It's hard to start this review while back home and far from the amazing 2 weeks we had at this hotel.
Let me start from the beginning in order of importance:
1) Kids club / Kids friendliness.
Its hard to have a good time on vacation when you have young kids if the child facilities are not good.
The good signs start by seeing that in the room bathroom there is even a little stool for kids to stand on. That shows forethought!
From there everything becomes better. The entertainment team (lead by Erika) was amazing. They manage part of the kids (as Tui also has a seperate team for German kids) and they do an amazing job. Our daughter was upset when we were coming to pick her up :). A lot of interesting activities, games and 'excursions' within the grounds. The mini disco and evening entertainment (for kids) was also great. Very pleased with all the team (hello to Stratos as well, the solo Greek entertainer :) )
My one complaint is that although I realise there are many German kids, the mini disco was strongly dominated by German songs... maybe 70-30 where 30 is ALL other languages (Russian, Italian songs). Almost no 'classic' kids songs at all.
What can I say. Most all inclusive places struggle to deal with their budget vs quality. It seems Grecotal and the Chef have found a perfect balance. Amazing quality, great tastes and a perfect mix of international and Greek cuisine. Noone can complain about food and be taken seriously. I was going to complain that in 2 weeks there was no pastitsio (my favorite Greek dish) but on the last day even that happened! It was great to have so many options and not just the trite 'port/chicken' as there were loads of fish, beef and lamb dishes as well!
The room while great (we had the one with the sliding door seperating the two parts) was essentially nothing special. Nice, big, clean but it felt a bit dated and slightly 'older' style rather than modern resort. Everything was there though... many electricity plugs, safe, mini fridge, tea & coffee making facilities as well as shower and bathtub (again useful when having kids).
4) Location / Beach / Facilities
The little town of Panormos is nice but in between enjoying the sea and doing tours we didnt really visit it much. Still located near Rethymno and equally close to Chania and Heraklio the location is good.
The hotel grounds are AMAZINGLY taken care of. Full of flowers, trees and greener than green grass which is a HARD FEAT given Greek weather and this visit being mid September. Every communal area was also clean which was a plus.
Multiple pools for all tastes and... sizes. My one issue was that the water was a bit... cold. Colder than the sea... and I understand this being the case for the water slides but in the main pools it was strange given the warm weather. It was a full 2.5 degrees colder than the sea.
As for the beach... amazing. Perfect sand, area taken care of and nice rocks acting as wave breaker full of life for snorkelers (a big group of barracuda even!!!).
And last but not least... the 'included' Water Park. Amazing for kids... so many slides for all levels, great crepes served for the parents just relaxing while waiting :).
5) Adult entertainment.
Here things were not as great... while for the kids the efforts were great for the adults it felt as an afterthought. In our 2 weeks there were basically 4 'acts'... a water dancing show, a juggler, a greek/cretan dances night and a balley night. The rest were nothing special or memorable at all.
Amazing hotel, good food, good value for money (and it is an expensive place so thats important), great for kids. The staff is REALLY hard working and despite hard conditions are always there with a smile.
Special thanks to Zoi
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Club Marine Palace an all-inclusive Luxury is built like a typical Cretan village. Lemon, mandarin and vanilla-coloured bungalows surround the large swimming pools. A winding path meanders between the main building, the cluster of bungalows on the upper level and the seafront bungalow village. Marine Palace Suites The beautiful Marine Palace Suites are the epitome of luxury and style. The setting is spectacular, a fine cocktail of captivating sea views, blissful serenity combined with the more active life at the Grecotel Club Marine Palace. The suites, built in a peaceful area above the main hotel, encircle a tranquil pool surrounded by free sun beds & umbrellas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grecotel Club Marine Palace Hotel Rethymnon
- Grecotel Hotel Marine Palace