Review Rating: 4/5
Date of visit: September 2019
I chose to spend 8 nights at Sentido Vasia early September, travelling solo for a bit of quiet relaxation. All-inclusive hotels aren’t typically my style, but having had a busy July island-hopping around the Cyclades, I fancied the idea of staying put in a single location. What better way than having meals and drinks included?
I’ve visited Sissi a couple of times on previous trips to Crete, but always in passing and not to stay. It always seemed like a nice place though, and not too inconvenient to get to from Heraklion airport.
I’d booked the accommodation directly and, for a small extra charge, the hotel arranged a shared minibus transfer. This turned out to be a little inconvenient, as a couple of the guests were late arriving, so we sat at the airport for nearly 40 minutes before setting off. Never mind, though, I was in Greece again and enjoying the warm weather already.
The journey itself took about 45 minutes. All of the other passengers were German and much older than me, so I didn’t really chat to anyone but enjoyed watching the scenery as we headed east across the coastal highway.
On arrival, check-in was fast and efficient. A golf cart is used to ferry guests and their luggage from reception to the rooms. My room itself was a little dated inside, but clean and spacious. The bathroom was huge, with nice wood-effect flooring that made it look a bit posher than the rest of the place.
After settling into my room and unpacking, I set off to explore the facilities. The hotel has 5 pools, 3 of which are large adult pools, 1 is a shallow pool for young children, and the other is a small plunge pool near the top end of the hotel. I arrived towards the end of the school summer holidays and it was pretty busy, but due to the size of the complex, it never felt overcrowded.
In between meal times, drinks are available at both main pool areas, with snacks also available by the pools furthest from the main building. I didn’t think too much of the snacks really – they’re okay for kids, but the burgers, hot dogs and chips were a bit bland and seemed pretty low quality. The cakes and ice-cream were better. Drinks were fine – a local draft beer, the usual wine and spirits plus soft drinks.
The food at mealtimes was better: a wide variety of dishes from soups to salads, meats, fish, bread and cheese. Fresh fruit juices were available, plus hot and cold drinks including alcoholic ones.
I only left the hotel grounds a few times: once to walk into Sissi late afternoon to explore. It’s a small village so I can’t say there’s much to see really; another time to pop to the supermarket next door to get some extra water bottles and snacks; and a third time to watch the sunset down at the beach.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay, but given that the hotel was quite expensive, there were a few things I felt could be improved: the sunbeds around the pool are quite tightly packed in, meaning you don’t get much personal space at busy times. The gym is rather small and a little too warm for my liking, making it difficult to work out with any intensity without over-heating. The rooms could do with a refresh to bring them up to date with the rest of the hotel. Lastly, as much as I appreciated the variety of food, somehow I struggled most days to find enough dishes I liked to really fill me up. Probably just my slightly fussy diet, but still.