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Petra Mare
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Reviews (440)
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Reviewed 1 October 2012

We travelled late September 2012 and spent 8 days at the Petra Mare. We rented a car and drove the 1.5hrs to the hotel from Heraklion airport. Ierapetra is a small town on the South coast of Crete - it is not really geared towards tourism with a handful of nice bars/ restaurants on the water front but little else to do or see. Ierapetra is relatively isolated on the South coast and it takes a good 30-45minutes by car to get to the next big town Agios Nikolaos.
The hotel was clean and looked in relatively good condition. The rooms were basic but comfortable enough with an empty fridge for your use and balcony. The bathroom was dated but adequate.
The facilities on offer included a lovely salt water pool with small buffet and bar, a gym, the restaurant (buffet style), a shallow kids pool with slides etc and kids club. There is also easy access to a stoney beach with a small water sport centre if you want to jet/water ski etc.
The pool was lovely if not a little cold - but very refreshing in the heat! Unfortunately there was butlins (family holiday) like entertainment throughout the day where the team tried to get you involved in the aerobics, water polo, dancing, beach volleyball, darts or table tennis. This tended to involve loud announcements and music over the loud speaker system and being hassled into taking part -NOT ideal if you want a relaxing break.
We were two of a handful of brits - the mainstay of tourists were overweight middle aged to older Germans, with some Dutch and French. There were also a fair few families with young children.
We went "all inclusive" which cost only slightly more then accommodation only. This included 3 meals in the buffet restaurant, access to the small cold meat/cheese buffet by the pool, and unlimited access to a local beer on tap, local wine, local brand soft drinks and "fruit juices" which were a post mix cordial. There was also a selection of local spirits - including their versions of all the usuals.
The food was fairly repetitive - a different meat was grilled every day and varied from lamb chops, to burgers or liver. The rest of the hot buffet tended to include a few local dishes, a fish dish and chicken dish or two and then the usual spaghetti, chips etc that tourists seem to love. There was always a cold buffet of salads and tzatziki and other dips, and a desert buffet generally consisting of banana flavoured sponges and jelly - with a few other local deserts.
Food was plentiful and quite edible, just not perhaps what you may be hoping for if you're after more traditional greek cuisine.

To summarise the hotel was quite adequate and clean, the food repetitive but edible and plentiful - the location really not ideal unless you plan on not leaving the hotel. If you're after a holiday with plenty of food, alcohol and "group activities" - and don't plan on investigating the rest of Crete then this is for you - if not then I'd strongly advise you look elsewhere.

I would recommend looking at Agios Nikolaos which was a lovely little sea side town town with lots of bars, restaurants and plenty of small shops to wander round - or preferably the absolutely beautiful Rethimnon which consists of a maze of small streets peppered with local restaurants and shops, and a historical Venetian Fort to visit. The rest of Crete would also be a lot more accessible from either of these towns - so hire a car and get out there investigating - there's plenty to see!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MUVET
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

The hotel itself is fairly dark and dreary and in serious need of an update. The room we stayed in was fairly basic but regularly cleaned and quite spacious. The view was of the distant mountains and a lot of construction, so we didn't spend a lot of time on the balcony. Perhaps the sea-view rooms would be better suited to those wanting to stay in for the night.

The biggest complaint would have to be the food and drink. Breakfast was a joke. If you're not interested in 'mystery meat' weiners and spam, extra salted greasy eggs, or salad; your choices are limited to cereal and yogurt. No fruit, no baked goods. Lunch and dinner were pretty much the same. The salad bar is the same every day, as is the pasta and the choice of desserts (which weren't too bad). There is a meat station where they cook one choice of hot meat. Kebabs seemed to be a reoccurring speciality. But that was pretty much it. Meal times became so monotonous that it was a bore to head in to eat. If you're a foodie of any kind, this hotel is not for you.

The only thing worse than the food was the choice of drinks available. One brand of beer (which my other half tells me was not too bad, better than Mythos) on tap, coffee, fizzy orange, cheap cola, lemonade and very odd tasting wine (on tap) and fruit juices (tasted more like squash without the water). Not good. The bar offered very cheap vodka, gin and rum. I tried some white rum and it tasted like paint thinner. Cocktails and any other drinks not mentioned cost extra. We ended up buying iced tea and beer from the gift shop and going out for cocktails every night.

The entertainment wasn't too bad. They have 'Animation' in the hotel, which means mini discos and music quizzes at night - we steered clear, but for families I'm sure it would have sufficed. During the day there were table tennis competitions, darts, water polo and beach volleyball.

I'm not sure if it was the time of year but we were the only English people in the hotel. Everyone else was Russian. This didn't bother us at all, in fact it was kind of nice. It did mean that a lot of the food and entertainment was based around Russian families and the town reflected that in the fact that they sold no English newspapers or books, but plenty for the Russians and Germans. There were no English reps based in the hotel. Other than that, I don't think it would affect your stay.

On the last day we were flying home in the evening but had to check out at 10am. We were able to continue eating and drinking until we left but when it came to showering and changing for the flight, there was no courtesy room or indoor shower and we had to change in the toilets by the gym, which weren't very clean. I would recommend keeping your room on if your flight is late in the day.

We chose Ierapetra because we wanted to see 'old Greece'; something akin to the towns of Lindos and Pefkos in Rhodes. Unfortunately, the town itself was almost as disappointing as the hotel. The people are lovely and very friendly, and there are lots of little cocktail bars along the sea-front (head towards the marina for the cheaper drinks); but if you're interested in something more, it will fall a little flat. There are a handful of good shops for souvenirs but clothes and book shops are expensive. It isn't exactly picturesque and once you've seen the ruins (of which there is no English tour or even an information booklet available) you'll need to leave the town for something to do.

It's also a tricky part of the island for excursions. It's really too far for most of them, but you can take the trip to Crissi Island (we decided against it as it was 20 euros each) but we did get the local bus (the bus services are pretty good) to Agios Nicolaos, which was a gorgeous town. There is an archaeological museum there and it's just a short boat trip to Spinalonga, which I would highly recommend.

Overall, we wouldn't return to the hotel. Unless all you want to do is drink coffee, sit on a shingle beach all day (the pool played loud dance music all day) and are happy to eat out, it's likely to disappoint.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DominicI123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We liked the food at this hotel and the saltwater pools provided plenty of fun for the kids (and their Dad!). The room we had was too small for the 5 of us and the evening entertainment needed some more thought and ideas. Nice kareoke night tho by the cocktail bar (my only hangover!).

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank simonandjen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2011

Accommodation was good as was the food. Kids pool was excellent but the adults pool was too deep. 1.7 metres all over, and only accessible from two ends. OK if you are a good swimmer. The walled jaccuzzi was underwater and we saw several swimmers hit their heads on it. The hotel pool staff held games and exercises every afternoon for about an hour with loud music which was a little annoying. Some of the music was rap and hip hop with English swear words in the songs. Not very good for the English kids to hear. The clientel were mainly Russian, German and Austrian so I don't suppose they noticed. We mentioned it to the staff but they just shrugged their shoulders and laughed. The lift doors were temperamental in the fact that if the first person in pressed the floor button they closed hard on the following people . We saw one or two people with large bruises on their arms because of this.

Room Tip: High floor sea view
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank melvyn o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2011

We booked this hotel about three weeks before our departure date so the only real reviews we had were off this web site. First impressions were good nice and clean with A very helpfull night manager (we arrived at just after midnight and were told that some food had been saved for us if we wanted it) When we went down for our breakfast the next day and saw the variety of food available and the outside seating area we were really pleased.We found at all meal times you could get a outside table overlooking the sea if you wanted to.We found all staff really helpfull and most could speak english to varying degrees the reception staff inperticular were exceptionly helpfull. We took our nineteen year old daughter and fourteen year old son with us and both really enjoyed themselves.We went to the taverna at vainia a small village at the bottom of one of the mountains twice( just for a change of scenery nothing to do with the hotel food )it costs eight euros each way in a taxi but is well worht it we had three large beers three bottles of wine and three cokes a mixed plate of meats and kebas plus lots of different tapas type dishes and a greek sala for eleven euros each we were the only tourists in there and every table was taken it opens round about eight and is open every day apart from monday.

Room Tip: we paid ten euros per night to upgrade from mountain view to sea view
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank lee w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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