Well, this is lengthy, but I cant do this place justice in one paragraph! I can't speak highly enough of this accommodation! Doesn't seem right to just call it accommodation really, as it is much more than that. I booked a last minute trip here with my cousin, I am 32 and she is 17. We went for two weeks and neither of us had been to Greece or any of the Greek Islands before, so didn't know what to expect.
We arrived in the middle of the night and Tony, the security guard, was there to greet us and show us to our rooms. You will see Tony strolling around the complex all night, every night, and he does give you a feeling of security. He's very friendly but also keeps people in check, so you feel secure knowing he's roaming around keeping an eye on everything.
The rooms were better than basic, quite spacious and exceptionally clean. We had plenty of wardrobe space, the kitchen area was handy for tea and coffee if you wanted it, and you could quite easily prepare a basic meal should you want to eat in. We didn't because there's such a variety of restaurants (including the one on the complex) where you can eat good food for good prices. The bathroom facilities were also better than expected, and also very clean. I actually think our bathroom was new. Overall I would say the room itself was perfect for anyone not expecting champagne on a lemonade budget.
The pool and bar area is really beautiful. I peeped at many other hotel / studio pool areas while in Malia and I can honestly say that Maria Rousse's was the best I saw. Again, it was all well kept, very clean and tidy. Just like the rooms. I was up with the cleaners every morning, waiting for the pool to open, and they are very friendly and hard working but easy to chat to. The bar opens around 8 - 8:30am (and closes at 1 - 1:30am) for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. The food at the bar is not haute cuisine, obviously, but is very good and there's plenty to choose from, so if you decide to stay on the complex to eat you'll not get bored of the menu. I recommend the Texas Chicken.
Barbara is at the bar all day, every day, along with her brother George. They are two of the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life. There is nothing they won't help you with. Almost every morning I sat with Barbara and had a drink and a chat before hitting the pool. These people are amazing. They make you feel like part of the family from day one.
I was quite poorly over there and Barbara helped me out a lot with medication and things I wasn't able to read. At one point there was a risk of me not being ale to fly home and when I spoke to her about it, she said it'd be no problem for me to stay in my room etc. Such nice people. Can't speak highly enough of them, Barbara in particular. George even went out of his way to message me and wish me a Merry Christmas!
The pool is outstanding and I didn't want to get out of it most of the time! Clean, cool and refreshing. It closes when the sun goes down and is cordoned off completely when the bar closes and Tony arrives for his night shift.
Maria Rousse is about 200 yards from the main strip. There's a large Spar supermarket within 5 mins walk, and a much smaller but very handy shop even closer, just outside the main entrance to the complex.
We did not encounter anything unsavoury at all in the entire two weeks we were there. I heard that there's a huge mosquito problem in Crete, well I think they must be invisible because I did not see or hear a single one. We did not see any violence while out on the strip, not a single bit of trouble.
The weather was amazing for the whole holiday (11th - 26th September), way up in the high 90's, sometimes easily topping 100 degrees. It is extremely humid in the rooms, but if you don't want to pay for air conditioning, it is bearable and you do get used to it pretty quickly. We didn't find it too bad really.
There are a few rules, which aren't unreasonable. You're not really supposed to take your room key off the complex, you leave it at the bar before you go out and Tony has it waiting for you when you get back. The reason behind this is that the keys are expensive to replace if lost as the key for the electricity in your room is attached to the room key.
You're not allowed to bring your own food and drinks to the bar / pool area, but it's so cheap that it's not really an issue, and you can always pop back to your room for lunch on the balcony if you want.
They are quite strict with people who are consistently noisy at night. You will get told off and possibly moved if you don't behave on the complex.
I would strongly advise people to avoid the quad bikes and mopeds at all costs. We did hear of many people being scammed when it comes to insurance etc, and they are SO dangerous. People do drive around drunk on them ALL day and night. At one point I saw a quad bike with five drunken idiots driving around like maniacs, and I've heard about several serious accidents involving quads and mopeds.
I honestly thought Malia was going to be absolutely insane, and if you wanted it to be, it was, but it was also nice to be able to enjoy the other side without having the madness in your face 24/7.
There are plenty of things to do, places to eat, drink and dance. The beaches are beautiful, the people are friendly, it's not expensive and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my stay here.
Places to try: Reflex 80's Bar. Gringos Mexican Restaurant. Sticky Fingers (American style diner). Banana Club. China Town Restaurant. Union Jack's. The Bull. There's plenty more, but you'll find them as you go on your merry way.
On our last night, Barbara made us all a lovely fruit salad with fruits she had picked fresh from trees growing on the complex, and shared a cocktail with us. Couldn't have wished for more hospitable people. Absolute legends.
I cannot wait to go back this year, I booked within one week of returning, then booked a second trip a few weeks later. Fell in love with this place. For the cost and the price I paid, this is bordering on luxury surroundings.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Maria Rousse Studios are in an ideal location, just off Malia Beach Road in a quiet area but close enough to enjoy the resorts nightlife. The beach is a relaxing ten minute stroll and the resort centre is also close enough to walk to with its shops, bars, restaurants and clubs. The airport is approximately a 25 minute taxi ride. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maria Rousse Studios Hotel Malia
- Maria Rousse Studios Malia, Crete