It’s odd that I am writing this my second review of Porto Sani village now, in February, when I last visited in July 2013, but the reasons for that will be clear later.
Last summer was our third trip to PSV which was completely out of character for my wife. I am happy to find somewhere nice and go back, she is of the firm belief that there are enough places out there to not need to do that, and yet back we went three years in a row.
We met several other families who had done the same, and a few who were up to their 6th or 7th visit. I can easily believe the claim that it is the most revisited hotel in the world. That does not make it perfect. It isn’t perfect as some of the negative reviews will confirm, but you can’t please everyone. The point is that you can try, and I firmly believe that PSV have managed to please more people more of the time than any other hotel I’ve been to.
Many people review the facilities, I have done that before, I’ve also reviewed the service before but I find myself coming back to it because it’s this that makes the hotel stand out above all others I’ve experienced. Nothing is too much trouble, in that respect it’s similar to the far eastern mentality towards customer service. Being Brits we have a habit of choosing not to complain but that’s a huge mistake in PSV. If you do visit and find you are not happy, tell someone, especially the manager (Sakis) and he will move heaven and earth to accommodate you. The last time our visit was marred by my wife struggling to sleep as the beds were not as comfortable as she had hoped. We have a Tempur bed at home and as well as being firm it has a unique feel which you get used to making it difficult to get comfortable on a normal sprung mattress. We didn’t think to say anything for ten days of our visit, not expecting them to have bed options, but when pressed by the extra attentive staff we admitted that there was room for improvement. When we returned to our room that evening, there was a firmer mattress waiting along with champagne by way of an apology. We regretted not making the point earlier.
Over the repeated visits I have done what I can to provide feedback and have been amazed at how many of the niggly complaints I made, have been considered and rectified. For me one of the most valuable improvements was the installation of VERY high speed complimentary wifi throughout the village. There was no need to bring films on the ipad for those quiet times, as I was able to stream them direct from my home pc, thanks to the fantastic connection speed. In addition, the children’s menus were improved, the availability of more vegetarian options around the pool, and most importantly at the time, the opening of an account with coca cola rather than pepsi – I have since given up diet coke!
We also complained at one point about shower pressure to find a plumber had sorted it, again by the time we returned to our room.
I will be sending another list of suggestions for further improvements, but it’s really at the point of splitting hairs, and in some cases it could be considered personal preference.
To add to my previous review as a foodie I’d like to recommend Tomata which last time I didn’t find particularly inspiring. On this occasion with the revised menu, I was hugely impressed. The interesting flavours and variation in cooking method put this restaurant on a par with some of the best alternative restaurants I have tried in London.
I also experienced the spa this time, which is against my nature as I’m not a fan of the kind of pampering. I was unfortunate enough to hurt my leg whilst running in the gym, and once again, the manager, seeing me limping, insisted I visit the spa to see the sports physio who manages it. I was given free treatment to alleviate the tension in the muscle which really helped. I also experienced one of the best massages I’ve ever had and went back twice more convincing my wife to try it too. She is very particular when it comes to massages having suffered every back and shoulder complaint there is but was very impressed, I’d recommend every to go see Julia if you can!
We also tried the water sports for the first time, situated just in front of the Sani Beach Club. There we found inflatable climbing frames for the children, anchored in fairly shallow water that they were able to play on for a very reasonable price. Life jackets were provided if they aren’t strong swimmers. We also hired a pedalo with a slide, again for reasonable money. Less reasonable was the parasailing experience, but it was thoroughly enjoyable for my then six year old daughter. The quality of the boats and equipment used was top notch and at no point did I have concern for the safety standards maintained during the experience.
They’ve also added some very interesting additions to menus and added some restaurant opening times, such as traditional Greek salad made to your selection in the restaurant in the middle of the main swimming pools area. There was also traditional English tea with freshly baked scones and jam if you aren’t so keen on leaving UK culture behind!
And so to my reason for leaving it this long to write. My wife made it clear that as much as we loved PSV, three years was really enough. At this price point there are options that will provide us with some variety and so we looked to explore these when booking again. We considered a very well reviewed place in Turkey that several of our very particular friends had been to and raved about, and some similarly luxurious places in Italy. Turkey was intended as a cheaper option especially being all inclusive, but after doing the calculations, now without early booking discounts, it was approximately the same price. What bothered me was being vegetarian, just two or perhaps three restaurants, one being a buffet (which I hate) gets dull very quickly. At PSV you are spoiled for restaurant choice, and let’s face it, eating takes up a big proportion of holiday time. The Italian hotels were always sold as more expensive and more exclusive and the food would be great too, but again, far less variety, fewer activites, and photos which suggested a more stark feel. I was also put off my requiring a car to get to the beach, something which is not a problem at the Sani.
When you add in the number and quality of the restaurants, the variety provided by the Marina, the shows, the outdoor theatre, the water sports, a swimming pool with only one circumferential row of sun loungers so everyone is right next to the pool, various cultural shows, concerts, bike hire, you soon realise that it’s going to be very tough to trump the PSV.
There are areas where other places might excel, for example we don’t especially rate the kid’s club feeling it would benefit from its own pool/waterslides etc. but on balance the PSV is pretty much a master of all trades, and until someone shows me a genuine alternative, with the same weather, within Europe for similar money, I’m going to be hard pushed not to keep coming back.
I write having booked to go back for a fourth time, the day after convincing my wife to give up the search for better. So far we keep failing. It really is that good.
If anyone reading this has questions or alternative location suggestions, please feel free to pm me. It can be boring to go back again and again, but holidays are so precious, the danger of going somewhere new and being disappointed far outweighs the hardship of having to endure a repeat visit, especially to such an amazing place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxurious getaway for the body and mind, the relaxed surroundings of the expansive Porto Sani Village is an ideal setting in which to restore your karma. The sensuous Spa Suite is a haven of tranquility providing tailor-made aromatherapy treatments, personal trainers and one-on-one yoga lessons, while the breathtaking lagoon pool is the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy our energising fresh juices and well-being menus for adults and children. The contemporary elegance of Porto Sani Village is complemented by a superb setting close to Sani Marina and its enticing world of inspired cuisine. The refreshingly spacious suites of this hotel are ideal for families and command spectacular views over the lagoon pools and the Marina, resplendent with its majestic yachts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porto Sani Village Hotel Sani
- Porto Sani Village Kassandra
- Porto Sani Village Hotel Kassandra
- Porto Sani Halkidiki