I've just returned from a week there with my family (wife + three children). We were welcomed at the transfer coach by a bellboy who took us through to Reception. The initial check-in process was a little off-putting, with a grumpy male receptionist, but we were shown to our room by the friendly bellboy. The family room we had (two bedrooms, one bathroom) was on the first floor of a three floor block -- very clean, tidy and well decorated. Each of the rooms had their own AC, individually controlled via remote controls. My kids are 17, 15 and 11, and with the five of us in there, the room didn't seem at all cramped.
The hotel has two pools - a main pool, with a bar, and a second shallower pool for young children. Both seem a little on the small size on first impressions, but neither pool ever seemed crowded. My only complaint really in this area was that at the main pool their were insufficient sunbeds for demand -- resulting in the usual 6am trek to reserve a sunbed with your towel fiasco. That said, there were always spare beds at the children's pool.
We stayed all inclusive -- the food was amazing. We never had to queue for any meal, there were always inside or outside tables available to dine at, the food selections were varied and the food itself was very high quality; the exception perhaps being breakfast was a little boring and never had real sausages, just awful frankfurters.
The dining staff were generally friendly, although there is one waiter who was heavily pushing the Tuesday evening BBQ (extra on top of the all incl. price), and after we refused he seemed off with us for the rest of the stay.
The selection of drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) 'free' in the all inclusive deal was good, and the service at the pool side bar was always top notch and friendly.
So, what wasn't great? The hotel seemed to cater mainly for Germans, followed by a few Brits and the a couple of French, so if you want to go somewhere that is predominately British, this isn't the place to go. (We quite liked being amongst the other cultures, and not an issue for us at all). Most of the staff had poor English skills, but enough to get by -- all guests tended to speak in broken English, which probably didn't help. The maitre d' however did seem to be fluent in German but very weak at English which meant he had a better rapport with the German guests. The only other thing that let the hotel down was the WiFi -- very limited coverage (the lobby and the pool bar areas only), and probably only worked 50% of the time.
The hotel itself is about 5 mins walk from a beach, literally out of the hotel, across the road and along a little path. We weren't very impressed by the beaches along that stretch - I don't know if that's the same as the rest of Crete, but little sand, and quite rocky - which made wading out to swim a little painful.
I was concerned that the hotel was perhaps too close to the hedonism of Malia, but that wasn't the case. The hotel catered - certainly when we stayed - for 90% families with various aged children, and at night we didn't hear or see any disturbances from Malia (Malia being about a 15-20 minute walk away).
Overall, we were impressed - we'd happily go back next year. Once last thing to mention, in case the hotel management is reading this --- the maid we had in our room last week was fantastic... very friendly when we bumped into her, and seemed to take great pride in her work (room 7205).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel was designed and built by the owner/architect Georgios Tsamandouras in 1990. Now, 25 years later, his whole family is runing the business and it has adopted all needs of the modern traveller. In about 15,000 square meters of rich plantation, you will find our 135 rooms, the main building with the front derk, lobby, main bar and restaurant, 2 pools, children playground, children club, gym, free parking space and 2 tennis courts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kyknos Beach Hotel And Bungalows
- Kyknos Beach Resort
- Smartline Kyknos Beach Hotel Malia, Crete