My wife and I decided on a late holiday this year back in Chania where we have spent many happy holidays when our children were growing up.
We decided to stay again at Palazzo di Petro (PdP) where we had spent a lovely holiday with the girls back in 2006. When we contacted Christine to enquire about pricing she told us that high season prices remained in force right until the end of October because they stayed busy right through. In the end despite some huge misgivings we decided to pay 135 euros per night for this place based on the location and our ignorance of late season pricing here.
When we arrived we were shown by the loquatious Christine up to a room at the top of the hotel up 4 long flights of wooden stairs - I was close to passing out by the time I had lugged the second of our big cases up this vertical assault course.
All that said we spent our holiday in glorious enjoyable isolation untroubled by other guests or indeed by Christine until the power went off during a thunder storm on the last Sunday. We had no means of contacting anyone and in the end we went out without being able to shower, change or freshen up. When we arrived back later that evening the power was still out but we did discover a number to call on the outside wall of PdPand help came at last to reset the fuse box. At this point we realised that we were just paying way too much for this hotel and the next day by way of research for next time we checked alternative prices in the area. In the very same street we found rooms just as nice with permanently manned receptions for 35-60 Euros. When we settled up with Christine the following night we decided to be honest and to tell her we were really not happy with the value for money and level of response.
We then saw another side of Christine and the whole experience became slightly surreal.The fact is that this business seems to be her total obsession and she cannot take any critiscm at all without taking it very personally. In an extraordinary and emotional outbust she defended her hotel like we had just insulted her children and made a number of weird and illogical points in a 10 minute tirade - my wife and I stood open mouthed as the hotelier told us off in the style of a Greek Basil Fawlty - here were the highlights and please keep in mind I was just about to pass 1180 Euros cash to her as the balance of our bill.
1. Christine said that we had contacted her not the other way around - she did not force us to agree to pay this amount!
2. She said the hotel had been quite busy throughout this period and most of the these (phantom we think) guests had complained about the noise we were making in our room.
3. She said that we had created great costs for her as we asked for towels to be changed most days compared to the Greek standard of every three days.
4. She complained also that we regularly spilled talc on the wooden floor making it slippery for the maid.
5. She said that she paid her maid a staggering 2000 Euro per month (a huge wage in this town) which meant that cash and valuables would be safe at PdP but there were no such guarantees at the other hotels where immigrant maids were employed and theft was rife. The maid wage comment caused uproar at our local bar where everyone of the expats living in the area wanted to interview for this position. We should have said that any level of theft below 100 Euros per night would have left us in pocket but by now there was a dangerous look in Christine's eye and we thought better of it.
6. As a last resort I informed her that I intended to write an honest review about PdP on TA and she said to go ahead as all these flattering reviews just made people think she is was a soft touch and actually created more work for her!
I probably stay an average of over 100 hotel nights per year but have honestly never had an exchange like this before. I have paid for 40 nights at PdP in the past and for the want of an admission, an apology or a minor refund we may have stayed there again - but after this - never again!
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- Also Known As:
- Palazzo Di Pietro Chania
- Palazzo Di Pietro Hotel Chania
- Palazzo Di Pietro Crete/Chania