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“Great hotel although not perfect”

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Minoa Palace Resort
Ranked #1 of 68 Hotels in Platanias
Certificate of Excellence
Espoo, Finland
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Great hotel although not perfect”
Reviewed July 21, 2009

We spent one lovely week in the hotel in mid July and really enjoyed it! We got from this hotel exactly what we wanted, it met almost all our expectations. I'll list all the positives, then negatives, both based on OUR preferences.

- Location. About 20min ride from Chania airport (we had travel agency bus, taxi trip would cost around 40eur). Few hundred meters from "city center" Platanias, although not in a noisy part by far. On the beach. Million of supermarkets and tavernas right outside of the hotel. We didn't go to this vacation to hike around, explore local specialties or to party, just to rest and sunbathe. So, what might be seen as a negative by others was a certain positive.

- Premises. The hotel is a complex of interconnected segments, older part south of a local main road, newer part north of the road, pretty much right on the beach. The 2 parts are connected by a pedestrian ramp above the road, so no need to cross it. Although it's also possible to go from one part to the other on the ground as well, there's a pedestrizan zebra with a traffic light.

We liked plentiful greenery on the premises (in the older part) - lawns, garden, flowerbeds, palm trees, some blooming bushes in staircases in between building segments etc.

We also enjoyed a handful of interconnected outdoors swimming pools, especially those "bowls" - it provided variety of cooling off in water while tanning.

Galleries, connections, staircases in between the segments, terraces, backyard were also prettily designed and decorated. We totally preferred this segments system (especially in the older part) of the hotel to some monoblock. Quite charming.

- Rooms. We stayed in the older part, so called mountain view room. In reality you get very green back garden of the hotel, some sleek trees, rolling hills and mountains on the background of the entire picture. Really calming and pretty. We really preferred our side of the building to the rooms overlooking the swimming pools in the front of the older part: we had more privacy and less noise compared to those, we really appreciated that arrangement.

We heard staying in the newer part would've been better cuz of seaview and more modern interior design but we were in no rush for either one: weare coastal dwellers so seaview is something that we have at home; nor we are too keen on modern style interiors. Also, the pool in the newer part was "boring" compared to those in the older part. So, personally for us it was perfect.

Our room was decent size, with seating area and balcony (all rooms have balconies or a terrace), spotless clean, marble bathroom with actual tub. Come to think of it, the entire hotel territory seemed to be very clean (although I spotted a few cigarette butts on the naroow edge between the lawn and tile in the pool area). Like other reviewers, I also noticed that beds were somewhat hard but once again - for my personal preference it was just perfect. AirCon worked great cooling the room down in just a minute or 2.

- Service. We had very uncomfotable flight times, arrived to the hotel shortly after 9am, but check-in time only after noon. The registration happened instantly, our bags taken to storage room and we've been offered to join the breakfast buffet, although "officially" all our services would kick in only after 12 o clock. Then a customer service rep speaking our language approached us and offered her her services in case of any need. Although I have no problems with English we did turn to her once and she resolved everything instantly.

By 11am we were already very tired after our sleepless travel night, nor my mother was feeling too well in the non-AirCon'ed lobby. I approached the the receptionist again asking to figure out a room for us ASAP. She got a manager involved and 3min later we were already settling in our room.

Another time sound disappeared from our TV and there was a minor problem with showerhead on our bathroom. I meantioned it to the recpetionist when leaving for a walk and upon our return everything was already fixed.

Beach towels are free, as well as sunbeds (wooden and lighter ones, metal/plastic). There was plenty of them and was always enough for eveyone, despite the hotel being full and despite the fact that some guests reserved more beds with their towels than they actually used.

Generally staff was very nice, especially waiters. One of the waitresses was super nice, she seemed to enjoy her job and spread totally cozy atmosphere around herself. She even joined dancers and guests in the Greec dancing line and was just.. well, so cozy and cute!

- Food. We were on half board. The food was generally quite good, there was plenty of choices in appetizers, vegetables and meats during all meals. Not sure what another reviewer meant by "food was gross but chips were to die for". Personally, I couldn't care less about chips, pork or fish but I appreciate beef, lamb, spinach/artichoke/aubergine etc dishes, so I was quite happy with the food. One of the dinners had Greek and onther one Crete specific theme.

The food trays refill was being done regularly, I never saw trays that were emty or just had a couple of unappetizing bits left. Neither there were queues for food, just on a couple of occasion there was like a "conveyer belt" of eaters along the rows with food trays but hardly anyone had to actually wait for his turn.

- Stuff for kids. We were there 2 adult relatives with no kids so didn't pay attention to kids related amentities, although there was very many kids, from under 1y.o. all the way up to late teens. I think kids had a pool of their own, although some of them splashed in deeper pools, too. Most of the kids seemed genuinely happy by the pool, in the restaurant and during entertainment.

I think families with kids were placed in another part of the building since we didn't hear any related noise while in our room. Or may be kids were just well behaved since there weren't annoying or dustirbing in the pool area either.

- Entertainment. Not buch but still. 1.Magician. 2.Live Cretan music/dancing. 3. Two dancing couples with a juggling/magician couple. Each of the 3 events were nice (although magic tricks were probably a bit boring for adults), the dancing event was DEFINITELY more fun than similar experience in our Cretan Night tour. (The dancing performance itself was better in the tour but fun for participating tourists was arranged much better in the hotel event). Dancing and juggling was quite alright, too.

Now, the negatives:

- Sea/beach. Clean indeed and nicely arranged but naturally not nice at all. The sand is greyish, the waterline is pebbles, the water muddy. We ourselves live on a coast, also I have plenty of experience with other seas/oceans, so this one wouldn't hold comparison with nearly any of them.

- Rooms. Looked a bit too plain for 5*, may be rooms in the newer part are better.

- Bathroom. There was no shower curtain, just sort of a glassdoor on the tub edge. But it was not big enough to protect the bathroom floor from the shower sprinkling and splashes. Carefully arranged showerhead position and water pressure solved the problem but guests shouldn't be forced to juggle with that sort of stuff in a 5*

No bathrobes. Not that we needed them badly but expected.

No "washing device for private parts".

Magnifing mirror. It was attached to the wall in a way that was uncomfortable to use it, neither it had lighting.

- Food. The biggest disappointment was the news that during our halfboard included dinner ALL drinks were charged for, including soft drinks and just plain water. A bottle of water would cost you 3.70eur or sth like that. I don't know the prices for wines or cocktails because we don't drink alcohol.

Not much food variety from day to day. No oatmeal for breakfast. Only 2 or 3 types of juice.

For ourselves we decided not to take halfboard packages in similar locations anymore: if paying for drinks then the price paid after each meal would run close to a meal in a local taverna, except for it would be more local, we can have variety and also it would be healthier: we have hefty appetite and couldn't say "no" to ourselves while in front of all those full trays. Halfboard is not for eaters like us.

- Service. Some employees could be trained to look/act more friendly. Some do try that but seemingly "just because they have to".

On the 2nd day a cleaner only showed up in late faternoon, when we were resting after the day by the pool and had "Do not disturb" sign. We asked our room to be cleaned while we went outside for a walk, which they did. But it was just a quick bed and towel makeup, not real cleaning. So we kept using "Please make up my room" sign on our door every night to ensure that the room would be cleaned by the time we are back in for our afternoon rest.

- Entertainment. Not much besides what already described. I would agree with other rveiewers that more than half of the nights after dinner were julacking any atmosphere. Once again, we came there to rest, not to party, but even for such boring farts as we are it was a bit dull.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay and tahnks to early booking discount our experience was worth the money. Althought it wouldn't stand up to its full price in my opinion.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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1 Thank Trasp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Marple, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2009

There seems to be a view that Greek 5* Hotels are equivalent to 4* in some other parts of Europe and there may be some truth to this.
The new Imperial Wing of this Hotel is definitely 5* in terms of accommodation, pool area and breakfasts in a modern dining room overlooking the beach. We were absolutely delighted with our spacious modern room with excellent furnishings, decor and bathroom fittings. The Hotel was spotlessly clean and the staff friendly and courteous. It is obviously the place to stay as the Scorpions (Winds of Change etc) had the penthouse Suite for their gig in nearby Chania when we were there.
The "older" side of the Hotel is still very pleasant and well maintained but the main dining room could do with a makeover to give it a better atmosphere. The lighting is too bright and decor, chairs tables etc a bit old fashioned. However on the plus side the outdoor eating area especially the terrace is very pleasant.
To be honest the Food is probably not 5*, however there is enough choice and it is fresh and plentiful.
We would definitely stay here again and although Platanias (Scandinavia on Sea) is not the classiest resort in the world it is ok in terms of amenities. Much more enjoyable is the beautiful city of Chania, 25 mins on the bus that stops outside the Hotel and the west coast of Crete especially Elafonissi Beach (hire a car for the day from the Hotel).

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Whatfordregans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2009

The hotel:
We had good service from the staff, as soon as we got there they took our bags to our room and the same man at the end took our bags and put them by the coach. The staff could have been friendlier but otherwise all good on that front.

Our room was in the older part of the hotel with views of the pool. The room was large with a good sized bathroom. The room was spotless everyday, i could not fault the cleanliness of any part of this hotel.

The food was probably the biggest let down, we stayed here for a week and in the end it got very tedious and if i had been travelling with just my boyfriend i would have gone to the restaurants in platanias (there are alot). You can opt for a set menu in the newest side of the hotel but we always forgot as you have to book.

The pool area is lovelly, lots of places to sit and the bar is in easy reach. The chips are to die for! It was a bit cold in the pool but once you get used to it it was nice to cool off.

The hotel itself is connected by a bridge to the newer part of the hotel so the private beach is less than a 5 min walk away which is nice. Sunsets were gorgeous.

Platanias:
Platanias itself i wasnt so keen on. Its mainly restaurants with men who stand outside them almost begging you to come in, hire car shops, over priced clothes shops selling primark quality clothes and little supermarkets. The old town of platanias is nice, and it has some lovely views of theodore island from the top. We did a boat trip to that island from platanias harbour and done a bit of snorkelling, i think it is well worth a visit as you get to hold octopusses and snorkel over a german bomber plane that crashed into the sea.

The little train that goes around some local villages isnt bad. Earlier in the week we went on a 4x4 excursion into the hills which was amazing. The knowlege of our driver was superb and we learnt so much about crete, would definatly reccomend that! Trouble is when you go on the little train it is a bit boring and tame after the 4x4 trip!

Chania was lovely, bus stop outside of the hotel so easy to get to.

Overall we had a great time in crete but the resort of platanias wasnt for us, far too geared for the tourist and not enough good local shops. Hotel was good but i wouldnt go back to it.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank vixarooni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2009

The best part of this hotel is the new, nicely done beach and pool. They have very comfortable chairs on the beach with umbrellas, good swimming in the sea and a great pool. The service at the beach is great.

Unfortunately, we stayed across the street in the older part of the hotel. The room was okay, clean, and bathroom pretty nice etc, but the bed was two twins pushed together. Our view of the mountains, which would have been lovely, was blocked by a big generator. I had about the most unpleasant nights sleep there. Also, the staff was not very helpful. No one helped you with your luggage to and from the car. I stood at the counter for 15 minutes before the employee behind the desk acknowledged my presence when checking in. True, he was helping someone else check in, but why should I wait there for what seemed like an eternity before someone says hello. A true 5 star place (or even just a decent human being) would say, "I will be with you in just a second.") Then he didnt seem to know who I was until he scoured a list. Later, this same individual gave us rude and wrong advice about how to go about hiking the Samarian Gorge. They also charge for use of the safe, and we argued our way out of the charges but was unpleasant to have to do so.

If you have to stay at a resort rather than a smaller hotel in this part of the island, I guess this hotel is for you; otherwise, I would chose among the other smaller and friendlier (and less expensive) places.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mpote001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2009

Stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks from 23rd June and was VERY disappointed!! The Thomson online details about this hotel I beleive are very misleading and we were horrified to see our room once we got to the hotel (in the hotel's "old" building and not the new nice one!

We arrived and had to wait with 2 young children in the reception because our room wasn't ready - after 4pm in the afternoon and for a 5* hotel I found this unacceptable - esp since we'd been up since 3am with 2 young tired children. Once we finally got into our room (40 mins later!!!) I was even more disappointed - the toilet seat was absolutely disgusting!!! Dirt was ground into the seat, yellow mouldy tiles on the floor, mould all round the bath and shower facilities - gross! I went straight to reception to complain and asked to move rooms. Was told the hotel was full and there were no other rooms available. Great. Asked to speak to Thomson rep who was on airport runs but receptionist said he could contact her and get her to call me in my room. She did call within around 20 minutes but what shocked me is at the end of the holiday we settled our bill and the hotel had charged us nearly 8 euros for the phone call!!!! They had transferred the reps call to our phone therefore we footed the bill. Outrageous. Anyway, rep came with customer relations manager to inspect my room. Well they have an answer for everything don't they - even the manky toilet seat. Personally I do not expect to go to a 5* hotel and have such a dirty toilet seat that we can't even use it. But, I was fobbed off with "5* in Greece is different to 5* in England" (thanks for that patronising comment - infact I have been to several 5* hotels in Greece and none of them have been poor quality), "dirt and mould does occur when things are getting wet all the time", (yes if you don't clean it properly but still not expected in 5*). Rest of the room was shabby and dull. Beds are rock hard. They did however change the toilet seat but only because I insisted.

Now for the rest of the hotel!!! Complete lack of entertainment and the entertainment that did occur (at most twice a week) was really rubbish!!! Again, not whats expected for 5*. Mini club was great for us as we found sunbeds by the kids pool right by the mini club and my kids were free to run in and out of there as they wished and there were lots of things for them to do/play with. However, my kids are 2 and 3. If my kids were older I would of been really disappointed the the mini club as they don't put on any activities for older kids. Stephanie - the girl who runs the mini club is great and all the kids loved her.

Food - gross! We were half board and only ate there 4 times in the whole two weeks, of which, two of those times my little one was ill the next day. Food was cold, tastless and not much variety. Thank god for chips. Luckily there were plenty of restaurants in the resort that were really nice serving excellent food. Another gripe I had was that when I've been to half board before drinks have been included with the meals (at least soft drinks anyway), but by the time we ordered a bottle of water, two soft drinks, a bottle of crap wine and a couple of beers it was costing around 35 euros so figured it was better to go out to restaurants and pay only a little more for a decent 2/3 course meal and better wine. How anyone could eat there every night was beyond me.

Breakfast was ok but I only have toast. The rest looked the same as the dinner did - boring, cold and bland.

The buffet was a nightmare - massive queues and people pushing in. The dining room isn't big enough for the amount of customers there.

This hotel does not deserve 5* - I would give it 3 maybe a 4 at a push. I will be writing a strong letter of complaint to Thomson who for me and have failed for the first time in the few years I've been using them.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2009

The minoa palace could be updated, and its staff could be trained in customer service relations. The location is perfect, and you can easily get to any pool or the ocean. However, don't expect to get pampered or even offered a drink. It won't happen. The staff actually seems incredibly irritated if you ask a question. As long as you are only looking for location, it will be a good fit.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank kimmie5666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2009

Overall we had an enjoyable stay here except there was no atmosphere after dinner in the hotel and Platanias is just one long street of bars (with no music, not any), tatt -shops, pushey restaurant touts and car hire outlets.
The hotel is clean, modern and spacious. The main pool area's are good but I would'nt waste your money on the rooms with private pool as I didnt see anybody using there's.
Chania is nice, it takes about 30mins on the bus which runs every half-an-hour outside the hotel untill 11:30pm.
We booked with Thomson which was good value overall for half board, but we are in no rush to go back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tripthelightfandago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Minoa Palace Resort

Property: Minoa Palace Resort
Address: Platanias, Chania, Platanias, Crete 730 14, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Crete > Chania Prefecture > Platanias
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Platanias
#1 Spa Hotel in Platanias
#1 Luxury Hotel in Platanias
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Platanias
#4 Family Hotel in Platanias
#4 Romantic Hotel in Platanias
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Minoa Palace Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Minoa Palace Resort offers majestic views of its surrounding countryside and the White Mountains. To the north, the hotel enjoys panoramic views of the endless beach of Platanias with the shimmering sapphire blue Aegean beyond. With the extension of the hotel in 2008, guests have immediate access to the beach, over the aerial bridge, connecting the two hotel's sections. The luxury and comfort, combined with the attention to detail and the relaxed atmosphere, provide a holiday to remember for a lifetime! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Minoa Palace Resort And Spa
Minoa Palace Platanias
Minoa Palace Hotel Platanias
Minoa Palace Resort Platanias, Crete - Chania

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