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“Everything from start to finish was great!”

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Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Panormos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 September 2010

My wife and I have just had an amazing holiday at the Iberostar Creta Panorama.
Everything from start to finish was great!

We had a very spacious room next to Maria’s excellent swimming pool bar.
The room, hotel, grounds, staff and all aspects of this beautiful all inclusive resort were perfect.
We relaxed and did very little at first….. The “A” team did not try to coax us into any of the many day and night activities and that was great. We met and in fact became friendly with many of our fellow guests from all over Europe.
The food in all the restaurants was of a constantly high standard , I particularly enjoyed brunch and afternoon tea. Most days we had aperitifs at Georga’s pool bar, she is a delight and makes some excellent cocktails.

The “A” team, Remi, Mihalela, Krassi, Bobby , Stan and all the entertainers worked very hard and with great energy and fun. After several days of kicking back we did take part in several activities, shooting, archery and in particular French Boules. We ; Al, Bex, my wife and I played a wonderful game with 2 French men Tibo and Loren who helped us with the rules.

After dinner we had drinks at the hotel bar or watched the “A” team’s show , which gave us a great laugh. Then at 10.30pm the team ran the disco until 1.30am which I’m proud to say we both enjoyed every night. Although we are an older couple we were made welcome by the staff ( in particular George) and all the younger disco revellers.

The weather was very hot for September around 30 to 35c….we were there from the 7th to the 21st.
Although the resort is not close to much we used the ‘Little Train’ to visit Palormos, a bonny little fishing village about 3 km to the east. Unfortunately - for us all - it broke down on the return journey back to the hotel. The driver was very good and paid for us all to be taxied back. Also on the second Sunday we caught a bus to Rethimnon , well worth a visit. Our goal was to find a bar to watch the big match, all in all a great day as our team won 3.2. The buses are plentiful, some are standard service buses and others are “Hotel” buses for us tourists. On the way there we caught the service bus and on the way back the “Hotel” service which dropped us outside our amazing Hotel.

If you are looking for a high standard Hotel to just relax and kick back, this is for you. On the other hand if you are up for games and more activities such as bingo, darts, table tennis, tennis etc etc then this is the place for you. In fact if you hire a car you could probably explore the whole island in 3 days , and be back for the excellent dinners every night.

Some people said the food was repetitive.…we found Greek, Italian, English, French, Russian in fact we found something enjoyable and different every single meal, do try the puddings - just divine . The burgers are great for lunch as is the Gyros. I could go on and on - but I wont.

To sum up - EXCELLENT- thank you all at the Iberostar Creta Panorama Hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank davidmasoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,149 - 1,155 of 2,218 reviews

Reviewed 17 September 2010

this hotel is absolutely lovely. the hotel grounds, the rooms, the pools, the facilities and all the staff were fantastic. the food was great! PLENTY of choice, always warm/hot and very tasty, something for everyone, my boyfriend is EXTREEMLY fussy and he certainly didnt go hungry, i am more adventurous with food, and loved it too. self service icecream and drinks was great. proper coke fanta sprite etc as well as local drinks and juices and international brand alcohol.

i would mainly recommend this hotel to families, or those looking for a quiet break, NOTE: there is nothing nearby the hotel. the nearest shops are a long walk away, 3km doesnt sound that much, but in the heat over there it feels like a life time, get the little train or a taxi!

the little village 3km away is a very pretty sweet little village called panorama, ** i would also recommend visiting here at the beginning of the week and going to the excursion shop were the little train pulls up and checking out prices for excursions with them as they were much cheaper (half the price) than what the tour operators were offering for the same thing, and they pick up outside your hotel!

we went to the water park first choice offers a trip to can anopolis waterpark, the excursion place i mentioned above offerers a trip to a much bigger water park for the same price, anaopolis was very small id say, you could do it all in an hour or two but the first choice trip leaves you there for the whole day. despite that though we did still have a great day.

i would definetely recommend the cave trip offered at one of the little 'beaches' at the hotel. very good, extreemly interesting and also fun on the speed boat!

rooms were very comfortable and i couldnt emagine that there would be a bad view in the entire hotel, we were on second floor and could see for miles and miles, and also were right above the main pool with music etc and couldnt hear a thing when balcony doors were shut! but we quite liked listening to the music anyway.

the nearest nightlife is MILES and MILES away, we never bothered anyway, as we wanted a quiet holiday, but if your thinking of going out at all, dont go to this hotel.

in the evenings we tended to have dinner at around 7 or 8 then have a drink in the bar, and then there is nothing to do until 9.30 at the earliest, that is if you fancy watching one of the entertainment shows (we watched one at the end, it was really funny, but VERY cheesy) and then the disco started at 10.30, we never bothered hanging around for that, just listened to the music from our balcony if we were up, usually we were in bed by 10 as there wasnt a lot else to do!

the weather was absolutely FANTASTIC! i think i got the best tan ive ever got! the pools were fantastic main pool has music and activities but the recreation staff will not bother you if you dont want to play, but are very welcoming if you do.

all in all a really relaxing and enjoyable holiday, and the hotel was fantastic, although i will be going somewhere a bit closer to life next time, but then i am only 18! would definitely recommend the hotel though and definitely consider re-visiting crete and definitely will be looking into other iberostar hotels! lovely lovely place!

OH YEH! also i think the 4X4 sight seeing trip sounds great! but we tried to book it on the tuesday for thursday or friday and couldnt! so book it early it fills up fast!

30 to 35 degrees c all week!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jadeyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2010

Arrivals at Heraklion airport were thankfully quick, calm and well organised. The coach journey wasn't as arduous as I had imagined after reading a few reviews on here. Pleasant coastal views from the right-hand side of the coach once you got out of Heraklion and the suburbs, which looked worst than the Bronx. Once you pass the power station, the worst part is over.
Likewise arrivals at the Creta Panorama were efficient although there was quite a long form to fill in at check-in. No welcome drinks offered and only smiles we got were from the lovely and very cheeky porter/bellboy, who was forever offering my daughter and I candy from his sweetie jar ;-)
The hotel is VERY clean and for the most part well kept. The areas that aren't were tiles around the main pool which were all incredibly slippery and some were loose, cracked or lifting.
Food tended to be repetitive, especially in the pool bar where it was either Hotdogs, Hamburgers, Kebab meat or unfilleted fish with salad every lunchtime. You could also dine for lunch in the main restaurant, but you had to use the back entrance just downstairs from the indoor pool. There was a much wider variety in here but it was also very busy and the had always run out of the show-cooking items...usually steak, lamb cutlets, red mullet, sardines etc. This was frankly due to the greedy Russians who pushed in front of everyone and even barged my daughter out the way while she was queueing making her drop her plate.
Breakfast was excellent, something for everyone and the fresh fruit was plentiful at every meal. We did notice at dinner some of the lunchtime dishes had been 'restyled' and served again.
I do think most of the rooms will require a certain level of maintenance, as most people we spoke to had issues with either toilets, taps of baths. We were lucky on that score, although my husband did get an electric shock from one of the 2 loose plug points in the room. Reception were very quick to remedy this and it was addressed and mended within 2 hours.
Major drawback is that the pools are saltwater, the beaches are grit not sand or shingle, the hotel is really remote, and considering the money we parted with for 2 weeks here I feel completely robbed. We also left 2 items in the room after we checked out and surprise surprise they weren't there when we enquired about them!!!
On the day of our departure we had no pick up information and I had to phone the Thomas Cook office in Crete on my mobile and was told it was an 11.10am pick-up for our 15.30 flight home. Other families travelling back to Gatwick with First Choice on a 14.20 flight home were picked up at 11.45am. I think this is sneaky of Thomas Cook and is obviously done to save money on the AI features.
Heraklion departures and arrivals are polar opposites. The check in desk area only holds about 20-30 people per queue. 3 queues for our flight, you then have to take your cases to be scanned at a different desk where they are then taken from you. The departure lounge is small, with minimal seating and people EVERYWHERE. It makes the near open-air airfield type airport at Costa Rica (Liberia) seem plush.
The only real plus point is the animation team, they worked their socks off from 10am until nearly midnight and were fantastic with all guests - young and old and all nationalities too.
As a family we have stayed in many 4/5* hotels and this really didn't come up to scratch.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank GemmaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2010

Found this hotel to be full of Russians, Latvians etc etc. Very boring on a night as entertainment was really poor. Greek hotel with no Greek food and if u did want it u had to pay for a Greek themed night. Breakfast and dinners great but evening meals were a mix and match.

The maid though what a legend, my room was always spotless.

Reception staff total nightmare rude and fobbed u off.

Bar is great, night club is alright.

Cocktails same every night but just under a different name. If u order a beer be prepared for half a glass.

Overall go self catering in the town down the road and have a laugh.

  • Stayed: September 2010
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1  Thank Nomoaner2215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2010

Booked a two week all inclusive. Probably a mistake as we like to explore. Problem: this hotel is out of the way of anything. There is a small place Panormo accessed by a tourist train for a small return journey charge...but it's pretty dull. You can get a bus to Rethmynon and further afield or hire a car, but don't expect to walk anywhere.

The complex is lovely, the gardens are very pretty and you are on the coast but remember that there are no lovely sandy beaches on this complex. One pebble beach that is not very picturesque and sun beds that you have to pay for. It is annoying that to get a sunbed you have to get up at silly o'clock on your holidays. (Notices ask people not to reserve beds, but no enforcement of these rules.)

Pools are largely salt water which is fine but not to everyone's taste. If you want a bed and some peace away from main pool that can get busy, head for pool by children's club that is much quieter (and has a nice refreshment area by it).

Food is fab - there is loads of variety and it is very fresh. If you are someone that moans about there not being enough English foodstuffs (stay in the UK!!). There was a massive selection, even to suit my fussy 9 year old daughter.

Rooms were smaller than I expected (there were three of us) but very clean. Entertainment team are amazing, they love kids and make them feel very welcome. The mini club staff were brilliant and have trips to beach and all sorts of games.

Trips: grab a trip with a guide (essential for all of the historical info that brings place alive) to Knossos. Heraklion is disappointing. Prevalli Beach district worth a visit as you pass through some brilliant gorges.

Overall, lovely hotel, but personally I was stressed by having to get up to find a sunbed and the feeling of being penned in without being able to walk to any local areas (should have done my research before I went !! Perhaps all inclusive not for us!)

Def recommend for a weeks hol though.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank cresswellclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2010

Went her with my friend and her little girl.. Great location, hotel had everything we could ask for. Entertainment was good, got a little chilly in the evenings, weather was amazing and the pools were great if not a little chilly when you first got in.

Don't do the pirate ship cruise, we had to go on a long trip and got lost but once we were on the ship, we found it went straight past the hotel and stopped in the little village near the hotel - we got off here on the way back and got the train home to the hotel.

Food was brilliant for adults and children and plenty of cocktails, we found at the bar sometimes the men were served before us but you got used to it after a couple of days..

Defo go back to Crete I loved the place

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank kittycat23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2010

First impressions were very good in this stylish, but not flash, modern but not austere, clean and welcoming hotel. Can't see much point not going all-inclusive because a) the hotel is off the beaten track, being 4 km from nearest village and b) the drinks and snacks would be relatively expensive if you chose to go half-board and occasional eat in and c) you'd feel left out. The problem, if you see it as a problem, notwithstanding the economic sense of going all-inclusive anyway, is that you do feel cheated when eating out somewhere else when you've got a good range of great food on tap already paid for.

With an excellent restaurant and great selection and range of food, - cold, hot, international, local, fruits and drinks on tap including branded fizzies- and some creative options (some of which deftly manage leftovers!), there's nothing to complain about foodwise. Strange tho' that in spite of the inarguable range and tastiness of the food, I hankered after boring homefood after two weeks of manoeuvring round buffets with other equally chaotic gourmands. And the service is great in the restaurant and you can eat outside for all your meals which is lovely as the views are fabulous looking out over palm trees to blue seas and lovely horizons.

The resort is large and it is easy to lose yourself and your nine year old son. There is a good choice of pools each with its different ambience. All very clean, some offering food by the poolside. All slippery round the edges.

The gardens are lovely if a little and there are plenty of grassy areas to sit out on and the views are all fantastic.

No real beach tho. You can go down to a goodish, tho not particulary well kept beach next door which is not busy. In the resort itself there are a few bays which offer good swimming and snorkelling but don't have that natural cove feel about them since they have been concreted. Big beware: you need to pay for deckchairs at these coves which is annoying and could be expensive, but it's free before 11am or after 3pm.

Can you go anywhere from the resort? Well you could take a little yellow train to Panormo, the local fishing place or walk the 4km along an unattractive path which runs parallel to the main road but along which we saw an eagle with a snake in its beak. No olive trees or goats to speak of but you might see a herd of sheep along the scrub that lines the shore.

You can take a bus to Rethymno which is a brilliant service and a brilliant place to visit.

You can hire a car, which we did and explore the beautiful interior and towns. A good option. There you will smell wild thyme and find the best of the mediterranean and culture. There is a lot to learn about Crete which you will not get a whiff of in the hotel.

You can also take a bus to Heraklion, which we didn't, because it's not supposed to be such a great place to visit.

Back to hotel : clientele are mixed and very international and the population shifted while we were there. Lots of French speakers, Russians, some Germans and English - some noisy Italians and a handful of Spanish. Guess each week is different. I like the international feel. Some like that flavour less, but we don't go on holiday to make friends. |Great for kids tho is they like activities or just messing around in pool.

The entertainment team are young, fun and professional and avoidable, the evening shows not at all to my taste and rather vulgar which seemed popular with the masses, but not me. But the theatre is set away from the main building so we weren't intruded on.

The bar is ok but grumpy and poor service and some of the drinks are simply horrible, especially their cocktails.

Overall the staff were helpful and friendly and very customer orientated. They were amazing to us on a couple of occasions and very obliging.

I don't think we'd go back because it is a bit limiting for us, but if you want to chill out by a pool in lovely surroundings with good food and are prepared to get up early to get the prize positioned deckchari by the pool, would definitely definitely recommend it. It's clean, safe and there's room for everyone there without being too downmarket or too flashy

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank herethereandback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare

Address: Rethymnon | Panormos Beach, Panormos, Crete 741 00, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Panormos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Panormos
#3 Family Hotel in Panormos
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Panormos
#3 Luxury Hotel in Panormos
#4 Romantic Hotel in Panormos
Price Range: £57 - £220 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare 4*
Number of rooms: 454
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Direct access to two private beaches, seven pools, live show cooking, free Wi-Fi, Miniclub, spa, all inclusive... The IBEROSTAR Creta Panorama & Mare hotel in Crete is an amazing experience where couples, children and sports lovers alike can relax and enjoy some of the best possible comforts. This is a 4-star beach hotel with a quintessential Mediterranean essence and impressive views of the Aegean Sea. Its three restaurants serve Greek, Italian and international cuisine and its eight bars make sure that you have the best dishes on offer. The 461 rooms, suites, and bungalows of the Creta Panorama & Mare hotel are fully equipped and even the smallest detail has been taken care of, including ample spaces, comfortable beds, terrace or balcony, free Wi-Fi, TV with international channels, air conditioning... Everything you need to guarantee rest and relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Creta Panorama Hotel Panormo
Iberostar Hotel Creta Panorama
Iberostar Hotel Panormo
Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare Crete/Panormos

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