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“No Excuse For Bad Service!”

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Strogili Traditional Houses
Ranked #25 of 55 Hotels in Oia
Certificate of Excellence
OCONUS
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“No Excuse For Bad Service!”
Reviewed 1 August 2008

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.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank OCONUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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Wyoming
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2008

I've debated over whether to post a review because I have negative comments that pertain to one person in particular. However, since that person represents the entire customer service department of this family-run operation, there's really no way to get around it.

First the positives. Strogilil is superbly located a short 7-minute or so walk to Oia, with glorious 180-degree views of the caldera. They offer private parking across the street, and there is a convenience store and bus stop just outside. The owners themselves seem very sweet, friendly, and welcoming, despite language barriers. They always met my husband and me with big smiles. The housekeeper was also very friendly, engaging, and accommodating.

Other customer service, however, needs improvement. I don't wish to be negative here, but the treatment we received from the daughter, Popi, marred our stay. It is our impression that she runs things, and while she does so efficiently, it is appears to be grudgingly. Either that, or my husband and I somehow managed to irritate her upon our arrival, as we received rather cold and indifferent treatment from her during our entire stay. We are respectful, warm people, so we can't figure it out.

Upon arrival, check-in appeared to be a huge hassle for her. I believe we may have interrupted her television show, which may explain the attitude. We just got the impression that checking us in was the last thing she wanted to do and that we were wasting her time. A few days later, when we ran out of toilet paper and asked for a new roll, we got the same treatment. There was an attitude that we shouldn't have used so much paper. Same again when we asked about the bus schedule.....we should have understood how to read the timetable. It made us feel completely unwelcome. Needless to say, when we had any other questions or needed help, we went elsewhere.

The only time she showed any interest and friendliness was when we checked out, at which time she went into a rant about some of the negative reviews posted here in TA.

We initially chalked it up to cultural differences, but this made no sense to us, as the parents were very warm and nice, despite language barriers.

Notably, we got to know some locals and one of them asked us if we were being treated well at Strogili, as there had been complaints from other travelers. A comment was made that the daughter lacked the personality for the business. It made us feel a little better, because we were beginning to think that the treatment was personally directed against us.

None of this would have been such a problem if we had been staying at a huge resort where we could have avoided dealing with her. But, at a small operation like this, we had no choice.

Hot water was also an issue, but it wasn't a turn-off like the poor attitude was. There wasn't enough for my husband and me to shower consecutively, even after the heater had been on for 90 minutes. In order to have enough hot water to fully rinse my hair, I had to turn the water down literally to a trickle. When we complained, we again got attitude, as if it was our fault that there wasn't enough water.

I'd recommend staying here only for the 180-degree caldera view, the low prices, the location right outside Oia, and the quaint and comfortable apartments. If you don't need to interact with the daughter or she's in a good mood, then your stay will be fine. When you do need help, consult Connie, the very friendly and helpful owner of the convenience store at the top of the hill. She will make you feel welcome when others don't, and has plenty of information and suggestions.

  • Liked — location and views
  • Disliked — attitude
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank wannafiji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2008

Stayed at Strogili houses in June of this year - everything from the moment we booked in at Reception to leaving was without fault. Popi and all the staff were helpful without being obtrusive, which is a nice change.

The room had everything we needed and had a lovely feel. No problems with the shower.

The view from the balcony was breathtaking to the extent that we were loathe to go elsewhere. Breakfast on the terrace was the best possible way to start the day, and was never hurried.

The pool was a welcome haven from the heat.

We would definitely recommend to our friends and return ourselves.

In fact if we return to Santorini we would not stay anywhere else.

  • Liked — location, stunning views, lovely ambience of rooms
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mac08Manchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new delhi
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2008

strogili house is the most PERFECT way to experience santorini. The apartments are not just so cute and have phenomenal balcony views, I think santorini's quiet, quaint charm is best experienced at strogili house. The rest of oia and fira have fancy locations and places, but the real charm of santorini as an island is in staying at a quiet and gorgeous place like strogili. I had many doubts before booking as to where to chose to stay in santorini and even made the travel agent cancel his fira hotel plans for us. We wanted an house in santorini and in pretty oia.

Strogili house turned our to be so cute, the perfect apartment with stupendous views. In fact between santorini, mykonos and athens this stay was what felt the most unique. The supermarket onwers right outside strogili house are marvellous and so is anamimolos restuarant where we landed up every afternoon in oia. Popi and her family are also very helpful in their quiet, unobtrusive way. All the comments about her are not to be concerned about at all.
Do go to strogili house for the experience of you life, and we are definetely staying there again on our next time in greece!

  • Liked — beautiful apartment and stunning views
  • Disliked — steps to heave up and down with the luggage
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jaya77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina
Level Contributor
46 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2008

The accomodations were exactly as the web site depicted -- just gorgeous, perfect, right down to the flowers. Breakfast delivered on the patio overlooking the caldera? Straight out of a movie! Fantastic in every way. We booked the studio for my sister and me, and had separate beds for sleeping (one bed at the foot of the other). Friends stayed at Nostos, paid more, but didn't have it as nice. We also enjoyed the lovely pool.

  • Liked — picture perfect
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sinnissippi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level Contributor
51 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2008

As you read from all the reviews, this place has amazing views. The images on the website are an accurate reflection. The location is great - 5 mins walk into Oia town, right at the bus stop to Fira, and has free parking if you hire a car.

We stayed in #4 - which was a 2 bedroom apartment as we are a family of 4. The size was spacious and adequate, with a large terrace.

Breakfast was served on the terrace - and reading prior reviews complaining about booking the breakfast the day before, this must have changed. You just ring reception 15 mins before you want to have it, and they prepare it and bring to you. The breakfast is very good by European continental breakfast standards.

Many people have commented on the hot water situation - we didn't find any problem (maybe because it was the height of Summer) - but we managed to have hot showers for a family of 4 easily. We turned on the water whilst we ate breakfast, and had enough water for a shower.

The pool is lovely, and although a short walk (200 metres) from the furthest room (this is no different from most resorts) - causes no problems. The lounge chairs are very nice, and a kitchen at the pool offers free tea/coffee/water.

The staff were cordial to us - and I think the previous complaints are just cultural differences. They do seem indifferent and standoffish, but whenever we asked for anything they were happy to help, and booked taxis etc happily.

The only complaint I would have (and surprised no-one else has mentioned this) is that the beds are EXTREMELY hard - as the apartments are traditional houses like caves, the beds are built out of the cement walls, with a foam mattress on top - if you are used to soft beds like I am, you may find this very uncomfortable. I felt like I was sleeping on the floor.

Overall, I think the houses offer value for money, great views, lots of space, and amazing views. Having the pool facility was essential when visiting in Summer, and many other hotels in Oia don't offer this facility - and certainly not for this price.

I would recommend Strogili Houses.

  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank robinpark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philadelphia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2008

I just got back from my trip to Greece. We stayed at the stogili houses. What an axceptional place. The pool is beautiful and so relaxing. I felt the pictures of the pool did not do it justice. The owners are lovely. Our room was just perfect. Well the view, perfect.

  • Liked — The beautiful setting
  • Disliked — I liked everything
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mymxh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Strogili Traditional Houses

Property: Strogili Traditional Houses
Address: Thiras - Ias, Oia 847 02, Greece
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Oia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Family Hotel in Oia
#20 Romantic Hotel in Oia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Strogili Traditional Houses 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Strogili Traditional Houses Hotel Oia
Strogili Traditional Houses Santorini/Oia

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