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“Charming village but room needed improvements”

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Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village
Ranked #1 of 8 Heraklion B&B and Inns
Reviewed 28 May 2008

I chose to stay at Arolithos to experience the Cretan culture rather than just stay at any old hotel. I am glad I stayed there, but I was also glad that I had only booked 2 nights there.

The village itself is quite charming, the receptionist was extremely friendly, breakfast was adequate, dinner in the restaurant was very inexpensive and delicious. On Wednesday nights (at least in May) they have Cretan Entertainment - dancers perform traditional Cretan/Greek dances, there's live music, all you can drink wine with a set dinner menu - all for 30 euros a person. I showed up late, wasn't very hungry, but thought it was still worth it.

Our room, on the other hand, wasn't that charming - it had stone floors that were peeling (flaking pieces of the polish were stuck to my feet constantly), the shower head holder was broken, the first day the shower water temp was fine, but the second day it kept changing drastically from warm to scolding hot to cold, the soap holder was missing the holder part and was just a metal frame that was useless, some tiles in the bathroom were missing, the flimsy plastic toilet seat moved every time I sat on it, there was a refrigerator in our room but it was unplugged and smelled bad, the tv was small but it worked.

Also, if you stay here, you should have a rental car. One way from Arolithos to Heraklion (port, airport, or bus station) will cost you 15-17 euros from an honest taxi driver (which I found rare in Crete, so rare, that when I did find an honest one, I got his cell number so I could call him for future rides), or 25 euros from the taxi drivers looking to rip off the next tourist. There is a bus stop right across from Arolithos, but it only shows up 4 times a day to take you to Heraklion, and the time I tried to take it, it was 30 minutes late.

I recommend visiting Arolithos, perhaps book a room there on Cretan Entertainment night, but not for a long term stay.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank purpleflowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichailS, Owner at Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2011

Dear guest.
We thank you very much for your review. It is good to know that for some of our guests this style is not what they expect. This helps us to decide about the future and make improvents that will meet the needs of more demanding guest who are also able to afford a higher level of rate.
We thank you again for writing on trip advisor and we hope to see you again in the future. All our best regards.

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53 - 59 of 217 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2006

Arolithos is a pretty bizarre place. It's a collection of little blocks of rooms posing as a traditional village. From the outside it looks fairly uninviting, but actually, once you're inside its false village streets it's quite nicely done. The rooms are a bit basic - stone flags etc in 'traditional' style - but we had a fridge, a/c and view, so not bad. Breakfast (and the breakfast room) I felt were a bit limited and grim, but my wife liked it. Dinner, in a sort of piazza area, was pretty good: the highlight as far as I was concerned. Each night there was Greek dancing and singing, apparently aimed mainly at coached-in tourists. All of that is well done, if you like that sort of thing (if you don't, steer clear!). Staff were friendly. The general area is not especially attractive, though there are good views of the mountains. It's in the rural hinterland of Heraklion. But a good base for seeing the area. It's worth having a look at Tilissos, up the road, which has one of the better minor Minoan sites, but is off the beaten track.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tintern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichailS, Owner at Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2011

Dear guest.
We thank you very much for writing on trip advisor. Your honest review help us to improve our services. Hope that we will see you again in the future. All our best regards.

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Reviewed 12 August 2006

I agree with the review titled "Village and Hotel something special" with a few minor differences. There was a refrigerator in our room so perhaps they've added them since your visit. We had no maintenance issues. The breakfast was served in a room of ample space and was of excellent quality in both taste and variety. We arrived on a Saturday and left on a Monday. During our stay we witnessed 2 weddings and a birthday party; it was amazing. We had no idea what Arolithos was like before arriving and left vowing that we would return. If you're interested in getting a taste of traditional Cretan culture, this is the place to come to.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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Thank cboyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichailS, Owner at Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2011

Dear guest.
We thank you very much for spending your time and writting on tripavisor. Your review helps our future guests and also us to know the honest point of view of our guests.
Hope to see you again in the future. All our best regards

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Reviewed 7 April 2006

At first sight Arolithos is a cretan village, and actually it is! Above you have the reception near the "market place" with a small orthodox church/chapel. Then you have two "main" streets descending alongside the hill with small houses each completely different in shape and style. Everywhere plants and flowers giving the little extra to make it fantastic! The houses are in fact the rooms. Down there is a little local museum (hotel residents have a reduced price) Further there are some handicrafts boutique, a blacksmith and the restaurant with approx. A meter higher than the market place. The total aspect is really nice and cosy. A boutique hotel with real charm, close to the east-west highway of crete, not to far from several beaches and from Heraklion city and airport.
The restaurant is in the summer season outside and situated approx 1 m above the market place. The prices compared to other restaurants at Heraklion area are honnest, certainly not more expensive. The food is very good, service friendly and the bottles of housewine are reasonable in price and excellent!
During the weekend from Friday - Sunday there is a good chance that there is a wedding going on. All tables of the wedding are dessed on the market place, and it gives a fantastic ambiance! The more that from the restaurant level of the guests you overview the full party. It should mentionned that the restaurant service does not suffer at all as othe servers handling the parties. Also (the room where I was at least) did not at all suffer from noise.
During the week there were some folkore dancers . A group of tourists outside the hotel were having a spectacle/dinner. As restaurant guest you to take advantage of it and free of charge!
The rooms are large in size and they were clean. Room maintenance is ok.
There are no facilities as television and even no telephone. But this is not a major item, however due to the climate you are badly lacking a fridge!

The bathroom with actually a shower is rather small. The uses of natural stones for construction is nice, but with the water of the shower it tends to color somewhat, which gives a first impression that it could be cleaner, but actually it is clean.
The technical maintenance is another item, and here I have remarks. The attachement of the shower was broken (apparently since a long time), so you neeeded to hold yourself the shower. The stop of the wash basin was unexisting.
The room airco situated near the bed was a little noisy and "used" but working. The beds bottoms were with a "lattoflex" of loose wooden pieces, which sometime fell down. And on the nice little terrace where you can enjoy the sunset, the chairs mentionned on the website, were unexisting, so you needed each time to take out the inside chairs.
The hotel is not providing a swimming pool, but it is not the style of resort for this. Perhaps it would take some charm away.
Sports, you do in climbing up and down the streets to get to your room! Note that some elderly people have difficulties, certainly when you need to take yr luggage! (Note that people with walking difficulties are not really suitable for this kind of hotel)

CONCLUSIONS
The plus points:
-Arolithos is simply a nice and cosy charm hotel. I am not surprised that some days a tour car stops there to visit Arolithos! Concept is fantastic, and you enjoy staying there. The village is really something else than the concrete hotel buildings!
-The restaurant is fair: an excellent price / quality factor.
- Rooms are big and clean
The minus points:
-The breakfast served in another place could be improved. The orange juice is made with syrup and the limited choice is staying everyday exactly the same.
-Technical maintenance is the weakest area. This could be significantly improved.
-A fridge is really missing in the rooms
A neutral point:
- Believe that the hotel is not suitable for people with walking problems. Climbing the long stairs in the streets can be tiring for elderly and certainly for handicapped.

Final conclusion: Arolithos is a very nice place and the few inconveniences do not spoil the pleasure of being there!

Stayed: October 2004
7  Thank jpver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichailS, Owner at Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2011

Dear guest.
Many thanks for writing on tripadvisor. We appreciate your honest review and we will work on the matters that make things better and improve the services. All our best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2005

I stayed in this hotel in June 2005. The room was dirty, noisy (music for all the night, due to a marriage in the hotel), with oppressive heat (30 C degrees) and air conditionned inadequate... Not possible to have a shower: too few water from water taps...

  • Stayed: June 2005
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6  Thank viaggiatore-perenne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MichailS, Owner at Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2011

Dear guest.
Many thanks for your review on tripadvisor. The honest expression of your experience will help us to improve our services in future. All our best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank moumoune06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: vers le bas du village-hotel,moins bruyant .
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank lusitaniaToulouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village

Address: 11th km Palaia Ethniki Odos Irakleiou Rethymnou, Heraklion, Crete 71500, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Heraklion
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Heraklion
Price Range: £23 - £48 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village 4*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village is really a very special case. It is a hotel at the form of an old village of Crete. Constructed at the form of an old village it travels us back to the past times. The rooms are very standard but with the necessary services. There is a magnificent swimming pool with a breathtaking view over the city of Heraklion and the valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village Hotel Heraklion
Arolithos Hotel Heraklion
Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village Crete/Heraklion

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