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Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We visited the Creta Maris Beach Resort during peak season on the 3rd August for 2 weeks. We travelled as family unit of two adults and our son aged 8. The resort was running at full capacity during our stay, therefore our experience may be different to others who visit during the quieter shoulder months of June or October.

I understood that capacity at the resort was up from 85% for the same period during a standard season. Having read many previous reviews I had some minor reservations, and was naturally prepared to expect an issue or two during this peak time.

Herakleion airport - as the doors of the plane opened all I could think about were the horrors that I'd previously read about. Rest assured, it's fine. It's certainly not the best airport experience, but it's nowhere near the worst. It's the usual bus from the plane to the terminal. We didn't have to wait long for the bus to arrive (5 minutes at most), the transition through security was quick and the bags arrived at the belt about 5 minutes after we did. The toilets were okay, they won't win any awards, but they were acceptable. It took around 30 minutes from departing the plane to boarding our taxi to the hotel. The return journey was equally fine, you would rather be somewhere else, but it's not going to break you.

We arrived at the hotel just before midnight, the greeting was wonderful and we were helped in with our bags etc. The door staff looked very smart in their uniforms.

Because we arrived late we'd missed the opportunity to get food on-site, the last restaurant closes at midnight. I'm not sure if food options are available for late arrivals, but we weren't offered anything. We did notify the hotel of our arrival time, so they could have prepared some sandwiches in advance, or warn us to bring some snacks, but unfortunately this didn't happen. A bit strange I thought, but we were tired and we'll gloss over that.

We had booked a deluxe sea-view room and requested in advance a quiet ground floor room in the bungalow area. However, we'd been assigned a third floor room in the main building. The room that we were given wasn't the type that we had booked, it was more pool-view than sea-view and had a small and dark balcony that restricted the view and didn't give the sea-view experience that we'd paid (a lot) extra for, it felt a bit like a cave. The gentleman who checked us in said he would move us in the morning, no problem.

The next morning reception were unable to move us. We eventually had to contact our tour operator to get the level of room that we had paid for. Once moved (on day three) the difference in room was clear. A beautiful room, with upgraded TV, better toiletries and a great balcony with a wonderful sea view. It was disappointing that we didn't initially get the room that we had paid for, and that we had to contact our tour operator to rectify the issue. But this is the sort of problem you might expect to encounter when a hotel is running at full capacity. I think we were just unfortunate and we wouldn't let the bad start sour our holiday. Top tip - Speak to the very capable Mr Manos on reception.

Negatives over.

Many people have reported issues with getting a sun lounger. I'm an early riser and after a few days of close monitoring I figured out that mainly depends on whether you're a pool or beach person. If you prefer the beach you'll have no issues getting sun loungers up until 10-10.30am. You might struggle after this time, but simply pop your towels on the sand and beds will definitely become free within the hour. The sand is soft so it's fine to sit on. If you prefer the pool you'll need to be in position by 9am at the latest. Some people find this a struggle, but honestly the mornings are beautiful, get up, grab a coffee, sit on your lounger and enjoy watching the hotel come to life. For me it's the best time of the day.

Warning - If you try to reserve your beds before 9am (and leave them unattended) you'll have your items removed. It happened to me one morning, I put my items down, went to grab a take-away coffee (2 minutes max) and came back to find a pool assistant walking away with everything in a plastic bag, so be warned the signs are not just for show! Do not leave your lounger before 9am for any reason.

The beach is great, the sea can either be nearly still on one day or a bit choppy (depending on the wind) the next. Take your snorkel, it's worth it. During our two weeks there was only one day that the sea was too rough to swim. However the currents are fairly tame when compared to home. There's a lifeguard on duty every day monitoring the beach and sea. The sand is nice and soft, so it's great for sand castles. There are pedalos, jet skis, paddle boards and kayaks for hire, or you can try your hand at flyboard! The beach has a fantastic bar serving everything you could ask for, you might have to queue during the peak times in the day to get your drink, but never for more than 2 or 3 minutes. The staff behind the bar are wonderful, very friendly and it was a pleasure getting to know them. This made the trips to the bar very pleasant, Stavroula had me laughing a lot.

The pool areas feel a bit busier than the beach, but they're not crammed with sun loungers so they never felt too overwhelming. There are a lot of pools, so have a wander around and find the one that you like the best. Some are busier than others but many have grassed areas to pop your towel on if you can't get a lounger.

The waterpark is incredible! Do not leave the hotel without experiencing the waterpark. There are big slides for thrill seekers and smaller ones for a more gentle experience. Top tip - apply plenty of sun cream before riding to reduce friction, the arch your back so only your heels and shoulder blades are touching, you'll soon hit maximum velocity.

The on-site shop sells everything you might need, toiletries, alcohol, tobacco, toys for the beach, a few clothing items, magazines and souvenirs. It closes at 10pm or a bit earlier on a Sunday I believe.

If you're feeling indulgent the spa is outstanding. Certainly worth every penny, I'd highly recommend the Cretian massage, both Dina and Georgia were lovely and great to spend time with in such a relaxing environment.

When dining we primarily stuck to the main buffet (Cosmos), it suited our laid back approach to each day and the food was excellent, always something delicious to try, with lots of options for the little ones and fussy eaters. Stella treated us like royalty, top service, always a smile and very warm welcome. We did book the BBQ restaurant one evening which was fantastic, no issues with booking, so don't worry about missing out. Just book at the desk outside of Cosmos a couple of days in advance.

There are plenty of options for sitting out in the evening. We preferred the Romantic bar, the table service and conversation from Stephania and the team was excellent, a great place to end the day and plan the next. There's a good mix of different cultures at the hotel, it's not predominantly one nationality or another, so it never felt dominated by one particular group unlike some resorts.

Travelling during COVID was a concern for us, we are fully vaccinated, but still proceeded with caution. The hotel has lots of hand sanitizer points and you are instructed to wear face masks indoors. In food areas plastic gloves are provided and must be worn. Based on the facilities provided by the hotel we felt safe. Unfortunately around 10-15% of guests selfishly ignored the rules in the restaurants, and 30% didn't wear a mask inside other areas. During the 2 weeks of our visit I didn't see anybody confronted over this. It really needs to be enforced especially around food areas for the safety of all staff and guests. Top tip - Wear your mask, the people serving you have livelihoods to keep and families to protect.

Overall it's a great resort, it's might not seem the first choice for couples who want a quiet romantic holiday, but if you don't mind a bit of excitement there are always quiet spots to be found for those romantic moments. It's never too chaotic and the mood is still relaxed.

A few other tips which may be helpful - There are no glasses to drink from in the room, only paper cups, so bring your own tumblers if preferred. WiFi is roughly 30mbps download and 20mbps upload in the main parts of the resort, it is slower in the outer reaches (some of the bunglow areas), but still usable.

We visited with the expectation of a family holiday and this was delivered to a very very high standard. Don't arrive expecting the 5 star luxury that you might find in the Maldives, however depending on your room choice and with thanks to the staff, the facilities and the food it's a solid 4.5 stars.

In terms of value for money I would struggle to see how anybody could be disappointed in The Creta Maris Beach Resort, so based on that it's a 5 star score.

We'll be back in October to see how things run during the last shoulder month. Until then, Yamas Creta Maris!

Date of stay: August 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank kevindunstan_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Creta Maris, Μάρκετινγκ at Creta Maris Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

Thank you for the time you dedicated to share the holidays’ experience you had at Creta Maris Beach Resort with us! We consider our guests’ feedback very important, thus we would like to reassure you that we will take your comments into our consideration.
We are looking forward to welcoming you again in your next trip to Crete in October and offer a memorable holiday.

Best Regards,
The Management Team
Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos, Crete

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2021 via mobile

Large resort hotel, great food, drinks and staff.

Split over two parts and lots of pools to pick from so hard to get bored here. Nice enough beach too and plenty to see outside the hotel within short walking distance.

Major gripe here though is the restaurant booking system. You have to get up at 7am to book it either in person at the Kosmos restaurant or via the rather poor app. No one (unless they are forced) wants to get up at 7am whilst on holiday, and the fact that the pools and restaurants are closed at this time tells you even the hotel doesn’t want to get up.

Change the booking process so you can select on check in (for the whole week ahead) and put the application bookings from 10am. Doing this will get you better reviews!

Water park good and lots of facilities. Entertainment has been poor on an evening so far, but the outdoor cinema was great.

A welcome drink and map on arrival would be good. As would a stocked mini bar instead of having to call each day for a refill.

Overall good holiday and glad we came

Room tip: Book restaurants as early into your stay as you can otherwise you might not get chance
Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank Jambo1312
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Creta Maris, Μάρκετινγκ at Creta Maris Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback! Rest assured that your comments and suggestions have been noted and your opinions will be considered.
As regards our restaurants’ reservation system, please allow us to mention that currently there is an increased demand for dining in thematic restaurants. In case our guests face any difficulty to book a table, our restaurants’ hostesses are more than happy to assist them.
We are looking forward to accommodating you again in the near future and offer you a memorable holidays’ experience!

Best Regards,
The Management Team
Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos, Crete

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2021

We have an amazing dinner at Almyra restaurant with sea view and beefy tasty food. The recommendations from the staff were the best choice for us ! We love it we had an amazing apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Storyteller401721
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Creta Maris, Μάρκετινγκ at Creta Maris Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our resort. Our guests’ feedback is valuable to us and we always take it into account as guest satisfaction is our overriding priority. You have expressed certain complaints, which we duly investigate.

Concerning the food offered, we would like to clarify that we offer a wide variety of dishes, which are prepared with fresh, high quality local ingredients following local and Mediterranean recipes. We hope you had mentioned something to our staff in order to try satisfying any particular need of yours.

Regarding our staff, we are sorry to read your comments about them, as our genuine Cretan hospitality and the personalized service offered by our staff are the reasons our guests choose to come back again and prefer our resort even for decades.

As far as the room, we hope you had mentioned your dissatisfaction with the offered room or its mattress to our Front Office team, so we could have tried to offer you another room, that would have met your expectations and needs.

As regards our restaurants’ reservation system, please allow us to mention that currently there is an increased demand for dining in thematic restaurants. In case our guests face any difficulty to book a table, our restaurants’ hostesses are more than happy to assist them.

We really hope you had contacted our Guest Service team, while you were still in-house, so we could discuss the matters that displeased you and try to do our best to meet your expectations. Our staff is always ready to listen guests’ requests and offer an immediate solution.

Hope to have the chance to accommodating you again in the near future renew your overall experience with us.

Best Regards,
The Management Team
Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos, Crete

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2021

We reallyenyoy staying in the hotel. Sea is beautiful! Facilities very convenient and food - excellent! Just had a la carte dinner at Almira restaurant - delicious food and wonderful servise! Our special thanks to Froso for incredible hospitality and heartfelt wellcome!

Date of stay: August 2021
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank olehr2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Creta Maris, Μάρκετινγκ at Creta Maris Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

Thank you for reviewing your stay experience and look forward to welcoming you back!

Best Regards,
The Management Team
Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos, Crete

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2021

Absolutely recommended if you visit Crete.

Food: The main dining hall was amazing, everything was very well cooked, everything was made exceptionally well. Also occasional themed food nights, and some special restaurants you had to book for but overall amazing.

Room(s): We booked the basic room in the main building with no view, it was very cozy, soft beds, big smart tv with Netflix and national cable subscription, bathroom was pretty average, big bath with no curtain, hairdryer, towels both for baths and for the pools and average on everything else.

"All inclusive": One amazing thing about this hotel is that at no point are you expected to pay anything extra over your all inclusive package. 90% of drinks, all snacks/food and tennis, basketball, football, minigolf and waterpark access are at no extra cost, this is a true all inclusive, which is rarer than it should be.

Beach: They are also an ocean side hotel with access to the beach, nothing noteworthy to say about it.

Gym: The gym was also exceptional, full on big gym with everything you need, not your average hotel "gym", also supervised by a trainer almost all the time, amazing.

Side note: there is always a ramp or disabled-friendly way to get to anywhere in this hotel with staff ready to assist. They also care about wildlife like cats that have feeders around the hotel for them along with strict covid 19 measures, they truly care.

Activities: For kids but also for adults they have unlimited activities wether or not you enroll in their "animation" program, from various sports to Greek lesson or dance classes, and outside the program you had disco, arcades and watersports.

Pools: Only complaint I have is with the outside pools (not commenting on inside pools as they were closed) the 3 "main" pools closest to the lobby are always filled to the brim with nowhere to sit and are bellow what my expectations would be for such a high class hotel, they're small and not too deep (max ~1.45m). But on the other side of the hotel called tera maris, they're significantly quieter, less packed and bigger but I never got to swim in those due to time restraints. Location: Hersonisos is a tourism center for Crete so it's filled with amenities and activities. Those include golfing, big waterparks (I suggest watercity and aquaplus), historical monuments and museums and much more.

Staff: Staff is always helpful and kind.

Overall I highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a good relaxing experience in Crete.

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank th0mpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Creta Maris, Μάρκετινγκ at Creta Maris Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback and your kind words! We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay. We hope to have the chance to accommodate you again in the future and offer our best services and our Cretan hospitality!

Best Regards,
The Management Team
Creta Maris Beach Resort, Hersonissos, Crete

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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