Hotel Casa Delfino — refund not received - noise and no wifi
I'm a freelance web developer and after having saved for three years for my first real holiday, I booked a three-week stay in Hotel Casa Delfino in Chania, Crete. I had read excellent reviews about how quiet it was. Since they present themselves as a high-end hotel, I trusted that they would have working WiFi and I assumed that the reviews about how quiet Casa Delfino was were correct.
The Wifi signal, however, did not work nearly at all in my originally assigned room, room 11, and there was an incessant, loud electrical noise as well that was of such a low frequency that ear plugs did not help. I was able to locate the source of the sound: It came from behind the electrical mains box. However, turning off the mains switch did not solve the problem.
Some days later, when it was clear that I would neither be able to sleep nor be able to work online, I embarrassingly asked for a staff member to try and solve the problem. They were unable to, so they gave me another room, room 18. Room 18 was adjacent to a busy street but fortunately, because it was only March yet, around midnight, there were nearly no loud pedestrians anymore next to my door and window. I was sternly warned to always have the door and windows to the outside closed and locked because they looked out directly upon an alleyway and theft from that room was common. In the tourist season, the rooms adjacent to the street will suffer noise until 04:00, and at that time the guests who need to catch their dawn flights out are checking out - in the noisiest way imaginable.
I soon discovered that also room 18 did not have any reasonably functioning WiFi signal. When I placed my laptop directly behind the door I had a reasonable signal but on the bed or the desk - no connection.
Casa Delfino's owner, Margarita Markantonaki, later admited they have been so far unable to get it working. When she learned that I was a "computer guy", she asked me for advice how to get the WiFi working. She told me that she ran the hotel all by herself because her husband did not have a share in it - her family business. And she was pregnant and she admitted that she did not have the character and aptitude to run a hotel properly.
I told her that I had to give Casa Delfino a bad review not just because of the absent WiFi: The noise issues were just as severe. The big problem was that Casa Delfino was terribly noisy from 04:00 to 05:00, when people often checked out to catch their early flights. Margarita told me they have "no idea what happens at night" because they have no ordinary hotel staff present, only a night guard. The night guard was under orders to remain at the reception desk and not investigate loud noise. It is unbelievable how noisy a hotel can be when the early-leaving guests are not asked to take the night rest of other guests into account. People slam drawers and doors, screech the stairs over the floor, drop their suitcases, let their suitcases bounce behind them on the stairs while laughing and chatting with one another, walking up and down the stairs, up and down, past the doors of the other rooms. On many a night it sounded like a burglary went on above my head, followed by a SWAT raid at my door.
Casa Delfino's owner, Margarita Markantonaki, falsely claimed she would give me a "full refund" but I said that I only wanted a refund of the days that I would not stay. She never refunded me a dime!
The big problem with Hotel Casa Delfino in Chania, Crete is that it is located in four separate old Venetian houses. It is very hard to get a WiFi signal through those thick stone walls of such a large area. Another problem with using an old Venetian residential building as a hotel is that it's like living with roommates: Everything is small-scale and that means continuous footsteps in front of your door as people walk up and down the narrow pathways and stairs. All in all, the concept is attractive, an old Venetian building in an idyllic part of town but in practice there are many serious logistical issues that are ignored and left to fester in Casa Delfino.