First appearances of Carda Beach when we arrived? Well, it was immaculate. Super clean, very modern, bright and welcoming.
We arrived at around 11.45pm and we where greeted by one of the night reception staff who was extremely funny and spoke good English so he could tell us everything we needed to know. He even sorted out some food for us to take back to our rooms. The complex is so big we where chauffeur driven to our rooms. We stayed in a luxury suite. Room 2122 tobe exact. It was absolutely amazing, ive never seen such a beautiful room! There was a huge lounge area with satellite tv, and a minibar (which is free if you are all inclusive) your double wardrobe and drawers are all in this room instead of the bedroom -- then a balcony which looked out onto the sea. On the left on a clear day you could see Turkey, and on the other side the twin island to Kos.
The bathroom was also very luxurious. As i went with my partner I didnt mind that the shower was quite 'open plan' as in, didnt have a door to it, but for two friends I wouldnt think much to this idea as the bedroom and bathroom are only seperated by a glass window. I loved this feature though, it made the room really airy and feel spacious. The bedroom was also huge and very clean, and this led out onto another balcony. The only problem I had was that I left my perfume out on the bathroom sink, and ants could smell it and I had a few crawling about round it. But as soon as I moved it they were gone.
Food and drink. All inclusive is definetly the best deal at this hotel. The deal includes all three meals, toasties and sandwiches inbetween meals, and any drinks up to twelve. Except for imported ones like Corona for example. Even cocktails were included, so we lived on margaritas for the week! The bar area is lovely. You can sit inside or outside which is lovely on an evening after its cooled off a bit. (temperatures reached around 43 degrees at midday during our stay.) The all inclusive buffet was your usual foreign food. Mainly fish, pork, some chicken. Also beefburgers sometimes. Always the same kind of thing cooked a slightly different way. There was a huge selection. Breakfast was anything you fancy really and as much of it as you like. Bacon, eggs, sausages, omellettes etc.. then cereal, toast... pancakes.. there was always something new to try. Fruit was always available too. Lunch was also good, although we couldnt eat a lot we ended up having fish and salad just so it was a bit lighter, but theres a mix of everything. There is always spaghetti, sometimes burger and chips. But a mix of everything. And always a fresh dish of feta salad, and beautiful green olives. There was two restaurants within the hotel too, which on all inclusive you could visit for free, but only one visit to each. These were an Italian and Chinese restaurant. We LOVED the Chinese restaurant. Three course meal including seafood, wan tans, we even had half a roasted aromatic duck with pancakes for main, then fried ice cream for afters. This meal was definetly the best we had during our stay.
My only problem with the food was that in the restaurant there seemed to be a lot of flies on our last few nights. On the deserts table they kept landing on the food. it didnt seem such a problem until those last few nights, and it definetly put me off dessert. Although it wasnt such a great selection in the first place. They need some kind of hatch to lift up so flies cant get in. Something to control it!!
Nightlife - the hotel itself is quiet, but if you dont mind a 10 minute walk down the beach the main town of Cardamena was extremely lively. Just watch where your stepping, the path next to the beach is quite unstable, maybe worth walking down there in the day just to check it out. There are lots of bars and a few nightclubs. My partner and I went down one night to see what it was like. Most of the bars employed English people to get custom as apparently they were having a bad season. They will all come up and greet you and see if you want to come in for a drink or two, their all extremely friendly. But dont fall for the first bar you see! As you walk further down people were offering such good deals on drinks that it was hard to resist. We got two cocktails and shots for only 5 euros. Our favourite bar was Marios. This was on the harbour side. it was a bit quieter than the main strip and we found a lot of people to talk to from he UK who were all around 18-21. Marios makes for an extremely cheap night-and a headache the next morning!!
In the day Cardamena is a bit of a dump I must say. There are a few boutiques etc and the usual souvenir shops but nothing that special. Its definetly better at night. The harbour is worth a walk down though, theres only two main streets but the harbour side is beautiful.
There is a gift shop within the hotel, and they have some lovely things to buy. There is also a room with books in that tourists have left for others to read. So if you run out of things to do by the pool - make sure you check out the books on offer. The Spa at the hotel is also okay, it has an indoor pool and a gym too. Its free to use the equipment and facilities but there is a sign saying you have to be 18 to go in there. Im not sure that anyone would notice a few teenagers going in though to be honest. There are a few spa treatments that are free but some things like massages and beauty therapies are charged at a small cost. There is also a tennis court and archery. You can also rent a car or quad bike from a man that comes to the hotel in the evenings, or from trust which is just down the road from the hotel which are charged at reasonable prices.
The Thomas Cook rep came to the hotel in the mornings, and although we were with Thomson we got to book a trip to Kos through her. We just went for the morning but you can go for a full day. The old town is gorgeous. Theres lots of shops, restaurants, a castle and other historial pieces. You can also get a boat over to Turkey (Bodrum) for a day, which I think would be nice to go to during your stay but when we were there, there were reports of a massive heat wave and decided we didnt want to spend 8 hours in 50 degree heat!!
The beach is literally down a grass bank from the hotel. Its not your perfect beach, but who needs a perfect beach with an amazing pool area?? What I mean by this is that there is sand, but to get into the sea its one big rocky ledge. Jettys have been built with ladders like a pool to get in, instead of making your way across the slippery rocks! The Aegean is clear and if your interested in getting a snorkel you can see loads of fish swimming around you, its beautiful.
There was three pools, one massive one, seperated by a bridge (which if you swim underneath is REALLY lovely and cool in the day) then another slightly deeper pool, and then a childrens pool. When we stayed it was quite windy in the day.. if you get a drink dont spill it, you will end up with thousands of little anty friends. If you do the bar staff will be happy to clean it up, quick!! You can also take part in a free Scuba Lesson in the pool. They will come round the sunbeds and ask you if your interested. Obviously its only in the pool but its an interesting hour or two and you get to wear the tank and goggles and wetsuit and swim around the pool with a qualified instructor.
The maid came with fresh bathroom towels every day. You are provided with a blue towel, which is only changed once a week because it is for use by the pool. But it can be changed at reception for a euro. There is a hairdryer in your room, bathrobes and slippers.
Oh and if your taking your laptop, there is free WIFI. If you dont take your laptop there is a small charge for computers.
Anything else you want to ask just let me know.
You can probably tell I loved my stay at Carda Beach, I'd happily go again!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to our fantastic world!Defined by inspired, vibrant design, and located along the south coastline of Kos Island, Carda Beach is the setting for the most playful Escape. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Carda Beach Kardamena
- Hotel Carda Beach
- Sentido Carda Beach Atlantica Kos/Kardamena