Panorama Hotel - Chania
Travel Blogs from Chania
... chapel that looked like a ruin from the exterior, but was fully furnished with beautiful icons inside. We joined the swimmers for a dip on our return, paddling out to near the southernmost point in Europe, where we are south of parts of Africa's N coast. Tomorrow, Pam does the ferry and bus thing solo, while Dave hikes Samaria Gorge to the top of Crete from where he hopes to hitch a ride to Chania to reunite with ...
This morning we set off for a little beach just outside Chania for a few hours of relaxation before a late lunch at Johnny's aunt's house. Lunch was in the village, and again under a beautiful canopy of grape vines that kept you very cool and comfortable. On the menu was an octopus casserole type dish with olives and a slight BBQ flavored sauce, some grilled octopus, ...
... and after much indecision) we decided to just drive back to Chania and I'd bunk with Nick and Lisa in a spare bed in their room. This caused an impromptu dinner put on by Johnny's cousin Evanthia, and her husband Efthisi did the grilling. At least 2 dozen pork chops were grilled, lamb chops, pilafi, salad, and I can't even remember the rest. So much food. So good. And most of the family joined ...
This morning started off with Manoli speeding us up the mountain around more switchbacks than I can count, even squealing tires around some. To summarize most of the day: about 13km (8 miles) downhill across uneven and rocky ground. About a third very steep coming down the mountain, about a third semi flat as we entered the gorge, and the last third pretty flat at the base of the gorge as ...
... a wall, a great deal of visibility was not that critical. Occasionally, the photographer would get our attention and we would mug some pose for her, like walking on an underwater tightrope or holding a small sea snail. Especially interesting on this dive was a swim across a very deep chasm of 100 meters or more. Diving when you are aware of where the bottom is is one thing, but when you suddenly find yourself over the abyss it's something else. Of course, we were ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Panorama Hotel - Chania
Very tranquill Holiday
We have just returned from this hotel. It was very clean and i was nicely surprised at the standard of the hotel considering it was a Greek Island. Chania, 20mins 1euro on the bus, is beautiful with loats of shops...your traditional markets with leather jewlery etc to your very upmarket designer shops. The harbour has loads of restaurants.. i can highly recommend a restaurant just set back from the harbour called "eVa". If you find the Calypso restaurant in the middle of the harbour, facing it if you take the street on the left it is just up there. The hotel meals were very nice, simiar each night but always a good salad, soup and desert selection. Take beach towels for the loungers as the ones they provide are hard and small. The beach is cobbly and not worth going down to. Water, cigarettes and alcohol can be purchased at the shop outside the hotel for a 5th of the price. If you turn right out of the hotel and walk for 10mins(be carefull there are no pavements in places) there are a group of restaurants and before you get to the bank there is a lovely cake shop which sells the most amazing doughnuts! The bar in the hotel has a lovely, but quiet atmosphere with a piano player some nights and has great views of the sunset. The bar provides several board games...chess, backgammon etc.
I booked through bargain holidays and paid £360 each for the week. When the tickets arrived we found that the flights were with First Choice into Chania and the transers and hotel were booked with medhotels so it would probably work out cheaper to do it all separately.
Okay, but doesn't live up to it's ratings...
Let me begin by saying that I think TripAdvisor is great, in fact, it has been superb on every hotel other than this.
My wife and I have just returned from a 7 night holiday ending on the 31st May 2005.
We had a nice time overall, and a lot of the comments that I have read are quite accurate. However, this hotel certainly does not deserve the "5 or Excellent" rating that the majority of people have given it. I don't have any axe to grind on this at all, but here is our honest opinion.
The main part of the hotel is really 3 star to a low 4 star. The reception/communal areas are pretty average by any standard. The so called Panorama Blue executive 5* wing is nowhere near any 5* I've ever been to. Indeed, this is the element (along with the nice pool) that probably gives it a fighting chance of achieving an overall 4*. I would strongly urge you to disregard some of the pictures that are featured on the website, they really portray the hotel in a better light than it is.
So - here are the negatives:
* It is really a high-end 3 and low end 4 star hotel (not 4/5 as documented)
* The drinks and food are very expensive (average rounds for two people worked out at £7
* There is very little option other than staying at the hotel on an evening. The pavements are poor and this means that you need to walk down the main road into Chania - very dangerous in the light and a no-go area at night. There is only one bar near to the hotel, very nice owner and great prices, but it is deserted and not ideal for a sociable evening.
* There is really not much to do on a day time other than getting the bus to Chania - again difficult walking conditions and not much nearby.
* Entertainment on an evening is limited to Greek dancing one evening per week.
But, here are the positives:
* Restaurant is okay - good selection of food (but have to share tables with other couples.....)
* Bus to chania is really good - stops at bottom of hill and is only one euro each way - good value as it is a 10 minute bus ride. Also, Chania is really nice, very pretty and well worth a visit (or three as we did - as nothing else to do!!)
* Swimming pool is very nice, and sociable/good food eating areas.
Overall, it was a decent week away, but it doesn't compare with some of the ravings we read prior to booking. I really hope this helps.
(P.S. we booked via lastminute on the "5 Star at 3 Star" tag line - but found we were in a room on the back of the hotel and in the 3 star part!- not great - so paid 25 euro per night upgrade for sea view in the Panorama blue area).
Very disappointing "Executive Wing"
We have just returned from 7 days Bed and Breakfast at the Executive wing of this hotel. We paid £800 each and therefore expected something special.
We paid a supplement for a room with sea views and a terrace, but the room we were given was underneath the pool and had hardly any sea view at all due to the high trees and foliage in front of the terrace. After complaining, we were moved to a room above the pool, but with no terrace or loungers, only a balcony, small table and a couple of chairs.
Things then went from bad to worse. The brochure said we would get a packing/unpacking service, free daily newspapers, "executive" breakfast, complimentary drinks throughout the day and that we would receive "superior" service in general.
We actually got none of this to start with. There was no room directory in the room and we had to go and ask what the procedure for things was and what to do about a safe key etc. Nothing was explained to us upon arrival, except the time breakfast was served in the mornings.
Our rep complained on our behalf and after 3 days, they did supply an "executive" breakfast, which consisted of a plate of cold meats, cheeses, salmon and a glass of orange juice. We also then got a daily paper.
However, the "complimentray drinks throughout the day" turned out to be one cup of tea or coffee per day, and an aperatif before dinner. The pool in the executive wing had no chairs, tables or plants and was totally barren.
The bar and lounge area in the execuitive wing was closed up and was not opened by the hotel, despite our rep requesting this.
We had to travel up in a lift and walk across to the main bar area and then carry any drinks back down again. There was no bar service.
Our brochure also said that the hotel was just across a "quiet road" from the beach. In fact it is the main A road through Chania and had constant noisy traffic day and night. There was also a noisy go cart track just next door to the hotel which was noisy for several nights.
The pools are not heated and were so cold that we only saw 3 or 4 people brave enough to use them in the whole week we stayed.
The pretty harbour of Chania is not within walking distance but is about 4 km away. We found the buses to be good value at 1 euro a ticket and they arrived every 20 minutes or so. The last bus back was 10.20pm each night.
The hotel did provide us with a free bottle of wine and some fruit in our room and also offered us a complimentary meal in the restaurant one evening.
For the money we paid, the service was non existent, the executive wing pool, resturant and bar area was not even opened up and we consider we have been completely ripped off.
Good Value Hotel
My wife and I stayed at the Panorama Hotel for a week in Oct 2004. It was advertised as a 5 star hotel. Whilst it isn't in the same league as the leading 5 stars of the world, we thought that for the money, it was a good deal. Our room was modern, spacious and clean as were the public areas and the food was good. The pool and surrounds are stunning - the elevated position providing a broad view over the bay towards Chania. Probably the biggest downside of this hotel is the surrounding area which is a rather ordinary. There is a beach outside the hotel but its nothing to write home about. That said there are a few local bars and resturants within walking distance and many buses stop outside the hotel making getting around the island very easy. No need to hire a car unless you really want to.
All in all we enjoyed ourselves and if you can get a good deal, you wouldn't be disappointed.
Panorama is great!!!!!
Panorama is great!!! Chania the best!!!
I spent there the 2 nights after my wedding with my husband. I wish we had stayed more!! It was fantastic. The room was great, with a fantastic view and a private pool. I would recoment that hotel to anyone.
The hotel has the main hotel area (4star) but we stayed in The Panorama Blue Executive Wing (5star) and were upgraded to a private pool sea view room free of charge for our honeymoon. We also received champagne and fruit on our arrival. The hotel is beautiful, the food is fantastic and the staff are very friendly and helpful. We were bed and breakfast at first and ate breakfast in the Panorama Blue restaurant overlooking the exec pool and the sea, and then went up to the main hotel for evening meals. After eating dinner at the hotel on the 1st night, we decided to upgrade to half board as the food was fantastic and the setting was very romantic. You sit on candle-lit tables under trees with lights in, surrounded by panoramic views of the sea. The sun set at 8pm every night over the sea and we could sit on the loungers outside our room (sometimes with champagne) and watch it every night before dinner. There is entertainment most nights but although it's always in good taste, if it's not your cup of tea, you can simply sit by the beautiful pool with a cocktail or 2! There is no swimming after 7pm so the pools always look gorgeous in the evenings.
Travelling around is very easy. Buses leave the hotel entrance every 20mins for Chania (or anywhere along the way) and it's only 90c each way.
The only slightly negative point I'd like to make is that the hotel's private beach that is shown on the official website leaves a lot to be desired and is not as pictured with loungers etc. You wouldn't want to be there but, it's very easy to get on a bus to Chania and stop off at one of the nice beaches along the way.
If you are looking for a romantic, peaceful, relaxing and comfortable honeymoon location, The Panorama Hotel is the place for you. We couldn't have wished for a better honeymoon and we have vowed to return to the Panorama every 5 years for our anniversary!
We have just returned from a week's half board at The Panorama Hotel and found it excellent value... we paid £ 1,000 including private air-conditioned taxi transfers and room upgrade to sea view. Our room was in the main building and was well furnished with good views. The hotel is of a good standard .. but watch the prices of drinks in general and particularly the mini bar as they are a bit steep. Food was of a reasonable standard but fairly typical of half board buffet fare and got a bit monotonous. We ate out in Chania Harbour several times .. the Ministri restaurant is superb for fish and one of the few in the harbour area who do not tout for business.
Couple of pointers to note : -
* There is no beach as such at the Hotel but 10 to 15 minutes walk in either direction takes you to either Stalos or Kalamaki which are both good.
* Don't bother with the bus into Chania, cabs only cost 6 or 7 euros each way and are far better.
On balance, we probably wouldn't return but anyone looking for a good standard of accomodation and a relaxing week on a beach could do a lot worse.
Lovely Hotel, Very relaxing holiday
We stayed at the Panorama hotel in June 2004 and had a standard room with a sea view. The room was clean and nicely decorated and spacious. The hotel is very tastefully decorated and offers lots of facilities including the gym, massage, and Internet access. The restaurant is outside and has great views of the sea and the food is very good (even for vegetarians). There is not a great deal to do in the surrounding area unless you take a bus to Chania, which takes about 15 mins. Although the hotel is perfect for a relaxing holiday and has superb views. Tip: Fly to Chania Airport, not Heraklian, because the transfer is about 2 hours.
Great views (and food) from the Panorama Hotel
Stayed at the Panorama for 7 nights in September and would recommend it for sure. The food and service is excellent and the views are amazing.
Staff are very friendly and helpful and I look forward to returning in the near future. There are two parts to the hotel, the main building and the Panorama Blue Executive Wing. We upgraded to a pool room in the Executive Wing and it was well worth it. They had good theme nights in the outside restaurant but if you feel like a short walk there are a sprinkiling of tavernas/restaurants down the road. Go and have a coffee in the Kalamaki bar they do the best in Chania with lovely sea views.
Chania harbour is very pretty lots of restaurants/cafes etc and lots of good shops especially leather. If you feel like indulging book yourselves into the Panorama for a week or two - you won't regret it.
We have just spent two weeks on a half board basis in the Panaroma hotel Crete (Aug 2003). We upgraded to a sea view room. In fact most of the rooms do have sea view which are great. Our room had some noise from the nearby go-karting track but that ended at midnight and wasn't really a problem. The rooms were well decorated with a decent terrace that was not looked upon. The minibar prices were v. high though. Food was v. good and plentiful. The staff are friendly, efficient and professional. The hotel had a somewhat dignified air (not the sort where people do topless sunbathing). The pool was excellent with plenty of sunloungers even in the peak season. There was a couple of evenings with entertainment - Greek dancing and music which was fun. It was easy to get chatting to other guests as well. Mainly Brits, German and Greeks. It is a bus ride away (15 mins) from Chania town which is buzzing in the evenings. As we went with a package holiday, we had a rep who told us of excursions. If you are going independently, you may want to factor in the cost of hiring a car to explore the island. Would definitely recommend the hotel.