After two difficult years looking after sick parents, this was going to be the first real break for me and my husband. I found this offer on Groupon, and thought that it would do the both of us good to get away in the sunshine for a week. Not having used Groupon before, I was advised by my daughter to speak to the Hotel before I brought the deal to make sure that the dates we were looking to go would be available. I telephoned and spoke to Elina, who spoke excellent English, and she said that she would speak to the manager to check the dates and get back to me within 24 hours to confirm. This she did with confirmation that my dates would be fine.
I bought the deal, and then looking on Tripadvisor (I know it's the wrong way round, but as I said before, I am new at using Groupon, and Tripadvisor). After reading some of the reviews, I was, to say the least, extremely apprehensive about our holiday, and thought that I had made a big mistake. I mentioned the planes and the quality of some of the rooms to my husband, who was just looking forward to a week away.
We had no transfers arranged, but were greeted by a taxi driver at the airport who said he would charge us €15 for the trip. We took him up on his offer and off we went. Upon arrival at the hotel he helped carry our bags to reception.
Elina was on reception and offered us a welcome drink whilst we registered. After completing the registration paperwork, a porter was called to take our bags, and we followed him to the room. Still very nervous about what I had read, you can imagine how delighted I was when he showed us to a lovely room (number 46) on the ground floor overlooking the pool. The room had a small terrace with two chairs and a table and was tucked in the corner, so not too overlooked. In the room there was a large double bed with bedside tables, a sofa, two dressing tables, one with a fixed hairdryer and a chair, and a double wardrobe with drawers under. There was also a television, but we didn't even turn it on during our stay, so couldn't comment on that. Behind an attractive curtain there was a sink and a fridge. To the side, behind a sliding door, was a small but adequate shower room. I know that the shower area was not fantastic and each time you had a shower the water spilled over and ran onto the floor, but that is why there was another drain just outside the shower area, and by my experience of Greece, this is the way they do it.
We quickly unpacked, changed, the weather was about 28°C, a lot better that the 9°C we had left behind in UK, and went off exploring. We took the 10 minute walk to Kamari, where we found a variety of restaurants, shops, supermarkets, car hire places and much more. Yes you do walk across the pebbled beach, which, with flip flops, is a bit uncomfortable, but if you don't like that you can always use the road to get to "The Strip", which will take you a little longer I understand, as we did the beach walk at least once a day. It was good exercise, as we did spend a lot of our time trying the local food and wine.
As it was coming to the end of the season, so some of the restaurants and shops were closing for the Winter, but there were still plenty to choose from. Over the week we saw a lot more restaurants close, but, there were still our favorites left to eat in. Speaking to the staff, most of them will be closed by around 27th October.
I can understand that in July and August it is going to get very busy both in the hotel and also on the island itself, but my advise would be, if you want to get to the sunbeds either by the pool or on the beach before the others, go in late September/early October. The weather will be bearable, and you will get wonderful service from all the staff at the hotel, as we did. We were looked after very well in the bar and restaurant by Agatha and Giamis, and also the lady who cleaned our room, not sure of her name, it was either Tania, Ludmila or Vasilis. Each day our bed was made, all the towels and shower mat were changed, and it was dusted and the floors mopped. The sheets and pillow cases were changed at least once during our week's stay, and a bowl of fresh fruit was left on our second day.
Finally, I must mention the planes. Yes they do fly very low over the hotel, but, as the write-up says, you are only 4K from the airport. We counted them one day and there were only 8 planes that landed during the whole day, the first one at about 9.30 in the morning. You only hear them for about 10 seconds as they make their approach, which in the whole scheme of things, is not long. I would rather be able to fly directly onto the island, putting up with a bit of noise for a minute or so a day, than have to take a ferry from the mainland, spending about 8 hours on a boat.
To sum up, a lovely hotel, very friendly, helpful staff (the light over the dressing table went one morning. I mentioned it to our housemaid and within 5 minutes, maintenance had arrived to change it). I couldn't fault it and we will definitely be going back next year in either May or October, and neither of us can wait.
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- Also Known As:
- Thalassa Sea Side Resort And Suites
- Thalassa Sea Side Hotel Kamari
- Thalassa Sea Side Kamari
- Thalassa Sea Side Resort & Suites Santorini/Kamari