Getting the best from hotel reviews online
Getting the best from Greek hotel reviews takes practice and you really need to filter the wheat from the chaff to find out if a hotel is really that bad. Sometimes people will have a vendetta against a particular hotel whether it be other hoteliers, disgruntled guests or generally malicious people.
Some hotels are really that bad but that should show up in 95% of the reviews but some decent hotels are let down by people who are bad holidaymakers, serial complainers or don't understand the way Greek hotels work. Hopefully this guide will help you out.
1. Almost all Greek hotels have walk in or open showers and you wont find shower screen or shower curtains. Its a traditional way of showering and they rely on the heat of the summer drying the water quickly which it does if you give the shower room a quick mop.
2. Handheld showers in the rooms, like the open wet room this is pretty standard as this is how Greek people shower so don’t expect anywhere to hang the shower head. It takes some practice but is easy to get used too.
3. A bin for your dirty toilet roll. This is again very standard in Greece as they don’t have a fully functioning sewerage system as most waste goes into a big tank and you must put your dirty toilet roll in a small bin. Its normal so expect it rather than complain needlessly when you return home.
4. Self catering apartments, studios and hotels will supply you with one toilet roll. The hotel owners take self catering literally so you have to buy your own in 95% of these hotels. If you see this on hotel review sites then take note its not the hotel being stingy its just the norm in Greece.
5. Self catering rooms will normally come with a 2 ring hob and basic cooking utensils. Again its pretty standard in Greece so don’t expect ovens and microwaves. You will be amazed what you can cook on a two hob cooker if you put your mind to it.
6. Self catering in Greece pretty much means you do that, the maid will come and give the room a quick clean but don’t expect her to stand and wash your dirty dishes, you paid for self catering so that's what your expected to do. Maids are generally low paid and have 50 or so rooms a day to clean single handed.
7. Bed and breakfast in almost all Greek hotels comprises of a simple continental breakfast of biscuits or a type of dried and hard toast with butter and jam and maybe some fresh orange juice, tea or coffee. Don’t expect a full English breakfast in these hotels.
8. A lot of people bemoan about not being allowed their own drinks and food at the poolside. Greek law means the owners can get fined if the tax inspector comes round and sees you drinking a bottle of Pepsi when the bar only sells coke. They assume the owner is selling under the counter drinks/food to avoid paying taxes – Greece is very strict on this so don’t take offence if your told to take your own food and drink to your room.
9. This is a complaint in younger more party orientated resorts. The fact you get charged to bring guests back to your room overnight or aren’t allowed them into your room. Again this is for tax purposes and if the hotelier is caught having people that are not named on their register in the hotel at night they will be fined thousands of euros.
10. Getting kicked out of your room at 12:00 on day of departure and no flight until the early hours of the next morning. Well you only pay for the room until 12:00 noon on day of checkout so why should you be allowed to stay for free. Hoteliers need to have the room ready for the next guests to arrive who like you would of expected the room to be ready for them. Ask them if you can pay extra to store your luggage or see if they have a room dedicated to guests like yourself to shower and change.
11. Having to pay for extras like air conditioning and safe boxes. If you read your booking you will see these aren’t usually included in your price and if you want them you will have to pay. They are optional so you don’t have to spend the money if you don’t want to.
12. Lack of towels in the rooms, again Greek hoteliers provide you with a few towels as common courtesy, but in most self catering rooms your expected to bring your own.
13. Maids don’t clean every day in self catering rooms. You’ve paid for self catering so be expected to clean your own rooms. Most apartments, hotels and studios will change your sheets and towels at least once in a week and twice if your there for two weeks. Cleaning can vary from place to place but if your self catering expect to do it yourself.
14. Bugs and pests. A major gripe with holidaymaker's but some things are impossible to control. The hotel should always be kept clean so we don’t agree with cockroaches and ants all over the place and this should always be reported. But if you leave food lying around on the balcony expect to get ants coming for your food, so a bit of cleanliness will prevent small outbreaks of ants.
15. Finally don’t believe everything you read in hotel reviews, take an average of the reviews and make up your own mind. Remember a lot more people complain online than people praise in reviews. Some people who complain are serial complainers and some are just bad guests that will slate a hotel claiming they are the perfect holidaymaker and everyone connected to the hotel are the devil.
We hope you enjoy your holiday in Greece and come back with a good picture of the islands and its people.