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“Needs some modernising, but has Greek charm...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Pounda Paou

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Pounda Paou
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Paou Argalasti | P.O Box 5050, Paou 37006, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Paou B&B and Inns
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Needs some modernising, but has Greek charm...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2009

My girlfriend and I have just returned from a week at Pounda Paou and overall we had a pleasant holiday.

LOCATION

It took us just over an hour to get to Pounda Paou from Volos Airport, in a taxi supplied by the tour operator, although I understand that they use a bus when there are more guests to transport. If you hire a car for the whole week you have to drive yourself, but maps are supplied.

It's a lovely, if remote, location with spectacular views of the Pelion coastline. In fact, the serene views and romantic sunsets are possibly the highlight of what Pounda Paou has to offer. The 'infinity' pool is lovely, although it's colder than the sea, but perfect for relaxing around and having a dip to cool off. The site does have lovely gardens though which give it a nice feel, but it is on a steep hillside so prepare to 'feel the burn'.

OK, so you can't walk to any local villages, but with boats and cars available (and a bit of organisation) you don't need to. September is at the end of the season so mamy of the local villages are starting to wind down and close, includng the tavernas, but there were still enough open for plenty of choice (although all the mens were pretty similar).

Martha's taverna in Horto is worth a mention and seemed to be the favourite choice of tourists and locals alike, with OK food and a nice atmosphere. 'Agrentina' in Milina was also nice, with a lovely selection of cats to keep us entertained. The 'Moon' in Afisos is worth a vist too and we got to watch the owner catch an octopus off the sea front (not for the squeemish though)!

ROOM

The room was a decent size (suite 3) but we agree with the other feedback on here that they need renovating. The bathrooms aren't great and are looking a bit tired and dated now, unless they're lucky enough for brown tiles to come back in to fashion. The shower was small and the head not attached to the wall, which was a bit awkward... especially when you drop it and have to explain to your girlfriend why the inside of the bathroom is soaked! ;-)

Our biggest gripe is that the bed was extremely hard and uncomfortable, causing us to not sleep very well and wake every morning with aches and pains (and I'm happy camping on a groundmat)! If they could sort that it would make it a lot more pleasurable.

Overall, it was OK and kept fairly clean (hard to tell with the decor) but nothing to write home about.

FOOD

We were happy to eat on-site most nights and the home-cooked food was very good, as was the outdoor restaurant area that had a variety of tables sizes that allowed us to sit alone or share with other couples when we wanted to socialise. We only had dinner off-site once during the week, but went out every day for lunch.

Breakfast was simple but adequate, although the same selection got a bit boring, and there's no cooked option unless you count the hard boiled eggs.

For dinner there was a variety of traditional dishes, home cooked by Madam Lulla, from whole fresh grilled fish to meatballs, and a simple vegetarian option each night and plenty of salad and vegetables. OK, the dinner per person was more expensive than eating out at the ocal taverna, but after eating at a local taverna (where almost everyone complained about their dinner) you're assured of far better quality and service by staying at home. For me (and I can be a bit tight) I found the dinners to be good value, enhanced by the setting, the ambience and the sheer ease of it all.

BOAT and CAR

We hired a boat for 3 days and a car for the rest of the week, which was perfect because it gave us the time and flexibility to really explore these options. Nobody at the resort had any problems with the boats during the week we were there and Manolis (the boat man) really looked after everyone and made sure the boats were maintained.

The boat gave us many priceless experiences, such as seeing dolphins and being able to pull up to your own private beach on a remote part of the coast, drop the anchor and pretend to be in a James Bond film ;-)

Mooring takes a bit of practice, but the instruction is excellent and it's all part of the fun and experience. I can highly recommend getting a boat! It's E1,60 a litre which you pay at the end and we used about 25 litres over 3-days, which was more than enough sailing! If you hire a boat for half the week you get a 15HP version, instead of a 25HP one (don't ask me why) but it's the same size boat and it was fine (TBH we never sat at full throttle anyway - much more fun to pootle and watch the scenery go by).

The car was a little Fiat Panda, but it was great. We mainly wanted it to visit the monastaries at Meteora and it was perfect for that (even with a 3-hour trip each way). The car was also great for zipping round the narrow Greek roads and seeing the local area, or even crossing to the Aegean sea (on the other side of the peninsula) where there were more great beaches on offer (apparently - we got stuck by the pool ;-)

I would suggest that if you're going for a week you go 50/50 between boat and car because it's perfect.

DOGS

Just a note (because I have a large dog)... The resort has a HUGE German Shepherd who, although friendly, might not be your cup of tea if you don't like dogs. There's also a female puppy who's very cute, but they can be a bit annoying with the barking if you want total peace and tranquility (and they need a BATH!)

OVERALL

It was a nice holiday but I don't think I'll be rushing back because I'm sure there are nicer places out there. Maybe one day if it gets the TLC it needs and actually deserves... but this is rural Greece so maybe I'm being picky...

It's worth seeing for yourself...

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Preston, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2009

Having just returned from Pounda Paou I feel obliged to write this review , I was very disappointed with the accommodation for the price that I paid for this holiday , and I believe that we had the most superior room on the site , It badly needs updating , the shower/toilets are not of a standard I would expect , tiny, my Husband had great difficulty at 6'+ , and only one air conditioning unit in the suite and too much furniture that makes the rooms cramped and outdated.
The location is spectacular though a 20/30 min drive to the nearest village, 10mins by boat , but the boats have to be back by 5 every evening and are unreliable .
This holiday was sold to us as self catering with bed and breakfast , you are not encouraged to cater for yourself as the equipment is either broken or nonexistent . we asked for a new kettle as ours was rusty we were told that the owners didnt have time to go and buy one .
Mrs Lullas cooking is superb there's no room for complaint only that more expensive than eating out and the price of drinks is very high 6.50Eur for a gin & tonic 15 eur for a bottle of wine that's on top of the price set for dinner 21Eur.If you haven't hired a car you are stuck you CANNOT! walk anywhere from this location its a 15/20 min drive to the main road and all uphill. Also there is not a beach at this accomodation you enter the water by rocks though the swimming is wonderful and for snorkeling too.
If you want a getaway from it all holiday and can put up with old Greece ,cause the Greeks wouldn't! and can survive around this hotel without venturing anywhere then this holiday is for you.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

This place is romantic and wonderful. stress free boat trips and perfect sunsets. We really loved the place and hope to return.
My only problems with the place:
-boats had motor problems
-water did not always work, no flushing loos through the day
-bathrooms needed updating and are very small
-garden structures needed some work on, fences falling down...
-long walk to a place to eat so needed a few taxis.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2009

Having recently spent a week at Pounda Paou, we found this friendly hotel to be set in a beautiful location with the food and service, wonderful. However, the same cannot be said for some of the accommodations. If you like having the luxury of an ensuite shower and lets face it, in this day and age who doesn't, then we suggest you DO NOT book room 7. Should you be offered this room you will be told, as we were, that it is a small room with a small shower. In fact, Room 7 is indeed small but, the small shower is nothing more than a shower handset hung on the wall in a small WC closet with not even a full size wash hand basin. If you wished to use the shower there was little choice other than to 'sit on the loo' to avail yourself of this facility! Should you choose to do this, you will find that your bedroom then floods as the water runs out from under the door. However, there is an acceptable shower on site that can be used but you will have to walk outside towards the swimming pool to use it, which we found not unlike camping! We would suggest that the tour operator be more honest about Room 7, with it's short comings and exclude the reference to a shower. This could result in a reduced room rate for those who choose to book. On a more positive note, Room 7 enjoys a nice terrace with good views of the sea and is away from the main part of the hotel. From there, it has steps which lead down to the pool and jetty. However, it is under the dining area and should you want an early night you may be troubled by noise from the other guests drinking at the bar. From discussions with other guests, it would seem that whilst we were the only ones not to have a useable shower, some also experieinced problems in using theirs due to the small size (typically Greek). We believe, if the toilet and shower facilities were updated, Pounda Paou would be a fantastic hotel.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
beaconsfield, England
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2007

First have to say I am reluctant to write this as I don't want too many people to know about it!
Pounda Paou is as described above and in the brochure. The tour company were really helpful and described the hotel and area exactly. So for a peaceful away from it all holiday in a beautiful location this is perfect. The food was all cooked by Mrs Loulla as you sat by the pool or were out exploring in your boat or car. Everything was fresh and the food was great.
The rooms were basic but clean and comfortable. We found we got to know all the other geusts whilst we were there and after dinner conversations made this a special place. Although you could be as sociable or private as you liked.
This is not the place to go if you are looking to be entertained or want lots of things to do. and it is in quite a remote area.
Would we go back there? Absolutely!

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Horsley, Surrey.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2007

We stayed a week at this lovely small hotel and were very sad to leave. Simple rooms, but well kept and most with a terrace, overlooking the sea. The terraced gardens are full of pretty flowers and shrubs and the restaurant nestles amongst them. The gardens run down to the sea and there is a smart swimming pool.
The hotel is owned and run by a mother and daughter team who could not be more enthusiastic and helpful. The daughter deals with the guests and commercial issues and the mother looks after the kitchen. We thought the food exceptional by Greek standards and were sorry to have missed it the one night we were tempted to try elsewhere. Everyone sits down to eat at 7:30 and rarely did the guests disappear before midnight. The hotel is so small and intimate that you cannot help but become friendly with the other guests and the holiday develops into a house party but one where you have your privacy when you want it.
Lots to explore using the boat that goes with each room (supplied as part of the holiday by Aegean Island Holidays) in this natural and unspoilt part of Greece.
If you want a charming and pretty small hotel run by caring owners, in a part of Greece that is scenic and virtually free of tourists, Pounda Paou is it. A real treasure and a joy.

  • Liked — The gardens and views
  • Disliked — Maybe a bit remote for some
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pounda Paou

Address: Paou Argalasti | P.O Box 5050, Paou 37006, Greece
Location: Greece > Thessaly > Magnesia Region > Paou
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Paou
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Pounda Paou Hotel Paou

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