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Royal Heights Resort
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All reviewsprivate poolpresidential villahalf boardold townfull size fridge freezerhired a carcomplimentary bottle of winejacuzzi bathhotel restaurantmain poolmalia townrelaxing breakgreat resortfive star hotelrooms are largetaxi rankmain town
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Reviewed October 31, 2013

We visited the Royal Heights Resort in Malia and the setup was perfect.

There was a deserted brand new soft play area for our son to play in and we could eat breakfast just the other side of a glass screen adjoining it. In the evenings there was even a staff member in the soft play area so he had someone else to play with.

The food was excellent and we ate dinner there all but one night.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank moodoperator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the villa with private pool... Such beautiful views with your own pool and quietness. You are definitely away from Malia town centre, so if you want to go into town for dinner, you must either hike up and down a hill for 20 minutes each way or hire a car/scooter.. We hired a scooter for 4 days at $96 euro.... The food could be better. We had the same thing for breakfast everyday and started hating the food...recommend to buy some groceries and cook some of your own food....also if you are looking for Greek authenticity food, go to the town centre taverns instead of the hotel restaurant.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We stayed in a villa apartment with our own private pool for our honeymoon and it was the most amazing week! The room and the Pool were simply awesome .. We were Half board but planned to eat out every night to full experience all the restaurants around but after having one meal inside the hotel we had to continue eating there it was incredibly delicious we would leave so satisfied it was marvellous. Malia was great a bit rowdy but we are young so it was enjoyable. The only downside was the £7 euro a time taxi ride which meant if you travelled down in the day and the night it was £28 euro a day. We tried to walk it but the hills Were to steep

  • Stayed: August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ChantelleDx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We stayed in this hotel at the end of the season. The hotel had received excellent reviews some of which we had full agreement with. The hotel is set in a prime position away from Malia with sea views. The rooms are large, furnished to an ok standard with an acceptable bathroom. We stayed in one of the luxury rooms. We did look at the villas but concluded that the rooms were better protected from any road noise. We could not fault the room. Having a small kitchenette was very useful especially the full size fridge freezer. The villas however were very well presented and did have their own pools. The staff were helpful, particularly the two men who worked in the restaurant and the room cleaners.
There were some aspects that perhaps did not measure up to or merit a five star rating. The food was ok but not a great culinary experience. The menu after a period of time became extremely boring with too limited a choice. On a rather chilly Saturday evening, dinning outside was not an option. People who were staying at the hotel had to eat in a small area which was partially screened from an open bar. The bar resembled any family pub in the UK on a Sunday. I don't have a problem with children or indeed family friendly pubs on a Sunday. When paying for a five star hotel, however, I don't really expect to have large numbers of lively children running up and down shouting when we are eating in the restaurant.
The toiletries were restricted to shower jell and shampoo! The bedding was good but the beds were hard. Local bar and restaurant staff from Malia were allowed to use the pool and could be noisy.
The greatest concern for me was the way a significant complaint we made was handled. I regretfully had my hair cut by the hotels spa hairdresser. He had just brought in a plate of food for himself and was obviously in a hurry to eat it. I had gone in with rather untidy shoulder length hair (reason for the haircut). I came out with the hair on one side considerably thinner than the other and of all different and unequal lengths.Worst haircut I had ever had! I complained to reception who failed to pass on my concern to the manager who was in charge of the spa. When we caught up with the manager in charge of the spa she understood the problem (wasn't easy to miss) and did delete the cost of the haircut. No one however said sorry or thought of a practical way of sorting out the terrible haircut.
In conclusion, the hotel is definitely in the best position in Malia. Malia is not a place I would go to again. It is ok if you are between 17 and 22 and want to be on a drunken binge from the moment of arrival to the moment of departure. The hotel is well run, the facilities are good. It is possible to pretend that Malia doesn't exist especially if you rent a car and can access the beautiful places in Crete. Think very carefully before having a hair cut! Also be prepared for a number of aspects not to match up to 5 stars.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank elainetyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

I read a lot of reviews of the Royal Heights Resort, and found most weren’t very helpful. We’re recently back from a 10-day stay so I thought I would add my review to clear up some of the worries anyone may have

The first thing I want to say is that we never had any problem with people coming up from Malia to use the pool, granted we were there at the end of peak season but the whole hotel was very tranquil and relaxed the whole time. If you have a private villa then you can’t see or hear what’s going on at the main pool so don’t worry about it. The main pool is gigantic so it would never feel crowded. I think a lot of the people who complain about this blow it way out of proportion. Don’t let the bad reviews put you off!

Transfer and check-in –

we booked a private taxi transfer through TravelRepublic. I would recommend this as I don’t think a bus would get all the way to the hotel, there are some really narrow streets in the Old Town, and some really steep sections of road going up the hill. When you come out of the baggage claim at Heraklion airport the taxi offices are right in front of you so its much nicer getting into a taxi rather than hopping on a big coach and waiting for ages.
A warning though, compared to the UK the Greek taxi drivers are mental! Very friendly but they drive like maniacs.

When we arrived there was a Greek wedding in full swing. George quickly checked us in and personally walked us to our villa. We arrived too late to go for dinner, but the hotel had stuffed our fridge full of greek salads, breads, cheese and sliced meats, as well as a free bottle of wine. This is a very nice touch and a real luxury after an afternoon of travelling

Room –
There were 4 of us on the holiday so we stayed in Presidential Villa 404. Villas 404 – 408 are the best rooms by far as they are the most private. The Ambassador Villas look amazing too but they have worse views in my opinion. Some of them overlook a bug area of spare ground which is a bit rough looking.The Presidential Villas are on the edge of the mountain overlooking Mailia and the coast.

You get an open plan living area and kitchen with big sliding glass doors onto the patio. There is a downstairs toilet with a small shower and a nice couched area. Upstairs you have a bigger bathroom with a shower, jaccuzi bath and 2 bedrooms that share a large balcony. There are separate air-conditioning controls for each bedroom which is a really good idea. Outside you get a wee covered patio area with a table and 6 chairs. We had 2 fancy soft sun loungers and 2 cheaper harder ones, but we noticed some villas had 4 soft loungers

There are 3 flatscreen TV’s in the villa, one in each bedroom and one in the living room. If you like to watch TV in the evenings then bring your own entertainment. BBC World News and EuroNews are the only English language channels. The TV’s all have HDMI inputs so bring your laptop!

We survived using the ipad to stream TV from Sky Go and BBC iplayer. Remember you cannot use these services abroad so you will have a sign up to a VPN service to use them in Greece. It only costs around £5 a month so it’s well worth it. The Wi-Fi was good enough for us to stream football matches and watch wee half hour shows every night

The only negative thing I could say about the rooms is that there are no locks on the bathroom doors which are made of frosted glass. This seems a bit weird to me for a villa which is shared by 4 people, but you get used to knocking everytime before you walk in

Food –

We stayed half board. There is a full kitchen in the villa so we just had snacky lunches with food from the local supermarket.

The breakfasts are buffet style, with a chef who makes eggs to order. There is everything you could want. All the usual cooked breakfast stuff as well as lots of fruit, pastries, jams, cereals, yoghurts etc. My only complaint is the coffee. (I’m a total coffee snob) The free coffee is crap from a machine. It’s not terrible but you would expect fresh coffee from a 5-star hotel. For 2Euros you can buy a Greek coffee which is mind-blowingly good. The best coffee I’ve drank outside of Cuba.

Dinner’s are A La Carte which really feels more special than the normal buffet dinners at hotels. The food is above buffet level food, but don’t expect Michelin star cuisine. The half board entitles you to a starter, main course and desert as well as a big salad between 2 people. Portions are big, there are lots of choices and the menu is split up in to sections like Grill, Seafood, Pastas and Kids meals

The grill section is fantastic, the chef really knows how to cook meat. The only problem is that the menu is really vague. There is no description of the meal. For example my favourite dish was the delicious grilled Lamb chops with mint, a side of Crete Style fried potatoes and roasted Mediterranean vegetables. The menu just listed this as “Lamb”. One of the dishes is actually just called “stuffed with cheese”. You’ll find you have to ask the waiters what everything actually is. The 2 evening waiters are lovely friendly guys and it was a pleasure leaving them a nice tip at the end of our stay.

You sit on the balcony with your meals and have a stunning view over Malia. Even with a full hotel there were maybe only 5 or 6 tables full so its a very relaxed atmosphere.

Malia

Malia itself is my idea of hell. It’s a tired grubby tourist strip that looks like its best days are long behind it. I appreciate that some people like this but it’s really not my thing. Royal Heights is far up the hill so it feels totally separate. If you are into the nightlife the town is a 7Euro taxi away from the hotel. You could walk down the hill but I wouldn’t want to try walking back up with shopping. There are also no pavements so I would say it is not safe walking at night with taxi’s and mopeds driving around

There is a Spar supermarket in the town. It is really handy as you can fill your fridge with beers and water so you don’t have to buy all your drinks at the hotel bars. You can also buy stuff for lunches if like us you can’t be bothered going into town every day

Hotel -

The hotel is kept immaculately clean by the small crew of cleaners and grounds keepers. There is a huge wedding hall in the main building but its very well contained. The Greek weddings can be up to 1500 people but you never hear a sound! Its quite fun to have a peak in at the weddings, as they are really lavish affairs.

Downstairs in the main building there is a really nice indoor pool with steam room and sauna. We never used these as the weather was amazing outside but they looked great for those rainy days. The gym is big and well equipped. The guy who runs the gym was really miserable and unfriendly which is a shame as the rest of the hotel staff are so lovely.

Overall this is the best hotel I have stayed at in Europe. It is the perfect holiday for anyone wanting to chill out and relax. If you like sight-seeing, like the busy bars and beaches then this probably isn’t the place for you. I would go back in a heartbeat. It is one of the more expensive hotels in Malia but you really feel like you are getting what you pay for. When you walk into the beautiful reception and see all the excellence awards from sites like TripAdvisor you realise that you made the right choice. Feel free to send me a message if you have any specific questions

Room Tip: Presidential Villas 404-408 are the best rooms in the hotel
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Benjam001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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