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“Some good some poor aspects to this hotel”

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Aquila Porto Rethymno
Ranked #8 of 175 Hotels in Rethymnon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Stayed here 3-10 sept 2013. Booked with thomson (very poor company) and hotel is on their 'platinum' list. There are aspects to this hotel that are far from 5 star. Firstly the 3 'swimming pools are very small & the main pool is next to the dining room, has only 20 sunbeds around it & can only be used for limited times of the day ( 10 am til 5.30pm). Secondly the dining room is very cramped and accessing the buffet involves squeezing around people ( food is good though and quantity plentiful). Thirdly, the bedroom we had (2nd floor) was over the coach drop off point and was incredibly noisy. Spoke to several other guests who also complained about noise in their bedrooms from either the main road which runs in front of the hotel or from the streets around as the hotel is in the middle of the town. There is very little entertainment provided by the hotel but the town is on the doorstep so you can go into the lively bars further down the road. This is not a hotel for those who like to swim in a pool and have leisurely meals, nor for those who prefer reasonable quiet at night. The beach across the busy road is very good ( but red flag system in place means restricted swimming sometimes - 2 days of our stay). However the hotel is very clean the rooms are well appointed ( toiletries, tv , kettle, etc) and staff are very polite and helpful. Not the place for us for lack of pool, room noise & buffet hassle.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Christine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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565 - 571 of 1,158 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2013

My wife and I stayed here from 20 till 29-th of July 2013. Unfortunately, we are faced with overbooking, as we assumed earlier, by experience of our compatriots. At the reception, after completing all of the necessary documents , the front desk manager proposed us to move to another hotel for one day due to lack of any vacant rooms (although the confirmation letter from the hotel staff ) . But we were " lucky " because only one night sleeping in a different hotel , " Minos Mare Beach Hotel & Spa " ( a very decent hotel as it seemed to us ) , at least there we were even smiling. The next day we sent a taxi and brought back to 11 a.m. (there was a meeting with our guide ), and by 14 p.m. the miracle happened and we settled down . As compensation we were offered 4 lunches ( a feeling that we had come there only ) , and we have decided to negotiate a free car. In return, we agreed on the possibility of hiring a free car for two days, and, as the manager assured us, the model of the car did not matter. On the another day we were offered the standard "Peugeot", from which we were forced to give up, because our original goal was to drive around the island on the cabrio. The room was sea view, the furniture was a bit dated, the food was excellent, the staff, with the exception of the front desk was very friendly.In spite of all the negative , Crete compensated for all the bad things . Two days of riding on the machine on the island, went on trips , lay on the beach. But for 10 days, you will not see a lot , so very much want to get back to the island , but certainly not in Aquila Porto Rethymno.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Vyacheslav2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Once again we cannot fault anything in this hotel. In our opinion the location is fantastic, the food is superb regardless of which restaurant you use, the entertainment is just right (not too much and not too little), and the staff are fantastic and in my opinion work extremely hard to make things as enjoyable as possible for everyone. We love this hotel and the staff not least because everyone is so friendly and helpful and goes out of their way to try and ensure that guests have a good holiday.
We stayed from 2nd to 16th July with members of our family joining us for 1 week midway through our stay to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have stayed several times in recent years and from our 1st stay onwards we have always found the level of service to be superb with nothing too much trouble, and in truth this visit was made extra special for us with everyone at the hotel going out of their way to make this a really memorable occasion. We must say a big thank you to everyone because you succeeded in providing us and our family with wonderful memories of a marvellous stay. What a fantastic time we all had. Everyone said they had a brilliant time and couldn't have wished for a better holiday. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE AT THE PORTO FOR MAKING THIS SUCH A GREAT VISIT. We love you all and look forward to seeing you all again. In fact we can't wait to be back next year so have already booked for next year. Telemi tu chrono
For those interested in general information, our group in the hotel ranged in age from 4 to 52 and friends staying elsewhere with children of 2 and 3 met us in the hotel for drinks and our anniversary meal. None of our guests had any issues with any part of the hotel or any of the staff. THEY LOVED IT HERE as evidenced by their enjoyment of the holiday and sadness to leave.
I would add that while there is a road outside, it is a standard sized road and can be crossed reasonably easily with the usual amount of caution (you know the drill people, look both ways before you cross and hold children’s hands. The drinks and snacks service on the beach is easily obtained and orders are presented with a smile, and if you can’t figure it out just ask politely. Yes gentlemen are required to wear long trousers to dinner but we all felt it was nice to have an opportunity to dress up a little for dinner and if we wanted to dress down after dinner we could just nip upstairs and change. The beach is clean and well looked after and has lots of sun beds available which by the way are provided free of charge by the hotel for its guests as are the beach towels. We didn't manage to get to the spa this time but from past experience we know it provides a nice selection of treatments at reasonable prices.
So for a lovely relaxing stay, smile, be pleasant, have a go at some simple Greek phrases like please and thank and how are you. You’re on holiday so some things will be a little different than they are at home but they’re not big differences and I for one think that given how hard people work and in those temperatures they deserve a huge round of applause for a job well done.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Tonja C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

I stayed here with my family between 15/08 and 29/08 and we had a great holiday. We were on the 5th floor with sea view room. The view was lovely (worth paying a bit extra for), but the decor & furnishings very dated and a bit dissapointing, carpet rather grubby. Bed was comfy tho & choice of pillows welcome. Excellent standard of cleanliness in the room.The white fluffy bath robes, slippers & toiletries are a very nice touch, as is the wine & water on arrival.

Air-con was inadequate for the day, just not powerful enough to cool the room. We found it fine when the temperatures dropped in the evening.

Standard of cleanliness is excellent in all public areas, cleaners are visibly working hard all day.

Pools are a dissapointment. The plungle pool on the top teck is pretty teeny, and unless you are an early morning sunbed hogger, you can forget ever getting a spot up there as there only about 12-16 beds there. The sunbeds around the main pool are in the shade pretty much all day. This is definately a beach hotel, which was fine for us. Although my daughter did miss the "pool scene"

The beach is lovely, big & sandy. The sea was warm and clear. Free sunbeds/parasols/towels was excellent addition provided by the hotel.

We stayed H/B and were really impressed with the food, no complaints at all.Plenty of choice & very good standard of food.

We found all the staff to be polite, friendly, efficient. We experienced no rudeness or surliness when we asked for help/advice at all. Very happy with reception & all dining room staff.

Rethymnon is a delightful resort, little windy streets with an abundance of bars and cafe's. We hired a car for 3 days for 110 euros and visited Chania, Spinalonga, Frangokastello and a little beach off the beaten track called Shinaria (not on the map) which was beautiful.There was so much more we wanted to see, but had no more time.

Crete was lovely, hotel was very good, weather was perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The only reason I have given the hotel 4/5 was due to the air-con & the out-dated look of the room. I would still recommend the hotel & resort to friends and famiily.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank snowball721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Staff fantastic, helpful & friendly. Kiki, Gianni &Dimitra in the cafe were fantastic. Food in the restaurant was excellent, as was the service.... Magda, Grigorius & George.. Amazing!
Recommend a night or two in the a la carte. All inclusive was different, but once you got used to it .. Great! Would have liked alcoholic drinks on the beach! We went with Thomsons and the Gala night was great!
We were disappointed with the pools.. Clever photos in the brochure! But saying that, the beach was lovely... Clean and tidy.
Recommend paying extra for a sea view, we were on the 6th floor and view was amazing. The air con however on the upper floors was not brilliant and was centrally controlled.
Free wi -fi throughout hotel ( & on beach in a good day) was a welcomed surprise, as was the free safe in the room.
Our room was clean, tidy & comfortable, and the cleaning staff were lovely and attentive.
A 10 minute walk to the old town is pleasant and worthwhile.
We had a great relaxing holiday and met some lovely people.

Room Tip: Pay extra for sea view. Apparently air con not as efficient on higher floors
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tracy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Stayed for two weeks Premium All Inclusive and there was nothing to complain about! The staff without exception were friendly and professional but not distant. Whether it was front desk, bar, cafe, restaurant, guys on the beach or cleaners a smile and a chat was always on offer...but not in a pushy way. Food for AI was far better than expected compared to other AI and the evening choices were always varied and liked the fact these were ordered. Meal times were not rushed or pressurised affairs and we felt able to take out time...again unlike other AI. Variety of food was excellent and there only chips seen once in two weeks...HOORAH! Al la carte dining was excellent and again service was very professional.

Beach was great and it really is no problem to get shirt/shorts on to go to the bar/cafe if required...so don't agree with comments re hard to get value for money as we got ours. Plenty of space on the beach and plenty of sunbeds and parasols that are spaced out enough to allow privavcy when talking.

Room was a bit dated but it was clean with plenty of space and air con was great and was on everytime we went back to room. Very quiet after hors...didn't hear any room doors talking etc so very restful.

Gym is small bt large enough to get of the extra kg and the massages were devine and welcomed to revive skin after two weeks of sun and saltwater!

All in all nothing to moan about!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 53WorldTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Reception Area and Arrival (3/5):
The reception area was pleasant and welcoming enough, offering easy access to all areas of the hotel and having a pleasant ambience. It definitely made a good impression on arrival. Unfortunately we found that the staff at Reception to be perfunctory at best and somewhat rude and unhelpful at worst.
The receptionists made no effort to make us feel welcome and often made us feel that we were inconveniencing them whenever we needed to ask a question or check something out. Admittedly we arrived very late at night, but first impressions go a long way and these were not good at all.
The hotel had overbooked itself and thus had to give us a different room to the one intended. It turned out that this was the Penthouse Suite – very nice! However, they made it abundantly clear that this was “too much of an upgrade” (their exact words) and moved us to “the biggest (standard) room in the hotel – a very nice room” (again, exact words). They gave us two lunch vouchers for the inconvenience of having to move rooms as we were Half Board guests.

The room (3/5):
After being required to vacate the Penthouse Suite, our allocated “very nice” room turned out to be a very tired-looking average standard “side seaview” room that was painted this insipid lime green colour and was not big enough to accommodate two double beds (there was one humungous double bed and one normal single bed).
The sales expression “side seaview” meant that you had to go onto the balcony and crane your neck round to see the sea, as in reality the room had a noisy side street view and we were overlooked by apartments on the other side of the road. The balcony was so small as to be unusable, but given the view it had you wouldn’t want to sit out there anyway. We just left the curtains drawn most of the time to maintain privacy. It struck me as though the balcony only existed so the hotel could boast that each room had one.
The air conditioning seemed to only work at certain times of the day; when it wasn’t working, it seemed to be pretending to do so, and thus you had all the noise and none of the benefit!
The washroom was well maintained and the shower was very welcome each evening. The shower pressure was very good and we never ran out of hot water, and was very pleasant to use.

Cleanliness (5/5):
The room was very clean, and there were never any issues with this on arrival or at any time during our stay. The hotel generally seemed to be very clean and well maintained.

The Beach (4/5):
The beach was flat and pleasant. There was plenty of sun, sea and sand. It flew the Blue Beach Flag, and there was also a red / amber / green flag system to indicate what bathing conditions were like. The sunbeds were arranged in a square section of the hotel’s beach in pairs under parasols. You could move the sunbeds to another position on the beach if you wished. There seemed to be enough to go round – there was no need to turn up early to ‘claim’ a pair of sunbeds for the day before going to breakfast.
However, to get to the beach from the hotel you had to cross the busy main road. Although it had a number of zebra crossings, the local drivers ignore these so you need to be careful when crossing that road. Not sure how you could order drinks, etc. on the beach but it was easy to obtain and return beach towels.

Customer Service (1/5):
The customer service (except in the restaurant – see later) was generally very poor and even downright rude and unprofessional at times. They’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied. We were made to feel that you were inconveniencing the staff if you wanted anything. If I rang Reception (which I did 2 or 3 times) the phone would be answered and then I’d be told to wait while they chatted amongst themselves before speaking to me. Once they had answered my question, they would just slam the phone down without giving me a chance to say thanks. I have three stories at this point:

Story One: One evening, we decided to get some drinks to the room. Rather than ringing, I went down to the bar and asked for two Mythos beers.
They told me to go to reception.
So I went to reception and asked the same thing. They told me to order at the bar.
So I told him that the bar had asked me to come to reception and order from there.
The receptionist then begrudgingly walked with me back to the bar to sort it out.
The next evening, we got two Mythos beers from the super market across the street, paid a quarter of the price and had none of the hassle.

Story Two: After having booked the hotel, I contacted the tour operator (Thomson - who were excellent on the whole) to ask whether we could purchase day use of the room on our last day because of the late departure time. They said that they didn’t have a contract with the hotel, and therefore I should contact them directly.
Which I did …. It turns out that I rang the ‘wrong’ number so they gave me another number to call.
I called them. They told me to arrange this once we got there.
So I asked on our first morning about it. I was told to ask again on the evening of our last full day.
On the last evening of our stay, we received a message from Reception asking us to contact them about our departure time.
So I went down there to ask again about day use of the room on the departure day. In ‘reply’ I was asked to check a board to tell them my departure time, which I duly did. I told them (21:10) and was told at that point that departure time was 12:00 midday and no, the hotel was fully booked and that day use of the room would not be possible. Why they needed to know our coach departure time to tell me this is unclear, but the receptionist who told me this was obviously gloating over it.
We were, however, able to use the shower facilities in the spa/gym area.

Story Three: On the last morning (departure day), we received another message from Reception asking us to contact them about our booking form.
So I went there on our way to breakfast to see what they wanted. It turns out that I hadn’t put my date of birth on the form I filled out upon arrival, and one of the passport numbers was also missing. They should have checked this when we arrived, surely? I responded by asking them why they needed the other passport number now that we’re about to check out, but I did provide my DoB. The receptionist answered by grunting at me and then giving his attention to another guest, so I just left it at that and walked away.

Interestingly, on our first morning (following the night we were in the Penthouse Suite) we received a message from Reception asking us to tell us what we thought of the room. We didn’t receive any such message when we left the standard room, which leaves me thinking that they wanted us to pat them on the back for the nice room but weren’t bothered about what anybody thought about a tired standard room that they know was in desperate need of a makeover.

The customer service was simply appalling; those stories are not isolated incidents but they set the tone for the ‘service’ we received generally while staying at this hotel.

Restaurant and Food (4/5):
OK, let’s get this one out of the way first: men are required to wear long trousers to the evening meals (but not other meals). They seem to be very strict about that.
Breakfast and lunch are self-service: you’re shown to your seat by the restaurant staff and served coffee at breakfast. There was a good choice of bread, fruit, salad, cereals, etc. and it was all good quality. There was plenty to suit all tastes. For the evening meal, you ordered one of three main dishes with your drinks and then served yourself for starters and dessert. There was also a hot buffet if the three mains on offer didn’t take your fancy. Again, a very good selection was on offer and it was always possible to have a healthy and tasty meal. The restaurant staff were very professional and polite by and large.

Overall, I’d give this hotel 3 out of 5 as there were definitely some very nice features but these were offset by the not-so-pleasant. It was not cheap, and we certainly paid far more than the customer service was worth; going forward, this alone means I would not want to stay there again. The best feature for me (apart from the beach) was the restaurant experience and the food.

Room Tip: It's worth paying a bit extra to have a sea-view room, and it seems to me as though the 6th floo...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Angoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RithymnaBeach, Marketing Coordinator at Aquila Porto Rethymno, responded to this reviewResponded September 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all we would like to thank you very much for having selected our hotel to spend your summer holidays. We have read very carefully your review and have respectfully noted all your comments, regarding the departments of the Hotel individually. Further to this, we feel that an appropriate answer should be given, although the Management Team were any time at your disposal to resolve any matter may had occur during your stay. We were very sorry that not once did you approach any head of department to convey your dissatisfaction about any point while you were here with us & assure you that if you have done so, we would have tried to give the best possible solution to all points that affected negatively your holiday.

Concerning your comments on the customer service, we need to say that it is unusual to read such a negative review, since the majority of thousands recorded guest opinions, not only from our official hotel questionnaires but from the Tour Operators’ questionnaires as well, offer only appraisal for our staff’s friendliness and helpfulness towards our guests and stress that they feel like ‘coming home’ when they return to our hotel. Kindly allow me to say that it is rather unfair to mention that “they’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied”, as all of our staff are working hard & having a main & common goal: to help making your holiday as pleasant & stress-free as possible. I also wanted to add that there is a standard Hotel policy & procedure in all the departments, which the staff has to follow, so as to offer a smooth & regular operation in the Hotel.

Reaching the room issue, we are sorry that the room’s interior style, as well as the Hotel’s architecture (regarding the width & size of the balconies) did not fulfill your personal taste and expectations . Nevertheless, in case our guests are not totally happy with their accommodation, we always offer them an alternative option, as far as they inform us for their dissatisfaction & unfortunately, we did not receive any feedback for that during your stay.
As for room air-conditioning, we have indeed a limited A/C function during the day, since the Hotel is Eco label certificated, by the Gold Travelife Sustainability in Tourism Award & follows Aquila’s Environmental policy for saving energy, recycling etc. So, on the time that usually the rooms are vacant, as the guests spend their day at the beach , we try to save energy for a couple of hours. In case that guests feel that is not enough we could provide at any time a fan .

With regards to the “Restaurants & Food” , we feel happy & satisfied that you experienced the great variety & quality of the food, as well as the restaurant’s staff service, who fulfilled your expectations . As per “long trousers for men in Dinnertime ” , it is clearly mentioned in all of our Tour Operator’s brochures, that gentlemen should wear long trousers in the Main Restaurant during the Dinner.In addition, we appreciate that you found in general the hotel clean & well maintained & also glad, that you enjoyed our certificated Blue-flag beach, where there was staff during the day to serve drinks & snacks to our guests.

In closing, we really wish that nothing had ever caused any concern or dissatisfaction during your stay with us and we do sincerely hope that perhaps sometime in the not too distant future you may once again consider returning to our hotel and thus give us the opportunity to offer you the pleasant holiday that meets with your expectations.


Mr. Kostas Damanakis
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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Additional Information about Aquila Porto Rethymno

Address: Venizelou 52A | & Sikelianou, Rethymnon, Crete 741 00, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Rethymnon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Rethymnon
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Rethymnon
#6 Business Hotel in Rethymnon
#6 Luxury Hotel in Rethymnon
#9 Family Hotel in Rethymnon
#19 Romantic Hotel in Rethymnon
Price Range: $90 - $233 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Aquila Porto Rethymno 5*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspired by the waterfront setting of the stunning northern coastline of Crete, Aquila Porto Rethymno brings the essence of an urban resort located within a striking distance of 700m from the city of Rethymno. The hotel presents a cosmopolitan escape, as you relax, dine and wander among Rethymno's most beautiful and historic sites offering the perfect base for business or leisure travelers. Chic, luxury hotel building and accommodation offer superb amenities and recreational facilities for all travelers. The hotel has been recognized internationally with prestigious awards and certifications for its commitment to the best service and hospitality. Porto Rethymno is an urban oasis featuring beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites which meet the needs of every traveler. The recently renovated guest rooms and suites have mostly views of Rethymno beach or the city harbor featuring a refreshing color palette inspired by a sophisticated fabulous setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aquila Porto Rethymno Rethymnon, Crete
Porto Rethymnon
Hotel Aquila Porto Rethymno

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