Low-rise and peaceful are the watchwords for this little Cretan hotel in easy reach of the beach.
This small, whitewashed hotel has a couple of pools and a low-key activities and entertainment portfolio.
It’s quite an away-from-it-all place, though the sandy beach is just a few minutes’ walk away. The local bus can take you to laidback Stalis in about 10 minutes, or the livelier Hersonissos in about 20 minutes.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
Based On 341 reviews
- Official Rating
All Inclusive - Here's what you get
Full Board buffet meals. Snacks 10.00-18.00. Afternoon cakes, cookies and ice-cream.
Locally produced alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including gin, vodka, raki, ouzo - until 23.00, thereafter*.
Sports and Activities
All are included except where indicated.
Facilities► View all
Including sunbeds and parasols. Towels are available with a deposit.
Take a dip and then cool off at the poolside with a refreshing cocktail.
The hotel-run club is for ages 4 to 12 years.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews Show more reviews »
Hotel seemed fine and was in a good location but after a few days the hotel seemed to be closing down first the children's club and the evening entertainment stopped. Then the selection of food diminished. The play equipment was removed from the playground I understand that it was the end of the season but there were still paying guests left with nothing to do and nowhere for children to play. I felt sorry for the guests who had just arrived as we left as at least we had a couple of days that were fun at the hotel they were going to get nothing. Had we been told that the hotel was closing we would have gone elsewhere and maybe got better value for money.More
I visited this hotel June 2015 with a group of my friends for our first all girls holiday. With the hotel being aimed at couples looking for a relaxing holiday, we thought the staff may have had concerns with us being a large group of young girls. However on arrival the staff couldn't do enough for us. We were checked in quickly and shown different rooms and asked to pick which one suited us best. They were eager to tell us all the best places for young teens in town and were fantastic in helping us book activities and transport. As a fussy eater I was worried about what the food would be like, but I couldn't fault it. There was always plenty to chose from and I always came away with a full stomach. The hotel itself was beautiful. The rooms were clean and the facilities were excellent. The location is great too. Just a couple of minutes walk down to the beach front, 15/20 minute walk to Star Beach and a 30/35 minute walk into the centre of Hersonissos. Star Beach is definitely worth visiting if you love water sports and parties! The centre of town has plenty of nightlife, shops and restaurants so you can always find something to do! If you fancy a change from the Hersonisoss nightlife, for 20 euro you can catch a taxi to the Malia strip. We had the most amazing time and I would like to thank the staff for being so helpful!More
Food, glorious food...
What a lovely hotel. Thank you, TripAdvisor community, because our final choice of the Arminda was sealed by your enthusiastic reviews and we could not agree more! This modest establishment has more to boast about than many a big, glitzy 4-star complex, most notably some of the best food it has ever been our pleasure to enjoy on an all-inclusive holiday and a level of staff service that's outstanding. It's a family-run business and, for the duration of your stay, they'll make you feel like family too - in the best possible way. The team is led by the characterful owner Eleni Kapetanaki, who may be seen each evening in the restaurant, checking that all is well with both guests and staff - the personal touch that makes all the difference and no doubt explains why the hotel has such a high percentage of repeat guests - judging by the many arrivals we saw being greeted like long-lost friends! Our choice was also dictated by location, price and sports facilities. We wanted somewhere in the northeast offering good airport transfer times, easy public transport links to both KnossÃ³s and Ayios NikÃ³laos (didn't want to bother with a hire car), not too secluded nor too surrounded by blaring bars and clubs. The Arminda ticked all boxes, with the excellent Cretan bus network available on the doorstep and both StÃ¡lida and HersÃ³nissos within walking distance. We travelled all over the island by (wonderfully air-conditioned) bus: it's cheap, easy to navigate, with helpful staff, most of whom speak impressively fluent English. Tennis and table tennis are our thing so we were pleased with the Arminda's well-kept tennis court (very fast, just slightly cramped at both ends) and three ping pong tables. The energetic, talented and multi-lingual animation team did a great job of coaxing sunbathers up for volleyball, darts, football or aqua aerobics and in our view were another gem in the Arminda's crown. We weren't travelling with children but really enjoyed watching the kids' evening entertainment over pre-dinner drinks: it was almost magical to see the tinies entranced by the team's charm and humour, loving joining in with the performance. Speaking of entertainment, it's low-key at the Arminda but we far preferred the style to the slick (and very noisy, up until midnight) shows and bars next door at Nana Beach. If you need full-scale in-house evening's entertainment every night, you will be happier somewhere else but for us, having a laugh at the show after dinner then peace and quiet to have a drink or join in with some Greek dancing down at the Votsalo bar suited us fine. We're not major 'pool-people' but the two available seemed sufficient for guest numbers and there was never a problem finding a free sunbed, with plenty more set out in quieter areas behind the hotel, facing the sea. As has been noted, the beach is small and run by the Nana Beach, so loungers and parasols are charged, but it was pleasant to go down for a swim early evening and enjoyable for later evening strolls as well. I'm ambivalent about the spa, which is in the hotel but run by a separate company. The girls are sweet, the spa area lovely and I enjoyed my massage, but pricing is confusing, with the stated costs even higher than London prices and then various daily 'deals' offered that may or may not be bargains. I'll be kind and put it down to communication issues, but do check what you're getting when you book! Manicures and pedicures were cheaper at the Nana Beach next door. We'd paid for a room upgrade and I was impressed that, even though we were last minute, the hotel had noted and accommodated our request details. The room and en suite were pristine and comfortable but a bit small so the next day we asked and, with no fuss at all, were shown a lovely alternative which we preferred - top floor with a good-sized balcony looking out towards the bay. Both had perfectly working air-con at no extra charge, not always the case in Greece, so well done Arminda! Free wifi in the lobby behaved well in the mornings but struggled with demand by evening; the paid-for network - very reasonably priced - worked like a dream. As other reviewers have said, having self-service drinks on tap is a wonderfully relaxed and efficient way to keep all-inclusive customers refreshed: reasonable wines, mild but refreshing beer and a good range of soft drinks. We weren't bothered about spirits costing extra but do be aware, if it's an issue for you. And the food... We got back over two weeks ago and I'm still missing it. My expectations of all-inclusive are rock bottom, after some grim experiences at 4/5* establishments that should know better but that obviously treat AI guests as a captive audience and just chuck any old, usually tepid, stuff at them. Not the Arminda. I would happily have paid restaurant prices for this quality of food - indeed, we ate out at one of the top recommended restaurants in Chania one night and some of the Arminda's chef's offerings were just as good. A massive choice, always supplemented with freshly prepared meat or fish grills each evening, always piping hot. The salads, served with a wealth of herbs and Cretan olive oils, were simply superb and the dessert selection completely ruined my plans to lose weight on holiday. A two-week stay taxes most chefs to keep offering something different, but we didn't eat the same thing twice. I've never returned from holiday feeling so well, and I'm sure it's down to a fortnight of first class fresh food. Just a word re atmosphere: if you like to be with fellow countrymen on holiday, you might be disappointed, as the majority of guests appeared Eastern European, Russian, Scandinavian, German or French. For us, that's a plus point - makes for great 'people watching' and some entertainment at the differing ways of different nationalities! The staff's language skills were tremendous and at no time did we have problems communicating in English. But also I think it answers a puzzle of ours: quite why this great little place doesn't have an even higher rating on TripAdvisor. We've now twigged that most of its guests wouldn't be posting on the UK edition, so perhaps it's a bit of a well-kept secret here! I've written this much because we liked the Arminda this much, and wanted to give a flavour of the place. It exceeded our expectations in value for money terms and, thanks to the owner Eleni, we really felt as though we'd had a taste of the 'real' Crete, even in an AI hotel in quite a touristy area. She loves her island and loves explaining more about its history and culture - meeting her was a highlight of our holiday! Yes, you can shell out for glossier places with bigger rooms, more pools and relentless animation teams urging you on all day, but if you want a clean, comfortable, convenient, great value base in this area, either for total chill out or island exploration, I can't recommend the Arminda - and its glorious food! - too highly. ps we travelled with Thomsons and had superb service from our rep Ryan. More
Superb all-inclusive holiday
I was slightly dubious about staying at an all-inclusive hotel but the Arminda has converted me to the concept. An excellent choice of delicious and varied food, really helpful and friendly staff (especially the reception team), an animation team that works hard but leaves you alone if you don't want to take part and good facilities and location. And how nice to see the manager / proprietor always walking around the hotel, eating in the restaurant and chatting to the guests. There's a wonderful family feel to this hotel, the staff really do seem to care about the guest experience. We will definitely be returning. Also, full marks to the local Thomson rep Ryan, a really nice guy who handled a couple of queries in a totally professional and efficient manner.More
it was good NO massage tho :(
the arminda hotel when we arrived quite late we were greeted by the hotel receptionist who showed us to our room which was beautitfully designed and well ventilated including an aircon which worked extremely well, the room has an energy saving key which is switches of the power once you leave the room. we were also given the chance to pop down to the hotels restaurant and have dinner which was buffet style of exquisite choices and varieties, the food each day was always fresh and well laid out which made it really hard to pick what i wanted to eat!( especially the deserts) the hotel itself is well decorated and has two swimming areas one for mainly adults who like to relax, the other for kids and young adults.the hotel nestled inbetween two towns within walking distance of each other, which came as a great use to myself and my partner who walked along the beach in both directions stopping at the local bars and shops along the way. however the cons.... when we arrived we were given massage vouchers that stated we get 15min free massages to use, my partner and I being our first all inclusive holiday thought this was a lucky dip prize as we did want to get a massage and be pampered anyway. the spa staff wander aimlessly in the pool areas with their clipboards and try to drum up business. when she came to ask us for a booking we mentioned we had been given free vouchers. she said she was unable to book us this week then next month she seemed confused about the voucher.( we were here for only a week, and this was our second day) which to us seemed strange. why couldnt we book, yet your looking for clients? we were gona pay for one anyway. it just put us off altogether..(conterproductive and very unclear) tsk.. tsk.. the swiming area for mainly adults has an all day snack bar. so if you werent at all hungry at lunch time you could snack as you so wish, however we grabbed a snack to take to our sunbed. (like everyone else) but one of the staff informed us we are not allowed to eat by the pool, despite most hotel guests ignoring this anyway. there is no visable sign that says either. the beach is shared with the other hotel nana beach which is very crowded when two hotels are involved. so sunbeds, beach space is limited. during most of the day. overall this was good holiday im impressed by the effiency and the general atmosphere as it is such a relaxed enviroment, and mostly friendly staff.More
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