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“Great Hotel - Real Relaxation with a Smile” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Minoa Palace Resort & Spa

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Minoa Palace Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 69 Hotels in Platanias
Certificate of Excellence
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great Hotel - Real Relaxation with a Smile”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2009

We returned to the Minoa Palace this summer in late July for two weeks following a very successful holiday there last year (rarely do I return to the same place - I have spent most of my life travelling 150 days around the world each year - and there are many hotels to which I certainly wouldn't return !). Stayed in the Imperial Building in a beautiful room with seaview - we had booked directly with the hotel and they gave us the exact room we wanted. From arrival and check-in by a smiling Errika...our holiday was wonderful. Dora and Alexandros serve you with a friendly smile over breakfast right by the beach - great people. Konstantina kept our room beautifully clean....and had the biggest smile at the hotel. Stelios and Maria were just as service minded in the beach bar ! Incredibly, the staff recognised us from the previous year... This is the hotel for everyone who has had a hard year's work and wants to relax for two weeks. The hotel is situated on the west end of Platinas...just out of the main centre - which in summer is a real tourist factory...but it doesn't matter, it's easy to get away from the crowds even if you don't want to drive....Crete has so much to offer and the Cretans (and east Europeans ) working in the industry there are so friendly. There is a lot to see on Crete - I first went there in 1973.....try the busses - several stop outside the hotel. This is the resort for everyone...families or couples, young or old. The waves can be big if the north wind is blowing....but then children can retreat to the many pools - anyway, I love big waves ! Try the traditional restaurant Kyano 100 mtrs east along the beach - very friendly and good food. Also try restauarnt Argentina in Kolumbari just along the coast further west (about 12 km) (seaside part of restaurant on balcony) for some lobster in spaghetti - you will meet an incredible waiter called Yanis - a clever young man with an amazing family - that's a long story). Thanks Minoa Palace - we had a wonderful holiday - would recommend you to anyone! Roger & Bente, Moss, Norway

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NorwayTraveller55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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984 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (206)
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B'ham
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2009

Booked the Minoa Palace through Thomsons for family including 3 (older) teenagers. The hotel was great - service good and facilities very good. We enjoyed our stay and would recommend the hotel. The pools are good and the hotel also has its own beach. We had no problem getting sunbeds by the pool or on the beach. The Thomson's rep was based at the hotel and very experienced and helpful. The bedrooms were large, clean, air-conditioned and reasonably quiet. Our rooms were at the back of the hotel and there was some noise from rubbish collections each morning in the early hours.

Only real negative would be that its further from Chania than I thought it would be - Platanias is a 'strip' of shops and you can get anything you need, but the nicer shops are in Chania. You can get a bus to Chania, however, the road is busy during the day.

There was a good variety of food at the hotel to suit all tastes - we were half-board. As we have two fussy eaters, this was a bonus as they were able to experiment with all sorts of options. Drinks were absolutely exorbitant - so we stuck to the minimum, but still ran up quite a bill by the end of the week. On the last day we found the taverna next door which was a nice alternative for lunch.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank skywalker047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2009

After reading so many positive Tripadvisor reviews for the Minoa Palace in Platanias, Crete, my husband and I decided to take advantage of a well priced deal through the Thomson website. We booked a 7 night, half board holiday in early July (in order to avoid the school holiday crowds) and were very pleased with our choice.

We didn’t bother paying for a Sea View room as most of the rooms in the original part of the hotel only offer a partial sea view anyway. Also, these rooms are located on the pool side of the hotel which puts you at risk of additional noise from people in the pool and/or from the road that runs between the 2 sections of the hotel. Our Mountain View room was spacious and well appointed with a balcony and a nice bathroom. There was good water pressure in the shower, which is always a bonus, and separate blue pool/beach towels were provided in the bathroom along with the usual amenities such as shampoo, soap, shower gel etc.

When we weren’t out sightseeing etc, we spent our days on the sun lounges provided by the Cabana Beach restaurant and bar which is next to the Minoa Palace’s beach area. The hotel does provide free sun lounges but the ones that are positioned on the grassy area just back from the sand at the Cabana Beach are much more comfortable and have proper wooden frames and soft mattresses. As long as you buy your drinks and/or food at the Cabana Beach, you can use their facilities all day. What’s more, unlike at the Minoa Palace, the staff come around to get your food and drink orders and then bring them to your little table so you don’t even have to go up to the bar!

The real bonus of the hotel for us was the quality of the food and every night we looked forward to seeing what choices were on offer. Being a real seafood fan, I was very pleased to find a variety of dishes incorporating fresh octopus, fish, prawns and squid but there was also plenty to tempt meat lovers and vegetarians alike. I enjoyed being able to try traditional Greek dishes but those guests with a more ‘conservative’ palette would have found plenty of options that wouldn’t challenge them too much such as roasts, pasta, BBQ style chicken etc…

Although we’d booked the half board option we were still intending to go out on a couple of nights and try some other restaurants’ food but we just couldn’t see the point when the food on the hotel buffet was so varied, fresh and tasty…In fact, the furthest we got from the hotel’s main buffet was to swap our dinner location one night and have the set menu at the restaurant that overlooks the beach. You can pay extra to order from the al a carte menu but we were happy with the choice of the 3 courses on offer and it was lovely to eat while we looked at the sea and watched the sun set.

The breakfasts were consistently good too with the standard hot options as well as fresh fruit, cereals, Greek yoghurt, breads etc.

If I had to be picky and find things to mark as negative points then they would be as follows:

1) You can’t order a glass of wine with your dinner in the buffet restaurant. It’s a bottle or nothing and, as my husband isn’t a wine drinker, and I certainly can’t drink a bottle of wine on my own, I tended to just opt for water. Perhaps it would have been possible to walk over to the pool bar and bring a glass of wine back but I never bothered.
2) There is a charge for the safe in the room. We were aware of this when we booked the hotel so we had factored this into our choice. We felt this charge was balanced out by the lack of charge for wi-fi through the hotel’s network and the free connection via the cable in our room to our personal laptop. A lot of 5 star hotels charge up to €10 per day for an internet connection.
3) The gym and indoor pool opening hours are a little inconvenient. Then again, the outdoor pool is lovely and there is a long beach just begging to be walked or jogged on so, with a bit of flexibility, it’s not really an issue to spoil a holiday!

As far as day trips and activities go, we rented bikes and rode along the Orange Trail to Lake Agia (it was nice to get out into the countryside and away from the resort), we caught the bus to Chania (the markets are worth a visit and we felt they had a better selection, with more leeway on prices, than in Heraklion), we visited the waterpark (good fun if you like that kind of thing) and we did the day tour to the Palace of Knossos and Heraklion. I really enjoy visiting archaeological sites and ruins and am particularly interested in Greek mythology so I did enjoy it, despite the very long day and our rather stroppy and patronising tour guide.

As a general summary, the sea was calm and crystal clear, the pool area was spacious with plenty of sun lounges, the hotel grounds were very well looked after, the staff were generally friendly and helpful, the food was excellent, the hotel wasn’t overrun with screaming kids and Platanias was a pleasant enough resort for a stroll in the evening to look at the shops or have a drink. Overall, we were very pleased indeed with what the Minoa Palace had to offer and we would definitely recommend it.
Happy holidays to you all!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lady_Mergon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2009

We had high expectations to this holiday - unfortunately we were quite disappointed. Arriving late in the evening, we had to carry our luggage ourself into the hotel (heavy and with a small baby to take care of). We were told that there were only one guy on duty (he told us that the hotel was really understaffed, he had to do 5 different jobs), and that we had to wait for a security guy before we could be taken to our room by the guy working in the reception... Surprising for a 5 star hotel. Then we learned that we had to pay for aircondition and for the safe in the room. This is supposed to be a SPA hotel, yet they charge you EUR 10 for use of the sauna. Only one lade was working as a therapist in the SPA, and the quality of the massage was really dissapointing.

We were looking forward to bathing and swimming in the sea. However, only 2 days out of 14 was is possible to swim - high waves and red flag the other days.

If you are staying in the new part you will probably need to walk a lot between the old and new part. There is a road with much traffic between the two parts. Platanias where the hotel is located is not charming at all.

The hotel informed us that there are 5 restaturants there. Well, only two options are available for dinner, and during Sundays, there is only one option (the buffet). The gym and SPA is also closed on Sundays (quite annoying when standing outside prepared for workout, have never experienced anything like this before). The equipment in the gym, especially the running machines, were outdated (one not working, the other had to cool down for 30 min between every session...).

We found the food in the hotel not impressing at all, except in the lunch restaurant close to the beach. The service is also, with a fex exceptions, not good at all.

We will spend our next vacation another place (I appreciate that this review is negative compared to the other reviews. Therefore I would like to stress that we normally are happy with our stays in hotels, recently this summer we stayed at Le Meridien in Split, Croatia, and were really satisfied. Minoa Palace was really a BIG disappointment, seemed like a 4 star hotel with poor service.

Any positive comments? Nice rooms in the new part of the hotel. Good food in the lunch restaurant close to the beach. Good service from a few members of the staff.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kurtgregor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2009

We travelled in August 09 for two weeks with two children (8 and 10). We chose the hotel on the basis of reviews and weren't disappointed. This is a very good hotel, although probably equal to a good 4 star in England rather than a 5 star hotel. We shared a family room with our children, which had enough space for us all (but could have done with some extra cupboard space and a full length mirror). The beds were firm and we all slept very well, although my daughter complained that her z bed was a bit uncomfortable.

We had a garden view room that looked over the really pretty gardens at the front of the hotel, but were set far back from the pool. I am glad that we did not pay extra for a pool view as these rooms were too close to the noisy pool area for my liking and certainly the ground and first floor rooms in this area lacked some privacy. From the entrance to our room (open air balcony corridors) there was a beautiful view of the white mountains (once you overlooked the staff car park !) which was an inspiring view on our trip down to breakfast. Some rooms at the back of the hotel had this as their main view with their balcony facing this way which may be a bit disappointing.

Staff in the hotel were courteous and polite, and reception staff were very helpful and spoke excellent English. The maid service was a bit variable - rooms were very clean, but some made the children's beds up and others didn't, which was a bit annoying. They also didn't tuck the sheets in on the beds ( a minor thing but uncomfortable when you wake up and you have lost your bottom sheet).

The grounds and the pools were lovely, extremely well maintained and we spent a lot of time around the main pool complex. There were plenty of sunbeds and always a good spot to sit whatever time you arrived (although inevitably people 'reserved' the best seats with their towels). There were beautiful views from the beach but the sand was a bit gravelly and dusty so we didn't spend much time there.

We were disappointed at the extra costs the hotel added in for some basics such as the room safe, the spa bath at the indoor pool and the sauna. We had chosen the hotel for its extensive range of facilities but were not inclined to pay 10 Euros extra for the spa and sauna, which seemed a bit of a cheek. Also the gym didn't open until 9.00am which was too late really to use before breakfast or go for an indoor pool swim early in the morning. drinks were also expensive (London prices) and the wine was really ropey so we stuck to beers in the hotel and the odd cocktail. The food was excellent with a huge range of food at the evening buffet, including local dishes, roast meat, salads, seafoods, and pasta (particularly appealing to the children). We did consider swapping our half board to the beach view restaurant but the set menu was dull and they would only credit us 25 euros towards the a la carte menu and this would probably have been one dish between the four of us! There was also nothing on the menu that appealed to the children which I suspect was deliberate.

We booked a hire car for 3 days from a company that runs from the reception (Pancars). They were significantly cheaper than europcars that Thompsom were offering and the car was delivered and collected at the hotel. they offered insurance cover for the whole car (included in the price - even the underside of the car) which when you see the state of some of the roads and the ability of the Crete drivers is an useful extra cover. We drove to Knossos and Falsarna beach and Elafonasi beach - but beware Cretan drivers are the worst in Europe. They have little shrines along the roadside and if it has a picture in it it means someone was killed there!

Platanias is an uninspiring resort but Chania is a pretty town particularly around the venetian harbour, and only takes half an hour on the bus outside the hotel.

All in all we had a great time and would recommend the hotel to others.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AMANoble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bergen, Norway
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2009

Absolutely the best hotel I have ever stayed in in Greece

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bjohejo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2009

The Minoa Palace is a resort style hotel which probably wasn't the best choice for us. We were in Greece for the first time and interested in sightseeing and the local culture, history etc. probably more so than a strictly beach/sun holiday.

Sofa (extra) bed was quite hard and not so comfortable, although the main beds were very nice. Our room was on the beach side and while nicely furnished with a nice ocean/pool view, it did have an unpleasant smell upon entering, although within a few minutes of having the aircon turned on, it disappeared.

Breakfast buffet was good with a nice selection, good service and pleasant atmosphere on the beach. Plenty of deckchairs on the beach were available during our stay, but it was evident that many people "reserve" the deckchairs at the pool at an early hour, and definitely difficult to sit by the pool unless you do the same. We're beach people so it didn't matter to us. The beach area was fine, although within driving distance, many much nicer beaches are to be found. (Elofonisi, Farasarna, etc).

However a couple small things decreased our rating of this hotel. They charge for the safety deposit box in your room. This is the first time that I have ever come across this in any hotel ever - I travel extensively on business as well as for holidays! At a beach resort everyone needs to use the SDB so this seems quite petty and unreasonable.

The second thing is on our arrival (Sunday) we needed to have some necessities laundered. We were upcharged for the express service to obtain the return of the items on Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps it was a mis-communication, as apparently the laundry is closed on Sunday. We don't believe that the staff either explained the return time adequately, or that they showed any sympathy to try and resolve this issue.

In both cases, small money was at issue, and while supposedly a 5-star (and 5-star prices), the Minoa Palace shouldn't have to stoop to these kinds of practices.

While overall a nice hotel, not to our taste. It was a last minute booking and we should have planned better to find a more suitable place for our family's first visit to Crete. A smaller inn or hotel in Chania or Reythmon would have better fit our travel plans.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kildonan_kid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Minoa Palace Resort & Spa

Property: Minoa Palace Resort & Spa
Address: Platanias, Chania, Platanias, Crete 730 14, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > Crete > Chania Prefecture > Platanias
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Platanias
#1 Luxury Hotel in Platanias
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Platanias
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Platanias
#4 Romantic Hotel in Platanias
#4 Family Hotel in Platanias
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Minoa Palace Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Minoa Palace Resort & Spa hotel offers majestic views of its surrounding countryside and the White Mountains. To the north, the hotel enjoys panoramic views of the endless beach of Platanias with the shimmering sapphire blue Aegean beyond. With the extension of the hotel in 2008, guests have immediate access to the beach, over the aerial bridge, connecting the two hotel's sections. The luxury and comfort, combined with the attention to detail and the relaxed atmosphere, provide a holiday to remember for a lifetime! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Minoa Palace Resort And Spa
Minoa Palace Platanias
Minoa Palace Hotel Platanias
Minoa Palace Resort & Spa Platanias, Crete

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