When you first arrive you are impressed, the reception area has acres of marble and glass, stylish furniture, fancy lighting and welcoming smiles from the reception staff. The room is also large with elegant minimalist furnishings and a firm but comfortable bed, sliding glass doors lead to a large balcony with views over the sea to Turkey, and everything is pristine and clean. So far so good but sadly nothing else quite lives up to these first impressions.
This hotel has undergone recent refurbishment and some of it continues so there are only two small lifts operating rather than the four there will be on completion, OK at the minute in shoulder season, but it will be chaos if they're not ready for peak season. It didn't help when one of the two lifts was out of order for a couple of days. Also they have those room cards which you have to put in a slot to power up the room, which is fine until you leave then everything powers down, including the fridge and any devices you are trying to charge, I'm all for conserving power but there are limits!
Declaration of interest, I have never liked buffets, but there good buffets and worse buffets. If you are feeding several hundred guests from all over Europe then inevitably there will be stuff that doesn't appeal to everybody but some of the standards are quite low. For instance the poultry appears to have been hacked rather than properly butchered, so the piece you pick out of the sauce could be quite meaty or could be nearly all bone. The meat for the casseroles/stews was cut into uneven lumps so inevitably some pieces were more cooked than others. Desserts seem to be a collection of various colours of blancmange-type substance, jellies, the odd pastry and chocolate "cake". Some of it tasted better than it looked, which is just a well as none of it looked attractive. The dining experience is not enhanced by the "background music" which mostly seemed to be a tenor saxophonist doing warm-up exercises, all rather depressing.
If you're doing all-inclusive, as we were, you get a choice of red or white wine (or beer or soft drink) with your meal, the white is passable with food, the red simply rough and to be avoided. The other drink to be avoided is the breakfast juice which comes in orange, grapefruit or apple, all of which are hideously over-sweetened, including the grapefruit. On an island where freshly squeezed orange juice is plentiful and cheap this is a shocking failure.
Again on the all-inc your drinks (within limits) are free, but they use local spirits. Actually these aren't bad, it's the quality of the mixers which is dreadful, post-mix orange and pineapple for cocktails? I don't think so.
So you've settled in the rooftop bar for a post dinner relaxation and what comes on at 9 o'clock? The junior disco. The animation team did a great jobs with the kids but there are only so many times you can listen to The Birdie Song without wishing to commit sudden and wilful violence on the perpetrators. It's not much better poolside in the afternoon, lying there grabbing the rays and somebody turns up the PA and assorted "modern" sounds are imposed upon you without so much as a "by your leave" or the opportunity to rapidly vacate the area.
Mornings at least are quiet, so you might want to enjoy a mid morning coffee. Well you can forget that, no drinks of any description are available until 11 a.m. until the snack bar opens (if it opens on time), and then it's out of a machine, but at least it's decent of its type.
So the hotel lacks all day service, doesn't segregate kids activities enough, serves, at best, average food so cannot be classed in any way shape or form as a five star. The one good thing it does have are friendly and helpful staff who were always a pleasure to deal with, nothing was too much trouble for them. All in all a decent place to stay and, if you enjoy buffet food, you may will have a pleasant stay.
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- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover refined elegance and genuine hospitality. Olympic Palace Resort Hotel & Convention Center, with its unique architectural structure most recently renovated in 2008-12, welcoming and gracious with contemporary and chic interior design, offer's attentive service, upscale amenities, and blissful tranquility. Tastefully designed for comfort, 65% of our guest rooms are sea view with amazingly large verandas, ideal spots to take advantage of the amazing first rays of the sunlight or indulge in the enticing sunsets dipping in the Aegean Sea. Relax in our attractive and spacious gardens, or simply 'chill out' by the swimming pool, and enjoy a warm welcome from our genuinely friendly and hospitable staff. Alternatively you can take a stroll down to the beach and enjoy a swim in the crystal clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea and capture the breathtaking scenery. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Olympic Palace Ixia
- Hotel Olympic Palace
- Olympic Palace Resort Hotel & Convention Center Rhodes, Greece