Staying at Iberostar Creta Panorama and Mere with kids review


We are no strangers to visiting Iberostar hotels with kids having previously stayed in Iberostar Málaga Playa in Spain and Iberostar Tainos in Cuba.

We visited Iberostar Málaga Playa with a one-year-old and Iberostar Tainos with an 18-month-old.

On our most recent visit to an Iberostar hotel with kids we had a seven-year-old and four-year-old with us. So this is a review based on staying at Iberostar Creta Panorama and Mere with kids aged 4 and 7.

Iberostar compared to other brands

Our last package holiday with kids we visited Fantasia Bahia Principe in Tenerife to see what we thought about another chain. Needless to say the fact that we have gone back to Iberostar shows that for the ages of our children, we preferred what they had to offer.

Fantasia Bahia Principe shows were alot later and for older audiences – although the production values were much greater it was wasted on us as the children were too tired to stay up for them!


One constant in all of our bookings on package holidays is that we have always gone through Jet2holidays because we have always been very happy with the level of service. I would not hesitate to recommend them to any parent looking for hassle-free travel.

Flying from Newcastle or Leeds Bradford

We have flown from Newcastle and Leeds Bradford with Jet2holidays. Jet2 were staff faultless both times, although the set up around car parking is slightly better at Newcastle, so would always opt to travel from there if possible. I urge anyone traveling from Leeds Bradford to read the reviews on parking before making a selection, in particular around Meet and Greet options.

General information about Iberostar Panorama and Mare

The Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare is a 4-star beachfront hotel located in the Cretan village of Panormos. It has direct access to two private beaches, seven pools, free Wi-Fi, Star Camp for children (kids clubs for different ages), a paid for spa.

What are the board options?

You can visit the Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare on an all inclusive or half-board basis. We went all inclusive, so we got a band to wear throughout our visit so staff could see that we didn’t have to put snacks or drinks onto our room tab. Half board customers also got waiter service for drinks on an evening, whereas all inclusive helped themselves to what was on draught.

What was the room like?

We actually got to experience two accommodation types – the sea view bungalows and junior suites. Our ‘sea view’ which we paid extra for was restricted by a building! So we thought we had been placed in the wrong accommodation as we checked in at 3am when it was dark. The next three images show what the bungalow offered.

view from sea view bungalow iberostar panorama

Technically we could see the sea – but it definitely wasn’t what was advertised. The bungalows are incredibly small for a family of four – one of the beds was positioned outside of the bathroom in an area without air conditioning and three beds in the main room. We visited Crete during the July 2023 heatwave, one of our children sleeping in an area without air conditioning isn’t something we had considered when we heard about the potential temperatures before departure.

The main room in the bungalow at Iberostar Panorama and Mare

Bed outside of bathroom area which was not serviced by air conditioning

My partner went to reception to raise his concern about the accommodation not being as we had booked and the Manager was extremely helpful and went over and above offering us a variety of options to move to. We moved to the junior suite which had views of the pool – it had three balconies and a separate sleeping area for both children it was perfect. Small issue in that it was right above the bar which didn’t close until midnight, but this wasn’t an issue once we had repositioned the children’s beds away from the balcony and to be against an internal wall instead.

the view from the junior suite showing the main pool area of Iberostar creta panorama

The junior suites were newer than the bungalows and from looking around the area it looks as though the bungalows may have been part of an Aegean holiday company before being taken over by Iberostar and the main hotel block was built at a later date. The entire resort was immaculate and the landscaping was spectacular.

Food and drinks

Considering the quantities that it is made in, the all-inclusive good is extensive and tasty. We did notice that all of the drinks were incredibly sugary and the wine on offer with the all-inclusive was pretty terrible.

The sparking wine and cocktails were ok so we survived! They had cocktails of the day available as well as Aperol spritz and made-to-order drinks at two of the main bars you had to walk into. There were bars situated by all pools with the exception of the baby pool and a swim-up bar in the main pool.

There were a variety of fresh fruits, pasta, pizza, chips and ice cream available daily as well as daily changes to the menu and speciality themes. There is a food outlet at one of the beach coves which offers drinks, chicken gyros and lovely doughnuts.

There are bookable restaurants such as the BBQ which is great if you’re a lover of meat and fish – you just go to the reception to check availability and on all inclusive can book in once per week.


Iberostar, like most companies, have an onsite team responsible for entertainment poolside, for the kids and also for everyone on an evening. The ‘animation’ team are multilingual and multitalented. They are vivacious, outgoing and work long hours! The hotel offers kids club 4-7 then other clubs for older kids. Poolside activities such as aquagym and volleyball as well as the theatre based activities later. They had a good variety of shows for everyone and weren’t as cringe as you can find in some places.

As with all Iberostars we’ve been to Starkey and Stella were involved with the mini disco along with the animation team. Show started at 8.30, given the 2 hours time difference this was really good.

The main shows started at 9.30 and lasted approximately one hour. There was then a bar opened at 10.30 for more cocktails and dancing if you liked. The main bar in the hotel also offered Greek style music and DJ sets until around 11 before it closed at midnight.