After a very long journey through the town by a bus driver who was driving 10 mph all the way, we were very relieved to arrive at our destination.
On initial arrival the hotel looked ok and we were greeted by a friendly and helpful member of staff who checked us in and showed us to the room. He correctly identified that we needed to go to sleep after a long journey, so gave us the essential information; that we would have to pay 2 euros a day to use the safe, we could have coffee making facilities at an additional charge. We let this go it was not his fault and we wanted to have a good holiday so paid the surcharge for the safe, but not for coffee facilities.
Breakfast was ok, but not five star quality. Horrible orange juice and coffee, poor quality bread. I managed to eat the fruit and would buy something else later for breakfast.
When we approached reception they had informed us that our room was big and therefore wanted to take some furniture from our room to use for another room! Once she saw our face she suggested that she would obtain this from another room. Maybe they should have organised this better in the first place or simply obtained from an empty room so they do not ask their guests to come into their rooms to remove furniture once checked in?!
The room was spacious enough, clean and comfortable, but lacked any form of watching a DVD or Sky so rendered the tv a little useless to foreign travellers who do not speak Greek.
We quickly realised that the hotel facilities were not up to the quality you would expect.
15 mins in the jacuzzi would cost 30 euros per person- should not be at an additional cost in a five star hotel.
The gym's air conditioning did not work so rendered the gym unmanageable unless you are used to the heat.
The pool table, table tennis, air hockey did not work, the staff kept making different excuses when asked what was wrong.
The hotel is on the far edge of Platanias, you cannot walk to the main town in the heat, you need a car or bus.
Chania is nice, it had lovely sights and restaurants.
Platanias is also ok and we found good beaches, activities and food. We found that the hotels offered in Platanias offered the quiet location, good facilities and beaches that would have equalled or beat that on offer at Asterion.
The bus ran every 30 mins however, I would definitely rent a car or at least take your driving licence with you so that you can rent one when you get there. We did not bring our driving licence because we had planned to relax in the hotel and enjoy the facilities in a semi remote location. Whilst the hotel was semi remote; it did not compensate with 5 star the facilities expected and we grew tired of watching sky news or sitting on our own in the deserted bar in the evening and got fed up with waiting for buses during the day.
We had opted to eat out a few evenings found at town called malemare was within walking distance- be careful of the Italian restaurant the chicken was undercooked we identified this prior to eating, but could have ruined the holiday further.
For the hight of the season Asterion and the neighbouring town was like a ghost town. We were regularly the only ones in the restaurant or cocktail bar. We wanted quiet ; but it felt more like the place was literally a ghost town - it was a little eerie and felt uncomfortable at times.
The cocktail bar was not equipped to deal with most cocktails it had a brief selection and were expensive ; 7 euros.
The menus had indicated that you could construct you own, but when I had requested basic cocktails, they did not have the facilities to make them so I gave up and drank one on the menu that I did not particularly like.
We opted for the al a carte restaurant for a couple of evenings the food was good but not a la carte. However we felt safe that we could at least eat here without becoming ill.
The service in the restaurant was good , but the place was just empty and therefore lacked atmosphere that music cannot provide.
The beach was pebbly and uncomfortable to swim in. I had hurt myself a couple of times by getting hit by some strong waves and crashing onto the pebbles on the shore. Because of this I would suggest that it is not suitable for children.
We spent some time on the beach in the late evenings and was not asked to pay to use the sunbeds.
The owner regularly uses the hotel facilities for her grand children to play and therefore made children the priority in the pool. We were asked to stop playing a game of catch in the pool although many other guests were playing ball games in the pool at the same time because we were nearest to her child and he may struggle to enjoy the facilities. In my opinion this is appalling seen as though we were paying customers. If the owners wish to treat this like a home they should not open it as a business.
They have stray cats in Crete and had witnessed many guests being cruel to the animals, using catapults to hit them, kicking them , allowing their children to chase them pick them up to chuck them in the water, it was very upsetting. I had to challenge people on occasion however they did not seem to care. I do not like cats particularly, but it was very distressing to witness so I would encourage the owners to make it clear to guests that animal cruelty should not be tolerated in their establishment. It is meant to be five star accommodation yet the behaviour of many guests did not reflect this.
All of the staff were all very friendly and attentive and are certainly an asset to the hotel and had made the stay bearable.
We felt cheated at the facilities and the request at surcharges to very basic amenities.
I felt that the problem with this hotel is the business model. If it was advertised as a remote and quiet 3 star with no entertainment or basic hotel facilities; even quiet ones- you may walk away satisfied.
However you can find 3 star hotel facilities cheaper, with better beaches and without the need to leave the hotel or regularly travel ; closer to Platanias for both families and/or couples.
I would not recommend this hotel on a four or five star basis.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Asterion Luxury Beach Hotel & Suites is a five-star Hotel, in perfect harmony with the Cretan environment, located directly on the beach front, offers in total 67 luxury rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Asterion Hotel Platanias
- Asterion Hotel Suites And Spa Platanias, Crete - Chania