I travel a lot and stay in hotels in many places, at home and abroad. Mainly for business and I don't bother making reviews on those, rightly or wrongly. Then There's the 'important' ones, family holidays. We normally try and do a week in the Spring, the main one with a couple of weeks in the Summer holidays and then perhaps another week in October. I have been thinking a lot about how to write this review and have come to the conclusion, the best way would be to just state the facts and events as they happened/as I saw them/as they unfolded (and perhaps a personal comment or 2 as I probably can't help it!) for you the reader to make up your own mind...here goes:
- Lovely looking hotel, clean, nice clean rooms, nice spa, FANTASTIC pool and pool area.
- Pebble beach, not child friendly. North westerly full oshore wind prevailing so rough seas.
- Hotel location/surrounding area is like Beirut, looks like all locals upped and left in the middle of the night...suppose that's what all inclusive hotels do ie kills off local tavernas and shops.
- Have to find your own table in the restaurant. In other words, like us and many others after us, don't stand waiting by the entrance to be shown where to sit, even the 'front of house' will just look at you as if you're mad and not even inform you it is ok to just walk in...eventually we just did what others did and just walked in...
- No wine/drinks waiter, only self service 'pumps'.
- No branded drinks at all, soft or alcohol.
- BOTH RED AND WHITE WINE (out of the pumps!) ARE UNDRINKABLE. 9 out of 10 people we spoke to agreed. The '10th' were from Russia..
- Beer on par with Carling...and that could be a little harsh on Carling..
- Soft drinks usual powder rubbish. Most days the powder to carbonated water ratio was severely in favour of the water.....
- Literally a free for all on both drinks and food. Buffet changes every 2-3 days, at best. We managed to count calves liver 3 out of 5 days one week...
- Favourite (cheapest!) food was chicken. We called it 'chicken abortion' or 'road kill' as it was not your usual carved chicken, but literally a whole chicken chopped up with a cleaver and thrown into a tray, bones, the lot!
- One night there was a dish with the sign above it saying 'salmon in creamy leek sauce'. That caught my attention as as far as I know, salmon is pink, while this fish was white (cod looking and consistency). Mentioning this to the manager in passing the reception desk, he put on a surprised face, said he would get his food and beverage manager so I could speak to him. He duly arrived and I invited him to come and look for himself. He explained it was the same salmon he had sourced for 20 years being the duration of his career there. Regrettably I had to inform him that either he wasn't very good at his job OR his supplier was having a field day and a jolly good laugh at him behind his back. For some reason he was not willing to follow me to the actual buffet so we could discuss the matter further whilst looking at this white salmon, or rather, in front of the other guests...
On that note, I have since done some research and there is indeed a white salmon. It's very rare and caught in Alaska so perhaps I owe the hotel an apology and must instead congratulate them for their extremely good taste and applaud them for bringing in such rare and expensive fish from far away, to,serve in their hotel buffet!?
- Would rate food 3 star. This is not a reflection of the kitchen staff, but the mere quality of what they are given to work with. Guess a bit like asking Picasso to paint the Mona Lisa with a crayon....
- I'm no fussy eater by far, but had the kids meal/food probably 10 out of 14 evenings. Amazing skinny fries, nuggets, hamburgers and omelette to their credit!
- Large parties are under no circumstances allowed to say push 2x4 seater tables together to make room for 8 to eat together. You either have to wait for a large table to become available or split up and dine as 2 parties of 4.
- Waiters looked in fear of their jobs (lives even!) when people took it upon themselves to move tables, and quickly pulled them apart again, telling guests they would have to wait for a large table to become available.
- No waiter service of any kind anywhere in the hotel or by the pool or beach. It is self service on all counts. Hotel staff only clear up.
- Bar staff not very friendly, UNTIL that is you're nice to them and they realise you don't speak Russian....(!)....a LOT of Russian speaking guests in this hotel and unfortunately it looks like all staff have resigned themselves to be barked at hence not very forthcoming with a smile and 'hello'...
- The reservations manager (also dealing with complaints) who I had the pleasure of having a one to one meeting with in his office, informed me the wine was an 'award winning wine' and that his staff were not instructed NOT to interact with guests (we were informed of such by an insider as apparently our friends from the East do not like to interact and/or be approached!!). Was told only 10-15% of guests were from 'The East' hence no such policy was required. Firstly, I'm not quite sure which award this mystery wine out of a bag in an unmarked cardboard box had won, but must be something along the lines of 'award for best wine authorised for public consumption, least likely to kill the consumer', with a footnote of 'doubles up as car fuel if out of petrol whilst stuck on a mountain'. As for the guest ratio, I think his calculator was broken OR he is not aware 'Sergei' and 'Tatiana' are not common Western European Christian names..
- I asked a waiter one evening if he drank this wine and his response was 'this should not be called wine'...enough said....
- No milk is served with teas/coffees. Only the 'cream' in the small plastic tubs with foil lids (that you get in a Holiday or Premier Inn!). Asking the bar staff for milk out of a cow instead, they tell you it's now called a cappuccino and you have to pay for it!!
- We celebrated my mother in law's birthday one evening by going to the 'a la carte' Italian restaurant. Bit of a flattering description as there's only a very few variations of pizza and pasta to order from. Your average beach bar will offer same. None of the main courses (pizzas/pasta) came with any salads or garnish. They had some salads as the starter options and asking if it was therefore possible to order a couple of salads to go around to come out together with the main courses we were told, yes you guessed it, 'no'....end of.....
- short drinks (gin, rum etc) all un branded and awful as well.
- Terrible beds. Follow the advice of most reviews and request mattress toppers on your day of arrival.
- Late check out (6hours longer) Euro80......
- Great animation team under the competent leadership of Marco with special thanks to Sue for looking after our boy so well in the kids club.
- The little street within walking distance mentioned in other reviews past 'Patty's' with 'tavernas and shops' is a bit over rated in my opinion. It is a small road flanked by 2 to 3 star hotels and self catering apartments and therefore caters for such.....enough said, again...
- Due to my various 'minor' complaints, we found a bottle of wine in our room one afternoon 'with compliments of Electra Palace'. What surprised me the most was the actual glass bottle. I thought it only came in bags and cardboard boxes.. We saved the wine for our last night's dinner, but was stopped at the door by Eva Braun saying we could not drink it in the restaurant, despite showing it had the 'with compliments' sticker on it! We were only allowed to drink it in our room, nowhere else! I assume this was done with the safety of the hotel guests in mind. Had other guests seen us with a bottle of wine, I fear it could have caused a stampede to our table to get a taste by all guests, possibly resulting in fatalities. Anyway, feeling rebellious I asked one of the waiters we by now had become friendly with at the back of the restaurant if he could open it and he did......unfortunately so I should add, as it was just as undrinkable as the wine out of the pumps! Talk about adding salt to injury, BUT guess it's the thought that counts....unless, come to think of it, the manager and his food and beverage manager wanted the last laugh and/or kill us off in order to prevent us from making this review....!?
Summary: A great looking very clean hotel, pool and even beach (for tanning), but the quality of food and drink makes this a definite no go zone for anybody who is used to just a little bit of 'quality'. I feel desperately sorry for the staff as really they are all just doing their jobs, but under instructions that are so ridiculous that they alienate most guests and policies the likes of which were last seen during 1939-45 on the 'other side' of the French Channel (this review being written in England!). I'm actually rather angry with the management of this hotel as I would love to come back, believe it or not, due to the great pool area and general facilities, but the fact that the food and beverages are so average (I'm being VERY kind here!) it's not going to happen unfortunately...
If you have booked it already, make the most of the pool and facilities and take the rest as an experience. If you are considering booking, don't.............
PS. For branded drinks and good service, walk across the road to the Rainbow Bar. The last standing taverna outside this hotel, incl free wi-fi. Ask and they will even put on FIFA for any youngsters to play!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the shores of an Aegean island full of butterflies, on a sparkling beach with clear waters: there lies the Electra Palace Rhodes, bright and colorful, a modern resort with clean lines, made for you to have the best summer holidays of your life. Bright and colorful: such will be your days, and your nights, here! Start your day with a hearty breakfast in Electra's Restaurant, our main restaurant. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Aegean - and plan your day: will you be spending it all at the beach or by the big central pool? How about a tennis match at the resort's court, or maybe a friendly game of volleyball or basketball? The kids are going to love it! After lunch you can enjoy a refreshing nap in your spacious, cool room, or maybe read some more of that exciting novel you found at the hotel's reading room. It's your "me" time - the children are well taken care of at the kids' club, playing fun games and learning new things. As the evening approaches, you start to think about dinner: Chinese, or Italian? Don't forget to check out tonight's menu at Electra's Reastaurant too - its variety is so tempting! After dinner, how about a drink at Waves beach bar? Or, how about asking for our childcare services and taking a long romantic walk with your significant other on the moonlit beach? Such are the days at the Electra Palace at Rhodes, laid back and relaxing, full of fun things to do. Aiming in creating a contemporary resort worthy of our guests, we have taken care of every little detail, so that you can spend your holidays having a real holiday: there are sports courts and a gaming center. There are four restaurants, two serving ethic cuisine. There are five bars - one is certain to suit your mood. There are kids' and teenagers' clubs with qualified staff and special kids' menus and tons of fun activities for the young ones. And there are also five star services and amenities: crisp linen and fully equipped bathrooms and bathrobes for all, and safes and double glazed windows and air-conditioning and DVD players in the rooms, and views of the sea and green gardens and concierge service and so much more! And then there're the smiles. The smiles of our staff, happy to welcome you, keen on helping you make the best of your vacations. And the smiles of everyone around you, having the time of their lives! Won't you join them? Welcome to the Electra Palace Rhodes. Welcome to the hospitality you deserve! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Electra Palace Hotel Ialyssos
- Hotel Electra Palace
- Electra Palace Ialysos
- Electra Palace Hotel Rhodes
- Electra Palace Rhodes Ialyssos