All reviews are relative. Arriving here after a week in a Travelodge, Middlesbrough or a dodgy b&b would understandably result in a 5 star rating!
But in the 8 days before, we were lucky enough to stay in two excellent villas in Naxos and Santorini, so that set the bar for Kares.
And although Kares is good, and in a beautiful location, it didnt quite excel as the others did.
First thing to say is that the welcome from Georgia and her team was superb and she was a constant source of joy and font of knowledge throughout the five days stay. Her 'hostess with the mostess' approach and recommendations added to the enjoyment of our stay.
The big positives of Kares are that it's a small development (10-15 units) on the side of a beautiful valley of walnut and pomegranate trees- with a communal bar/cafe, pool, sauna and play area. The views and setting are amazing.
The accommodation is good- the villas are nicely appointed with balconies on each floor, great bedroom space, modern bathrooms, aircon, cooker, fridge etc.
So why the four stars? Well, we stayed for five nights, but didnt get our booked accommodation (3 bed villa for 5 ppl) on the first night as the previous occupants had an illness. On arrival at 9pm we were given a two bed instead.
Not major in itself, but the fact that it took til 12pm the next day to get into our intended villa meant we had a delay on getting unpacked and settled in. And the management response to us getting a lesser-standard villa wasnt as proactive as the best establishments would be.
The bedrooms were great, but the kitchen/lounge/diner in our villa wasnt as big as expected and the attention to detail (no coffee for the coffee maker, teatowel, sugar for hot drinks, minature toiletries etc) wasnt there- as it had been in our previous stays.
And the location works both ways- it is a beautiful vantage point, peaceful and with magnificent views....but it does require a 2km drive down a dirt track each time to get on/off the estate and a 10min drive down the winding mountain road to get back to the main road for each outing.
Having said that, we had a great time here, loved Crete, found some beautiful beaches and interesting sites (eg Sfedonis cave, inflatables at Bali beach, Knossos) nearby and would definitely go back to explore the island again.
Koumos restaurant nearby is also worth a visit for its rural traditional food and we also had good grub at Zorbas in Agia Pelagia.
Kares is very good value, has a peaceful location and has Georgia's great service. Just needs to work on the attention to detail that will make it a five star resort!
Georgia our hosts was incredibly welcoming particularly since we didn't arrive until after midnight. She made us feel at home and gave us great recommendations for places to visit. Liguria beach was my personal favourite. The villa was spacious with fabulous views from the balconies. Kids said it is the best holiday ever. We really recommend this place for a get away from it all break.