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“First time visitors - but didn't feel like it”

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Villa Apollon Skiathos
Ranked #12 of 84 Hotels in Skiathos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 August 2012

Went on holiday in June this year with my girlfriend for our first holiday away together, and we just wanted somewhere quiet where we could relax, and with a mix of recommendation from friends, and also that my girlfriend loves the film Mama Mia , we decided to look at Skiathos. The same friends who recommended the island also told us how they had enjoyed their stay at Apollo, so I did some research on Trip Advisor and it seemed to be everything they had said it was. I mailed the Villa and explained dates we were looking at to come over, and got a very prompt reply saying that it was no problem and to just confirm to them when our flights were booked. With that, flights booked and mailed them back, and within a few hours got a mail back saying that we were confirmed and that they looked forward to seeing us.

We arrived in Skiathos to lovely sunny weather and walked straight out of the terminal and got in a cab immediately, and less than 10 minutes later we pulled up at the gates. Got a lovely welcome from the owners, Dounia and Captain, and my first taste of Mythos (wasn't the last !) as they gave us a welcome drink and told us to relax. We sat at the bar taking in the amazing view over the bay which they told us was Achladies Bay, and before we knew it were chatting with others there, a lot of who told us they were regulars and that they came back year after year. However, there was another couple and family there who, like us, were first time visitors who had been there a few days already and they seemed to love it to.

We got shown to our room and it was small, but was clean, had a really nice bed, aircon, small kitchen area with toaster, microwave, kettle, fridge, electric hobs and all the pots and pans you would need if you wanted to cook. We only really used the kettle and the fridge as breakfast was included in the price, and we'd already decided we were on holiday so we didn't want to be cooking. There was a safe in the room too which we did use for things like passports etc, but to be honest the whole time we were at Apollo we didn't think we needed it.

We ate at Apollo the first night and 2 more times, including the last night - food was great - big portions (the Greek Salad is for 2 people), and one night I ignored the advice of some of the regulars and ordered the mixed grill all for myself, having been told it feeds 2, and it was HUGE. Didn't go to waste though as Dounia wrapped what was left in foil and back to our room and into the fridge and we had it for lunch next day ,It was so nice to sit looking over the moonlit bay, and one night we were lucky enough to see "the silver path" coming across the water towards the shore. We tried a couple of other places in town,which were suggested to us by other guests, and can say we never had a bad meal on the island, but have to admit that the food at Apollo would have been more than good enough for us to eat there every night, but we wanted to get into Skiathos Town and look around. Speaking of the town, definately the best way to get into town is by the water-taxi from the beach below Apollo - but would recommend getting bus or taxi back, so much easier than the walk back up from the beach when you've had something to eat and more than a little wine or beer. Getting the water taxi in was really nice, seeing the coast as we traveled to town, nice breeze, the blue sea right next to us and then chugging into the harbour and seeing it's bustle - quite magical really. Had breakfast every day at Apollo, with eggs, bacon, cocktail sausages, beans, toast, and continental style breakfast items, along with cereal and coffee/tea/juices available and it really set us up for the whole day - normally meant at best we'd share a shack during the day until dinner. Sundays Dounia did her special breakfast with champagne cocktails, lots of lovely pastries and cakes and breads as well as the normal breakfast menu.

Went to the cinema while we were there (at the girlfriends insistance - Mama Mia was showing) and it was so nice to sit in the open air watching a film - wouldn't want to try it at home though - really don't think we have the weather for it. Apparently it used to have a roof on it but one winter the snow caused it to collapse (we didn't believe they had snow there until Dounia pulled out an album of pictures showing their swimming pool full of snow !) and the Greeks just did the practical thing and decided to have it as an open-air one. The films are in English with Greek subtitles, so no need to worry about that.

The beaches on the island were really nice, went down to Achladies a couple of times and also to Mystique which was down at the end of the island - took a bus down and then a walk up and over the hill - Dounia had recommended it and it was just what we wanted, relaxed, secluded enough and the sea was lovely. We found it fun getting on the bus to and from the beach - they should get the Guiness Book of Records to the island - I'm sure they'd win the category of "cram the most people on a bus at once".

We had a lovely time - the island was perfect for us, the beaches wonderful, good food, nice evenings, but what really made it for us was where we'd chosen to stay. We've read the reviews since our stay, including one which left us totally confused by the criticism of Dounia, which in our experience was so far off the mark it's not true, but also, was nasty and personal, and no need for that. We found Apollo to be clean, comfortable, and well equipped for a self catering/ bed & breakfast. It was nice to sit on the balcony and relax before getting ready in the evening, and the bed was lovely and comfortable and the aircon was great, made the room lovely and cool. But we weren't there to spend our holiday in the room, it was perfect for what we wanted, to sleep, shower, and change and chill, it was the people who were at Apollo that made it for us, and especially Dounia and Captain. I read what one person wrote about Dounia not accepting money immediately when you ordered something - how can you complain about that - we felt it showed a huge amount of trust in us, especially as we were first time guests. And whenever I wanted to know how much we owed, Dounia would pull the bill out of her bra (the famous Dounia "bra-bill") and let me know, and then would break it down for me if I asked (I only did that once - I realised after that there was no need to worry about being ripped off). It was nice not having to carry money by the pool if we were lazing out - speaking of which we never had a problem getting a sunbed, nobody "hogged" them. It was nice to find we were given towels to use by the pool and on the beach, if only we'd known before we went then could have left ours at home.

Anyway - think you get the idea - we loved it there - Dounia was lovely and helpul to everyone in the time we were there, and she worked very hard (we asked her once what time she started and she got up at 6am every morning to get breakfast ready and would go to bed about 1am, often without break during the day) to make us welcome and help us if we needed it. Captain was larger than life and real fun - and has mastered the art of being a "blokes bloke" with the men and a smoothy with the ladies - if you go ask him for an afternoon anti-biotic and do try his cooking - what everyone has said about the spatchcock is true, and one night we had fish and it was tremendous ( if you want fish you ask Captain or Dounia and they go and get it from the fish market for you). Speaking of fish - we compared the prices for fish at Apollo to what they charge in town - in town the same piece of fish was about 300 % more expensive !

They are lovely, as were their staff, and the Apollo was just what we needed - we came back recharged and feeling like we'd been going there for years, which we probably will do - in fact we're seeing if we can get out there before the season ends to tide us through the winter.

Thank you Captain and Dounia for making us feel so at ease and not in the least like strangers and making our holiday so good - we hope to see you again soon

Room Tip: Every room has a sea view, and if it's busy with families imagine the rooms in the block of 8 ro...
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank burnside1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 August 2012

I've been to beautiful Skiathos 6 times over the last 12 years, the Greeks are genuinely welcoming but Dounia and Captain ( real name Themistocles I think ) are quite extraordinary. Villa Apollon is extremely well situated, easy to get to by bus or taxi and all sevices are inclusive - breakfast, air-conditioning, iron, TV, pool recliners. Dounia accomodated my akward split booking with charming grace and left me with the feeling that I had shared their home rather than simply stayed in an apartment, which, by the way was spotless and extremely comfortable. Recent reviewers ( August 2012) have spoken of the wonderful meals and generous proportions, I'll add that the drinks are just as generous. Both Dounia and Captain are cultured, hard-working, ever-present hosts with a full command of English and a genuine desire to offer up their very best. Oh yes, and the views from rooms and poolside are breathtaking. Half the quests I met were multiple returners to Villa Apollon which I think says a lot. If you are in Skiathos Town on a Friday afternoon wander along, past the boats, to the start of the airport runway, planes come in at about 50 ft over your head - extraordinary and a rare treat if you like that sort of thing.

Room Tip: Trust Dounia's advice.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank JohnBMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2012

This was our 8th visit to Greece but our first time in Skiathos. Villa Apollon by far offers the best service we have experienced compared to any other accommodation we have stayed at in Greece. It was very easy to get a taxi on arrival at Skiathos Airport and in 5 minutes we were at our accommodation, where we received a very warm greeting from Dounia.Throughout the holiday Captain and Dounia were wonderful hosts. They work so hard to look after their guests, are so helpful and attentive and nothing is too much trouble. Our room was cleaned every day and had wonderful views of the sea even though it was on the ground floor. The breakfasts are excellent, offering a huge variety of food including English cooked breakfast, cold meats, cheese, cereals and Dounia's delicious home made jams and chocolate spread. Great evening meals are also available, portions are massive: the largest steak I have ever had, cooked by Captain on the barbeque. Skiathos has many beautiful beaches and it was well worth hiring a jeep for a few days to discover the island. Achladies itself has a lovely beach and a few local tavernas which were all really good. The only drawback in the holiday was the busy road which you need to walk along to get to the resorts amenities. Otherwise we could not fault Skiathos and would highly recommend Villa Apollon to anyone.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sar-16-ah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2012

My family and i have recently returned from a family holiday with Captain and Dounia - this was our third visit to the Apollon and as usual we were made to feel very welcome. We have two young boys aged 5 and 7 who thoroughly enjoy their time there and love to see captain and Dounia who spoil them constantly - so much so that they are continually asking when will we be going back. To sum up our stay we can only describe the Apollon as a fantastic welcome with a warm and friendly atmosphere where nothing is too much trouble. Although they offer a varied family menu there is a choice of fresh fish offered and cooked to perfection by Captain we also got a cooking lesson thrown in to prepare and cook the best spatchcock chicken ever - captain style!! We as a family would recommend this holiday to anyone of any age.

Room Tip: All good but recommended if children room by the pool
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2012

We have just returned from a great holiday staying at Villa Apollon. It was our first time to Skiathos and one of the main things we liked about Apollon is that the location of the hotel is superb. The bus route runs along the south coast of the island from east to west, starting at bus stop number 1 (Skiathos Town) to number 26 (Koukounaries). There is approx 1/4 to 1/2 a mile between each stop and Villa Apollon is located at stop number 9. You have the best of both worlds, close enough to reach the town quickly and cheaply. The bus costs 1 euro 60 and a taxi's is approx 7.50 euros. However, as it is so close to the town, a water taxi, costing 2.50 euro per person, runs every half an hour from Achladies beach which is only a 5 min walk a way. We ate out in the town many nights and arrived by water taxi each time - such a novel way to travel, quick and you get great views of the town as you approach.

We stayed in a studio apartment which was perfectly clean and comfortable, full of Greek charm! The apartments were well designed in terms of positioning as they all look out to the beautiful bay of Achladies. The beds are extremely comfortable and the rooms have air conditioning (included in the prices) which is a god send in the height of summer.

Dounia and Captain work tirelessly to make your stay enjoyable and want you to treat Apollon as your home. They offer welcome and leaving drinks as tokens of their appreciation, ample spread of food for breakfast with a 'special' breakfast each Sunday. Whilst we were there they invited all their guests to a free buffet style meal to celebrate the 'The Feast of Our Lady' which is a Greek national holiday. The food was not only generous but tasted incredible; baked lasagna, moussaka, lamb, goat, liver, salads, roast potatoes and much more. Captain is a hearty chef and makes lovely traditional food. This evening was a great way for guests to socialize and meet new people, an evening we thoroughly enjoyed.

Skiathos Town is superb. We ate there many nights and all nights started with happy hour cocktails on the famous steps, adorned with bright cushions to sit on, outside Rock and Roll Bar and also Marilyn's Bar which are both in the Old Port. We fell in love with 1901, Lo&La as well as The Windmill Restaurant for places to eat - all worth a visit.

There is a lot to see and do for such a small island - it really is a bustling place with extremely friendly and hospitable people. We visited a monastery in the hills, sampled many of the beaches (Banana Beach is the party beach, Koukounaries has crystal clear waters and golden sand and my favorite was Kanapitsa as it was quite but always had a breeze) as well as went on a boat trip to Skopolos.

Finally, a huge thank you to Captain and Dounia for a lovely stay at Villa Apollon. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and greatly appreciated your hospitality.

Jenny and Adam

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JennyBethWatson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

This was the very first place we stayed at on our trip around skiathos and skopelos, and it was a great start to our holiday. Our room was on the first floor of the higher building so had superb views all the way round the valley and down to the sea. We were welcomed by gracious hosts Captain and Dounia and friendly other guests at the bar with a free drink - what a nice and welcome touch! (It was hot!) I can see why other people may think it's cliquey there, there are quite a few repeat guests, but we found everyone to be friendly and helpful, especially Dounia and Captain, although the pool sun-bed area is quite small. The walk down the steep hill to the beach is nice, and being able to catch the ferry every half hour to skiathos town - is brilliant. The last ferry back is at 11pm and they go (in high summer) on the hour and on the half hour.
We opted to eat in one night - and went for the lobster spaghetti. It was fantastic - the biggest lobster we've ever seen, and you've never seen a bigger pile of pasta in your life! It was better than at famous fish restaurant Thalassino Ageri in Crete, as Dounia had slowly added stock to the pasta so it tasted of lobster - amazing! There was enough pasta to eat for lunch next day. The only thing was, we had no idea how much anything cost as there were no prices anywhere, so when our final bill came, it was a bit more than I expected. Bar tabs do mount up, you probably have more than you remember (especially in holiday mode!) and I'd thought that the drinks would be cheaper than they were. (as the room was so cheap.) I had queried it with Dounia, and she'd seemed a little upset. Maybe if prices were displayed on the blackboard where they write the specials , and you were given a slip to sign after each drink like in other hotels - you would have a better idea of costs that can mount up. The lobster at €65, was worth it, but it was partly my fault as I hadn't asked the cost when ordering. Probably as I was so relaxed! All in all we really enjoyed our stay in the Apollon.

Room Tip: Rooms in the upper building on higher floors have the best views, and large balconies.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bacononthebeech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2012

Our 13th year visiting skiathos and villa apollon and still as brilliant as ever! This year I travelled with my friends as well as family, and just want to give a massive thanks to Dounia and captain for making it the best it could be! I have to mention the great breakfast especially on a Sunday which provides guest with champagne & bellinis as well as caviar & smoked salmon and the excellent BBQ skills of Themistokles (captain) which can't be contended with. Dounia & captain provided us with an amazing meal for holy mothers day (Greek festival) including pork, spit roast goat and homemade walnut cake! We will all be returning next year, even our friends that stayed elsewhere in skiathos. See you soon.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
Thank CHEEKYLITTLETHING
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Apollon Skiathos

Address: Achladies, 370 02, Greece
Region: Greece > Sporades > Skiathos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Skiathos
Price Range: £35 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located 3.5 kms from Skiathos town and 4.5 kms from Skiathos airport at one of the best beaches of the island named Achladies where you can find water-sports, tavernas, bars, restaurants, water taxi to town and supermarkets. Bus stop no 9 is 50 meters from the gate of the Villa. The most important characteristic of Villa Apollon is the feeling of comfort and relaxation.PRICE INCLUDES WELCOME DRINK, BABY COT,WI-FI CONNECTION, PARKING.STUDIOS (2 PERSONS) double bed or two single beds.STUDIOS (3 PERSONS) one double bed and one single bed.ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT(2-4 PERSONS) one double bed (bedroom)and two single beds at the living area.TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT(2-5PERSONS) Two bedrooms one with double bed and one with two single beds can sleep up to five-six (5-6) persons adding one or two single beds at the living area. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Apollon Skiathos Hotel Skiathos
Apollon Hotel Skiathos

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