We booked our holiday with Olympic and have just returned from a week at the Aquagrand. There are many positive aspects of the hotel-it is a new hotel and I'm sure that it will become a great hotel- we would definitely return, as we had a relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings-the hotel is situated in a stunning bay with beautifuly blue sea- but there are a few fairly major issues that need to be ironed out for the hotel to actually compare to other five star hotels we have previously stayed in.
When we arrived at the hotel at 2am! we were greeted by a very friendly young man who later took us to our room on the hotel buggy. Throughout our stay he would always greet us with the most enthusiatic of hellos! Our check in was swift and as we had missed our evening meal they had prepared some sandwiches for us in our room, which I thought was a nice touch.
I was a little disappointed with the room. We had reserved a room with a private pool. It was supposed to have "unobstructed sea and pool views". You could just about see the pool through the bushes and the sea if you stood in one area of the pool. This isnt my idea of unobstructed! When we went to reception to see if we could move to another room we were told that 1) the hotel was full but 2) we had booked with Olympic and they only rooms in one block, so if you book with Olympic ignore the hotel's description of unobstructed views-you won't get one!
Having said that, the pool was fab. My husband had warned me that it would be tiny, but we were pleasantly surprised . It was lovely and the double lounger on the deck is very comfortable. Having a private pool and being able to go indoors to the airconditioning now and again was very welcome during our stay as the temperatures hit the 40's! Although initially disappointed with the lack of view, we were actually grateful for the privacy that the bushed provided as some of the private pools are on main thoroughfares. The bathrooms are big with a nice shower area, but the quality of the furniture in the room isn't five star. The beds are big and comfortable though.
We did go to the pool area some mornings which was nice although as other people have mentioned there isnt a lot of atmosphere around the pool as so many people have their own private pools and tend to spend their time there. We went to the beach on one occasion. This is disappointing. It is a man made beach with only half of it being sandy. You have to get there quite early to get beds on the sandy part. The sea is great if you like to snorkel, but if you just want a dip to cool off it's not great as there are a lot of rocks.
There are cabanas but they are all reserved for people booking a certain room type.
The buildings are smart. The hotel has been built to look modern but in the greek style.The restaurants and the bar areas are stylish and always immaculately clean. As we were on half board we ate at Pentapolis restaurant for breakfast and most evenings. The breakfast was always nice with plenty of choice and the kitchen staff are always replenishing the food swiftly. The omlette station guy is funny and friendly- but he does use a littlle to much oil!!! The evening buffet was always plentiful and in the week we were there we didn't see one dish repeated. The food is tasty but the quality of the food simply isn't five star standard. We have stayed in 5 star hotels in Mexico, Hawaii, Dubai and Bali and the food at the Aquagrand really did not compare to what we have eaten elsewhere. The hotel is trying to elevate itself from the usual package holiday buffet by serving the main course at the table. You can choose from the menu for your main course- with a choice of four dishes. These come well presented, but the quality is still a little disappointing. The hostess in the main restaurant is lovely and speaks English very well. The wine waiter Alex is also very friendly and knowledgeable. Pedros the restaurant manager was great and always remembered conversation he'd had with you. The hotel director is always in the restaurant overseeing the evening. On one occasion we were unable to get a table in the restaurant. They were extremely busy and asked us to have a drink in the bar and they woud find us when our table was ready. They gave us a voucher for a free drink which was good. There were numerous people in the same situation but we all had tables by the time we had finished our drinks and so it really was not an issue and they dealt with the sitaution well.
The major problem with the restaurant though is the service. The staff are mostly from eastern european countries and are all trying to communicate with each other in broken English and are often falling over each other. The level of service really isn't five star. The waitresses often take your plate away just as you are putting down your cutelery! They carry wine glasses by hand not on trays- maybe this is being picky but it isn't what you'd expect from five star service. The hotel is still new, and hopefully the service will become more professional as time goes by. There are a few stand out people who make your stay more enjoyable but the hotel needs to be more selective when recruiting if they apsire to hit high standards.
The a la carte restaurant is lovely but isn't open every night. It is worth a visit but is quite expensive if you are on half board and so have already paid for your evening meal. A three course meal on a normal evening would probably cost about 80 euros per coupe without wine. During our stay it was only open for themed evenings with a set menu and price. We went to the lobster evening which was great. The food was lovely and more akin to what we have had in other hotels. It was expensive - 110€ per couple without wine, but there were 5 courses-two of which were sizeable lobster dishes.The head waiter is very funny and speaks about 6 languages! The service here is a lot better. The one minor issue is that it isn't airconditioned. Don't sit at the table by the fan if you've just straightened your hair!!!
We ate at Olivino, the taverna for lunch. The food here was nice but expensive for justa snack-9€ 50 for a small greek salad with four pieces of feta! The head waitress is very friendly and there is plenty of choice on the menu.
The small bar by the pool-Sensia- is Ok. It plays good music but the cocktails are very weak and expensive and the service is quite poor. Some of the staff wren't even sure how to make a Pina Colada!
The hotel shop is very small with very little choice and very expensive- 13€ for a bottle of wine! The same bottle was only 5€ in Lindos!
The hotel bar is smart but again very expensive for the quality of drinks provided. We don't mind paying 10€ for a cocktail -as we often do at home- but they aren't very well made and are very weak, and not just by usual Grek standards. When we went into Lindos we went to a very trendy bar and had two strong cocktails for the price of one at the Aquagrand!
The chamber maids were always effiicient and very friendly. They changed the bed linen and towels every day and even polished the hand rail by our pool! The mini bar was OK and was restocked every day by a lovely greek lady.
The people at reception weren't always that helpful or friendly, as has been mentioned in previous posts. We didn't have a problem with waiting for the check-out room, we didn't have to wait too long but I coud see this being a problem as others have mentioned. The only problem that we did have was that they told us there would be towels but there were only ones that had already been used. They need to keep an eye on the situation and regularly remove used towels or provide a bin not just leave them hanging around in the bathroom It didn't seem very hygenic.
The spa and gym are now open but the leaflet in our room said that it was available at a cost of 50€ a week per person to use the facilities. This isn't normal procedure for a resort advertising gym facilities.
After reading this you will probably think that I am very fussy and picky-my husband might well agree! - but we did have a lovely holiday and would definitely return, but maybe with lower expectations. If you go to the Aquagrand expecting a quiet relaxing environment and atmosphere you will have a fabulous holiday, but if you expect high end five star food and luxury you may be a little disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxurious beach-front hotel with limitless views to the bright blue of the Aegean Sea, just 1500 meters away from the renowned traditional village of Lindos. Nestled into a cliff side, the hotel blends in magically with its Lindian surroundings and enjoys breathtaking views of the Aegean. The private-like beach, in front of the hotel, stretches to a length of 200m, and although rocky in nature, its crystal clear turquoise waters are easily accessible through wooden decks and panels. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aquagrand Exclusive Deluxe Hotel Lindos
- AquaGrand Exclusive Deluxe Resort Lindos, Rhodes