

The coach was 2hrs however get your camera out to take pictures of the lovely views. The rooms were nice with enough room for all. Food was good but not much childrens variety. The entertainers day time games were fun with the entertainers joining in. My son enjoyed vollyball and wished he could have played it more in Wavelength however couldn't get enough of the club and the vast range of activities offered. He looked up to Wavelength Wez along with his mates. Loren the other Wavelength rep was good and really seems to enjoy her job. The night time shows were worth a watch but I do feel they would benefit from proper equipment. Lukes the only lad out of the ents and does well to keep the girls in check,lol. Debbie has a fab voice, leanne is great at an Amy Winehouse impression and Laura is the new ent who seems very nice. The holiday advisors are helpful and always around(michael and dennise) to answer questions. I would recommend if you have children to go to the water park, the best day of the lot. Many thanks for a holiday we will always remember. :)

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Cleanliness
3  Thank hrd_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2009

Have just returned form our holiday to the Petra Mare. It was a lovely holiday and I would recommend the Hotel to a friend. As with most of the views on this site I agree with most of them. Repetative food etc but of a good quality. For the adults, beer is very so so the wine gets better as the holiday progresses well the red did for me my wife was still adding the lemonade to the Rose! You have to pay extra for cocktails in the bar (6 euros) food is available to midnight at the poolside bar Chips and Pizza. The cakes are awesome, especially the coconut and also the cinnamon ones. We ate in the hotel every night except one when we took the short walk to the Sicilian Pizza restaurant, where the Pizza and Pasta were really good and very good value at 6 Euros for the pizza and 8 Euros for the Pasta. The rooms are spacious with good drawer space and cupboard space. I slept Ok but the beds are rock hard. Be warned. I would recommend a sea view room at about £10 per day extra, we had a rear view wheich meant that in the evening it was in the shade, I like to get the last of the sun and watch the sunset with small Jack D and coke.
Some other info for you if you are travelling, You have to pay 15 Euros per week for the safe key but unlike other hotels you do not get the money back at the end of the holiday. We did go in peak season, this meant you have to get a sunbed at about 6am every morning especially the best ones. The water sports on the beach are very good and I think we went on them all!! The Jet ski was 35 Euros for 15 mins the Banana Boat and Ringos and Crazy UFO were all about 10 euros pp for 15 mins. I would recommend the Banana Express trip to a local cove for cliff jumping and snorkling lasts for about 45mins but great fun. (not sure about the insurance though jumping off cliffs)
Trips out.
We did the Jeep Safari expensive at nearly £70 for an adult and £50 for children, but it lasts all day and lunch is inc. They promise air con in the Land rover but it is an open window, the guide (we had Jeff) is very knowledgeable, but as we were in the back with the widows open (air con)and we could not hear him and also (i am 6'2") I could not see much out of the back windows. But once we stopped we had some great views. They also promise water but take your own as this is only during lunch. Also went to the water park (Aqua plus) a nice day out about 90 min ride in a coach transfer. The kids found the rides Ok, it was quiet when we went (Sat) so no queueing for rings etc.
Pools are Ok for both adults and children, they are still completing the Large deep pool but it was still open and safe. While we were there (14 days) we saw 6 children have accidents on the kids slides, there are no Life Guards monitoring the slides and children walk up the slides against the slope to avoid going around to the stairs, Please Please Parents make your children go around there was at last 1 broken nose and a number of cut chins and tongues Ouch.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Mike R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2009

We have just returned from the Petra Mare, 2 week All Inclusive stay with our 10 year old son. We have done All Inclusive holiday's for many years including quite a few in the greek islands so obviously cannot help but compare. Petra Mare does have some positives but alot of minus points aswell. Our journey to the hotel was OK. Our flights were good and as we were the only family going to the Petra Mare First Choice put us in a taxi...OK it was a mad taxi driver who spent the whole time driving one handed as he was on his mobilebut he got us there in an hour and 15mins and listening to some of the horror stories of the transfers from other guests I think we got a good deal! (Returning we had a taxi transfer to Malia and then was picked up by coach at another hotel, coach was waiting and it was direct to airport!).
When we arrived at Petra Mare it was Midnight, checked in and the receptionist informed me that a plate of cold food (Chicken Salad) was awaiting for us each in the restaurant. We thought this was a lovely, never had that before!. The room was big although quite dated (hard beds!) our bathroom also big although the shower certainly needed updating!. We had a view of a tree!!!... which was a bit of a pain as the wind whistled through it all night!. We hardly heard any corridor noise although we were at the end of the corridor and found the lifts clean and in good condition.
Th cleaners were always friendly and working hard to keep the main areas/rooms clean.
The restaurant we found was the worst place for cleanliness. The plates and cutlery were often unclean and the glasses (Half pint) were very dirty and chipped!!. The tablecloths inbetween people sitting at the tables were just turned around so often dirty. We saw a couple of cats but certainly not every day and they were no bother. So onto the food....I have certainly had alot better on all inclusive but also had worse. The salads were good with plenty of different sauces. The childrens meals were very basic chips, sausage,pizza, pineapple fritter and not all on the same night!. I was disappointed in the main meals. There was soup to start but it got to the point on the night we could guess what the next days soup was by the main courses of the previous night!....i.e Garlic Mushrooms=Mushroom soup the following night!, Stuffed Tomato=Tomato soup the following night!. The meat was very fatty and vegetables atery although eatable. There was always pasta and a choice of 2 sauces so that was always there if you did not fancy anything else. The Greek night was nice with Gyro's etc. My son enjoyed the breakfasts so he filled himself up then!!.
The childrens pool is a nice area with plenty of space for the children. We sat around the main pool....very very deep but our son is a strong swimmer but it would concern me if he wasn't. The lifeguard is there but to be honest does not do much except chat and eat and disappears for ages!!. My other worry in the walkway around the main pool. This was the old lazy river which has just been filled and planks laid on top. Its starting to sink in some areas and the planks are not fixed and stick up. We saw so many people tripping up!!. The beach is nice and the people who own the watersports are lovely!!...we spent a fortune on the watersports as our son loved the UFO!!. I must also mention Sue the hotels swimming instructor. She is FANTASTIC we watched her steadily teach children and adults to swim from total non swimmers to people who wanted to perfect their strokes. She is patient with the kids and is a lovely lady a complete asset to the hotel!.
The entertainment - well I am in 2 minds what to write, the First Choice team were very friendly although I felt you had tio be part of their 'click' i.e they liked the big groups of holidaymakers. My son went to the Wavelength kids club once on the first day but was not keen but it was no problem and he made lots of friends and spent his days around the beach/pool. The evening entertainment was poor although you cannot blame this on the entertainers. The ampitheatre is in a silly place!!!...at the end of the complex away from anything including the bar!!!...It can be like a wind tunnel in there so we went down for the kids disco and then left I certainly couldnt of stayed there all night, which is a shame as I would guess the entertainers would put alot of effort in.
Our biggest gripe is the bar. There is only one barman on at one time....who does work his socks off but only has one pair of hands!!.There is no queue and alot of people push in. It tok my husband 40 minutes one evening to get a drink...this certainly needs to be sorted!!. I have also never been anywhere on an all incusive where you have to pay for cocktails or even a dash of lime in your lager!!!...not good!!!.. The actual resort which is a bout 10 mins walk is lovely, very greek and cosmopolitan. Cafe on the Rocks is the bar to go to watch Sky Sports!
So thats my review. Our holiday was made by the wonderful people we met there and are now friends so we were happy to sit in the bar on an evening. Would we go back????.....No is the answer, it needs alot of work on the accomadation and the food. The layout of the hotel is odd i.e deep pool, ampitheatre and the tranfer is long (we heard upto 3 1/2 hrs on the coach!!). rete is a lovely island I would go back but not to Petra Mare

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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Thank sammywhizz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2009

This was our first family holiday abroad and 'Wow!' what a fantastic time we have had- its been the best holiday we've ever had and I can highly recommend travelling with First Choice to stay at the Petra Mare Hotel. My husband and I travelled with our 2 young sons and stayed there for 10 days from 13-23 August 09. Initially I was concerned about the 2.5 hr airport transfer time but it wasn't a huge problem as the boys slept on the coach during the tedious transfer. Its a pity that Irepetra is the last stop for the coach but it provided us a opportunity to see Crete's other resorts. Would help if First Choice and Thompson could put their heads together and organize a small bus or coach for Irepetra transfers.

Petra Mare Hotel sits right on the sea front with a man made beach which is a mixture of sand and small pebbles and you can see alot of money has been spent on keeping it up to a high standard. Guests staying there are mainly English, German and Russian although there were a few French and Italians too during our stay. We had a third floor sea facing room which provided beautiful views across to the main harbour and town of Irepetra. The room had air conditioning that worked very well, maid service was provided and the room was kept very clean and the towels were replaced frequently. The floor was swept and mopped every day which was great for a beach holiday. You continually see the cleaning staff at hard work around the hotel throughout the day- the pool, restaurant, snack bar, bar, kids clubs and main areas are all kept very clean and tidy. The staff at the hotel work very hard at providing a beautiful hotel with lovely food and I really do pay them the highest compliments in all their hard work. The hotel corridors were noisy at nighttime however with children and teenagers running around shouting and screaming on the stairwells and corridors. The hotel didn't display any signs asking people to be quite when returning to their rooms of an evening and nothing was ever done about the noise. It mostly settled down but midnight or soon after. The bar closes at midnight.

The hotel offers all-inclusive meals and drinks which is one of the reasons I booked it and we were not disappointed- although the food was nice it did get repetetive and not much choice on the kids meals but we were there for 10 days and our 2 boys seemed to survive on ice cream and pizza & chips! There was plenty to eat and the evening buffets were lovely. Although not much in the way of Greek food which according to the staff is because hotel guests simply 'don't like' Greek food which is a shame so they serve pasta, bolognese, vegetarian options, plenty of salads with choice of cold meats & cheese, they also a fish buffet once a week. The desserts were all delicious though. I was disappointed with the wine because it wasn't very nice, it tasted 'watered' down when I tried the red wine and the rose was nasty. But the wine comes out of a bar pump so its never going to be a particularly good wine- but lots of people were enjoying it and the beer was great. You get a choice of free local alcoholic drinks like ouzo, metaxa,etc which are lovely. You pay extra if you want a 'branded' drink - soft or alcoholic.

The hotel is about 30-40mins walk (with young children/bags/buggy) along the promenade to Irepetra harbour. Irepetra town is nice- modern and busy but worth visiting the old fort, harbour and finding a local restaurant to sample to real fresh Greek food. The local people of course of friendly and polite- and will chat to you. We always felt safe and happy whilst out.

The hotel has 2 pools a childrens pool with wonderful pirate boat with water slides, and smaller octopus fountain and a climbing structure with water slide. My boys lived in this pool for the first 2 days! The larger adult pool is deep 1.70M with a bridge going over it and its own infinity pool. Both pools were salty water and your eyes stung when swimming in it. Both pools had slightly cloudy water which the hotel staff seemed continually trying to clear up. I think its all the suncream & oil that comes off when people get into the water. But overall the pools were good - cold though, average daily pool temp was only 20C with an average air temp of 30C!! So maybe if you are travelling early or late in the season that maybe something to think of. No indoor pool here. Unfortuantely the hotel does not have enough sun loungers for all the guests so its a case of getting up early in the morning - some people I spoke to were getting up at 630am to put towels on loungers and by 630am most sunloungers round the pool had been taken and by 8am all the loungers on the beach had been taken. Its about the only downside really and lets things down a bit. First Choice have the swim acedemy here with a lovely lady called Sue teaching the children and adults to swim or improve their swimming or diving. Certificates are awarded and many of the parents I spoke to whose children had worked with Sue were amazed how quickly their child had learnt to swim and become confident in the pool.

There is a small gym/sauna/steam room area under the hotel. Other ammenties include table tennis, pool, air hockey. No noisy arcades here thankfully. There are 2 computers near reception to get internet access on but they were very busy - it cost 3 euro for 15 mins and 6 euro for 1 hour. There also a small shop in the hotel which sells the usual things you look for on holiday and is well stocked. Anything else you might need can be gotten in Irepetra town- a local supermarket is 5 min walk away and there are plenty of ATM cash machines around town. I found one easily on the high street by the harbour.

I booked this hotel because we also wanted the kids clubs and I have to say the First Choice kids club my boys went in was wonderful. We used the Superstars (aged 6-8yrs) and my boys had a great time with the girls running the activities. They both made great friends and came back to us happy. My older son has Downs Syndrome and I was initially worried he wouldn't be accepted or treated like the other kids but the staff there - Hannah, Sam and the other girls made him feel welcome and were great with him- thank you girls - you are all wonderful!!

The First Choice entertainers have games you can play during the day but you are not pressurized into doing anything you don't wish to and the games are fun and help you to meet new people and have a good laugh.

Of an evening the First Choice entertainers and childrens club staff put on a great show
starting with the childrens disco- my eldest son loved all the dancing and we've come home with the holiday music CD - available for 5euro. The staff are great at making everyone feel very welcome and ensuring people's holiday's run smoothly. So my heart felt and sincere thanks goes out to Hannah, Leanne, Debbie, Sam, Claire, Wes, Luke, Sue, Michael, Mark and the others whose names I've forgotten (sorry!) for helping to make our holiday to Petra Mare and Crete as memorable and special as it was.

Would we go to Petra Mare again? No I don't think so because I'd like to see other parts of Greece and other countries but I can recommend staying at the Petra Mare Hotel and travelling with First Choice.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank Anon041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2009

well from just returning from petra mare i found it a relaxing holiday , at one end of the pool you couldent really move as it was i full of kids and at the other end of the pool is very quite .i think this is becaus the adults pools is very deep and im 21 and im an average hight , even i found it hard and scary its very deep , on the other hand the kids pool is very shallow and theres no need to worry about your kids.
the rooms were also fab they are very roomey and there a slight problem with the showers between 6-9 as every one is useing them so take a shower around 5 ish and you should be ok.
the food is ok as it is very basic but thats what u can expect from all incluesive holidays .
i found the transfer a very stressing trip as it took 3hrs 55mins and went straight from the airport to petra mare .
overall i had a fab holiday and i will be goin back there next year.
one more thing we went 4 a week and it rained on one day all the other days were nice and blistering hot weather.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank elaine003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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