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“Cheap & cheerful!”
Review of Despo

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Despo
Ranked #20 of 36 Hotels in Kato Gouves
Reviewed March 31, 2014 via mobile

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

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
12  Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 12, 2014

We spend 2 weeks, all inclusive at this Hotel last summer. It scored a few good points, but generally more negative points!
Good:
* Reception staff were lovely
* Food was basic, but nice and staff were very friendly and helpful
* Our children loved it there, made many friends with other guests

Bad points:
* all inclusive drinks were horrible! Seem to have been watered down and the plastic glasses were rather dirty at times. There is a massive difference between the all inclusive drinks and the ones you pay for ( a beer actually tastes like beer!)
* The evening barman, well, how can I describe him....RUDE AND EXTREMELY ARROGANT!
* Neither our towels or sheets were changed in 2 weeks! Neither was our room cleaned. The cleaning went as far as emptying the waste bins!
* The pool...I have never seen anything like it! The water was cloudy = dirty! I think one particular incident will definitely stay in my memory for a long time! A little boy had a poo in the childrens and main pool! Believe it or not, the staff refused to clean it and one of the guests had to go into the pool to retrieve the offending object! It was requested for the entire pool to be emptied and the water changed, but that was refused! Instead we were asked not to enter the pool for a couple of hours for the pumps to clean the water. I ended up with a bacterial infection, which according to my doctor was associated with dirty pool water!
* The beach is at least a mile from the hotel and like others have said, you'll have to cross a busy road to get there! Be aware that you have to pay for a sunbed and parasol at the beach!
* The hotel rents out the dining area to locals for weddings ect. Greek weddings are lovely if you are part of it, but as a guest, the loud music is rather disturbing, especially if it goes on till 4am! This happened twice during our stay!
* Absolutely no entertainment!

Overall, we went to many 3 star hotels in Greece over the years and we never had any complaints with any of them. We are fully aware that you get what you pay for, but this hotel really is even below the 3 star status!

Room Tip: If you are going, insist not to be placed in any of the basement rooms! Even though we didn't st...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Angela R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2013

Don't believe the negative reviews. Could not fault the hotel for the money we paid. There was a busy road to cross to go to the beach. Rooms are basic but clean. Staff are wonderful. Good food. Would go again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with Low Cost Holidays
5  Thank Marlene598
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

Stayed here for 10 days all inclusive in early September '13. Had a brilliant holiday.

Arrived at 3am and was taken to our room. We were told that we were only in this room for one night then would be able to move rooms the next day. At 3am really didn't mind just wanted somewhere to get a few hours sleep. This room was incredibly small, not much space to move around. There were 2 single beds placed together but actually was a big gap in the middle because of the large frames to the bed - not so romantic for a couple on holiday! Next day we moved in to a better room for the rest of the holiday. This room was much better. We paid an upgrade (£20 each) at the time of booking, we were told this would give us a room with a better view but actually the standard of room was much better and the upgrade was totally worth it. The dungeon rooms are close to the reception and are older. The better rooms are in a new block at the back of the complex.

Food - I loved the food and went up for seconds every single day. The chef serves up the food himself and he was lovely. There was a variety of meal choices each day and this also varied from day to day. The waiter who bought drinks to the table would see us coming into the restaurant and have our drinks on the table before we sat down.

The beach is about a 15-20 minute walk, down hill on the way there. Don't listen to the comments that this was like the M25 as that is a huge over-exaggeration. Yes you do need to take care as there is no designated crossing point but it is by no means like a motorway.

Every member of staff was friendly, George on the bar and Maria on the reception in the evening then the bar at night.

Pool was great. There are tables and chairs and a pool table in the shade. Then sun loungers all around the pool and we managed to get one every day. There's a regular pool and a kids pool beside it.

Overall this was the sunny and relaxing holiday that we wanted in a friendly atmosphere. Definitely recommend it to couples.

Our ratings: we put excellent - this was considering the room we moved to. I would have given lower ratings if we'd had to stay in the first room for the duration of the holiday.

Room Tip: If you get offered an upgrade at the time of booking it is absolutely worth it and we saw both types...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Traveller-x31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for a week at the end of September.lovely weather and brilliant staff(Katherina,manos and Maria) would do everything for you.the hotel is need of a facelift and the food is not awful but could be a lot better.very cheap weeks stay so you can't moan about it,you get what you pay for.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank bluenoseBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

Myself and my partner stayed at this hotel in October and we can honestly say we really enjoyed it. George the evening bar man is really hospitable and funny, also very helpful is Maria and the reception staff. Maria goes out of her way to help and nothing is too much trouble. Our room was basic, but we didn't spend much time in it. Food was amazing. Our plan was to try different places, but we ended up eating at Despo for every meal because it was no nice. Bar drinks were limited for all inclusive - just local beer, wine, ouzo, raki and brandy and only free until 10.30pm. There's a busy main road outside the hotel, but you get used to it. We would go back to this hotel again, it's cheap and very cheerful with a friendly atmosphere as soon as you walk through the door. We would highly recommend the jeep safari - well worth the money!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Wendy29559
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013 via mobile

We went as a family of 6. Not bothered about going out at night or clubbing! Food was good. Chef mike looked after us. Selection of 6 or so hot dishes everyday and salads etc. Soups to die for. Breakfast more limited. Continental style with eggs most days and bacon a couple of times. These are the only hot items. Reception staff always very friendly and helpful. Down side is the rooms...very small and limited storage space but who spends all day in their room? It was sufficient for our needs. Location is a bit out of the way. Walk to beach about 10 minutes across a main road. Did not bother us particularly! Close to the bus stops for trips and transfer time quick. You get what you pay for so if you want luxury rooms look elsewhere. If you want peace and quiet and regular tasty meals with lovely pool then you will be fine. We enjoyed our stay and met some lovely people many of which were regulars. Met a few moaners too but we have had them everywhere we have ever been lol. Treat staff well and they will reciprocate.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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5  Thank jay68680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Despo

Address: Kato Gouves, Gouves, Crete 70014, 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: $42 - $90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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