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“Out of the way quality”

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Royal Heights Resort
Ranked #6 of 91 Hotels in Malia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 June 2012

This was our second stay, the first time we stayed in an apartment and this time in an on-site villa with it's own pool and private area, this has the advantages of the privacy when required but also access to the main hotel and facilities. The staff are excellent, resturant is good and the views out over the bay from the hill side spectacular.
Yes there are a few cosmetic maintenance issues but this is a Mediterian location and not the UK, decoration is good to striking and while the hotel is located in the Malia environ there is no need to go there!

Room Tip: All rooms are good, if you have specific needs talk to the hotel first and they will offer help.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank L0GCH0PPER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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273 - 279 of 423 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2012 via mobile

The corridors and rooms are nice and the staff is pleasant.The breakfest is good but the guests are very noisey and rude.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank johncarter19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2012

We stayed in an Ambassador villa for our week here (September 2011). The hotel is lovely and the surroundings are great. It's not a 5* - more like a good 4*, there were several minor problems such as outside lights not working etc but nothing to spoil the holiday. The food is good, whilst again not being 5*. We went half board and the the breakfast is fine, there is a plentiful selection. Dinner was "a la carte" although choices are minimal - however they did cater for me being a pescatarian. The waffles from the top bar are a must - they are delicious. I would have liked the villa to be slightly more private - you could easily see the neighbours from both the balcony and from the outside pool area.
The views over Malia from the villa and hotel are great - much better than the actual town! The old town is fine and there is a small selection of restaurants etc, plus it is 10-15 mins less walk. The centre of Malia is terrible, we are used to touristy towns and enjoy having a wonder into the shops etc however Malia is just bars (and not nice ones) and there is no shops etc. The walk to the beach is also quite far - down the end of the Malia strip. It is only really worth the walk/taxi into Malia if you want supplies from the supermarket. The other problem with the villa was the weather - we went late September and the weather over Malia wasn't great - however it seemed that due to being high up the mountain, the sun did not reach up to the hotel. Whenever the sun did reach it only lasted an hour before we were once again in the shade due to the location of the villa. We found ourselves therefore quite bored here as it was not nice enough to sunbathe, Malia had nothing to offer us and there wasn't much to do in the hotel! The staff are lovely and very friendly and will help with anything if you ask. Don't expect a 5* hotel but it is still a very nice hotel if you want to do nothing for a week!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ollieandkatryna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2012 via mobile

Beautiful hotel and rooms unfortunately this is let down by the policy of letting anyone use the pool and facilities at the moment we r sitting in the pool area feeling like we r on a club 18/30 lots of young rowdy people swearing throwing each other in the pool shouting etc. there are more non residents than residents. Nightmare!!! Staff say pool is open to anyone and can only ask them to b a bit quieter this worked for about 5 mins . Not what we expect from 5 star !!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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3  Thank Purduesew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

I have just returned from a week-long Easter break, as part of a party of three. Sadly, I'm afraid this resort did not live up to expectations and, indeed, the overall experience was somewhat disappointing, because of the numerous inaccuracies of their web-site and promotional literature. Also, having worked in service industries for most of my life, I was able to see through the sheen of superficial pleasantries, which invariably hid a genuine mis-management of the resort, and ultimately customer experience. However, not everything is wrong with this place and I will start with the good points.

Pros:
The resort is beautifully located with great views of the countryside and coastline. It is half-way up the mountainside behind Malia -well out of reach of the trashiness of The Beach Road, yet close by some lovely tavernas. It is very peaceful, with no noise except the tinkling of the bells on the goats and sheep.
Taxis to Malia old village incurred a 3 minute trip and an 8 euro fare each way ( we were told 10 euros in high season) - down a very steep road which I wouldn't recommend you walk. The fare was a bit of a rip-off but it was well worth avoiding the walk back.
Breakfasts were copious and were enjoyed on the terrace with the sumptuous views (weather permitting). We did not eat at any other times in the restaurant, and were warned away from it by previous Tripadvisor comments, and also our neighbours who said the meal they had was not good.
The resort's best feature however, is the way in which it has been designed. It is a beautifully conceived complex that does not intrude upon the landscape, comprising of a collection of spacious villas and apartments, most of which with their own pools and gardens. The villa we stayed in was well furnished, and had lots of space for a maximum of 4 people, although the very thin mattress on sofa bed in the lounge area was not that comfortable to sleep on, but adequate enough I suppose.
All in all, a really pretty and well-designed resort providing peaceful surroundings for a relaxing holiday.
Cons:
Now the bad bits. Upon arrival at 2.00 am we were greeted by the always cheery night porter Kostas who quickly took us to our accommodation, as the reception was closed. We were initially very pleased to find that we had been upgraded from a luxury suite with sea view , to a villa with its own pool, and we found a letter addressed to us explaining this. The sofa bed was turned down ready for 1 guest downstairs and the two twin beds were ready upstairs, however in every other respect, the villa was only ready for 2 people. There were only two sun loungers(minus mattressses), two garden seats (minus cushions), two dressing gowns, two bath towels, two pool towels. Not a great problem however,as we could just ask for them the next day. On closer inspection, we saw that the pool had no water! Also, there was not really a proper sea view as this was obstructed by a shabby plastic - covered greenhouse and scruffy waste-land. Never mind, we could easily sort this all out the next day. This we did - but easy, it was not!
The brochure in the villa informed us that breakfast was served until 11 am, so off we went. We checked in at reception and asked George where the restaurant was. We were promptly told that we couldn't have breakfast as it had finished at 10. We were very hungry and slightly confused so we pursued the matter. George said he thought we could have room service so he made a phone call. Yes this was ok, so we finalised check-in. I then asked why it wasn't possible to eat on the restaurant terrace, if room service was available - surely it would be easier to cater for customers on-site rather than provide breakfast for 3 in another part of the resort? George made another phone call, and apparently it was ok for us to have breakfast in the restaurant. Mystified, we went upstairs for breakfast and witnessed a further 10 people who came in after us. On the way out there was a board advertising breakfast served until !0.30 am - not what was said on reception, nor what was advertised in the room guide. Before we left, we informed George of what was lacking in the villa -especially the water in the pool- and he told us that we had originally booked a suite, which does not have a pool. We were completely mystified as to the point of this upgrade to a villa with pool. We had booked a sea-view, we were upgraded to a villa with pool - WE HAD NEITHER! He eventually conceded that the pool would be filled by 1.00pm the next day.( We immediately though this to be a bit impossible due to its size and we guessed a minimum of 2 days.) He also said someone would come round to check what else was missing. After a couple of visits from house-keeping , we got some towels but were still missing a 3rd sun- lounger, cushions and a parasol. It was a very hot day - one of our party did not want to sit in the sun, and was kept waitng ages for a parasol and had to make a few frantic phone calls. Eventually the resort owner/manager, Anna, came to explain to us again that we did not pay for a pool etc. Really, again - what was the point of the upgrade? In the end, the first two days of our holiday was the hottest, and we would have appreciated a pool, but it was not ready until 3 days later - by which time the weather had turned and there was torrential rain. By the end of the first afternoon, we did receive a parasol and the rest of the stuff gradually appeared, although funnily enough the cushions disappeared again after a couple of days. To follow the hassle on the first day, there was a whole lot of other issues to contend with. On the cold days we really could have made use of the indoor heated pool - as advertised on their website and their room info. We were then told that the indoor pool was not heated! Is this not a 5-star or 4-star requirement? Also one evening, we planned to make use of their room service for evening meals, as advertised, again on their web-site and their room info. We rang room service and then we were informed that we could not get room service as it had ceased to function last year! Why leave a menu for room service in the room? When we asked about internet connection we were pointed in the direction of one of the tv channels, which displayed a computer homepage. What it was supposed to do remains a mystery as there was no way of interacting with it. When we asked about wifi we were told to try in the restaurant. This worked, but it was the only place where it worked - there was no internet connection in our villa. Again, another thing that did not live up to the hype.
The worst thing of all however, was the fact that our water heater was repeatedly turned off - I assume to save electricity. When we spoke to our neighbours, their experience was identical to our own and they said that they really had to kick up a fuss for things to get done.
Although all these things are pretty minor individually, it all adds up to a less-than-desirable state of affairs where you are made to feel as though you are being difficult, only when you are just trying to receive what you were promised. Although the staff were obliging, especially Julia, we were left with the impression that economies were being made, or what was planned as a 5- star resort has not been fully realised. Also, this is advertised as a spa resort, however it does not cater for volume and if you need to book a treatment, book well ahead. It is also a bit of an inconvenience to order your sauna or hammam and wait until it heats up, and then only on a 30 minute cycle.
Incidentally, upon checking out, the tone of the service became distinctly unfriendly- not even a goodbye from George. All in all, it was a shame that the resort did not really deliver, as it has potential.

Room Tip: Ask for one with proper wifi reception
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank kennimac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

We visited the Royal Heights just at the start of the season in late March 2012. The hotel had been immensely helpful in providing information and directions prior to our trip. On arrival.the welcome and service we received were outstanding and remained that way throughout our stay. Although all staff were first class, we must make special mention of Julia, who has been praised in other reviews. She really is smiley, friendly, helpful and a fount of knowledge.

The rooms and facilities of the resort are finished to a very high standard. The views from the terraces and balconies are very attractive and sitting outside is enhanced by the gentle sound of the sheep bells on the hills near the hotel. As it was pre-season, the staff were much occupied in preparing for the Easter influx. Some facilities, including the amazing pool, were not yet open but Julia went out of her way to find gardens for us to sunbathe and pools in which we could swim.

Our rate was half board. Breakfast was copious and good. Although it attracts a small additional charge, we would heartily recommend the freshly squeezed orange juice. The restaurant and the half board menu had not started but we were able to eat, in the bar and on the terrace, for the same rate, from the a la carte menu. Local wine is very drinkable and there is a reasonable list and a good selection of other drinks in the bar. The waiters and waitresses are helpful and efficient. Rooms have kitchen facilities and we tended to buy some great salads, artichokes, cheeses, bread, nuts and fruit from the extremely well stocked local supermarket and dine for one meal a day on our balcony. Don't miss the delicious small bananas grown locally and sold at the roadside.

The resort is set up above the town of Maia itself, which has quite a range of bars and tavernas in season. Thankfully it is well away from the beach which becomes overcrowded with the British behaving badly. There are plenty of other beaches which may be more tranquil and attractive. It is close enough to the new main road from Heraklion to Aghios Nikolaos and is a great kicking off point for visiting sights of interest. The Minoan palaces at Knossos (near Heraklion) and Malia (5km from the hotel) are musts. We would also highly recommend the plateau of Lasithi, inland from Neapoli, quite a windy steep road but well worth it. Elounda, with a fabulous hill top drive over the mountains back to the main road, is pleasant. We would also recommend the small seaside town of Sisi quite close to Malia and in particular, a taverna in the main square which hangs out over the water. I can't remember its name but it is the second from the right if you are facing the sea and is associated with a blue taverna opposite. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked. We also recommend Raki, there and indeed everywhere, but don't drive afterwards.

I mentioned the Minoan palaces and people earlier. Despite a predilection for sacrifing male and female virgins to the Minotaur (possibly) they were a remarkably peaceable culture of great sophistication from about 2500 to 1500 BC. One can see the influence they had over the Greeks and the Romans and indeed all the way through to today.

Basically the Minoans liked to have a good life in a pleasant environment. That just about sums up the Royal Heights, their twenty first century descendants.

Room Tip: All rooms are good. The small villas are outstanding and have their own gardens and pools. Those f...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Woollybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

This hotel is set way above the main town of Malia, up what can only be described as a very big hill! Dont let this put you off though, because when you get to the hotel, the welcome is as warm as you would wish for. The rooms were big, comfortable and had all of the things you could want in a hotel room (along with a complimentary bottle of wine!) and more. I would describe it more like an apartment. The bathroom was stylish, and the bath had its own little built in jacuzzi. The main hotel itself had a sauna, steam room and a well equipped gym, and an indoor swimming pool (although not heated during our stay). The hotel restaurant was nice with a good menu, but watch out for portions... they are big! The staff at the hotel were fantastic, always willing to help, and always with a smile. I would fully recommend this hotel, and if I ever decide to go back to malia, this would be my first choice hotel to stay at.

Room Tip: All rooms are good, as they are seperate from the main hotel building
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Philly1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Heights Resort

Address: Pezoula, Malia, Crete 700 07, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Malia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Malia
#1 Romantic Hotel in Malia
#2 Spa Hotel in Malia
#3 Luxury Hotel in Malia
Price Range: £79 - £272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Heights Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Heights Resort is situated in Malia area-Pezoula on an amazing privately-owned hill consisting of 60 acres of land with breathtaking views of the beautiful Cretan Sea. Located just 2 minutes away by car from the amazing beaches of Malia and just a 20 minute drive from the international airport ‘Nikos Kazantzakis’ in Heraklion and five minutes from the golf of Herisonnisos. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Heights Hotel Malia
Royal Heights Resort Malia, Crete

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