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“Honest review of a really poor hotel”

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Sissi Bay Hotel & Spa
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Sissi
Reviewed April 22, 2014

We stayed at this hotel last July for 2 weeks. I don't know whether to state "poor" or "dump" so I shall go for both.

We had paid extra for a sea view and were taken to 2 rooms and told we could choose. The 1st was up at the main pool area and was dark with a tiny, tiny bathroom - the 2nd room was at ground floor looking at the garden and bushes and just a faint blue horizon past the volleyball nets where the cats go to the toilet. We picked this room as it was sort of a sea view and next to the restaurant and we didn't want the lady to be troubled by hiking all the way back to the 1st room! Upon closer inspection, the room was old, musty and the wardrobe had a terrible smell so we had to leave the doors open the whole time. The 1st night the wardrobe rail broke and crashed down in the early hours causing almost a heart attack! The bed, oh my, I did not sleep for 2 whole weeks, it was rock hard! I asked for extra pillows and these too were like blocks of concrete. The bathroom had no window and you could hear next door talking, but it was adequate, if you don't mind luke warm water trickling out of the shower.

Food: breakfast was ok, if you got there early to bag a table. Then we went one by one to get food and coffee, before it turned into a cattle market. Later we started to go to the Jolly Roger next door to the hotel for breakfast, delicious home cooked good quality food.
Lunchtime, much the same. We later learned that lunch was yesterday's dinner warmed up. We started to eat lunch in the beer garden over the road and next to the main pool, still part of the hotel but you paid extra, and it was fabulous, huge portions and tasty.
Evening dinner got so repetitive we started to go into Sissi Bay to eat, which had a great variety of restaurants, so the All Inclusive we paid for was not! Incidentally, you had to pay for water, tonic, any drink at all after 11pm, the gym & spa, what a joke of a hotel this is. The staff were mainly miserable and we felt sorry for them. We paid extra (!) for the Cretan BBQ night and the food was indeed delicious, why couldn't this be the standard for the main restaurant?!

Beach: what beach? We scrabbled down a cliff side of broken concrete to get to a sandy/pebbly beach, horrendous, waves too big for our 7 year old to go in. She made a valiant effort but we gave up after an hour and climbed back to the main pool to find no beds available! Ha ha good job we are actually optimists and laugh at everything! I found myself thinking this hotel could break me!

Evening entertainment: we sacked it off after a few nights and went to the Jolly Roger which had quiz nights, rock bands, loved it. We went into Sissi Bay too, different bars and restaurants. There's also probably one of the best crazy golf sites I have ever done! We had great fun there, our daughter loved it!

There was a kids club that our daughter loved and the girl running it worked so hard, she was an absolute credit to the hotel.

All in all, a most terribly run hotel that hints to greediness and lack of respect for it's staff and, indeed, it's guests. We came home in need of more rest due to lack of sleep and the poorest holiday we've ever had. The only good thing that came of this trip was the friendship we found with the most amazing Dutch family - we will be friends for life!

We would not go back to this hotel if it was free and I highly recommend you book elsewhere..

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank TheLimbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed here at the end of September and arrived very late only to be told that our room was not ready. They walked us down the road with our luggage to another hotel. The room in this hotel stank and was crawling with ants but by now it was past midnight so just made do. The person on reception had told us to go back to the hotel in the morning for breakfast and that our room would be available then. But the room still had guests in who were not due out until 12:00 and then the room had to be cleaned. It was past 14:00 before we got to the room. It is clearly the policy of the hotel management that rather than turn down a booking they double book! They could'nt understand why we were upset as they said they had upgraded us. The room was nice but not worth the wait, would much rather have got in and unpacked ready to start my holiday in the morning. Will not return - not worth the risk.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank david h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We visited for a week in Spetember, 5 adults. Let us go through the basics first.
Location - Sissi is a lovely little place, lackng in beaches - best bet is by the side of the harbour which is lovely but watch out for incoming vessels. We were informed of nice beaches and you can see some, but to get to them is rough going and not the easy walk you are told. The cove is pretty, the town pleasant and the restaraunts/bars friendly and of good quality, while not that bad on price. be aware this town is very cut off, you will not be able to just catch a bus to visit places - you will need a car or to plan in advance, trips from the local tour operators are expensive.The hotel sits in a very quiet place right at the edge of town, so perfect. My wife had a day in the resort alone, while the rest of us went to a waterpark and it is the most laid back, pleasant and safe feeling of places. NOT for lively time fans! the "Pirate" bar next to the hotel is fantastic and will help soothe your irritation over drinks at the hotel (see below)...

Hotel. The hotel is really nice, for the money a real steal. the rooms we were in were clean, spacious, attended to every day by excellent maids who even folded towels into nice shapes and just great. The bars were well attended and clean, the pools were brilliant with plenty of sunloungers, the food area clean. My wife used the spa for a massage etc and it was excellent and really good value, keep a few Euros for it. QUIRK 1: they sent us to a room on the first night that was no good then split us into far apart rooms the next day. To be fair they moved the cases for us, but still a nuisance. We arrived after evening meal (see transfers, below) but the bar had a cold plate or us and they did not penalise us on the last day. cases could be left in the foyer where reception can see them and there is a shower/toilet room available for use on last day. QUIRK 2: my wife cut her foot on a piece of broken glass near the pool that had not been swept. The hotel had no first aid person and no first aid gear, we finally got some iodine but nothing else - reception told me to go to the pharmacy in town and sort it out myself. We saw the blood on the ground for the rest of our stay...


Bars. the people are friendly and efficient enough, the choice of drinks is acceptable. QUIRK: they will send you nuts. Why? because if you pay for a drink, it will be a good size and quality in a nice glass. If you are all inclusive, you will get 1 piddling small drink in a tiny glass and sent away. I am not a big drinker nor do i go overboard on holiday, but very thirsty on arrival and not impressed to be given a less than half pint glass that was in itself not even full, of beer. Are they kidding? You will buy from the Pirate bar next door to see a massive drink for 2 euro without the aggro of being made to go back repeatedly for thimblefulls like some kind of beggar...

Food. the food is in good quantity, nice salad bar and rotated quite well. You will find plenty of choice and nicely done, at all meals. the staff are hard working and good at the job. The greek night for 10 Euros is great value and worth the extra. QUIRK: several nights they like to be a bit classy and do waitress service, which is nice BUT they give you one drink and never return, so will leave you to go the whole meal on a single miniscule drink - unless you pay for a bottle of wine, of course... desserts are terrible except on the greek night, as is common to cheap all inclusives on the med.

Overall. A nice place that could be a whole lot better with a bit more organisation, if you want a clean quiet and relaxed place then this is definitely for you.

Tips. Our transfer company, as they all do, says the transfer is average 45 minutes. they are shameless liars. (Ours was called A2B or something like that). Sissi is at the end of the line, transfers were over 2 hours each way and it wasn't even high season. If i had known in advance i would have hired a car from the airport, Crete is a dream to drive in! I hired a car locally for 3 days at a decent peice but somebody put screws into the tyres of all their cars one night - including mine, so i got a puncture on the main road - not nice. So if you hire a car, check your tyres before driving anywhere. one of the local shops did honey/Cinnamon raki, a local speciality, cheap out of a steel barrel into empty water bottles - well worth buying if you can find it! you will see bottles of the tourist version at a much higher price all over the place.
Shop around there is great variety, but as you are out on a limb prices in e.g. Heraklion are a lot lower - so don't buy your gifts until you have been elsewhere (assuming you do).
The duty free at the airport is horrible and ridiculously overpriced, you will do better in the resort and even more so in Heraklion town. the airport itself is overhot, dingy and crowded, one of the worst we have seen in many years.

Room Tip: Hotel is split by a road, the sea side of the road is slightly better. Rooms are nice, those that ov...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank SteveJWallasey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2013

Well returned yesterday and overall have to say I totally enjoyed my weeks rest. The hotel is clean and tidy. Receptionists nice and friendly but when you meet the other staff just be aware they are not so friendly! We were told 45 min transfers but it took 90. Arrived very late and were told we had missed dinner but were given a voucher to take to the tropicals bar where our food was waiting for us. The bar is across the road. This is no problem as the hotel is spread out . But the food we received was luncheon meat, slice of cheese, peppers,feta and tomato. We asked for bottled water and were charged as we had arrived passed 11pm which is when the AI finishes. Went to our room which was upstairs. No lifts so bare this in mind if you have mobility problems. We woke thinking it could only get better....no it didn't. The food is just awful. We paid for the Greek night which is advertised as a BBQ and traditional Greek food night...again this was dreadful. The alcohol is even worse...neither of us drink much but occasionally a nice cocktail or vodka and tonic go down a treat but you had to pay for the tonic and cocktails were 6-8euros . we couldn't even have a decent drink to forget the poor food. We were told we needed to pay 26euros for safe and the air conditioning was chargeable too. Our room over looked the road so we asked to be moved.....and had to pay 50euros extra for this. But it made a big difference to how we felt.....we started to think we were on holiday! We went at the last week of the season so everywhere was closing down for the winter. The staff were tired and it showed. On the plus side the weather was great and we feel better for picking up some vitamin d.we definitely would not return here.

Room Tip: Ask for sea room.......don't have rooms at back of hotel or near the road....you won't get a...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Sarah I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

We visited for 2 weeks at the end of August 2013 and had the most lovely holiday. The hotel is spotlessly clean and has very nice facilities. There is a nice quiet pool overlooking the sea, and another larger pool with a lovely Jacuzzi. ALL of the staff are very friendly and helpful from the receptionists,housekeepers, waitresses, barstaff and entertainers. The food was of a very high standard - we were very surprised as we have done lots of all inclusive holidays and often the food is a bit disappointing - but not here! The food was amazing! It was all freshly prepared and none of it was mass produced. They served lovely Greek dishes and lots of lovely seafood. They have a patisserie chef and so the desserts were great! There is a choice of 2 bars to go to, both are nice and the Tropical bar is very nice and shady. There was always plenty of sun loungers and we liked the grassy sunbathing area. The location is great - a short walk into Sissi, which is very pretty - there is a lovely harbour with aqua marine coloured sea and lovely tavernas around the harbour - there are nice pizzerias where you can watch the sunset. In terms of beaches, its 5 mins walk to Boufas bay, but not suitable for disabled or elderly as it is very rocky to get down there - however the sea was very clean but if it happens to be windy don't bother to go down to the beach as the waves will be high - just wait for a calm day, oh and wear "beach" shoes as it is pebbly getting into the water, but once you are in its lovely!

The hotel booked a coach trip up to Lassithi plateau - highly recommended - beautiful scenery and very interesting. Visited several beautiful monasteries, lots of little villages and the plateau itself is very impressive. We also went on the little tourist road "train" which was nice and showed us a little bit of the countryside around Sissi.

All I can say is that we can't fault this hotel -everything was really lovely, and we will be booking to come again next year.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Guiggy15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

I must start with saying how clean this hotel was and how helpful the staff were.
The Hotel was quite a drive from the airport with the usual drop offs. When we arrived at the Hotel, we were greeted by an English speaking receptionist and taken to our room with no delay. Our room was a good size with twin beds, wardrobe and ample drawer space. There was an ample supply of towels in the bathroom, soap - but no plastic glasses etc in the bathroom for cleaning teeth! A point to note is that towels for the pool/beach were available at reception, we didn't use this facility, so i dont know what the charge would be. Disappointed that there were no tea/coffee making facilities in the room, although there was a fridge. There was a very old television with satellite, shame we couldn't find any English speaking channels, although this was sorted out before we left. As we arrived quite late, there was a cold plate waiting for us., which was very welcome.
An area of concern for me was the number of cats roaming around the place, guests were feeding these cats and one couple (to my knowledge) were distressed by the kittens that appeared to live in the bushes near their room. Another point of note was the volley ball court , it has a ?sand/fine gravel base that was frequently used by the cats as a litter tray? During our stay I didn't see any sort of cleaning or raking of this court.
Another observation were that the drinks served in the hotel were quite expensive, we dont drink that much but for others it took a chunk out of their holiday cash.
As commented by another reviewer, the air con was expensive.
Outside of the Hotel is a road, its not a main road as we would recognise but the cars that used it did seem to drive faster that was necessary. I would not have been happy if I had a small child.
During the high season there would not have been enough sun beds available, nor would there be enough space in the dining room. The lighting around the pool area is not good enough, and it was almost impossible to see what you were eating.
Sissi Bay is very quiet and not really suitable for anyone wanting an exciting evening. The Jolly Roger Bar by the Hotel is definitely worth a visit.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Patricia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

My friend and I stayed here for one week during the first week of October.
This is going to be quite a lengthy review as there’s quite a lot to say………..

First of, the airport transfer is not an hour – more like 2 hours as there are various drop offs and Sissi Bay is right at the other end of the island.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a friendly receptionist who explained about the All Inclusive programme and where we would eat. She also asked us if we wanted to air conditioning (we said no), and safety deposit box (would recommend this – approx. €26 for the week). We were also given a TV remote control (though they only have the BBC News channel in English) and the all inclusive white bands.

Our room was 104. This was located in a separate building to the main hotel, in fact over the other side of the road, which wasn’t a problem, but when you are exhausted and very tired from travelling all day, the last thing you want is to be dragging your suitcases even further!!
There are no lifts, so bear that in mind as we had a top floor room and the stone stair cases are narrow so if your case is heavy or you have a mobility problem, bear this in mind.
However, the room was in quiet location and the children’s pool and sunbed area were the nearest to us, where there were plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas available (probably because of the time of year). The spa/indoor pool/gym area was also located here, however I did not use the gym or indoor pool as you had to pay for it(Gym: €3 per person/per day, pool €3) and the gym consisted of only a few pieces of equipment. It was opened at 10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm which wasn’t convenient times for me – I prefer early morning sessions, however, there is a good track along the coast and going up the hill and past the other bays if you like running.
However, my friend and I both had a neck, back, shoulder massage whilst there with Konnie - €15 for 25 mins – would recommend it! She definitely works out all your kinks in your shoulders!

Back to the room: Upon opening the door to our room for the week, we walked straight into a double bedroom which had the wardrobe and portable TV. A doorway took my friend into what would be described as the ‘kitchenette’ area that had a single bed, table with 2 chairs, and a cupboard hosting the fridge, sink, kettle, and couple of glasses and cups – no cutlery!
Bathroom was average size: however the bath had an interesting shower – in that if you put the shower onto the attachment on the wall, the floor of the bathroom would get soaked as the water ran around the bath on both sides, and onto the floor. I ended up either sitting in the bath with the shower hose held in my hands, or having a bath!!

However, the rooms are cleaned every day, except Sunday. Towels changed every two days and when our clothes railing broke and water pressure dropped, they were fixed immediately.

If you stay over this side of the hotel, on Sunday mornings at 7am, the church bells ring, and most mornings, dogs somewhere over the back start barking…..and barking….. Not great if you want to sleep in longer than 7am!!

There are also lots of cats and kittens wandering around the pathways and though we didn’t experience it ourselves, the cats/kittens may go into your room if you have a ground floor apartment and keep your doors open!

As the weather wasn’t particular great when we arrived, we decided to go and check out the bar nearest to our room, The Tropical Bar. A good selection of imported spirits that are not included in the AI package, and the spirits we did consume during our holiday of vodka and rum, weren’t particularly great. We did on a few occasions during the holiday, ‘treat’ ourselves to a ‘proper’ rum and coke (Bacardi and coke instead of the cheaper version) and it cost €8.00. It was worth it. However, we didn’t try any cocktails as again, these weren’t part of the AI package. Also, if you are fussy about your ice or have a sensitive stomach, they use normal tap water to make their ice cubes and not bottled water.

Now onto the food…………. To start with, I have been on quite a few AI holidays over the last couple of years, and quite a few this year, however, this has got to be the worst food I have experienced, which is a shame, as I love Greek food!

First of all, the dining area is tiny! Far too small for the amount of people they must have during high season!! There was normally a queue waiting for a table and once you got a table, they were so close together, that in some cases, once you sit down, you can’t get back up because the seat behind you is too close! Nightmare!! It definitely did not make you want to linger over your food and you couldn’t even have a private conversation at some tables because you were so close to the other diners!

Drinks were served by a waitress and they ask you for your room number, despite wearing the AI white wrist band! PLEASE NOTE: Bottled water is not free! The first AI hotel I have been to that charge you for bottled water…. Crazy! Some of the staff could also do with looking happy – a smile every now and then wouldn’t go amiss!!

All food is help yourself buffet, however, to give an example of what food was on offer during the week:
Breakfast: hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, baked beans, pancakes, dodgy looking bacon and some kind of small sausage (didn’t try the bacon and sausage), some form of processed meat slices, processed cheese slices, tomatoes, cucumber, a few varieties of different breads, pastries, watermelon, tinned peaches, greek yoghurt and some strange looking cake. I stuck to fried/boiled egg, or greek yoghurt for most of the week with the occasional boiled/fried egg thrown in for variety.
Lunch: greek salad that you made up yourself, watermelon and different desserts that didn’t look particularly appetising, chips. These were on every day. Hot food: pasta - bolognaise or pomodora, then it could be some kind of fried fish – normally white, over boiled vegetables, fish fingers, some kind of meat dish only identified by a picture of the animal on the top of the hot counter…
Dinner: Soup (oxtail, chicken, tomato, onion) which I didn’t try but my friend tried the chicken which she said was nice, but the onion soup was very gloopy and salty, pasta - bolognaise or pomodora, then similar food to the lunches – my worst dinner was the penultimate night’s supper – it consisted of tinned peas and mushrooms with tomatoes and cucumber as the main hot dish was rabbit stifado – now I love a good beef stifado but rabbit?! I tried a tablespoon of the sauce which was very salty and contained so many tiny bones that I wouldn’t want children to eat it!
We ended up eating out on our last night at a lovely restaurant down at the harbour, and I had Beef Stifado and my friend had Moussaka and we both agreed it was the best meal we had had all week, which we had to pay for!
Come on Sissi Bay – we pay good money to come to your hotel, and the least you could do is provide your guests with some decent food.
Weather wise, a good time of the year to go. The temperature was about mid to late 20 degrees by about day 3 of our holiday and by day 7, the temperature had risen to 30 degrees. We came back with a good tan! However, the first couple of days were very windy and cold, and we had to use the blankets on our bed and wear a couple of layers both inside and outside of the room!! The nights do get cold as there is a wind blowing around as Sissy Bay Hotel is on the headland and quite exposed, so it is advisable to bring a jacket and jeans/trousers for the evening – our dresses were not worn the whole week as too chilly in the evenings.

On the flip-side, I would go back to Crete BUT would go to the other side of the island (West) as we were told that there were sandy beaches (Sissi only has rocks or shingle) and lots of restaurants to choose from.

Out of a scale of 1 – 10, overall I would give the hotel a 5 and I wouldn't class it as a 4*, more like 3*.
The food and drink availability really let them down, though the hotel itself, bedrooms and public areas were spotless.

Room Tip: The rooms away from the main hotel are quieter and ask for a top floor room if you don't like ca...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Charleyfarley1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sissi Bay Hotel & Spa

Address: Papatheodorou Str. | 2 Km From The Main Highway, Sissi, Crete 724 00, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Sissi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Sissi
#8 Luxury Hotel in Sissi
Price Range: $51 - $174 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sissi Bay Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sissi Bay Hotel Sissi
Sissi Bay Hotel And Spa
Sissi Bay Hotel & Spa Crete

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