This hotel is a strange mixture of good and bad. The location provides for wonderful views around the island but it is built immediately adjacent to a small but busy road which is very noisy, even late into the night and from early in the morning because it serves the large village/small town of Pyrgos. Most of the rooms appear to face onto the road and as they are only on the first and second floor, are very close to it. When you arrive in the reception, you get the impression of quite a nice hotel due to the furnishings and reasonable decoration. Walking out to the pool makes you feel like you have arrived in quite a special place as it has a generally luxurious feel and stunning views of the island and caldera. However, entering the room that was provided was a massive disappointment. We were expecting a decent sized room with double bed and although we hadn't specified a particular room type as it was booked for us by the local host of the meeting we were attending, we were surprised to find two single beds pushed together in a very small room with a tiny bathroom and shower. The room furnishings were unattractive and outdated. The room opened onto a small balcony which was right next to the road as we were on the first floor.
We immediately asked if it would be possible to move...This hotel is a strange mixture of good and bad. The location provides for wonderful views around the island but it is built immediately adjacent to a small but busy road which is very noisy, even late into the night and from early in the morning because it serves the large village/small town of Pyrgos. Most of the rooms appear to face onto the road and as they are only on the first and second floor, are very close to it. When you arrive in the reception, you get the impression of quite a nice hotel due to the furnishings and reasonable decoration. Walking out to the pool makes you feel like you have arrived in quite a special place as it has a generally luxurious feel and stunning views of the island and caldera. However, entering the room that was provided was a massive disappointment. We were expecting a decent sized room with double bed and although we hadn't specified a particular room type as it was booked for us by the local host of the meeting we were attending, we were surprised to find two single beds pushed together in a very small room with a tiny bathroom and shower. The room furnishings were unattractive and outdated. The room opened onto a small balcony which was right next to the road as we were on the first floor.
We immediately asked if it would be possible to move to a larger room away from the road and made it clear that we didn't mind paying extra. We were told that the money wasn’t an issue but there were unfortunately no rooms available, yet the hotel was deadly quiet. We arrived at breakfast time and there wasn't even anyone having breakfast. I was immediately suspicious about this and did mention that the hotel seemed empty but was told that they were expecting a lot of arrivals. Miraculously, about 30 minutes later, the receptionist called to say he had found another room. I went to look at it as my partner was asleep due to travelling overnight. I was very pleased as it was a suite with a separate living room and with a quiet bedroom with double bed. The balcony off the bedroom overlooked the pool so it was away from the road and the views were stunning. I said that we definitely wanted to move and agreed to pay the extra (48 EUR) per night. However, I agreed with the receptionist that we would move a bit later when my partner woke up. This was no problem – according to the receptionist we could move whenever we liked.
Having secured a nice room and feeling very relaxed, I headed for the pool. About an hour later, I looked up to see some other people being shown the room that we had been promised. I immediately headed to reception to ask what was going on and was told that they had made a mistake - the room should have been blocked. The receptionist said that he tried to find me to inform me but didn't want to knock on the door in case of waking us. This was a blatant lie as he knew I was by the pool because I borrowed a towel. As there were only two other people by the pool, it wouldn't have been very difficult to find me. The man who I later realised is the hotel manager (though you wouldn't think it by his sloppy appearance) appeared and said he was sorry, it was his fault and made some excuse about people who had stayed 3 years ago (or for the last 3 years - I couldn't understand his English) coming back and that he should have blocked the room for them. Then I was told by the receptionist that they had an identical room next door and I was given the key to take a look. The room was not identical - it was much smaller, did not have the stunning views of the other one and was not quiet as the road traffic could be heard. I was really upset about this and said that it was not the same. Then I was offered an alternative but this was facing onto the road and had a view of a half built building next door. The fact that I was immediately offered two other rooms begs the question why I had been told that there were no other rooms available only 2 hours before. Very strange behaviour and extremely poor management. I felt really upset and let down and this blighted the rest of our stay. We did however move to the room next to the original one offered as it was a lot better than what we had. I asked whether it would be the same price as the original one offered and was told it was, even though it was not of the same standard.
A few other points:
1. The hotel is meant to be 4 star but it is more like 3 star. It is vastly overpriced. I've stayed in far more luxurious hotels (in Europe) for half the price.
2. All the bathrooms are the same in all the rooms I looked at. They are tiny with tiny showers. Our’s had no towel rail - where are you supposed to hang your wet towels? If you put them on the balcony, the wind will blow them onto the floor. There is a tissue holder containing no tissues and a disposal bag holder containing no disposal bags. The shower in our room was broken (it would not stay in place and kept drooping so the only way to rinse yourself was by holding it telephone style).
3. The living room is larger than the bedroom and is a complete waste of space. It has a sick coloured plastic covered sofa in it with 3 garishly bright cushions on it and above is a really vile painting. The sofa faces an old television high up on an arm near the ceiling but it is not plugged in and the cable is tied up so one assumes it should not be used. It is immediately below an AC unit which appears not to work at all and has dripped all over the television screen. There is a television in the bedroom so why don’t they get rid of the old one?
4. The AC in the small bedroom is located so close to the bed that the person on that side of the bed gets cold air blown directly onto them. When you turn the AC on, a bright light comes on with it and lights up the whole room. It takes some time to work out how to turn off the light in the middle of the night when you’re tired and you don’t want to turn on the main lights.
5. The bed is very firm (too firm in my opinion) and of poor quality as evidenced by the fact that when my partner turned over, my side of the bed bounced – that should not happen with a good quality mattress. The bed cover is made of a vile, shiny, orange material. There is a strange stripy canopy above the bed which I suppose is meant to make it feel like a boudoir, but it just makes the room seem even smaller and made me feel claustrophobic. We also had to tuck the material up over the rail at the headboard end as it kept on touching our faces in the night – very annoying and pointless.
6. The furniture is really cheap and tacky. It is also badly placed (eg, it is not possible to open the wardrobe in the bedroom properly because the desk gets in the way). There is a very odd light as you walk into the room by the door but it is not plugged in and to plug it in, you have to have the lead trailing across the door (it’s not even long enough to trail on the floor) or across the entrance to the bedroom.
7. I initially used the old wardrobe in the living room but found a layer of white dust on the rail which got onto some clothes, so I moved them into the wardrobe in the bedroom. In the old wardrobe there’s a safety desposit box which doesn’t work.
8. The fridge was so noisy that we had to unplug it at night. Oh and it’s just an empty fridge, not a mini bar as claimed on the website and in the hotel literature.
9. There is a decent sixed balcony but unfortunately the views are largely blocked by the other side of the building and there is a room immediately opposite which means no privacy (though it appeared empty for all four nights we were there – yet another empty room when they said none were available).
In conclusion, don’t be fooled by the website as the pictures of the rooms are misleading. The friendly receptionist is not to be trusted. The manager is also not to be trusted and having made it clear I wasn’t happy about what happened over the room promised to me, he was quite unpleasant to me afterwards, especially after I told him about the broken shower, noisy fridge and a missing light bulb (the latter which was changed the next day). He also could be taken for the handyman as he strolls around in jeans and either T-shirts so he can flaunt his tattooed arms or a shirt hanging out – and nearly always with a lit cigarette in his hand. This is not what one expects of a manager of a 4 star hotel.
The literature they provide you with about the hotel is a joke. It says "The moments you will experience in our hotel seem as if they have appear from a fairytale" (sic)!! It claims to be a "luxury complex" with "luxury rooms and suites" and "Luxurious Rooms with Majestic Sea View" (sic). Compared with the crumbling charm of the Grand Hotel in Tartus, Syria, the Orizontes is luxurious, but not compared with most 4 star European hotels (and even more luxurious 3 star ones). It is such a pity as it has great potential. One could forgive many of the failings listed in this review if it wasn’t for the poor management, poor service received on this occasion and bad feeling received from the manager. Of course, the economic situation in Greece might have had an impact on work that needs to be done (repairs, updates, redecoration etc.) but with the prices they are charging should not make this an issue, that is if they are selling rooms, which during our stay they evidently were not as the hotel was nowhere near full.
On the positive side, the rooms were quite clean (except for the dust in the wardrobe) and the chamber maid was very polite and helpful. Also, the woman who seems to run around doing everything other than cleaning is very helpful and friendly. There is a night duty man who is very sweet, helpful and genuine.
Santorini is an amazing island and I hope to return one day. However, I definitely won’t be staying at the Orizontes again and would not recommend it to anyone else. A pity as it is in such a great location for those that don’t want to be in town and on the whole is a relatively quiet hotel apart from the road.More
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking