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Arina Beach Hotel & Bungalows
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Reviewed September 20, 2012

This was the worst holiday my wife and I have taken in our years enjoying trips together. We managed to get a last minute deal, literally booking a deal the day before flying out. It all looked good, the reviews were good and we decided to go for it as a treat.

When we arrived at the hotel, we realised it was 4* rather than its advertised 5*, including here on Tripadvisor. It was late and despite being starving the restaurant was by then closed so we were given a sandwich. We weren't shown to our room, rather given the keys by an unhappy man at reception. Our room was a decent size with a nice bathroom, though dated and the bathsheets were about the worst I've come across anywhere. There were no beverages available in the room which is very poor. The A/C was very good and much needed for early June where temps are very high both during the day and night. The view from the property was very beautiful, looking across to the hotel's pool and beyond to the sea.

On the first morning, my wife found a maggot in her bread roll. This wouldn't be the first time, something neither of us have ever experienced on any trip anywhere before. The food had a reasonable variety but wasn't spectacular. We then went out to the local town. There's really not much to do on this island but enjoy the beaches. The local town has some really nice historical buildings and a beautiful harbour. We also took the bus to the archeological site of Knossos. Temps were bumping 40C so make sure you take sunscreen! It was good but, again, we were a bit disappointed as a lot of the sites were under wraps and couldn't be seen, however, it remains one of the highlights of the trip and we're glad we took the time to visit.

On the second evening, we paid €30 to enjoy a Gala evening meal out on the hotel's veranda. It was very boozy, with lots of singing and dancing and it was all great. That was a great night and so far, everything was going well and we were enjoying our stay.

The following evening everything fell apart. My wife found another living creature, this time in her salad. This was beyond ridiculous. Once is bad but can be excused, twice on a different night in a different dish cannot. My wife went back to her room and because I was still starving asked for a sandwich at reception. I was told by the man there, who we'd already found to be bit of a grump, "Did you read the sheet in your room? Can you read, Sir?'. I couldn't believe what had just happened. I walked away rather than make a scene. In these times of online reviews, making a clanger like that is likely to be met with a retort online, which is seen by many and remains forever. Big mistake, mate! The entertainment is cheesy, especially if you're late 20's, early 30's without kids. It's great if you've got kids as the animation team do try hard and they always had a smile on their faces which was refreshing. The hotel clearly has potential but because of our experience with rude staff, terrible food and little to do other than sit on a beach, with a serious lack of available amenities, makes this place feel more like a 3* establishment at best.

After the maggot experience, we really didn't look forward to lunch and dinner from there on in. As mentioned before, the variety was good but the food really wasn't up to par, even without maggots! I always thought Greeks were all about great food and great times. Hmmm, not here. It appears others have had great times and others not so, so it's perhaps all in the eyes of the beholder. I love it when you get everything and more in a holiday and enjoy reviewing it with a glowing review but this was not one of those holidays since all we wanted in those remaining days was the time to pass and be back at home. Shame!

We'll revisit Greece for sure but it won't be here!

Room Tip: Rent a car so you can get out and about and see more of the island! Also, you can get the bus from the airport to the hotel which is quite quick (about 30 mins) and doesn't cost too much. We booked ahead and got a taxi which for €50 wasn't worth it when it's less than €10 return by comfy bus with A/C which stops right outside the hotel.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank duckvader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

My wife and I booked the holiday through "On the Beach" who rated the hotel as 5* so was a little disappointed to find out the official rating of 4* on arrival. In reality, we would rate this as a 2-3*.

Positives:

* Nice Beach.
* Large Rooms.
* Excellent pool.

Negatives

* We weren't shown to our room on arrival, merely given the key and had to make our own way with our bags - not a good start.
* No water, tea or coffee facilities in the room which given we were 5 minutes walk from the bar to get this was a real pain.
* Balcony lights didn't work.
* Bathroom was dirty and tired. The shower head is too low to use properly and leaks water all over the floor making that slippery.
* Dining "hall" was more like a school canteen with the staff very slow to clean away dirty plates.
* Only one bar ever open at a time. The pool bar would have been great to have open in the evening, an opportunity missed here.
* The gym is a complete joke, 4 pieces of broken apparatus in a small room. Top stuff.
* Similarly the games room was completely clapped out with everything out of order.
* The only music played was euro disco with the same songs on repeat over and over again.

We did have an enjoyable holiday but feel that this was despite the hotel which had the feel of an open prison. I agree with other posters that the beach is nice but the other amenities and the level of customer service was diabolical. The animation team tried hard and were in good spirits but the "animation" wasn't really suitable for a couple in their early 30's - very cheesy.

The hotel has plenty of potential but due to poor maintenance, poor staffing levels and general customer service levels we actually feel very let down by the hotel and was glad of the local hire car company that allowed us to get out and about and visit more of what Crete had to offer as cabin fever set in at the Arina Sand very quickly.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AceEagles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Having returned from 2 weeks in the middle of august spent at Arina Sand I feel fully rested and relaxed we booked as independent travel with www.youtravel.com (who's customer service was great) and flights from Easyjet.com

Location Great on the beach quite literally ten minutes from the airport in a taxi no long transfers

Facilities and Staff Great pool My kids loved it, deep at one end for diving nice and shallow for the majority, It is a saltwater pool but there are freshwater showers to rinse off Loads of sun beds
Pool bar Katerina and NIko did a great job of keeping everyone topped up during the day and Dominica did a great job keeping the pool area tidy
Beach, beautiful soft golden sand beach with loads of sun beds not very deep but very shelving some Big waves if the wind is blowing onshore

Restaurant nice mix of Greek dishes and international dishes my only critism would be because the dining area is large it can be noisy (would benefit from some background music to take the edge off the clattering of plates) the staff in the dining area work tirelessly to keep the tables spotless with fresh linen changed over as soon as tables are vacated. My son has an egg allergy and the team were very approachable to help identify which items would cause a problem.

Rooms our room was beautifully clean for our whole stay with fresh towels daily bed linen changed regularly nice level of furnishing 32" LCD TV with DVD player and nice sea view what more could you need. We had travelled with 9 year old twins so there were two beds made up in our room for the children and still the room did not feel small.

Air conditioning worked perfectly some reviewers complained about the Air conditioning not working with the balcony door open (do you really expect to cool down the room when its 35 degrees outside and the doors open)

Animation team Harry, Keshia, Salvo, Alessandra, Serena and Monica were FAB children loved them to pieces my children have never previously used "kids clubs" however this holiday we couldn't get them out of it the shows that the team put on in the evening are great (not my cup of tea) but the children sat and watched them all whilst my wife and I sat outside watching the waves on the beach from the terrace with a cocktail or two

We ventured out for a few meals whilst we stayed here there are several Taverna's down the road in Kokkini Hani one of the best we enjoyed was Άρωμα meze was a nice Traditional Greek Meze meal and cheap it is situated looking out to sea and has a beutifull view af the sunset. We also ventured into Heraklion on the bus, which stops outside the hotel and is very cheap and air conditioned reliable service.

Room Tip: I prefered the upper floor in the garden buildings nice sea views and evening breeze to sit on the balcony
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tvrturbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

omg who is writing the reviews for this hotel. Travelled with a party of 9 for a week in August ,when we arrived we were really disappointed how shabby the reception /rooms and in general the whole hotel looked .The restaurant and food were extremely poor, food barely warm, not a awful lot of choice and what they did have not very appealing. Tables weren't cleared and very few staff on. This was also the case at night ,one member of staff to cope with the bar just outside the entertainment area(we travelled 23 Aug for a week so hotel was pretty busy).Hotel DEFINATELY not a 4 star, we have been to Crete and Kos 4 times in the past 2 years and stayed at 4 stars would rate this as a 2/3 star .Out of the nine of us the only positive point we could come up with is the beach .

Room Tip: request a quiet room away from road, my in-laws were on this side and said it was like looking out at Beirut and couldn't sit on balcony or have balcony door open because of noise
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank lshars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

Just came back yesterday from a ten-day stay. I am very surprised by the negative reviews.

The hotel is built along the beach, so no rooms are far from the sea. The pool area is only a few steps from the narrow, sandy beach so the sea is a few seconds away from one's sunlounger. It was quite windy most days with a warm N/NW breeze.

Admittedly, the hotel is not far from the extended centreline of the runway at Heraklion but the landing planes come in infrequent bursts, are fairly quiet and create some interest. And of course the transfer time to the hotel is ten minutes, so more time in the sun and less being driven about.

A bus stop outside has quarter-hourly buses to Heraklion (€1.80) one way and Malia/Ag Nic the other. These are long-distance coaches rather than buses.

I was really impressed by the staff, who are all so helpful and friendly. There are lots of nationalities staying here so the staff speak an impressively-wide range of languages.

Our room in one of the low rise blocks was nicely appointed, clean and well-maintained. Again, It was breezy but fine to sit out on the terrace.

During the day, there were plenty of sun-loungers and I found few serious queues at the pool bar - in fact one of the best things about this hotel is that, rather than shouting and pushing in, all the guests did form a queue for food and drinks.

The restaurant is a buffet. I found a wide range of food that varied every day that was cooked to a good standard. There is quite a nice range of cocktails, but I do have to say that the unmixed drinks were not the best I've ever had. However, that's what one gets on an AI deal.

It's definitely on our (admittedly short) list of hotels to go back to.

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor in the 3000 block so didn't actually get a view of the sea from our room due to a fence. But, hey, we'd been looking at it all day! West facing rooms in the main tower get evening sun on the balconies, but face the prevailing wind.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Flyingdancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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