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“Best hotel in Crete!”

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Camari Garden Hotel Apartments
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gerani
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 December 2013

SO I have been going to Crete all my life, I have travelled pretty much everywhere there is to go, luckily I am half greek and my Dad is from Athens, biased I know! :) This hotel was superb, we were on the ground floor, and two steps away there was the pool. Perfect. We were lucky to have hired a car, but there is a bus stop down the road and a small supermarket, but, the food here, is just superb. All fresh, all obviously local. I'm really surprised that people rated this place as being poor, it's not. Trust me. I would go back here again, shame it's not often enough. I recommend to anyone who's looking for somewhere to stay that is central to Crete, June is the best time to go.

Room Tip: Our room was on the ground floor for ease for my mum, neighbours weren't noisy, you are right by...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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241 - 247 of 558 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2013

Two week holiday in Aug'13.
Ages were:-
2 x 60+
2 x 40+
2 x 13+

Negatives (not many):-
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Location of this complex is in the middle of nowhere/isolated, albeit Gerani Village at the top of the hill and a small cove at the bottom of the hill both in walking distance, but this is difficult for the elderly/unfit/wheelchair-users as it is fairly steep (especially going to the cove).
The restaurant down at the cove is bad, we had mould on our bread, warm beer, and they have nothing available that was shown on the menu.
The cove at the bottom of the steep hill is gravel rather than sand, and not really a place to lay and sunbathe.
If you want to walk to a different taverna/restaurant each night, it's not for you.
Going to have to put this in the negatives, the drink 'Raki' is given freely quite often after a meal.
From Heraklion Airport it's quite a long transfer.


Positives (lots of):-
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The experience you have at The Camari Gardens depends on the type of holiday you've planned. If you want a relaxing holiday by the pool with a dip in the sea for a bit of snorkelling, and quite happy to eat at the same on-site restuarant with the possibility of a small walk up the 'slight incline of a hill' to another restaurant then this is the place for you.
If you want a relaxing base, and have hired a car for days out, then this is the place for you. If you are going to hire a car, there's plenty of parking next to the hotel and the main road for access to the island is just at the bottom of the hill.

Complex.
Restaurant is excellent and prices are reasonable (not hiked up because you're in the middle of nowhere), they do specials every now and then, and will even cook to requests.
To say the staff are helpful and friendly would do them injustice, they bend over backwards to ensure you have a nice stay, e.g. the MotoGP was on TV while I was there and they borrowed a satellite box from a friend when the racing was on and made sure I didn't miss it, priceless.
Reviews have mentioned the traffic noise at night, our apartment was second closest to the main road and we didin't hear a thing (honestly).
There's air-conditioning, but this is five-euros per night, also worth having.
Maybe it was a freak two weeks (mid' Aug'13), but no mosquitos at all, very weird.
Two decent-sized freshwater pools, which is good if one get's taken over by kids.
Plenty of sunbeds, no need for towel reservations here.
Rooms spacious and clean, albeit basic (but you're not holidaying in your room are you?).
Pool room, games room, free WiFi, free-to-use books.
There is a decent-sized on-site shop under the complex for self-catering food/drink and leisure items (inflatables, playing cards, hats etc).
The bar stayed open until the last person left, but they would close all the windows and ensure no noise would leak to unrest the sleeping occupants.
Didn't see one cockroach.
Swimming pools are always clean.
Inflatables are allowed in the pool.


Gerani Village (top of the hill).
Not much here, couple of small shops, one decent restaurant (Staras) and a couple of cafes.
A traditional Greek restaurant called Staras is very nice, which doubles as a museum & museum shop, the old house used to be used for Raki production. Food and service at Staras is very good.
There is bakery here which is also excellent, just as you enter Gerani on the left before Staras restaurant.

Cove.
Although the cove is down a steepish hill, and is gravel rather than sand, the sea here is protected by sea walls and is a safe place for children to swim and snorkel (plenty of colourful fish to see).
There is a fresh water shower here to wash the salt off.
There is a restaurant here (but I would avoid if I were you).
There is some shade (cliffs) at the heat of the day if required.


Will I go back to this complex, YES !
Not immediately though, as there are so many other places I want to see, but if you haven't been and the above sounds reasonable, then YES definitely book it, you won't be dissappointed !

Room Tip: Room-129 was OK, sea view, away from noise yet close to pool
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank ukabroad2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2013

I booked a last-minute holiday at this hotel on the strength of the reviews on Tripadvisor, and was not disappointed.
The apartment was typically Greek; basic but clean, bright, cheerful and totally functional. Plenty of storage space and a nice balcony overlooking the pool with a sea view. Towels and sheets were changed and the room was cleaned most days during my stay (first week in October). Only cavil was I didn’t have a double bed.
On my first evening I was made to feel very welcome by the staff in the bar and restaurant. The food was tasty, reasonably priced and good portions with a pretty extensive menu, and a large draft beer was only 2.50 euros. In fact, during the week I opted only to eat and drink in the hotel restaurant because I felt so comfortable and looked after. There didn’t seem any point in going to a nearby taverna.
The supermarket on site closed during my stay (the season was all but over by that time) but the sleepy village of Gerani is only a ten-minute walk up the hill and there was a very adequate supermarket, plus a bakery and a few cafes and tavernas.
Having already been to Crete several times I didn’t feel the need to head off and explore, but on the last day I took the bus from outside the hotel to Rethymnon which I can recommend. The family and other guests helped me plan my day out and a day in Rethymnon is not to be missed; plenty to see and explore. I found out that the owners can also arrange other excursions.
I would stress that the hotel is in a fairly isolated location, but to me this only adds to the charm as it such a lovely peaceful, relaxing environment.
I can vouch for the other reviews on Tripadvisor, I met one guest who was making his 19th visit here and it’s easy to see why so many people return and return to this gem of a hotel. I will certainly return here, maybe as early as May 2014 when the hotel re-opens.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank JonWeedon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

The family and staff who run these apartments are so nice and they really go out of their way to make your holiday fun and relaxing. My family and I have holidayed in a lot of places but this would be the first place to which we would return.The food in the restaurant is top notch and very reasonably priced it can be enjoyed with a litre caraffe of wine for only 7 euro,this we found helped to make the firm beds seem softer!! The menu is extensive but they also have specials available with a days notice. I would recommend the chicken with lemon potatoes. The bar staff George, Nico and Manos are great, always smiling and nothing is too much trouble. This is why most people return year after year.There is a supermarket on site for milk, sundries ect.There is also a washing machine in the basement which can be used for a small charge,there is no dryer but all the balconies have airers on them . If you want to travel around hire a car. If you want to be around the pool, which I like to do, its perfect. Both pools are great.There is wi fi available in reception and 4 computers that can be used for a small charge ,they have popular xbox games loaded on to them and a games room with a pool table .We met some really nice people at the hotel and made some friends, so if you want a great holiday book this hotel you will not be dissapointed

Room Tip: we had 317 great view of the pool and sea its a studio with two singles and a put up bed .
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank peterm1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We recently visited here for the 2nd time this year - simply because we love it so much - and were not disapointed. The apartments are very clean and spacious and I would urge anyone not to write them off even though they do not have a 4 star rating. They may only have basic kitchen facilities but they are perfectly adequate for preparing simple meals/drinks. To be honest, the quality and pricing of the food/drinks in the bar are so reasonable that you can afford to not sel-cater! The mattresses on the beds are very firm - which we love and find very comfortable. The water is heated through solar panels and we always found it hot and plentiful.

Rooms are cleaned daily along with the pools and other public areas. Bedding and towels are replaced regularly too.

The family are very welcoming and accommodating of any needs you might have and ensure you have a fantastic time while with them. Many guests including us return regularly simply because the family look after us so well.

We would recommend you to hire a car for the duration of your visit and to be honest, if you book it through the internet in advance it doesn't cost much more than your transfer charges from the airport. This will enable you to have much more flexibility to see the beautiful area. Driving is not as scary as you think it is going to be. The hardest thing is getting using the gear lever with the opposite hand to what you're used to, but you do soon adjust. (I'm not the most confident of driver usually, but even I have drove and would do so again in the future).

We can't recommend these apartments highly enough for anyone who likes fairly quiet and beautiful surroundings and we will be returning as soon as we can.

Room Tip: There are 2 sides to the hotel - the newer and the original rooms. Most have good views and there is...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 2504K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Once again, we stayed at this hotel on the strength of the positive reviews on TA. They are not wrong.
The one thing that hits you straight away is the family that own and run it. They can't do enough for you.
George and Nico run the bar and restaurant, and mum Angela runs reception.
They really care about their guests and it shows. Some guests have been going there for 20+ years!
The hotel is absolutely spotless, well furnished in a simple homely way. True, the beds are a little hard (you can’t please everyone), but after a few nights we got used to them. The bathrooms are a typical Greek “wet room” and take a bit of getting used to but it isn’t really a problem as the maids clean every day except Sundays. Towels & bedding changed every 2-3 days. There is plenty of drawer and wardrobe space, a fridge, 2-ringed hob and cutlery and crockery. No kettle provided (we always take our own) but I guess it’s no real hardship to boil a pan of water.
There are 2 pool areas, the top one is near the bar. Both have a children’s paddling pool. They are clean with plenty of sunloungers and umbrellas.
The main attraction of this hotel, for us, was the family and the food-in no particular order.
Breakfast is 5 Euros for either full English or continental (freshly squeezed orange juice, toast, bread, butter, jam, cake and either tea or coffee) I’m not keen on cake for breakfast, so I asked if I could have an extra slice of toast instead? Yes, certainly, no problem.
On our first night, Nico said to us that if there was anything we would like that wasn’t on the menu, we could simply order it a day or so beforehand. I am quite a fussy vegetarian, but I needn’t have worried. There are quite a few vegetarian dishes on the menu-the stuffed tomatoes was one of the most delicious meals I have ever tasted. The vegetarian moussaka (special request) to die for. Aubergines in tomato sauce with feta cheese-yummy! One of the guests was a bit worried because he liked quite plain food-no problem. They cooked him egg and chips without batting an eyelid.
We ate at the hotel every night-something we have never done before. The food is very reasonably priced, delicious and served in very generous portions.

The hotel is very quiet, although there is a road alongside and the main road that runs along the north coast of Crete can be seen from the hotel, but there is no traffic noise. A well stocked supermarket is attached to the hotel-very reasonable priced.
The local bus to Rethymno stops outside the hotel, takes about 15 minutes and costs about 1.5 Euros. A taxi costs about 10 Euros.
We didn’t go out and about like we normally do, as I had hurt my ankle the week before we arrived, but it was such a lovely place, with a lovely friendly atmosphere around the pool that for once we were happy to lie about all day every day and just relax.

Would we return? Definitely!! Not next year, but perhaps the year after.

Finally, a big thank you to George, Nico, Angela, Manolis and all other staff for giving us a wonderful holiday. Yammas!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SuePete4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We couldn't believe the other reviews that we read before we booked. How could a complex with 60 appts be as friendly, welcoming and enjoyable as everyone made out. I'm not quite sure how they do mange it but manage it they do.
The whole family were a pleasure to get to know and always gave you a friendly welcome if you'd been out for the day or for a meal in the evening. The food was great and dispute the urge to explore we often ate at the restaurant.
The rooms are simple in that Mediterranean way but were spotlessly clean and perfectly adequate.
There is so much to see on the island but you should get to know the local village - several places to eat and useful shops, bakery etc.
We would definitely go back (plans already being made). What I'm looking forward to most is a night in their restaurant followed by rounds of drinks at the bar shared with the brothers behind the bar. Always a great night and new friends were made every time.
All in all not the kind of holiday experience you get very often. Definitely a little gem.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank jrk1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Camari Garden Hotel Apartments

Address: Gerani, Crete 74100, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Gerani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gerani
Price Range: £15 - £41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Camari Garden Hotel Apartments 2.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In this idyllic spot of Crete, just 6km west of Rethymnon, you will find the family owned Camari Garden Hotel. A modern complex of apartments with Greek, neo-classic elements in its architecture, overlooking the Cretan sea. This peaceful, village-like hotel, with its 60 apartments and studios, the comfortable and relaxing environment offers an ideal destination for families and couples. A cozy escape from the problems and worries of everyday life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Camari Garden Apartments Hotel Gerani
Camari Garden Apartments Rethymnon
Camari Garden Apartments Hotel Rethymnon
Camari Garden Apartments Crete
Camari Garden Hotel Apartments Crete/Rethymnon Prefecture, Greece

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