We choose to go to Rhodes because last year we had visited the island on an day excursion from Marmaris, Turkey. We had really liked our day out so when we spotted a last minute family holiday on the ‘net to Faliraki we thought ‘why not…’
When we booked the holiday the details showed that we would be staying at Panorama Studios. ‘Net reviews we came across said only that the Panorama was situated off a steep road, however ‘steep’ was not defined.
The apartment building is situated about two miles from the centre of Faliraki roughly on the plateau of a steeply rising tertiary road off an arterial road. The apartment building itself was well maintained however we later found that the ‘landscaping’ to the rear of the building left something to be desired.
We arrived at the Panorama in the very early hours of the morning. There were two night staff guys on duty. One introduced himself as ‘Jimmy’ but the other said nothing and stayed largely mute thereafter. They directed us to our rooms but made no attempt to assist us with our luggage (x3 suitcase). We had rooms side by side, as requested. In one of the rooms the lights weren’t working and they fixed the problem PDQ as there was no other pair of rooms available. As ‘compensation’ they switched on the A/C unit in that room for the duration of our stay and didn’t charge us for it. We didn’t bother with A/C in the other room as the heat suited us just fine! The rooms and facilities were basic but sufficient (beautiful sunrise views over the trees from our 2nd floor apartment). A significant downside was the bathrooms that had a shower tray but no shower curtain. As a result on having a shower the bathroom turned into a wetroom! Towels had to be put down to soak up the water that got everywhere and took an age to drain away. It felt unhygienic being stood in a lake of shower water whilst drying off.
Later that morning we noticed that the night guys had been replaced by three day staff, a guy who introduced himself as Yannis (if you’re reading this sorry if I’ve spelled your name incorrectly) and two women. Yannis spoke English well and was generally friendly and helpful. The women were more obviously reserved and didn’t communicate in English that well (that said their English was still by far better than my Greek) but they were very efficient.
Jimmy who we saw most nights was well known for saying ‘Thank You’ long and loudly. We found him personable but well skilled in the art of Taarof.
On ordering meals from the café/canteen menu it was noted that there wasn’t a great deal of choice just variations on a theme e.g. chips eggs and sausages or sausages chips and eggs etc. There wasn’t much in the way of Greek food on offer though to be fair they were obviously geared up for typical client demand. As a result Greek salad was eaten for every meal, not that I was complaining as I needed to lose some weight anyway!
In the afternoon we decided to walk into Faliraki centre. The walk was an adventure in its own right as for the first half of the way there was no metalled pavement, just a dusty dirt verge centimetres from the high volume traffic arterial road (I understand though that municipal works halt during the tourist season but the pavement will be extended and finished for next year). The walk back was gently inclined for three quarters of the way but the last quarter of way to the apartments is steeply inclined. There is little point really in saying the tertiary road is approximately a 1 in 10 rise it is better to visualise the steepness of the road in terms of the road shown in the classic Hovis bread commercial! If a person is fit and healthy the road shouldn’t be a problem but if a body has breathing problems then the road may well present an unwelcome challenge.
That said if you don’t want to walk the two miles we found that staff would happily order a taxi that you were charged in the region of 5 to 8€ for depending on time of day, driver etc.
Taking a taxi proved useful for the single occasion we bought in provisions given that the first (open) stores (‘Asda’, ‘Sainsburys (sic)’, ‘Morrisons’ etc) are about a mile away alongside the arterial road from the apartment complex.
On our second day we met properly with our Rep, Mary (the first meeting being briefly at Rhodes Airport on transfer). She was pleasant but once (allegedly) she had ‘profiled’ our group and concluded that there no excursions to be sold she provided her contact details and promptly left.
The Panorama pool was a good enough size, clean and was well maintained. Relaxing beside the pool was pure bliss (temp 35-40) as the music was at a good level with no hassle from the staff to buy drinks. Also access to sun loungers was plentiful and unhurried, an upside of the apartments being too far away from ‘the action’ for casual visitors to just turn up and overcrowd the pool area.
On the third night we went into the centre of Faliraki. We found that the centre was not quite Blackpool, more like Wakefield town centre on a weekend with souvenir shops. We found that the place was generally clean, safe and great fun to be in. It’s worth mentioning also that we got nowhere near as much hassle from traders as we had received in Marmaris. The beach area was great too.
On our fourth day we went to the Water Park (10€ taxi fare). The place is brilliant and a must do visit. Best to arrive early(ish) to get on the best slides and attractions without too much queuing that said there is more than enough to keep a person well amused until they can get on a slide.
On our fifth day we went to Psinthos (situated about 8 miles away) on the recommendation of Yannis as he stated that the tavernas there were the best. He was right! We had a fantastic meal at a great taverna owned by a relative of his. The only downside to our trip to Psinthos was the taxi fares. On the trip out we paid 17€ but 28€ on the trip back! We found that the reason for this was because Psinthos is rurally located and off the beaten track no taxis are based there and taxis hardly ever have cause to go as result the taxi drivers can apparently lawfully charge a passenger from wherever they happen to be when they are dispatched to pick that passenger up. Moreover we had to wait an hour to be picked up!
Overall we found our apartments agreeable and Faliraki an OK place to visit. We would at some point consider going to Rhodes again but as for staying again at Panorama Studios and/or visiting Faliraki probably not for as far as can be reasonably seen ahead.
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- Also Known As:
- Panorama Studios Hotel Faliraki
- Panorama Studios Faliraki, Rhodes