Grand Hotel Reviews

L HERSONISSOU, HERSONISSOS, CRETE 70014, GREECE

Reviews for Grand Hotel, Hersonissos, Crete, Greek Islands

LOCATION

4 out of 5
4 Stars

ACCOMMODATION

4 out of 5
4 Stars

KIDS FACILITIES

5 out of 5
5 Stars

OVERALL RATING

4.4 out of 5
4.4 Stars
The Grand Hotel is situated between Stalis and Hersonnisos offers everything that a family could ask for. Let the children enjoy the mini club, while you relax around one of the pools taking in the panoramic views of the bay. Unfortunately this hotel may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties.
"Just returned from a two week half board break to the Grand Hotel in Crete.

T..."

Just returned from a two week half board break to the Grand Hotel in Crete.

The vast majority of guests here were German followed by the French, English guests were in the minority.

This hotel is immaculatly clean. It is kept to a very high standard the rooms are attended by maids every day and do a fantastic job. We stayed in the superior rooms and they were very nice, we saw the difference of the standard rooms and to be honest apart from the decoration there is no real difference, they both have A/C, large balcony, hair dryers, TV with only 3 English channels sky news, bbc news and bbc prime the rest is French and German.

The beds are comfortable if you prefer very firm matresses. There are no tea or coffe making facilities in the room, we wish we had known this as we would have brought a travel kettle with us, it took us days to find a shop in the town that sold them. There is a small fridge in the room which will hold 6 cans of cola and two bottles of 1.5ltr drinks.

We arrived needing two rooms one for myself and my wife the other for our teenage girls 13, 13 and 15. We did ask for adjoining rooms or rooms as close as possible when we booked, but our flight was delayed 4 hours and we arrived at the hotel in the early hours of the morning, we were put in rooms the furthest point away from each other, we spoke to the reception staff and they were very understanding and managed to get the girls in the same block after 3 days once the French had a change over day.

We were lucky to get rooms as there were guests who were placed in hotels nearby because the hotel had been over booked, some had to wait 3 days to get allocated a room although they were permitted to use the resturant and facilities in the meantime.

The resturant is self service buffet style, The breakfast session has a massive choice from cereals to full english fry up, there are a lot of fruits, pancakes, waffles,continental, basically anything you could think of they had it.

The evening session again there is a lot of choice but it did not get changed much over the two weeks, but there is a lot of variety of German dishes. The resturant staff are friendly and attentive when you arrive in the resturant, they sit you at the table promptly, although if you want to sit outside you need to get there early, and quickly serve you your drinks.

Once you have had your meal it is difficult to get the waiters to return to you so you can pay for your drinks and leave, although the staff are attentive they are heavily under manned and getting more than one drink at a sitting is not easy.

Gents need to wear trousers that cover the knee during the evening meal session, they were very strict about this and did send numourous men out to get changed, they are not fussy about the ladies attire, shorts, mini skirts or dresses were commonplace, they were totally relaxed about the childrens evening wear although they did ask a family once to go back to their room to change the children out of their swimwear. It is totally different during breakfast, swimming shorts and t-shirts are permitted.

The hotel is very pleasing to the eye and is built on a hill, if you have any walking difficulties then this is not a hotel for you, it gets very steep in parts and there are a lot of steps to negotiate. If you are unlucky to get a room at the top of the hill, it is fine coming down but a real workout getting back up again, we fortunatly were near the bottom but the main topic of complaint was from the poor folk at the top of the complex.

The pool areas are very well kept and the pools themselves are very clean, there are 3 pools outside. The main pool area which is at the bottom, where the main hotel is, has a large amount of sun beds which you will have to get up early to beat the Germans to, there are signs asking not to resrve beds but I suppose it would be difficullt for the hotel to enforce. There is a pool bar and snack cafe at this level.

The second pool is slightly further up the hill in the centre of the complex, it was easier for us to get sunbeds here as most of the guests prefered the main pool where the childrens activities take place. Sunbeds here usually were all taken by 9.30am. This pool has signs saying 16yrs and over only, but as the main pool beds had gone so early in the morning a lot of families like us used this pool, nobody seemed to mind and to be honest it was'nt a great issue for anyone.

The tots pool is at the top of the complex and it was too much of a climb for us to investigate but we could see they had a bouncy castle up there.

The girls were a bit old to get involved in the animation or kids day club, but it seemed very popular with the younger children and they seemed to be having a whale of a time, probably suited to 5 - 11 yr olds.

The hotel does not really have any evening entertainment to speak of, there are nightly shows in the amphitheatre, but they were either in Greek or German, the evenings at the hotel were mainly spent sipping a few drinks on the patio after dinner. The hotel does have a bar, it is A/C but ineffective as the large patio doors remain open, the head barman is very friendly and works hard to be an ice breaker getting guests to mingle usually with the aid of Raki.

The hotel gets strict about ordering from the bar, if you order from the bar you have to stay at the bar, if you wish to sit on the outside patio, then you order from the waiters. Seems a petty point to raise but there were quite a few raised voices in the bar during the few evenings we were there as the barman enforces it with an iron fist even though again the waiters are heavily under manned and it can be a long wait for the opportunity to order a refil.

The beers are Heineken, which was the only one on tap throughout the hotel, or you can get bottled beer, German only, both are served cool, I never managed to get an ice cold beer during our stay. The pool bar will serve German white beer in a chilled frosted glass. Both bars have a range of coktails and spirits available. Draft Heinekem 0.4ltr for 3.20 euros, white beer 0.5lt 4.60 euros coktails for around 6 euros.

We spent the evenings up in one of the villages away from the resort areas which was called Koutoulafari, not sure on the spelling, but very restful evenings up there lots of fantastic genuine Greek resturants, and pleasent bars with nice atmospheres to relax in. Ideal for families or romantic couples of all ages, there are no club type bars here. It cost us 8 euros there and back each night in a taxi but worth every cent.

There are bus stops outside the hotel where you can get to Herrsonnisos or Stalis, both are lively resorts in the evening if you fancy a party night, the resturants there are not a patch on the ones in Koutoulafari and are a little dearer. Plenty of lively bars and clubs in both resorts, we gave it a miss as its not our cup of tea.

The beach outside the hotel is rubbish, unless you enjoy a small dirty very rocky surface, Hersonnissos has a small shingle beach but gets over crowded as it is quite small. Stalis beach is much better, golden sand beach not massive but not too busy either, nice water, easy to get a sunbed before noon. Plenty of bars and resturants for refreshment. They have the usual water sport activities here water bikes, banana boat tow etc... again good family area we did not see any rowdy gangs of lads or girls here, they tended to be further up the cast in Malia.

To sum up we had a really great holiday, the hotel was immaculate and we would consider returning although we would only book for the breakfast and spend every evening up in the village.

Herts



LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
5 Stars
OVERALL:
4.8 Stars
"We visited this hotel in January and were very impressed. It's a brilliant hotel set in..."

We visited this hotel in January and were very impressed. It's a brilliant hotel set in a hilly, secluded location, between Stalis and Hersonissos. Stalis was closer - just a ten minute stroll away. It was lovely there and it offered a variety of shops, great bars and beach.
Buses stopped outside the hotel for those who wanted to explore further.
Staff in the hotel were fantastic - they couldn't do enough for you, and the animation team worked hard but the entertainment wasn't our cup of tea. We prefared to walk in to Stalis and visit a few bars.
This hotel deffinately lived up to it's four star rating and we will deffinately return.

Newcastle

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
0 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
"I booked this holiday independently, the flights with Thomson Flights and the hotel with Boo..."

I booked this holiday independently, the flights with Thomson Flights and the hotel with Book and Stay and saved a considerable amount of money.
The hotel is a complex of bungalows set on a hillside and although we went in August and the hotel was fully booked it never seemed crowded. Plenty of room by the three pools and never too busy in the restaurant.
The bedroom was a family room and was spacious with room to sleep 4 people. There was a modern full bathroom and independent air conditioning, though we didn't have much need for it as the room was cool enough. The room was cleaned daily and towels changed daily as well.
The swimming pools were very clean and never too busy. The main pool had daily sports activities, but the children's pool was the quietest with a good breeze and fantastic views. The entertainment team worked very hard to provide activities through the day without being too pushy and performed a couple of musicals in the impressive ampitheatre at night which my children enjoyed. They also had a disco a couple of nights in the main lobby bar. There wasn't much to do at nights at the hotel, the entertainment finished at about 10.30, and the main bar was very quiet. But it was nice to have a night cap, and Nikos the head bar man was very friendly.
The main restaurant was spacious with an outside section and a non smoking section. The self service buffet was good. An excellent salad bar and fresh cooked grill. Some of the main courses in the buffet were unusual but the hotel caters mainly for Greeks, French and Germans, this was reflected in the food, but there was always something we all liked. There was also a wide choice of desserts. The breakfasts were also buffet style with pancakes/waffles etc cooked fresh. All in all the food was of good standard and we never went hungry! The main snack bar by the main pool and the snack bar by the childrens pool also served good reasonable food.
All the staff at the hotel were friendly and helpful and helped make the holiday more enjoyable.
I think the only down side of the hotel is the location. There wasn't much around to do at nights but it was only 5 euro's in a taxi to Hersonissos. There were a couple of taverna's across the busy main road. Also the beach at Nana Beach wasn't that good, but again only a short taxi/bus ride to Stalis,Malia or Hersonissos.
Overall an excellent hotel with friendly staff, good food and nice surroundings. A good choice for families or couples seeking a relaxing holiday at a A class hotel. Probably not suitable for those looking for lively nightlife. Would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone and we are thinking about returning again next year. (Hexham)

LOCATION:
4 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
5 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
"SHORT SUMMARY

Pro’s - Good standard of hotel with very nice pools, frie..."

SHORT SUMMARY

Pro’s - Good standard of hotel with very nice pools, friendly staff. Good facilities including a small gym, tennis court and shops.

Con’s – Location is out of town so you need a taxi or hire car to get anywhere. Food is not good enough to be 4* and lack of a decent beach.

Would I go back – Yes

Would I recommend this to a friend - Yes

For further info please read the more detailed review below. Hope it helps if you are looking for a holiday or have already booked this hotel.

This was the first time I had visited Crete or any of the Greek islands but had heard good reports. I wanted somewhere different for myself & my 11 year old daughter to get away last minute for Easter and was looking for a good standard of hotel with activities which my daughter would enjoy.
I decided to plump for The 4* Grand Hotel on a half board basis with Thomas Cook although I could not find much information about it on the web. I eventually found the web site (www.grandhotel.gr) which has photo’s etc. It is hardly mentioned on any review web site, probably as it is a very new place, I think only around 2-3 years old. Anyway that is half the reason I decided to write this review.

What is the hotel like? Well as I already said it is nearly new and is located around a 20 minute walk from the eastern end of Hesonisos main drag. It is built right next to the main road between Hersonisos and Stalis (which is around a 15 min walk) and is more of a resort than a standard hotel comprising of 15 squarely constucted apartment blocks containing 256 rooms of various sizes. The resort is on quite a steep hill which rises up overlooking the Cretan Sea. The apartments are linked by monoblocked paths but if you have mobility problems or have a pushchair please be aware of this. However there are some apartments located next to the bottom pool which are easily accessible and there are also ramps.

First impressions of the main reception area and entrance were very good. This building which also houses the dining area, conference room, bar, shops etc. is very impressive (there are no rooms in this section). Built on four levels surrounding a central glass dome topped atrium with the constant sound of the fountain on the basement floor giving a very peaceful ambience. Also in the basement there is a small conference room and a little shop selling everything from soft drinks & beer to t-shirts and suncream at a reasonable price (or at least not much more than the local shops). There are two modern elevators connecting the floors.

On the ground floor is reception, a larger conference room, a jewelry shop and the large dining room. The first floor houses the bar area and a few large inside and outside seating areas which overlook the sea and the top floor is a much smaller area where the ‘internet café’ was located although this comprised of one computer which was not switched on. The standard of décor and furnishing in this building was very good and what you would expect if a 4 * hotel

THE ACCOMODATION - I had first floor end of terrace room on the second level which could sleep three people comfortably. The room itself was fairly large with a decent sized, very clean bathroom and a balcony large enough for 2-3 people to sit around the chairs and table. The view was over the sea with aspects to the mountains on one side and Hersonisos on the other althought there was a patch of waste ground directly in front. The room was adequately furnished if a bit plain (not too sure of the green table though!!) with three very comfortable single beds (two of which were together for a double) telephone, small fridge, very small TV & large built in wardrobe. The aircon is mounted high on the wall with a remote control although I did not have too much cause to use it as it was early April. Worth mentioning that the aircon is an independent unit so you have control of it not the hotel.

The bathroom was very modern with a large lit mirror above the sink unit and a full size bath with a shower head & curtain. I cannot fault the cleanliness of the room as there was a daily maid service with clean towels every day.

The grounds are very well kept and clean. One of the best things about this hotel in my opinion was the pools. There are actually four of them, three outside and one inside and they are immaculately clean. They use sea water but it must be very well filtered. The upper pool is located near the top of the resort which has the advantage of having the best views and is quite a suntrap. There are also a couple of water slides here and a small baby pool. The middle pool was a normal square shape and the bottom pool was the pretiest as obviously no expense was spared when building it. The pools were very cold when I visited as they are unheated but they should be OK by later on in the season. There are also hundreds of sun loungers so no need to get up in the middle of the night to beat the Germans!!

THE FOOD – Possibly the least favourable aspect of this hotel. The large dining area is all you can eat buffet style with most of the tables inside & some outside. I was there over the Easter bank holiday and at times the hotel was very busy but even althought there only seemed to be six waiting staff on to take drink orders and clear tables etc, they were very professional and efficient. The clientel of this hotel seemed to be mostly German, French, Greek and British in that order so the food generally reflected this. The dinner was not too bad and there was a decent amount of choice with very nice salad bar and four or five different main dishes plus soup and desert, bread etc. The quality I would say was adequate and I guess what you would expect of a buffet but to be fair somethings were very nice. Breakfast was OK and there was again a good choice with fruit, yogurt, hot buffet, cereal and bread but I would say that it was aimed more towards the Germans and French so don’t expect the great British fry up. In saying that, thre were scrambled eggs or omelettes every day with beans (even althought they were curiously flavoured with thyme) and hot dog type sausages. Plenty of fresh coffee at your table but take your own teabags as the local ones are dreadful. One thing I always look out for to measure the standard of hotel catering is the orange juice and this stuff was undrinkable. If it was not made from reconstituted powder then I’m a monkey’s uncle. I cannot understand why they do this when locally produced oranges are so plentiful.

Anyway I would only give the food 6 out of 10 and don’t drink the local red wine as it tastes like petrol (and at 9 euros for a half bottle) although French varieties are available.

I thought the price of drinks in the hotel was quite high at €3.20 for a 33cl bottle of locally produced Amstel but in general the cost of drinks in bars in Crete is high also. Reports of vastly increased prices in Greece since the introduction of the Euro are not urban myths. However you can buy alcohol from the supermarket and use the fridge in your room.

The cost of the drinks in the hotel bar might explain why is was practically empty most of the time along with the fact that there was very little atmosphere. There are entertainers in the hotel but they finish around 2130 and they were not very good, more inclined towards keeping the children amused. They did make a brave attempt at a comedy show one night but with a number of different nationalities they were on a hiding to nothing. However this was very early in the season so they might get better later on in the year. The hotel actually has its own amphetheatre althought his was not in use when I was there.

One thing I would like to point out is that althought they advertise sattelite TV in the rooms, this consists of one English news channel (BBC World) and practically nothing else of interest to English speakers. I was a bit disappointed by this as although you do not go on holiday to watch TV sometimes it is nice just to relax in your room for an hour watching something especially later at night when the hotel is quiet. One advantage though, my daughter had never watched so much of the news and now knows all about current affairs!!

In summary (thank god I hear you cry if you have read this far) I would have to say that this is a hotel with a good to high standard of accomodation but the food let it down slightly (but not too much to put me off using it again). The location is a bit out of town and there isn’t much of a beach (but that seems to be a problem throughout Crete from what I saw)

TRAVEL TIPS

Car Hire – My rep offered me 3- day hire at €250 all in but you can hire any type of vehicle from the many hire companies in the town. There is quite a lot of competition so you can negotiate with them for a better deal. Beware though that they will add insurance to the cost of the rental price which I knocked down from €30 p/d to €20 which is still very expensive. The basic rental only covers 3rd party cover so you could be liable for the full cost of the car if you have a serious accident

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
5 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
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