In writing the following review please note that we are a 'mature' couple and stayed for 15 nights - unlike the majority of users of Villa Manos who tend to be young backpackers staying 2 - 4 nights whilst island hopping. We realise that such youngsters may have different 'priorities' as to any plus or minus points that we list.
As just said we have just stayed at Villa Manos - having found it on TripAdvisor, nach - for 2 weeks in early August, 2 weeks during which we never saw a cloud in the sky. This was our first 'villa' holiday in Greece since 1978 and how things have changed with the island.
We choose Villa Manos, over any other choices, on the basis of TripAdvisor reviews, price and location.
Villa Manos consists of 4 3-storey blocks of rooms, each block being just one room's width. That means that all rooms appear to look out towards the courtyard with the pool off to their left. Upper floor rooms have a balcony (table & chairs) whilst ground floor you can sit outside. :-)
We booked through an agency around 6 months ago. After a bit of to & froing in the fortnight before our arrival we established that they would pick us up from the airport, just to call them when we arrived. This we did and a car arrived in about 10 minutes. :-) Given that there is a very significant day by day turnover of guests (those island hopping backpackers I mentioned) it was evident that they are very efficient in picking up / taking to the airport and port as and when guests need it :-)
On arrival, in Reception we were warmly greeted and promptly offered (gratis) a plate of dressed spaghetti and a glass of wine. :-)
The room - we had a double, naturally. The bed was a double, not 2 singles pushed together :-). There wasn't a lot of spare space, but then what are we doing in the room other than sleeping?
Table and chair. Each side of the bed there was a solid shelf. There was a small wardrobe, though there were no coat hangers :-( The wardrobe had a small, single drawer. There were two blankets available in the wardrobe, which we did not use.
A proper sized fridge for keeping food and drink cold, with an ice box which was very effective at freezing drinks. :-)
2 plates, 2 knives, 2 forks, 1 dessert spoon (?), 1 teaspoon, 1 mug (?), kettle, corkscrew all on a tray. No bowls
[Regarding coat hangers, dessert spoon and single mug it may well be that if we had asked these items may have been addressed, but we didn't ask, just lived with it].
There was an air conditioning unit, which was very effective :-) Not surprisingly though this couldn't be left on when you leave the room as the key fob is also a device to switch the electric on & off (except for the fridge!). There was an old tele with poor reception - and even poorer programmes (jeez, Greek tele looks bad!!).
Glass panel doors opened onto the balcony (with table and 2 chairs) and there were shutter doors on the outside. These were very effective indeed. Not only did they exclude almost all the light - no waking at dawn at all because of sunrise, 09.30 came along easily without disturbance :-)) - but also kept noise out, not that the place was noisy anyway.
The room was cleaned daily, with fresh towels every day and clean sheets every 3 or 4 days (not exactly sure). :-)
On our last full day - Sunday - it was our 34th wedding anniversary and we had some cards out on the table. When we came back to the room in the afternoon the cleaners had folded a towel into a 'vase' and picked some flowers to put into this. :-) Don't know whether this was because it was our last room service or because they had seen the cards.
Just an ideal opportunity to say also that the whole place was spotless throughout :-))
The room had a separate shower/toilet room. There was always an abundance of hot water at whatever time of day or night we needed it. :-)
I see that someone elsewhere here says that the pool was not as big as expected. Don't know what they were expecting. I've seen much smaller, including elsewhere this year on Santorini. The pool was lovely and quite a good size. :-)
Before we went I had seen little evidence in photos of many / any sun-beds. It turned out that there were 24 of these in an area beyond the pool (and no problem with moving them to poolside). :-) Only once in the two weeks did we approach most / all of them in use at the same time. The sunbeds' tops were of a plasticised webbing, not slatted plastic, and were therefore more comfortable than most we have used previously :-)
There is a bar poolside for alcoholic and soft drinks, beer, ice cream, snacks :-) open until late at night.
Service and help was wonderful throughout. They will book trips for you, ATV hire, help with ordering takeaways to be delivered in..... We also saw a couple of above & beyond examples for others in the service they give - 1 A family staying at the same time as us, one of their children had a small fall on the stairs to their top floor room. On requesting a change to the ground floor Poppy helped tremendously for this to be OK with minimum disruption and work for the family. 2 - a failed Scandanavian plane at the airport led to the 'dumping' of 30 travellers at the Villa one morning. Again Poppy worked her butt off to ensure that they were fitted in somewhere (at the already full Villa Manos or elsewhere) without actually being absolutely sure that any recompense would be forthcoming from the airline :-))
They provide free WiFi. There is a PC / Internet access in Reception at 2 Euros for 30 mins, but connection was a bit slow and flaky and no printing available :-(
They can provide breakfast, priced from 5 Euros to 10 (I think). Can't comment on these those as we didn't have one.
They don't provide any other substantial food service but there are a number of local taverna take-away menus in Reception and we saw deliveries to poolside several time most days. We had one ourselves and it was very tasty :-)
It was clear throughout that Poppy regards all her guests as 'friends'. How much that is being 'greek' and how much 'Poppy' I couldn't say, but clearly the atmosphere throughout was very friendly and relaxed indeed :-)
But, the 3 buts:-
1 - Location. If you read anywhere that it is a brief walk to town, forget it. We are no slouches when it comes to pacing out to get somewhere with a purpose, and we timed it at 25 minutes from the Villa to the first tourist shops in Thira. Furthermore the first 1/4 or more of the trip is along an unpavemented, poorly lit main road. :-((
There is a bus stop about 50 metres from the Villa, but on more than one occasion the bus came along full and couln't pick us up. Fare is 1.60 Euros per person one-way.
2 - The property, or more precisely the pool and sun lounge area is bounded on two sides by a road, on which there is a frequent flow of traffic, particularly water tankers - probably 20 - 30 trips per hour. There are a series of bends before and after the property so they cannot rush past at full pelt, and you do get used to it, but it's not 'peaceful' :-)
Which leads to 3 - The 'music' from the bar. Ohhh, the 'music'!!! [I should point out at this stage that although 'mature' we do enjoy our rock, pop, ... music, are frequent gig goers, radio listeners and music buyers]. From when the bar opens at mid-day (give or take) the speakers are put out and the thump, thump, thump starts. The worst possible kind of incessant and loud euro disco / sub Psy / b-b-b-b-... 'latin' dancey c*** you can imagine. It was even annoying through the sound of my own in-ear MP3 player. And what's more with endless repetition of the same CDs from day to day. There are tracks stuck in my head even now that I wish weren't there. At least give it some less volume and much, much, much more variation.
So, is it without faults - no. But we recognise that for those staying 2-4 nights these 'faults' will be barely noticeable.
Would we recommed it - yes, yes, yes, despite it's faults.
Poppy et al - thanks for a wonderful stay (and for the bottle of wine on our departure).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.