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Minoa Palace Resort
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Reviews (1,220)
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All reviewsimperial winghalf boardprivate poololder partbeach sidethomson repa mountain view roompiano barnew wingmain buildinghead cheftwo weeksguest relationsbusy roadbreakfast and dinneran excellent hotela la carte restaurant
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499 - 504 of 1,220 reviews
Reviewed September 7, 2013

we had chosen this place thanks to other opinions on trop advisor and have not been disappointed. the hotel is brand new (especially the recent part close to the beach) this is a real 4 star hotel . rooms are large and very well furnished, bath room is top .
we had been upgraded to room with private pool (lucky us) and the room was 50 m from beach. the beach is well arranged with all facilities and plenty of room ; the beach is sand + gravel but quite comfortable
the breakfast is excellent (large choice, nice presentation and to quality)
a place were we relaxed and enjoyed beach and pools
very conveniently located for quick snacks shopping (plenty of supermarkets along the road)

Room Tip: opt for sea view room in the newer part (close to beach, opposite of the road)
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank incredibletrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

Although we had a great time in Crete, there are some major drawbacks that one must be aware of.
We stayed in the new Imperial wing having a room with a private pool. The lateral sea view was a joke: impossible to sea the view from the room. On the contrary, the room overlooked another hotel. None of the pictures of the Imperial wing on their website, nor in the brochures mentioned this.
In general the rooms and the hotel grounds looked well maintained. However, from a 5* hotel everything needs to be impeccable. This was certainly not the case. There was chewing gum from a previous guest sticking on the steps of our private pool (see picture). The same steps were loose and crooked (see picture). There was black mold on the edges of the private pool (see picture). Corners and edges in the bathroom were dirty (see picture).
During our stay there were two private parties organised at the beach-side restaurant. The first party kept us awake until 1:00AM. The other one continued well past midnight. This is unacceptable...
Staff in general was friendly. Though the waitress working at the beachbar (Christina) was quite rude, uninterested, unmotivated, always throwing the bill on the table.
Breakfast buffet is ok, plenty of choice and good quality. Diner buffet on the other hand is of poor quality (though alot of selection).
I did appreciate the hotel's policy to remove towels of guest wanting to reserve an umbrella or sunbeds at the beach.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Imperial wing are new and close to the beach.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Exaptar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Stayed in the hotel for about 10 days.
Me and my wife. Had an excellent stay. Are very satisfied.
Good food, nice kitchen, a lot of variation in the choice of dishes. Nice swimming pools. Fine gym. Calm environment, although it was short to the road. Nice garden with a nice garden bar with local drinks and food. The weather was good. The servants and staff were fantastic.
Will certainly go back.

Room Tip: Rooms in the garden, preferably with the private pool. Looking to the common pool.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank NicoStassen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

I have been there with my wife and my daughters. Love for the first sight!
Imediattelly , you feel the aura of luxury and friendly Cretan hospitality in all aspects.
The stuff of the reception ,and the guest relation dep.the room, the spa, the swimming pools and the amazing gardens , the restaurants and the legendary breakfast.
I would like to thank personally mrs.Giota from kids club for her creative games for the kids.
Thank you people, that you made our holidays incredible
Christos Manousakis& the family
Lydia-Marissa- konstantia

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank chrismanousakis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Our party of two adults and two 7-year old girls travelled with Thomson in late July and stayed for two weeks. Once again, I have to say the Thomson experience was really great from booking, through check-in, flight and transfer, and especially the care and attention from the on-site rep, Sue.
The first thing to say about Minoa Palace is that it exceeded our expectations. I’d read various earlier reviews saying this was more like a 4-star, but I wonder if these reviewers are perhaps measuring this Mediterranean island hotel against a Western European city centre hotel? That is simply the wrong comparison to make. I can see no reason why the Minoa Palace should not be regarded as 5-star, in the context that it is an island holiday hotel.
The hotel itself is beautiful, and one thing that many people noted was that even when though it was a full capacity, it never seemed crowded, due to the sheer size of the grounds and two completely separate pool areas, with five outside pools in total including the toddler pools. In my opinion, the older wing of the hotel was nicer, with impeccably-kept gardens all around the pools and rooms, lots of shade areas and a good central bar area. The main hotel building also has a lovely piano bar that opens out on one side into a terrace, great for watching the sun set, and on the other side onto a shady and low-lit chill-out area. The new, imperial, wing, which is connected by the walkbridge is also very chic, leading down to the private beach and has rooms overlooking glass and stone infinity-type water features, but perhaps a little sterile, I think someone likened it to a ghost town in an earlier review, maybe a little harsh, but you get the idea.
It’s worth pointing out (the Thomson’s brochure doesn’t), that the hotel provides beach/pool towels and there are electronic room safes. I wish I’d known about the towels beforehand as it would have saved some luggage space. Also, as there are some conflicting reviews about this, the management does enforce the sunlounger-reserving practise that some idiots insist on doing. Why do guests do this? There are plenty of loungers for everybody, all the time.
The staff, in our experience, were all exceptionally courteous and helpful, in every aspect. Porterage was provided upon arrival and front desk was always attentive and informative, particularly about local travel etc. I had an unfortunate spillage during one meal and ended up with an avocado-coloured stain down a very expensive polo shirt which they dealt with through the laundry service and when it returned the next day I honestly thought they’d bought me a new one! We once left the wrong sign on the door handle and our room didn’t get cleaned and so the housekeeper left a note under our door asking us to call her when we returned which we did and she came round immediately and made up the room. On another occasion, we couldn’t understand how to use the TV and a porter was sent within 2 or 3 minutes to show us. He decided that the TV was faulty and said he would have to request an engineer to fix it. HE turned up about 5 minutes later and retuned it.
These are the kind of things that in my opinion justify the hotel’s status, the facilities, the attention of the staff and of course, the food. The food at the main buffet restaurant was so good that we didn’t even bother to try the a la carte restaurants, even though they are heavily-discounted to guests wishing to upgrade. I cannot say how many choices of food there was available each night, but there were several, always with fish, meat, vegetarian and child options. I can’t understand why people have complained about the lack of child-friendly food, if your kid won’t even eat basic pasta or bread-crumbed fish/chicken etc., perhaps you shouldn’t be taking them on holiday. The “adult” food was superb, prepared to an amazing standard and beautifully presented. In addition to all the set out food there was a hot grill every evening, which was also used to make guest-specific omelettes every breakfast time. The food was constantly monitored and every time any particular offering was nearly consumed, it would be replaced. The staff in this restaurant were another high point, very attentive and guest-focused, particularly Vasilis, one of the restaurant Captains, who made everyone laugh by letting the kids chose where we would sit each night. This guy does get a lot of mentions, so I should point out that EVERYONE in the restaurant was great.
Once a week (Wednesday I think) there is an outdoor barbeque in the evening. Make sure that you do not dine elsewhere that night; the food is melt-in-your mouth. Also, you must check out the almost-secret coffee bar hidden down behind the kid’s club play-area. The kids club was a hit with our children, in fact I had trouble getting them out of it and into the pool, as the woman that runs it is very inventive and the craft activities seem endless, but, this is a welcome break for them to get into the shade for a couple of hours at a time.
Some people have suggested the hotel’s beach was not terrific and that the sea was quite rough at times, and I do have to agree here. It’s all very nice sitting there looking out to sea and being waited on by the bar staff, but no use to kids. Instead, take the bus to Agia Marina, about 15-20m minutes away, and about 1.5 Euro’s each way. Shallow, warm and calm sea. The reception will tell you exactly where to get off of the bus and in any case, the bus conductors all speak English and will announce when you arrive. Tip!! – ask the conductor where to find the return bus stop! It’s really hot in the afternoon and with little shade you do not want to be dragging your family in the wrong direction. There are good ice cream and snack bars on the beach with toilets and back on the strip itself I found a nice restaurant that cooked fresh pizza’s to take away for a very reasonable price. On the subject of price, I would say I tend to agree with some reviewers here, the price of drinks can be expensive, certainly for a family of four, because let’s face it you do tend to drink all day in that heat, and the cocktails were something we couldn’t make a habit of. By the time you add a small tip each time, you really can be spending a small fortune every day, typically for us it would be 20 euro’s lunch drinks/ice creams, dinner drinks 15-20 euro’s and if you had a couple of cocktails each in the evening and a couple of non-alcoholic ones for the kids you’re talking 60 euro’s. But that’s subjective, and in isolation, a beer or soft drink is not that much more than along the strip (just the cocktails!). My advice would be to visit the supermarket and keep a couple of cartons of juice in the fridge for the kids.
I would recommend an afternoon/evening trip to Chania, take the free option of trading the hotel evening meal for a lunch in the beachfront restaurant (book this the day before). The bus again is cheap and easy to use, right outside the hotel and return from the main bus depot. You should try to end up on the far easterly side of the harbour to see the sunset which is beautiful. In July this was around 8pm. There’s plenty of bars and restaurants in this area.
Another two dining experiences I would recommend, in Platanias itself, are Mylos, a totally unique garden restaurant a few hundred yards from the hotel along the main strip (you must book or face a long wait), and a fair bit further up in the Platanias Square area is the Dos Amigos Mexican restaurant, booking is not generally required and they are really, really kid friendly, as is most of this part of the Island. The main strip has lots of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and lots of crazy golf for some reason. As has been mentioned before, it is NOT pushchair friendly though, very narrow and crowded pathways, do not bother trying. If you want to take a visit with a buggy, go during the day when there are fewer pedestrians.
My final comment is reserved for our fabulous Thomson’s rep, Sue Langton. Our friendship began when I realised that I’d left my reading glasses on the plane. Sue tracked these down in Gatwick and had them returned to me, keeping me updated by text message, but in the meantime, we were booked on a trip to the Palace of Knossos (not cheap, but highly recommended, the tour guide really brings Crete’s historical and mythical culture to life and is really good at engaging the younger children), so as Sue wanted to lend me a guide book for the coach journey, she also loaned me a pair of her own spec’s so that I would be able to read it! Sue was a great point of reference for all of our queries about local travel and the island in general, having moved there some years earlier. By the end of the trip she even bought the kids a going home gift. Thanks again Sue!
Happy to answer any questions.

Room Tip: They all seemed good, we had a standard garden view which was superb, away from any noise but close to main facilities.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank Steve P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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