We arrived around midnight after a long day and were absolutely delighted with the appearance of the hotel and the impression it made when we walked inside. We were assigned a first floor room on the relax side (so far even better) but on reaching the room, pretty tired after our trip, we were taking it all in when we saw 3 large cockroaches, one in the bathroom, one under the vanity unit and one on the curtain, both in the bedroom. We called Nikos, who is responsible for meeting the night flights on the main reception, and he sent a very helpful Australian / Greek security guard to come and kill the cockroaches. At least one escaped him despite his best efforts and we were unsure how many others there might have been (plus it had somewhat marred our view on the room and we didn't feel very comfortable staying there) so we rang Nikos to ask for a change of room. He tried to dissuade us telling that we were in Greece, it's a hot country, it happens. When we pressed him, he reluctantly said he would look for another room. He then moved us to what he said was the only free room (despite us being aware that there were a series of night flights due to come in after us and therefore there must have been lots of free rooms not yet filled. They could have given us another room, cleaned thoroughly the cockroach room and re-assigned it to people who hadn't had the same unfortunate experience of it).
We were then moved to the activity side of the hotel and Nikos (not extending himself to ensure that the next room was okay), sent us on foot to the other side of the hotel, although having just arrived in the dark we were completely disorientated and didn't know where we were. The room we were sent to was in fact a dirty room. The people had obviously just checked out, there was urine in the toilet, cigarette ash in the sink, both bins (including the toilet bin) were completely full and there was no bedding. We rang Nikos who frankly, couldn't care less and to further upset an already very disappointing situation, became increasingly arrogant with us asserting that it was nothing to do with him and not his fault. As the face of the hotel, he was incredibly unsympathetic to our experience so far. We explained that we needed some help. He would not move us and would not do anything to better our situation and he made that very clear. We had no choice but to make up the bed ourselves with the helpful security guard who Nikos dispatched to come and send us some bedding (which we had to request). I slept fully clothed that night, in the clothes I had left the UK in more than 24 hours previously. Although we asked to speak to the manager that night to try to get some help, Nikos said that basically at night he was in charge but yet he wasn't allowed to sanction anything as straightforward as a room change.
We are both well travelled professional people and never ever before had we heard that a 'manager' at night was completely powerless, unable to make any decisions whatsoever or sanction any moves. Apparently that all fell to Celina who would be in in the morning and we'd have to wait for her. It seems that no one but Celina in the hotel has any power to authorise anything. That is an unacceptable situation really and the person meeting night flights should have the autonomy to be able to help people and sanction changes in rooms on the system if people have problems with their room.
The next morning we spoke with Celina and were told we would be moved to another room on the relax side by 11am. Still in our travel clothes with almost no sleep in a dirty room we managed the 30 degree heat until around 14:00 when we were finally shown to our room. As recompense, were we upgraded? Given the room we'd hopefully asked for on our holiday booking? No. We were given a ground floor room on the relax side which actually, we were very happy with in the end. The hotel gave us a free room safe, spa treatment each and a late checkout (beware this is only until 6pm although you will find other residents who've negotiated a late check out well beyond this).
Can you believe it?!:
Celina did try along with our First Choice holiday reps. to provide us with with some small recompense for our experience. However, unbelievably, we received a note half way through our holiday telling us of 'great news!' they had found a first floor room for us to move to (we'd asked if at any time another 1st floor room became free which is what we'd originally asked for they'd let us have the option of moving). With glee we opened the card and it was noneother than the cockroach room being offered. We are really reasonable people and we feel were very patient with the hotel but this felt like they were playing a joke on us. Actually in all honesty we found it funny. Clearly, they were were so poor on customer relations that they'd actually offered us the problem room again. We found it quite funny, we imagine some people would not.
Rest of stay:
Once settled into our ground floor room we were able to enjoy the hotel and it is a lovely lovely hotel with immaculate buildings and grounds and the staff (Nikos on main reception excluded) are wonderful. They can't do enough for you, the food is amazing, everything is really excellent, we loved it! The pool is the best we've seen with a graduated entry and a friendly swim up pool bar....really the resort and it's clearly hard-working staff are A1.
Pls see points above - beware that a 'late check out' is only until 6pm which means hours to wait for your flight. You can negotiate a later check out if rooms are availble.
We then had to endure Nikos (his American English is great but his arrogance is unbelievable for a customer facing role) clearly making jokes at our expense in Greek with the chap on the relax reception. We bore this well but it did make us feel that we should be honest about him on our review. We want you to be aware if you have dealings with him.
We hope this review is helpful. it's a fabulous resort and concept and we would go again but there are things that we feel need working on, for example, the staff on night shifts need to be trusted to make decisions and change room allocations. This is completely normal across Europe and has been working well for years. Perhaps the management team can consider allowing some decision-making to their staff.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Village Rhodes Hotel Kolimbia
- Holiday Village Rhodes Greece