First time visit to Skiathos with good experience of numerous other Greek islands. Also the first visit to Greece during the current economic austerity situation.
20 minutes by taxi from the airport at Ag. Paraskevi, the Skiathos Princess holds itself out as a 5* hotel and one of the best on the small island of Skiathos. First impressions were friendly reception & check in and porters who were extremely helpful & pleasant. A welcome glass of juice was notably absent but may be a result of cost cutting.Our room for a 14 night stay was perfectly ok with good air conditioning and TV plus plenty of wardrobe & storage space which is not always the case.Compared to other 5* hotels in the Greek islands it lacked some of the now more common features such as cd-radio or dvd players Our room was on the first floor overlooking lawned gardens which was ideal for our purposes as there seems little point in a full sea view if we don't spend time on a balcony looking out to sea - we have better things to do !
The room was cleaned daily by friendly staff who visited up to 3 times each day to refresh towels etc & deliver a newsletter which was completely hopeless & frankly a waste. We stayed half board and on each occasion that we used the restaurants the food was adequate & of good quality. The hotel boasts of 3 restaurants, a standard buffet restaurant, a steak bar & a pan Asian restaurant. They are all in the same building separated by curtains. We tried the steak bar twice but did not agree that (whilst drinks prices were somewhat high and equal across all 3 restaurants) there should be surcharges for vegetables which are taken from the same kitchen as the buffet where they are included in the price. 8 Euros extra for a fillet steak was not too unreasonable but the meats in the main buffet were of equal quality. The Asian food - in Greece - was bland and simply undersubscribed. Drinks in the hotel are expensive - typically £5.20 for a large beer & over £8 for a spirit & coke - when there is a bar opposite the hotel where the same drinks cost £3 & £5 but the hotel seem to think that this gives it an air of exclusivity. One night we counted less than 12 people at the bar in a hotel which has 236 bed spaces. They need to consider reducing prices which would keep people in the hotel rather than eatring an evening meal & then walking out the front door. Bottles of wine (a good selection) were roughly UK restaurant prices but could be found much cheaper in nearby tavernas.The one outstanding feature of the restaurants was the staff who were simply excellent. Very attentive & helpful.
The pool & beach facilities were extremely good with the usual free beach towel service & waiter service for drinks if required.
The real down side of this hotel - it is a Mecca for English weddings as well as the odd Greek wedding. There were 6 or 7 weddings during our stay. They usually took place at between 6.00pm and 7.15pm on or near to the beach and whilst it gave the impression of a very nice venue it also had an air of a conveyor belt mentality which also brought with it an influx of guests who were staying elsewhere on the island. We were told that June is heavily booked for weddings and that in September it becomes almost a daily ritual. They didn't interfere too much with our holiday but I wonder why people would want to get married against a backdrop of semi clad people around a swimming pool.
We enjoyed the island - hire a 4x4 for a few days and go off road to some fantastic coves and bays - and we enjoyed the hotel. With a little effort and not much, if any, cost, the hotel could be truly a 5* property. At the time of our stay we would rate it as a 4* at best.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With direct access to the beach, a selection of 5 restaurants and its majestic gardens, but also the quality of a Santikos Hotels member, The Skiathos Princess Hotel is everything you would expect from a Family Beach Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Princess Hotel Skiathos
- Princess Skiathos
- Hotel Princess Skiathos
- Skiathos Princess Hotel Agia Paraskevi