3-7th July 2014
We had an email from our holiday agent (On the beach - Avoid!) who told us the hotel name had changed. This concerned me especially when I read the first review here and saw pictures of the empty pool etc. I called the hotel and had a good chat with the manager who assured me the hotel was up and running after a lot of work. They were also very helpful as we had tried to add an extra person to our booking which they did for us.
We were a group of 6 girls in our late 20's. When we got to the hotel I was very surprised at how lovely it was. Better that the original pics from the Phaedra hotel, which we had booked as it was cheap. They have changed the reception and dining area. Not 100% finished as the walls were just plaster. The staff were friendly enough. The manager - Dark hair as mentioned in the previous review was a bit snappy but she was always helpful. She was probably fed up with our group for causing so many problems (Usually when one of the girls kept pushing buttons on the air con and breaking it!) But they all did their best to help us out from booking taxis to places to go for shopping etc.
The room - These have not yet been updated. We had 2 rooms with garden views on the ground floor with a balcony. It was basic and always clean. However, as adults, I was not impressed with having bunk beds. One of the girls managed to sleep on the top of one, but the other room we had, one of the girls ended up with the mattress on the floor which is more an issue I need to take up with On the beach. The shower was not brilliant and had to hold it up. We also had water coming up from the floor in both the rooms we had. Someone did come out and try and fix it but it happened each time someone showered. The beds were comfy enough and had a fridge, tv (didn't use) and the air con. We didn't pay for wifi or air con which I was expecting but I presume this was because of the work going on.
The hotel - Food was great. A lot of choices for everyone and very fresh and hot. It was a little repetitive but anyone who moans is just fussy in my opinion. When the main restaurant was closed you could get snacks at both pool bars. mainly pizza and bruschetta. Don't forget to help yourself to the ice cream! We also had a meal in the Al a Carte restaurant. Not really our sort of food but was a lovely evening by the beach. Drinks were okay. You did have to pay for them after 11pm but we usually were off out by then. Nikos and Vasilis were so friendly and always happy to help or answer questions about Malia. The pools were lovely but could do with more sunbeds. Same with the beach. While we were here, they were doing some work on an old building but this didn't really disturb us and was quite nice to see how they were improving the hotel. I would have liked a heads up about the work but again this is the agents fault, not the hotel. One thing I would say is that as a hotel that seemed to cater for couples, families and party goers, they need to issue more keys with larger groups. It was very noisy from 2-6am with people banging on doors to get in their rooms. We were all out to have fun but it was a bit much if you had managed to get in at a sensible(ish) hour and was trying to sleep!
Out and about in Malia - As a group of girls in their late 20's, we were a bit old for the Malia nightlife! The average age down the strip seemed to be 18-25 (Sure I saw some 16's too!) but we didn't let that ruin our fun. We enjoyed all the bars and clubs especially Reflex, Kings cross and Safari. Once we decided to avoid all crappy shots and stuck to plain spirits, we stopped having the awful hangovers and had many great nights. When it gets really lively, it was a bit much for us with all of the ‘PR’ people trying to pull you in to a bar. Very hard when you are in a group and the whole street is packed! Our last night was a bit disappointing as the police were doing some sort of raids and the music kept being turned off all the way down the strip. Interesting at first but we got fed up after a few hours. It only costs 7 euro for a taxi to the strip and we always had nice and entertaining drivers. We spent a lovely evening in Hersonissos (I think that's its name) which was great for a nice meal out and lots and lots of shopping! That cost us 20 euro in a cab. We also had a day at Malia beach. Some of the girls walked from the hotel which only took about ½ hour. It is a lovely long beach but don’t get pulled into the first bar you find!
All in all, we had a great budget girl’s holiday. I would recommend The Carolina Mare hotel as I know that by next year it will be totally different and probably far more expensive!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Comfortable beach front hotel in a quiet location, ideal for couples and families with authentic Greek hospitality is waiting to welcome you…Marvelously located on the delightful and quiet sandy beach in the bustling resort of Malia on the northern shore of Crete island, the Carolina Mare Hotel is a popular choice for relaxing All Inclusive holidays in Greece. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, 5viajes2012 S.L., Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, HotelQuickly, Odigeo, Travel Republic (UK), LoveHolidays and Priceline so you can book your Carolina Mare reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Carolina Mare Malia, Crete