Most of the recent reviews below relate our experience of this hotel. We had a shared pool room at the front of the hotel over looking the sea in the 300 block. Very centrally located, ideal. You can't see the road at all, which runs along the front of the hotel between the small beach and hotel grounds, as the road is below the sightline of the these ground level rooms, this also keeps noise levels down although it is not a busy road. The road being lower makes the views very special. The same seascape creates the backdrop for the buffet breakfast and evening meals restaurant, The Kitchen, it is the nicest restaurant view we have seen in quite sometime. The sunsets were spectacular. The shared pool rooms are very comfortable, with their own private terrace, outside furniture and sun beds. We didn't use the large two communal pools once in 14 days. We didn't have to get involved in any fights for a sunbed thankfully, we did hear about one altercation over sunbeds at the main pool. We paid for privacy and that is what we got sort of....Wonderfully private, apart from the fact that sunbathers at the main pool are directly above you and often look over the the handrail/barrier across to the sea views and so can then look down directly onto you, which some did at great length it seemed!. However they are still not as close by as would be the case if you were laying on a sun lounger at the main pool. The premium we paid for our room was worth it and we would recommend upgrading if you can. Great views and privacy. We did find it strange that our terrace furniture consisted of one comfy armchair and one upright dining chair which was not comfy at all. So only one of us could be comfortable at a time on our terrace. We did ask the rep Henry to see if the upright chair could be exchanged for an armchair, but the best offer we had was from the maid who gave us a sleeping pillow to use on it! So we didn't use the shaded terrace as much as we would have liked too because one of us was always more comfortable than the other. As we had paid a premium for the room we did think we should have been able to make full use of the terrace we had in comparative comfort. I am writing about the shared pool room in detail as I have not been able to find any other reviews about these rooms specifically. Everyday around mid morning the restaurant manger came round with her staff with complimentary covered plates of fruit, so refreshing to eat when hot, and left it by the private and shared pools for guests - I don't think this was done for any of the other rooms. This was a lovely touch. The maid service was amazing, with daily fresh towels. You could change your hotel beach towels at The Bathhouse daily as well if you chose too. This is the same for all guests. Our bed was extremely comfortable. The shared pool rooms require you to share your reasonably sized pool with your immediate neighbour, so four folks to the one pool. This works well if you get good neighbours of course, so it is a bit of pot luck. For 7 of our 14 nights we had no neighbours so we had the pool to ourselves, which was a bonus. Then we had an English couple for a week who were very nice, fortunately. Then on our last weekend we had a young french couple who were very loved up, and I think sometimes forgot we were there, it was a bit awkward to see them canoodling in the pool and on their sunbeds, although I don't think my husband found it as awkward as I did!!! If you don't want to play neighbour roulette and can afford to, then upgrade to the private pool rooms, where you get a separate bedroom and living area and small pool to yourself, with terrace and furniture/sunbeds. The swimup pool masionnettes are toward the back of the complex, there is no seaview and your terrace is right next to the pool, but it is a communal pool for all guests who are swimming and sunbathing in close proximity to your room and terrace so it is not as private, or not really private at all.
We found the two reps Henry and Hannah helpful enough. We didn't get particularly warm vibes though. Their welcome talk was informative. The entertainment duo, Lauren and Pete were pretty good, and we happily wiled away an evening listening to them, some nights were better than others. Gemma was very good, very sociable, and a great singer. The ambiance of the hotel livened up in our second week in the evenings as it seemed much fuller and The Tholos Bar next to the main pool was much busier. The Saxophone player was brilliant, and we loved listening to him. A cocktail special was on every night for 5 euros which was very reasonable. My fav was the Cuba Libra. The bars outside the hotel are cheaper and pleasant enough and make for a change in scenery. Many guests use these tavernas it seems. The location of the hotel is the best in the area. Don't bother taking the little 'Noddy train' for 9 euros that stops on the beach road in front of the hotel. It is a waste of money and just takes you across a wasteland that is vandalised and shabby. It does show you where the Aquarium and Dinosaurworld is though! It doesn't drop-off and pickup, so you are on a round trip. Gouves proper is a bit of a walk and if it is really hot then it can be quite a trek. Just touristy shops etc when you get there. We went to Agios Nikolaos on the bus proper, which is well worth it and very cheap. The bus stop, number 15 , is at the top of the road running away from the beach past bakery and up to the T junction, and then cross over the road (carefully) and turn left and walk for 200 yards or more to get to the stop. We managed it, so imagine most folks could. Agios Nikolaos is beautiful and full of quality shops etc and much prettier than Gouves by a long way.
We also went on the 4x4 trip. This was superb. Darryl our driver and guide was first rate, and made the day for us. He was so knowledgeable and interesting. I was a bit worried that the trip was going to be arduous, but it was fine, a bit bumpy in parts. Visiting the birthplace of Zeus, a cave in the mountainside above The Lasithi Plateau , was brilliant. The stalagmites and stalactites were phenomenal. Crete doesn't have the same level of H&S rules it would seem as UK when descending 200 wet steps and returning, but it was fine. If you go on this trip wear sensible shoes (it is quite a steep climb up to the cave, and rocky in parts) and you will want water if it is hot. We both found it a very hot and longish climb, but we aren't as fit as we should be! This was a full day trip, lunch was fab. We would do this trip again. The Greek night, booked through Thomsons, was rubbish and a waste of money. The traditional Cretan village is one house, in and out in under 5 minutes, the wine tasting was non existent and the Cretan staff didn't make it clear where to go or what to do as our party made our way to the main eating area, so no wine tasting or feta. The eating and entertainment area was huge and over 600+ folks were crammed in sooo tightly that we could hardly move our arms to eat our very poor meal, this is not an exaggeration. The entertainment was based on authentic greek tradition but was definitely tailored toward the very mass tourist market. This is a cynical cash making event which relies on making folks drunk on cheap wine so that they think they are having a good time because they are drunk. We were not drunk. The high point of the trip was meeting other holidaymakers and having a bit of a laugh. Thomsons should drop this event or downsize it to make it more authentic. We got fed up with the buffet evening meals at the hotel after about 7 days. We thought the selection fair, very fresh fruit, salad and a wide variety of choices, especially at breakfast. We realise half board is not for us, this is not the hotel's fault. Eva, the hotel manager was excellent. We had a great greek language lesson with her, we weren't very good at it! Her team were exceptionally hard working. We had no problem with speed of service or getting drinks etc. The Al a Carte restaurant, The Taverna, was a disappointment, the free meal, while 5 courses, was average, and this is the only time the waiter service faltered, our waiter got somewhat confused and kept bringing us the wrong course. I agree with another reviewer that The Yacht Beachside bar was under utilised, and we would have been happy to sit there with a drink and have uninterrupted views of the sea had it been open in the evening. Neither The Tholos Bar, by the main pool, nor The Stone Bar (daytime snacks, very nice), have open seaviews as they are set just a little far back but there is nothing between them and the sea, you just need to be standing up to see it. There seems to be a pretty constant sea breeze, which can be quite stiff at times. However when so hot this is welcome. It does make the sea a bit choppy though, and quite challenging if you are not a confident swimmer. The beach is narrow but sandy and shallow walking into the sea which made it more manageable. The sea was crystal clear and very warm. On a couple of days the breeze dropped and the sea was very calm, perfect for swimming.
The hotel is on the flight path to Iraklion and planes fly overhead every 10 minutes or so, they are just high enough not to be a problem, but every now and again an extra loud one goes over. It didn't bother us at all but it might some folks. The rooms are very quiet, very energy efficient, with the air con not working unless the patio doors are shut, and electric switches off when you remove your room keycard from the scan switch on the wall when you enter. Remember this if trying to recharge your phone etc when not in the room. We would go back to this hotel upgrading to a sole use pool room, but only B&B, and we would hire a car so we had more flexibility with regards access to more of Crete and alternative eating options. Overall very nice hotel. Near to perfect.
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- Also Known As:
- Pantheon Palace Beach Gouves
- Hotel Pantheon Palace Beach
- The Island Hotel Kato Gouves, Crete