Simple, bright rooms and suites, most with balconies
Full- and half-board packages available
Phaethon Restaurant offering varied buffets and beautiful desserts
Pebble beach with calm waters and plenty of shaded lounge chairs
Large saltwater swimming pool
Numerous on-site activities, including water aerobics and dance classes
Evening entertainment programs, including dance shows and live music
Three meeting/conference spaces with audiovisual equipment
Spa with sauna and massages, plus fitness center
Free on-site parking
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Some room carpeting could use a refresh
Fitness center has dated equipment
Only one meal per stay included at a la carte restaurant
Beds are usually two singles pushed together
Single rooms lack balconies
Some rooms have poor views
Not especially kid-friendly, with no playground or kiddy pool (pro for some)
Desolee Hermes is a mid-range all-inclusive resort right in the center of town on a small pebble beach. Its 217 rooms are sunny and bright -- if simple -- and range from Singles to two-bedroom Suites; most have balconies. On-site features include a buffet restaurant with varied spreads at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a saltwater pool, a dated but functional fitness center, and recreational activities such as water aerobics and dance classes. Travelers may want to compare rates at the Miramare Resort & Spa, which has nicer rooms and a tennis court.
Mid-range family-friendly resort with full- and half-board packages available
Dessole Hermes has a dated feel. Guests enter a small marble lobby with track lighting and lots of murals, and a few comfy seating areas with sofas and plush chairs. Rooms are spread across two adjoining four- and five-story buildings, with elevators available. Both full- and half-board options are available. The resort is popular with many guests from Russia and the U.K. (Dessole is a Russian-owned hotel group), and there can be some cultural conflicts, with U.K. guests sometimes complaining about the manners of the Russians. Though the resort draws both couples and families, it's not especially well-suited to children, with no kids' club, playground, or kiddy pool -- though children who are old enough can partake in guided water aerobics during the day. The Dessole Hermes is a step up from sister property Dessole Coral Hotel, though not quite as nice as Dessole Mirabello Beach & Village -- though the Mirabello is located outside of town and so less suited to those hoping to explore Agios Nikolaos. Though many guests here are on the all-inclusive package, some opt for half- or full-board rates so that they can enjoy meals in town.
The hotel is located in Agios Nikolaos, a sea-facing city with approximately 10,000 residents that's full of charming restaurants, outdoor cafes, and shops. It's right on a pebble beach, and it's a 10-minute walk to Kitroplatia Beach, a shingle and sand beach in the heart of the town center that's backed by a cobblestone street lined with restaurants. The sandy Ammos Beach by the marina is a 15-minute walk, and those willing to go further afield can head to popular Faedra Beach, a 10-minute drive away. For the culturally inclined, the Archaeological Museum is a five-minute walk away. Agios Nikolaos is an hour away from both the port at Heraklion, the ancient ruins at Knossos, and the airport. Chania is a three- to three-and-a-half-hour drive away, while getting to Rethymno takes about two and a half hours.
Simple, bright rooms in a variety of configurations
The hotel offers 217 rooms spread across two buildings (one with four stories, the other with five). All rooms come with air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with satellite cable, and minibars, and all but the Single units have balconies or terraces. Rooms come in Single, Double/Twin, and Family configurations (with two doubles or a double and a twin), and one- and two-bedroom Suites are also available. Decor is simple and dated: plain medium-wood tables and dressers, beige bedding, and white-tiled bathrooms with shower/tub combos. Some rooms have older carpeting, while others have fresher-looking tiles. It's well worth upgrading to a room with a sea view, as some rooms overlook an unattractive street.
Beach, saltwater swimming pool, buffet and a la carte restaurants, spa, and fitness center/classes
Desolee Hermes offers half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive plans plus lots of free on-site activities. The pebble beach is small but good for sunbathing, with lounge chairs and parasols. The waters are calm and ideal for taking a dip, with buoys marking off the swimming zone. There's also a saltwater pool that's big enough to swim laps flanked by a few lounge chairs, located on the fifth floor of the hotel's taller building. Water aerobics classes are offered daily. Other on-site activities include stretching and dance lessons, and the hotel offers a range of nighttime activities and entertainment choices, including dance shows, cabarets, and a weekly international live music show.
The hotel's main restaurant, Phaethon, offers buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, with lots of variety and beautiful desserts. There's also an a la carte restaurant, but guests must reserve in advance, and only one dinner here is included in every stay. There's also a pool bar with snacks, a seaside cafe (aptly named Del Mar Cafe), a lobby bar that's open throughout the day, and a main bar, Ikaros, which only opens up for evening libations.
There are three meeting rooms, the largest of which -- Hermina -- can seat up to 280 people theater style. Audiovisual equipment and flip charts can be arranged, and catering services are available for a fee. Other amenities include a large fitness center with dated but functional cardio and weight-training equipment, a spa with a sauna, a solarium, and massage services, and an on-site jewelry store, Five Millenniums. Hotel-wide Wi-Fi is free. There's no on-site parking garage, but there is free street parking nearby.