So my title is based on how my opinion of the hotel changed with time. Important to note that we did not book this as part of a TUI package and therefore probably paid more than many others but I would return again but just opt for the one of the deals.
We started as All Inclusive and I was a bit let down but the lack of extras that this gives. Of course you get lunch, a very mediocre buffet, or to have some "snacks" (cold sandwiches) at the beach bar but even cocktails came with a surcharge. Once we switched to half board, at a price diff of 60EUR per night, I appreciated the hotel value more. I think the fact that they allow you to switch either up or down is a benefit and appreciated that that staff were so helpful.
Food: Really pretty mediocre from my perspective but I doubt that other Cretan hotels offer much different. Even the food in the two a la carte restaurants was not great so this is what keeps the hotel from getting 5 stars in my opinion. Noting that by allocating 4 or 5 stars that does not align to the hotel being a 5 star, just that they do a good job within their price range at what they offer. We did opt to pay extra and have the lobster dinner one night and it was great - worth the money and well done. Also, they have cheap wines on the menu so you don't have to spend a lot of extra and they also sell snacks and drinks at their little store so you could save that way.
Animation: The team is fab as individuals and you have never met a harder working group. Many of their shows are good in the sense that they offer comedic relief and entertainment. Of course this is not high level dancers, singers, etc but they get out there and make you believe they are having fun. Unfortunately the audience is drab. No one claps and gets excited so I believe it must be very hard to go on smiling every day. The Ani team is great with kids and teenagers alike and I view this as one of the real strengths of this hotel, a factor that pulled my rating up from a 3 to a 4.
Beach and Garden: 5 star all the way. Good access to shade and sun, wonderful for swimming, lovely plants in the garden, clean blue flag beach - truly perfect. Also, you felt you stuff was safe, people were nice, there was enough space for everyone without lying side by side and as we got out to other areas and explored we really realized how special this hotel is for the green space.
Cats: What can we say, we liked them. We did not pet them and I they do go through the restaurant hoping for extra stuff that drops but we had no problem with them and respect how the hotel tries to educated guests to not feed them anywhere except the cat cafe, which is cool.
Room: At first I felt our room was outdated and not as nice as I would expect for the price but the room grew on me. It hand A/C you could personally control, was well insulated so you did not hear noise outside, gave us space as a family and had a view of the beach. Yes some furniture was older but the bed was comfortable and each day when we took refuge in our room I realized that I should give more credit to the +++
So, although the food was not so great the other factors pull the hotel up and now that I know what to expect I would consider returning and would recommend it (as Half Board and as part of a package). Good diversity in guests and good service from hotel made for an easy stay.
Ps. Yes Malia is horrible but like us, if you read other people's reviews then you should already realize it is not the place to go to town for dinner. Rent a car and get out a bit.
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- Also Known As:
- Cretan Malia Park Hotel Malia
- Cretan Hotel Malia
- Cretan Malia Park Crete