The Matoula Apartments are probably the cleanest and best that we have encountered in the Greek islands. We selected the hotel/Apartment based upon the very good reviews that it received.
These reviews are on the whole well deserved. Like previous guests we found the reception staff to be very friendly and first class in the way they dealt with and treated us. The room service staff were also friendly and more importantly extremely efficient. During the course of our first few days we were plagued by mosquitos and I swatted a few on the balcony one night. Being tall I also managed to swat one high up in the shower - Within a day or so all evidence of the residue was removed - I thought that this spoke volumes for how thorough the cleaners were! By the way the mosquito problem eased off once we had stocked up with every deterrent from the local supermarkets. No wonder the hotel/Apartments remain spotless.
We encountered a number of couples who had made multiple visits to the Matoula which in itself probably speaks volumes about how it is regarded.
The studio apartment that we had was large and quite well equipped. The shower was enclosed and a hair dryer was supplied. Beds were made every day (except Sunday) and towels changed once every couple of days.
We did snatch a glimpse into one of the two bedroomed apartments and it looked as if it was equipped with a microwave (we just had a cooker).
The swimming pool and surrounding bar area were first class and unlike many other hotels there was no loud music or other noise to interfere with your sleep.
We didn't sample the bar food but were told by others that it was very good.
The grounds and gardens of the Hotel are excellent and you will see the gardener out and about first thing at night and into the late evening.
The Apartments are located within easy walking distance of the main street and both this and the beach are only a 5 minute walk away. No steep inclines are involved.The town/village is very pleasant and civilised and has some nice restaurants and tavernas and a good number of supermarkets both small and not quite so small!. We found that we could get pretty all that we required and at a very reasonable price.
We had a first floor studio apartment with a twin bedroom one next door. There was a divide on the balcony between the two rooms which offered a good degree of privacy. Our room and balcony offered a sea view and on occasions we were almost kept awake by the noise of the sea! We would not contemplate a ground floor room for the reason that other guests have outlined (viz. people walking close by)
On the sea front there are a number of Tavernas and the first that you encounter will be Woody's. Like many other guests we found this to be first class with a very friendly couple in charge. The beer was lovely and cold but we especially enjoyed the excellent breakfasts. Complete with fried bread they were better than many that I have sampled in the UK. Excellent value.
I enjoyed walking along the beach road from Acharavi to Roda (about a mile or so away) where you come upon a narrow street with lots of Tavernas and eating places. If you are unable to walk then there is a bus service between the two towns/villages and beyond. Indeed we chose not to hire a vehicle but to use the local buses. These run between nearby resorts and Corfu town and were reasonably cheap to use. The only problem we found was that when we were there they had reduced the number of buses that were running which in turn meant that boarding the buses could be a bit of a free for all. Despite this once on board they were very comfortable.
A number of Tavernas offered access to the internet but we found that the best was the one opposite the Pumphouse Restaurant in the main street. This internet café is run by a young man named Lefteris who will go out of his way to assist you. Access to the computers is in a separate room and you don't need to purchase food or drink. One Euro will secure you 15 mins use via Google Chrome. The locals use the café a lot for access to gambling networks (something like Bingo). They were all friendly and welcoming and we even got to know one or two by name.
There is a restaurant adjacent to this Internet café and although the name escapes me I would say it was probably the best in Acharavi - especially the lamb pot (I think the dish is called Stamnos). We ate there a few times and the food and service (and value for money) were excellent. The restaurant was well supported by all nationalities.
There are a couple of Chemists in Acharavi and we were amazed to find that for about 4 Euros they will even sell you recognised antibiotics.
We arrived at the Apartments on the coach with 5 other guests all of whom were travelling together. We were allocated our room and off we went. We were therefore surprised to find that as we were venturing out that night these guests were sat near reception with their suitcases. Their rooms had been double booked and they were waiting to be allocated other hotel accommodation. We subsequently learned that many other people were in the same boat and that this was happening regularly. We were told by staff that a new Booking Agent had been taken on and that it was his fault. We were assured that the problem would not arise next year because the agent would be history! Apparently the owners daughter will once again be taking over the task (hope I'm not dropping anyone in it).
As highlighted by other guests we found the beds in the Matoula to be hard and uncomfortable. However, when talking to Brits from other hotels this seemed to be a universal problem. Unfortunately it was not until a couple of days before we were due to leave for home that we discovered when talking to the Receptionist and other repeat guests, that if we had made mention of this they would have provided us with a softer top mattress! However, the owner is apparently aware of the complaints and is considering having all the beds changed for next year.
Unfortunately we found the tranquillity of the stay spoilt by barking dogs. We were told by some guests that during previous stays they had not found this to be an issue. The noise appeared to emanate from two or three dogs located near to the hotel entrance. Although some distance away from our room we were constantly disturbed by the racket they were making which at times seemed non stop. The funny thing was that when we walked past these dogs in the day time - not a murmur! Once they started they would set off other dogs in the area. We complained to the hotel staff and embarrassingly for them it would seem that some of the dogs belonged to a member of the Matoula staff who lived in a house opposite. I know its difficult but this really should be sorted out.
Finally you can't pick and choose your neighbours in a hotel but two days before we were due to leave our nice English neighbours (a couple) left the two bedroomed apartment next door. Almost immediately we found that 3 middle aged Russian women had moved in. I don't think we have ever suffered such noisy people - stomping around and moving furniture. Their talking was very loud. On our last night they returned back to the apartment and started drinking on the balcony. They were playing music aloud and singing along to it despite the fact that all other guests had long gone inside. It was only when we rattled our balcony doors that they started to get the message. However, the next morning they were up at 5.30am and the stomping about, loud talking and moving of furniture woke us up. Fortunately they left the apartment by 7.0am which meant we could enjoy our last breakfast on the balcony in peace. It transpired that others had complained about the noise including one of the room maids who heard them upon her arrival to work. We reported this to reception staff on the basis that after we had left the hotel later that morning some other poor guests would have to take our place. The reception staff were great and hopefully they did have words with them as promised.
There were other Russians in the Hotel and they were fine.
Yes we might well go back. The Apartments are first class and in a great location. Acharavi is a nice little town with all that you need for a two week break. The locals are friendly. However, before we contemplate a return please try and sort out the beds (although we now know we can get extra mattresses). Please sort out the booking problem - you can only imagine how the unlucky ones felt and get the dogs sorted! As regard the noisy guests then hopefully this will not be tolerated. If we do go back then I think we will go for a first floor two bedroomed apartment. We were only in a two bed studio and being next door to a two bedroomed apartment it was probably inevitable that multiple guests could become our neighbours. I know 'You pays your money and takes your chance'.
Overall a very good experience spoilt by a few niggles. The Matoula must stay on top of its game or else it will lose the loyalty of those who regularly return
Wayne & Jacky
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- Also Known As:
- Matoula Apartments Corfu
- Matoula Apartments Hotel Corfu