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“Very Relaxing. Good but lacking the wow factor.”
Review of The Island Hotel

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The Island Hotel
Ranked #2 of 36 Hotels in Kato Gouves
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Very Relaxing. Good but lacking the wow factor.”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The check in process wasn't great. We were asked to leave our bags in the middle of reception whilst a gentleman showed us and about 10 other couples to our rooms (in different directions??). All the couples refused to leave our bags so dragged them along whilst we were all gradually shown to our rooms.

The place is a labyrinth and we were far away from the main building. Whilst this provided some welcome peace, the signs around the hotel are awful so we frequently took wrong turns! The room itself was lovely. We didn't spend any time on the veranda though as it was a very rustic garden view with a few too many insect friends for me. We spoke to one couple who had upgraded to a sea view room for around 130 Euros for a week after seeing how far away from the main building their original room was. They said it was far superior and worth every penny.

Breakfast was great, especially the English sausages. Except I found it a little strange that when you ordered tea they gave you the milk and hot water but then you had to go in the restaurant to get your own teabags. The evening meal was nice. Lots of choice and good quality food. The salads and melon to accompany the mains were particular favourites. We always sat outside and witnessed some lovely sunsets.

We never failed to get a sunbed, normally one of the day beds. There were normally spare ones around the relaxing pool till about 10am. It was such a chilled out place to be.

I would thoroughly recommend the 4x4 trip. Although we thought we might get ripped off at 79 euros each, we felt it was worth every penny.

As we had a late flight, the shower room available when you have checked out was great.

The drinks were expensive in the hotel and the entertainment wasn't great so we went out every night after our evening meal. There isn't much around the hotel except for a couple of restaurants and a bar called Kon Dim Ar where we spent a few evenings. They do cheap wine (5 Euros for half a litre) and cocktails, although beware that the toilets are a little bit grim!

I would recommend eating at the Taverna one night which is included when you book with Thomsons. The waitress service is a welcome change from the buffet every night and the food was gorgeous.

The hotel could do with some basic improvements like the wi fi (it was awful!), better signage for the rooms and restaurants. We only worked out where The Yacht was on our last day and never saw The Stone restaurant. Maybe if some sample menus had been placed in the welcome pack in the room we might have visited them.

We paid £540 for a week half board at the end of July. We felt that we got really good value for money and would consider going back. It's a definite 4 star hotel though as it lacks the wow factor of a 5 star.

Room Tip: Book a sea view if you can afford it.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KerryLNottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed at this Hotel in June and had a perfect week. It is in a very quiet area , which is exactly what we wanted! It is a Couples Only Hotel. The room was overlooking the garden and we had a small, secluded patio area, with table and chairs. The room was relatively small, spotlessly clean, modern had everything you would need on holiday..
The pools ,gardens and patio areas were extremely well maintained and again, spotlessly clean. It was wonderfully peaceful around the pool areas and was marvellous not to have music continually playing.
The restaurants were modern, spacious and the patio area of the restaurant had magnificent views.
Finally, the staff without exception were friendly, courteous and helpful.
We had a fantastic holiday and will be going again next year.

Room Tip: All rooms have something special but the rooms with the pool access seem very nice.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank elaine p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at The Island hotel for one week at the end of June after booking a last minute getaway. The hotel is a large complex, and is very clean and modern. Our room was situated on the ground floor to the rear of the complex, beside the smaller of the 2 swimming pools. It had everything we needed - tv, fridge, tea/coffee facilities, safe and complimentary bottles of water which were replaced every day. The downside to having a ground floor room was that we couldn’t really open the curtains as the sunbathers by the pool were right outside our patio doors! After reading some of the reviews on here I was a little worried about the sunbed situation, however, the hotel was full when we were staying and we always managed to get loungers close to the main pool after breakfast at about 8.30-9.00am. The double loungers and hammocks around the complex were a nice addition.
Breakfast and dinner were both buffet style. Food in general was good; most worthy of note was the salad bar in the evenings – olives, tomatoes and feta cheese were out of this world! I found that the best food was in the ‘traditional corner’ or at the made to order counter. The food in the main buffet was generally varied and hot and good for what it was. Gluten free options were available and labelled in the restaurant – although some dishes which were clearly gluten free e.g. potatoes were sometimes not labelled. Restaurant staff were pleasant and friendly but service in the restaurant was often amusingly bad – waiters would avoid eye contact when trying to get their attention, wine bottles were left on the table with the cork left in, drinks orders mixed up, etc.
As part of our package deal we were able to eat in the a la carte restaurant one night during our stay – my boyfriend is gluten free and we advised reception of this when we booked the table. Despite the reception staff making a note of this and several waiters and waitresses remembering this on the night, he was still given bread, soup with croutons and a bowl of pasta! The kitchen were able to provide a plate of vegetables as alternative and the rest of the food was lovely so not a major inconvenience.
We went on a couple of excursions whilst in Crete – one to Agios Nikolaos + Spinalonga Island and another to the Dictaean cave + Palace of Knossos. Booked through Mike Tours just outside the back of the hotel – saved 20 euros each on the Spinalonga trip compared with the Thomson trip, and managed to combine the Palace and the cave by not booking with Thomson. The only downside to this is that the tour is bi/trilingual – this did not bother me but began to annoy my boyfriend after a while.
Although the hotel itself was lovely, the resort of Gouves was extremely quiet – only a couple of tavernas behind the hotel and the “main strip” (a 15 minute walk away) turned out to be only 2-3 more bars. Fine if you are looking for relaxing, quiet evenings but people looking for a bit more atmosphere and bustle in the evenings may be disappointed. Prices were not too extortionate; we got the impression that many shops/bars had closed down with the recession and the ones remaining open were cutting their prices to keep business coming. We got the bus to Malia one night – 2 euros each – from the bus stop on the main road behind the hotel. Cheap drinks and a good place to people watch! Caught the first bus back in the morning at 06.45 just in time for breakfast.
All in all a wonderful holiday and lovely hotel. Would definitely return/recommend.

Room Tip: Avoid the ground floor rooms at the back of the hotel as sunbathers are almost on your terrace!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank medstudent2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Stayed here at the end of June start of July for 2 weeks. On arrival in the early hours of the morning - we were shown to our room and the hotel looked amazing - even at night.
A great room - only a standard - but more than enough for what we wanted. A good size, with tv, fridge, sofa, aircon and a good size bathroom with a good shower.
Breakfast was always great - sitting outside in the sun - always lots of tables and chairs - you quickly learn when it is likely to be busy - but even then there was always plenty of space.
As for breakfast a great selection of cooked, eggs (any style) fruit, cereal, breads, pretty much anything you could want.
For lunch we ate out - generally at the Island restaurant - great selection and great value - always very welcoming.
Evening meal was great as well - sitting outside and watching the sun set - it didn't get any better. A great selection of food - regularly replenished - always hot - and plenty of it. If you turned up at a busy time you may well have had to wait for about 2 minutes whilst someone showed you to a table. I didn't mind and it was nice to be shown.
The beach is across a small road a was ideal - sandy and shallow. There was also a nice cooling breeze which made it bearable. There was quite a few waves - which was good fun - but usually meant that it was difficult to swim too much.
Overall a great place - would definitely recommend it and hope to go back again next year! - can't say better than that.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nottingham-uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belfast
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Stayed at the Island hotel in gouves crete for a week in room 709. We had a maisonette room which had a spiral staircase very modern hotel clean.We had a balcony upstairs and downstairs loungers and 2 chairs and table in the rear patio which lead directly to the pool.The room was lovely spacious enough for 2-3 people.The food was good we were half board. I enjoyed the yoga and the cocktail making classes. The night entertainment wasn't great.. could be an awful lot better. The reps were informative and pleasant. Nice clean beach and clear water directly across from hotel the loungers are free .Brochure was true to pictures and information provide.
Downside Gouves is a small resort not alot to do at night.
I only give a 3 for location not of the hotel but the resort which was small and poor. There is supermarkets restaurants etc around hotel. Georges at back of the hotel is really nice for food..This could be an amazing hotel if they would just put some good acts on at night.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BelfastCar0l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Just got back home from a week staying at The Island and I was ready for it to be honest. There is no question that the hotel is gorgeous. The bedroom and bathroom were modern and clean and the queen size bed was amazing! As people have already pointed out, there was no dressing table / plug sockets next to the mirror and the tea and coffee in the room were awful so we brought our own but it’s barely worth mentioning. Our room was at the back of the hotel which was a bit of a walk from the main pool / reception but for a fit and healthy young couple it was fine. The grounds are beautiful with double sunbeds and hammocks available for relaxing. The sunbed situation wasn’t as bad as I thought from reading these reviews. On the first day we got up at 8am and got a comfy double by the main pool. On another day we got up at 11am and had to go to the beach as there were none at the hotel so common sense should dictate what you need to do if you want a good one! The sandy beach was only metres away across the road and we had a good laugh playing in the choppy sea. The main pool in particularly really was awesome.

The food, well it wasn’t great. Plenty of choice at breakfast but there’s no getting around the fact that the ‘hot’ food was far from that unless you queued for a freshly cooked omelette. The bacon was fatty and stringy but the eggs were nice. What was described as ‘orange juice’ was clearly anything but that! Far too diluted down and totally undrinkable. Dinner was a big disappointment for me. I don’t eat much meat and admittedly I am fussy but the choices never appealed to me so it was a good job I like salad as there was an abundance of this which was fresh and delicious. The main courses always seemed to have meat in and my boyfriend felt this was often dry and lukewarm. It was just very bland and unappealing to the eyes or taste buds. It just seemed to need shaking up a bit with new recipes. There was certainly no ‘themed’ nights when we went so maybe they have stopped this? The waiting staff have obviously been told to say 'you're welcome' everytime you thanked them which became a bit tedious!!

The main downside to this hotel is the location and the atmosphere. By day the sunbeds are full and by night….. there is no-one to be seen! Where does everyone go?? Yes there are a few tavernas nearby but they close early and only had a few people in. There is no entertainment at the hotel and the prices are sky high. Maybe if they didn’t charge 7 euros for a vodka and lemonade there would be a few more people knocking around. We went to the Taverna on the first night for a drink to find 4 other people in and the resident duo singers had finished well before 11pm. Why not have a live band or something for guests to do in the evening? This was the main problem for us. Come 9pm it was a soulless ghost town and we were forced to go out and about. Twice we got the bus to Hersonissos which was like a breath of fresh air, shops, bars, restaurants and reasonable prices. The bus stop is a 15min walk and at 1.60 each it is well worth doing. If you’re feeling even braver stay on a couple of stops and people watch in Malia! Be prepared to feel old but drinks are cheap and it is good for a laugh!

So overall yes, this hotel is clean and yes, it is beautiful but beyond appearances it has no heart or soul. If you like peace and quiet then it would be perfect for you but if you like music, chatting to people and reasonably priced drinks then have a think if you are willing to forgo this for what is on offer.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BecG16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I have just returned from this wonderful hotel, where I stayed for two weeks with my Husband. I felt compelled to write a review after reading the comments made by "leahok89". I would hate other holiday makers to read her personal character insults against the manager and the hotel and be worried it was a true reflection of the hotel. Yes men do have to wear trousers at Dinner, this is clearly stated upon checking in, in your rooms, and upon entry to The Kitchen, it is the rule with the great majority of hotels which are 4* and above. The manager and her staff were polite, hard working and professional and frankly I can understand that they would become frustrated at guests who clearly ignore this one clear rule.
The rooms were bright, modern and spacious. The bed was so comfortable and the maid service was second to none.
The grounds were immaculate and colourful. There were loads of beds and personally, I thought the beach was great. It was most entertaining watching the lifeguard trying to control bathers ignoring the red flag, the sea was really rough and he tried his best to keep swimmers in the one area so he could watch over them. Honestly? a whistle was a problem?!! It kept me entertained.
I would recommend this hotel but just to couples and please do not be put off by one disgruntled guest who clearly had no respect for the rules.
I was not so keen on the resort itself but this hardly the fault of the hotel, oh and yes, there are no plugs near the mirror so recommend you take either a mirror or an extension, otherwise...have a great holiday.

Room Tip: Room 510 overlooked the pool and the beach. However you don't see the sunset from this room. It...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Angie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Island Hotel

Property: The Island Hotel
Address: Vlihadas Street | Kato Gouves, Kato Gouves, Gouves, Crete 700 14, Greece (Formerly Pantheon Palace Beach Hotel)
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Gouves > Kato Gouves
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Kato Gouves
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kato Gouves
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Kato Gouves
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kato Gouves
#3 Family Hotel in Kato Gouves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Island Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 298
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Pantheon Palace Beach Gouves
Hotel Pantheon Palace Beach
The Island Hotel Kato Gouves, Crete

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