It may not be a 5* hotel but my score reflects the service and the overall score of the holiday in general. As with anything, it is what you make it.
I stayed here for a week in August with my boyfriend (now fiance as he proposed on this holiday!) and had a lovely time! The staff are lovely, especially George at the bar and the Chef.
I would recommend this place for couples. I'm not sure this would be the best place for children as there isn't any evening entertainment put on, but for people happy to just relax and unwind in the bar area after a fun filled day, you should be quite happy.
Gouves is a quiet place, perfect for relaxing and I would recommend that people who want to go partying should look to stay in Malia instead.
The food is nice, perhaps basic for some, but as a fussy eater I was happy. Served canteen style.
There is usually soup, a selection of meat and fish dishes, feta cheese and salads in an evening and breakfast consists of continental or ham, cheese, bacon, eggs.
The chef is a lovely man too.
Our room was basic but clean with a tv & we paid a small amount extra for the use of the safe & air con.
I think the beds were a bit hard but I always slept very well and didn't once hear the people in the next room (which has happened in other hotels!)
The pool is nice and clean and we could usually get a sunbed, though we did come at the end of the school holidays where the summer holidays might have begun to quieten down.
The beach is about 20-30min walk away, it gets very hot outside though, so maybe take a fan with you! There are shops & bars you can stop for a drink at along the way though.
There is also a lovely lady who comes twice a week to the hotel that you can book excursions with - I highly recommend the Jeep Safari as it is a great way to see a lot more of the island, here some myths, see the vultures and the driver we had (Steve) was so knowledgable! We did this on our last day after we had checked out (but were not getting picked up until the evening) and were able to leave our bags in the luggage room and use the hotels shower once we were back.
The "Go Greek" night was also good fun, a look around a traditional Greek house, big buffet, singers and dancing - we also got up to dance on stage!
If you like looking at old ruins etc then Spinalonga is also a nice day out & hearing about the leper colony that lived there is rather humbling. Plus the cruise, swim in the sea, lunch on the boat & stopping at a lovely little Cretian town for a shop all adds to the experience!
The bus stop is a few minutes walk away from the hotel and takes you to either Heraklion or Malia within an hour.
We went to Heraklion to see Knossos Palace but I was a bit disappointed with this trip as I had hoped it would be a lot more about Greek mythology, but it was just about the architecture.
We also caught the bus from here to the Cretaquaruim. Be warned it is a good 10 min walk from the bus stop to the aquarium! Fish fanatics (like my fella) should enjoy this but it is not a very big place as won't take long to walk round. However if you do go here and are an animal lover, please stop in Gouves Animal Shelter, you are allowed to go in and fuss all the dogs that are most chained up outside. You can also help to walk them if it is not midday (as it is too hot to walk the dogs at this time). The shelter is quite poor and doesn't get much help so if you have any spare money they would appreciate a donation. We ended up adopting a beautiful dog from here that now lives with us in England! For English speakers, ask for Vicky Light at the shelter if you do want to rescue a dog and she will arrange for transport and vaccinations etc for you.
An unforgettable holiday for us, I hope that this review helps if you are looking to holiday in Gouves and if you do, enjoy!!
If you do stay at the Despo Hotel, we brought a water bowl for the cats outside the restaurant... Please fill it up with water morning & night if you go here. Thanks very much! x
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- Also Known As:
- Despo Hotel Gouves
- Despo Hotel Crete
- Hotel Despo
- Despo Kato Gouves, Crete