We love North West Crete and have returned several times staying in small hotels around Maleme either HB or SC. This year unable to find accommodation in the area on the dates we wanted we looked further afield. Venus Beach was in the next village. I studied the photographs the hotel looked OK then I read the reviews which stated that the staff were friendly and the food was excellent. One reviewer stated that the chef might on occasion even prepare a dish of your choice. The review was so persuasive I even thought about breaking our own rule and going all inclusive, However I decided against as it would tie us to the hotel and we would not get to see the island. When we arrived I was disappointed. The front of the hotel was shiny, well kept, but once you got to the rooms they were small, cramped and were tired looking. The wardrobe was made out of chip board the was fixed to the wall but there were large gaps in the joints, the doors did not close, there were slats missing from the bed. The bathroom was tiny, the shower stall was set to the side of the toilet and the shower curtain did nothing to protect the toilet from the water from the shower, and the plug hole blocked. Despite the heat the linen was only changed once a week.
The food was bland there was nothing that could have been classed as a Greek cuisine, Breakfast was continental style the only change in breakfast was the eggs which were usually boiled but every third day were fried. Dinner was a buffet style meal, the plates were dessert size so portions were small, if you went back for seconds a woman who may have been the owner and stood by the kitchen overseeing the room, scowled. Some of the veg was bizarre, raw carrots with stew, or slimy rubbery courgettes with pasta. There was only one dessert every evening either a small piece of melon,tor a tiny portion of jelly, no fruit or ice cream to accompany it. The dining room was hushed and devoid of atmosphere; couples speaking in whispers.
I am so glad I did not pay extra for A/I those who did were only allowed drinks between 11-3.00 and 5.00-11.00 the lager or lemonade was served in a small plastic cup three of which might have made a half pint, spirits were only local gin or vodka. Not once did anyone who was A/I have a snack or an ice cream, they were just not available. The staff did not appear interested in the guests.
We certainly did not get good value for our money. I know Greece is in the midst of a financial crisis but ripping people off is not the way forward. The food was so bad my husband lost a stone and I lost 5 pounds and that is despite eating elsewhere a few times. I don't like saying how bad the hotel was; usually you want to brag about how good your holiday was, but not this time.
I do not know who wrote the review saying the food was excellent they either were writing about a different hotel or have a second career as fiction writers.