Before I start wittering on, I'd just like to say my rating of 5/5 is based on my expectations prior to the holiday. I did a bit of research, read previous reviews on here, so knew it wasn't a 5* palace. My review is based on wanting (and getting) a relaxing and relatively rustic Greek experience. If you want gleaming surfaces, top of the range cooking facilities, and don't like seeing the odd ant this isn't the place for you.
I stayed for a week in mid-July on a package with Thomas Cook. Travelling solo, I wanted a nice quiet place with guaranteed hot weather and a nice pool. Petra, and the Ourania Studios, delivered exactly what I was after. Its a fair coach trip from the airport, probably about 1.5 hrs, but through beautiful scenery.
Check-in consisted of the 'mother' of the studios giving you a room number. Simple but so much better than standing around for half an hour in a reception area filling out forms that will just end up in a bin. I think I had room 7, on the 1st floor of the main block overlooking the entrance. Got the afternoon and evening sun, which was perfect for a few cans of Mythos on the balcony before dinner. Room had 2 single beds, wardrobe, desk, kitchen cupboards, hobs, sink, fridge and limited amount of crockery/cutlery. Its not a place for cooking, but not sure why you'd want to with the food on offer in town. Bathroom was fine, with shower, sink and toilet. Despite daytime temps hitting 40C+ I didn't bother with the air-con, just left the balcony doors ajar and the room seemed okay. Fresh sheets/towels during the week, bin emptied twice I think. There's an annexe with 4 rooms about 50m walk from the main block. Seemed to get favourable reviews from fellow guests.
The pool and bar/restaurant area was probably the clincher for me. Absolutely top class. More sun loungers than guests, even when fully occupied! Pretty new furniture too. Pool was a fair size and a pretty nice temperature. Its a regret of mine that I didn't eat an evening meal in the restaurant, but I had lunchtime snacks and a fair few afternoon/early evening drinks there. Cheapest pints I had all week (2.50 euros) in there, and soft drinks/water reasonable too. Pleasant surprise seeing as you're a captive market. Wonderful views out over the farmland and mountains and sunshine throughout the day.
Because there aren't too many rooms it felt a pretty communal place, with lots of the guests getting on with each other. A number of returning groups ( I think Rita and Alan from a previous review were there when I was! Hello!), but it never felt cliquey. The family that run the studios are, as has been stated before, managing their farmland too, but I never once had to wait for someone to serve me an ice cold drink! Christos the boss might appear a bit gruff to some, but he was a gent. Ably assisted by his wife (probably served me more than most) and, I assume, his son and daughter. A nice and very hard working family.
Its about a 5 mins walk down a stony (but perfectly fine) track to the seafront. Once you get there, turn right for a decent selection of bars/restaurants/shops. Turn left and its a few mins walk, past several bars/restaurants/cafes to the main town centre of Petra. Really nice place, with little winding streets lined with eateries, pleasant atmosphere and the church overlooking everything from atop the rock. I could rattle on all day about the town as I really enjoyed it but this is supposed to be about the accommodation!!
If you're able (and I'd never touched one before), hire a moped and head off around the mountain roads. One of the best day's I've had on holiday. Roads are so scenice and very quiet. Up the hill to Petri, around to Skala Sikamenas and then over to Molyvos and the hot springs at Eftalou. I covered just a small portion of northern Lesvos and I want to see more!
Anyway, back to the accommodation. As I said, if you're the type of person who goes running to reception when you find an ant scuttling across the floor, don't bother. If you're happy to relax and take the local idiosyncrasies as a part of a holiday when visiting another country then I'm happy to recommend this place as the perfect base for Petra and Lesvos. I don't often return to the same resort, let alone the same accommodation, but I may well make an exception here.
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- Also Known As:
- Ourania Studios Hotel Petra
- Ourania Studios Petra, Lesbos, Greece