We spent a week here until 4th August. We found it a very well-kept hotel and grounds. Staff are very friendly and clearly take pride in keeping their hotel spotless. Our room was spotless and modern. Having said that, some of the pictures we'd seen of the rooms are a bit misleading in my view. For example, we paid for a superior room (with a teenager and one in his twenties we believed we would have more space) but our 'superior room' was exactly the same size as the 'standard' (peach & green) rooms in the Thomson pics on their site. Hmm. Anyway, it was a lovely room, so we didn't quibble, but I'm not sure what we paid the extra £80 for. Maybe it was newer; it certainly looked new, and the view from the balcony superb (the room, 1522, is on the top left of the photo on this site with the pool with the chutes in it). the mattresses are a bit hard though. The walk up to these rooms is incredibly steep. We don't mind the exercise at a cooler time of year, but in 30C - phew - you needed a shower when you fell in the door. There is a very friendly guy though who drives up and down all day and you just hop in the car and he will drive you up. The room had air-conditioning, which needed repairing at one stage (repaired promptly), and a small fridge, which proved incredibly handy for milk and drinks in that heat. No kettle, so bring one, and bring your favourite teabags - the local ones are too weak. The hotel is very geared to 'All-Inclusive' (which we weren't). A lot of Europeans were walking around with luggage/ID labels (they looked like) clipped to them identifying them as 'All-In' and they seemed quite happy to do so. We went half-board (breakfast and evening meal) and there is so much food available, that this was enough for us (and my 22 year old likes to eat!) - we couldn't have managed another big foodfest at midday. Does come down to personal preference and how tied you want to be with your meals. The hotel has 3 pools, all kept very very clean. We were near the 'fun' pool at the top (with the chutes). Lower down you get the 'relax' pool which is like a cemetery and as still as the brochure photographs (unless you like that) and the Main Pool near reception is the biggest but has music blasting out all day and not always your favourite music! That brings us to the big no.1 grump of everybody - the big sunbed issue. It is a weird set up, because there are big signs by each pool saying 'reserving sunbeds is not allowed'. This was totally ignored and a blind eye turned by all staff. The only way round this is : you will need to get up very early! People soon began to realise no one gets told off (perhaps management don't want the unseemly confrontation) so of course everyone does it. I agree some nationalities appear to feel less guilt about it!! You may get the odd space in the day by the (higher up) fun pool, but as for the main pool - forget it. I never got a space there all WEEK! On my last morning, I counted 43 towels on sunbeds by the fun pool at 8:15am. All put there that morning. There were only FIVE people actually on the beds! Which meant, 38 people had 'reserved' sunbeds. You can't tell me the management don't notice that. But I wonder if they realise just what a big gripe it is, at least among the British contingent (which is very small here). No one ever takes anyone else's towel off, though, so the system seems to work - so just remove the signs then! The hotel's location is quiet, but there is a VERY busy main road at the bottom. Be extremely careful crossing. Stalia & Hersonissos are 20-30 minutes walk and it is really too hot to walk in high season. There is the bus. However I do wish we had hired a car out for the freedom to get about. We went on a couple of excursions and just about spent the same amount of money; so didn't really save in not having a car. Having said that, the guide we had for the Knossos/Iraklion 'Minoan Magic' trip (Constantino) was just brilliant. A local for 50 years who is obviously well-studied, speaking excellent English, we got to understand a completely different side of Crete. Malia is also easily reachable by bus. We went in the afternoon and the noise from quad bikes is truly unbelievable. One of the locals jumped out in the road shouting at one set of 6 youngsters tearing around town on quads. The 18-30 people will love Malia, older people will hate it! Back in the hotel, the variety of food is good, although not as much in the way of Greek specialities as one would like. There is always something for everyone though. The pancakes at breakfast are wonderful and cooked in front of you with various toppings to drizzle. There is also Baklava, Tzatziki, feta cheese etc but the mains are generally 'European' stuff. The tomatoes were definitely not representative of Greek's best - you will have to go elsewhere for a nice Greek salad. 'Gyros' (Greek fast food!) is also something to try out and about..these things you won't experience if you are all-inclusive. We don't really drink much so didn't think the all-in drinks would be worth it for us. Horses for courses. The hotel likes to maintain 'standards' and, as mentioned before, likes men to wear trousers at dinner. The trouble is they are inconsistent at enforcing it (similar to the sunbed thing) so what's the point? They did a bit of a spot-check on Wednesday I think it was but even then, people like my 22 yr old got picked up on it, but the man nearby of a different nationality didn't. Hmm. The entertainment is I agree not brilliant, although the 'animation team' (different nationalities) are lively and work very hard. My two loved the organised waterpolo and beach volleyball. The evening shows weren't so good, except Mamma Mia which was hilarious, and a more serious presentation of 'The Lion King' which kids will love, which they do on the day the 'entertainment supervisor' is visiting. At the weekend the music gave way to more modern music up til midnight ( a previous reviewer said it was 'Euro Rave' which I suppose it was, but my youngsters were seriously impressed and actually danced!) which drove out the older crowd. During the week there isn't much and you can hear the hotel next door having a brilliant Greek night with dancing etc and you wonder why we couldn't have that?! The staff all love children and it was lovely to see how welcomed the little kids were here. We're not the type who usually go back to the same places each year, but if we were, we would definitely return here, it is a nice place to stay and you will have a lovely time.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Holiday Chersonisos
- Grand Resort Holiday
- Grand Hotel Crete
- Grand Hotel Holiday Resort Crete, Greece