Velani Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   9 October 2022

Vanessa who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Fabulous location and excellent horses | We were extremely impressed with the equestrian centre at Velanie, the yard was organised, clean and with good facilities. The staff (Vladimir and Julia) were extremely helpful and patient. We were expected to help prepare our horses and, as it was some time since we have done this for ourselves, we needed some help. Both Vlad and Julia were happy to show us what to do and careful to check everything was in order before anyone mounted. They clearly loved all the horses and made sure their welfare was always the priority.

We were both very happy with our horses and when we were allocated less interesting horses on one of the days, the situation was quickly rectified following a chat with the team.

The riding was on fairly hard and narrow tracks which limited freedom a little but this had already been explained before we went so we knew what to expect. However, the scenery and the overall experience made up for these limitations and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
4 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
5 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
5 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

The setting of the country house and the quality of the accommodation was superb. Everywhere was spotless, including the pool, and the grounds had been extremely well planned out. Our room had a lovely outside area with plenty of privacy, space, sun beds, outside shower, and all with stunning views.

The restaurant exceeded our expectations as it was beautifully laid out and we were treated more like guests visiting a taverna than clients on full board. It was up to us whether we joined the riding group or not and, as we friends with us on some days, we appreciated this flexibility.

When it came to the food, we assumed that, being on full board, we would have specific menu options but we were able to chose whatever we wanted from the full menu. The quality of the food was exceptional and there was plenty of choice. The staff were very friendly and efficient so it made every meal an enjoyable experience.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
5 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

Very little to suggest as we have absolutely no complaints about the service offered by ITS. As always we were given all the information we needed to help us choose our holiday and, once again, it was a perfect trip for us.

How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

Again, few areas for improvement. Maybe just the option to make credit card payments through the site rather than having to call to provide card details. However, it's always good to have a chat with a member of the ITS team so even this isn't a high priority.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

When we showed our friends where we were intending to go, they were keen to join us. In the end, a non riding friend of ours joined us for a few days and loved her time at Velanie so much, she is thinking of returning with her two daughters who are both budding riders.

Another couple of friends who live on the coast at Elounda, met us for dinner one evening and stayed over. They also loved their experience.