My wife and I travelled to Crete to spend the week leading up to my birthday at the Hersonissos Palace and we enjoyed every bit of it.
The double room we had was clean, comfortable and had a good LCD television with satellite channels comprising of at least two English language channels (CNN and BBC World) along with many German, French. Greek and Russian channels. That said, one doesn't go on holiday just to watch TV - but it was nice that you could get the latest news from home as and when you needed it. The bathroom was immaculate and the bath/shower all worked fine. Similarly the balcony was nice and we spent a good few hours out there reading our books when it was too hot to sit around the pool.
The pool itself is well maintained and we spent a good few mornings swimming up and down to our heart's content. When not in the pool we spent many a morning and afternoon relaxing on the loungers surrounding the pool area, or sitting under shade beside the bar. We took advantage of the inclusive drinks (served from 10am until 11pm daily) which included the occasional local beer, cocktail (a choice of four that forms part of the inclusive package, anything else is chargeable), or soft drinks (their lemonade is excellent). If you need to have something in your room, there are plenty of supermarkets nearby where you can purchase a large bottle of water. Useful for when the inclusive hours are not in effect.
Something that I don't think has been mentioned in these reviews is the free wi-fi that you can access from the main lobby. It's possible that you may get a signal around the pool/bar area, but this depends on your device. Wi-fi/internet connections are not available in any of the rooms. If you don't have your own internet-enable device, there is a computer in the lobby area which you can use at a reasonable rate.
The food at the Hersonissos Palace was excellent and of high quality. It's a buffet system for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but there is plenty of food available and the choices are changed daily. The downside to this was that we noticed that a few guests had piled their plates high and left large amounts when they left the restaurant. If fellow guests continue to waste food like this, I feel that it could force hotels like the Hersonissos Palace to raise their prices and/or switch to staff serving food to reduce unnecessary waste. I felt that lunch could be extended by an hour as it does tend to get a bit busy during the lunch period if you don't turn up dead on at 1pm. An extra hour would make it easier for people to trundle in more leisurely and have less congestion around the food tables.
The Hersonissos area itself is much bigger than I expected. After a day or two we wondered out of the hotel to get some laundry done (the hotel itself does not offer a laundry service, but there is a very good serviced launderatte along the main road - about a 5-10 minute walk away - 10 euros for a washing machine inc. drying and folding - just hand them your washing and they do everything) and noticed just how accessible everything is.
The promenade along the beach offers a multitude of cafes, restaurants and shops. Beware of agents working for Aegean Blue Village Heights who stop people along the street (they may approach by scooter) and offer scratchcards. Miraculously I had a winning scratchcard (all gold!) with fabulous prizes to be won (I could have had an iPad, a Sony video camera, a holiday or an MP3 player). In order to collect the prize, the agent offers to get you a taxi to Village Heights (return trip paid by them) and while you collect the prize, you're subjected to sales spiel. We made our excuses and did some digging on the internet when we got back to the hotel - we were right, it's not something you want to be subjected to (in short: the prize you've won is the holiday which is to one of their own resorts - obviously - but you will have to undergo 90 minutes or so of hard sell), so avoid these agents if possible. But similarly don't let them put you off your holiday!
The town of Hersonissos - you can access it either the beach promenade after a 15 minute walk, or via the main road running parallel to the Hersonissos Palace hotel offers up a eclectic mix of old Crete, hundreds of curio shops, hotels, bars and restaurants. One place you must absolute visit is Aquaworld Aquarium - just follow the signs from the main road - it's off the road leading away from the Spar supermarket. John and Judith McLaren run one of the finest aquariums I've ever been too. It's not just about the aquatic world either - there are reptiles (including two HUGE Burmese Pythons) and iguanas. The best time to go is 10:30am when John feeds the various animals. You only have to pay once and can return as many times as you like during your holiday. An absolute bargain.
My first trip to Crete was wonderful and I can't thank the Hersonissos Palace staff enough for their hospitality and comfortable stay. Judging from previous comments here, it seems that people just do not understand what it is that they've booked (or they just don't travel well). This hotel is not the Ritz, or the Crown Plaza. and it doesn't pretend to be. But it is clean, well looked after, and comfortable. Value for money wise, you can't beat it. But I would *strongly* advise spending the extra money to upgrade from the promo rooms if that is what you've booked.
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- Also Known As:
- Palace Hotel Hersonissos
- Hersonissos Palace Hotel Crete, Greece
- Hotel Hersonissos Palace