by Jeff Bogle
This holiday resort in the charming village Gouves, Crete, a short walk from the beach, features a type of room you and your kids will absolutely adore: a swim-up family suite! Situated right on the pool, your tinier traveling companions can go from wake-up to splash-down in record time! The rooms, which have bedding for four very comfortably, also include a pair of TVs, air-conditioners, a welcome mini-bar and free Wi-Fi.
The resort has four main outdoor pools, with one used exclusively for sports and games, three for rest and relaxation, and a pair of children’s pools. Additionally, there’s a water park with two spiral tube slides and three straight fast lane waterslides! You’ll never go hungry thanks to eight different restaurants, from poolside cafes to a sports bar to Pan-Asian to all-day dining. All restaurants are named after Greek gods and goddesses, so you can say, “I’ll meet you at Aphrodite for snacks at 2:30!”
Our Editor Loves
- Water park
- Swim-up family suites
- Diverse food options
- Water Parks
- Family Room 5+
We visited here as a family end October half term.
First impressions as we were driving down a dirt track was well the hotel must be a little way away as thud looks derelict.... WRONG
There was the hotel tucked to the left. After walking a couple of minutes to reception here we were.
Two people working trying to get the que down quickly. Our room wasn’t ready ( arrived 1.30 lunchtime) so were told to go get some food then come back. Not a problem. The food seemed pretty standard for AI so we then headed back to reception.
We were giving our room in the 5 blocks ( which was secluded away from the rest of hotel) off we went. Opened the door to find an uncleaned bath and dirty bed sheets. However this was rectified we were moved next door. The view from our balcony was a green house and dusty grass !! The view from our front door was rubbish outside the back of houses and fields and old buildings ( so not great) when we showed soap suds & water came up through the air vent on floor so it was always wet and the smell of drainage was awful. As was this smell around the hotel and when I asked why the smell was so bad I got told because the drainage system is so bad in Greece!! I’ve been to other parts of Greece and not had this problem.
The food ... well was ok. Always big ques, if you arnt there at the start the food is always cold. Not much variety!! The soft drinks really need addressing as they seem to have way to much syrup in and my son was quite sick one night because of this.
The pancakes which are served between 4-5.30 needs addressing too because even though they are nice the que again us horrendous. I would hate to see this hotel in the height of summer!
We went to the Greek night which everyone raves about and we as a family highly disappointed. We paid £50 euro for a family of four then paid extra for drinks and again the food was not only cold but the queuing is so bad they started running out. There was lobster but if you weren’t in the que at the start that didn’t get replaced as the bread rolls, some salad and other bits!! Very disappointed.
The swimming pools were good but quite cold. So many beds packed into a small area it’s quite a hazard especially around the slide pool.
The pictures on the website haven’t been updated so when you look you think wow this looks amazing but really it isn’t.
If you have small children and just stay in the hotel this holiday would suit you down to the ground but be aware to que.
Outside the hotel nothing to do. Very derelict, a few shops. There are some restaurants but most are closed not sure if this was due to the economy or end of season !!
Over all disappointed with the hotel & amenities and I wouldn’t go back or recommend it sorry to say. The staff do work hard and the children entertainers work very hard so hats off to them.
Due to where we were situated, food and location of hotel I would rate this as a two star!!
We arrived really late and check in was easy. We were told we could leave our cases in reception and food would be provided. We had a quick bite to eat, it was a cold buffet and it was fine. We were taken to our room (1114) just one up from the ground floor. We had a pool view and over looked the main restaurant. I was happy here. The room was very basic. No drinking water, no tea or coffee making facilities, which I have never ever experienced even in the smallest little B&B's, luckily I was made aware of this and we brought a travel kettle as I wasn't prepared to hire one from the hotel. The bathroom was fine but we realised early on that mosquitos were coming in through the open drain in there and covered it with a hand towel which made a massive difference. The bed situation was not satisfactory. My daughters bed was literally a wooden frame with a 2 inch thick mattress which she could not sleep on the first night as it was so uncomfortable, I would speak to reception in the morning and she slept with her dad and myself. Our bed was 2 single beds pushed together, not ideal when you're trying to have a cuddle and the beds keep separating! I called at reception in the morning regarding my daughters bed and a mattress topper was sent straight away which made it manageable but I'm confused as to why a proper mattress can't be provided?!
After a walk around we found out that this hotel is divided into what we named "the ghetto" and "the elite" I felt this was wrong. Double rooms should be double rooms. Family Rooms should be Family Rooms. There shouldn't be an upgrade system which is just taking advantage of people. This is so wrong. The staff at the hotel are pleasant and friendly. The cleaners work hard and towels were replenished every day and the floor was mopped every other day. Hello to Nikos who collects the glasses around the pool, what a lovely, friendly guy. Anna who frys the eggs at breakfast is also a lovely young lady.
Breakfast was nice although a couple of mornings the scrambled eggs were a little runny and no fresh orange, only artificial orange/cordial but over all very nice. For lunch we usually got fresh salad, which Greeks are well know for so the salads were amazing and fresh. Our daughter enjoyed the Gyros and chips from the snack bar. The Gin and Whiskey at the bar were fine, however the soft drinks were not good at all. They contained too much sugar and tasted really artificial, those drinks machines need to go.
The pools were good, however this was a massive, massive let down for me that people were allowed to smoke by the pool where kids were. Call me harsh but I feel this is disgusting and needs addressing asap. It caused me to have the most awful cough for 3 days of the 7 nights and I had to request some honey and lemon to make a soothing drink. God only knows how it effected the children if it did that to me. Breathing in other peoples second hand smoke is not my idea of a wonderful holiday. My 9 year daughter also complained that her throat was sore after the first day. There should be designated areas for smokers.
The entertainment was mediocre but this was because it was the end of season and most of the entertainment team had gone home.
The slides were great, with the new slides next to the restaurant. The blue and rainbow ones fun and fast. The yellow and white ones quite slow. The best part of the hotel has to be the Spa. I chose the Cretean massage. My goodness! This was fantastic! The girls there are lovely and after waking up with a stiff neck the first couple of mornings, I didn't have one after my massage. Head to Toe, front and back, it was amazing!
The location for the beach is ideal and the beach is beautiful. We did snorkelling and saw loads of fish and we also did the Jet Skis with Gouves Water sports. With that being said, there isn't much else to do in Gouves. The Smile restaurant was closed so I can't comment on that, the rest of the area is abandoned buildings. It's a 10 minute walk to the bus stop, walking on the road edge as there is no pavement, so be careful. The bus is a 15 minute ride to Hersonissos where there is loads to do and see, making me wish we had stayed somewhere in Hersonissos, I'll know for next time. I will definitely return to Crete, the weather, the people and the food are all lovely but Gouves needs investment to be considered a tourist destination.