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“5 star accomodation and staff - 3 star food and facilities”

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SENTIDO Aegean Pearl
Ranked #7 of 165 Hotels in Rethymnon
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“5 star accomodation and staff - 3 star food and facilities”
Reviewed 5 May 2012

I am writing this review while staying in Aegean Pearl hotel. We booked it last minute so got a good bargain. If we paid 5* price I would be probably disappointed.

This hotel is located at the end of Rethymno boulevard, pretty far from the town center (2.5km). This area is looking half-abandoned, especially this early in the season. The neighbourhood is looking rather sad with these tired buildings, barely alive palm trees and rusty lamp posts. Thank God, me and my mate are avid walkers, so there is no problem for us to cover this distance. If you are not one, a taxi stop is just outside the hotel, 5 euro to the town center. After all, this area is very quiet comparing to the center with its shops and bars.

The modern hotel complex seems a bit ET in this surrounding. Very light, almost minimalistic architecture, spotlessly clean courtyard and pool area, lobby and restaurant area decorated in white, together with the blue of the sea and the sky create the atmosphere of the calm luxury.

The interior of the rooms is also minimalistic and the design is very smart with the clean lines and dominating palette of white. The open bathroom was mentioned in the previous comments and this is the most questionable point in the whole design of the room. I would understand if the hotel had a few such rooms while the other had normal bathrooms.. but in fact the situation is vice versa. Only few rooms have private bathrooms, and these rooms have worse view and a shower instead of a bathtub. So if you want a good view or like taking a bath, you would have to bear with the lack of privacy. This can be bothering if you travel with a mate or a teenage child. The WC is behind a glass door, but this doesn't prevent from hearing all the sounds (sorry). Also the sliding doors of the wardrobe are too heavy to operate and the wardrobe itself is not so convenient for stacking clothes (only 35cm deep and huge distance between the shelves). Otherwise, the room is perfect, fantastic beds with very comfortable matresses, good furniture and nice lightening, large balcony, tea/coffee facilities, hi-speed internet connection.

The territory is not too big (expected for a hotel in town) but very clean, cosy, and full of flowers. There is a very nice main pool with sea-view (average size) and a couple of smaller shared pools. I counted the sunbeds around the main pool: there are only as many as 30, and hardly any space for more. While the hotel has about 100 rooms, one can imagine the mess in the pool area when the hotel is full during the season.

The beach doesnt not belong to the hotel (all the beaches in Greece belong to the state). Do not expect the beach environment to be as well-cared as the hotel territory: loks like they simply dont care about. The beach itself is mainly sandy, but there is a lot of stones also. They are removed by the hotel staff in the area where the sunbeds and unbrellas are placed, but not from the rest of the beach. Within 0-20m from the shore there is plenty of stones in the seabed under the water, as big as an apple and bigger. I had to get swiming shoes from the local s/m, otherwise I couldn't manage it into the sea.

The staff is very-very friendly and helpful but seems that they just cannot do more than they do.

Now I have to mention the issues which are absolutely incompatible with 5* rating.
1. The towels are gray, not white and feel stiff.
2. Noone cleaned the balcony rails and the parapet before offering the room to the guests. When we asked the maid to clean them, she only wiped the dirt from the upper rails and left it everywhere else.
3. The beach towels are offered against 10 euro collateral but in fact they are worn-out. These are supposed by the hotel to be replaced only every 3 days, which I found absolutely ridiculous. sorry but I do replace mine every day.
4. The care products provided are the same as in the neighbouring 4* star hotel; they are cheap, noname and the choice is basic. No body lotion, no hair conditioner, no manicure set etc. You have to ask for the new product if you ran out of some - noone would replace them by default.
5. Very poor sound isolation of the rooms (you can hear all the noises from the next door or a corridor)
6. FOOD! This is the biggest minus to this hotel. I don't know what happened since the previous reviewers were here (they mentioned a great choice and great quality). Believe me I have stayed in many 5* hotels in Greece so I can compare. This is not even standard 4* but very basic 4* choice and the quality is sometimes even lower. The only thing from 5* is fresh orange juice in the morning, that's it. Do not expect variety of local foods: you will hardly find a couple of local specialities.
Only 2 sorts of cheese on breakfast: one local and one european. Awful sausiges. Simple "Lipton" teabags, no leaf tea. No any nuts! limited choice of baked stuff (2).
Relatively wide choice of main courses for dinner, but salads , starters and desserts are terrible! Several times I noticed the leftovers from the previous day, or the same stuff served 2 and more days in a row. For instance, Tuesday hot lamb roll (main) was offered as a cold starter on Wednesday. Yesterday cold meat and smoked fish were served today again, and the slices of meat looked dried up. A couple of salads which are very strange mixture of ingredients and the taste is colorless. The choice of the greek pastry has never changed since I came here (6 days ago). Same cakes are offered every day, those that were not finished yesterday, today are cut in pieces and served in cake plates at the buffet!! Cream caramel (the simplest thing!) is absolute tasteless as if it was cooked with water instead of milk. What can I say.. such a choice and quality of food is a real SHAME for a 5* hotel.... this MUST be improved and a.s.a.p.


Summary. If you have a good bargain and do not care much about the food, do book this hotel but do not expect full 5*. Also, if you prefer a sandy beach, try to find hotels closer to the center of Rethymno.

And believe me, Crete is an amazing island and has a lot to offer: hospitable people, fantastic nature, gorgeous mountains, clean sea waters, incredible food! I have been here plenty of times and I will definitely come again.

Room Tip: If you want a better view, do not opt for a private bathroom.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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2 Thank LuckyNessy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Galicia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2012

We stayed in SENTIDO hotel for 5 days in April (2012). This hotel is really amazing, our room was modern and wide, the bathroom was also very good.

Breakfast was one of the best breakfast I have ever had. Variety and fresh products. Orange juice was natural, something that it is hardly seen in hotels I stayed (it is true that I usually stay in 4* hotels).

However, I would say that cleaning was not good enough taking into an account that we were in a 5* stars hotel:
* Towels had stains from previous uses. This means that they didn't use bleach or something similar to get them white :)....
* The room wasn't dirty but it wasn't clean. I don't know how to explain it. You could feel always some sand in the ground when you went into the room.
* They didn't clean our bathroom deeply while staying because we saw a piece of paper in the ground for the 4 days...

Anyway, I haven't the feeling of being in a dirty hotel, just a matter of nuances in cleaning. If they improve a bit in this service I would say that this hotel is perfect.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank TorresDeOeste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We (family of 2 adults and 3 kids) arrived for a late Easter half term holiday. We had reserved rooms at the Sentido Pearl Beach but because it was so early in the season we were invited to use the facilities of the Sentido Aegean Pearl (the hotels are together and joined by a lovely, communual courtyard/pool area). The Sentido Aegean Pearl is beautiful, the reception staff and the ladies in the restaurant were so welcoming and friendly and made us feel really special. The 5 star restaurant is certainly a delicious, varied dining experience - we particularly enjoyed the sweet pastries and traditional Greek meat dishes, but to be fully deserving of it's 5 star label it will need to up it's game slightly (tinned mushrooms, undercooked bacon, tinned fruit for breakfast). The hotel is actually situated within walking distance to many little Greek eateries and shops and has it's own beach area in front with sun loungers etc so if the 3 pools don't tempt you there's plenty of choice! We would love to come back and whole-heartedly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms upstairs with a front/sea view - the back is NOT interesting!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank Vinca123London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Porvoo Finland
Level Contributor
58 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

If you want to spend a holiday in a modern and fine hotel go to this 5 star hotel. I visited this hotel with my wife at 07.04 - 21.04.2012. I also celebrated in the hotel my 70-years birthday at date
08.04.2012. My best friends from Rethymno took part in the birthday party. Very fine snacks was delivered from the hotel kitchen to my party. The location of the hotel is good. It is situated in the east end of the fine Beach Road. The distance to the beach is only 50 meters. We were living in a suite with great balcony and fine view out to the sea. The suite was very comfortable with good
furnishings. The atmosphere is good in this hotel. The staff is very very friendly and look after the customers in a very nice way. The restaurant with extra good service had a great choise of fine food and wines. The hotel area was very clean and there is many flowers and green trees. We were many evenings looking on good music and dansing programs arranged of the hotel free of charge. The Wellness Spa Center with Finnish sauna, steam bath and thalasso massage will give you a right holiday. I am sure that we will go back in the future to this excellent hotel in Crete.

Room Tip: Ask for sea view when you order the room.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank FINLANDAKIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

We stayed at the Aegean Pearl from 30 March to 12 April 2012. This is right at the very beginning of their season and there are advantages and disadvantages to going this early apart from the cheaper price.
Disadvantages: the weather can be a bit iffy but we only had one day of persistent rain.
Advantages: The hotel posts 3 day weather forecasts in the Reception area so we planned our trips around this and, quite frankly, there is so much to see on Crete that it is more comfortable to see the sights when you are not being burned to a crisp. The rest of the time it was lovely and warm and sunny with one day of 27 degrees at the hottest part of the day! Definitely warm enough to sunbathe. Packing had to include everything from jeans and a hooded jacket to swimming costume. (There is a small indoor pool and sauna if the weather is bad)
Disadvantages: Some of the museums and most of the organised tours are not available this early. NB. Heraklion Museum is undergoing refurbishment and only a small part containg the major exhibits is open until later in 2012.
Advantages: Everywhere is much less crowded. We visited Knossos (open until 3pm at this time of year) by using the local public transport which is comfortable (modern, air-conditioned coach between Rethymno and Heraklion) and very cheap. Timetables were available from Reception and are in both Greek and English. The countryside is absolutely beautiful in the Spring with wildflowers and butterflies everywhere.
Location: 30 minute seafront walk or 1 Euro bus ride from Rethymno. There is a large supermarket about 5-10 minutes down this road or you could visit the main Rethymno market on a Thursday for fresh local produce. There is a taxi rank very near the hotel which we used on the final day to transport our suitcases to the Rethymno bus station.
The Myli Gorge is within walking distance of the hotel and is less strenuous than the more famous Samaria Gorge. My friend, who has a metal hip, took a taxi to the top of the gorge and we walked down. Crete has had a lot of rain this last winter and although the stream was still fordable (the path crosses the water several times) I suspect that the water level is a lot lower in summer. A hiker's walking stick would have helped a lot but we found short broken branches which did the job. There is a taverna in the gorge which provides food and a toilet during the summer season. Supplies are winched in on a cradle supported by wires strung down from the road. The eerily deserted water mills and beautiful flowers made it a very memorable trip.
The hotel's resident guide, Ralph, did a free walking tour up to the nunnery of St Irene (Agia Irini) with lunch at a nearby restaurant which has the same fabulous views as the monastery. On the way he gave us an overview of the countryside and its people. If you don't think you can manage to complete the whole walk, you could get a taxi to Agia Irini and join the party for the walk down from there. The nuns make a lot of hand-woven, embroidered and lace decorated souvenirs which they sell in their shop to help support themselves.
Rethymno is Crete's 3rd largest town with an interesting Venetian fort above the old harbour. The fort is worth a visit, especially if there is a performance in the open-air theatre within the walls. Incidentally, if you are over 60 always ask if there is a discount as we got into several places at a cheaper price because of this. The most expensive restaurants and shops are by the old harbour and in the west of the town but get cheaper away from these tourist traps.
The hotel is also perfectly placed for public transport coach trips to the capital Heraklion to the east and the beautiful town of Chania in the west. The former has the main archaeological museum and all the other attractions of a capital city. The latter has lots of surviving Venetian streets and houses and some very good shops too.
The hotel: If asked to sum it up in a few words I would say "5 star hotel, 6 star staff". The rooms are clean, bright and elegantly decorated. There are safes in the wardrobe to put your passport and spare cash in. The small fridge is disguised as a bedside cabinet and a kettle and mugs are provided. I took a light aluminium teapot and my own teabags so that I didn't get withdrawal symptoms. The only slightly odd thing is the fact that the bathroom is not a seperate room. The toilet has a door and the bath/shower is tucked out of sight but the sink area is only divided from the rest of the room by a large mirror. (See photo provided by another reviewer) They could fix this by a curtain which could be hooked back after one had washed and dressed. There is a small wall-mounted TV and a lot of concealed lighting etc. and most of it can be operated from the bedside. We are both avid readers and could have done with a bit more wattage from the bedside lamps but there was an unconnected wire (taped up) above and between the beds so perhaps this is going to be sorted out at some point.
I was given a cable and password to connect my laptop to the Internet but in fact found that I could often get on-line wirelessly even though our room was on the second floor farthest away from Reception where the wi-fi signal was strongest.
The staff were excellent and most spoke several languages. Drinks from the bar were a bit pricey but the free Cretan folk dance night made it worth the expense. Two men and two women in Cretan costumes performed some traditional dances. It finished up with mass audience participation which was a hoot given that I wasn't the only one with two left feet.
We didn't bother but there were other entertainments laid on - including a free drink to meet other English guests at the hotel. Some might find this last one welcome as I get the impression that the hotel often has the majority of its guests from Germany. This was true when we were there but we were very happy to get to know a friendly German family - who typically spoke excellent English.
The food was a big plus. We had half board so breakfast and dinner were laid on from the buffet. The only night we had to really wait for a table was the day it rained when the outer dining area was unusable and everyone seems to have turned up at once. The variety was enormous - vegetarians (and picky teenagers!) should find something to enjoy. There was a mixture of international and Greek food. Occasionally I found dishes a bit salty for my taste but guess that in the hot summer weather this is reasonable. The orange juice was freshly squeezed by a machine to order and the Greek yoghurt, honey, cheese and olives were predictably gorgeous. The only problem was the temptation to eat far more than one should.
I want to end by praising the dining room staff. They were the best - Incredibly hard working, efficient, warm and friendly. A great team of lovely people.
Would we go back? Oh, yes definitely.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Sue G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about SENTIDO Aegean Pearl

Property: SENTIDO Aegean Pearl
Address: Afstralon Polemiston Str 28 | End of Beach Road, Rethymnon, Crete 74100, Greece (Formerly Aegean Pearl)
Region: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Rethymnon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Rethymnon
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rethymnon
#12 Family Hotel in Rethymnon
#14 Romantic Hotel in Rethymnon
Price range (per night): $163 - $294
Hotel Class:5 star — SENTIDO Aegean Pearl 5*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The SENTIDO Aegean Pearl is located on the Greek island Crete and is ideal for beach lovers who want to relax at the beach. The hotel is in the city Tethymnon on the island Crete. Next to the hotel there are many different shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. The beach promenade directly by the hotel, and is ideal for walks. You have got the possibility to take your breakfast at the main restaurant of the SENTIDO Aegean Pearl where a buffet is prepared to each meal. Moreover, you can enjoy your lunch at the snack bar which is directly next to the pool. In the evening you have got the possibility to choose between the buffet or the A la Carte-Restaurant. At the bar you can enjoy the sunset with a tasty drink. Many different watersport activities were offered next to the beach. The SENTIDO Aegean Pearl is in cooperation with the diving school where you can schedule diving lessons. Furthremore, in the evening the hotel offers entertainment shows. The SENTIDO Aegean Pearl offers 4 different types of rooms: Comfort double rooms; Double rooms with private pool; Family suites; Suites with sea view ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sentido Aegean Pearl Hotel Rethymnon
SENTIDO Aegean Pearl Rethymnon, Crete

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