We stayed at this hotel for a week in July. I’ll start with the positives..
- The staff are really friendly and helpful (well except the grill chef and I’ll explain that later).
- Rooms have a fridge which is stocked daily with bottles of water and soft drinks. These are included as part of the all-inclusive package.
- There isn’t an all-inclusive wrist band to wear.
- Rooms are spotlessly clean.
- The swimming pools are clean and the quieter pool behind the hotel is lovely. The pool is over 2m deep at one end. There is a kids pool but that is next to the main pool where they play loud music all day long.
- Hardly any bugs; one wasp, very few mosquitoes and one smallish cockroach – although the cockroach was in our room.
- We were moved to a better room after complaining about the air-conditioning noise in our room.
- The food is good on Day 1 of your stay with a good selection of salads, desserts, fresh bread and fruit.
- Your waiter will bring water and wine by the jug to your table.
- There is waiter service for drinks during the evening. If you choose to go to the bar, the staff are friendly and really fast so there isn’t much of a queue.
Now the negatives..
Each day is the same in terms of food, loud pool music and awful evening entertainment. I used to quite like that Gangham Style record, but now having heard it played at full volume every hour for seven days I can’t stand it. I also won’t be eating tzatziki or keftés for several months. The daytime and evening entertainment (sic) is delivered by the same animation team – there was only one night where a Greek dance troupe took over.
The restaurant layout is a triumph of bad design. The salad buffet is arranged on two counters opposite each other, with very little space in between, so that they form a small corridor. The result is that people are constantly bumping into each other. The dessert buffet is arranged in exactly the same way. The main food buffet starts with a pasta and grill station, both of which have a queue; the open buffet is past these but there is only a narrow gap and this is usually full with people waiting for the grill station. Again, people bump into each other and plates are dropped regularly.
The man running the grill station is pretty miserable, although I could forgive him that as it’s a tough job standing in front of a hot grill all day. What is worse is that he is so disorganised: He’ll have a full grill of meat cooking and a long queue of people waiting, when everything is gone, he’ll start a new batch. I don’t understand why he can’t stagger the cooking so there is always something available.
I was hoping for some variation in the food, particularly more Greek specialities; there was no pita bread, stuffed vine leaves, taramasalata, haloumi just feta and tzatziki every day. There was a moussaka one day.
The breakfast was good, although the juices were like orange squash rather than juice. There was also a constant shortage of glasses for juice.
There is a EUR 25 charge for the use of the in-room safe. I think this is outrageous and is probably the number one thing that the hotel can fix immediately.
The rooms have keys (not key cards) and these keys have large fobs containing a magnet. The magnet fob is used to activate the electricity in the room. The fob has the room number printed on it and so if you lose the keys, a potential thief knows where to go – and with the safes costing 25 Euros to rent, there is more chance that valuables will be found. It is possible to detach the key from the fob and leave the fob in your room – this also means you can leave the air-conditioner running while at dinner.
I’m not sure who decides the entertainment. The animation team seem to have been left to make things up by themselves. But they seem to have identified their audience as kids and teenagers. That would be fine if there was more than one venue or bar, but as there isn’t, the result is that everyone, both inside and outside, is subjected to the over-amplified stage show. The same four or five tunes are pumped out by the pool all day long, except lunchtime when they turn the music off. But then the TV in the lobby bar goes on, sound up in what sounded like an Italian channel – just noise for no reason.
There are beds by the pool, but if you want to secure one, you’ll need to get up early and leave your towel there.
The beach by the hotel is horrible; rocky, water full of seaweed. But if you walk 500m to the left, there is a much better beach with warm clear blue water.
Some rooms have an internal air-conditioning unit that runs noisily. We were originally in a room with one of these, but noticed that some friends had a different unit, where the nosy part of the machine was on the balcony and the internal part was really quiet. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern of which rooms have which unit. All I can tell you is that 225 is noisy and 249 isn’t.
Quite a few Russians staying – many of them rude.
Overall we enjoyed our holiday, but if I really were trapped in a groundhog day (same day repeating over and over) and couldn’t leave the hotel, I’d go crazy.
Mitsis Serita Beach Hotel
Anissaras Hersonissos, Chersonisos, Crete 70014, Greece