Grecotel Amirandes *****
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Aude, Chloé, Stéphanie & Quentin, members of Little Guest, from Brussels
Little Guest had organised for us a trip in Crete during which we had the pleasure to visit the Grecotel Amirandes, a refined and elegant hotel situated right next to the beach of the Cretan Sea. A charming setting, very attentive personnel, but most importantly, a surprising kids-club!
We took off from the Charleroi Airport, in Belgium, with a very unpredictable weather that ended up confirming our doubts: a dark grey sky, which eventually let rain fall. Yet, we knew Crete would offer us great comfort, and it did: a bright sun welcomed us as we landed, just for us! Once we had got our rented car, we directly headed to the Grecotel Amirandes.
What a great first impression we had: the main building may look sober, the architecture is enchanting, adorned with local stones blending with dark woodwork, offering an overall very elegant contrast. We parked our car on the free parking lot. While we were taking our luggage, a member of the hotel personnel quickly joined us, kindly greeted us and immediately took care of our luggage before accompanying us to the main lobby of the hotel.
Once we passed the gigantic wooden door of the hall, we were offered a welcome drink while our check-in was quickly done. We discovered an arched high ceiling and a relaxing luminosity and atmosphere. We then listened to the explanations of our host, one of which particularly caught our attention: the pool that is overlooked from the main hall contains water that flows directly from the mountain in the lands and runs directly below the hotel to fill this beautiful outdoor decoration.
We then walked through the hotel in which several rooms were presented to us. Most of them offers a pleasant surface area, which is ideal for families. We though deplore a lack of luminosity in one of the corridors. We went on with the visit to discover a large outdoor amphitheatre which scene contains a large screen. Theatre plays can be watched from time to time, and screenings are proposed some evenings, for children and parents.
Afterwards, we headed to the beach and went by the kids-club facilities which also is an open-air area, with a plus: large design fabric arbours offer significant shadows onto the play areas, which allow children to safely play protected from the sun, which will make parents more than happy! As the affluence in the hotel was far from peaking mid-May, we did not have the chance to see the type of activities the children would take part to in the kids-club.
Our host eventually brought us to our rooms, or should we say villas. The Grecotel Amirandes made us the honour to reserve for us villas laid out as follows: a large living room with an angle sofa, a sliding windowed door opening onto a terrace and a private pool, and an upper floor where the bedroom can be found with an adjacent bathroom with a bathtub/shower, a washbasin and furniture. A balcony could be accessed from the bedroom which offered aview on the beach and the sea. In other words, great comfort, but also a large living space which are perfect for families.
For the end of the day, the Grecotel Amirandes had booked for each one of us a spa session with a 30-minute massage, a well appreciated attention. The spa is calm, a sound of water flowing in the central pool of the place was soothing. A therapist greeted us and made us fill a health questionnaire while offering us a detox refreshing drink. The massage truly was relaxing, in one of the 10 of individual rooms with a softened light. A very agreeable moment!
As the sun was setting, these visits and the walk witted our appetite. We sat with our host for the time of a cocktail, under a large gazebo with sofas by the beach. A pleasure for the taste buds, but also for our eyes: the panoramic view of the beach, the sea and the horizon simply was a delight, and that sunset… We wished it would never end! One quick remark yet, the sofa were quite far from each other, which made the conversation difficult at times, especially because of the volume of the ambient music which unfortunately was a bit high to our taste.
We then dined at the Blue Monkey, an Asian cuisine restaurant that was recently renovated. The catering was fast, efficient and even meticulous. Even if the taste and the presentation were more than satisfying, the main dish was slightly unsatisfactory for a 5-star hotel, from which much more could be expected. The dessert was quite surprising, an ice cream contained in a fried dough, which can be quite baffling from an Asian restaurant. The sushis as an appetizer were perfect however!
To sum it all up, a pleasant surprise. A warm and sympathetic welcome, facilities and rooms that are ideal for families, notably the amphitheatre where many memories must have been built in the mind of many families, and this thoughtfully conceived kids-club, not that far from the main pool, an Olympic pool what is more. Besides the few details we noted, we do think that the Amirandes tick all the boxes of a family-friendly hotel, also by its layout which gives a great sensation of freedom.
Thank you very much Little Guest!
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