We travelled as a couple with a 4 year old child and had an enjoyable holiday. I think you get what you pay for in hotels like this one. The standard room is by no means luxurious but we found it perfectly adequate and were pleased with the standard of room-upkeep (cleaned twice a day). We chose a sharing pool room on the ground floor. On reflection, if you have small children, I would choose a first floor apartment because there are no barriers separating your room from the pool. I had to have strict words with my son not to go near unless I was with him, but it was hard to be totally relaxed about it.
On the upside, having a pool by your room is great - we were in and out all day. Good temperature and not too salty or chlorinated. I'd say about 8 rooms share the pool but it was very quiet indeed.
Food was plentiful and good. I loved the mini-diningroom for the kids - loads of Russians go to this hotel and they have no problem leaving their (extremely well behaved) kids to eat there on their own (with a young Ukranian supervising). I wouldn't, but I'm like that.
Bear in mind that in Greece, half board is sparse. Breakfast is great - you get your drinks included, but in the evening, we even had to pay for water which annoyed me.
We didn't bother with lunch but on site the prices are extortionate. It cost us 16euros for 3 ice lollies!
Go to the mini market - or even better, take a taxi (7Euro) to Heronissous and go to the huge Spar-market and buy stuff - keep it in your fridge and eat lunch by the pool. You will save an absolute fortune. I understand this is a Greek thing and not exclusive to the hotel, but if you pay half-board, it makes sense to include soft drinks....
Location is good - if you want to get out and about I'd hire a car as it's a really beautiful Island. We were only there a few days so we went into Heronissous rather than Heraklion (the big city where the airport is) and were very happy there. Quite touristy with the usual Pizza/English Breakfasts and Beer deals, but look carefully and you'll find local places too.
Okay, here's my run down:
Hotel overall: Nicely designed, low-rise buildings, tuktuks to take you around (we like to walk and it wasn't so hot - high 70's) and even when full, doesn't feel overwhelming. Having loads of pools helps too.
Service: Excellent - they all speak good English and are friendly and willing to help.
Rooms: Ours was fine. Clean, well maintained if not luxurious. Liked that they were with black out curtains. Some rooms were right by the other restaurants (we never went there as lowly half-boarders..) and I would have been upset to have been subjected to that kind of ''entertainment'' in the evening.... ours was quiet though.
Food: Good. Plentiful. But bear in mind I'm not the one to ask as I am not a big eater..!
Entertainment: Not for me thanks! The kiddy-club thing was ok but run by Russians for Russians so my little boy felt extremely left out (there are Russians EVERYWHERE in this place - which is nice because their kids are like mini-adults but it does feel a bit strange).
Beach: Also nice - shingles not sand which may not suit everyone. But TBH I would go to the beach in Heroinissous or take a boat trip and go snorkeling if the sea calls you!
I'd go there again but maybe wait until August when it will be warmer. But I live in Tel-Aviv so maybe for Brits this would be a good temperature.
That's all folks!
- 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