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“Why we keep going back to the El-Greco (oops - white palace now)”

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White Palace Luxury Resort
Ranked #12 of 175 Hotels in Rethymnon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 January 2014

In marketing circles they say that "people buy people", and maybe that's one of the reasons why over the last 20 years we must have stayed at the El Greco at least 10 times; the staff are always so genuinely friendly and helpful - nothing has ever been too much trouble, and it's not that fake "we are here to serve" kind of help, but just a genuine happy pride in being the best that they can be and having fun at the same time.

FOOD: The food is the best 'package holiday' hotel food that we have ever come across (and we have stayed at many 5+* hotels all over Europe) - a huge variety to choose from - usually at least 6 different 'main' dishes including vegetarian, with added 'theme' nights (Chinese etc) and always fresh and well, in a word, superb.

LOCATION: The hotel is located by a fairly narrow sandy beach (sun beds provided by the hotel), in a quiet area about 3 or 4 miles from Rethymnon town, so not suited for those who want walking access to lots of bars/clubs etc. However, there is a cheap bus service which stops outside every half hour for town trips (20 minutes journey). I think the Taxi to town was about 8 or 9 euros (?), so along with car-hire for odd day trips we have never felt trapped.

ROOMS: Rooms are spacious and spotlessly clean, as is the hotel in general. All have TV, but only BBC world if you did want English programs, so bring the ipad if you want to watch any films. Showers are somewhat outdated because they are mostly just baths which you have to climb into, with a shower curtain but hey ho, it has never been an issue for us (until I took my elderly mum and realised this might cause a problem for her). The hotel last year embarked on a refurbishment of rooms, so I expect this will improve for all the rooms over the next year or two.

POOL: The main pool is salt-water and fairly old fashioned (i.e. rectangular with no water slides, sprays, wave machine etc), but for us this has never been an issue - we took our children and now take our grandchildren & they love it. Always warm and clean it's, well, it's a pool. There are also rock pools further along the beach - take crabbing lines to keep kids happy for hour after hour! There is however one improvement which the hotel could make to the pool - it only has old fashioned 'step down ladders' rather than wide solid steps, which was a bit tricky for my elderly arthritic mother who we took last year (along with 3 other generations of the family!), but it was fine getting her in and out with a little help.

DECOR: To be honest, up until last year the décor was getting rather 'dated' and tired. Again for us, this was not a problem because of everything else which is so good, but the revamp started last year has already made the remodelled areas look fabulous. Frankly, we were at first a bit worried when we saw the improvements because we thought "hmmm ... how long until the price goes up"!

GUEST MIX: Yes, in more recent years there have been lots of Russians (it used to be more Germans I remember), there are always Italians, Greeks, French, Danish, British etc, and that is one of the reasons we love the place - for its cultural mix. If you want a hotel where it is solely British guests then this is not the hotel for you. I read a review mentioning noisy kids. Yes, it does happen around the pool area when children are having fun, but this is not a noisy hotel (trust me, go to family hotels in Egypt if you want to hear real noise). There are always loads of couples without kids and they always seem to have a good time and besides, there are plenty of grassy or sandy places with sun beds away from the pool which are very quiet.

ENTERTAINMENT & ANNIMATION TEAM: Years ago they seemed to be more 'in your face' (pool water polo, aerobics, beach volley, darts, table tennis, putting etc ). More recently the hotel seems to have altered the feel during the day; lots of activities are still going on but you never feel hassled to get involved - the list of daily activities is on a notice board - get involved if you want or just chill out by the pool if you prefer. There are also shows every night. I must have low expectations because although I have loveys in the family, I always think that much of the entertainment is actually quite good :-)

DISABILITY/ACCESS
New lifts and ramps made it easy with elderly relative in wheelchair. Excellent.

VALUE FOR MONEY: It certainly is not the cheapest hotel on Crete and I wish, oh how I wish that it were cheaper, but overall given the quality of food, service and facilities, yes it has to be pretty good value for money when compared to other hotels in similar locations.

WOULD WE GO AGAIN?: Take a guess. My wife had already booked for 2014 for the 7 of us the week we got back :-)

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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17  Thank ChrisMonaghan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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365 - 371 of 951 reviews

Reviewed 3 January 2014

We stayed at the El Greco in Rethymno to attend a wedding in Crete. We decided to splurge and book a Double Bungalow Sea View Room that included either brekfast, lunch or dinner. It was pricy, but worth it as it was our first vacation away without our son! Upon arrival, we were greeted at the open-air Reception area with a nice cold drink, and had a very easy check in. Our suitcases were left at Reception, and delivered to our room shortly.

Our room was fabulous! There was a bottle of wine and fruit waiting for us, and when we opened the sliding doors to the outside we had a magnificent private area facing the sea! It was paradise!

All the staff were pleasant and helpful throughout our stay. The only funny thing was that they have only one iron and ironing board at the whole resort, which made it quite tricky when we tried to get one the day of the wedding we were attending, as there were other guest going to the same wedding who needed it as well! But, when in Crete....nothing could really stress you out!

The Wedding reception dinner and party was held at the resort...I couldn't rave more about what a wonderful place to hold your wedding reception. The cocktail hour was up on the top gallery, and watching the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea was breathteaking!

Food was also delicious. There was an a la carte dining area at the resort, but we opted for the buffet for our meals as it had a large variety of food, from Greek to basic "American" style foods.

We would absolutely love to visit Crete again, and would definitely stay at the El Greco at least for a few days before exploring the rest of the island!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JoyFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013 via mobile

This is a beautiful hotel but not a 5 star. Firstly I would like to say the staff & animation team were great friendly & helpful. Unfortunately whilst we were guests the majority of other guests were Russian we were in such a small minority of British &German guests that It was quite uncomfortable. There were so many children who screamed and shouted without any consideration for other guests, we decided to use one of the other pools as advertised by Thomson but were told this was not possible as it was for garden room guests only, these pools were pretty empty most of the time and as an amputee I would have felt more comfortable using one of these rather than being stared by children whose parents did not have the good grace to remind their children of their manners. The food which we had read was excellent, was in fact average, although the a la carte meal was excellent. The views were wonderful, we recommend a sea view room. I don't think we would return to the el Greco unless it was a multi national hotel!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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3  Thank AnneYSNeilJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2013

This hotel was beautiful in a decent location. From someone who has been on many luxury holidays I rate very highly of the cleanliness, style, food and of course helpful, well spoken and friendly staff. All areas including the beach and pool areas are a high standard of cleanliness and organisation of sun loungers and shade. This holiday for me was relaxing and close to perfection, efficient waiting staff, good standard and variety of food, served refreshments throughout the day on the beach aswell as by the pools, plenty of activities for all age groups. Would recommend this holiday to everyone and anyone. I would disagree with any person who would pick holes at this resort, every year it gets better. fact.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank CarysLouise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Stayed for two weeks in October left day before the hotel was closing, the staff in this hotel work so hard to please all the guests they are absolutely fabulous there wasn't one we could complain about,there are too many to name. The food was delicious we were there for two weeks and didn't get bored and the wine with dinner was excellent.All the bar staff seemed to remember which drinks you had and most were international brands.Have to mention Nicos at the pool as he was so attentive all day long. All in all I would recommend this hotel highly the whole ambiance was brilliant.

Stayed: October 2013
5  Thank UkSunlovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Spent a week here last month just before the hotel closed for the season .Lots of areas to sit & sunbathe with free sunbeds on the hotels beach . I believe the rooms are being upgraded and that will make this hotel even better .We were all inclusive and had a good choice of drinks in the bars in the evening sitting on lovely sofas .A variety choice of food made this a good choice for a week .

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are worth the minimal extra charge
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Maldive3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

I stayed at the Grecotel for a week in October. As previous reviewers have mentioned, the main areas of the hotel are really lovely, and have been beautifully furnished, but this highlights how dated the bedrooms are. As we were led from the main area of the hotel, the decor is old fashioned, dated and the carpets outside our bedrooms were stained and looked grubby. I don't usually comment on beds, but the beds were particularly uncomfortable.
We were really impressed with the food, and waiting staff were efficient and friendly. I would agree that evening meal times were a little hectic.
The animation team were fantastic, not intrusive and very friendly.
I have to disagree with previous comments that all staff were friendly and helpful, I found one member of staff working on reception to be incredibly unhelpful, and unfriendly.
Overall, I would recommend this hotel, and once the whole hotel has been modernised it will look amazing.

Room Tip: Def choose a sea view
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank raddersLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Palace Luxury Resort

Address: Rethymnon, Crete GR 74100, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Rethymnon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Rethymnon
#7 Family Hotel in Rethymnon
#8 Luxury Hotel in Rethymnon
#22 Romantic Hotel in Rethymnon
Price Range: £164 - £361 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — White Palace Luxury Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 333
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grecotel El Greco Hotel Platanias
Grecotel El Greco Rethymnon
Grecotel El Greco Hotel Rethymnon
White Palace Luxury Resort Crete/Rethymnon

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