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Reviewed 25 September 2017 via mobile

Mrs P and I decided to buck the Brexit trend and stay in Europe this year. We decided on Crete because of the weather (good call - around 30 degrees and sunny every day in the middle two weeks of September) and the relatively short flight of 4 hours. We flew Gatwick to Chania (pronounced Hania) with EasyJet - good flight. Got a pre-arranged lift to the hotel.
Asterion is located about 15km to the west of Chania - about 45 mins to an hour from the airport. It is on the old coast road (which runs parallel to the main road but closer to the sea) between the villages of Gerani and Maleme. It is more of an aparthotel than a traditional family holiday hotel - most guests were either middle age plus or parents with toddlers - (bear in mind that we were there near the end of the season and when schools were back) coming from all over Europe with a preponderance of Scandinavians. It offers B&B or half board arrangements - we went for the B&B so we could try other places to eat. There is an option to swap to half board for the day and go for the buffet dinner for €14 or you could try the a la carte restaurant next door. we did the latter or ate out. More about eating out later but must say Nikos and the kitchen staff served excellent quality fresh food in the a la carte restaurant with good advice on local wines every time.

Top tips

Charging devices - the room key needs to be in the slot for the power to work in the room - leaving your phone, tablet on charge only works when you're in the room so take enough chargers and adapters as you may need to just charge overnight.

Don't use the minibar unless you 'have to'. The prices are a bit over the top - you'll get almost a full size bottle at the supermarket for the price of a miniature from the fridge - but if you're stuck... blow it - you're on holiday!

Food - We didn't have a bad meal in the hotel or anywhere we ate on the island and portions are generous. You'll usually be offered complimentary extras with the bill - cake, watermelon, baklava, grapes, Raki or combination thereof! Raki is the local drink far more than ouzo. It is made in the same way as grappa using the leftover stalks etc from the winemaking then distilled - cheapest and most authentic spirit on the island! Try the souvlaki gyros from the poolside bar for a lunch time snack. Dakos is great - barley flour rusks with tomato, feta cheese, olive oil and herbs. DO NOT use a knife and fork to eat it with or disaster will strike - use fingers only or broken plates may ensue and you might end up wearing it!

Language - English is (ironically) the Lingua Franca among tourists and traders everywhere.

Local facilities - I was a bit nervous when I booked that there might not be much nearby - happily not a problem. Nearest mini market is a 5 minute walk out of the land side (south) of the hotel, turn right on the old beach road then left after about 50m to get to the main road. The M&B mini market is about 50m further down to the right past the petroleum station (there is also a pharmacist shop across the road). The bus stop across the road from the M&B mini mart is where you catch the bus to Chania. Back down on the old beach road if you turn left out of the hotel and keep going for about 500m you'll get to a slightly larger supermarket outside of which is the closest ATM - speaks English too!

Nearby eating and drinking - If you carry on past the ATM for a further 500m there are four restaurants in a row around the crossroads at Gerani. The Bossa Nova appears on some maps but we stuck with the Small Paradise last on the left which concentrated on Greek cuisine. It's about a twenty minute walk across along a well made but sparsely lit road. We never felt at risk but take a torch in case the lights aren't working all the way back.

Closer still is the small family run taverna Amarilledes right next door to the hotel on the right - beach side. They have some chairs and tables under shade on the beach and half a dozen round the other side. Greek salad and a portion of fresh calamari with some Tsatziki serves two nicely! On the left on the beachside is a block paved promenade which runs all the way to Maleme beach (and more restaurants) it runs past holiday apartments and a series of plots of scrub which may someday become building plots. You might wonder why the sea facing side of the street lights along this strip are painted black...it's to avoid confusing hatching turtles as to which way the sea is.

Excursions - can be arranged through the reception desk. We chose two - Samaria Gorge (lazy option) and Elafonisi beach which were both good value but not as reasonable as going into Chania on the bus!

Staff at the hotel were great! Speak to them! Special thanks to Nikos and George in the restaurants, Alex and George in the bar and Agapi on reception who sorted us out with excursion bookings and bus info. Kostas and Vasilis were never seen without huge smiles even when they were faced with 50 new guests turning up at the same time with cases!

Feedback for our friends at Asterion

Now the things that can be improved....

Biggest one by far is housekeeping - it was random apart from the lack of dusting in rooms which was sadly consistent.
I know there are plans to introduce tea/coffee making facilities in rooms next year - ice making would be useful too.
I don't know if anything can be done about the requirement not to put paper down the toilet but it does not help the claim for 5 stars! (Macerators?)
Make information about excursions, nearby facilities (ATM, buses, etc) more obvious which would be helpful for travellers not travelling with a tour company - leaflets? I don't expect you to advertise rival restaurants or bars but guests will want to know what's around them, so to save guests taking up reception staffs' time a general leaflet in the information pack would be helpful. More restaurant staff would help at breakfast time to make sure that supplies of filter coffee and resetting tables can keep up with demands - though I realise that staff resources are scarce and not cheap!
Don't advertise as a 5 star hotel - it raises expectations which cannot be met yet - but there's not too far to go. By Western European standards it would make 4 stars with a bit of improvement - don't over promise!

Enough of the negatives.

Asterion is an ideal location for a chill out holiday. We had a fantastic time and are keeping in touch with people (staff and guests) that we met there.

We'll be back.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Mick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stefanos M, Manager at Asterion Hotel Suites and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Dear Mr Mick,

thank you for your kind and honest comments.
Be sure that we take in consideration your suggestions and in your next visit , i'm sure that you 'll be positively surprised.
Regards
Asterion Hotel Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2017 via mobile

The worst hotel in Crete , please see my pictures who show the reality of this hotel room who calls themselves 5 stars and luxury!!! We booked on the basis that was 5 stars and relaying on the website pictures which have nothing to do with the reality.
Breakfast was good and staff in restaurant was polite the only good thing about this hotel.
The manager not professional, didn't apologize for the state of the rooms when asked that what we booked was a misrepresentation. We didn't stay for all the nights booked because the quality of this hotel was revolting and we are not the only ones expressing disappointment!!

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank austravelers12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stefanos M, Manager at Asterion Hotel Suites and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2017

Dear Madam,

thank you for the review. Thank you for your positive comments for ou Staff, but regarding me ,you should also mention, your demand of reimbursement in an non refundable reservation and because i didn't accept, i'm not professional.

Thank you anyway

Best Regards

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Reviewed 17 September 2017 via mobile

The truth is the rooms are horrible. Depending on where you are in the hotel, see view can even mean seeing the sea at a 45 degree angle while you get the full pleasure of being next to the street.
Fortunately when we were there the pool was quiet and not over crowded and the kids had a great time. The included food was slightly above average, but the service was superb, which really made a difference.
All in all it was a great experience and we had a very nice time.
As an additional point, in this part of Creete, beware of the usual strong winds. This are is not protected from them, quiet the opposite.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Thank Evan_Paez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stefanos M, Manager at Asterion Hotel Suites and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2017

Dear Mr Evan,
Its true, the location of the rooms is not looking to the sea and for this reason we don't sell Sea View.
We thank you for your kind positive comments and we hope to see you again in your next holidays.
Best Regards
Asterion Hotel Staff

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Reviewed 5 September 2017 via mobile

We are returning home to London today having spent 12 nights here. We had a 2 bedroom suite for my partner & me & our 3 children. The apartment was spacious, clean & very comfortable. The lady that cleaned our room everyday was lovely and the fluffy fresh towels on a daily basis was a treat.
The food was delicious both at breakfast and dinner. It is buffet style but with lots of choice and different selections each day.
The staff were lovely. Massive thank you to Iraklis for his big smiles and my 'green' wine at dinner. Your choices were always spot on. Madu for your help and always a smile. George for being patient with the children.
Billy and Costa for your fun and laughter.
Huge shout out to Alex on the bar. Full of good humour & fun. Edie, Finn and Monty will miss you. Big cheers from me and Ollie.
To the manager and the lovely people on reception right through to location. Everything for us was perfect and never a problem if we asked.
Thank you to you all for making our family holiday so good.

Siobhan, Ollie, Monty, Finn and Edie x

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank ShivsMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stefanos M, Manager at Asterion Hotel Suites and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2017

Dear Friends,

thank you for your kind comments . We hope to see you again.
Our Best Regards to all of you
The Asterion Hotel Team

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Reviewed 22 August 2017

Just returned from 10 fabulous nights at the Asterion. Food was great everyday. No waiting for tables. No waiting for sun loungers. Always some around the pool and even more on quiet beach.The waiting staff are very friendly and the wine waiters knowledge is immense and very helpful. Only downside were the three restaurant managers who never did anything except bark orders at the waiting staff, smoke and continually check their phones. Only one night out of 10 did they do anything so I can only assume the owner was in that night. felt sorry for the waiting staff running around helping everybody have a great holiday while these 'managers' did nothing. Some staff actually looked scared of them at points. Overall a great hotel and would go back. Just the managers need to know how to get there staff to work for them not because they are too scared not to do something.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank garfy359
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stefanos M, Manager at Asterion Hotel Suites and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2017

Dear Sir/Madam,

thank you very much for your comments.
Just for your information, there'no 3 Restaurant Managers and i don't know to whom are you refered.
However if you are happy with the service it means that somebody is leading them giving orders and for sure somebody (a Restaurant Mgr) is behind them.
Scared ..??!!! Its first time i read it.

Anyway thank you again for the rest of your positive comments and i hope to see you again in our premises.

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