Last week of the season and things slow down in Skiathos - pretty much everything shuts on the 30th. Sept, and the water taxi doesn't run after this. This is is the island to choose if you want a nice, quiet time but with good holiday facilities. Weather was atrocious for the first three days (thunder and lightning!) of our ten day stay but hot for the rest. The privately-owned hotel was a bit 70's but has been refurbished. The beds were very hard and took some getting used to! You could not fault its cleanliness. The army of staff were all smily and really friendly, and the Restaurant Manger, Panos, deserves special mention - he was absolutely brilliant, attending to my diet problem without fuss and producing 'the goods' without reminder as soon as he saw me. My wife adored the food on offer - the choice was massive and everything was very tasty. The hotel owner's daughter-manager bought my party of four a (big) round of drinks one night at our meal - very generous and most appreciated.
The big problem......was the small pool and its allocation of sunbeds. The size of the pool was not the issue per se: it was the tiny number of beds available - about 24. Bear in mind that this is a hotel with 150-or-so rooms and you can see trouble. Occupation was 95% brits, so you can't blame the Germans for dropping towels on the beds at 6:30 in the morning. Some selfish b*****s didn't occupy the 'reserved' beds until mid-afternoon - this incensed me so much that I noted the towels used and piched their beds for a few days. That stopped them. All this despite the hotel policy of non-reservation, but no-one in the hotel staff did anything about it. There are a hundred beds on the small beach 20 yards away but the hotel charges 8 euros a day for a pair of those. I think that this policy of forcing folk onto the beach to spend money on what SHOULD be provided is the only complaint I have about what was otherwise a lovely holiday.
Oh, a note for Thomson Holiday, our provider....I have spent many, many thousands of pounds on Thomson Holidays over the years but I will never use them again. This is because I was forced to pay £20 for 2 (yes TWO) kg 'excess baggage' on the outbound trip, but on the return flight, the check-in desk girl didn't even flinch, despite the same excess. Penny-pinching in the extreme, exacerbated by the fact that there was a fat bloke ahead of me in the queue weighing at least 50kg more than me, who didn't pay a penny extra. Thomson - you may not have made much money this year, but I don't expect to have to make up the difference. What with that and crass mobile texts asking me to enter a 'competition' for a quid. Smacks of desperation, doesn't it?
All rooms have sea view, some better than others. Ask for one in the '800' range if you have...
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