First I’d like to correct a previous reviewer who stated you only have 21 days prior to arrival to cancel your reservation. It’s true that you can back out of it 21 days out but they will keep the 30% deposit that was paid when the booking was made. So it’s not a real cancellation in the true sense of the word. Secondly, Popi’s poor customer service can’t be packaged and sold as a cultural difference or a supposed desire to be unobtrusive. We spent 2 weeks touring Greece and stayed in 7 other hotels, ate in several restaurants, and met countless people. In every type of tourist establishment we received a cordial welcome and prompt assistance with a sincere smile. Even Popi’s own relatives are extremely polite and sweet even though their English is basic or non-existent. While corresponding with Popi prior to our arrival, we asked her a few simple (and polite!) questions; for example, what’s the best way to get to Santorini from Crete, and whether there were any ways to get to Strogili other than a taxi. She ignored every question and was only concerned about getting our credit card information. At first we thought it might be a language barrier but once we arrived we realized she speaks and understands English just fine; she just doesn’t want to help even when customers keep reaching out. In person we (politely!) asked her about good places to eat, if she could make us a reservation at Ambrosia, and the best way to get around the island – a total of 3 tourist-type questions – and it was like pulling teeth! Fake (or no) smile, short responses, didn’t want to call the restaurant a day early even though it’s very popular and only has about 6 tables, the only suggestion for getting to Ancient Thira on the other side of the island was to spend a fortune on taking a taxi… Overall minimal effort. Every answer was only meant to get us to stop ‘bothering’ her, which we did since she acted like she knew less about the island than we did and clearly had more important things to do than help out guests. In her line of work – hospitality, which is all about service and making people feel welcome, that type of behavior can only be described as rude. It’d be different if we kept to ourselves and she just wanted to leave us alone and give us our space (and not be obtrusive, as others have suggested) but we actually (politely!) approached her a few times only to be left feeling like we’re a nuisance. Luckily, we found the restaurant without any trouble and made reservations ourselves for the following night (and yes, the place was incredibly busy) and we talked with the Canadian lady who runs a store a few steps away, who laid out several ideas for getting to the ancient site, including renting an ATV, which turned out to be great fun for 20 Euros per day.
We stayed in one of the caves at the lowest level, which had a glorious view and almost no people traffic. The balcony still had little privacy and distance from folks next door as the partition didn’t fully separate us. I wasn’t too crazy about the blanket and the bed wasn’t overly comfortable but the main living area was a decent size (unlike the sunken bathroom). The hot water situation is simply atrocious but instead they invested in wireless Internet?? I’d rather have a hassle-free wash than surf the web in a magnificent place like Santorini. The apartments/houses on upper levels had a lot less privacy as everyone from down below has to walk upstairs past their open balconies, plus the rooms at the same level as the reception have no privacy and the worst view of all. The taxi Strogili arranges to take you back to the airport is really a van and because he’s picking up folks elsewhere, he’ll probably get to you very late. Leave plenty of time to catch your flight just in case. When we (almost apologetically to make sure we don’t offend her in any way and get treated even worse) inquired about the 20-minute taxi delay, Popi tried to dismiss it as he’ll get here, don’t worry, but we insisted so she finally called the driver. At that point her elderly aunt or grandma yelled at her, we assumed it was because the lady wasn’t happy with Popi’s now legendary “couldn’t care less” attitude, so Popi went out to wait for the taxi with us. Those were the most awkward 5 minutes ever. She was obviously irritated. We tried to keep some simple, polite chitchat going just to break the uncomfortable silence but only got curt, annoyed replies, so our trip ended as unpleasantly as it had begun. I was actually shocked to see any positive reviews in Trip Advisor and wondered if Popi perhaps was worried about getting more negative reviews and finally started to show her guests some respect and common courtesy. Judging by a recent review, she’s still as unhelpful and unfriendly as what we unfortunately had to experience 3 months ago. Our stay at Strogili was definitely the lowest point of our trip to Greece, which is a shame because Santorini is a magical island and our memories of it could have been perfect.
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- Also Known As:
- Strogili Traditional Houses Hotel Oia
- Strogili Traditional Houses Santorini/Oia