Me and my partner stayed in this hotel for a week from 15th - 22nd July 2014. We decided we wanted to have a little bit more privacy this year so we upgraded & booked a suite with a private pool. I felt a little bit apprehensive about this as I read other reviews of people who said they had booked this room & then arrived to be told they had been double booked & couldn't have the room.
We flew with Thomson & then travelled by coach to the hotel - it was about a 40 minute journey from Chania airport.
We arrived and there was a table laid out with water, fruit, orange juice & wine. When we got to check in a lady at the desk advised we couldn't have the room we booked as they didn't have any available - but to come back the next morning & we would be moved to the correct room. I was pretty upset as basically felt my fear had come true. At most hotels I have stayed in they have staff to help carry your luggage to your room. They didn't here - we were shown on a map where our room was & made our way there ourselves.
When we arrived I was actually pleasantly surprised as it seemed to be the room we booked!
It was lovely and clean and had lots of little touches that were useful. There was a light in the wardrobe, a free safe to keep our valuables in, a make up mirror in the bathroom, a hook at the end of the shower to keep my towel on, a decent hairdryer which saved me packing my own.
The air con however was really disappointing, it had to be on for a long time before you felt the room get cooler and half the time even though we switched it on I couldn't even tell if it was working. Also when you leave the room and take your room key - it stops the power to everything inside. So you can't put the air con on and leave it to do it's job and be cool when you come back. That was my plan but unfortunately if your room key isn't in its slot by the door then you can't leave anything on so you'll come back to a very hot room.
There was a decent TV with a few English channels. Most of them however seemed to be in Arabic and German which was odd as I would have expected them to be in Greek!
We had a lovely big balcony with 3 sun loungers, along with a table and 4 chairs to sit on - there was also a little bit of coverage which was nice for when you wanted some shade as it was very hot.
The only thing which I was a bit disappointed with was we were at the front of one of the main pools - and also directly opposite the restaurant. So while I was trying to sunbathe on the balcony - it was surrounded by glass so everyone could see us & we could see them. It was a bit off-putting trying to sunbathe and having people be able to see you while they eat there breakfast & lunch! The reason we went for a private pool was for more privacy - & that kind of defeated the object a bit. But we still had our own area which was lovely & worth the money definitely. I think if we were in a different room with a private pool that didn't overlook the main part of the resort I would have been much happier - we were in room 3511.
The food I thought was actually really lovely, I have stayed in a fair few all inclusive hotels before & I think this hotel won on food hands down. There were lots of options and nothing stayed empty for long - all trays were re-filled very quickly.
This was the main time however that I remembered we were at a family hotel - all other hotels I have stayed in before were couples resorts & this was not! The children in the restaurant were constantly dropping plates & glasses and generally breaking everything in sight. Also saw a fair few tantrums being thrown with kids & parents shouting at each other which kind of ruined the ambiance a bit!! But that can't be helped at a family resort.
The first night at our hotel we also had a bit of an awkward moment when we were in bed at 10pm Crete time as we had a very early start the day we arrived so wanted to get some rest. And a man came walking into our room with his own key - didn't knock as far as I could hear anyway. We weren't asleep but just laying with the telly on, and he just came in shouting something - my boyfriend thought he said "housekeeping". But I thought - a man - housekeeping - at 10pm? We didn't actually get to see him - we just kept telling him to wait as our bedroom door was shut and he said he would come back tomorrow. I was not happy about this as it was a bit worrying to think someone could come walking in at any time of night. We called reception and they basically said they didn't know who it was but not to worry about it.
I wasn't impressed with their answer and had a bad night sleep jumping up every time I heard a noise.
The next morning we went back like they asked us to at reception to move rooms. The lady said she didn't know what we were talking about so got her manager. They both said we were in the correct room & who told us to move?? I said I didn't know her name - I would know her face if I saw her but she wasn't there? They said it must have been a mistake & not to worry.
Then I bought up the man with them as I wanted an explanation. I understand maid's coming in during the day but not at night - and all the maids were women. Housekeeping is done from 10am - 4pm.
They advised us they thought it was "the pool man". He basically comes round every couple of days to check/clean the private pools.
I felt a bit better once I knew who he was - but they said he can come any time up to 9pm. The manager apologised and said he must have forgotten the time and didn't realise it was 10pm.
They were the only main hiccups that happened really while we were there.
They have the usual photographers that ask to take pictures of you as you walk into the restaurant. They get these printed and you can purchase them the next day.
Also do remember to lock your things away whenever you aren't in there as our room being opposite the restaurant we saw the pool man on our balcony when we weren't there as we were having dinner. And also a man will come by to fill up your tea/coffee trays in your room. All these people have key cards and will come straight in if you don't answer their knock in time.
There is only one little shop onsite in reception and this is a jewellery shop. It was quite nice and not too expensive to get yourself a souvenir.
Anything else you need is literally across the road - they have mini markets all the way up. They sell food & drink, sun creams & after sun, souvenirs like magnets and tea towels etc. They have all sorts really including fake converse and Toms and clothes and things for the beach like lilos and balls and ping pong rackets. All the usual stuff.
There was also a lovely souvenir shop right down the road that had gorgeous hand made stuff like painted pots and glass candle holders and sea shells etc. Just remember to take some bubble wrap with you to get them home safely!!!
All in all we did have a wonderful holiday and I would go back - but not as a couple. Maybe when we have a family I would - but I definitely think it's worth getting the private pool if you can afford it as the swimming pool sun loungers were very tightly packed together from what I could see. They also do aerobics classes in the pool with loud music & all the blokes and kids play volley ball in the pool so you would have to be out of the way for that which would have annoyed me if I wanted to go in & couldn't - & it's not so great if you're trying to relax with some peace & quiet!
There is a nice private beach on this resort too but it is so full of pebbles as you get to the shore from the water and it is so painful walking on. Obviously you can keep your flip flops on until you get there but the pebbles/stones are all under the water too and there is a huge drop in the sea when you get to the actual sea bed - if you slip and fall onto the pebbles it really hurts so I really would advise to have some jelly shoes that you can buckle on at the back and actually wear them in the sea and they won't fall off like flip flops would. Believe me you would be happy to have some shoes on because that part is not pleasant!!
The all inclusive drinks are all made with local spirits and they are extremely generous with them! The blue lagoon is pretty much just pure vodka. I would watch how much they put in and do ask them for less if you want - I saw a lot of people going back & asking for more mixers as they were so strong!
I also saw they have a professional photographer who does photo shoots on the beach at sunset which looked so lovely.
Overall I would say this is a lovely hotel and I was 95% happy with how my holiday turned out - minus a few things that I mentioned above. It was worth the money and I had a great time.
It was also very sweet at the end as when we left on the coach all the hotel staff come out and wave goodbye :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- True paradise! The charm of traditional cretan village with modern resort facilities. Ideal for families and couples!11 km from the beautiful town of Chania lies one of Crete’s preserved secrets, the beautiful beach resort of Atlantica Caldera Creta Paradise, situated on the graphic coastline of Platanias. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Atlantica Caldera Creta Paradise Hotel Gerani
- Bravo Creta Paradise Platanias
- Family Life Creta Paradise By Atlantica Crete/Gerani