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“A lovely place to stay”

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Paradise Primavera Apartments
Ranked #30 of 97 Hotels in Agios Nikolaos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 August 2010

Having just spent a week at the Paradise Apartments much of what has been said by other TA contributors is as we expected. The accommodation we had, for two persons, was more than adequate and in fact larger than we had had anticipated. It was spotlessly clean (a testament to the work of one cleaner) and had everything we needed for the week.

The pool area has plenty of sunbeds and a couple of trees at one side so you can lie in dappled shade. The pool was kept meticulously clean. Toula, who runs Paradise, is a lovely lady, and never stops looking after the place.

We went for the last week in July and I have to say I thought the place was quiet considering the time of year with less than 50% occupancy whilst we were there. There is no doubt that there has been a drop in numbers of tourists, particularly from the UK and reflected by the exchange rate, and this has been echoed by other proprietors of businesses in Agios Nikolaos who we spoke to.

Mention has been made of the little shop at the end of the gravel track leading from Paradise. Well it must have been so bad as it is now currently closed so the nearest supermarket is by the Mirabello Hotel a 10 minute stroll. Expect to pay more for what you buy as this is a convenience supermarket. If you have hired a car visit Lidl which is well signposted and is on the road to Kritsas (well worth the visit).

On car hire don’t be afraid to shop around. Those recommended by the travel reps were expensive. There are loads of companies offering good deals. Nearest hire places to paradise are on the road into town, Economy just past the Mirabello Hotel and Kera Hire another three minutes walk after that. We paid €80 for 4 days.

There are loads of restaurants to be found. Next to Paradise the pick of the crop is Elotia where the service and quality of food far outweighs that of Olga’s Restaurant which has excellent views to the sea and in my opinion not a lot else.
In town I would certainly recommend restaurant visits to La Strada which is on Nikolaou Plastira and Okeanos Seafood Restaurant which is on one side of the “Lake.”

A must for the visitor is a trip to Spinalonga Island which lies offshore from Plaka and close to Elounda. For those of you that have read the book “The Island” when you visit you can tangibly feel the atmosphere of sadness.

In the main I agree with all TA contributors about Paradise but have a couple of suggestions:
1. 10€ a night for air con is very expensive – equivalent to nearly £60 a week – it was hardly surprising that the greater majority of visitors, all Brits while we were there, chose not to use it. I fully appreciate the owners are running a business but they need to balance the fact that people will also be looking at value for money as well.
2. I was surprised that there were no protectors on either mattresses or pillows. With all due respect to previous visitors, I would have thought that for longevity and for economic sense alone, the fitting of protectors would be a sensible idea.
3. 1.50€ for a small bottle of water is a huge mark up.

Would I recommend Paradise apartments – yes.
Would I stay there again – yes.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank StubbingtonBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 28 of 66 reviews

Reviewed 10 July 2010

If you hire a car it is easier to access the apartments from the road that runs next to Havania beach, turn up the track between Olgas restaurant and Olgas mini market, bear left at the top then left again at the fork and you come to a clearing, the pool bar for paradise is directly on the left through the gate. Our car hire was with Holiday Autos, I scuffed the hubcap on a curb but they turned a blind eye, I would probably use them again. At first glance the Greeks drive all over the place, but you get the idea after a while. They tend to straddle the hard shoulder line when someone is gaining on them so that overtaking is easier on single carriageways. Also, if you pay attention to stop signs in the towns, and don’t hesitate too much about getting where you want to go, you’ll be OK.

We had high expectations after reading these reviews… our expectations were exceeded. The apartments are kept very clean indeed, as is the pool area. The area was very peaceful, apart from the occasional cockerel or dog barking in the morning – we didn’t find it a problem. The beds are firm, almost orthopaedic mattresses, so if you’re the kind of person that likes to be swallowed up by a bed then think carefully before booking.

After reading these reviews, we realised aircon was extra (10 EUR/night) so this wasn't a surprise and we factored it into the budget – we’re glad we did. The owners, Toula and Lambros, are lovely. Toula was always on hand to help, give advice and even taught us a bit of Greek too! Lambros runs a very nice restaurant in Ag Nik called Du Lac, unsurprisingly it is next to the lake. We ate there twice, the food and atmosphere was excellent and they gave us 10% off because we were staying at Paradise. It is one of the pricier places to eat but not extortionate given the quality.

The food and drink at the pool bar is on the expensive side for what you get, but it is convenient if you want a quick bite. We ate there once and had drinks a few other times. First Choice/Thomson book up the apartments for the whole of the summer, probably at a very low rate, I expect T&L make-up the difference at the bar and with extras like aircon and safe boxes.

We found the supermarket opposite the Mirabello to be the best locally. Elotia over the road is a lovely little family run Taverna, Achilles, the man with the big moustache, was very welcoming and couldn’t stop giving us freebees when we ate there. If you make the effort to say ‘hi’, make a bit of conversation and maybe try out a few Greek words then this usually goes down well with the locals. I cringe when I see some Brits getting frustrated because people should speak English, and treat every transaction with great suspicion. The Greeks are generally lovely, hospitable, generous people.

The trip to Spinalonga recommended by the Thomson reps was very good and worth the money. You get a guided tour of the island, then off to a bay for some swimming and diving off the boat, then they cook you a bbq, usually pork chops and a Cretan salad, though there is a vegetarian option. Overall we had a great time and would recommend these apartments.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Book2Day_Gone2mo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2010

we booked two days before we arrived at Paradise and were v pleasently surprised that we had landed so on our feet. the 1 bed appt was v clean and spacious, while Toula (owner) was v friendly and helpful. The beach is just a few minutes walk away, and is next to Elotia, a good little taverna for lunch or dinner (if u dont fancy the 30 min walk into ag nik). Taxis are 7 euro into town, and 12 to elunda, the next town, which is well worth a visit - esp the resturant in the middle of the marina which serves up an excellent mixed grilled fish platter at lunch (18 euro for 2 people).
It was v hot during our stay (mid june) and we didnt use the aircon which probably was a mistake as the bedroom did get v hot in the night. We did however arrange a late checkout of the room as our flight was late at night. We were charged Eur 20 to vacate at 6pm rather than 12. quite expensive, but worth it as we had all afternoon around the pool. Pool area is quite small, with little natural shade, but there are some umberellas to give some respite. during our stay only 6 people were staying in total, so never a problem getting beds, but imagine if its busier the pool area would be a bit mobbed. Beach is only 5 min walk though, so dont imagine it would be a huge problem.

overall, we had a great week, appts were clean, comfy and while a little out of town, the walk into Ag Nik certainly made u appreciate that first vnt of an evening. Du Lac resturant is good and is run by Toula-s hubby, so u get a discou nt if u mention your staying at Paradise.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wk-gy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2009

Paradise Apartments are run by Toula who is the most amazing hostess - she works tirelessly from early morning till late at night and she always has a welcome smile and is happy to help. We had the best time from 6 - 20 September and by the time we left it felt we were leaving a member of our family behind. The apartments are spotlessly clean and the linen and towels were changed every other day, courtesy of Bianca, who was helpful and the way she would lay out the night clothes on the bed was just a lovely touch. We cannot praise the hard work of Toula and we didnt find the prices too expensive at the bar, what price such excellent service? ... and we spent many a happy hour with Toula watching America's Got Talent ... sad but true. The pool area has plenty of sun beds and we met some lovely guests and had some great fun round the pool. Bombing into the pool when Toula wasn't looking became quite a passion.

Over the road at Elotia Bar we had some truly superb evenings, the staff there are some of the nicest people you could meet and the welcome is so warm it was like walking into a friends home ... and it certainly became like that each time we went there to eat. The food is just wonderful and the choices - it was just amazing.

We had a bad experience at the Kri Kri bar and certainly wouldnt recommend that place - not in a million. Packed into the restaurant like sardines - they just see the Euro sign over your head - you dont mean anything as a customer. An experience not to be repeated on our next trip to Crete.

Thomson Reps were very helpful, the apartments perfect and the unexpected 2 day storm with thunder and lightning - amazing .. once the sun came out again that is, we were afraid that we had just had the worst luck in the world to travel to Crete and find we were in the rainy season!!

The 4 x 4 adventure is an absolutely brilliant day out and if you can - get Jeff for a driver - he is amazing and just keeps quoting facts about Crete all day - he tells you everything with a passion for the island and it was a truly brilliant day out, not cheap but we all found it was worth every penny.

Thanks Thomson and Toula for an amazing holiday and we will be returning again soon.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank HolzRus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2009

we were dropped off on the top road to the appartment and were faced with many steps down to the appartment. They weren't especially steep. We were met by Toula and given the key to the appartment. We had a three bedded appartment for just two of us. We had a view of the sea. Put your key in the gadget as you enter to get your electricity. he cooking facillities were very basic. The fridge was stocked with drinks you paid when you left. The bathroom was ok. Clean appartment. The lower back track led you to the main road. We turned right and walked into Ag Nik, a very pleasant walk of about half an hour. You can ring on your room phone for a taxi. The number is on it. Cost 7 euros. You pay your phone bill as you leave. Ours was 40 cents.There are barking dogs through the night and cockrels at dawn but this is part of the experience. The pool is deep. The menu at the pool is basic. we didn't eat there. The nearest decent supermarket is opposite the mirabello a ten minute walk. Good places to eat are twins on the harbour, Du Lac (exp) and the first ice cream taverna by the bridge next to the lake has fab ice cream. Trips to spinalonga run daily from the harbour. This is good. You get a chance to jump off the boat and swim on the half day trip. The semi submarine is good for kids. We hired a car with eurocar and drove to Elounda. Good taverna is mamas. In ktitsa their are lots of craft type shops but tavernas seem to close early evening.
Ag nik is also fab by night, shops shut late

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank debzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2009

We stayed in the 3-bed apartment so that's the only one I can comment on. As noted by an earlier reviewer, the apartment kitchenette could do with updating (small grill, only two rings and very few cooking pans/utensils) and the air con unit (€10 a day) struggles to cool the whole apartment - but it is certainly better than nowt! I also found the beds a little on the firm side to sleep on. Overall though, it is clean, spacious (well, with only 3 of us I guess it would be!) and perfectly acceptable. The cleaner called in every day except the day before we departed and did a good job of sweeping, mopping, bin emptying and sheet/towel changing. The view across the bar / pool to the sea from the top balcony was great. (3 bedrooms = 3 patios!)

The location of these apartments is excellent. literally 3 minutes walk from Havania beach which is smallish but very nice (2 sunbeds + umbrella = €7). As noted in earlier reviews, there are a lot of steps down from the main road to the pool/bar area but there is also a bottom entrance which leads via a track to the road / beach (turn left when you reach the road) / shops(turn right) / tavernas (left and right!). I would also recommend parking your hire car down there as there is more shade available.

There is a small store at the end of this track (1mins walk) but it looks a bit dodgy and was not recommended by the rep! A better option is 10 mins walk away (down the track, turn right towards Ag Nik) opposite the Mirabello Hotel. They stock a good range of food / drink / holiday essentials including many brands that you'll recognise! Otherwise, a taxi to town (40 mins gentle walk) will cost around €7 and there are plenty of shops to choose from there.

There are several tavernas within 10 minutes walk, we thought that the "Eyy" (as we called it) was the best (turn right at the end of the track and it's the first one on the left) with good food, friendly service and fair prices. It even has a kids play area at the side, although we didn't try that out! The pool side snack bar does a range of bar meals, ranging from Greek salad (of course!) to pizza but we didn't try any of them as we preferred a gentle stroll before/after dinner.

As other reviewers have commented Tuala, the owner/manager, works tirelessly around the place and we found her friendly and helpful - and patient with my pathetic attempts at speaking Greek!

Overall, we thought these apartments were very good - clean, comfortable and well located and would definately consider going back there if we decided to stay in this area of Crete again.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank DBfromLincoln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2009

when we got to ag nik the coach was dropping people off at all these fancy hotels and we were the last to be dropped off we were thinking oh my god were going to be in a caravan in the back of beyond.But then we got there from the road u cant see anything because its all like little apartments down the hill side and by the time we got down the 75 steps we were thinking oh my god what have we done but when we got in our apartment it was really really nice 2 big rooms both with balconys and a kitchen area and a bathroom. clean wasnt the word for it it was spotless.

w were the only ones at the hotel beginning of season that was fantastic!!!!

Then we had a look outside and there is a little pool bar which is quite reasonbly price for drinks. and the pool is really nice. also everywhere u look there is a fruit tree from vines to lemons. the area is really nice in the hotel anyway.

now the bad bits we had a breakfast on the first morning we were there and we thought itll set us up for the day as it was 7.50euro each but when it came out it had 2 eggs a half a sausage tiny piece of bacon and some what we called shaves of tomato and i dont eat eggs so u can imagine i was hungry after an hour. the other food was quite good though and it was all cooked really well.

its 10euro in a taxi to agg nik so we could get up to 8 taxis a day there and back so it proved quite expensive.

also there was roosters crowing all night long.

but if u want a really picturesk hotel that is quite unique then this is the hotel for u i oved it apat from the few niggles iv mentioned above.

also like to thank tula and thomson for looking after me really well when i was admitted to hospital by the way the docters and nurses are second to non.

and i have to put a mention for the galley snack bar run by jackie and george get yourself there the meze is fantastic!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank shazzalass2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradise Primavera Apartments

Address: Havania, Agios Nikolaos, Crete 721 00, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Agios Nikolaos
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Romantic Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
Price Range: £34 - £80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Paradise Primavera Apartments Hotel Agios Nikolaos
Paradise Primavera Apartments Agios Nikolaos
Paradise Primavera Apartments Crete/Agios Nikolaos

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