Family Beach Holiday in Stalida, Crete

Family Beach Holiday in Stalida, Crete

Just before the May Half-term holiday I revealed we were given a chance to have a lovely beach holiday thanks to Villas.com. Now almost 2 weeks later I finally have a minute to tell you all about our stay and what we did during our holiday.

Isabelle and Olivia found out about the trip only the night before we left for our holiday, and both girl were super excited. We had a nice holiday in Crete before Olivia was born, but as Isabelle was about Olivia’s age back then, she could not really remember much.

Flying from Luton is always much more convenient for us as it’s just half an hour drive, and luckily there were no problems on the motorway.

The flight from Luton to Heraklion in Crete took about 3.5 hours, and after being used to flights for 5 hours or so it actually flew by very quickly. Both girls were busy with their magazines, snacks and movies, and soon we landed at our destination airport.

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Me & the girls were invited to check out the cockpit!

After collecting our luggage, we got into a taxi which took us to Stalida. It took about half an hour. Due to the 2 hours time difference both girls were wide awake and ready to eat some yummy greek food at almost midnight! We love Greek food and Greek islands and always go back.

Stalida is a little village, where it’s hard to find teenagers who love partying till early mornings, so a perfect family destination.

When we got out of the taxi, it was pleasantly warm and humid, and soon we found ourselves standing at the Matamy Beach Hotel Apartments’ reception.

After being greeted by Cosmos, the manager, we were taken to our seaview apartment. We all were super excited. As I was the one who booked the accommodation and not daddy this time, I was a bit nervous.

It was dark, so we could not see much, but the first thing that was a bit disappointing for us was that the main bedroom with a large balcony was actually facing the main busy road.

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I quickly asked the manager whether this was the seaview apartment, and he confirmed and pointed to the other balcony that was in the kitchenette. As it was dark and late, we did not check the view that night.

The next morning my disappointment got even bigger as you could get a seaview, but only if you went onto the balcony and leaned out. For me this was not the same view like on the photos when I booked it.

balcony viewpool

Anyway, as I was there to review the apartment I mentioned this to Cosmos, and he said he was fully booked and had no other rooms to offer for another 2 days.

As I have never reviewed a holiday place on behalf of a client before, I contacted the Villas.com PR who put me in touch with their customer support. I thought that was very professional and she also stressed they take customer complaints very seriously.

Soon I had a few phone calls and have to say I was impressed with the way Villas.com were dealing with the situation, and also offered a compensation which I kindly refused.

You might think I am crazy to mention this in a review as if you read other holiday reviews, you never ever see anyone complaining, but I honestly think that images the owners who advertise on websites like Villas. com should not be misleading.

Anyway, the manager was trying to help but unfortunately the only free apartments he had 2 days later were too small for us, so we ended up staying at this apartment. I have suggested Cosmos he should maybe mention on the website there is a partial seaview and that the room leads onto the main road. Let’s see if anything changes.

Right, except that we were very pleased with our stay. The appartment was very clean and beds were made up every day for us too. Both rooms were quite spacious and the best thing was the location, just a few minutes away from the beach.

main bedroomMain bedroombathroomBathroom & toiletbalconyThe main bedroom balcony
DSC_0050 Main bedroomkitchenetteKitchenettedining area and tvDining area & TVDSC_0054 Isabelle & Olivia shared 2 large single bedstop floor apartmentsOur apartment is on the top floorDSC_0062 The main bedroom balcony DSC_0064 The view of the apartments from the sea

Matamy Beach Hotel Apartments Stalida Crete

There was an outside pool which we never got to test as the beach and swimming in the sea was just too good.

We have been booking our holiday with Booking.com for years and this was a great experience to see what happens if things do not go exactly according to the plan. It’s great to know Villas.com/Booking.com look after their customers and have such a great customer support.

What to do in Stalida (Stalis)?

  1. Drive a jet ski
  2. Hire a Bike
  3. Hire a 4 wheel motorbike
  4. Take the Happy Train
  5. Have a Drink at Beechcomber, the Coolest Restaurant- Cocktail bar
  6. Go on a Pirate Trip Adventure (don’t forget to bring some seasick tablets)

Stalida is a village that lies between Malia and Hersonissos on the north coast of Crete. It is a lively resort, attracting tourists from many countries, but mostly from Germany, UK and Russia.

It has a beautiful long, sandy beach and a plenty of lovely bars and tavernas. It’s very popular with families and older generations and is 30 km from Nikos Kazantsakis airport in Heraklion.

May half-term holiday was just at the beginning of the season which meant we had very lovely weather, not too hot, and could easily send the whole day on the beach. The sea was surprisingly much warmer than I expected for this tie of the year, and we did lots of swimming and splashing about!

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 12.36.18 CreteCrete holidayDSC_0001 DSC_0003 DSC_0008 DSC_0014 DSC_0016 DSC_0037

Crete sunset heart lock Isabelle with a pirate locksBeachcomber Crete blue skies Salida Crete coast Salida Crete Crete sunset FullSizeRender Olivia with mummy 2IMG_1392 IMG_1411 IMG_1413 IMG_1416 IMG_1446 Isabelle Olivia Crete 2015 Olivia with mummy Olivia, Isabelle and daddy Pirate woman watersports Salida Cretemummy relaxing on the beach

Before I let you go off dreaming about some sunny holiday in Stalida, I have to mention that one thing you need to make sure you bring with you are mosquito repellents. We forgot and after the first night Olivia was literally covered in mosquito bites. Isabelle had just one, and daddy had a few. Can you guess who did not get any?

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Disclosure: Villas.com covered our accommodation, flights and parking in return of our honest review of the booking experience and our stay at Matamy Beach.

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6 Comments

  • Honest mum June 7, 2015 10:30 am

    What a stunning part of the world, I’ve never been to Stalida but have visited Crete, the sea, people and food are amazing. Great to hear they handled your complaint well too and lovely to got to get away for some sun, we love our sunny breaks x

    • Mirka June 9, 2015 8:27 pm

      I can only agree Vicki! We have been to Crete before, and was fab to return. We loved Stalida, definitely a family friendly place. I was very pleased with the way Villas.com/booking.com handled the situation, and will be booking with them again soon!

  • Mummy Matters June 8, 2015 2:30 pm

    Great review and it looks like you had a lovely time. I think it’s important to complain if you aren’t happy with aspects of your holiday otherwise how are they to improve things for future guests. Likewise I always like to tell people when they have got things right. Great to hear that Villas.com handled your complaint quickly even though they were unable to rectify the situation on this occasion.

    • Mirka June 9, 2015 8:30 pm

      So pleased you agree with this Sabina. I was happy with the way Villas.com/booking.com handled the situation and as I ahev mentioned they offered a compensation which we did not accept, but I think people would, and we would in case we had paid for the holiday. I think that the owner of the apartments really needs to listen to what I was suggesting, and hopefully he will.

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  • Mama and More aka Zaz June 25, 2015 10:19 am

    What lovely pictures of you and the family Mirka. I love that your review is so honest and am impressed at the way that your concerns were dealt with. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t clarify the partial sea view, but perhaps it will change, and the location certainly looks like a winner. We loved our trip to Crete too, and precious family time together exploring new places is always just wonderful. Xx

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