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“Hill top retreat with spectacular bay view”

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Pantheon Apartments
Ranked #4 of 14 Kefalos B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 October 2013

A week in September in Kos at the Pantheon was a great choice offered by 'On The Beach' who tied us up with RyanAir and an efficient transfer to make this a relaxing holiday destination.
On arrival at 10pm we were given a big welcome by Janet who been there 20 years, and a beer and a toastie by her Greek husband Pappis.
Our room was in Block 2, a smart looking 3 story balconied building on the top of the hill, with views both sides to the coast - good for taking the breeze (Meltemi, I think for our first three days) - and over the pool, and breakfast terrace down to the bay. It's an absolutely fantastic view, spoilt only by Club Med's defunct beach-side resort below. It's a prime site and there are no tavernas on the beach there the best sand in the bay, too.
The room was typically Greek standard, with a proper WC (paper in bin, please!) with shower and basin. However we never really enjoyed one hot shower as the solar powered hot water was always exhausted, and then when it did come on it was too hot and the base got blocked up and over-flowing before we could get it right! Janet had it 'fixed' on 2nd attempt, but we never had it how we'd liked.
We should also mention, too that when the wind died, the room was invaded by mosquitoes and it was hell in there. We wrapped in our individual sheets (twin beds), but it was too hot to stay like that with the balcony door closed so we had to suffer. The answer is to have gauze panels fitted to the windows, and maybe an offer of a mosquito net (a hook was there on the wrong side of the room, oddly?).
But apart from all that, The Pantheon offered its guests Half-Board (we chose just B&B) which was quite popular with those without their own transport to reach the beach bars and restaurants down below (a slog back uphill on busy main road). A knackered (hardly MOT standard) bus was used by pappis to take us down and back at 10am, 1.30 pm and 6pm, which was convenient, but there was no evening service now they have their own dinner service!
Don't worry though, it is cheap and easy to hire a scooter or quad bike, or car to travel all over the island at the pace you like.
We took the bus to Kos at the other end of the island, and travel to almost every quarter on its winding journey in an hour to explore the main town, its fortress castle, the harbour and some ancient ruins before taking lunch in a pretty side street away from the meltemi's blast, and we found all the restaurants offering a super choice of seafood and traditional meals which were very reasonably priced and delicious.
Another day was spent on a boat trip over to Nissyros, and island on the horizon visible from the pantheon, and there we were ferried up the mountainside into the volcano within! What a memorable place, Not only was it so strange walking over the crusty ground with steam belching out in a moon like crater, but it was amazing to try and understand how they built the mountain side's terraces, layers of stone boulders reaching for ever upwards. Who worked them, and how did they get their produce back to civilisation? No guides were available to answer these questions, so we remain intrigued!
Hire a car and you can explore the other coastal resorts, and the magical mountain top interior at Zia where they attract coach loads to watch the sun go down over the island from fabulously perched restaurants scattered around the maze of alleyways.
Returning each evening to the Pantheon we were given a cheerful welcome by Janet and her family and staff, and it was the best place to be for an evening drink watching the boats, wind-surfers, and planes zoom about their business!
If only Janet had wifi, free like the rest of Kefalos. She had an Internet Corner, charged at €5/90 mins, but it was inconvenient, and not practical. She's losing out on guests telling their friends how good it is there, and we just missed out on news of our kids back home (good or bad?).
Some of the countryside is mucky with refuse chucked over the side, and there's unfinished building work all over the place, so we urge the Greeks to work hard, and get things sorted out soon. So much of the land could be used for useful farm produce, but it's just wasteland, rugged and cracked wher perhaps earthquakes have heaved the land up and down?
So, if you are looking for a place that is a bit away from the hoards, and want a super view, this is it!

Room Tip: They all face south to the sea, but off the ground floor must be better, and more private, as in Blo...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Charles S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 September 2013

Just returned from a wonderful week in Kefalos, staying at the Pantheon Studios. I was travelling on my own .Janet and Panos made we feel relaxed and welcome The room was just fine, no frills .fridge, kettle and toaster Views were amazing. Walk 20 mins to the beach or you could take the bus which ran 3 times a day The bus was rather a sharabang ,quite a talking point. Pool clean and a good size The food at the Pantheon was very good and certainly good value The only down side was that there are no Taxis, so at night walking back from the village is a bit of a hike. I felt totally safe on my own but became a bit lazy to walk down to the village in the evening.It would have been great if there had been a bus back at 10 pm

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank NotShirleyValentine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

Young couple aged 23-25. Looking for quiet but active holiday. Found the perfect location with an amazing host in the hotel (Janet) extremely helpful and informative. Rooms were basic but exactly what you needed. Room views were amazing looking right out onto the sea. Self catering so did not experience food. Quiet little town but not far from other towns and hot spots. Car or quad hire is highly recommended if you are looking to explore and not just relax on the beach but the walk from the Main Street is no more than 15minutes. Overall a delightful holiday with plenty to do. Big recommendations for the BBQ fishing trip with captain Yanis and lunch/dinner at Sydney's which is located on the harbour, also dolphin rock cafe on the main strip as a home from home local supporting sky sports news as well as great selection of drinks and snack foods.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank JamesAmie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2013

To make the long story short: we were kicked out on the second day even if we paid in advance. We never recovered any money even if we wasted countless hours over many months with the agency where we booked. We are talking about a 4-digit amount we paid for something like 2-weeks (including meals, which we lost). Not only we lost the original money but we had to pay big money for hotels booked on the spot just by showing up and asking the price and if they have rooms for the night (as opposed to being able to chose from many more choices in advance over internet). The same goes for the rented car (even worse as I had to take literally the first car from the first agency).

Paid in advance (even if not directly to the hotel)? Very costly!

Here’s the full story.

When we arrived we were greeted by a lady who recommended herself “Janet”. She started immediately to brag about what a big favor is making us for getting checked in at 11 instead of 12 and that early check-in and late check-out cost 25 EUR (which is more than a much better apartment in a real hotel in a better location costs for a whole day). She pointed to one (of the very many, most with specifying outrageous euro amounts for absolute basic stuff) announcements on the walls that was asking for 25 EUR if you want to leave at 8PM (picture attached). Strangely enough the reservation was extremely specific and we had the hours included as well and we were well inside our paid period. But I did not engage and we took as a gift what wasn’t.

She sent a (male) person with us who recommended himself later and I’ll be calling from now on “the manager”. We told him not to bother but he insisted to show us the room and to make sure everything is in place. Everything is much said as there wasn’t even a chair in the room (there might have been 1-2 plastic chairs on the balcony). In any case, it wasn’t like there was a phone or TV or he had to make sure we acknowledge the remote is there or anything. There was nothing but he wanted to make sure everything is ok - without testing the shower, which would become important later. Also I have to confess I did not take a shower later that day because the water was cold (of course it was sun heated to save money and all the warm water was gone when I wanted to take the shower). But in the morning when I tried to take a shower I realized the shower is broken. We went downstairs to have the breakfast and announced the problem to Janet. She dismissed the problem immediately as we just can’t tell if a shower is working or not. After a lot of pressure she changed the tune to “it wasn’t like that yesterday”. I invited her to have a look or send somebody as it was really close. She didn’t. We prepared to leave and waited a bit in the room, nobody came. We tried to find out again what’s happening and I was told I went to the room and closed (not even locked!) the door like this was something bad and forbidden. Anyway we told them if they could look now and we’ll just wait. I don’t know why we went back to the room minutes after this but we were greeted by the manager who was shouting “why you broke the shower!”. Facing extreme verbal violence and aggressive wide gestures I should’ve been more concerned about our physical safety and have some fight or flight reaction but I was so shocked that my first thought was “this just isn’t happening, can’t be” and the second one was “I’ve got to get this on camera”. And yes it will be on youtube as soon as I manage to get it into the proper format and lower my blood pressure that gets crazy each time the whole event comes to mind. Anyway back to the shouting manager. We showed him (I also attached pictures, you can see how crusty and extremely old and cheap shower we’re talking about) that you just can’t tell it’s broken just by looking at it and yes it might have been looking ok yesterday but it was just as broken as today. But not, he would have none of it, how did I take the evening shower and so on.
At some point after he repeated enough “why you broke the shower” he got directly to “just pack your suitcases and go, GO!”, accompanied with wide hand gestures to just evacuate the room. He repeated this enough times and we had to leave. I had to hike for half an hour maybe more in the sun to the first car rental, lucky it was open (because it was off-season) and had to take the first car they had in the parking lot. Then had to look for another hotel and pay for it and for meals as well. Tried to talk to the police and to the agency but even if this seems to be normal operation for this establishment nobody wants to step in and stop this one way or the other. They took our money, it was end of the season anyway, everything was almost deserted, almost surely we were staying the longest and that’s it, if they can close for the winter earlier, also not spend all the money for food, cooking, personal, why not?

Now here are some (im)practical details.

Location: as of now there is no online map I can find that shows this place correctly. Tripadvisor shows it somewhere in the sea (probably because it is based on an address like “Kos” and that’s it). I took a screen shot but I’m not sure if I can post it as it’s not my picture, you can see for yourself if it isn’t fixed already. You might find on maps some “Pantheon” in the middle of Kefalos, between the main road and the sea, this is still NOT where it is! It is shown there only because it has the address “Kefalos, Kefalos” so it’s shown somewhere in the middle of the village. Nope.
The best way to describe where it is is the following: if you go from Kefalos north, after you pass all the shops, restaurants, hotels and still go for a good bit THEN you make a left (that is going further from the sea), climb a hill, reach a crossroads, make a left again, climb a bit more and THEN you find the place.

All the pictures with beach, supermarket, etc are from the general area, not from the immediate vicinity of the hotel; walking won’t get you there unless you want to spend all day hiking to and from Pantheon<-> beach, supermarket, bar/restaurant.

There is the green bus (supposedly free shuttle) that absolutely can’t be road-worthy and it looks inside and outside like a wreck (see pics!). And if you get the grumpy manager to get you to the first shop (at the northest point of the somehow populated, I mean not completely deserted, part of Kefalos) he expects a good tip of course. I seriously doubt that vehicle passed any inspection during the last 10 years and even if you don’t crash you can still get some skin disease from it, especially if dressed for the beach.

The views aren’t really that great, unless maybe if you go on the roof and you have eagle eyes and the air is clear yes you’ll see the sea somewhere and the coastline. If not and you just look outside the window/balcony you’ll see just the immediate unkempt property, with some field where the manager feeds his goats and all the space around the “hotel” with garbage and dirty clothes. See pictures. Don’t be fooled by the one showing the bus station (from the middle of nowhere) reasonably close, that’s a “full zoom” picture, there’s still a good way from the entrance, over the hill, all around the left side of the picture (where you can’t even see the road winding on the hill) and to the bus station.

Internet is “don’t even think about it” expensive, not free like in most other places (pics included).

Rooms are full with mosquitoes at night (I’m talking downright invasion, probably they feed also on the goats the manager keeps) and there is mosquito blood everywhere on the walls (pics included). Of course there is no insect screen/mosquito net at the windows and surely you want windows open especially in the night (otherwise is really hot of course and you can’t sleep). There is aircon advertised everywhere in the brochure but guess what, it isn’t free. In fact it is extremely expensive, 8 euro per day. That might not seem that much but keep in mind a bigger apartment at a much better location and better equipped will be 20 euros (we’re talking completely off-season), aircon and wifi included!

Breakfast: DON’T EVEN BOTHER. They claim to serve a “rich continental breakfast buffet” (no, really, see pictures). That is precisely (!) two slices of toast bread (that was toasted at some point earlier in the day, I do hope the same day), some butter that sits unrefrigerated most of the time at mediterranean temperatures and marmalade (pics included). That’s all, there’s no trace of eggs, ham, salami, cheese. Not even coffee, unless you count some bulk instant coffee that looks to have more dust than coffee inside. You can of course BUY eggs or some other things for breakfast (picture with prices included).

Dinner is just some fancy names for beans from the can or cut fruits or rice with some herbs and so on. I guess the target here is something like 50 cents per dish.

Everywhere you look this place has 3 stars but accordingly to the hotel manager (I have it on video, this is the actual quote in his English): “MOST CHEAPER PLACE IN 2 STARS” (in fact we actually paid a lot).

In case I didn’t make myself clear before: there isn’t anything around and there isn’t anything to do. Except to maybe drink some overpriced beer (no, not from the minibar which is expected to be a rip-off anywhere, there isn’t a TV or chair, what minibar?) and get bitten by mosquitoes both outside and inside.

Worst possible experience but a lesson not to buy a cat in a bag next time. We paid big money expecting what we’ve seen on internet, a place in top-10 of the area but nothing could prepare us for what we found. Even without being kicked out the location is bad (I think they’re hiding the precise address on purpose, I have it in 2 places in my paperwork and is just Kefalos, Kos, Greece), everything is as cheap and old and recycled and unmaintained as possible and everywhere you look there’s another printed paper saying you have to pay even more for the most basic stuff.

Room Tip: Just don’t pay anything in advance, not even through an agency, instead ask to see the room and chec...
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank explorari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

My husband and I have just returned from a weeks stay at the Pantheon and we both had a perfect holiday. From the minute we arrived as strangers to the moment we left as friends we were treat like family by Janet and her family. We stayed in a studio apartment in block 2 and had the most fantastic views of the bay of Kefalos. The room was clean and tidy and had everything we needed, it even included a kettle. The bathroom is more a wet room, so don't worry Janet didn't forget the shower curtain. The pool is quiet and clean and even at 3 pm in the afternoon there were sunbed/s available. There is air conditioning available at 5 euro a day, Although the temperatures were in the 30's we didn't actually need the air con because the breeze is lovely and kept us cool.

We went on a half board basis with breakfast being continental style including, toast, cornflakes, orange juice, yoghurt, tea and coffee. If you want to eat the full English this is available at a small charge. Dinner is three courses and every meal my husband and I ate was beautifully prepared and delicious. Dinner can be purchased for those on a self catering basis for 10 euro's as can snacks throughout the day.


The Hotel is situated at the top of a hill and not in the centre of Kefalos, so you need to be pretty mobile to take the walk to the beach, however, the hotel does provide a free mini bus service at 10 am, 1.30 pm and 6 pm which drops of and picks up guests at Jim's Supermarket.


Janet is a wonderful host and is the first port of call for anything you need to know about both kefalos and Kos itself and will gladly spend time and attention on anything you ask.

We visited Nisyros to see the volcano and the monastery at the top of the hill and paid 25 eoros's each from Kealos tours on the beach front. We were collected from the hotel and dropped back at about 8.30pm, so didn't miss dinner. It was an amazing trip and well worth the money.

We also hired a quad for 3 days and travelled to Kos a journey that took about 45 minutes and was quite safe and good fun. If you do get there make sure to visit the Western Archaelogical Sites, pretty impressive history. You can get a bus there for a few euros from just near the hotel or go with a tour company for 10 euro's We also, managed to find a great secluded beach at the other side of the island and visited the old town and fort at the top of the hill.

All in all it was a fun filled, relaxing holiday made so by the welcome from Janet and her family, Louise who served us our evening meals and all the other people who work behind the scenes at the Pantheon. We will be returning again next summer as so many of the other guests.

Room Tip: Try a meal at Santa Brabara's restaurant on the waterfront near the Port in Kefalos. There is a...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dawn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

We stayed at the Pantheon with family, 9 people in total, from 15th - 25th August 2013. From the very moment we arrived, we felt relaxed. Five of us shared a spacious 2 bedroom 1st floor apartment with the extra (proper) bed being in the living area. Extremely comfortable beds. Spotlessly clean throughout. Janet and Panos are the most amazing hosts.. Nothing was too much trouble. It really felt like home from home from the minute we arrived. Janet drove us around Kefalos and gave us a guided tour which was very kind of her. The food at The Pantheon was delicious and very reasonably priced. Louise worked evenings in the restaurant…so lovely. We were always able to get sunbeds by the pool. The views are wonderful. Kos is a stunningly beautiful island. We hired a car for 4 days and were able to take in some of the island. Sunset at Zia up in the mountains, Kos town itself, Paradise beach (with the awesome inflatable trampolines, climbing walls etc actually on the water plus the paragliding too) and the Lido waterpark.
Highly recommend the Pantheon to all.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Val O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

We stayed at the Pantheon with family, 9 people in total, from 15th - 25th August 2013. From the moment we arrived we felt relaxed and welcomed by Janet and Panos. The location and views are breathtaking and the pool never got too crowded and was very clean. We ate at the Pantheon on several occasions. The food was great quality and very reasonably priced, especially the 10 euro evening meal (Babbis's beef stifado is second to none!). Louise who worked in the evening was very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. We all had a very relaxing holiday, the only downside would be the walk into Kefalos but Pantheon runs a complimentary bus service 3 times a day. We hired a car for 3 days which allowed us to explore the island so there was a great balance of activity and relaxation. We would highly recommend Pantheon Apartments and would not hesitate to return again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pantheon Apartments

Address: Kefalos 85301, Greece
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Dodecanese > Kos > Kefalos
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Kefalos
Price Range: £16 - £41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Pantheon Apartments 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Pantheon Apartments Hotel Kefalos
Pantheon Apartments Kefalos, Kos

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