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Travel Blogs from Sfakaki
... disappointed if there was nothing to see!!! Heraklion is good fun for a day but I wouldn't spend more than a day. You can cover most of it by walking around it. If the museum was open I guess you could spend all day in there! My mum would have definitely done ...
Today we spent the morning in Rethymnon, a lovely town about 60km East of Heraklion. We like Rethymnon way more than Heraklion. There is a lovely market in the old town and a beautiful little harbour area whit loads of restaurants by the water. Highly recommended!!! After spending a few hours in town we head for lunch in a little village by the sea, called Ayia Gallini. Food is nice and prices are good too. A nice place to stop for a bite. Next step, ...
... location and pull into a hotel car park with the plan of asking reception for directions to the Royal Blue Resort, only to find that we had actually pulled into the resort itself!! We had hoped to have time to check-in and have an hour or so beside the pool before heading back to Heraklion to pick up Steph's parents, but only managed to check-in and drop the bags off before heading back out on the winding ...
... the ports at the same time as us which makes it busy and crowded. As you would expect, most of our sightseeing is limited to the areas around the ports. Time and opportunity prohibits in depth exploring, but it certainly allows us to get the flavour of the different places we have visited.
While cruising might not be for everyone, it certainly has been a great experience so far. Very good if you want to practise your skill of striking up a conversation with random ...
The flight lasts about 3 hours taking us directly from London to Heraklion, Crete. As we step out of the plane in the heat, Paulo and I look at each other, without saying anything, but with a big grin on our faces. Rainy Londonland is a far far away memory now!! Heraklion airport reminds me of the small southern Italian airports I went through in my past, with all the cars beeping around, people shouting ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Free parking
Historical Traveler Reviews Thalassi Hotel-Apts Sfakaki
The owner is a dictator
Myself, Fiance and my mum and dad have just come back from the Astrid Apartments on the beautiful island of Crete. We arrived on the Tuesday night at about 7.30pm so we thought we would try the food at the apartments. All was quite well until the next night we were more awake and decided to try another restaurant owned by George which was a little down the road. We had a very nice meal there. We then hired a car on the Thursday and went touring around the island which was very nice. When we got back to the apartments about teatime, we all thought that we might like to eat at our apartment again. Bad Move! Myself and my fiance were verbally attacked as we were looking at the menu. Dimitri decided to turn into hitler and was huffing and and puffing saying that we should be eating at his establishment, he said he had put on a magic show especially for us guests and none of us wanted to know. He was very rude and practically slagged every restaurant off in a 2 mile radius. He demanded we tell him were we had been going to eat etc... We thought that this behaviour was unacceptable so I went to my mum and dad and told them what he was like. They also said they would not eat there that night. We avoided the place all week apart from on our last night. We thought we would go to the Greek Night and thought it would give Dimitri time to maybe apologise for the verbal abuse we suffered. This was not the case as nearly all night we got the silent treatment, he was plying all the other guests with free drinks in an attempt to belittle us and to exagerate the point that we had been blacklisted! The rooms were fine, very clean and the maid service was excellent but the owners attitude is unacceptable and My Travel must address this matter as it became apparent afterwards that his reputation is well known to previous guests, other locals and the holiday reps. On the first night you will see his charming side, but this becomes clear that this only with the intent to give your money to him and nowhere else, but Dimitri has a very strange definition of Self Catering and this is hassle you do not need when you go on holiday.
We have just returned from a fortnight at the Astrid. We only ate in 4 times so were worried that Dimitri would treat us badly, that was not the case. He is a bit gruff and can be a bit distracted and to be truthful, the food was a little Anglified for our taste (not enough garlic in the Tzatziki, frozen chips and veg with the meals) although the meze was much better as was probably more Greek. We did the recommended walk round the villages which was lovely and helped get us in to training for walking the Samaria Gorge. The Astrid is a bit off the beaten track with a very busy road to cross to get to the beach but we prefferred the quietness and as Platanes is only a 95cent bus journey away (Rethymnon was 1E 25) we could go out if we wanted to. In all the room was clean - the cleaner was friendly and flexible, air conditioning was available (for a charge) and we had a very happy holiday! I would certainly recommend this to my friends.
Take time to get to know Dimitris
We have just returned (Sept 2003)from a superb holiday at the Astrid, take your time to get to know Dimitris & Eva. Dimitris is very proud of his apartments and of his Greek background. He likes people to eat proper Greek food not 'fast food' purporting to be Greek. Meals at the Astrid are slightly dearer but well worth the extra, Vasilis is a superb chef, try the 12 course 'Meza', ours was 15 courses! Once you understand his beliefs and what he is trying to do for the Crete tourist industry, you will have a great time, he may even invite you to his nearby farm & olive grove. Don't be put off by these other reviews, you will enjoy your time there.
We have just returned from our first holiday in crete. We found the Astrid apartments very clean and the staff friendly. The food was excellent and we decided to eat in every night. Although some of the guests found the owner frightening we had no problems. After all he is in business to make money. The apartments were well maintained and everywhere was cleaned daily. We were only five minutes from the beach and a short taxi ride from the main town. The atmosphere was friendly and we would recommend that you try it out before judging other people's opinions. After all you cannot please everyone all the time.
Thanks to everyone at Astrid for a memorable holiday.
Hols at the Astrid
First appearance of the Astrid was good,good sized rooms and very clean,maid was in at least 3 times in our week long stay.We thought the place was very "homely".The pool could have been a bit bigger but was ok and didnt cause a problem,always clean.The food was very good,we ate there every night and didnt have one complaint.Ive read comments that say it was cheaper outside so I cant comment on that.The entertainment was good,the Greek Dancers were excellent,the Greek singer on his organ was pretty dire though.The surrounding area was quiet as explained in the brochure,do Dimitri's walk if you can,really good.Dimitri and Eva were the owners.Ive never experienced Greek hospitality and if this was it then thats fine,although some people were saying he was more interested in the money.In my opinion youve gotta try the place out and come up with your own thoughts.We enjoyed it but I know others felt a bit oppressed by Dimitri,talk to the man,he's more than willing to tell u things about his country and if u dont wanna listen and be a bit open-minded then thats fine.Hope this helps
The first night we were there we ate in the Astrid's restaurant which was very nice. Dimitri was a bit overpowering though telling us what entertainment would be on over the coming week we were there and giving us free glasses of wine. He would not leave us in peace to eat our meals. We decided to eat out the rest of the week - there were a couple of restaurants in the immediate area which were a lot tastier and actually nearly half the price. As the week went on, Dimitri got more and more hostile towards us because we were not eating at his restaurant - this just encouraged us more to eat out!! He even stopped putting cards outside our door to inform us what entertainment was on in the evenings and it was impossible to get a smile or a hello out of him!! If you can put up with being ignored it is not too bad - the apartments themselves were actually quite good. If you do not like this kind of attitude then I would not recommend the Astrid for you!!
Alcatraz mark 2
We have recently returned from a weeks holiday in Crete, staying at the Astrid Hotel. I have to say that whilst the appartments themselves were clean and generally well kept, the owner of the hotel made our stay unpleasant to say the least. He was the epitome of the genial host to those guests who chose to eat their meals at the hotel. But if, like oursleves, guests chose to go elsewhere to eat and drink, he acted very differently. He blanked us, made rude comments, was surly, unhelpful and dismissive. All the locals we spoke to referred to the place at Alcatraz, and disliked him intensely. We absolutely loved Crete, but he injected a real sour note into the holiday. I would not recommend this place to ANYONE. All the guests i spoke to had idential experiences. There are so many lovely places to stay, please do not make the mistake of staying here
Escape from alcatraz
Our first impression of the apartments were its very clean! But after day one it went down hill. The first few nights we ate in the restaurant at the hotel, but after meeting new people and finding that other restaurants outside were so much cheaper, we decided to venture out every night. Shockingly we came to find that the owner did not like that at all! He started to ignore us, we got dirty looks and sly comments. And we were not the only ones. As we stayed there for two weeks, in the second week we met more people and had a lot more fun, there were also lots of children and in relation to the statement above splashing and playing in the pool was out of the question!!! But crete is beautiful and the rest of the locals are great. We will definately return, but to a different apartment.
stayed two weeks at this apartment and its fine if you are prepared to stay and eat in the hotel every night, if not BE WARNED you will be snubbed by the owner, even though his prices cost more than everywhere else. Either take plenty of money with you or book somewhere else, my advice...book elsewhere
Disappointed with astrid
we journed last may to Crete. We were disappointed that contrary to the claims that this was a family establishment that children were picked on constantly ,told to stop making noise and to stop splashing in the pool. I was astounded. some children were quite boisterous but afterall they were on holiday. my own son was forced to go elsewhere during the day as the constant complaining at both him and his friends made his stay most uncomfortable.. The children involved in the pool incident were aged between 6-8 years. I would never recommend the hotel to anyone with a family...unless they are prepared to bind and gag their kids. Maybe we just caught the owners on a bad fortnight,or maybe it was because our teenage son was a tad too honest for his own good but it has left us with a bad taste in our mouths and although all the other local people we met whilst there made us very welcome I would never return there or recommend the establishment to anyone else.