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Review of Knossos Estate

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89 reviews
The kiosk
The playground
Panoramic views
Wheelchair ramp
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Villa -
7 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 16
Rethymnon, Rethymnon Prefecture, Crete

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Excellent - based on 89 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Swedish first
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English first
Dutch first
English first
German first
Norwegian first
Swedish first
English first
Chris M
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good, but needs to be upfront about distance to the beach”
Reviewed 17 June 2012 for a stay in June 2012
people found this review helpful

The villa is large and well appointed, with kitchens and living rooms on both floors, so they can be split into two flats or just used as extra amenities. Cold and hot water comes from a filtration machine, which saves time, money and inconvenience. The maid comes most days, and her husband is often onsite and can get you beers etc which are in a storeroom. The views are also great, with mountains to the rear and the ocean and town to the front. There’s a small general store at the end of the road selling a weird combination unhealthy pastries, cat food, groceries and expensive booze. We did most of our shopping in Carrefour in town.

Its location means you’ll need a car or prepare to stump up 8 euros a time to go to the town. As you can see on Google Maps, it’s simply not 1 km from the beach as advertised on its website. As the crow flies it’s 2.5km, but you can’t walk or drive that way so it’s a minimum of 7km to what looks like an EU-funded beach in the town, with its catering infrastructure, consistent paving, incongruous palm trees and imported sand.

There are nice beaches with food and loungers 20 km to the west, and a lovely cove with a taverna at about 15km. It’s a longer schlep to the East, but that part’s probably best done by boat from Bali. I’d recommend getting a catamaran for the skipper’s local knowledge.

The villa is technically close to a taverna, but visiting it requires crossing a busy motorway junction which is sketchy enough by car, let alone foot. Cretans are famously appalling drivers and we saw many accidents and near-misses relating to people coming in hot off the motorway and not coming to a stop until the nose of their car was halfway across a perpendicular lane of traffic, so think twice before venturing out on the roads in or on insubstantial vehicles. This is relevant to the villa because you will need to budget for transport. Even though we had a minibus, we used 3 cabs a minimum of once a day for 7 days because it’s nice to have a drink, so that’s more than 170 Euros.

There are actually two villas at the estate, no more than 10 metres apart, so you may have company in the evenings, but we experienced no issues with this – it’s just a little disappointing because you were expecting something else.

We got a briefing when we first arrived, which was half useful and half sales pitch. My favourite was a "special offer" for us of nails done for 5 Euro which, when we got there, was on an a-frame sign outside as the standard rate. If I'd add anything, it'd be shop in Carrefour, head West to the nicer beaches, tour the East by boat, consider a day in the mountains South, seek out the last restaurant to the West in the strip in front of the Fortrezza, don't expect the cashpoints to necessarily be working, get two hire cars for larger groups and try the Rose if you want a reasonable drop of wine.

I'd also mention that the town is 75-90 minutes drive from Heraklion airport, so don't contemplate a late flight without factoring this in. Many of the smaller shops do stay open pretty late, but this would be pushing it. You also need to allow lots of time for Greek bureaucracy at the airport - you queue to compulsorily check in, then queue to x-ray your hold luggage, then queue to have your passport checked, then queue for security, then queue at the gate then queue to get on the plane. The whole thing's a waste of about two hours that you could have spent buying food, beer and perfume but they've really not figured out how to run an efficient and profitable operation. As everywhere, the airport is hopelessly overstaffed but does nothing fast or well.

People seem pretty desperate for cash in Crete at the moment. Political instability and worldwide economic meltdown has led to a dearth of tourists just when it needs the most cash inputting. Whilst it’s easy to see that there’s a lot of overstaffing, which means staff often loaf lazily around when they could usefully be serving you, fundamentally the experiences we enjoyed were the ones which exceeded our expectations, and the disappointments came from being fed some BS intended to mask a negative aspect of the service. This villa achieved both.

All in all, it’s a great construction and they try hard to compensate, but they need to be upfront about its hidden costs in terms of time, money and amenity to avoid bad reviews.

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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Liked best: Well appointed, good maid/pool boy service
Liked least: Advertised as 1km from beach, actually 7km minimum and by busy road
Travelling group: With Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
22 Jun 2012
Hello Sophie Young & Chris

I am really happy to hear that you liked the Villa and that you were very thankful in many occasions in your review, that you were able to be assisted with buying your booze for you and your guests, because the truth is that you were all drunk everyday. I just want to inform the people that are going to read this review for the type of quality that you had.The Villa is classified in the 5* Villas and it is worth over 1 million euro so i believe you and your friends were able to live a dream holiday considering the money you paid was next to nothing.As for Crete having an economic crisis like you stated, i thought you should know that Crete is # 1 Island in tourism for over 15 years and everyone loves the people , beach and service they get, that's why they keep coming back. As for the beach in Rethymno Crete it is the biggest and longest sandy beach in Europe.As for the Villa it is completely private with a swimming pool 100m2 big which you normally dont find even in a hotel. As for the distance Rethymno is a 20-25 minute walk away, the reason you never used your minibus or walked was because you were always drunk.As for the house keeping the lady she had to come in everyday and clean and after you and your group left i had 4 ladies cleaning the house and the booze from everywhere.I am sorry i wasn't able to assist you and your group when you told me you want to be a bit notty and you are looking for some cocaine and heavy drugs. My husband is a doctor and i am a business lady we dont associate with things like that, sorry if disappointed you, but we are against drugs.So maybe Greece is not the best destination for you and your friends.I am sorry i had to say the truth but you left me with no other choice, but i am sure it wont bother you because you seem to be vey proud of the lifestyle you have. We prefer more natural products here in Greece like olive oil ,fresh oranges and a glass of Cretan wine with dinner. My Greetings to everyone from Sunny Crete.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hofors, Sweden
1 review
Reviewed 4 weeks ago for a stay in June 2018
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 September 2016 for a stay in September 2016
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Hilde D
Tonsberg, Norway
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2016 for a stay in July 2016
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Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Axel P
1 review
Reviewed 30 July 2016 for a stay in July 2016
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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