Velani Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

4 star rating   26 June 2022

Karen who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Sunny Ride at Velani Country Hotel | There was a bit of confusion when we arrived, we thought we had booked the Sunny Ride and that is what we went for in the end. It was very hot during our week of Riding and one day we decided not to ride as it was 36 degrees. We did manage to persuade Sabine to let us ride later in the day (after the first 2 days) as it was so hot, we rode at 4:30pm rather than 3:00pm.

All of the horses were well cared for and we were able to help with grooming and tacking up and also wash down on our return to the stables. The tack was in good order and clean.

As we were only riding for 2 hours per day, the rides were very gentle passed (mainly walking) with the odd trot and very rare canter. The terrain did not help with this as most of the riding is on rough tracks and paths through Olive trees.

[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for your feedback. As per your itinerary booklet and invoice, you had booked the Panorama rides. I am very sorry if this wasn't clear when you arrived and I will certainly follow up to see where we could improve.]

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
3 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
3 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?
4 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

The rooms were very nice, beds were comfortable, they were cleaned each day.

We were able to stock the fridge with water for our riding which was great.

The food was very tasty and breakfast was my favourite, they were a bit stingy with the Fruit though only offering slices of fruit on a plate rather than a whole selection of fresh fruit to choose yourself.

The hotel could not offer me decaf coffee, however, I did get some from a local shop and took that with me to Breakfast each day.

The meal in the evenings was a mixture of small dishes sometimes not quite enough really and not much meat (which was ok for me) but it was just an observation

The Pool and the surrounding areas was great and kept clean and tidy at all times

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

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

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

The itinerary that I we received listed all of the riding that was available on the holiday and to be honest we thought that we had booked the Sunny Ride but in fact we had booked the Panorama Ride. It was just a bit confusing really.

We decided to go with the Sunny Ride as the Panorama Rides whet out at 9:00am/10:00am when it was very hot and as they were out between 4 and 5 hours would have been far too hot for me.

The Sunny Ride was only 2 hours and we were still in the heat of the day and we had limited riding.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

The riding should be offered earlier to avoid the heat of the day, say starting at 7 or even 6 which we have done in the past to avoid the heat.

There was not much clarification on the times for the riding. It was all a bit wishy washy and easy going. - need to be a bit more assertive with the guest to enable them to get the best out of the horses, the riding and the their holiday. Perhaps an information/riding board with names of guests and horses along with riding times.

As there are 2 guides, both rides could have been in the morning, also to avoid the heat of the day, most guest are flexible and want to get the best out of their holiday.

More interaction and discussion from Sabine about the horses, our abilities and preferences would have been great

On the whole, I enjoyed the holiday as I got to spend time with my friends doing what I love to do.

[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for your helpful comments and we will pass these onto the ride operator for future guests.]