Filia Studios is not only a lovely, well equipped, spotlessly clean hotel in beautiful settings,but it is also run by one of the friendliest, most attentive and helpful familes you will ever meet. From the moment we arrived, Christos, Filia, Yiannis, Takis and the rest of the family Sanidas made us feel like long lost friends.
The studios themselves are simple but well resourced and comfortable with everything working, well maintained and very clean. The balcony area is spacious with beautiful views down the green, flower filled, valley to the sea.
The bathroom? Well for regular travellers to Greece all I will say is - shower hook and curtain, tons of gushing hot water late into the night, plug in the sink and even a bath mat!
The pool area, surrounded by lovely gardens, is of the same high standard with plenty of sundbeds and parasols plus lots of comfy chairs and a double swing seat in a quiet corner under a trellis arch of vines and flowers. The bar and restaurant area next to the pool is well stocked with a large indoor seating area complete with extensive library and good size pool table. The menu is great, with dishes prepared with love and care by Filia containing many ingredients originating from the family's gardens, orchards and livestock. Fresh eggs from the chickens, lemons, tomatoes, olives, home pressed olive oil and more. The wine list was also good - my partner was particularly taken with the red!
The hotel's greatest assets are usually just behind the bar - Christos and his mother Filia. Christos was our constant host, chauffeur, organiser, negotiator and, most importantly of all, friend. He is charasmatic, organised, professional and very very hard working but always appears relaxed and cheerful. He speaks fluent English and had no problems with the wide variety of British dialects thrown at him when we stayed! Filia, as well as being a fantastic cook, is also an amazing host and keen instructor in the Greek language!
The lovely relaxed family atmosphere helped the guests get to know each other very well - we made some great friends on our stay. The big social night is the Sunday night BBQ set alight by Filia's gorgeous food, great music, lots of dancing and laughter. Not to be missed!
Getting around on the island is made very easy by the Christos-bus. From 8am to midnight Christos or his Dad, Yiannis, will take you in their minibus (modern, clean with a/c of course) to or from the beautiful Skiathos Town or to one of the 60 stunning beaches for less than the price of any taxi and at a comparible rate to the very good, but often overcrowded, public busses. They will even insist on taking you to the airport at the end of your stay so you can beat the check-in queues.
Christos will also help to organise trips, car or boat hire and negotiate with any of the businesses on the island to ensure his guests are getting the best deals and service possible.
The family own part of Agia Eleni beach on the far west of the island. It's a short drive and they will run you there in the Christos-bus whenever you want. It is one of the nicest beaches of the island, very attractive with a lovely chilled out taverna bar, good safe swimming and good for snorkelling. Agia Eleni is also the best spot on the island to watch the stunning sunset. Troulos beach is also very nice and just a ten minute walk from the hotel.
Troulos as is a small, laid back resort with a good selection of restaurants - the best currently being the newly oppened 'Salt and Pepper'. A must for food lovers with both some great twists on trad Greek and lovely contemporary seafood and meat dishes - a notch above the usual. The spaghetti and lobster with saffron (€30 for 2 people) was our favourite.
Some other quick highlights from our stay -
- chartering a sailing yacht for the day (via Christos, naturally) with 10 other guests and sailing to Skopelos, Tsougria and around Skiathos in relative luxury.
- scuba diving with the wonderful Theo from Octopus diving centre (one of the the best dive masters, especially for beginners, I have met) - find him in the harbour (or ask you know who to arrange!)
- watching the sunset on Agia Eleni beach
- eating at The Windmill restaurant (you may need to book in advance)
- The BBQ!
I have been to Greece and its islands 15 times over the last 30 years and have stayed accommodation ranging from 5* hotels to no star pansyons. Finding a place that combines comfort, a beautiful setting, cleanliness and great customer service is rarer than seeing a polar bear on Agia Eleni beach!
So many of the guests who come to Filia Studios are repeat customers, some who have been coming for years. I am definitely planning to join their ranks - only 49 weeks to our next stay!
Filia and Christos taught us some new words and phrases on our stay - one in particular comes to mind when we think of Filia - θαυμάσια! (pronounced 'Thavmassia') Look it up.
Note 1: Hill of Death? I've seen longer slides in kiddie parks! (It's really not that bad! and there is an easier route, plus the advantage of the Christos-bus if you really struggle.
Note 2: If you have any problems at all - want bigger towels, something not quite right in the room etc. just ask Christos. Don't be all British about it and mumble under your breath until the last day when you mention something and he looks at you with exasperation and says 'why didn't you tell me!!!!
Note 2: Watch out for Arni the Ram!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Studios Filia Hotel a family run business with a personal touch offering holiday accommodation with attention to detail of customer needs around the clock. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Filia Studios And Apartments
- Filia Studios & Apartments Hotel Troulos
- Filia Studios & Apartments Skiathos/Troulos