We had stayed at the Agios Gordios Hotel 15, 8 and 3 years ago respectively and had found it improved each time, the latter twice being under the Thomson Gold brand.
We had booked a year ago for May 2009, in the knowledge it was no longer a “Gold” , but otherwise expecting a similar, half-board experience.
Only days before travelling, we saw a new brochure edition, in which the hotel had changed ownership (now Aquis) and become all-inclusive. More worryingly, the customer food score had plummeted from 80%+ to 60%. Thomson had not advised any change, but, on calling them, offered a complimentary upgrade to all-inclusive. They would not comment upon the landslide in customer ratings, but review sites painted an awful picture of September/October 2008, although there were a couple of positive reviews for early 2009.
Imagine our delight on finding a totally refurbished, thoroughly modern and stylish hotel, completely unrecognizable from the comfortable, traditional décor of three years ago.
Everything is new, from top to bottom and it works very well. Many of the old staff have been retained, and supplemented by new faces, all of whom were friendly and attentive.
Our room was perfect and incorporated our requests of double bed and high floor. I think we were the first guests to use it. The individually-controlled air-con was efficient and almost silent (often a problem). We had a fridge, safe, fruit, flowers and wine and a perfect view of Agios Gordios bay from a completely non-overlooked balcony.
The buffet-style food was excellent and included some local specialities among the international cuisine. The air-conditioned dining room was well-spaced and airy, with an outside terrace. Wine by the carafe, beer and soft drinks were available, unlimited. Free choice seating worked well and tables were efficiently cleared.
The pool area has an extended decking for extra space and the sunbeds are quality hardwood types with good brollies. Although there were lots of them, “reserving” was a problem, with a dawn race for favoured spots, often, annoyingly, then not used all day.
The pool bar has been made a real focal point, open 10 am to 1.00 am. Each guest gets one complimentary visit to the a la carte per week and this was excellent nouvelle cuisine style with a personal touch.
A recently-constructed beach bar (not open but imminent) looks attractive, but will not be covered by the all-inclusive. There were a few guests, mainly traveling independently, who were not all-inclusive, who must really have been stung by the incredibly high list prices of drinks and food – our “Extras” total, written off to all-inclusive, for two of us for two weeks, was 1700 euros – and we are only modest drinkers! Even the local tavernas were very much pricier than three years ago, at about 60% of hotel prices for drinks and 30% for food.
I feel guilty to make any criticism at all, because all the hotel staff worked so hard to please us, but the entertainment was lacking. I think the animation team had only just formed and their offerings for both daytime activities and evening entertainment were Butlins’ stuff – perhaps they will improve. It didn’t bother us, but it should be better for an hotel of this class. The Greek dancing was entertaining & participative, and the Keyboard/Sax duo were good, but there was no encouragement to get guests up and dancing. The hotel also now has a Sushi Bar, but we never saw anybody in it.
The village of Agios Gordios has not changed in 15 years, and offers a good selection of restaurants, bars, small supermarkets, etc. The usually-perfect sandy beach had a lot of weed this year, but we are assured this is a freak seasonal thing and it mostly cleared whilst we were there. There are some beautiful walks, although they all start uphill!
There are three buses a day into Corfu town at 2 euros each way – about a 40 minute scenic trip. Good value against a taxi fare of 50 Euros each way (30 to the airport)
All in all, we had a brilliant holiday and will definitely go back to the “Ag Gord” in another 2-3 years.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine yourself on a sandy beach, crystal waters and thriving, green mountains rising on the top. Relax to the rhythmic sounds of waves and offer yourself the holidays you deserve.This Adults only hotel located on a picture-perfect hill spot in one of Corfu’s best locations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort Agios Gordios, Corfu