We stayed here for the first 2 weeks of June. We arrive at about 10pm and were invited to the restaurant for some supper after being taken to our room by buggy. The 1st week of our stay was half term and the sun loungers were all 'towell reserved' by about 9.30am, however the following week was not a problem whatever time of day you went to the pool.
We had a good sized 2 bedroom family apartment with a view of the sea. The rooms were cleaned daily and towels changed, beds made. Only complaint regarding the rooms is that for a family of 4 the storage facilities for clothes was very limited, however it's not a major problem (especially with a teenager who doesn't tend to put clothes away anyway!). Our room was at the top of the hill, which is fairly steep, however as others have said there are the buggies to transport those who require it but to be honest other than transporting your luggage on arrival and departure, it was nice to burn off some of the holiday calories and the higher you are, the better the view. Would be better if the hotel did not locate single parties in rooms by families though as we did have an issue with 3 foreign and selfish males. We had no damp issue as others have mentioned.
The new waterslides/lazy river were great, clean and well monitored by friendly life guards. The Adult pool looked very peaceful but being a family we did not visit this. The main pool area was good and seemed to remain an acceptable temperature which was a bonus. The children's paradise pool was literally a younger child's paradise, a pool with a little slide and different water pouring and squirting things, nice and colourful with a snack bar serving all a child could want - cany floss, popcorn, slush, ice-cream, hotdogs, burgers, chips. I would agree with a previous comment though and suggest some sunloungers as it's too far from the main pool for your children to go on their own, but other than shaded tables & chairs in the snack area, it was a case of towells on the grass which isn't very comfortable for any length of time.
The food was fantastic and those who have moaned should clearly fork out a bit more for their holiday and not expect something for nothing! The was a great selection of lovely food to choose from, different hot main meals, salads, pastas etc and beautiful desserts. The children ate very well the whole 2 weeks and not once complained. Only gripes are that Breakfast is whisked away quickly and if you arrive for the late riser continental breakfast as we often did (teenagers!), there isn't a great selection. However snacks are available between meals but we rarely needed to use these. Tables could have been relayed a bit quicker too, we often had to search for cutlery at busy times. Some nice staff though who worked hard all the time, particularly a couple of the ladies who were very friendly and tried to teach us some Greek - Efharisto?! Some guests seem to think they must dive in between you and jump queues though, heaven knows why as there was plently of food - even after they piled their plates ridiculously high and left half of it!"
Generally a good selection of alcohol, some cocktails included in the AI package, others not, but not a real issue. Some staff were very friendly especially the guy who shared Ouzo shots with us as we were departing and even made non-alcholic ones for the children to make it special for them too. However, others did seem to avoid serving British guests, one small lady in particular who was very unfriendly and made us feel quite unwelcome and uncomfortable, other Brisitsh guests we spoke to felt the same way. One time when I visited the bar she served 6 foreign people who arrived after me and when I was the last person there, she left me waiting while she cleaned around the sink. However, I think perhaps the key is that you need to be abrupt when ordering as this seems to work - maybe the British are too patient and polite???
Logisitcally it wasn't easy for the team as the ampitheatre is away from the bar and often the entertainment here ended shortly prior to 11pm when the AI drinks ended, so I don't think they ever had a full house but they were friendly, approachable and worked hard. The quizes were fun and the children enjoyed the Bingo. There is a Childrens Team rund by Thomas Cook aswell as the German Team, although we never used this but the children that went seemed to enjoy themselves. It was nice to have some integrated entertainment too for all nationalities.
Most staff were friendly and welcoming, all were hard working.
Yes it's out of Hersonissos, yes it's set on a fairly steep hill - so what. The hill provides a lovely setting and allows the beautiful views and the hotel is clearly advertised as being on a hill and not necessarily suitable for less mobile. Our room was at the top and it was a hike, we're healthy but not fitness freaks however, it never killed any of us and it burnt some of the excess holiday calories!
There is the shuttle service down to Star Beach, the shuttle is busy at peak times (particularly the 5.15 return) but it will return to collect you if you didn't fit on the first pick up. You can walk it and it doesn't take that long, but it does get very hot and it's not a very safe road up the hill to the hotel and scary with children. Star Beach is very busy once the youngsters arise from their hangovers but if you walk along (back on yourself), there are coves which are quieter and the sunbeds/umbrellas are quite reasonable. The are some nice bars/restaurants with great pools/slides etc for the children to play in while you chill (shame Britain isn't so considerate of families).
The town itself stretches along to the harbour, the shops are all much the same but you can grab some bargains and it makes a nice stroll and change of scenery if you want a break from the hotel. One place you must visit is Aquaworld which is at the far end of the town on the left. Aquaworld is a small'ish aquarium run by a husband and wife duo who are lovely and very welcoming, there are snakes, lizards, tortoise, octopus and a turtle. For those who are brave enough you can hold the snakes and lizards taking plenty of photos. It doesn't cost much to enter and once you have paid, you can come back as much as you want - we visited twice.
This hotel is great value for money, yes there are a few minor gripes but nothing that will ruin your holiday. All in all we enjoyed it and the children had a blast - fantastic facilities for children. AND not once did we witness unruly children bouncing balls off tables and smashing glasses whilst the parents got drunk, nor did we witness any poor choice and quality of food???? If you want an afforable AI holiday which your children will love, then this is a good choice!
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- Also Known As:
- Mareblue Village & Aqua Park Hotel Chersonisos
- Mareblue Village And Aqua Park
- Mareblue Village Hersonissos
- Mareblue Village Hotel Hersonissos
- Smartline Village Resort & Waterpark Crete, Greece