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“Our fourth visit to lovely Skala :)”
Review of Socrates Studios

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Socrates Studios
Ranked #122 of 140 Hotels in Cephalonia
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Our fourth visit to lovely Skala :)”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

My fiance and I have just returned from another wonderful week away in Skala. It was our first time staying at Socrates and it was fine - typical simple Greek self catering studio. In the past we've stayed at George Studios and Casa d'Ionio in the main street. All have been ok.
Our room was number 4 and we found it to be clean, tidy and generally well maintained. We made use of the available fan straight away as the room did become very warm. The fridge worked fine and the hob, though a little slow, worked. We boiled water for coffee and eggs and it was fine for that.

I read the really long review below just before we left and panicked a bit... but in our opinion it really wasn't that bad at all. In fact, I would have happily stayed there a few more nights if our flights were different. We were only maided once during the week, but I don't mind doing a little bit of washing up and taking out a small bag of rubbish to the bin is not really a massive chore, especially when you consider how cheap the holiday is! There was a loose wire here and there, and yes a few things are taped together, and not every switch worked, but nothing struck us as being unsafe. It adds to the charm - embrace it!

This is no-frills but friendly, well located accommodation. We found the locals to be affable and the bar/restaurant staff fantastic. Service is excellent and the food is great quality (particularly The Pines, Mi Abeli, La Luna and Flamingo). I am usually the one to suffer with a bad stomach when away from home, but I never have any issues in Skala. Many restaurants have free WI FI now which is great! (The Paradise beach - turn right at the bottom of the main street and walk until you get to the blue parasols - also has wifi).

We didn't eat at Socrates Taverna, mainly because we were keen to be in the main street, and also we wanted to see all the familiar faces! I'm sure it would have been good though, the restaurant always seemed to neat and tidy and there was always people at tables. There wasn't much noise at night either, which was a relief.

We had no problem with mosquitoes, and like the food - it is usually me that suffers when away. We 'spritzed' our wrists and ankles with Boots finest repellent each evening and neither of us were bitten.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jessica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Southern England
Level Contributor
50 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We booked for a week here in early June 2013 after having read some of the tripadvisor reviews both on the studios and on the taverna downstairs. We had doubts regarding the lack of air con but thought we'd get away with it being so early in the season. We were swayed in our decision to book here by the great reviews of the taverna. Sadly these were a complete misrepresentation of the truth. As were the good reviews of the studios which are described in the Olympic brochure as "Modern and well maintained". Nothing could be further from the truth !
We booked a bargain holiday with Olympic online and we did have a great holiday in Kefalonia BUT this was inspite of Socrates studios and taverna. We survived the Socrates experience !
The transfers coach delivered us to Socrates after around 50 mins drive from the airport which was a real pleasure in itself...lovely mountainous scenery, huge thunder clouds, lush vegetation and quirky buildings. First impression of the Taverna was poor, with plastic screening around the "restaurant" area presumably to keep the dust from the road off the dining tables. Stairs up to the rooms were up the LHS of the building, and the first thing I saw on the 1st floor landing/hallway was a large fan held together with sticky tape ! Above the door a light fitting with loose wires. On opening the door we entered a small dark L-shaped room with a sink , fridge and two electric rings on top of the fridge.The main light was non functional. A small cabinet above this was improperly fixed to the wall and was suspended by two hooks at the top so was constantly hanging away from the wall at the top, potentially allowing contents to slide out into the sink and onto the old cooking rings. The bed was ok, quite a comfortable mattress but only had one sheet and a disgusting old blanket. The doors onto the balcony required a little working out how to open without breaking the ancient contraption,...wooden louvre doors next were painted some many years ago and the paint was peeling to bare in many places...Balcony had a view of the accommodation next doors balconies (all of which had air-con), and the old drums of cooking oil and pails of dirty water down below outside the kitchen. This was a rear facing room,..and by craning your neck around the end wall you'd see the mountain but the view was mainly of other accom. close up and large bushy trees. The en-suite had a shower with an ancient curtain which hung 6 inches outside the tray! the shower head was only just functional and on the verge of breaking, the sink had a vile huge mixer tap , a large mirror and a light above it which had wiring protruding dangerously out into the room. Water and electricity do not mix well ! The toilet was functional with a small toilet paper waste bin next to it with the usual plastic sign about not putting used toilet down the toilet but into the bin. There was a cut off water bottle overturned and covering up two offcut plumbing pipes coming up out of the floor, as there was in the main room. The grout was dirty and missing in places, and the door handle was filthy with paint and grime over it, and the door would not lock. There was also a bucket and mop in the en-suite emitting a stench of something rotten.......
We knew it was basic accommodation....so we went out straight away and bought some bleach, insect spray, coffee and milk etc.........The mop head was disgusting and we both soaked it in bleach several times........it had not been cleaned in a long time.....tried to make a coffee but found that it took over half an hour to boil some water in a tiny saucepan as no kettle was provided.......the supermarket sold small travel kettles for around 10 euro so we got one of those to make our coffees....even after several times using the kettle we noticed an unpleasant scum forming, subsequently used only bottled water for hot drinks. It would have been a nightmare to cook any food in this SC studio so we did n't bother...Skala is full of little eating and drinking places,...but be warned,...many of them are very poor indeed, offering sharp practice in many forms from overcharging to withholding change.One of the worst was the so-called "taverna" downstairs. It only opens at 6pm and is nothing more than a place which takes the overflow from the other tavernas. The food and drink is well below average and the prices are higher than many better establishments......Do not believe the great reviews about this place....there is no repeat custom, no locals eat here (other than the family involved), it is a mosquito infested dump, and they do not grow their vegetables at the garden to the rear, they don't even use vegetables other than the bare minimum. I had to send my meal back to the kitchen as it was unappealing in the extreme.See my restaurant reviews for further info.

The first night we got completely covered in bites, both in the "taverna" and in the room upstairs. This was despite using a healthy dose of Jungle formula maximum strength insect repellant on our bodies and giving the room a good spray of Raid before going out!
Insect repellant is a neurotoxin! and should be used with caution,...but we found ourselves applying huge quantities of it to prevent further bites.........Air conditioning systems do kill mosquitoes and it really is not good enough in this day and age to suggest that holidaymakers plaster themselves in poisons.....We would never stay in a Greek room without air-con again! Better to pay a little extra for the peace of mind and the health benefits.
The shower was a nightmare, flooding the floor on each use. Rather than risk using the black and stinking mop we used some of the threadbare towels to mop the floor and hung them over the balcony to drip dry, but after a couple of days of this the towels were filthy. I asked the cleaning woman to change our towels and to empty our bins one morning. She was a balding woman of around 60 years of age...She started shouting at me in Greek, gesticulating and kept saying 20 euros over and over again......I thought she wanted a fee to change the towels....At this point the rep turned up,...and I told her there was an issue with the shower flooding the room with each use, and that the towels needed changing and the bins needed emptying. They proceeded to have a shouting match, in Greek, in our room , while at the same time my wife was lying on the bed suffering from the previous nights food! Upon my asking the rep what the cleaner had said it transpired that the advice was that we use the mop (!) to clean the floor and not the (threadbare) towels as these and the bedding would only be changed once a week !! The rep also said that the used toilet paper bin would only be emptyed three times in the week and that we should take the contents of this to the bin across the road ! I was outraged by this ! We do not go on holiday to mop floors, empty used toilet paper bins, and get feasted on by mosquitoes.
I did seriously consider booking alternative accommodation in the Hotel Skala next door, but decided not to as this was a budget holiday and I was determined that we stay within our budget,which we did !
One of our towels dropped from the balcony and I went down to fetch it...I was amazed to see mop buckets half full of dirty water, pails of dirty water with dozens of dead insects in them, buckets of potato peelings rotting in the heat. Then when up on the balcony again I saw the cleaning woman throw used mop bucket water directly onto the soil at the back of the building. Creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. I also saw this woman with an apron on one evening so presumed that she was the one doing the cooking !
Once the "taverna" opened at 6pm the rear kitchen doors were opened and the stench of heavily overused cooking oil wafted up. Obviously this meant that we could not leave any of our beach towels etc out on the balcony at night for fear of contamination. Mercifully there were hardly any people eating in the "taverna" so the cooking smells were not as bad as they could have been.
The road outside was busy throughout the day and not a safe place to walk , with coaches, lorries, delivery vans, hire cars, locals on scooters, and arrogant taxi drivers beeping their horn at you as they race past.
The pool bar across the road is Not free to use,,,you have to buy drinks at the bar to use the sunbeds and pool....and why anyone would use that is beyond me when 2 mins walk away is a simply stunning beach with azure seas and awarded the blue flag for cleanliness ( unlike most pools).
The location of Socrates studios is right next to the centre of Skala so is really useful, Its the best thing about the place....2mins to the beach and only 1 min to the many shops, tavernas, restaurants and tourist shops(of which there are a great many). However, there are also a great many Studios and small hotels also right in the centre of the town so Socrates is not unique in that, and the road is a concern especially for children and older people who may not be as nimble as a mountain goat in jumping out of the way of fast traffic.
So many facts to report, some more important than others. But regarding sleep quality this is dependent to some extant upon the amount of alcohol imbibed. More seriously, people do crash and bang their way back into the accommodation at all hours up to 4 am !....and when the sun is shining early in the morning (7am) the cast iron railings to the side and rear of this building and those adjacent start expanding and making strange noises as if someone is hitting the iron with a hammer! Very annoying.

Skala is full of sharp practise...Beware.....From being asked for 55 euro for a pair of sunbeds at Sunrise fish taverna...to being charged 4.3 euro for a danish pastry....From a shopworker trying to shortchange me 45 euros when I paid for water with a 50 euro note... to being charged for food we had not eaten or ordered...From being forced to wait ages for change after paying a bill (in the hope we'd leave without the change)...to being systematically overcharged for drinks (at the Captains Bar and at the Old Times)..... to being served cocktails with suspect low grade alcohol in them (at the Captains Bar, and this was corroborated by another bar owner).
Even the pavement along the front has many pieces of jagged steel about 1cm long sticking up out of the concrete for a length of several hundred metres. Is this another scam ? There is a physicians on the high street, I wonder how much they charge for dealing with foot injuries?? No excuses for this at all.......health and safety considerations do not exist here ...be careful walking along the front!
I must say that my impression is that the tourist industry, here in Skala, pays great disrespect to the tourists , most of whom are Brits. There should be a tourist office which logs comments and complaints and enforces fairness and decency. Sadly if you are a tourist here you are fair game, and if a Brit you probably wo n' t complain.
However, we did have a great time here based in Skala, and would return. But NOT to Socrates Studios.
The best thing about this holiday was seeing dolphins on a boat trip to Ithaca, and of course the hot sunshine and beautiful azure seas.

I hope this report is helpful to fellow travelers...

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HotAirship
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Booked very late...value for money fantastic.Room was very basic but clean.towels and bed linen changed once during week,but room cleaned 3 times.Would not recommend for self catering as little room for food prep,but it is so cheap to eat out in this resort.Had no problem with mosquitos in room.Food and service in taverna was excellent and the staff very friendly.There is a pool across the road which is free to enter and no charge for sunbeds or parasols and also very clean.Would stay here again.

Room Tip: room 1 has balcony which gets very hot after 1430 and has no shade
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank phillito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2013

we booked the studio accommodation through Olympic Holidays. for the price we paid the studio was exceptional value. everyone at the taverna was friendly and we had a great holiday. the studio ( we were in number 2) was basic but comfortable. no air con but there was a fan available for hire if needed. the mosquitoes were biting - even in mid May, later in the season these and the heat may be a problem for some. the food on offer in the taverna - open from 6.00 pm - was excellent - we went there for our evening meal every night it was so good. there was no washing up liquid, tea towel or sponge/dishcloth - although these can be purchased quite cheaply in the local supermarkets. possibly we were the first visitors of the season and what we bought (and left) would be left for future visitors? as is usual in Greece - it is not possible to have your shower without flooding the bathroom - Socrates studios do have a mop in the bathroom to mop it up though, so it all dries out a bit quicker. highly recommended for a budget break.

Room Tip: Studio 2 is over the taverna to the front. it is a large room with a double and 2 single beds. also...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Carole K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Clean,basic,value accomodation in Scala.A truly beautiful island,a must go to place.People and food also fabulous.Only minutes away from the town centre and beach.Had a grand day out on a boat and also a coach tour of the island.All in all a lovely,relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank geordiealan50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Stayed here for a week in July 2012 and had a fantastic holiday. Great value for money, transfers ice used in the price with Olympic was great as otherwise think it would be very hard to get to. Basic room, yet had everything you needed! Only gripe with the facilities was that our hob took forever to heat up, but that wasn't really a problem.

The location is fantastic, with a swimming pool seconds away from the hotel, the beautiful beach and great bars and restaurants only minutes away. If we had had more money we would have tried an expedition as they all sounded fantastic (worth going for the meeting anyway as we got a free glass of ouzo and also discovered a lovely restaurant that we had a beautiful meal and too many cocktails in later in the week). Socrates and his family were also lovely and the food we ate in the restaurant was brilliant. My one tip would be to bring bite creams, plug ins etc with you as I got bitten to shreds. Luckily there was also a pharmacy just around the corner with very helpful, English speaking staff.

If you visit the beach it is worth paying slightly more for the loungers with the straw parasols and table complete with ash tray and drinks holder, the lady who runs these is lovely. Would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bncol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2012

The Studios are in a great location just a short walk to both the beach and resort centre, however we did not find the road at the front to be very busy. The bin collection is every day and around 7am.

We booked through Olympic for a family of 3 for a 2 week holiday.

The flight arrival was on a Sunday around 9pm and we arrived at the apartment somewhere around 11pm. When you arrive you will be directed to your coach and given an envelope which will have the apartment number allocated to you on it. We had apartment 1 which is on the first floor facing the road and pool opposite. On arriving at the studios you will not find a reception and make your own way to the room, where the keys are already waiting in the door for you.

The room. you get what you pay for very basic, but the beds were found to be comfortable. We had a double and single bed in our room, shower room was clean but has a slight smell, plus the fact when you do have a shower it’s very easy to flood the floor. The room has a small fridge and a two ring cooker, neither are very good but we didn't come for the room. Although I have to agree fully with Lewis about the A/C this is a must in the heat, we were also facing the road where the sun comes to the front around 1pm and starts to heat the room up, this continues till around 8pm in the summer months. The temperature was in excess of 40 degrees every day and increases a few degrees from 2pm till around 5pm. The room becomes a sauna and is no fun getting ready to go out in the evening, or trying to sleep at night. You can hire a fan but will need this to be next to your face to enable you to sleep. Would suggest you request rooms 3, 4 or 7 as these are all rear facing. Room 7 is an apartment not a studio, it also does have A/C only room at this time. Fans are hired for 1 Euro Per Day and the Room with A/C is 5 Euros Per Day if you’re lucky enough to get this room.

Should you wish to make a packed lunch or such like the space is limited and again like the previous review stated you have to balance on the sink/drainer/hob. The plastic garden furniture table chairs are poor, with a mish-mash of cutlery and crockery where more than a few useful items down.

Rooms on the first floor have no mosquitos screens on either the doors or windows so make sure you take the precautions if you don't wish to be bitten. The biggest plus we found was the pool which is opposite this is less than 20m away, not very busy when we were there and the staff are fantastic.

We did eat once at the Taverna below where you should receive a 10% discount for staying at the apartments above. You need to remind them or you won't get it. We found the meal to be average when we ate there. On another note we tried loads of different restaurants and found the cost was about the same at each one a meal for 3 with a drink plus a bottle of water 35 to 40 Euros. I would recommend the following as these were our favourites - 1 The Regina (this is a five star hotel go down to the beach turn left about a 10 minute walk once you’re at the beach). 2 Village Inn (you will have your rep meeting in this restaurant, from the hotel turn right and walk to the main street turn left, it’s the third shop/building on your left). 3 The Pines (as before go to the main street turn right lt’s the last restaurant on your left).

Room Tip: If possible room 7 for the A/C or rooms 3 and 4 these are all rear facing and don't get the sunn...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jc1210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Socrates Studios

Property: Socrates Studios
Address: Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Cephalonia
Hotel Style:
Ranked #122 of 140 Hotels in Cephalonia
Number of rooms: 181
Also Known As:
Socrates Studios Greece/Ionian Islands - Cephalonia

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