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“Great break”

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Astra Village Apartments
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Koutouloufari
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great break”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2009

Have just arrived back from a week in Crete, at the Astra Village apartments, Koutouloufari - my wife and I and three teenagers (17, 15 & 15) Booked through Portand Direct and therefore all travel was through Thomsons. Can’t praise Thomsons enough - collecting the tickets at their office at East Midlands airport took less than five minutes, Check - in was also quick and efficient and we were through to Departures in less then ten minutes.

Plenty of entertainment on the flight and the flight staff were friendly and attentive. Transfer to resort was another area where Thomsons rate highly - no sitting in the coach awaiting other flights - onto the coach and away! The reps for Thomson seemed to be a little more professional then from other companies providing just enough information and guiding to the accommodation.

We arrived at Koutoulafari at around 23.00 hours but the main street was bustling and plenty of shops and restaurants still open. I had read mixed reports of the Astra apartments but have leant to make my own judgements and have visited various Greek Islands over the last twenty years.

Astra Apartments are made up of five blocks around two swimming pools. We received a warm welcome at reception. Our two apartments were made up of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen diner with a sofa bed, TV (limited channels but enough to keep up with news and sport), a fridge and two-ring hob (the usual in Greece although the TV was a nice addition).

The apartments were scrupulously clean and were kept that way by the cleaners who visited every day. In my opinion the apartments were amongst the best I have stayed in Greece

Plenty of sun beds around the pools, never had to go without and the pools although small were great for dipping in and cooling off. There was a friendly bar that made breakfast and snacks and drinks during the day – and satellite TV to keep up with all sorts of sport.

I would say that Koutouloufari is a cut above the normal Greek resort -it is up in the mountains above Hersonnisos and about twenty minutes walk down to the sea. A further five minutes to Star Beach, which is free entrance but a charge for slides, bungee etc, but great fun for teenagers. The restaurants and shops are just a little more sophisticated then found on the beach front resorts, that is not inferring any less friendly, perhaps because it is a little smaller we found it more friendly and you soon got to know a lot of the characters in the restaurants and shops. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of choice – you could eat at a different restaurant every night for a fortnight and still have choices where to eat.

We did not have a bad meal whilst we were there, the boys went for breakfast each morning at Fabrica, where they veered between waffles, crepes and full English breakfasts all prepared and served with a smile and a joke by Yiannis, the owner (they often returned for a Crepe on the way home in the evenings as well!)

The Ariadni restaurant was virtually opposite the apartments - Manos was always helpful, friendly and important for us Brits never pushy. Great pizzas and well-served traditional Greek plates – we also had nice meals at the Restaurant at the end of the village next to the adjoining village of Piscapiano. Can’t remember the name But there are lots to choose from but we ran out of holiday!

We would definitely return to these apartments and the resort of Koutouloufari.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JCN48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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278 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2009

Stayed here in May 09, three generations, us oldies, with children aged 20-25 with partners and Grandkids aged 7 months & 4 years.

Excellent accomodation, cleaned everyday, all the staff were pleasant and went out of their way to help, when one of our party locked themselves out at midnight.

Bar prices were reasonable, and they always re arranged the bar to enable us to all sit together, ask for any football match on the TV and they are only too happy to oblige.

When my husband broke a glass, they replced it (no charge) and came to ensure no glass was on the floor of the apartment and one of our party lost a white towel and they seached the whole laundry (100,s of white towels) & located the missing towel, what more can you ask.

We went for my 50th and for some this was their first experience of Crete, all of our party are looking to returning.

  • Liked — Cleanliness
  • Disliked — steps
  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank PetriceandGlenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2009

Just returned from 2 weeks in Astra Village, the apartments were very clean and tidy. The only let down was the pettiness of staff. Air Con is €9 per day - extremely expensive and into our 2nd week we were told not to take our own water/food down to the pool and that we had to buy drinks from the bar which were warm! So we all waited until the pool bar shut at 4pm then raced to get our own!! We had to complain about the cleanliness of the pool, it wasnt nice but the did clean it everyday after that, even if the cleaner was dipping a bleached up brush into the pool water!
Koutoulafari itself is just lovely, a magical place full of Greek tradition, our favourite restaurant was Ariadne, just across the road, the staff knew our names after the first day and the food was fab, loved Manos, Toni and Yannis. Also Galini's is a very special restaurant where you get the best customer service ever. The walk to Hersonissos is fine, the walk back to Koutoulafari is not advisable but a taxi will cost no more than €7 although Koutoulafari is much nicer than Hersonissos. I would highly recommend Koutoulafari not so much Astra and this is only because of the staff, the apartments themselves are in the perfect spot, clean and roomy. Our rep, Alisha, was fantastic, best rep we've ever had, always happy and smiley and nothing is too much trouble. Overall we had a great holiday and met some brilliant people there (you know who you all are!).
Already looking at a week in September to go back!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EJCDerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2009

Our stay in Koutoulafari was the best Holiday we'd had! The Astra is a brilliant hotel, it isn't exactly five star, but you get more than you pay for.
The rooms were cleaned regularly and were secure. Lots of space, and the maids do thier best to keep the place clean! You have to pay extra for air con, so just uy a cheap fan. Also, don't keep the room on the last day, it's 20 euro's and the bar is cooler.
The bar staff are absolutely amazing here! John is hillarious, never had a dull moment with him!!! Saving the best till last, Alex! He is a legend! His hugs are amazing and he will always talk to you, and happens to flirt alot! He also let me help him around the bar and we had some very...erm...interesting conversations at the pool bar! Both will go out of thier way to make you feel welcome and you never need to ask them twice for something. Thier friend on the other hand, whatever his name was, was slower than a slug on tranquilizers. Watching him make orange juice is amusing, he spends more time staring into space than actually SQUEEZING the damn orange!!! Also, I asked him for a drink on the menu that Alex had reccomended before, and he asked me "How do you make it". Now, considering he ran the bar, it seemed a little odd that he didn't know how to make it, so after ten minutes of trying to describe it, I decided I would have more luck drawing blood from a stone and went to get Alex, who gave me the recipie to tell the other guy. I think fifteen minutes later I got my drink, in which Mr Slow decided to be "Oh So Funny" and flip one of those tinsel on a stick things with the tinsel end IN the drink. Needless to say I wasn't pleased.

The manageress could probably make Morticia Adams win a happy contest. We called her Cruella de Ville, which is amusing, because the day I came back from holiday, I found somone had the same nick name for her! She was always grumpy, brisque, had a habbit of staring at you all the time, and spent more time patrolling the hotel grounds than actually being at her desk, which probably explains why Soula now works at reception as oppose to the bar. We had an inside joke of humming or singing the Cruella de Ville theme song whenever she came around. Overall, this "Ray of sunshine" was a bit of a sour faced cow, and reminded me of a Nazi security guard. Sheesh...

Soula, the other lady, now she is the total opposite to Cruella, so if you happen to arrive at midnight, hope that unlike us, you are faced with her after a long night of travelling as opposed to Cruella.She is always smiling and waving to people, happy to help, goes out of her way to be nice, a breath of fresh air compared to her co worker.

Now for the area of Koutouloufari! A brilliant resort because it is tranquil, there are a variety of good restaurantes and the night life is very near by. There is also a local shop or two in the area. There is a hill you have to get down to get to Hersonisoss, but we managed ok.

The area of hersonissos has a range of bars and restaurantes, I would reccomend New York, it's a night club bar kind of thing on a beach, and they play good music. Oh, and they don't bother with ID there, so if you look old enough, you're in!

Beaches in the area are okayish if you go at 6am or a secluded one somewhere where there isn't a festival of litter. Star beach was awsome, or looked it, I forgot my bikkini so I couldn't actually do anything there. *Sob*

As for excursions, don't book with a travel group, do them all independantly, as we did, and it was worth it, and cheaper!!! It is possible, ask other guests or Alex and John and you can get there!

Our Thomsons rep Alisha was also amazing, very friendly and knowledgable about the area, you can talk to her about absolutely anything, even unrelated to the holiday! She also does her best to make you feel very welcome and makes sure your stay is excellent.

Restaurantes in Kotouloufari I would reccomend are Esperos, Oliva and Oniros. Also, if you want a decent cocktail, just stay and have it at the Astra, as they have the best.

Brilliant holiday, going back next year fingers crossed!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank laydee-zee92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2009

This was our first time in Crete we stayed at the Astra Village, we were given room 51 which was floor level with no views exept people lying around on sunbeds by the very small pool. We had no privacy and had to keep our doors and curtains closed,. We couldn't sit outside due to the large ants and spiders ect, that were living in the flower beds that surounded our room. We had to pay 17 euro for the use of a safe which we didn't ask for but the key comes attached to your room key and if you don't remove it and return it to the reception they charge you for it.. It is a long walk down to a pebble beach, after negotiating your way around the sea urchins we found the sea shelved suddenly and became very deap. Drinks and meals are very expensive and not really that nice, I had a bad stomach all week. So all in all it was very disapointing.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunshine60Nottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beds
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2009

Have just got back from the Astra village apartments. Had a lovely time. Complex is charming with two pools, although not very large are good for a cooling dip. Staff were so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. The guys in the bar, John and Alex are a scream! Apartments are basic but comfortable and are cleaned regularly. The village itself is very pretty with loads of restaurants and little shops. The restaurant with the big pizza oven just over the road from the Appts does awonderful pizza if you want something different, but their traditional food is fab. Everywhere we ate we really enjoyed.The only downside is the price of everything. It is really expensive. Couples we talked to and ourselves were getting through about 100 euros a day just eating and drinking, and that was not to excess either as we were doing our own breakfast and most of our own lunches. Buy the wine by the jug in the restaurants and not by the bottle as it is a third of the price and is very drinkable, especially the Rose wine.The town is about 25 mins walk down the hill. Turn right at the wishing well and follow the road all the way. We found that tyhe quickest wasy and was easier that way on the way back. There is a bar half way up with a pool called 'The Fat Frog' if you need a rest!
An excursion that I would recommend is the 4 x4 trip into the mountains that we bought of the rep. A grat day out. Drivers are British and we laughed all day. A great lunch was included. The rep Alisha is great, one of the best reps we have ever had.Nothing was too much trouble. Apartments have a BBQ night on a Tuesday for 10 euros each. Much cheaper than eating out. Supermarkets all seem very expesive too if you wanted to cook yourself.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank yanyanBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswestry , England
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2009

The astra was nice and central for the village, however when we got there we discovered that there had been 6 break ins in the previous 2 weeks!
After some pressure extra security was provided, but at first the hotel and Thompsons were trying to blame each other for not providing it sooner. We felt that we should have been warned about this on our arrival.
The reception lady and owner was ok but a little abrupt, possibly due to the language barrier.
We enjoyed our stay, but Herrniosisis is a dump and full of drunken kids. It was also an awful walk back up a steep 1 mile hill. Koutoulafari is a lovely little village, with lots of good restaurants, but it was a little expensive.

  • Liked — Nice food
  • Disliked — Burgulars!!
  • Stayed August 2008
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank TheOGradys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Astra Village Apartments

Property: Astra Village Apartments
Address: 75, Europe street, Koutouloufari, Hersonissos, Crete, Greece
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Hersonissos > Koutouloufari
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Koutouloufari
#6 Family Hotel in Koutouloufari
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Astra Village Apartments 2.5*
Number of rooms: 45
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Also Known As:
Astra Village Apartments Hotel Koutouloufari
Astra Village Apartments Crete
Astra Village Apartments Hotel Crete
Astra Village Apartments Koutouloufari, Crete

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