We booked 7 weeks before travelling and stayed here 7th May to 14th May, myself, my partner and my 5yr old daughter, we got a fantastic deal with a free child place only cost £1,200 for a Family Double on Activity side, so we were over the moon with this! Ok, this is going to be long but I want to be thorough here goes…
Check in at Gatwick was spot on, we got to airport early and checked in straight away no problems, and without paying the ridiculous amount they charge you we were all sat together (for future reference it is not worth paying the extra charge at time of booking, if you have children under the age of 13 they HAVE to sit all the party together), flight was on time, good flight.
Arrival at Airport:-
This part I despised, the chaos once we got out of Rhodes Airport was ridiculous, nobody knew where to go, the Reps did not make themselves clearly known and when they did there were lots of coaches and only 1 person with a clipboard of information!!!! We were told to queue to find out which coach we should go on, really why we were queuing was to be given the information about tomorrows “meeting” at the hotel, well why the heck couldn’t reception give that to us on check in??!! Because of this by the time we finally found out which coach we were on it was FULL, my 5yr old had to sit on my lap and partner sitting away from us at the front, one chap actually moved and put his son on his lap just so we could get a seat, I mean this is all you need after all that travelling, not to mention unsafe that the children have to sit on our laps!!! The transfer itself was quick thank goodness however it took a while to set off because two people had neglected to tell the Rep they’d decided to take a taxi, although I don’t blame them for doing so, wish I had!
Arrival at Hotel:-
Fantastic! Check in was quick and simple and the staff were extremely helpful, we decided to take our own bags straight to our room (I like to have them there and then and not wait for someone to bring them, just me!) plus our room was not far away, room 3504 on Activity side. So we dropped our bags off, and then went to the main restaurant where a small buffet had been laid out for us and we received our wrist bands as well.
(3504, Ground Floor, Double Family Room with Sliding door)
WOW! Absolutely fabulous, perfect location in the hotel, close to EVERYTHING, who needed a swim up room, it was literally 5 steps from our terrace to the pool! Highly recommend this room, we would get practically all the sun from 1pm onwards which was ideal when my daughter wanted a rest in the afternoon as I could sit out on terrace and continue to tan!! It was very clean with everything you need, lots of drawers and closet space which is a must for me! Hairdryer, fridge, kettle, (Tip: take your own tea/coffee as you only get 1 lot from hotel then they charge you for more, you can get some milk from restaurant and keep it in fridge!). Terrace is huge and we could actually step down from it and use the sun beds right outside our room, which was great cos we could use our room toilet if required. Maid came every day and did a great job, even arranging pillows prettily and folding my daughters nightie! Beds were so comfy, nice bedding and pillows and the air con worked like a dream. Bathroom was great with lovely rainfall shower, also a bath with another shower attached, great size too.
Fabulous! I have to say I just love the layout of this hotel, the fact each annex building has its own pool and all the rooms surround it is such a great idea and there was NO reserving of sunbeds whatsoever that I saw, we literally got up when we wanted, went for breakfast, came back and there were always beds available! I think people tended to stick to the pool near their room, it makes sense, we just loved the location of our room so stayed there most of the time. We ventured to the Water Park every so often, this was great, my daughter loved the lazy river and the pirate ship! Yes the pools are cold, but it didn’t bother my daughter whatsoever, once she got in, she was in and I had to literally tear her away! When it wasn’t so hot on a couple of days she didn’t stay in quite so long. I personally don’t swim a lot anyway whilst on holiday but I have to say it was cold when you first got in but then you soon forget about it. The pools always seemed clean and never overcrowded in or around.
My daughter did one session in the morning, which she enjoyed, the staff are great! She also on the Sunday night at 7:30pm went to the Chocolate Party (5 Euros), which she enjoyed! This also meant that my partner and I got to have dinner just the two of us for one evening, we scheduled one of our a la carte meals for that night at 8pm so we sat and had dinner then picked her up at 9pm, perfect!
We thought the Reps were brilliant!! Particularly Rodger (with a D), Keith and G! They all work so hard day and night and there is always something going on! The evening entertainment we thought was great, something for everyone, my daughter loved i5Live and the Widgets! Russell the Brussell is great, and they’re all great at putting in some adult humour in the show! Bingo is a little bit tedious and then after that there is a music from local acts, opera singers, The Drifters tribute band who were great, when these came on my daughter tended to be a bit tired so we would go back to the room, put her to bed, take some drinks back with us and sit on the terrace listening to the music. There were a couple of days where it rained on and off so unfortunately they had to do the entertainment indoors in the cinema room which wasn’t ideal but they did their best.
All the people moaning there is no variety in main restaurant, I’m sorry but I just don’t understand why!! There is so much choice, for breakfast there is fresh waffles, pancakes, eggs, omelettes, bacon, sausage, beans, ok so its probably not the best quality sausage or bacon but for an all inclusive catering for hundreds you cannot expect Michellin star quality food!!! There is so much fresh show cooking food, different every night, there is a special kids section too, icecream for dessert. The best night was the Asian/Chinese themed night, fantastic, spring rolls, chicken satay, even crispy duck with pancakes…delicious!! Yes it can get busy, we would usually get there at 6:30pm when it opened which was ideal and not manic, apart from the days when people going home were waiting for their transfer to airport but this wasn’t every day, (maybe an earlier specific timed dinner for transfer people would be a good idea to stop the crowds!) Basically just avoid peak times which tends to be before i5Live starts at 8pm. So around 7/7:30pm. I have to say though, I’ve been to a few All Inclusives and I have to say this is the least chaotic at food times, because it is mainly British guests and everyone was a lot more courteous, waited their turn, even offer you go first…I’ve stayed other places where other nationalities literally push you out of the way!! So for me this was a nice change.
The Snack Bar:- not great to be honest, it was repetitive and the burgers were not good at all, handy for a quick snack later in afternoon in terms of a bag of chips but that’s about it, they had salads and sandwiches there too but not the best, much nicer to eat in the main restaurant for lunch definitely!
The A La Carte Restaurants:- you have to queue up in the morning from 10am in reception to book in, you’re allowed one visit to each, my partner did this and took the only times/days they had, which were our last two nights 8pm for Greek and 8:45pm for Italian, we just took them, and used the Greek for when my daughter did the Chocolate party. Now I know a la carte restaurants in All Inclusive, unless you are paying for them are never going to be much different than the buffet food, I expect it, it’s just nice to be waited on for a change, that’s the main reason we go to them:
The Greek Steakhouse:- I find it very strange its called this when there is no steak on the menu lol. The staff were fantastic, it had rained that afternoon so we had to sit just in front of the Sports bar under cover as the rain had leaked all through the roof of the restaurant itself, still, we didn’t let it spoil it and they did their best to keep it dry and pleasurable for us. You order a Main and Dessert and get given a selection of starters…and what a selection, you get soooo many dishes and most of them were really tasty, particularly the Moussaka! For main I had the chicken and my partner had the mixed grill, was ok. The dessert, oh my, best bit by far, chocolate pudding, delicious!! We were both stuffed by the end of it!
The Italian:- Again, due to rain we couldn’t eat in usual restaurant which is near main pool so we had a closed off section of the main restaurant instead, which was fine because we didn’t eat until 8:45pm so there was hardly anyone in restaurant. Good service. Nice bread to start off with, little bowl of soup (bit salty), for starter we had bruschetta and mussels, both of which came out cold, the mussels inedible!! For main my daughter had chicken from the child’s section of menu, and my partner and I had the steak with rocket salad, was again, ok, but that’s all really, as I say, was mainly just nice for a change and to be waited on and not have to go up and get the dinner yourself.
Another nice touch is that ice-cream is available all day and even popcorn in the evenings!! Drink wise, yes its cheap alcohol but again what do you expect from an All Inclusive, it’s the same wherever you go, at least you get cocktails here, and they’re nice too, particularly the Rhodes Sunset! The wine though, yuck, red wine is undrinkable, but again I’m not expecting Chateauneuf du pape with the price we paid! The sparkling wine is your best bet!
We would usually spend the afternoon at the local beach, which is literally 5 minutes walk, it is a bit stoney and my daughter needed to wear water shoes, but we loved it there, nice and quiet, the sea is so clear, my partner did lots of snorkelling and it’s a lovely setting with the mountains surrounding you! If you walk a bit further up there is a sandier part of the beach which is near the Atlantica Aegean Blue.
Kolymbia itself is a nice little down (bit run down in places), but there are lots of shops, which are much cheaper than the hotel one if you wanted water/snacks/lilos!
Because we were slightly unlucky with the weather we only took one trip to Rhodes Town, we took the bus (timetables available from reception) which was only 7 Euros each way for all of us, took about 40 minutes and the bus stop is literally around the corner from the hotel and it drops you off in front of the old castle. From what we saw Rhodes was a lovely town, the old town part in particular, lots of shops, lovely old buildings and ruins, we stopped off in a lovely little café when we got caught in the rain for a lovely coffee, beer and freshly pizza for my daughter!
Ok, one thing I need to cover…a group of people who happened to be staying there whilst we were there, well, our last two days anyway, I think a lot of the recent reviews have mentioned them. All I can say is, these people should not have been allowed to continue their holiday, their behaviour was completely inappropriate particularly for a FAMILY resort, and although the hotel is not in control of who books to stay there, they should certainly have been dealt with better, given warnings and even thrown out in my opinion, they were loud, drunk most of the time, showed no respect for others, fights occurred in front of children, not what you want to see at all. We just avoided them and luckily didn’t see them that much, although I’ve spoken to other guests who were not so lucky. At the end of the day though we didn’t let it spoil our holiday, we wouldn’t let it. I am a firm believer that a holiday is what you make it and nobody is going to spoil it for me!
I don’t know why they insist on scheduling ridiculous night time flights, oh yes I know why so they hope people pay for a late check out for example £110 euros to keep your room until 6pm, our transfer was 7:15pm, this is a downright cheek and blatantly an excuse to get more money out of you! So we had to endure a horrendous flight at 11pm arriving at 1am in London just so they can get extra money for late check outs, awful, later check out should be included or the flight times changed to a reasonable time! We checked out of our room at 12pm, left baggage with reception and continued our day around the pool until transfer and changed for flight in toilets in reception, wasn’t going to give them a penny out of principal! The Check In at Rhodes Airport was long!! And the wait for the flight boring, there's literally one shop and one place to get drink/food! Flight home wasn’t great, again because of the lateness there were lots of overtired grumpy children (and adults!) lol, but that’s to be expected when First Choice decide to provide only late night flights!
- Firstly, bottled water!!! I’m sorry but this in my opinion is an absolute must at an All Inclusive! Last year in Turkey we had huge fridges full of bottles everywhere, the fridge in our room was replenished with water daily but here…NOTHING! You are expected to buy a big bottle from the shop and continuously fill it up from the machine, not only is this inconvenient and just down right cheeky to expect us to do that, it causes more queuing at meal times with people filling up!! And giving the excuse its because they are trying to be “eco friendly” is rubbish! If they were so concerned about that they would have recycling bins everywhere and not leave the pool lights and other unnecessary lights on around the resorts full time! Even during the day!
- Secondly, transfer, this seriously needs better organisation!! Clearer instructions and give us information when we get to the hotel, just let us get on the coach for goodness sake!!
- Be better prepared for the weather! The hotel is definitely only built for the summer, whoever designed it thought it was a good idea to put holes in the roof of the buildings, this should be changed to avoid the flooding that occurred during all the rain! The staff did what they could but it was dangerous, as the floors were so slippery, I saw several children slipping over!
- Snack Bar needs looking at for certain! And need drinkable red wine too!
One major plus was the FREE WIFI, you get the code from reception and it works EVERYWHERE in the hotel, the room, poolside and it was great, the only place it was slightly slow was near the stage/entertainment area!
So, overall we had a fantastic holiday, (even though it rained a bit) and I would definitely recommend this hotel to others, the improvements above would make it ideal! The hotel itself is fab with a great layout, beautiful setting surrounded by mountains, finished to a very high standard and above all very clean! Thanks for the memories HV Rhodes!
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Village Rhodes Hotel Kolimbia
- Holiday Village Rhodes Greece