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“Great value for money”
Review of Despo

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Despo
Ranked #20 of 36 Hotels in Kato Gouves
Northfleet, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great value for money”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We arrived late around 11.30 at night to be greeted by the friendly smile of Maria. After being shown to our room we went to the bar for a well earned drink, where George made us feel instantly welcome. This set the pattern for the week. All of the staff were friendly and helpful, the hotel was clean and the food was good. The hotel is small and the rooms are basic so if you are looking for 5 star then no this hotel is not for you, but if you are looking for a friendly relaxed atmosphere then I definitely recommend Despo it is great value for money.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Low Cost Holidays

Helpful?
5 Thank Glyniss W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Reading some of the poor reviews I wonder just what people want for their money. We arrived very late at night and yet were warmly greeted by very friendly reception staff, Maria and Katarina and barman, George who made us feel immediately welcome despite working very long hours seven days a week. Our room was small but we don't go away to stay in our room so made the most of it. The chef works hard and takes a pride in his food. There are cats around as in most places in Greece but they will leave you alone if you don't encourage them. We found treating the staff as human beings rather than personal servants ensured that we enjoyed their company and we were treated well as a result.

Room Tip: Those not in the basement
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank fromme8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greater manchester
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This hotel like others has pros and cons but overall we got what we paid for
I requested a room in the newer block through Jet 2holidays as I couldn't find a website for them and fair enough we were given one. I would have hated to have been in one of the "dungeons"
The food was adequate but limited, again this is 3 star not 5 star so to be expected
I wouldn't like to go in the height of the season as there certainly would not be enough beds for everyone
I think they need to review their all inclusive drinks policy. Only wine, lager ouzo, raki, brandy and soft drinks . The brandy was AWFUL, I tried it with ice, coke , sprite, orange but it still tasted gross. George the barman was fine at first but got a bit overbearing with his insistence on bringing your glasses back to the bar. Mano was great as were the reception staff and the chef was lovely
The grounds were so well maintained full marks to the gardeners and their topiary skills
The reception staff were fine too.
As my review title says it was fine for a 3 star

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank minesabrandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

The gardener is worth his weight in gold, beautiful gardens!
Do not believe any of the good reviews. Those people must have very low standard of food and cleanliness at home. Cats roaming all over the dining area and children's play area used as litter tray. We paid £563.00 for hotel on an AI basis (flights separate). We got there late in the evening and we too were taken to a basement room (later referred to as the dungeon by barman George). The porter let me carry my own case down all the stairs as the lift is no longer in use! We paid for pizza a beer and a glass of wine as AI stopped at 10:30 pm. Barman George told us to see receptionist in the morning too get moved out of the dungeon. We contacted Katrina who gave us a key to 'a superior room', her description not mine. It was acceptable but when we returned to reception were told we needed to pay £200 euros for the remaining 13 nights. We paid this to get out of the dungeon where the beds were concrete slabs and the doors to concrete terrace did not close properly. They charge for air con and the safe too! The stairwells have lighting but the lights were only on one evening during our 14 night stay, health and safety is not a priority. While I understand the poolside bar has to serve drinks in plastic I found the cleanliness of them to be substandard. I complained to the barman George on numerous occasions after developing mouth ulcers. I asked for a proper clean glass and was told you could only get that if you paid for drinks!!!!! On one occasion he was actually quite aggressive. He was continually shouting at people to return empty glasses as there was no staff to collect them. People were also asked to empty their ashtrays. I bought my husband and I glasses of our own. Food was limited. You need a blender to get through the meat. I am not a fussy eater but as the standard wasso low we ate out 12 days out of 14. The cats put me off eating in the hotel especially with the litter tray/play ground being in full view if the restaurant. With regards to the cleanliness, on entering our 2nd room balcony there were spillage stains on the floor, they remained there for the remainder of the holiday. I knocked over a glass from bedside table one evening and did my best to clear it up. Days later I found more glass so clearly the floor was never cleaned properly. The bath was only only ever rinsed and a layer of scum developed. The sheets were changed twice during the 2 weeks and on those days the beds were made up. On the other days the sheets and bedspread were just thrown on any way....when we returned to our room the bed looked as though people had been rolling around in it!!!!!!!!!!!
We don't mind walking so the distance to the beach was not a problem for us but it may be for elderly or infirm. The main road did not bother us at all but again may be a problem for elderly, infirm or children.

On a brighter note, as we spent most days out of the hotel using the fantastic bus service we did have a wonderful holiday. Bus stop 15 on the same side of the Despo will take you to Hersonnisis, Stalida and much more. The stop on the other side will take you to the capital, Herakilon , well worth a visit. We will definitely return to Crete but would NEVER stay at the Despo(rado)!!!!

Room Tip: Do not stay there, the Adonis apartments at the other side of the road would be better and The Islan...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank BrendaJuly2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Kato Gouves hotels

nmaria
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We booked this hotel online, after reading a lot of good reviews on here... but we arrived at 5am and they gave us the key to our room, It was down in the basement and instead of a balcony we got a concrete slab surrounded by more concrete.... and the room looked like it was for an 18th century monk. 2 SINGLE BEDS cemented to the floor when we are a couple who booked a double room!! No air con either and it was plain and small with a lantern...... So the next morning whilst trying to change room they said they had no other rooms so your'l have to change hotels. So we moved to their sister hotel the Kalia Beach hotel (this is much better I would stay here it's right on the beach in a beautiful location where as despo is a 10/15 minute walk from the beach!) Room quality was much better in our new hotel too. I wouldn't recommend staying here. put your hundreds of pounds into a better hotel!!!

Room Tip: not basement...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank N G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Arriving at Despo we where a bit disappointed at first for it all looked it bit outdated. But we had a room in the rear and this was quite new, nice and very clean. The staff is very friendly and make you feel at home right away. Food is nice but we preferred eating Greek dishes at local taverna's (o.a. Milos, Filoxenia). Although the hotel is at the main road, inside the room it's quiet. It's only a 5 minutes walk to the beach and the bus stop is just 400 meters away.
We spent a few days at the pool but wanted to explore a bit as well. We rented a car and where surprised by the beauty of Crete. We made trips to all directions and found many nice villages and small beaches. We also did a organized tour to Spinalonga and Agios Nikolaos and that was great with a swim and a bbq. There is a travel agency as you walk down to the beach and tours are less expensive there. It's where we rented the car too and we where given lot's of idea's for day trips.
For more entertainment you should go and visit Hersonissos or Malia but we found good bars in Gouves too like Baraki and Anfield bar in main street.
We really love Crete and the people are so very friendly, we will come back soon as possible!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Prevelis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We booked with lowcostholidays.com so were a bit worried that we might end up with a super basic hotel without much charm, upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised. Although small for an all inclusive resort, it really delivers on cleanliness, catering and helpful staff.

The hotel is situated on a busy highway in a dusty suburb right beside Gouves - a small touristy yet quiet location. The highway is pretty noisy which might be a factor for some, but it didn't matter much to us. There's not a huge amount in the immediate surrounding area - a nice bar run by English people called Rainbows - food was great and free WiFi was a bonus. A few small super markets but other than that it's outlet stores selling furs (in 30 degree heat?!) and garden supplies etc.

The room Despo put us in was in the basement - we'd requested not to be in a basement room when we booked but the hotel staff say they never get these requests passed on to them from the booking agent. It was dingy and not very well maintained, there was no option to have air con and the beds were two singles cemented to the ground, which wasn't what we booked. We booked a double room not a twin room, and it was a couples holiday so that was a real downer.

After complaining twice when we first arrived, we got given a huge fan to keep us cool until the hotel manager could try and sort us out with a new room in the morning (we checked in at 9pm so it was just the night porter on duty). They were very helpful the next day and offered us the penthouse for no extra charge if we could wait one more night in the basement, which we agreed to.

There are 4 penthouse rooms with huge balconies and almost a 360 degree sea view, and awesome air con & fridge. I can't speak for what the rest of the rooms are like but they looked just as nice but some without a sea view. You do have to pay seven euros per day for air con but it's well worth it, and you'll need it! Our five remaining nights in the penthouse were amazing. If we'd have stayed in the basement however it would have been a different story.

The food is great - although breakfast is a bit lacking (hard boiled eggs, yoghurt, toast, water melon, sandwich meats and cheese, cereal). On a couple of occasions there were scrambled eggs and bacon.

Lunch & dinner is great - heaps of delicious salad, and for two Pescatarians (we eat fish but not meat) we were never disappointed. Gorgeous salads (olives, bread, coleslaw, tomatoes, feta cheese, beetroot etc) and a delicious veggie option every night without fail. Well worth telling the chef (he's a great guy) that you're a veggie or that you only eat fish as he made extra effort for us . They offer fish every other night which was absolutely delicious.

We saw a few reviews on here moaning about the all inclusive alcohol on offer but we had no complaints - nice cold local lager (although they insist on giving you tiny beer glasses), wine and basic spirit/mixer combos. Waiting staff are all charming and friendly.

For those of you who love cats like us, this was a hugely charming part of Despo's character. We counted around twenty regulars including a litter of kittens - all gorgeous and surprisingly healthy looking; friendly little critters. Despo houses a special area called Cat Corner where staff and hotel guests can go and feed the cats - BUT if you go to Despo, please carry on our tradition of leaving a bowl of fresh water out for them as the staff and other guests don't bother. But otherwise the cats are a fantastic asset to Despo - we had names for all of them by the end of the holiday! Local supermarkets sell cheap tinned cat food too which they go mad for.

We liked Gouves itself but it is a bit scruffy and can feel like a ghost town - though we did go off-season (June 19th - 28th). Dilapidated buildings and closed-down bars and shops make parts of the area seem run-down, but I don't think that's unique to Gouves, we saw a lot of that around Crete in general.

This YouTube video gives you an accurate feel of the local area, we didn't stray too far from where this tour takes you - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we18JQrdzNM.

Having said that, there's still plenty of bars (more than you'd ever need) for both locals and tourists, and some excellent restaurants on the beach for when you fancy something special instead of eating at Despo. We ate out twice at one excellent fish restaurant along the beach strip and had some beers and waffles while watching the sun set on our last night.

The beaches in Gouves are small - seriously small, so those looking for white sand and endless beaches will be a bit disappointed. The tide comes really close to the shore so all the little beaches don't boast much room at all. Great for walks along the beach but not so great if you want the typical beach experience.

Avoid the little white train that takes tourists around Gouves. It was actually laughable, a whistle stop tour of the scruffiest parts of town and super markets that we'd already walked around. At 9 euros each it's worth giving it a miss and going and grabbing yourself a meal on the beach instead.

Overall we had an amazing time in Gouves and at Hotel Despo, everyone was friendly, it was clean, lovely and hot (27 to 30 degrees every day with a sea breeze) and a really relaxed atmosphere. If you can somehow bully your travel agent into actually phoning Hotel Despo before you go to ensure you don't end up with a basement room it's seriously worth it - the difference is so huge between rooms it could make or break your holiday.

Room Tip: Do everything in your power before setting off to ensure you don't get a basement room. The diff...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 249DavidSalad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Despo

Property: Despo
Address: Gouves, Pediada, Kato Gouves, Gouves, Crete 700 14, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Gouves > Kato Gouves
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Kato Gouves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Despo 3*
Number of rooms: 73
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Despo Hotel Gouves
Despo Hotel Crete
Hotel Despo
Despo Kato Gouves, Crete

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