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“ok but!”
Review of Jo-An Palace Hotel

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Jo-An Palace Hotel
Ranked #52 of 165 Hotels in Rethymnon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“ok but!”
Reviewed August 29, 2006

We stayed at the jo-an beach hotel at the end of August 2006 booked through the internet with JMC on a half board basis. The family consisted of two adults and three children. The appartment we were allocated was spacious and in a good situation. The swimming pool is on the small side, but ideally located close to the beach and friendly beach bar. The beach was predominately shingle with large uneven rock shelves beneath the sea, unlike the very sandy beach in Rethymon.
The Jo-An Beach Hotel is situated in a quiet outskirt, 6km away from Rethymon, but does have some excellent and welcoming bars. Tasos Bar is highly recommended.
All in all we had a good holiday. Here comes the but! The resturant food left a lot to be desired, We couldn't find anything to eat at breakfast or dinner so we ended up eating out all the time. The evening entertainment was fairly non existent so again we had to go out elsewhere.

  • Liked — room size
  • Disliked — food
  • Tips/Secrets — food-choices are not great and quality of food not great.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6 Thank bethworcestershire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 reviews from our community

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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 13, 2006

We was in this hotel in september 2005. It's wonderful, because the sea is at all near the hotel - 60 m maximum. The preety small houses, preety big balcons, the public is very sweetheart and quiet. Good breakfast and dinner.
Shortcoming: not good swimming pool, very small. It's difficult to entry in sea (the rocks), but it is no problem - you can buy the very good slippers for swim in the nearest village (6 euro).
But if you wont a rich night life - it is not here. This very cozy agreeable hotel - for loving couple or for couple with children.
Have a nice holiday!

13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackburn, UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2005

My wife and I have just returned from a week’s stay at the Jo-An Beach Hotel and we both agreed that overall, we were for the most part very happy with it and had a very relaxing time.


It’s situated in Adelianos Kampos, a small hotel-dominated stretch of land running along the northern coast of Crete, about 6 or 7 kilometres from Rethymno – a charming coastal town and a must-visit place for its quaint cobbled streets and Venezzian Forteza.

The area of Adelianos Kampos itself is very pleasant. The vast majority of the restaurants and tavernas are situated on either side of the ‘main road’ onto which Jo-An Beach Hotel faces and the area has a very safe and relaxing environ to take a gentle stroll along in the heat of the evening. You’ll find mainly families (British, German, Italians and Scandinavians in particular) wandering on this stretch which is a good indication of its welcoming nature.

Its certainly seems to be more authentic than the more ‘England-ificated’ area of Platanias, the adjoining neighbourhood in between Rethymno and Adelianos Kampos where you could get a full English, a Sunday Roast, a pint of Boddingtons, a Manchester United jersey and watch Sky Sports without too much trouble.

Geographically, Adelianos Kampos is situated close to the National Road which enables you quick access to the other areas of Crete. There are a staggering proliferation of car rental places along the main road outside the hotel all the way to Rethymno – but be warned, to drive in Crete is to test your nerves to the maximum – the local drivers are rather forceful and some of the roads are astonishingly windy when descending the mountains in the South. With no crash barriers, roads which are liable to subsidence and a multitude of roadside memorials to those who lost their lives there, it can be a tad intimidating – we’d recommend taking a coach excursion which will enable you to enjoy more of the stunning views.

(In terms of excursions, you MUST visit Elafonissos Beach in the South West – if you’ve never been to anywhere resembling paradise stereotypes, this is it – amazing! Also Samaria Gorge is breathtaking.)

In terms of Beach access, the hotel runs down from the main road to the Mediterranean over 100 or so metres. We stayed at the very rear of the hotel, just seconds from the sandy beach – worst case scenario would be that you were a minute’s walk – completely safe for children.


The beach is sandy but a bit shingled near the water’s edge. There are, as a previous reviewer has pointed out, some slightly rocky areas to the left but in any case the beach is huge – you are at liberty to wander a few seconds along and you can easily find somewhere safe for a swim. Additionally, the supermarkets all sell shoes designed to make your dip in the Med more safe and enjoyable – I think mine cost 8 Euros (so about £5) and were hugely worthwhile as you can enjoy the swim without worrying about treading on anything you can’t see at first glance!


As you can see from the pictures (Photo 1 and 2), the our Studio rooms was basic, but clean (I don’t know where Expedia got their room pictures from – I find them to be a bit misleading based on the room we stayed in as ours was not as modern-looking). If you have stayed in the Med before, you’ll be aware that the accommodation is more spartan than UK/US standards. If not, you would probably compare this to maybe a US equivalent 2-star accommodation. To be fair though, these rooms are not designed to be stayed in for any great stretch of time. Why lounge inside with the beach, pool and Med nearby?

You can hire the safe key in the room for 20 Euros – we found this very worthwhile. We made do without the air-conditioning (also available for a supplement) on the basis that we didn’t expect to stay in the room much. Sleeping was not a problem without it – the room was warm but not too muggy. Beds were comfortable but ours creaked loudly every time you turned over… took some getting used to!

We stayed self catering but didn’t once use the cooking facilities in the room, choosing to dine out of an evening. The appliances looked to be in full working order, if not in need of a little modernising.

The bathroom was compact, with a manual shower which served its purpose. Having a shower too warm was usually a mistake as the bathroom stayed quite muggy for a length of time thereafter. Note that Cretan toilets are not built to have toilet paper flushed down them (waste paper goes in a bin alongside) – it can take a bit of getting used to but it’s not really a problem. Also, the locals recommend you don’t drink the tap water as it has rich minerals in it which might upset your stomach – this is no real problem though because bottled water is so cheap in Crete (Less than 2 Euros for 6 litres).

There is a basic TV with what seemed like local Cretan, Greek and German channels – note there was nothing with English speaking programmes on it.


The service was interesting as it comprised two different elements with differing feedback. The hotel staff were exceptionally friendly and courteous at all times. It was rare to see, during our stay, a member of staff without a smile on their face when they saw you which added to the feel-good factor. The reception staff were good, the bar staff very pleasant and laid back – couldn’t really have asked for any more.

The maid service, on the other hand, was a little disappointing. Our room was supposed to be cleaned daily and the towels changed once every three, however in spite of hanging the ‘please clean’ sign outside our room each day, it was only ever cleaned once every 2 days. We could and probably should have complained but the room itself was never that messy anyway – just some sand on the floor post-beach – so we didn’t really have the motivation to say anything at the expense of our relaxation.

However we did have to request clean towels when they didn’t emerge on the 3rd or 6th days. I suspect a family with young children might have found these shortcomings more problematic if their room was more ‘lived in’ than we had left ours.


The hotel has a nice, small-ish but very deep pool out the back which can be a little cosy during peak times but otherwise fine. My wife and I found 7pm to be a perfect time for a swim when most families appeared to be heading for their Half-Board or All-Inclusive meals in the restaurant, thus freeing the pool up.

The Boheme Bar is situated in the courtyard at the very front of the hotel (see Photo 3) and was a lovely place to relax last thing at night. Two cocktails cost 10 Euros so not wildly cheap but not bad either. They do have a penchant for playing 80’s English soft rock which can be entertaining last thing at night when you’ve had a few drinks. That said, if you are stuck in one of the apartments directly above it, it could be quite loud (the vast majority of the apartments won’t be able to hear it though).

Next to the pool at the back is a snack bar which seemed to be open to sell drinks and food platters at lunch time – we didn’t get to sample any of these.

We overheard one English family complaining there was no Pool Table as we were leaving for our flight home – don’t forget this is not a lavish hotel. If you want that, nip a quarter of a mile down the road to the Grecotel Rethymna Beach which looked a picture of luxury!

Immediately opposite the hotel there is a phone box for those all important calls home. Also, there is a bus stop – buses run every 20 minutes or so into Rethymno (short journey, tickets should be bought from the hotel).


The ‘strip’ outside the front of the hotel has a proliferation of quiet, relaxing and often open air restaurants to enjoy the mild evenings in.

The service and food quality we found to be exceptional in both Levantes (immediately opposite, see Photo 4) and Giovanni’s (about 50 metres along in the opposite direction to Rethymno). There is a quite incredible amount of food on the menu so every taste will be accounted for.

We found that the further we ventured towards Platanias, the quality of the food and service both dropped a little bit but the prices stayed the same – a bit more ‘touristy’ perhaps. Notably, there seemed a lot of local Cretans enjoying food in the two restaurants mentioned above which is probably another good indication of their quality. 2, starters, 2 main meals, 2 drinks typically cost us about £20 and represented excellent value for the quality of food and atmosphere.

There are a number of supermarkets selling cheap clothes (in case your baggage is lost like ours was, en route) and they sell virtually everything else you’ll need too. Aside of the car/scooter rental places already mentioned, there are also craft shops, crazy golf (a good one, beach side near to Platanias!), excursion centres (recommended Monza Travel) and obviously hotels.


The Cretans are a very welcoming people – its worth noting that the occasional Greek word where possible always seemed to be greatly appreciated by hotel staff and other locals. “Efharisto” (Ef-Ar-Eee-Sto) means ‘thank you’ and is usually met with a big smile and the response “Parakalo”, meaning ‘don’t mention it’. Additionally, “Kali Mera/Spera” (Kal-ee Meh-raa / Speh-raa), meaning Good Morning/Evening also are appreciated, although virtually everywhere we went, the locals could communicate generally very well in English – you could easily survive without knowing a word of Greek at this hotel.


All in all, the Jo-An Beach Hotel represented good value for what we paid for our holiday. Self-catering certainly suited us for the flexibility it provided given the large number of outstanding restaurants with reasonable prices nearby. Hotel staff were welcoming and despite the slight issues with the room-cleaning, we had a terrific and relaxing holiday.

Would we stay again? If we went on tight-ish budget, yes – because the location was superb – that area of Crete was very scenic. If we’re a bit more plush for cash (we can all wish!), we’d give the nearby Grecotel Rethymna Beach some consideration – but that verdict itself does not detract in any way from our view of this pleasant little hotel.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
41 Thank SJWO98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 11, 2005

Had a fantastic time in the Jo-An Beach Hotel in Rethymnon. Went for two weeks from the end of July to begining of August 2005.

When we arrived there was a problem with them double booking us, but they sorted out accomodation for the night in Rethymno Bay and gave us a full day all inclusive as compensation which was great as we were on self catering. It was all sorted out quickly and with no fuss. Rethymno Bay however was not pleasent. Definitly glad i wasnt staying there for two weeks. Air conditioning unit didnt work so we had a dirty fan, bathroom was dirty and smelt of sewege when the toilet was flushed, the faults are endless. It was very dirty so we were glad it was just for one night. It could have just been our room however so im not going to slate the hotel. The staff were friendly enough there and did make you feel welcome Definitly not a comparison for Jo-An beach though.

First impressions of Jo-An beach .... very nice. Very clean and definitly a place you could stay at for two weeks. Staff were very friendly and always willing to help. Even had our suitcases taken to our apartment door which was nice after the journey.

I recommend you take a travel kettle with you though. Being on self catering we needed a kettle and toaster so when we got there we paid our euros for them. Took them two full days before we actually received them which was a bit poor as boiling water on the stove took hours!! Got to let them off on that though because when we got them they looked brand new.

Room was great. We was in 502 which was a perfect position, close to the pool and beach but quite. Clean rooms, comfy beds and cooking facilities were ok. The cleaners were very friendly and did a great job.
Bathroom a bit on the small side, but its not as though your sleeping in their.

Swimming pool was an ok size, could have been a bit bigger, but great for swimming in as the deep side is VERY deep. Clean and well looked after. The childrens pool is part of the main pool, but cornered off making it really safe for kids who are not as confident at swimming. Excelent.

The beach is GREAT. So clean and very relaxing. We had some good waves on a few days and was really funny going in on a lilo. Make sure you dont go in when the red flag shows though as its quite dangerous with some rocks in the sea. Definitly recommend you purchase some sea shoes, they have them in most of the super market shops and just helps to protect your feet from the hot sand and the rocks in the sea.

A guy from a local bakery comes down the beach every day around 1pm with a tray of cakes.... you have got to try the ring doghnuts, they are huge and delicious. Definitly made my holiday eating the biggest doghnut ive seen whilst sunning it up on the beach. You wont miss him either, shouts words sounding like "Lick Eye" to make you aware hes there but hes actually saying something meaning very good.

Food at the hotel is ok, all pretty much buffet style and looked to be similar all nights. It was tasty when we had our day of all inclusive, but wouldnt have liked it for the whole two weeks. Glad to be on self catering, and would recommend it to anyone as the food in the local tavernas was delicious. Try the local raki too ... very strong but gets you in a party mood. Also was told it helps to digest your food after a big meal which is definitly needed over there.

My favourite taverna had to be Levantis which was straight across the road from Jo-An Beach. The men in there were so friendly and had a shot of Raki with us everytime we went in there. Great atmosphere and the food was lovely. Miss it there already.

The bus service is fantastic. Being 3 miles from Rethymnon town centre put us off at first, but the busses are so cheap and easy to use, 1 euro for a ticket which you purchase from the hotel and it takes you there in no time. Glad not to be staying in the centre, definitly better to stay out of it, Jo-An beach was the perfect location. Rethymnon itself was lovely and the shops there are great, but it is a bustling town so coming back to a quieter village was nice. If you go into Rethymnon make sure you have a meal on the harbour, when the sun is setting, its beautiful and the food is great but a little more expensive than other places. Generally food is fairly cheap, nothing is really that expensive.

The trips put on were good. i would definitly recommend the samaria gorge walk, breath taking sights and was just amazing. Hard work though. We did the hard walk which was 11miles but was well worth it, just couldnt walk for 2days with out muscle ache. There is an option to do an easy walk there which is great for those who cant do long walks.
Elafonisos is a must to see. Its Cretes very own Maldives, with pinky white sand and the cleanest sea water i have ever seen. It only comes up to your knees and you can wade out to the little surrounding islands.... Amazing.

I would definitly stay in Jo-An Beach again and would recommend it to anyone. Beautiful island with the views of the white mountains and the sun setting out to sea. Relaxing but fun at the same time with a real Cretian atmosphere. 10 out of 10.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 5, 2005

The accomodation was clean but basic (possibly in need of some updating) although adequate for a self catering holiday. Excellent location with regular bus service right outside the apartments and a range of good restaurants within 5 - 10 minutes walk. There was a small pool with a smaller sectioned off for babies, but mainly normal upright seats (only a few sunloungers - which were always taken) but direct access to beach right next to pool, with sunloungers and umbrellas, which cost 5 euros per day for two.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2005

4 star. more like a 2 star..
loud music untill 1am.
rooms average.
would we return? NO.

11 Thank guardsmen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jo-An Palace Hotel

Property: Jo-An Palace Hotel
Address: 8 Dimitrakaki S., Rethymnon, Crete 741 00, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Rethymnon
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#28 Luxury Hotel in Rethymnon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Jo-An Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
JOAN PALACE is situated in the heart of Rethymno.From the very first moment you will feel at home and enjoy our first class service, Cretan hospitality and friendly atmosphere.Taverns, bars and super markets are within walking distance. A 5-minute stroll will bring you to the historical picturesque Old Town of Rethymno.All rooms are comfortably furnished. The all have balcony, double glazed windows, individually adjustable air condition, satellite TV, refrigerator, direct dial telephone ,wireless internet (wi-fi) free ,Bath/Shower, Hair dryer, Bathrobe, Slipper ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jo An Hotel Rethymnon
Jo-An Palace Hotel Rethymnon, Crete

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