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“great family holiday”
Review of Carolina Mare

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Carolina Mare
Ranked #9 of 90 Hotels in Malia
Prestwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“great family holiday”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We have just returned from 10 days at Carolina Mare Hotel. The hotel was far better than we expected having just been modernised. The hotel is on the beach so that's a plus. The hotel has 3 fairly large pools including 1 that has a small waterside for young children.Food good, better than expected typically buffet style with plenty of choice. Our room had a full bathroom although i do know that some rooms only have a small shower tray. Evening entertainment was a little non existent just typical Greek night with a singer but they could do with a few more chairs to be able to watch such acts. Location-2 miles outside Malia so its fairly quiet. In my opinion I felt a bit isolated, you either have the quietness of the hotel or the roar of Malia and nothing in between. Malia itself appeared ok to me infact not as bad as I expected but we went in the day so what its like at night is another story, Its a good 30-40 min walk from the hotel and in the heat it can be a difficult. There are two taverna's outside the hotel. One on the left and one on the right, The Cretan Family taverna offers really good food, We ate here twice just as a change from the hotel. Please support these tavernas since they are not really busy because of the introduction of AI. A great day trip is to aqua plus waterpark. Overall a really good hotel which obviously has great plans for its future - we would return tomorrow if we could.

Room Tip: Higher floors facing the sea have great views
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lozzysyl12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
Hotel reconstruction is not finished, for the summer season and during the coming winter Carolina Mare hotel is going to be fully reconstructed and next summer we will welcome you in fully refurbished hotel!

We all look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you for your time and your continuous support!

Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Me and my friend visited here in June for a little girly holiday. The hotel is currently being refurbished as we recently found out it has been bought by a new owner, and so is going to become a 4 star hotel when the refurb has been completed.
Most of the hotel is clean and modern as it has been newly done, however our room was very basic with a poor view off the balcony, we were obviously in one of the rooms which had yet to be refurbished. However at the end of the day, we were only in the room to get ready and to sleep.

The hotels location is fab in the sense it is right on the beach, however there isn't much around the hotel, it is in the middle of nowhere. Only a supermarket down the road. The walk into malia took about 40 minutes but a taxi ride was only about 10 minutes and so this was ok for us.

I would say this hotel is more of a family hotel due to there not being much around it

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank abby107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
Hotel reconstruction is not finished, for the summer season and during the coming winter Carolina Mare hotel is going to be fully reconstructed and next summer we will welcome you in fully modernized hotel! Our rooms are going to be completed in new style with completely new furniture and technics.

We all look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you for your time and your continuous support!

Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asheville, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We booked this hotel through a travel agency as a 3 star when it was called Phaedra Beach. It looked nice from the pictures, typical beach resort. Later we found out that the hotel had changed names and was undergoing renovation to move to a higher end hotel. After our honeymoon, we can say that they are well on their way to meeting their goal.

We booked a superior room since all the standard rooms were full, which turned out to be a great choice. We had a room in the new building of the hotel which is separated from the main building containing the lobby and restaurant. The new building is much more modern than some of the side buildings and cabanas, with great glass enclosed balconies and blue LED lighting. Upon arriving in our room, we were blown away by how modern, clean, and new it was compared to pictures we had seen online. Nice tile floor, modern furniture, frosted glass door to the bathroom, glass enclosed shower with dual hand shower and rainfall overhead shower. Overlooking the ocean on the second floor with a very large balcony with 2 chairs and a table. The very functional AC system was much appreciated given the summer heat.

Hotel location is very quiet, it's pretty far (probably 30 minute walk) from the strip at Malia, which is probably a very good thing if you don't want noise and chaos right nearby. If you're looking to be right in the action, it's probably not the perfect hotel, but right on a very nice sandy beach with few rocks

The restaurant was very good. Breakfast was pretty standard, different kinds of eggs, cold cut meats, fresh vegetables/fruits, potatoes etc. As far as Dinner/Lunch: Food quality is what you would expect from a buffet/all inclusive, some of the meat was a little fatty but always prepared in interesting ways. The variety was the real star for the restaurant, where they had a different "theme" each day, ranging from Mexican to traditional Greek to Japanese (complete with Sushi being rolled fresh). The rotating themes kept you from getting burnt out from the food. Additionally, the hot buffets at both pool bars (plus self serve ice cream) were great accompaniments to drinks and good to hold you over until the next meal began. At check in, we were given a coupon to try a free meal at their on property Taverna serving local Crete cuisine, which was very good and a great touch to allow us to enjoy one evening with more private quiet dining. The drinks were good, local beer is similar to a Heineken or Becks, a little bitter but refreshing on a hot day. Wines were traditional Greek style, all pretty acidic and dry. Mixed drinks were good and always mixed strong.

The lobby carries the same aesthetic as the modern room, lots of tile, neon blue lighting, whites and beach theme. Desk staff were okay, nothing spectacular in terms of helpfulness but serviceable. A few members of the staff really left an impression however. Vasilis at the Zeus beach bar was great, speaking multiple languages depending on the guest, remembering what people ordered usually, generally being very engaging and funny. Also, Alex, the Crete Auto representative for rental cars/scooters in the lobby was amazingly helpful. Unlike a lot of high pressure car rental people we've dealt with, he very clearly laid out our rental options and did not pressure us to spend more than we wanted to or get services that we did not need. We went with one of the cheapest cars available (which was very reasonable and in line with other rental agencies) and he did not try to change our minds. Not only that, but he provided us with a good sized folding map and took the time to carefully point out, circle, and give specific directions to some of his favorite attractions on the island, including many we would not have looked at otherwise. After visiting everything for two days, all of his suggestions ended up being great. In short, make sure you utilize the car rentals in the lobby, Alex will take good care of you.

All in all, you can tell that the new management really cares about improving the property and has big plans for it. The guest services representative told us that their intention is to transition to a 5 star property. We would say that they are well on their way. I'd recommend booking this sooner rather than later, as I'm sure prices will rise as they gain stars on their rating. We got a great deal thinking it was still Phaedra beach. All in all, highly recommended.

Room Tip: Book a superior room, something in the new building. We had 816, great corner room, slightly larger...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MicaMajka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your positive review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
Carolina Mare hotel is going to be fully reconstructed and next summer we will welcome you in fully modernized hotel! Our rooms are going to be completed in modern style with completely new furniture and technics as the one that you stayed in.
And our Executive Chef will surprise you with more various food and new tastes.

We all look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you for your time and your continuous support!

Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

I travelled with a group of four friends 15-23 july 2014, before we went we read reviews slating the hotel describing it as a 'building site' and that it was a german hotel, so as a group of teenage girls travelling the first time alone we were terrified!!

but when we arrived we were pleasantly surprised, it was definitely the nicest hotel out of the ones we saw during our transfer, it was clean and modern and the reception was lovely, they even had left some food out for us as we arrived at 3am but they kept the restaurant (again clean and modern) open with some bread and cheese, nothing fancy but a nice touch.

Our room was again clean and simple and was tidied everyday, although the towels weren't changed daily however we just dried them on the balcony.
One problem was that whenever we had a shower, what we thought was a drain in the bathroom actually pushed water up so we ended up having to swim to the door after a shower. i think because the hotel is being renovated they haven't bothered to fix this as it will probably be modernised soon.

now the only MAJOR problem we had was with our HOTEL ALLOCATED 'REP'. She was called Alexandria and was extremely rude, pushy and arrogant, during our welcome meeting she was constantly on her phone and slagged off everything to do with Malia really. My friends wanted to book the booze cruise and malia slides with her as it seemed safer than booking in a shop.
we paid 80 euros each for this and on the saturday was our booze cruise, transfer included apparently. we turned up at the hotel gates 10 minutes before it was meant to arrive and were still waiting nearly an hour later, we tried to ring Alex to say the transfer hadn't turned up and she didn't answer her phone, strange as she was always on it during our meeting. we went to the beach, trying not to let it ruin our holiday and rang back at 3;15. she finally answered and was extremely rude, no apology and said she would look into it and we wouldn't get our money back unless the transfer agreed they didn't turn up. anyway we argued with her and eventually got our 50 euros back for the cruise but didn't get any refund for the other activity we booked with her as it was less than 24 hours (it started at 3 the next day and if she had answered the phone it would have been within the time)

anyway that was not completely the hotels fault however they should really not recommend horrible, rude reps that cannot do their job!!!!!

overall the hotel was lovely, however it was difficult to find a sunbed unless you went down at 6am like we did after getting in after a night out!! there were also a lot of german kids who are rude and will kick and splash you however not really the hotels fault.

i did find it unusual that in such a large hotel there was no activities in the day like beach volleyball etc or that there was no entertainment at night, not that we would have used it but just worth noting.

the hotel is a good 40 min walk to Malia which we waled every night with little problem as it was well lit and felt safe. taxi was only 7 euros if we didn't want to walk. i would recommend hiring quad bikes if you were to go to the strip a lot, if we were to go again we would have done so.

it is right on the beach and although its rocky near the water, the sea was warm and refreshing and if you couldn't find a sunbed near the pool there was lots on the beach.

the food was okay, the usual all inclusive food- salads, pasta in sauces, fish and feta cheese. It was edible, the salad was really fresh and there was not really any complaints in that department.
there was always something to eat, the two pool bars had sausage rolls, greek salad, pizza and bruschetta throughout the day which was nice and there was unlimited self serve ice cream too.
the drink was average too, alcohol was weak however they would give you tequila shots all inclusive so can't really complain!! the barman at the main pool bar was amazing, always smiling and happy and always gave us a cheeky bit of extra alcohol!

overall a lovely hotel, really getting better than it was, the best advice i can give is to not use the hotel reps, get up early for a sunbed and get a quad bike or hire a car!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ellie g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
Hotel reconstruction is not finished yet. During the coming winter Carolina Mare hotel is going to be refurbished and next summer we will welcome you in fully modernized hotel! Our rooms are going to be completed in new style with completely new furniture and technics.
We would like to mention that in order to safe water and environment, towels are getting changed once in two days if needed then we change it.

We all look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you for your time and your continuous support!

Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hazel5658912
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

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!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hazel5658912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
Hotel reconstruction is not finished yet. During the coming winter Carolina Mare hotel is going to be refurbished and next summer we will welcome you in fully modernized hotel!
As well as our rooms are going to be completed in new style with completely new furniture and technics.

We all look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you for your time and your continuous support!

Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Considering this is actually only a 3 star hotel, it far surpassed our expectations.
As a group of 6 girls we had originally planned on staying at Phaedra Beach Hotel, but on arrival we discovered it had been renovated into Carolina Mare, and what a surprise it was! The reception is exceptionally posh, almost like a 4 star hotel. The receptionist speaks good English, and there was even someone to take our bags to our room! As we were expecting an absolute dump to be honest, we were pleasantly surprised. When entering the room we had 4 beds when there was only 3 of us but that didn't matter! Rooms were spacious with free air conditioning! They were also cleaned regularly, even if you'd slept past 12 they still made sure they came in at some point while you were out to clean them!
The only concern we experienced was the shower, it was either really powerful or not enough! So we just ended up holding it most of the time.
The pools were lovely and very clean, and the bar staff (especially Nikos!) were very friendly!
The food was also very good, much better than what we expected with a wide range served at meal times. One of my friends is very fussy with food and still managed to find something she liked every day. However they weren't many snacks available, apart from pizza and bruschetta but that didn't bother us much.
All in all this is probably the best 3 star hotel I have ever been to. Perfect distance from the strip and it was never too noisy so you could get a decent nights sleep! Holiday blues already.

Room Tip: we stayed in room 675 which was right next to a pool!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jlou130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
Hotel reconstruction is not finished yet. During the coming winter Carolina Mare hotel is going to be refurbished and next summer we will welcome you in fully modernized hotel! As well as our rooms are going to be completed in new style with completely new furniture and technics.
We would like to mention that we have two bars that they are offering snacks daily.
We all look forward to seeing you next year.
Thank you for your time and your continuous support!

Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trnava Region, Slovakia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

We arrived to Carolina Mare in the night, on 26.6.2014, receptionist was nice. When we came to our room, it was not tidied, so we went to reception and said him about our problem, he apologized many times and gave us another room. Next morning was our room totally(!) clean. Whole week was the room and whole hotel clean. We like the staff in restaurant (they're working really hard), in bars, reception, char women. Every person of the staff was kind, helpful, smiling. The best friend-bartender is Nikos!!! The food was good, also its diversity. The sea and beach are beautiful and clean and we always found enough sunbeds and sunshade. Animators were also nice, always smiling, kids were satisfied and adults playing beach -volleyball/football, too :) Only thing we missed was more of evening programs, with music and dance. (program with Dimitris, Dimitris, Dimitris, Dimitris...was great :) ) You can see, that the hotel is still growing and people working there work hard every day for making the hotel better.
We recommend Carolina Mare Hotel to you!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Andrea_Jakub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michalis A, General Manager at Carolina Mare, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and feedback.
We will use it constructively in an effort to perfect our services.
During the coming winter Carolina Mare hotel is going to be fully reconstructed and next summer we will welcome you in fully modernized hotel!
We all look forward seeing you next year.
Thank you for your time and your continuous support!
Best Regards,

Mihalis Apostolakis
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Carolina Mare

Property: Carolina Mare
Address: Iosif Chatzidaki, Malia, Crete 700 07, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Malia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Malia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Carolina Mare 3*
Number of rooms: 273
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 
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Also Known As:
Carolina Mare Malia, Crete

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