From begin to end our stay at Mareva Apartments did not disappoint, and I am more than happy to write this review to explain in detail why we had such a great holiday here, so here goes:
Upon arrival in Crete we were allocated our accommodation. This was the first time we had booked such a 'Bingo' holiday, and the not knowing where we would be staying only added to the excitement, would we get lucky or end up somewhere we didn't really like? Well, we got lucky! After meeting our Holiday Rep and boarding the transfer bus we were told we'd be staying at the 3 Star Mareva Apartments in Koutouloufari. I immediately checked Trip Advisor and after reading all the positive reviews my partner Arno and I breathed a collective sigh of relief. The reviews did not at all disappoint us.
Once we'd left the bus at Mareva we were immediately given a warm welcome by Manager Giannis, who led us through the complex to the bar where we checked-in for our stay.
We found our Studio to be clean & cozy, basic in furnishing but more than adequate for our stay. There was a separate shower room with good running hot & cold water (which was always on tap and meant we could shower whenever we wanted as there always seemed to be enough), separate Kitchenette with Kettle, Electric ceramic cook-plate, Fridge with freezer compartment, cutlery, plates, cups, glasses and a few utensils enough to cook simple meals if desired. I easily managed to cook a nice Pasta dish one evening and we often prepared lunch and breakfast of boiled eggs, croissants, salads and such. One tip though, when going to bed open the fridge and turn down the dial to its lowest setting before closing door again: that way you won't be kept awake by its constant droning sound. The beds were also comfortable although I do like a nice plump pillow and so I had planned ahead and brought one with me. Another good tip because we also took our pillows with us to the beach and pool which meant we could comfortably lay around for hours on end! To summaries then: We found the accommodation to be more than acceptable, well cleaned and furnished and good value for money.
Mareva Apartments is situated halfway up a hill between the main street of Hersonissos and the picturesque restaurant village of Koutouloufari. The beach is about 300m down the hill. The main high street of Hersonissos is a typical holiday destination shopping street full of banks, supermarkets, souvenir shops and car hire companies. It's handy for the basic essentials such as water, coffee, tea and toilet rolls and there is even a large Spar supermarket for everything else you could need. The side streets from the main high street all lead down to the beach boulevard, only 2 minutes walk to the Sea.
Going up the hill from Mareva leads to a beautiful Cretan village with a multitude of fabulous Restaurants, Tavernas, Cocktail Bars and Cafes, too numerous to mention here but all equally worth a visit. We recommend that you always go up hill to eat and down hill to party! To summaries then: We found Mareva perfectly situated for our tastes, equally spaced between the beach/party bars down by the sea and the beautiful village of restaurants just up the hill.
Mareva has a pleasant pool 1.5m deep and large enough to swim a few lengths. We noticed that the pool was cleaned every evening and appeared healthy and not full of chlorine like in some pools. The pool area itself had enough sun loungers for everybody and we never had a problem finding vacant ones. Adjacent to the pool is the bar and seating area with pool table and TV for the football fans. My partner & I aren't such fans but it was not a problem because we were always kept entertained by the Manager & Manageress Giannis & Areti - more about this happy duo later. The bar is pretty much open 24 hours, so even if you come home late you can still get a drink. The bar itself is small but very friendly and well stocked and staffed by either Giannis or Areti depending on the time of day or night; we spent many hours sitting there talking to either them or the other guests and whiling away the time with a nice cool beer or Ouzo. Definitely a great atmosphere whether you are football fans or not. To summarize then: We found the facilities at Mareva to be very good and perfectly adequate. The staff really do do their best to ensure your needs are met.
We saved the best for last. The one thing that really made our holiday was the family that owns and runs Mareva Apartments. Mama, Papa, son Giannis and daughter Areti. We were made to feel welcome from the first minute we arrived and by leaving on the eleventh day we almost felt like part of the family. This is what makes the difference when booking 3 star accommodation as opposed to 4/5 star. People do say you get what you pay for, but there is no amount of money that can compensate for bad service or an unwelcoming atmosphere, something which (as a gay couple) my partner and I have frequently experienced at other big 4/5 star Hotels. This was certainly not the case at 3 Star Mareva. We were both made so welcome that for once we felt we could just be ourselves and relax on our Holiday, and we did just that.
A special word about Giannis & Areti:
A brother and sister duo who now run the complex after their mother and father built it from the ground up. We think they do a great job and really do do their best to keep everybody happy and content. Giannis has a great sense of humor and loves his football, keeping everyone entertained with a joke or three and keeping a good eye on things. Areti is equally entertaining and is very knowledgeable in Ancient Greece and all things archaeological, I especially enjoyed talking to her about the origins of the Minoan and Greek society. Mama and Papa are also always around and Mama cooks a great English Breakfast whilst Papa makes a great BBQ!
To summarize then: No amount of money can buy the kind of friendliness and service that this family offers at Mareva Apartments. I'm sure once you've experienced it you'll want to come back again and again.
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- Also Known As:
- Mareva Apartments Hotel Chersonisos
- Mareva Apartments Crete, Greece