We've just returned after a weeks stay which my partner booked to celebrate my birthday, so we wanted it to be memorable.
Some of the staff will be remembered forever ... the lovely Soula (dining room manager), what a fabulous, hard-working lady - always a smile, a chat, and willing to please; Eya in the dining room with the most beautiful smile; Anthony ('Trolos' = crazy) at the pool bar with a wicked sense of humour; Alex the porter at reception, a very helpful and charming young man.
The ladies on reception were ever-helpful too!
We were VERY disappointed with the first room we were given (No.70) - dark, gloomy, with a view of a tree right outside the window then unfinished buildings and a shed roof beyond, the 'terrace' was overlooked by three storeys of other rooms and got no sun, and the metal stairs leading up our block of 8 rooms sounded like a blacksmiths shop every time someone came up them! The minute L-shaped bathroom had a tiny sit-in type bath which meant you risked tripping while trying to shower, and the concertina door was something Heath Robinson would have been proud of! Twin beds instead of the requested double which were the most uncomfortable I've ever tried to sleep on.
So ... next morning we requested a room change and were then given a fabulous room (308) on the third floor with a view of the residential part of town, mountains, and the bay ... our holiday started right then! It seems a polite and reasonable approach rather than a loud demand is appreciated. We enjoyed the food, the pool, the town, and talking to the locals who are warm and welcoming if you take the time and trouble to chat. While some of the goods on sale look expensive the shop owners are willing to deal and barter for a discount, and it can be done nicely without it looking like an insult. It's a fairly quiet area and that suited us, the sea is a short walk away with a good beach and facilities, and the few hawkers we saw were not a nuisance.
Back to the hotel itself ... we too experienced the holiday-makers from other countries who don't have our manners, dignity, or values but they behave differently if you stand your ground at the food bars and be vocal in making it clear that their behaviour is unacceptable to you. They don't get angry but they do respond to positive reactions, and it gave us lots to laugh about. I wonder how many of our continental neighbours have had their holidays spoilt by the drunken behaviour of Brits abroad? The influx of a party of 60 kids on a school trip did change the atmosphere - noisy, ignorant, and largely unsupervised they dominated any area they descended on, but looing at the example being set by their guardians you could hardly blame them - and it was their holiday too!
Our next-door-neighbour in 309 goes back to this same hotel regularly and said he would keep coming back - Balliotti, if you read this it was good to meet you - and I can understand why. If I wanted to have all the things I have at home I'd just stay at home, but if I want to experience new places, people, and cultures I'm happy to go with the flow as the budget allows. You don't get 5 star facilities at bargain-basement prices - no worries!
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- Also Known As:
- Marilena Hotel Amoudara
- Marilena Hotel Crete/Amoudara