Relaxing stay in a gorgeous location - an honest review
Reviewed 13 September, 2021
I liked this place. It's not perfect by any means but the location really makes up for any inconvenience and shortcomings.
We got to the hotel early (11am) and could not check in until 12.30 but that was absolutely expected so no issues there at all. We were given our all inclusive wristband right away, left our suitcases at reception and gone down to Tsimento bar for a beer. Tsimento bar and the decking with loungers and parasols is the best place to be in this hotel. There is only a selection of drinks you can choose from in the Tsimento bar - wine, beer and soft drinks are included, cocktails, coffee and food aren't.
We stayed in a Junior Suite and it was super spacious. It had a large bed, a sofa and a coffee table. I felt that the interior was lacking, it was clean and spacious but it didn’t have the wow factor. The view, however, did. We were located above the swimming pool rooms and we could see the empty sea in front of us and it was just absolutely amazing. The pool rooms kinda have the same view but obscured by some plants slightly. We didn’t see many people in these pools, probably as the sun doesn’t actually hit them all day so they may be quite cool - but that’s just a guess. Our bathroom was ok, there’s no shelf to put toiletries on which is a bit odd. We had a spacious wardrobe with robes and a safe that was completely useless - never figured out how to use it. It wasn’t a digital one, looked like it needed a key which we weren’t provided so if you need a safe you may be in trouble. You get a couple of bottles of water and some bad quality boxed orange juice daily - although after day 3 they stopped giving these to us, not sure why. Maybe the cleaner expected a tip which we didn’t give (you don’t really tip in the UK so we never think of it to be honest).
Food & drinks
The one thing that really lets this place down is the food and drinks. The quality of soft drinks is really bad. They are some obscure brand coke etc and all of the drinks tasted pretty bad. Super sugary and just bad tasting in general. I stayed in all inclusive places and I do not expect amazing food or drinks from a place like this but what we had here was just awful. Food quality was super bad as well with the exception of grilled meats, the paella and for some bizarre reason, the pizza that came from a pizza stand. This pizza is restaurant quality and absolutely fabulous. Everything else is school canteen quality unfortunately. Ketchup, mayo and mustard is some fake brand as well, horrible quality. You get the impression that whoever runs the food and beverage department in this place is a massive cheapskate. They cut corners on food and drinks for sure. Because of this, first time in my life I felt that the all inclusive option was not worth it.
As part of our stay we had an a la carte dinner included in Meremeti restaurant and the quality of food there was fabulous. We had the meat option with lamb and it was absolutely divine. I wish the main buffet quality were half as good as that. If you are thinking about all inclusive in a higher room type, I recommend make it a 7 night stay so you get a free meal in Meremeti - it’s worth it.
Our favourite bar was the lobby bar you can access from reception. It has great views and a very chilled vibe. You can get all inclusive cocktails as well as paid for ones here plus the usual soft drinks, beer and wine. It has an indoor and outdoor area and it’s the perfect spot to play boardgames and have nice conversations over a drink. It’s far from the loud entertainment area so if you prefer a quiet drink, this is your place.
There’s a bar next to the entertainment area as well which is busy at night. The nighttime entertainment is al in French - not sure if French people actually like it, to us it looked annoying and a bit cheap - some hotels have absolutely amazing entertainment but you won’t get that here. I reckon they’d be better off just having some music and let people dance instead of this poor theatre-like setup.
Beach & swimming pool areas
Our favourite place was Tsimento, as it has direct access to sea. There are two public beaches next to the hotel, easily accessible however the loungers aren’t free here (although not massively expensive either, on the slightly wilder beach that had no restaurants two loungers cost 13 euros so that’s not too bad.) Tsimento is great as it has a fantastic bar right next to it and on quiet, less windier days it’s really peaceful. On windier days the sea gets a bit wild so I would not recommend getting a lounger on a first row as the waves often crash over them. If you manage to bag a lounger in the middle or back rows, however, windy days are amazing as you get huge waves and it’s a lot of fun jumping into them. On super windy days they actually close down the decking, however the bar still stays open - at least it did when we had an extra windy day. On the Tsimento deck you can rent a boat (with or without a captain, you can drive a boat by yourself, we did it and it was amazing - highly recommended!) for a few hours, as well as SUPs and other water activities. Tsimento is probably the most popular location for guests so if you want to get a lounger, go down early in the morning and put your towels down. Alternatively, a lot of people leave at lunchtime so you can try your luck then as well.
Middle level saltwater pools are also nice. They are located on a cliff with fantastic views - however the loungers on the side of the pool go super fast so you’ll have to get there early to secure a couple. There is no bar on this level - I think there used to be as there’s an area for it which now works as a cool shaded relaxing area with loungers - if you need a break from the scorching sun, this area is perfect for that. The downside of this area is that you have to walk down to a couple of levels to Tsimento for a drink but it’s not a massive bother to be honest.
The third area is the main swimming pool area where there’s loud music (mainly French) and animation (mainly crap) going on. We stayed away from this area because it was super loud and annoying but I appreciate some people like it lively - although if you’re not French, you won’t like it as the animation and most of the music is in French. The real benefit of the area is the proximity to the main pool bar which has food (pancakes, sandwiches, tea, coffee, cakes) all afternoon (well, until 5-6pm at least) and offers cocktails as well spirits as part of the all inclusive offering (as opposed to Tsimento that only offers beer and wine). This area is quite far from Tsimento and the middle pools so popping up for a cocktail isn’t really an easy option - it is quite trek.
The surrounding area
We were hoping to pop down to the nearby village for dinner but unfortunately the only way to get there is on the main windy roads where cars drive by. We gave up on this idea as most cars would not see us in the dark and we didn’t think it was safe. There is a hill nearby where you can see the most gorgeous sunset. If you get fed up by the hotel’s food, there are a couple of restaurants down on one of the beaches. There’s also a supermarket here.
PLEASE READ IF YOU ARE ENGLISH!
Reviewed 11 September, 2021
OK so first of all the positives!
The hotel location is stunning with breath taking reviews 😍
The staff are brilliant (the Greek staff anyway) the bar catering and cleaning staff where amazing and couldn't of been anymore helpful.
All-inclusive was advarange and after a few nights of having food at the hotel it all becomes a bit repetitive.
The hotel is situated on the edge of a cliff top if you want to see anymore of the island you definitely need a vehicle BUT parking is a nightmare so be prepared to park in tight spots on a hillside.
The entertainment staff where ABYSMAL! It was like watching BTEC drama students on a holiday.
The play repetative awful music all-day long and run around like 5 year old.
The only night we actually sat up and watched the entertainment was when they Bought in Athentic Greek dancers, much to the French guest discust.
The "entertainment" was only FRENCH so if you speak English or Greek your pretty much left out which can be quite isolating.
Thank GOD for the bar staff of an evening or our holiday would of been so boring there where funny entertaining and very welcoming.
Food is pretty average but also very nice, we did drive to other locations on the island so we could really get a feel of greece and the local foods.
I can garentee that if we didn't have a car we would of left for a different hotel as we came away to Greece not France.
My only advice to the hotel is give some of your Greek staff a chance to shine because I can garentee that they could definitely do a better job at giving the guest a real Greek holiday.
Not so good if you don't speak French as they only appear to cater for the French guests
Reviewed 11 September, 2021
On initial appearances the hotel seemed to be all we were hoping for in terms of beautiful location, size of room, sea view room, different relaxation areas, pools and beach. The food was also quite good.
The entertainment was terrible, it was completely in French with total disregard for any English guests (I also thought English was supposed to be the international language). It was absolutley tacky and appalling with everything from the French version of 'Birdie Song' with everyone dancing like sheep around the pool, to the sad Comedy Night. The ONLY good evening was the delightful and exceptional Greek Dancing evening, the only authentic piece of entertainment the whole time we stayed at the hotel. If you dislike tacky pool dancing entertainment and are looking for something classier and more dignified, then avoid this hotel.
Reviewed 9 September, 2021
Perfect hotel. Extremely clean. Staff helpful and polite. Food excellent and a lot of variety . Vigan choices too. Three large pools and crowding nowhere. Kids 3 and 5 loved the water slides . Thanks a lot .
Unbeatable views, pristine water, warm hospitality, always an amazing experience!
Reviewed 31 August, 2021
I have been to the Peninsula Resort & Spa on three separate trips to Crete since 2008. I live in San Diego, CA and I am of Greek descent. The hospitality, food, accommodations are all superb. The property sits on top of these rocky bluffs and the surrounding water is the clearest, most perfect water I’ve ever swam in. You truly are treated like family when you stay here. I’ve always stayed for more than 8 days on each trip and I’ve never been bored. You can explore the island (which is quite large). I recommend renting a car so you can check out some other spots, but the Peninsula Resort & Spa in Agia Pelagia is a perfect place to stay. It’s very easy to get to, only about a 25-30 min drive from the main port town of Heraklion where you have the main airport as well as access to many ferries that can take you to various Greek islands, with Santorini being only a two and a half hour ferry ride away. The rooms are spacious, very clean and well attended to. All rooms have an amazing view. The beds are very comfortable and the air conditioner works very well (very important in the summer time). The value and accommodations are top notch…and so is the food. It’s so hard not to try a little bit of everything because it all tastes so good! Highly recommend to anyone planning a trip to Greece. Crete is such a beautiful island and this resort will leave you feeling relaxed and recharged.