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“Good hotel with lovely grounds and nice staff, disappointing on food”

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Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort
Ranked #11 of 173 Hotels in Hersonissos
Reviewed October 23, 2012

I have just returned from a very late summer or even post-summer break in Crete, where I spent a week with my best friend. We went there in need of sun, high temperatures and relaxation, and as far as these three requirements, we definitely got what we were hoping for.

Aldemar Royal Mare is located on the outskirts of a small town called Hersonissos, a bit out of nowhere but right on the beach. It may not be a perfect location for people looking for constant entertainment, clubbing and shopping. But for us it was perfect, and even more so due to the fact that we went there in mid-October and the hotel was only at 40% capacity if not less, so lots of peace and quiet and no screaming kids around the swimming pools or on the beach. Heaven!

We chose the B&B option and stayed in a VIP bungalow with a private swimming pool. Worked out quite well, although the room was a bit too small to be categorised as VIP. No complaints there though, as it was perfectly clean and had enough space for 2 people.
I'm glad we only chose breakfasts as dinner options were not only slightly limited (2 restaurants out of 4 were already closed) but also rather pricey. We only had dinner there on the first evening, and it was a buffet option. I don't mind buffets at all, but I felt the food was underwhelming, not enough options, and strangely enough - not enough typical Greek cuisine.
Luckily, we found 2 restaurants just outside the hotel where the food was very good, service lovely and all that for half of the hotel price.

The hotel grounds are quite extensive and well kept, and there's a private beach which is a mix of sand and pebbles.

Overall, I would recommend this hotel out of season (but no later than mid October) if you want to relax without the crowds.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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11  Thank ania_mulder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 22, 2012

The team at Duncurin Publishing enjoyed a late-summer break at this wonderful hotel. It's a pretty big site, but with wonderful facilities and features lots of space, no queues, no pressure on the many and varied sun beds, and most days we had one of the large pools to ourselves. As for location, it's a little out of the way and not on the nicest beach we have experienced: the overriding advantage, however, was that we were at all times central and conveniently located for the various trips we organised - even if the coach driver on one insisted on picking us up at the top of the hill !
The staff were at all times, and without exception, friendly, helpful and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Food quality and variety were excellent and it was all prepared promptly and with excellent standards of both quality and hygiene. All the staff worked with a passion to make our stay one that was relaxed, informal and memorable. Drinks are a little on the expensive side, but of course there is a very modestly priced all-inclusive option. We stayed in the main body of the hotel and selected one with a sea-view option which was also good value. The room was nicely furnished and kept spotless by the maids who worked tirelessly. The shower cubicle in our room was a little 'tired' but the bath and hand-held shower more than sufficient. Our corridor was at all times quiet and peaceful and our stay perfect for a quiet getaway from poor weather at home and busy work schedules. They sheer size of the site and the subtle cues from the location and design of the many pools and public areas meant that guests could easily select the type of holiday they preferred.
The public areas and reception similarly kept spotless; though I did not envy the maids cleaning the wonderful solid brass banister and handrails which must have needed constant attention on the main staircase. Of course glorious weather always assists with a happy slant on things, but one that none of us felt was in any way undeserved by the ambience or the hard-working and friendly people behind this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Duncurin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

We have just returned from a week at this hotel having booked it through Thomson's A La Carte option which are supposed to be high end hotels. This is definitely not a five star hotel and the location is quite horrible. The main restaurant is a buffet which has the feel of a cheap all inclusive package, with queuing to get in and the usual scrum to get to the food. The lighting in the restaurant was awful, far too bright for an evening meal, and the food was well below par. Trying to get a chilled bottle of wine was almost impossible and the price of the drinks was on a par with top London restaurants. The rooms were quite nicely appointed but very small, and the air conditioning was completely ineffective, which in 30 degrees is a bit of an issue. The fridge in the room was not working, even after two complaints and the bathroom was very tired looking which a nasty smell of drains. I dread to think what it would be like in July or August when it is at it's hottest in Crete! The staff were extremely nice and very eager to please, but we definitely wouldn't return to this hotel and would not recommend it to our friends or family.

Room Tip: If you want a sea view, you will be located a long way from the Reception and Restaurants, and it is...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank jacqueline t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitsa3, General Manager at Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We in Royal Mare always appreciate candid comments from our guests as it helps us improve our services. In reply to yours we would like to add the following:

Royal Mare offers apart from our main restaurant, two restaurants for lunch, three a la carte restaurants for dinner as well as our theme nights such as lobster and fish night to mention a few, which from what we can see you frequented often. Even though you were here on a Full Board basis, we still offer our guests the possibility to visit the a la carte restaurants with a credit given instead of the booked board dinner. For guests such as yourself who prefer to dine in different restaurants, we propose the bed and breakfast option so that there are no constraints of where to eat.

Our main restaurant has both an indoor area and a large outside balcony. We offer a large variety of dishes as well as a show cooking area where our guests can choose something cooked a la minute. The Maitre and his associates are there to help our guests with anything they might require, and the table seating is done for our guests convenience so that they do not have to look for a table themselves.

Royal Mare is built and decorated in neo classic Greek style featuring natural colors and materials. As preference for style, décor and lighting is relative, we can understand that not everything can appeal to everyone.

We have several room types in Royal Mare ranging from double rooms with a size of 29 square meters, which you were allocated in as per your reservation, which in our opinion can not be classified as small, to our presidential suite with a size of 147 square meters. There is a large spectrum of room types in between of various sizes to accommodate the need of every guest. The temperature apart from one day when it spiked at 30 degrees, during which the A/C was on a 24 hour basis, was not more than 26 degrees according to official weather statistics. Correctly we have a log of your fridge not working and it was attended to the very next day.

We thank you for your comments made about our staff as they are Royal Mare’s pride, and one of the many reasons our many repeater guests to come back to us again and again.

We thank you again and look forward to welcome you back to Royal Mare in the future.
Best Regards
Vassilis Fragoulakis
General Manager

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Reviewed October 11, 2012

went there for a vacation in mid march 2012, the weather was to cold so maybe that what was missing... otherwise what can i say the hotel is huge probably 700 meters from the entrance gate to the beach, and its settled on a slope (like a 7% angle) so if walk from the beach to the reception you climb like 30 meters, they have club cars that take you but you have to wait for them at peak time it can take a while so if you have small children and a stroller its not easy. also getting to car parking/spa is quite a climb...
the location is about 1 km from Hersonisos and there is nothing to door see around the hotel so you will have to rent a car.
otherwise the hotel is beautiful well designed, nice rooms, pools, privet pools, great spa, gym, great food as a 5 star hotel should be.

Room Tip: we had a room with a sharing pool which was nice, but we had to climb up to the dinning room to eat...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Amir R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

I just returned from a week at the Aldemar Royal Mare hotel and would like to share my experience.
As I am working in the tourism industry and already travelled a lot, staying in different hotel levels, I was actually quite disappointed from the Aldemar Royal Mare.

Around the hotel are mostly other resorts and only some shops and bars.The next village Chersonisous, an absolute tourism spot, is about 30minutes by foot and twice in the morning a public bus goes from the hotel entrance to Heraklion. Due to the location east of the airport, all planes fly over the resort from early in the morning til late in the evening/night.

The layout of the hotel is quite nice and you can easily forget how big the hotel actually is. The rooms are bright and spacy but the bathroom fittings are not well maintained and there could be better lighting. The air conditioning is not really up to date any more (no sleep modus for the night) and the warm air is blown in the entrance area of the room. For me this makes no sense... any comment from an expert? The view from my balcony was very nice, I could see the sea and had a private pool below. Due to the other hotels surrounding the Royal Mare it was quite hard to get a relaxing night befor 1am. The wind was always blowing the noises of the party and music from the other hotels over to my room.

Other tripadvisor users already complained about the food and I wasn't very happy with it as well. The vegetables were mostly overcooked, the meat tough and dry and the whole presentation was not up to 5* hotel standard. The special nights (Greek and Italian) weren't much different to the normal nights and the food was not always typical (Sushi at the Italian night???).
Although others complained about the high prices for drinks, I think 3.20Eur for 1l of a local still water is absolutely ok. As I didn't drink anything else at the hotel, I can't say anything else.
The prices for lunch are over the top. In the self service restaurant you pay 8Euros for a small plate of mixed salad.

Besides the food quality the service level at the restaurant wasn't as expected as well. In general I missed the advertised attentiveness of all the staff during the whole stay. The maids didn't work very thoroughly (at my first day I found two plates behind the TV - they were still there when I left), the service at the main restaurant was average (just Nectaria(I hope I remember the name correctly) was an angel), at the Candia a la carte restaurant it was better but there it took ages to get the ordered food, and I got the impression that most of the staff was quite fed up with the guests. Maybe due to the mainly Russian guests...???

Oh and before I forget - the "natural beach" has been filled up by a not very natural excavator!

All in all it was an average stay. I am glad I got a good deal due to working in the tourism industry - everything else would have been a waste of money. There are defenitely better hotels in Crete - so better compare different hotels in different locations before booking this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank theresamechow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitsa3, General Manager at Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write and post a review on Tripadvisor. We always appreciate candid comments from our guests as they help us improve our services. In reply to your remarks we would like to state the following:

Royal Mare is located close to the village of Hersonissos, which has numerous shops, restaurants and bars, and an exciting nightlife. We are also located only a
20 - 45 minute drive from some of the most significant cultural places on Crete, such as the palace of Knossos, the island of Spinalonga as well as the towns of Heraklion and Ag. Nikolaos, putting it in an ideal location to visit this part of the island.

The airport is located 23km from the hotel, and remarks such as yours in regards to the airplane is not something that we recognize from our guests. While there are several hotels in the vicinity of Royal Mare, we are all very conscious that our guests want a combination of relaxation and entertainment, and we have numerous quiet areas in the hotel, and under no circumstances is loud music played into the early hours of the morning from any hotel in the area.

In regards to our dining, we offer apart from the main restaurant, two restaurants for lunch and three a la carte restaurants for evening a la carte dining. Including as well our Greek, Asian, Fish and Lobster night, we firmly believe that we can cover the taste and palate of the most demanding of our guests. Should in any case, anywhere in our restaurants, a guests not find something to their satisfaction, the Maitre and the Captains are there to assist and help in any way the can.

Mostly however we are surprised by your comments made about our staff in regards to service and attentiveness. The guest relations assisted you with your room change straight away. You yourself mentioned a member of staff that you thought was an “angel”. Our staff is our pride in Royal Mare and the reason that our repeater guests come back to us again and again.

Lastly we would like to state that as a Tourism professional yourself, we would have appreciated mentioning your remarks to us while you were here, as we strongly feel that most, if not all of your remarks, could have been handled to your satisfaction.

We thank you again for your review and hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to us again in the future

Best Regards
Vassilis Fragoulakis
General Manager

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Reviewed October 8, 2012

Arrived in Crete on the 29th September at the Miramare Deluxe Hotel in Ag Nik- we had decided to try a different hotel and a different location - BIG MISTAKE as we got caught by a Secret Escapes 'special' (no wonder this establishment has empty rooms !) - see review elsewhere

Within 24 hours we had enquired if the Royal Mare had any vacancies and they did - we were there like a shot !

Many many thanks to the staff (for our surprise upgrade) as we had not got off to the best start on a holiday we had been looking forward to for 5 wet summer months !!!

We saw some old faces again (Manolis in the restaurant - is there a friendlier and more polite waiter on the island ??) - The Pool Bar and Animation team deserve high praise as well (Vangelis you know who your are)

Food great / room great / a little shy on things to do in the evening - a possible need to get some decent entertainment in the Thalasso (as has been the case in previous visits) ??

All in all - the Royal Mare saved my holiday and I have learnt some valuable lessons - you get what you pay for in this life and the Royal Mare is worth every penny

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Professor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We knew a lot about Aldemar Royal mare before the trip. And we have to say now that everything is realy very well: all the services, equipment, rooms, architecture, cusine, stuff, spa and etc.

We lived in VIP-sharing pool room. It was very quite, with our own nice pool. The hotel had made a surprise for us right after check-in: 2 bottles of wine with a dasket of fruits and welcome post-card were in our room. And also a bottle of champagne with flowers and congratulations with wedding aniversary from Guest relations managers. Even more, next morning room-sevice bring us a present from sou-chief Sophia - beautiful & very delicious chocolate desert with fruits. it was so nice!

We had breakfast in "Candia" gourmet-restaurant. The staff and chief provide there well-cooked light dishes, sweeties, fresh-squized juices and many more. And the main thing in "Candia" is high level of service. Our special thanks to Kathie and Sophia!

Every evening we had a dine in "Symposio" main restaurant. And all the time we had a chance to taste new dishes, new world cousine. Big hug & big thahks for this to Executive Chief George Chatzopoulos! And now we already miss for the best waiters team: Fotini, Katerina, Stergios, Vassilis, Gennady - thank you very much for all!!!

By the way we had visit 3 special nights: Lobster night, Fish Night, and Cabdle light night. And every night was realy special: delicious dishes, nice music, pretty peoply, quite atmosphere, well service... We truly recommend it!

A few words about accomodation. The room was enough big. Chambermaids cleaned it twice a day, and everyday change our towels, give us new bath cosmetcs, fruits, sugar, chocolate, water, milk, coffee and tea.And every time they did with a nice smiles.

We also must say that hotel has very big area and all it is in good condition, very beutiful, quite, romantic...
We had 10 days in real paradise, with funny temper, delicious nutrition, gold sun tan, well services, polite people around us, and more, and more...

We will definitely return to Royal Mare next year. Would you like to go with us?

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Vasily_and_Olga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort

Address: Limenas Hersonissou, Hersonissos, Crete 700 14, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Hersonissos
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Hersonissos
#4 Spa Hotel in Hersonissos
#4 Business Hotel in Hersonissos
#7 Luxury Hotel in Hersonissos
#11 Family Hotel in Hersonissos
#11 Romantic Hotel in Hersonissos
Price Range: $134 - $950 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 435
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Mare Luxury Resort + Thalasso is an exciting holiday destination located at the heart of the Mediterranean in a realm of myths and stories. There are so many ways to relax at this beautiful community surrounded by cooling water and verdant gardens. Chill out in the comfort of your well-appointed room, enjoy the sparkling blue waters of the sea, treat yourself at the world's finest thalassotherapy centre, discover the secrets of Cretan cuisine and embrace an enchanting summer full of traditional Cretan hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aldemar Royal Mare And Thalasso
Aldemar Royal Mare & Thalasso Hotel Chersonisos
Aldemar Royal Mare Village Thalasso
Royal Mare Village
Royal Mare Crete
Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso Resort Crete, Greece

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