We stayed at the Pantheon Hall for a week, coming home on 28th July 2011. The hotel is well appointed, being in easy walking distance of the beach and the many bars and tavernas in Messonghi and the neighbouring, and much larger, resort of Moraitika. We are a family of 5 and had two rooms, one for myself, my wife and our three year old daughter, the other for our 11 and 15 year old daughters. The air conditioned rooms are rather basic but perfectly adequate; we found the beds a little uncomfortable but this is a budget hotel so we were not expecting luxury. I was badly bitten by mosquitos on the first two nights but this ceased to be a problem once we plugged in a mosquito repellent in our room. Each room has a balcony where we enjoyed sitting out at every night, sipping a cold beer and watching the world go by. The rooms were cleaned every other day. We found the hotel staff to be personable and helpful, especially the receptionist, Renata. They particularly doted on our three year old and that was the case wherever we went. Our 11 year old managed to lose the hotel key during a trip we made to Corfu Town (highly recommended, incidentally, especially the charming Old Town area with its narrow winding alleyways) but we were not charged for a replacement. The swimming pool is clean and inviting and we found there were plenty of sunbeds available for use at all times. There is a bar at the far side of the pool where you can buy a large draught Mythos beer at a reasonable 2.50 euros, the standard price we found at most outlets (sometimes you only get 0.4l rather than 0.5l, however). Cocktails were expensive there ,however, at 5 euros. They are available at 2.50 or 3 euros in most places, even restaurants. The breakfast provided was disappointing, however, unless bread, Greek yoghurt, ham, hard boiled eggs and lukewarm tea is your thing. Also, there are no fridges in any of the rooms (although they are available for hire), no TVs and no cooking facilities at all, not even a kettle. We eat out every day for lunch and an evening meal and that proved expensive. The quality of food dished up at the local eating places was variable, to say the least. We had some truly lousy meals but can recommend one place in particular. Maxim's breakfast cafe, just part the main roundabout on the border between Messonghi and Moraitika, 10 minutes walk from the hotel. The authentic English cooked breakfasts we bought there were delicious, using English bacon, sausages and Kingsmill bread for the toast, arriving quickly (service at some restaurants was frustratingly slow) and cooked to perfection. Two eggs, two sausages, two rashers of bacon plus beans or tomatoes cost 3.90 euros and was well worth it. Our children rated the food there as the best they tasted throughout our holiday. We ordered tea which arrived steaming hot ( PG Tips bags being used) and it tasted great particurarly considering the insipid tea served up at the hotel. There are a number of restaurants by the sea front where you can eat feet away from the sea. We enjoyed lamb kleftikos at one of these places and, whilst service was slow, the food was really good and not overly expensive at around 8.50 euros (we saw the same dish priced at 14 euros in Corfu Town). The highlight of our holiday was a boat trip to the sea cave and the blue lagoon on the coast of the Greek mainlandand and the Mediterranean gardens on the Christiana boat.. We bught the trip from a friendly outlet 50 yards or so from the hotel. The cost was around 80 euros all told for the 5 of us (we negotiated a discount as we also booked a trip to Aqualand) and included a decent cold buffet lunch, soft drinks, wine (of questionable quality, to be kind) and even a shot of ouzo, offered at around 10am as the trip was just underway! There are 3 stops on the trip to either swim or get a beer/ice cream although we were disappointed that we did not get off the boat at the blue lagoon beach, but rather the boat anchored offshore and passengers could swim in the deep sea there, not great for young children and not so strong swimmers. The undoubted highlight was encountering three differnt schools of dolphins in the Ionian Sea on the way back to Corfu. The boat changed course to follow the dolphins, who we saw jumping out of the water at fairly close quarters. I don't think our children will ever forget this experience, let alone my wife and myself. Finally, I must mention the LA Bar in Moraitika, about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. We went there 6 nights out of 7 and must say that the fun we had there really made our holiday. It is an English style bar run by Lorraine, with the assistance of James and Beverly. However, it is not solely frequented by English holiday makers, with many other nationalities enjoying the theme nights, quizzes and karaoke on offer. The Greek Night (every Sunday) was particulalry memorable, with two Greek dancers demonstrating their skills and then getting members of the audience to participate. I was singled out to be treated to a belly dance whilst dressed as a Turkish sultan - enjoyable for sure, particularly amusing to our children. Karaoke is on most nights and is fun, with the less talented performers (me in particular) being applauded and encouraged almost as much as the more tuneful. James performs songs most nights in a theatrical style, and very entertaining he was too. The cocktails are on offer at 3.50 euros each, but it is well worth buying jugs at 10 euros a piece (bigger discounts being available for larger jugs and bowls). A discount card is given to you and we earned enough stamps for a free cocktail jug by the end of the week. We all were really sad on our last night there and would love to go back there one day - though we would probably not choose to stay at the Pantheon again if we could afford something rather better.
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