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“Lovely Apartments…but not the Greek hospitality I am used to!”

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Irida Chic Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #32 of 62 Speciality Lodging in Stalis
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lovely Apartments…but not the Greek hospitality I am used to!”
Reviewed 12 October 2013

We arrived on 1st October 2013 and were greeted by Markis who took us to our apartment and even had a joke with us when my friend asked if someone else would be using the room upstairs. However the good humour didn't last for long. We had 3 evening meals at the apartments and breakfast on the first morning only. We noticed that contrary to reports on TA there was a strange atmosphere in the bar area and everything seemed to be too much trouble for the lady I believe to be Cleo.

Unfortunately we had 3 days of unusually bad weather and when the sun came out on 6th October we took the opportunity to spend some time by the pool, but, when we went to the bar for a Frappe, which Cleo made with her usual lack of enthusiasm, we were accused of not having paid for a meal we had eaten on our second night. As this was 4 nights ago and we had eaten there since that night we couldn't remember who we had paid, and, as receipts are not given at the Irida we paid for our meal a second time. Following a long and public disagreement with Markis at the bar.

For the rest of our holiday we ate elsewhere and were always made to feel welcome by everyone from the lady in the local supermarket to the owner of the beach taverna we used daily for our sunbeds.

Finally, we had to vacate our room at 10:00 on our day of departure, which is not unusual, but when we asked where we could shower we were told to use the outside pool shower! We spent the last day of our holiday wondering how we were supposed to get washed and changed at the side of the swimming pool in full view of anyone relaxing at the pool side.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Etten17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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154 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2013

Second time staying here, and after three years visiting Crete, this has become my most favourite place in the whole island. It has a lot of style, integrity, new ideas, and especially some of the friendliest and welcoming people working there.

From all the things that I really appreciated, I would just mention two: First, Irida is the kind of family business with all the charming positives that come with it. The staff is really friendly, trustworthy and caring, and interacted with me and the other guests in a kind and relaxing way; really worth meeting them and be around them. No surprise that I met other guests who said that keep coming back to this place for many years, and heard that some keep coming just to celebrate Cleo's birthday! Of course, I got plenty of the usual tourist advice: where to go and what to do around, such as near by shops, directions to bus stops, the beach etc etc. But I think this place can offer something more special. Well, let me say a very big thank you to Makis, Cleo, Kelly, and George, who all made me feel like joining old friends, or a new family.

Second, the food, the drinks, and generally the whole eating and drinking experience are exceptional. I am not only a big fan of the recipes and the cooking skills (some of the amazing recipes come from Cleo's Cretan family), as well as a big fan of the alternative traditional wood-fire cooking method that they introduced this year (Makis was very proud about this being the only ecological restaurant in the area), but what I also mean, is the quality of the ingredients. I had discussions with Makis and he is very keen in promoting local, sometimes organic if possible, quality produce. Considering how much unhealthy food and counterfeit alcohol is served just for profit these days around the whole world, and especially in mass hospitality business, this is one example why I find this place and the people behind it very different and very special. Irida is really a hidden gem.

Ok that's all for now.. Many other things for you to discover.. such as the bar (very stylish, easy to spend hours there) and the well-designed dining area (quite romantic lights at night)- both next to the swimming pool; also I noticed that there are different types of apartments (with balconies, maisonettes, etc) which might cater for different needs, and of course Sissy (very friendly dog with everybody - see PHOTO...) The rooms were of a good standard quality, no particular frills, sleep was fine, the hot water supply is based on solar power, comparable to other apartments in the island. By the way, from what I understood, Irida has been renovating and improving during the last years, and some older critical reviews are obsolete now and do not reflect the place. My best wishes to everybody in Irida apartments – and I will certainly be back!

Oh yes, some tips...
Tip 1: The Stalis sandy beach is on your left as you getting out of the entrance, about 5-10 minutes walk. The sea in Greece, as usual, is really warm up to October! There is also another beach, secluded and quite, if you take the right direction, about 5’ walk again, but the water is more cooler because of water-springs – some people might like that.

Tip 2: During the summer and the extended high season the whole area is very busy: all shops and supermarkets are open, and the buses (to Malia -otherwise 20-25’ walking west, Hersonissos -many shops, Aghios Nikolaos -relaxing port town, Spinalonga -famous little island for many reasons, and Herakleion - Knossos, airport, etc) are very frequent (approx. every 20’). But in low season, such as very early April (when I first went to stay there) there is less tourism around and things are more relaxed, e.g. buses run once per hour. The bus stops to either west or east direction of the island are just 2 minutes walk from Irida apartments.

Tip 3: As I said, I loved the food there and apart from the usual cuisine, there is also the option of a traditional ecological wood-fire type of cooking which they call it 'Parasies'. This restaurant also attracts Cretans from other areas because of its unique method and taste of course. Generally, I would recommend to everyone staying in this place to experiment with new flavours, recipes etc. You won't be disappointed. After all there is an amazing range of cheese, olive products, herbs, wines, fruits and vegetables unique in this island. For example, some of the delicious local food which I have really enjoyed for first time ever, is Cleo's pan-fried home-made small cheese pies topped in the end with honey, and also ‘koukouvayia’, a roundy type of rusk (local bread) moistured with olive oil and capped with diced fresh tomato, feta cheese, and some mountain oregano... brilliant! :)

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
14 Thank lanc09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2013

We arrived about 2.30 in the afternoon on thursday, and had requested a room on the ground floor as we were travelling with my mother who is 86, the room was not available and we were put in the adjoining hotel for the night, and told our room would be ready at 10 the following morning we went back at 10 to be told it would now be ready at 11, so we hung around and had breakfast and enquired again at 11 and then at 12 and again at 1, we eventually got in at 2 o'clock 24 hours after we arrived, so a day wasted, if we had been told it wouldn't be ready until late we could have gone out and moved in later. The only time our room was cleaned or the bins emptied was on the Sunday and when you cant flush toilet paper, it isn't good!!. WE couldn't close the bathroom window as the smell from the drains was awful and stank the bedroom out if the window was closed. We had to ask for toilet rolls at reception. We also chose this hotel as it said it was wheel chair friendly in the brochure, yes it had slopes, only trouble was you had to go down steps to get to the slopes and was not 200 yards to the beach as it also said. It was a trek and a half and uphill on the way back, The front of the hotel was a slip road of the dual carriage way and was used by kids on quad bikes, racing up and down at night. On the upside the staff were friendly enough, and the food in the restaurant was ok, Would we go again? I think not!

Room Tip: If you do decide to go, don't get a ground floor apartment as the smell from the drains is awful...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank londoner0404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest, Romania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2013

We just had dinners in the Parasies Restaurant. Amazing the quality of food and why noy the cold raki.
We want to thank Makis, George, Klio and Popi and of course Sissi (their beautiful dog)!!! We thank Rodica who bring us there!
See you all next year! Mihaela & Liviu

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mihaela J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birmingham
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2013

my partner and I had a wonderful 9 days here it was my 1st time abroad and Makis, Cleo and George made it truly amazing, they were very friendly and made us feel like family, they cooked us meals off the menu if we wanted to try something and Cleo included us in their own mealtimes. My partner left his iphone on a bus from mahlia he asked makis if he could use phone to block his, Makis made some calls and we got his iphone back a couple of days later that would never happen in England. The apartment was lovely spacious and clean, the pool and bar area spectacular and of course I cant forget SiSI the friendliest dog in Stalis. We will definitely be going back to Irida Apartments. Carla Wood and Chris Nicholls

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank carla w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2013

We arrived late 12.30 ish the cook was welcoming making us a meal with at least a smile,the owners grunted so we followed and were shown a room,no shower curtain and bath room filthy [down stairs] very dark and depressing,up stairs was a bit better,no nets on windows bitten to peaces,do by breakfast charged 25 euro for three [3.75 euro each for coke] 4.50 for breakfast do's not add up then totally blanked for rest of holiday,never even said goodbye. p.s. if you hire a car don't go to caravel rent a car they let you sing paper work then demand 50 euro more and wont return your 120.00 euro so your forced to pay or lose it most greeks want to rip you off their are some nice ones but very few.

Room Tip: their are no nice rooms here, rooms with a view [e.g.the sea] can be seen at a distance of about a...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank george c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013

Had 2 weeks at the end of may and it was another wonderful holiday. We just love coming back to the irida and its getting ever popular as other couples are coming back year after year. Kleo, Makis, Kelly and George were wonderful and really try to make everyone have a great holiday, Some of the appartments have been renovated and look good but even the older ones are large and kept clean. The maid/cleaner (sorry cant remember her name) is lovely and never stops. Do try the food during the day and at night in the new open fire resteraunt its great. Do take time and give Sisi the dog a big cuddle she is lovely and ever so soft. Try the local bus service its very cheap and runs often. Dont be put of by any bad reviews the irida is a great place to stay and i bet you will what to return again and again. But dont spread it around to much as there will be no place left for me next year.

Room Tip: rooms 1 - 6 have been renovated. top rooms can get hot
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank ticmon2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Irida Chic Boutique Hotel & Spa

Property: Irida Chic Boutique Hotel & Spa
Address: Stalis, Crete 70007, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Stalis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 62 Speciality Lodging in Stalis
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the renowned north coast of Crete, IRIDA CHIC Boutique Hotel & Spa occupies a place of its own. In between the beautiful beaches of Stalis and Chersonissos and amidst all the tourist attractions this region is famous for, the IRIDA CHIC Boutique Hotel & Spa holds the secret of refined and relaxed elegance in its atmosphere, comfort and service. This is why many before your prefer our hotel over and again as one of the most outstanding boutique hotels of Crete. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Irida Apartments Hotel Stalis
Irida Chic Boutique Hotel & Spa Stalis, Crete

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