We have just returned from 2 weeks at the Bella Grecia having stayed there 12th to 26th September 2011.
As I have said before in previous reviews my comments are personal and based upon my experience, I cannot be responsible for how others view or interpret them.
Location - I have to admit by being dissapointed with the hotels proximity to the main road. We were in Room 16 on the top floor at the front of the hotel and I would agree with others who have said that trying to hold a normal conversation was difficult. The road noise was constant albeit less during the night but even so if you had your windows open was disruptive in the mornings, not really what you want or need when you`re on holiday. Even the Thomson rep struggled to make herself heard at the welcome meeting, constantly pausing to let the traffic past. Do you really want to relax by the pool with a road equivalent to the A1 no more than 15 yards away? In realtion to the hotels proximity to the town of Hanioti it is no more than a 20 minute walk along the back road. Word of caution, do not use the main road to walk into town, there is no footpath, is poorly lit and the traffic travels very fast, it just isnt safe. In the opposite direction is the town of Polichrono or as we called it Poli dont go! It is a 45 minute walk again along the back road but once there you may as well be in Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland or Russia. All I can really say is that I am so glad we were`nt staying there. So to sum up the location, the Bella Grecia is just the right distance from town, it is an easy and gentle walk along a flat road to Hanioti but it is too close to the main road for my liking.
Hotel - The hotel itself was absolutely fine, you have to remember it only has a 2* rating in the Thomson brochure. Our room was very, very clean, a reasonable size for two people sharing and actually had a double bed, rare in Greek hotels. The fridge/freezer worked perfectly and was very welcome in keeping our bottled water cold. There was a kettle, toaster and a two plate electric hob all of which were perefctly serviceable and functional. It makes me laugh when other reviews say the facilities were dissapointing, what on earth do they expect and what do they want to cook? Granted a full on Sunday roast might prove somewhat of a challenge but for the purpose of re-heating food etc more than adequate. The bathroom was small but again everything worked and there was no shortage of hot water. Additional costs include air conditioning which was €28 for 1 week or €55 for 2 weeks and safety deposit boxes located in reception costing €15 for one week and €25 for 2 weeks.
The pool bar area is where it all seems to happen and again was very clean, a reasonably stocked bar and basic snacks available from 8am until whenever. Panos was a good host, worked long hours but appeared to take pride in his hotel and the services he offered. I didnt find him rude at all, and if you need anything he would do his best to help you. Yes he runs a quiz night and Bingo night but you always have a choice, you dont have to go. We did go to his BBQ which at €10 per head represented fair value for money. He sells bottled water and we were paying €3 for 6x1.5L. Of course you can buy 6x1.5L for €1.60 from the minimart but then you`ve got a 15-20 minute walk home to carry it is it worth it for the sake of saving €1.40? A large beer (0.5L) is €2.50 at the pool bar and €2 during "Happy Hour" 6pm - 9pm on Fridays. If you feel the need for a full English in the mornings it is available from 8am again at the pool bar. The pool area itself was again very clean with no shortage of loungers and tables. Overall, our opinion of the hotel was good, rooms and all communal areas were very clean and Panos was in our opinion a good host. It would be very difficult, unfair and unrepresentative to give a negative review of what is after all a 2* self catering Hotel. If you want 4/5* luxury then theres plenty of choice nearer to Hanioti. Look at www.bella-grecia.gr for details.
Hanioti - If your`e looking for classical Greece, little fishing harbour with traditional Tavernas then Im afraid to say that Hanioti isnt it. A previous review likened it to Skegness, a little harsh but I do acknowledge where they were coming from. Based around a lively square, Hanioti consists of nothing more than bars, places to eat and shops selling some of the tackiest goods I have seen in Greece. If you want Sky Sports you can take your pick of just about any bar in the town, they all show Premiership games if thats your thing on holiday. The restaurants are all much of a muchness in that when you`ve seen one menu you`ve seen them all, the Greeks are`nt big on variety. We favoured Arhontiko, nice atmosphere, good hosts, consitently good food and reasonable value for money. If you want cheap then theres Kostas Gyro`s, where you can get 2 Gyros and 2 large beers for €8. Overall impression of Hanioti is that its there for one reason only and thats for the holidaymakers, when the season finishes it must be like a ghost town. In addition it has been populated by Eastern European countries like Bulgaria, Serbia, Poland, Albania, Romania and of course Russia. Its easy to see who has the money now, as one famous sporting commentary once said, "Where were the Germans"?
The Beach - A 5 minute walk across the main road and through an olive grove. Very quiet, reasonably clean, no sunbeds (you can take free Parasols from the hotel) but a stunning, crystal clear sea. The swimming was just superb and a joy to be in the sea.
NB: Check out the sea front houses you have to walk past, €3,500,000 will get you a very nice holiday house with sea views!!!!!!
Summary - It served a purpose, we couldnt criticise the hotel its facilities or its services. We got out out of it what we wanted which was a 2 week break in the sun where we could set our own agenda.
But please remember the main road, if you want peace, quiet and tranquility then the Bella Grecia isnt for you.
- Also Known As:
- Bella Grecia Aparthotel Hotel
- Bella Grecia Aparthotel Hanioti
- Bella Grecia Aparthotel Hanioti, Halkidiki
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