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“Fabulous views, but not 4 star”

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Elounda Ilion Hotel
Ranked #16 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 August 2011

My sister and I have just spent 5 days at the Ilion. All the reviews here are pretty much spot on.
NEGATIVES: Transfer from airport took us 2.5 hours, late at night - book a 'fast transfer' without stops, on the return transfer, we barely made our flight in time!
We asked to change rooms - as our standard room had a dodgy shower, smelt damp and was generally very tired. The management showed us 2 more rooms to choose from, which were slightly better. Altough we still had dodgy air con (turned itself off from time to time), shower not fixed properly, door knob fell off, TV not working etc... we were not in the room much.
The breakfasts were fine, lots of choice for all tastes. Poor coffee though from a machine. We took our own kettle and fresh coffee (having read a previous review) and that was fine. Dinner food was pretty poor. Dry meats, lacking in flavour...walk into the town for a decent meal. The bar was great, but pricey. We bought a bottle of wine during Happy hour, at half price and asked Dimitri to keep it in the fridge until dinner time.
There is a shop about 100m down the hill, and we kept our mini bar stocked with cheap beers and reasonable greek wine. (take your own corkscrew - our room own was broken & they never got round to replacing it)
POSITIVES: The purpose of my short trip was to relax, sun bathe in peace and quiet, with a great pool, and the Ilion provides all the above. Rooms had fresh clean towels and bedding. A fridge, hair dryer and plenty of storage space, and hot water & basic shower products provided.The pool area, although small, is clean and a perfect temperature, with amazing views. The pool bar provided great snacks and cold beers, plenty of loungers (although was sometimes a little cramped as people looked for shade). Not a lot for kids to do, there is a table tennis table and pool table beside the pool area. I looked at the mini golf and playground - they are in a bad state and no one used them while we were there. Bring a pair of binoculers - the views over all the posh 5 star hotels, and private yachts kept us occupied for hours! Elounda is the rich and famous haunt and Lady Gaga was apparently in residence somewhere!
The walk into Elounda is absolutely fine. We walked there in less than 30 minutes, and had no problems during the night or day. Lots of bars, cafes and shops, great food places along the water front. Be prepared to pay top prices though.
SPA: The 6 Senses Spa belonging to the 5 star hotel at the bottem of the drive lets you use all their spa facilities for E30 a day. We went there after check out, and before our evening pick up. AMAZING!!! lots of free products, infinity pool, loungers, saunas etc. Best thing we did all holiday. Try the 'Sunburn soother' treatment!
ELOUNDA VILLAS/ ARGO: Opposite the Ilion is this boutique hotel/ villas - we went over for a drink in their bar, and people watched - absolutely beautiful place. Fabulous martinis.
If you can put up with sub standard rooms,and the hideous transfers, the Ilion is in a perfect location, the views, perfect climate and pool made up for everything else and I would visit the area again.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, got for the superior rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CateMart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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391 - 397 of 624 reviews

Reviewed 1 August 2011

THE GOOD
Great location, stunning view (the best in the area), great swimming pool, relaxing and quiet hotel. Clean and most of the stuff friendly and helpful. Reasonable prices, basically you paid for the location and view.
THE BAD
Beware of the hotel photos. The photos are of the superior rooms whereas rooms are in three categories. The superiors, the standard and the late 1980’s rooms. The last ones are build most probably in that decade and are still waiting a renovation. Being there and saw it. The swimming pool looks huge in the photos. Clean but small. Overall the pictures in this case doesn’t say the truth.
THE AGLY
The management! Being there during the taxi strike. No transport on behalf of the hotel. Other hotels in the area had their own bus or mini bus. We had to rely on our lack to get back to the hotel. Giovanni of Giorgos tavern in Plaka had to drive us back one night (Best fish we ever had) and the barman of ‘Friends’ bar in Elounda did the same. Special thanks to both of them. No hotel entertainment at all only a CD playing the night through two tiny speakers (same CD every night). Breakfast standard as it takes (eggs, sausage and beans). No lunch. Evening meals…??? Try a local tavern instead. The hotel is run by these people, 4 housemaids (for 80 rooms), 3 receptionists, 5 waiters, the barman and ALBERT. Albert is the man for all. Lifeguard, handyman and engineer in the day and the only waiter in the night. Also is the luggage man.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank StavrosCyprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

THE GOOD
Great location, stunning view (the best in the area), great swimming pool, relaxing and quiet hotel. Clean and most of the stuff friendly and helpful. Reasonable prices, basically you paid for the location and view.
THE BAD
Beware of the hotel photos. The photos are of the superior rooms whereas rooms are in three categories. The superiors, the standard and the late 1980’s rooms. The last ones are build most probably in that decade and are still waiting a renovation. Being there and saw it. The swimming pool looks huge in the photos. Clean but small. Overall the pictures in this case doesn’t say the truth.
THE AGLY
The management! Being there during the taxi strike. No transport on behalf of the hotel. Other hotels in the area had their own bus or mini bus. We had to rely on our lack to get back to the hotel. Giovanni of Giorgos tavern in Plaka had to drive us back one night (Best fish we ever had) and the barman of ‘Friends’ bar in Elounda did the same. Special thanks to both of them. No hotel entertainment at all only a CD playing the night through two tiny speakers (same CD every night). Breakfast standard as it takes (eggs, sausage and beans). No lunch. Evening meals…??? Try a local tavern instead. The hotel is run by these people, 4 housemaids (for 80 rooms), 3 receptionists, 5 waiters, the barman and ALBERT. Albert is the man for all. Lifeguard, handyman and engineer in the day and the only waiter in the night. Also is the luggage man.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank StavrosCyprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

I have just returned from an 11 night stay at this hotel.

The transfer was horrendous, I think it took 2.5 hours going and on the return 3 hours due to all the drop offs/pick ups, so be aware. We booked with youtravel.com and there was an option for an express shuttle bus with only 4 drop offs, I wish I had gone for that.

The hotel: the photos of the rooms on the website are all of superior rooms, I have put photos on of the standard sea view room I stayed in. I found it acceptable, it was clean and spacious, the bathroom was fine (shower a little dodgy, great power but dodgy holder). There was a fridge in there which was greatly appreciated, a safe at 10 euros a week, and air-conditioning. I was in room 73 which was on the top floor with amazing views, shame about the solid block balcony though.

The hotel is set on the side of a mountain. The hill up to reception is tiring to say the least. As mentioned in another review, there is a telephone at the bottom of the hill to use when you arrive and someone will come and collect you. Use it, we didnt and we missed the reception sign and half killed ourselves. Everything for me was uphill, going back to my room was a task everyday and the heat made it worse.(and I am an active 36 yr old). It is definitely not for people with walking difficulties.

The hotel facilities were very good, lovely pool and surrounding area with again amazing views. There was never a problem with sunbeds either. The pool snack bar was good with nice food. The bar area was nice also. The restaurant was nice with a small-ish air-conditioned indoor area and an nice outdoor area.

The food: We were half board, the breakfast was great, apart from my fear of streaky bacon. The only fresh fruit was melon or orange on alternate days, the other fruit was tinned. The evening meals, all I can say is that they were edible. I managed to eat every night but not with great delight. However my not so fussy other half didnt have a problem. They had a salad bar, then the mains bar which consisted of a pasta dish, a veggie dish, a fish dish, and then either chicken, lamb or veal and then a potato dish. Then there was the desert bar which was good, they also had a selection of cheeses but no biscuits to go with it (strange).

The walk into Elounda: I walked into Elounda during the day about 3 times, which was OK. It took 30 mins at a good pace, however the walk back was awful as towards the hotel you are uphill, we only walked back twice during the day as after the second time I insisted no more. In the 35 deg heat it was awful. On saying that it would have been OK had it not been so hot. We did walk there on an evening too which was ok the walk back a little scary as some parts are quite dark.

There is a bus service which we used which cost 1.60 euro each to Elounda and to Agios Nikolaos. Get a timetable from reception (they are always late). However the hill you have to climb to get to the bus stop is steep.

The taxis are 7 euros into elounda and 13 euros into Ag Nik.

All in all Elounda is a lovely place and I would go back. Crete itself is beautiful you must explore it (we did a jeep safari which was brilliant www.safariclub.gr). I would definitely recommend your own transport whilst there.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank soc601
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2011

We arrived at the Elounda Ilion hotel with no real expectations - and left two weeks later having had a very relaxing and enjoyable two week holiday in lovely surroundings.
We've been to Crete twice before at the western end of the island so wanted a base to explore the east. The Ilion is overlooking Mirabello Bay and the views (as we saw in Tripadvisor before we arrived) are exactly as advertised - breathtaking. We booked a sea view room and were not disappointed (room 74) with our panoramic view of the bay. The room was well-appointed, clean and airy with good air conditioning, and the bed was very comfortable.
We got a wonderful welcome from receptionist Costas who told us as we were about to carry our bags to the room: “We will look after that. You do nothing – you are on holiday. We do everything.” All the staff were friendly and pleasant and the main stalwart is Albert who seems to just about do everything – handyman in the morning, suitcase carrier during the day, bar waiter till close of play at night, and on our last day we even saw him cleaning the pool! Dimitri was a barman par excellence and we spent many a pleasant night sitting on the balcony seats in the bar chatting and watching the stars. There is also early-evening “happy hour” where his cocktails went down a treat!
Some people say the food is average. We found it varied and plentiful – there was always something we liked and more importantly it was all freshly-prepared with plenty of salads and fresh fruit.
Bar prices are the level you would expect to pay in a UK hotel – and certainly not much more expensive than if you factored in a 7 Euro each-way taxi trip into Elounda to drink there on a night.
The other good thing was the mix of people at the hotel with a selection of age groups and nationalities – couples, families with teenagers, some young people - who were all there to have a relaxing holiday. We met some very nice people!
We hired a car for the full two weeks (Europeo Cars) which we collected at the airport on landing and drove back for our return flight. It was a hassle-free experience and not only saved us the three hour coach transfer each-way (it took us just 1 hr 15 minutes by road) but meant we could go off and see parts of the island we’d not seen before. Our Hyundai Accent (288 euros all-in) certainly paid for itself!!
Elounda is a lovely resort centre with a nice picturesque little harbour and lots of restaurants. We tried the Lotus Eaters on recommendation and were not disappointed. Elounda has a small beach, but if you hire a car you’ll be able to visit Almyros Beach just past Agios Nikolaos which we found to be one of the best in the area– or Makrygialos on the south coast to the east of Ierapetra which was even better. And there are day trips to Chrissi Island where the beaches are also good.
We would certainly visit Elounda Ilion Hotel again because of its lovely position, excellent pool area, cleanliness and wonderful staff. We came away very chilled-out which was the whole purpose of the holiday! Hiring a car does give you added freedom and flexibility and is highly-recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ChrisM26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2011

In brief, its very clean, comfortable, great pool area, really friendly staff, good housekeeping, good food, good atmosphere, and run very efficiently, almost effortlessly but you can tell everyone works hard. I would have no hesitation in returning or recommending to others and the location and views are outstanding.
In full, if you can afford a superior sea view bungalow, do, as the views are amazing. Room 32 was perfect. Great bathroom, 2 bedrooms, lounge area, 2 balconies, air con and mini bar/fridge. Some say the smaller bungalows are "dated", I would say they are more "Cretan" looking but still comfortable. The buffet style breakfast has everything you could need and is of quality. Food is good at the evening also, though it could do with a little more variation but its hard to fault and all restaurant staff were friendly, though no drinks are offered they must be purchased with dinner.
Everywhere is clean and the pool area is pretty with a small infinity pool and a larger swimming pool. Comfortable seating and tables are nearby to take in the views on. Plenty of beds and parasols, a great little snack and drinks bar, where a large pizza for 2 was €8, baguette and fries €6 and a larger well lit and well stocked bar area. € 3.50 for a beer, €2 for a coke, and €7 for a large short and mixer. I include the prices as a guide but don't get hung up on them everything is reasonable and well worth it.
It is a 20 to 30 minute stroll into Elounda, with a couple of small inclines so you have to have a little stamina in the heat, but a taxi is only €7 and the bus stop is out through the back of the hotel up a slope and left and left again onto the main road and a few feet along. It costs €1.60 per person one way. Buses have air con and conductors and are very efficient. Cross the road and you can get a bus to Agios Nikolais. A taxi to Ag Nik cost €13 and its well worth a day or evening out.
Spinalonga was worth the trip as was the boat which we took from Plaka. I found this village small but really pretty and you can get the mini train or bus to Plaka from Elounda. Finally the small beach/rock area belonging to the Hotel is down an alleyway directly across the road from the hotel. Not a lot of room but the rocky part in front gets you directly into the cool sea and is quite private. If you can hire a car its worth it because of the walk back and to and or the cost of taxis to get about the area however we still enjoyed our little hikes out to Elounda.
Ate at the Ferryman, stunning waterside setting, approximately € 24 each with a carafe of house red and water, starters and mains. Really good food and lots of it. Also tried Mams House which cost less but we still enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, music and friendly owner. Didn't enjoy the taxi strike on Monday and Tuesday but they have the right to do what they feel is right. Just wish they would have given me notice as the walk home in the dark under the influence, ( a little), carrying Ouzo,wine, water and souvenirs was not a lot of fun. Neither was the blockading of the airport and the walk down from the road with our cases..... All in all, a beautiful part of Crete, with warm friendly people, clear blue waters, plenty of bars and eateries and a great hotel and stunning location, I would go back for another stay..

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank polstan68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2011

My partner and I stayed at the Ilion for 2 weeks and had a great time. However, the hotel does have flaws which may be minor or major depending on your taste so please read on and I will do my best to explain.
If you would like a sea view at this hotel (who doesn't), then this would appear to be a bit of a lottery unless you have paid in advance for a superior room. The hotel has an elevated position overlooking the coast but our initial room on arrival (room 64 I think) had a view of the rear of the main building and that was about it! We like to sit out on our balcony on holiday and therefore for us this was a big deal (especially as our tour operator only advertised sea view rooms)! Luckily after a bit of a discussion with reception we were able to re-locate the next day to a room that had a fantastic view (room52).
The room was quite small but authentic which we didn't have an issue with, especially as we didn't plan to spend much time in it anyway. Others may not agree, especially as I think this room was classed as a superior one. The beds were hard but I haven't experienced anything different in Greece!
Swimming pool was superb (cleaned every morning) with an amazing view over the coast. This was probably the biggest plus for the hotel. The bar and restaurant also had fantastic views.
Food was fine but certainly not gourmet cuisine. Again, this was not a big deal to us as we tended to eat out at lunchtime and have a small supper at the hotel, but for others this could be an issue. Staying for 2 weeks the food would be repetitive. Staff though in the restaurant were superb - very friendly and attentive. Views from the restaurant great as located just above the pool.
The hotel is located about a 20 - 25 minute walk from the main Elounda harbour. This may not seem too bad for some but in the heat of the day it's quite tough! Consequently, we spent quite a bit of money in taxis (7 euros one way). There is a bus stop on the main road but we found the bus timetable quite unreliable!
Bar staff were excellent and very attentive. Bar prices nothing out of the ordinary for a hotel in this resort.
All in all we had a great time. Elounda is a very upmarket resort and this hotel was fine in our opinion, especially considering the money we paid for the holiday. If you manage to secure a decent room with a view, prefer a swimming pool to the beach and don't mind a walk or taxi ride to get into town this hotel is good value. Other hotels in Elounda may be 5 star, closer to town and possibly have better food but you will no doubt have to pay a lot more for the privelege.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank williamss_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elounda Ilion Hotel

Address: Elounda, Crete 72053, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Elounda
#11 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#16 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: £35 - £125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Elounda Ilion Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elounda Ilion Hotel in Crete was built in 1990 and since then has undergone many renovations and extensions with the final being in 2015. The hotel is built on a hill side offering a panoramic view to the bay of Elounda and the island of Spinaloga with its medieval castle. It is situated 10 kilometres from the city of Agios Nikolaos and 2 kilometres from the village of Elounda. The facilities of the hotel include a main restaurant, a snack bar, a central bar, satellite television room, billiard, children's playground, tennis court, mini golf and ping - pong. Also you can enjoy the hotel's swimming pool and your children the separate children's swimming pool. The hotel offers its own parking area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elounda Ilion Hotel Crete

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