Mum likes and son likes. It’s not an easy task to find that kind of a hotel. Even though I did promise my older son proper waterslides, they didn’t exist in this hotel and he loved it anyway. Our second base in Crete was Anemos Luxury Grand Resort which is located a few kilometers from Georgioupoli towards Rethymnon. The fact that a Greek beach hotel belongs to the luxury category should already tell something, luxury in the name doesn’t usually convince us.
Anemos Resort is a big hotel. However even when the hotel was fully booked and had plenty of families, the atmosphere was calm and relaxing, almost serene. The main pool area wasn’t too noisy despite of the fact that there were plenty of kids. There were a lot of private pool rooms which also keep the main pool area out of masses.
The size of the room was one key factor when we chose our second hotel in Crete. We were able to fit all 4 of us into 35 square meter basic deluxe room. We would have liked to have a bigger room with a pool but were so late with our booking that all pool suites were fully booked. You are able to find plenty of room sizes and also the basic room versions have the pool option.
We had a room with sea view and a view to the next door field where a bunch of goats of some kind were pasturing. The rooms are located in two story houses which are widely spread along the vast hotel area. We had quite a walk to the main building but it wasn’t a problem for us.
The rooms were decorated with a funky Arabian kind of twist but somehow it worked there nicely. The only thing that didn’t please my eyes were the tiles in the bathroom. The bathroom had a tub, separate shower cubicle and delicious bath products from Mooi. One improvement would be getting bigger towels. Luckily there was a bathrobe and slippers available.
We had a terrace/balcony with 2 chairs, a table, plenty of space and with a drying rack where you could hang your swimming suit after a dip in the pool. From the room you will also find a minibar, ironing equipment and safety box. Local red wine, dried fruits and a bottle of water were waiting for us when we arrived. They also provided a new bottle of water every day.
Instragram heaven, that was my first impression of the hotel. The lobby is decorated in a flashy way, not sure what kind of decor style it actually is but it does give a luxurious feeling.
The main pool area is beautiful and what I loved about Anemos, is that one didn’t have to hunt sun loungers. The hotel has prohibited reserving sun loungers and takes away towels if the place is unoccupied for more than 30 minutes. In addition to the lovely pool, you have a chance to work on your tan on a stunning beach area where you can also book a cabana with service for a very reasonable price. However you probably won’t need the cabana since normal sun loungers are very comfy as well.
There are a few boutiques and car rental close to lobby in the main building. Supermarket, a small chapel and spa are located next to the pool area.
AMENITIES FOR KIDS
First thing I usually notice are the baby cots. In Anemos the baby cot was new and bedding luxurious. Miniclub had plenty of activities and even the spa had special offers for the kids (chocolate massage for 20€ sounded tempting). There was also a bigger play area and pool with small slides for the little ones.
Our bigger son found plenty of friends and liked the hotel a lot. The beach is child friendly, only bigger waves (we had during a few days) might bother smaller kids, bigger ones will just love those.
RESTAURANTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
We were on a half board basis and the hotel also offered full board option. We dined at the Meltemi main restaurant but Anemos also has Levantes and Ostria a la carte restaurants where you get a discount if you have HB or FB. Food was very tasty, also according to our 6 year old who actually asked why don’t we move this hotel since the food is so good (oh yes, I would love that).
The wine list was comprehensive and included a nice selection of local wines. The prices were steeper compared to our first hotel on the island, Avra Imperial. Same wine cots 10€ more in Anemos. Despite of the prices, we liked the fact that you could save the bottle for next evening without a hassle.
There is a beach restaurant called Sirocco and a snackbar next to the pool area. Upstairs in the lobby building, you can find Notos champagne bar but we enjoyed more sitting downstairs where you could also follow the evening entertainment, everything from traditional bouzouki music to magician.
When we arrived, there were three people helping us with the luggage and opening doors for us. Check in and check out were handled quickly and professionally. Since the hotel area is quite vast, you can move around with a golf cart. There was always someone providing that service and the men driving those were always on a happy mood.
From Meltemi restaurant Michaela was especially helpful and service-minded as well as another waiter whose name I have forgotten already (I remember that he was a big Real Madrid fan though). The service in general was exceptionally good across the board and I could have listed another ten names here.
WAS SOMETHING LEFT FOR IMPROVEMENT?
A couple of things were bothering us. The supermarket on the premises was so overpriced that it was almost ridiculous. NAN milk powder for the babies cost 26,90€. In a normal supermarket in Georgioupoli, it cost 9,90€ and in Avra Imperial hotel 17,90€. Cotton pads were 4€ and was it Jaegermeister bottle that cost over 43€ (didn’t buy those, just noticed the prices).
When the grandparents bought a small toy from the supermarket, it was missing pieces. I took it back just to be told that they have this small note on the wall (which is handwritten) and all sales are final. After being quite persistent (read, a nasty bitch), I was able to change the toy for another one.
If you are visiting Anemos during high season, I recommend to rent a car. Getting a taxi took one day almost 40 minutes. The price to Georgioupoli was 6€ oneway. The spa in the hotel was so lousy, that there is a separate posting coming.
Dispite of the above few flaws, Destination LOMA thinks that Anemos Luxury Grand Resort deserves full 5 stars. Following are the best parts in a nutshell:
+ Spacious, nicely decorated basic rooms
+ Excellent service
+ Beautiful interior design
+ Reservation of the sun loungers strictly prohibited
+ Gorgeous beach
+ Pleasant hotel for kids
-Ridiculously expensive supermarket and poor spa experience