We are a couple (32 & 37 years old), we travelled across the globe and visited quite a lot of places. We are highly educated people and working hard to earn the money we spend.
We reached to a stage in our lives when we do not check the bill when we choose an expensive service as we get used to high quality & expensive services. Wherever we go, we read the history, visit the historic sites, try to get the local flavor from the locals and value traditions.
We chose Imaret Hotel by checking the history of the site, reading about the renovation work and counting on the slh.com affiliation.
Our 7 nights vacation in Imaret Hotel of Kavala was the worse we ever had in the last 4-5 years. The place/location itself is a magic one – restored with the Egyptian help some 8 years ago – but, unfortunately, it is managed and poorly maintained by Greek staff.
Things that shocked us in a pretended 5 stars boutique hotel, member of slh.com:
- Lack of education of the servicing staff: one of the reception lady was too self-sufficient to say hello or to stand-up when customer was standing; garden people were talking loud between themselves and on the cell phones ruining the desired tranquility of the gardens. Very few staff members were English speakers.
- Lack of professional education of the servicing staff: my personal view is that none of the staff, managers included (except maybe the spa lady), ever entered/stayed in a real 5 stars hotel. None had any clue about the level of service they needed to provide.
- The doorman (in fact was no doorman) was dressed in an overall, was bad smelling and was everywhere you did not wanted him to be (cleaning the pool/fountain when you wanted to use it, cleaning the garden when you wanted to relax and be alone, talking to his friends loud, as all Greeks are doing, with no care for the others)
- Now, let’s get to the room – we chose the expensive room (as we read on tripadvisor that cheaper room are very small), therefore one of the most luxurious in the hotel. The toilet door could not be closed (and has never been closed since the restoration, years back) – so, even though you are travelling with someone dear, you probably need to have a sense of privacy in the toilet (or maybe in Greece they use a different approach and they want to share the noise and the smell from the toilet with all dear ones). There were dampness in toilet room (I may say this can be normal given the age of the site, but it is abnormal if they do not clean it, preferably daily). I asked them to clean it and they did clean it, but only half of it (the visible part).
- The safe-box was not working when we arrived, therefore the doorman (same guy who was working as gardener, electrician, pool cleaner, etc), tried to fix it (dressed with same overall, and filling the hotel room with his perspiration fragrance) – of course the guy was not speaking any foreign language (who needs to speak English in a 5 stars hotel?), but he went to another room, removed the safebox and change it with the broken one – just like that. Imagine that my trust in that safebox has dramatically decreased to zero.
- First night, around 9:30pm, we returned to the room and the room was not cleaned. We called the reception and the reception lady (same one who was not standing when customers were coming in) was a little upset of my call – that made us avoid talking to her the entire stay.
- After 5 days I complaint to reception ref the toilet door, the dampness, the noisy people, the lack of privacy and intimacy and the fact that they did not refresh the cosmetics in the bath for the last 5 days (I even offered myself to subsidize the hotel if they have an environmental protection campaign). After complaining the results were: toilet door was cut partially (but they could not fix it, so they left is as such, with no explanation), the dampness was cleaned partially (only the visible side, not the part under the toilet), they put lots of cosmetics (that we did not need and did not use), while the privacy/intimacy issue was not sorted out. We did not bother to talk to them anymore.
The hotel has a good spa (you need to pay around 100-150 euro for 1h massage and 150 euro for a hammam) and a nice cistern we used and we enjoyed. Also the hotel had a nice terrace and bar and reading area (we cleaned the dust from the books prior to reading them, but the area was nice). The restaurant was okish, with a nice service, nice view, but empty most of the time. Please keep your sense of humor when you order based on English menu: please note they offer lamb (the animal), not lamp as they write, and so on.
A special note: we did not check the reservation, but we found out that the breakfast was not included in the 350euro per night room price and we would have needed to pay additional 20euro per person per day (additional 280euro). We kept our sense of humor and decided to drink the coffee in a coffee shop nearby for 1 euro per person and give the extra money to the poor kids we are supporting in our country – it’s a far better trade.
In a nutshell, if you intend to celebrate something special, if you intend to have a special vacation, my advice is to go somewhere else. We would have done the same if we would have read such a review – unfortunately we left around 3200 euro with this hotel and we had a that sense that someone robbed us overnight – with the extra money we spent in this vacation (transportation, meals, etc) we would have spent 2 weeks of vacation in Maldives, in a real 5 star hotel… breakfast included:).
Enjoy travelling and keep your mind open!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Imaret is a world apart, a rare jewel, where East meets West in Northern Greece. A historical monument crowning the hillside overlooking the picturesque harbour of Kavala, the hotel combines the grandeur of Greek Roman and Byzantine Style with a scent of the orient, and the elegance of Hellenic hospitality. The building was the gift of Mehmet Ali, modernising ruler of Egypt in the 1800's, to Kavala, his birthplace. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Imaret Hotel Kavála