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“basic but nice place to spend a relaxing week or two”
Review of Imperial Studios

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Imperial Studios
Ranked #14 of 33 Hotels in Amoudara
Reviewed September 23, 2013

I recently returned from staying 2 weeks at the imperial studios on arrival at around midnight we thought oh my god as the place looked deserted. but as soon as we walked down the drive we were hit by the aromas of the gardens very fragrant indeed we were greeted by georgio a very nice host who gave us all a free drink as a welcome then showed us to our rooms.the rooms them selves are basic but you get what you pay for and we only slept in them there is a communal balcony on every floor which have lovely views of the mountains and when we asked georgio if we could have some comfy chairs from the old bar he brought us up some so we spent most evenings watching the sunset before going into the town for a few drinks.there are some nice little bars and tavernas in the town but you have to try a few until you find the good ones.
there is a great place up the town it has a big windmill at the front and they do good food and the prices are very reasonable they also do take away pizzas that start at 5 euro's up to 10 euro's all of which are cooked fresh in a stone pizza oven very good and worth popping in.

now for the bad bit georgio and zac were lovely people and cooked some of the best greek food ive tasted the only problem came when we were expected to check out of our rooms a day before we were due to fly out it took a lot of persuading that we had paid for the rooms and were staying in them till we got picked up by the transfer bus our rooms had been promised to other people that had to stay in another hotel until our rooms were vacant and these people kept asking when we were leaving which after the lovely time we had experienced put a bitter twist at the end of the holiday we were also hurried out of our rooms at 2 am as they were waiting to change the bedding so be warned .

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank tpoole5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 43 of 66 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2013

This is a very friendly place to stay. The family who own it, really do make an excellent effort towards their customers well~being and the food they cook is delicious! The swimming pool is an amazing size and the pool table is free! The rooms are fairly basic but always clean. The beach is close by as are the shops. We had a lovely holiday here.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Bristolshell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We arrived early in the morning 4.00am by coach. We could not conceal our disappointment. It looked shabby and the location seemed dire. We were met by Georgio with a bottle of water. We vowed to relocate once we had slept. We woke and found our way to the outside bar for coffee and plan our escape. However, we were overcome by utter joy. The pool is a delight, the brothers are charming and our concerns and doubts evaporated immediately. The rooms are what they are; basic, but they are clean, have fridge, cooking facilities, kettle, cutlery, balcony. The beach is beautiful and the strip of shops and restaurants are typically touristy. Back at the Imperial Studios one evening I managed, unwittingly, to book supper that evening. The brothers cooked off the menu food which was utterly delicious and we were very touched by this personal hosting. This place is a gem and I am so pleased we didn't bolt after our arrival.

Room Tip: Don't ask for pool view; there aren't any!!!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Omega B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

I am writing this review in two sections for either those who have or those who have not stayed in a Greek studio before;

If you are familiar with Greek studios, this one is good value with a lovely clean pool and very helpful and friendly staff. Rooms were cleaned every few days and bins emptied daily. Some sunbeds had seen better days but there were always plenty of them. There were some rooms with a decent balcony view but there was also that common site in Greece-the half built abandoned studio block right next door. Food and drink served in the bar was good and some was reasonably priced but the local beer was a bit more expensive that bars on 'the strip', so we didn't drink there that much. Air con was charged at 8 euros a day and worked well. The studios are well located for beach, shops, tavernas etc-all of which are just five minutes away. The bus to the city centre also stops five minutes away and costs 1.5 euros each way. This makes it easy to visit places like Knossos without paying hefty excursion prices. The beach at Amoudara is lovely-big waves (dodgy for young children) and a lovely breeze.

If you have never stayed in a Greek studio you need to be aware of a number of quirks that are common to most or all of them; they don't tend to have shower curtains (they have wet rooms) or plugs for sinks (or ones that fit the sink anyway!), All Greek toilets require you to put all used tissue etc in the bin and never to flush it down the loo because it will block it. It is useful to bring nappy sacks for this. If you are planning to prepare your own food please be aware that studio kitchens are not great for cooking!! They tend to have two cooking rings at most (this studio only had one), no oven, no microwave, only one saucepan, one frying pan, no spatula, no washing up stuff at all, few pieces of cutlery, one tea cup each (no mugs).......in short-its like camping indoors! You do get a fridge though so it is possible to prepare lovely salads using locally grown ingredients, sandwiches using the local bakery (much better than supermarket bread and they do lovely cakes too).

Overall, I would stay here again for the price we paid.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank ciara10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

We travelled to the Imperial Studios after reading the recommendations of other previous guests comments . All i can say is it is one of the worst places i've ever stayed. The apartment complex is run down there is a bar at front of the property that is closed an derelict an hasn't been used in years. The apartment is basic with a capital B all u get is a hotplate, a small kettle, very little cutlery or glasses, and a dirty fridge that had cultures growing inside it so the first thing we did was clean it yuk ! We had hot water on the first few days for about an hour from 6 till 7 in eve if there was water at all an no hot water at all in second week . The complex is owned an ran by two brothers Georgio who is very pleasant an ameanable and Zak who is sullen and moody ! ! the pool area is very nice very greek and very peaceful .The cost of the drinks is very high though 4.5 euros for a beer . We asked for a meal one eve on return from the beach only to be told we had to let them know a day in advance what we wanted to eat so they could get it in for us the next day so we had to go out to eat that evening. A few days later we did as requested an asked about a meal for the following eve only to be told we needed to find another four people to eat to make it worth there while cooking ! So we got used to most things being a No !! .Their mother Maria is the chambermaid shes well over 80 a lovely lady but cleaning 12 or more apartments would test a young person its far to much for her u get what i called the magic toilet roll in your bathroom the one you get on arrival is never replaced so you always have to ask for more or buy your own .On more than one occasion we were left with only one towel between two of us . the air con ie exorbitant 8 euros a day 112 for two wks . I asked if i could borrow a wine glass an a beer glass for the room on first day as there was nothing to drink out of in our room so on the last day i kindly returned them to the bar but after doing the dishes in cold water for a fortnight the wine glass unfortunately had a small crack in it Zak immediately demanded 10 euros as it was damaged i thought he was joking at first he then told me to go out an buy him a new one what a charmer wot a host !! Ammoudara is very limiting aswell only Cretan restaurants no variety all the menus very similar, car hire places, supermarkets an tit-tat shops no music no entertainment of any kind ! A little tip don't bring english money with you as there is simply nowhere to exchange it unless you travel into Heraklion and you can only change it at the National bank of Greece. The beach is lovely we spent many happy days there an unusually the sunbeds an parasols were free ! Id recommend hiring a car which is excellent value for money as Crete is a beautiful island . The people however are very nice i bought rolls most morning from the baker's across the road an they gave me a little gift as a thankyou on my last day which i thought was a lovely gesture . in summary a very quiet place if you want to spend a lot of money in a short space of time this is the place for you ! i would'nt recommend the Imperial studios though very disappointing !!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank burnett61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We spent the first week of August 2013 at the Imperial Studios (myself and two teenagers). This was our first visit to Crete and we selected Imperial Studios on the basis of the Tripadvisor reviews. Generally the reviews here are really accurate and give a very fair idea of what to expect. If you want a busy, lively resort with lots of entertainment, activities and 5 star accommodation this is not for you. If you would like somewhere sufficiently small that you can get to know your hosts and fellow guests; where the service is truly personal without being over-bearing; where you can eat beautiful, locally grown and home cooked food and where you can spend time reading and sunbathing (sun or shade) round a lovely clean, quiet, DEEP pool then Imperial Studios are for you.

Georgio is the "front of house" man and a great host. Nothing seemed too much trouble for him. Zac his brother does the cooking and he is a great cook. We quickly decided that the food at the Imperial was more delicious and better value that places in Amoudara and the evening meal times and evenings in the bar are very sociable and family friendly. We ate there 3 or 4 evenings and Zac fires up the wood-fired oven if there is sufficient demand. We had a beautiful beef stifado one night and roast chicken another. We also had chicken fillets another evening - delicious. Have to say that the Greek salad at Imperial is the best I've ever had - absolutely gorgeous - never tasted feta cheese like it. Very healthy eating all round. Zac's chips also great.

We had booked a studio for 3 but for the first 3 nights we were able to stay in the large apartment on the top floor. This is very spacious (two rooms, dining table and chairs, 3 balconies). We didn't need air con there even in August as there is always a "breeze" (gale force wind) that keeps the apartment fairly cool. Kitchen utensils negligible in either of the rooms that we stayed in.

For the last 4 nights we were in the one room we had really booked. This was on the first floor and we needed to pay extra for the air con to sleep comfortably (8 euros per night). This was a very small room with a one ring electric hob, fridge and sink but not table or much in the way of cooking utensils. I managed cheesy pasta a couple of times but washing up is tricky without a draining board (and I had not taken tea towels - a must).

TV didn't work in either of the rooms we stayed in but as we only slept in the rooms this was not an issue.

Beds made every day; good quality bed linen and towels. Pretty clean but not spotless - that said any grubbiness was merely dustiness and the bathrooms were properly cleaned every day. Our toilet broke one day (flooding from underneath) and Georgio had it fixed before we even returned to the room from the pool (I would say within about 2 hours). I thought this was really impressive.

For what we wanted and could afford we could not have improved on Imperial Studios as a place to stay. I would definitely go back!! My teenage children loved the pool, the food and the pool table. They really liked Georgio and Zac - they too would definitely go back (NB free wi-fi in bar and pool area).

As for the "resort" itself - there really isn't much to do apart from the beach which is Ok but not stunning (lots of waves for body boarding etc).. Amoudara is probably an excellent base if you hire a car (which we didn't do) as it is quite central and just off the main northern motorway which links up Heraklion and Chania etc. We used public transport extensively to go into Heraklion (bus stop at the end of the street; buy your tickets in advance from the supermarkets on the main street as its cheaper - 1.50 Euros per trip but 2 if you buy on the bus). However the bus journey into Heraklion is rather tortuous and slow even though the distance is not far and you need to get into Heraklion to go anywhere else (e.g., buses to Rethimnon, Agios Nikolaos).

We took trips to Rethimnon and Agios Nikolaos - easy to do from the bus station in Heraklion (the one at the port) and pretty cheap (around 7 euros each way for each of us). The bus journeys to both were about 1.5 hours. You can buy your tickets on the bus and they are very frequent. Both places are well worth a visit - particularly Agios Nikolaos which is stunning, has a lovely beach in walking distance of the town and great restaurants (we ate at Pelagos and it was absolutely fantastic in every respect).

Depending on how you book to get to Imperial (you can do it directly with Georgio, see http://imperialhotelzacgeorgio.co.uk/) it is probably not worth paying for an expensive transfer to and from the airport at Heraklion. It took us about 20 minutes in the minibus that we had paid highly for but in fact the number 6 bus that links Amoudara to Heraklion actually starts from the airport so you could probably do a return journey on the bus for 3 or 4 Euros per person. Otherwise a taxi would also be a cheap option.

Finally, I can't over-emphasise the generosity of Georgio and Zac who treat you like guests of the family rather than people to make money from. We had countless drinks as gifts and Georgio gave us a bottle of his own olive oil as we left. Wonderful people.

Room Tip: If your budget runs to the apartment I would definitely go for it.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank NCBluecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Returned last week after a wonderful relaxing holiday. The room was basic but very clean. The owners, Gergio and Zak are great, they made us feel very welcome from the start and also provided us with 'entertainment'. Georgio is a great storyteller and Zak is a great cook. Plenty of sunbeds available and good range of music playing in the background. We had a great time and would definitely go back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PandH_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Imperial Studios

Address: Amoudara, Crete, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Amoudara
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Amoudara
Price Range: $20 - $61 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Imperial Studios 3*
Number of rooms: 277
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Also Known As:
Imperial Studios Crete/Amoudara

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