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“Very nice resort, but urgent renovation is needed”

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Aldemar Knossos Royal
Ranked #12 of 174 Hotels in Hersonissos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I am a choosy but normal client :), who spent weeks of finding the proper hotel for our vacation. I have children of age 6 and 9, so some criterias are determined :) I ve been on Crete in 1994, so I would like to refresh my memories.

Crete is a fantastic island, absoulutely amazing. Very big to visit all nice places, but you can go anywhere....Knossos, Festos, Gortys, Matala, Samaria, Lassithi, Elafonissi, Chrissi etc, etc, etc.

LOCATION:
The Hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal is located near small town Hersonissos, which is only a party-city with a lot of disco pubs and restaurants. Nothing special. Area of Knossos Royal is very nice, located on small bay, neighbouring to another hotel Anabelle Village and Aldemar Royal Mare and Cretan Village. Gardens in Knossos Royal are beautiful, with lot of palms, bushes and flowers.

HOTEL:
Hotel was built in 1991, so is really an old one. I remember this hotel from my first visit in 1994, it was a TOP luxury hotel on Crete, a dream of travelers. But the urgent reconstruction is needed. Interior is out of date. All woods need new painting, the wood suffers, is terribly dried! Buildings need also new coats. Hallo, Mr. Nikolaos Angelopoulos (owner of the Aldemar Group), if you would like to remain on the 5* market, some money should be invested back to the property.

SWIMMING POOL:
Arrrgh....
Upper swimming pools, close to main building. One really big, one smaller with one water slide. BUT, and for me and my family it was really awful,...all pools are SALT WATER POOLS. I like salt water, but these are moreover disinfected with chlorine and the combination is disgusting. Sometimes pools smell like toilets. Sorry for that...

Pools close to the beach belong only to rooms 701-760 and 801-864, I called them Russian pools. You cannot, or should not, use them.

There is one small baby pool with some stuff, is nice and separated from all those above mentioned.

Royal Villas area is separated from the hotel only virtually, the location is very nice, with private pools and private restaurant and private beach (you can visit it without problems). I am not sure, whether it´s worth of that money.

BEACH and SEA:
Beach is really nice and clean. No problem with sun-beds. Sea is clean and nice, some stony platforms are in the sea, but no sharp, you do not need shoes, if you are not so "sensitive".
Sometimes sea grass occurred, but it was ok. A lot of wandering masseurs from Asia disturb you every 10 minutes if you wand "massage". I recommend to the hotel management to dismiss them, although some clients used their services. Who takes than massage in Royal Mare Thalasso?

This is a windy part of the island with waves, sometimes with big waves. I liked it very much, as well as my daughter. Maybe that´s is the reason why there was no problem with sun-beds :)

ROOMS:
We had a family room, located on a very nice place with a terrace. Interior is really outdated. Furniture is old. Beds are old, couch is old. Needs to be refurbished. We had two bathrooms. First impression was not so positive, but we were then really happy. Area is very quiet and relaxing.

PERSONAL:
Really very nice people, very polite and helpful, always smiling. Animation team is doing good job, during out stay I really appreciate the work of Rosario, excellent italian-guy, leader of animation team. Good dancer, very positive and very funny.

RESTAURANT:
Hmmm...One German called it "Fresshalle", it was a place where we only eat, but not dine. Place is overcrowded with tables, which are very close to each other. I hate the sound, when the waiters are throwing the dirty cutlery into baskets. Design of the restaurant is Ok, with nice colour combination and lights. Chief cook was a very nice guy, always talking to people, very helpful, with good mood. Meat was OK, nothing special. Fishes taste always the same. Pasta ok, some pork, souvlaki etc. For such amount of guests you cannot expect something special.

CLEANLINES is not of a top standard, I would say better than average. But should improve. I reccomend to maintain the hotel, pathways, pool´s surrounding also during the day.

SUMMARY:
The hotel is really nice, best years are over, 10-15 years ago it was really a TOP STAR hotel far and near, but for 7700 EUR for 2 weeks I expected better standard. I visited also Hotel Mitsis Laguna, which is 1km far from Aldemar, is really new, very nice, not so spacious, with not so beautiful garden, with one very big negative - the beach is ugly and is separated from the hotel by a road, that means...nobody is at the sea and all sun-beds at the pools are reserved and also pools are overcrowded.

Aldemar area is fantastic, amazing gardens, it is a spacious hotel with lot of pathways.
Beach is nice. Sea beautiful, with big waves.

Crete is one of the most beautiful island, I´ve visited. Visiting Crete is highly recommendable.

Aldemar Knossos Royal is recommendable, if you are ready for some "buts" and you are able to connive. One guy called this hotel a "RUSSIAN CAMP", it is true, Russians are 80% of all guest, but during our stay everything was OK. Also personal speak russian language, to survive on Crete it is maybe a must :)

We had a fantastic holiday, I will assuredly go back, maybe to another part of the island to Rethymno or Chania.

Ádio

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Martin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post these comments for your experience in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Your support gives us the strength to continue our efforts towards guest’s satisfaction while at the same time your comments and marks are being taken seriously under consideration, promoting the amelioration of our services.

Warm and sunny days are ahead and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once again.

Let us offer you additional and exciting experiences in the Aldemar tradition, with authentic hospitality and memorable moments – something we have provided travelers with for more than twenty years.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 12, 2012

We have just come back from a wonderful vocation at this lovely resort.
Before I start reviewing the hotel, I'd like to use this stage to personally thank (again) the animation team girls - Dimitra from kids club and also Maria, Daiga and Helena - keep on the great work.
Also great thanks for Irini from reception for her patience and great help with choosing drive- to destinations.

Now Pros :
It's a huge holiday resort. Walking by foot in between beautiful villas and pools with no cars in sight felt really relaxing.
You can let your kids run at hotel grounds without fear from careless drivers and such.
The location is great for car renters - you can easily get everywhere important in a really short while.
The pools are really nice and the animation team is great - not too annoying, very friendly and have nice attitude and activities.
The hotel is clearly not trying to fish for an extra buck - they give you free WiFi and they have a hotel shop, which is located right by the main pool, sells drinks and stuff for fair price.
If not all inclusive, you can buy a beer for like 1EU for can and drink it by the pool - no problem at all.
The hotel has GREAT kids club. It's big, it's nice, it has its own little pool and lots of indoor activities for hot hours.
They also serve kids with drinks, fruit and cookies.
I have no doubt anyone with kids will appreciate it greatly.

Cons :
The food - honestly, wtf ????? The food is like 3*- , specially the dinner. I guess its due to the hotel offering an all inclusive program, which never goes well with good food.
The meat was all of low quality, either over or under cooked.
And the salads can be simply summarized by OMG, and not in a good way.

The service is a bit lumpy too - on our first day we discovered that the security safe in our room was locked. After calling the lobby, it took 3 (!) people to check it, each claiming in bad English that they need the "card from lobby". And note that these people didn't come together, but one after another.

The beach - well, it's like a very simple plebby beach, nothing special. We used it only once during our whole week there - preferred to travel by car to better beaches.

Neutrals :

Yes, the hotel's like 80% Russians. However, they behave very nicely and are minding their own business, so I don't see how it influences anything.

Summary

If you are looking for family holiday - I'd definitely recommend this hotel. It is great for family time.
If you are a couple which looks for an exclusive REAL 5* holiday with a la carte dinner etc., I would not recommend this hotel but rather the Royal Mare nearby.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Sagi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post these comments for your experience in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Your support gives us the strength to continue our efforts towards guest’s satisfaction while at the same time your comments and marks are being taken seriously under consideration, promoting the amelioration of our services.

Warm and sunny days are ahead and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once again.

Let us offer you additional and exciting experiences in the Aldemar tradition, with authentic hospitality and memorable moments – something we have provided travelers with for more than twenty years.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Pros:

Nice hotel. Clean, modern & spacious enough, particularly the terrace

Attentive staff

Delicious food (although fresh juices should have been standard for breakfast, not watered down juice from a machine)

Location - beach front is perfect. Why people call it a shingle beach I do not know. It was coarse sand, which was a bonus as it rubbed off easily

Location to Hersonissos - this was supposedly a 20 minute walk. It took us a lot longer.

Ampitheatre - excellent. Entertainment - the usual.

Cons:

The swimming pools were on average 1.20m in depth, which is fine for swimming in, but for children who want to play - not an option. The children's pool was more of a paddling pool, so great for toddlers but not so great for young swimmers.

The air con in our room was extremely loud and the smoke alarm flashed constantly which resulted in sleepless nights. Maintenance advised us these were normal.

The beach was almost empty, which was great, but if you fancy a nap (due to not sleeping due to the air con noise) then forget it. You will be pestered every 20 minutes for a massage.

We were in the minority with Half Board and felt like second rate citizens on a few occasions and had to sit in a particular area of a bar for lunch, away from the AI's! Crazy when you're paying extra.

If you go Half Board you will pay around 5 euros for a beer and over 2 euros for a bottle of water. Extortionate. My advice for the evening is to buy your own drinks from the supermarket and take them in the ampitheatre with you.

Would I recommend this hotel? Yes, if you go AI and won't be affected by any of the above. I did see a couple of other hotels which looked nicer - Cresta Maris and Royal Mare - check these out if you haven't already booked. Hersonissos is a dump, so I would try a different part of Crete if you can.

If you've already booked, then enjoy your holiday. This is a nice enough hotel (equivalent to UK 4*).

Room Tip: The accommodation is 2 storey. Select a first floor room, opposed to a ground floor room if you can...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank buckleberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post these comments for your experience in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Your support gives us the strength to continue our efforts towards guest’s satisfaction while at the same time your comments and marks are being taken seriously under consideration, promoting the amelioration of our services.

Warm and sunny days are ahead and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once again.

Let us offer you additional and exciting experiences in the Aldemar tradition, with authentic hospitality and memorable moments – something we have provided travelers with for more than twenty years.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We had a fantastic holiday at the Knossos Royal Hotel. The Hotel itself was lovely, the food great and the staff all really helpful. We made lots of friends amongst them including both Georgio and Theo from the restaurant to the two ladies at the pool bar. They were all really attentive and friendly.

However it was the Animation Team that really made this holiday into a fantastic one. They were all really great, full of enthusiasm no matter when you met them. They worked so hard and made everyone feel special. I would like to mention them all because, after spending several holidays in hotels with similar entertainment, I do feel they were he best overall team we had met. In particular Andrea and Fabio were really attentive and kind and George, Frank and Isabella made all the activities fun and in a unique way competitive!!! As far as the evening entertainment was concerned again it was probably the most professional we had experienced. Dominica's Fire Dancing was superb and Rosario led the team to create great performances over the two weeks we were there. We were really sorry to leave.

I would highly recommend this Hotel and staff and could find little fault in anything. The location was lovely with the beach and the pools. Our room was perfectly situated half way between the beach and the pool so we could enjoy and take part in everything.

We would certainly like to return one day.

Room Tip: Ask for a location half way between the pool and the beach if you book a garden room
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Sue D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

Thank you so much for leaving a review following your recent visit in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Satisfaction of our guests is our primary concern and we feel honored when we achieve a positive result.

Your kind comments are the best proof and guarantee of Aldemar philosophy; hospitality and impeccable service to all our guests. This is what makes the difference between a good and a great hotel!

Your comments are shared with all our personnel and we are convinced that they will be encouraged by your remarks as everybody works very hard to make sure each guest feels at home.

On behalf of all the personnel, we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again in Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

We have just returned from 7 days half board at the Knossos Royal. It was our first trip to Crete and to this hotel. It has been a very difficult year and we were looking forward to a trip where we could briefly let go of the stresses of life. The hotel is splendid, very clean and well organised. The staff are wonderful, helpful and so friendly. Nothing is too much trouble. After 7 nights we both left feeling very relaxed and recharged. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel (although it’s more of a resort) to families.

My negative comments are: it’s a little noisy because it caters for children / families. Music is played around the pool at times during the day and during organised events at the beach and amphitheater late into the evening. Personally, I like to enjoy the quiet warm evenings reading a book in the privacy of my balcony. Unfortunately, most evenings, the competing music from various organised events made it too distracting so I read in my room instead. This wasn’t really an issue, just my personal preference.

The most disappointing matter for us is that no drinks (at all) are included in half board during dinner. Instead there is a charge to your room - this includes water, tea and coffee. As a result we refused to purchase any drinks at the hotel but instead went elsewhere for drinks. It was the only issue that tarnished our stay, particularly as the drinks are very expensive at the hotel (16 Euros for two gin and tonics!!) I would also agree with another reviewer that the food isn’t quite 5 star, but we felt it was very good with plenty of choice.

The conflicts with the varied nationalities were mostly apparent during dinner / breakfast at the self service stations. We soon learnt not to expect a “thank you” or a polite queue etc from some (although my partner is a lecturer in social differences therefore more accepting and understanding of cultural differences). We also found the staff handled the varied cultures well and stood their ground very politely but very firmly where necessary.

All said, it was a really lovely break, with lovely staff in a lovely location. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to families. I would return without hesitation but pre-armed with the knowledge of the entertainment noise and half board ‘drink’ issue.

Thank you Knossos for a truly lovely break.....

Room Tip: Room 551 has a large and relatively private balcony
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Harbiemk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post these comments for your experience in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Your support gives us the strength to continue our efforts towards guest’s satisfaction while at the same time your comments and marks are being taken seriously under consideration, promoting the amelioration of our services.

Warm and sunny days are ahead and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once again.

Let us offer you additional and exciting experiences in the Aldemar tradition, with authentic hospitality and memorable moments – something we have provided travelers with for more than twenty years.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

today returned from the greec vacation . very good experiance in the hotel . good services , nice rooms , excelent pools with sea water . especialy i want to mention the food, it was really over the expectation. the only two disadvantege : 1. no air conditioner at the hall 2. the hotel is not designed for baby trolley ,no acsess for wagon at many sites in the hotel . generaly very recommended . .

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Annamey78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post these comments from your experience in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Your support gives us the strength to continue our efforts towards guest’s satisfaction as well as the motivation to come up with new creative ideas.
Warm and sunny days are ahead and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once again.

Let us offer you additional and exciting experiences in the Aldemar tradition, with authentic hospitality and memorable moments – something we have provided travelers with for more than twenty years.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

We have just returned from our 12th stay at at the Knossos Royal Village and it's as good as ever. We have made so many friends amongst the staff over the years and they do everything they can to make our stay special. This hotel will suit everyone, great service, good food, lovely gardens, good swimming pools, relaxed atmosphere, childrens entertainment and hot sunny weather, what more could you want!

Room Tip: All rooms are of a high standard but go for a ground floor room as you get a nice little terrace ins...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
1  Thank Linda1024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Gasparis, General Manager at Aldemar Knossos Royal, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2012

Our dearest and valuable Guests,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post these comments from your experience in our hotel Aldemar Knossos Royal & Royal Villas 5*.

Your support gives us the strength to continue our efforts towards guest’s satisfaction as well as the motivation to come up with new creative ideas.
Warm and sunny days are ahead and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel once again.

Let us offer you additional and exciting experiences in the Aldemar tradition, with authentic hospitality and memorable moments – something we have provided travelers with for more than twenty years.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Gasparis
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aldemar Knossos Royal

Address: Limenas Hersonissou, Hersonissos, Crete 700 14, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Hersonissos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Hersonissos
#7 Family Hotel in Hersonissos
#9 Luxury Hotel in Hersonissos
#12 Romantic Hotel in Hersonissos
Price Range: $114 - $436 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Aldemar Knossos Royal 5*
Number of rooms: 346
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The mythical realm of King Minos, blessed by the gods of the sun and the sea, is today as proud as a fortress and as welcoming as an embrace. It is also home to a sumptuous palace that makes an ideal destination for any family holiday. At the Knossos Royal Village, time moves at a different pace: in elegant and comfortable rooms with incomparable views, in the azure sea and crystal-clear pools, at superb sports facilities and matchless restaurants, the pleasure and relaxation never end. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aldemar Knossos Royal Village Hotel Chersonisos
Aldemar Knossos Royal Village Hersonissos
Knossos Royal Village
Aldemar Knossos Royal Crete, Greece

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