We went to Hotel Lofos for a week from the 16th August 2013 as a couple and I must admit, I was feeling a little nervous about people saying it was very basic etc etc, and its true, it is rather basic in the typical fashion of a lot of Greek hotels but the rooms, the pool area and everywhere else in the hotel is so spotlessly clean and the staff are so genuinely hospitable and welcoming we felt instantly at home and at ease. The fact that the rooms are basic completely pales in comparison in the face of the good points of this hotel.
Our room was 303 which is in the building that has the main entrance hall to the left of the "massive hill" everyone keeps going on about! Our room faced up the hill towards the main block with the pool and bar etc. Although we didn't get the fantastic view down to the harbour, we were rather pleased with our view of the little garden in front with the massive palm tree and there was a field at the side with a lovely fig tree below. It was lovely on a morning to breakfast on the balcony (which was narrow front to back but very very wide!) and in the evening once the pool had cleared, sit and have a pre dinner drink listening to the chatter and laughter from the bar regulars and Spiros, the owner. We had an oblique view across to the pool and bar and we would often sit and chuckle whilst earwigging a bit. You also get many a friendly wave from the other guests and the owners from this room as they walk down the road! The cleaning ladies even give you a wave and when we were leaving, one of them actually helped me lift my case down the stairs in the main entrance - How lovely!!! They really all cannot do enough to make you feel welcome. This room is on the top floor of this block so there wasnt any noise from anyone walking around overhead as some people have mentioned. In fact, I don't actually recall ever hearing any unwanted noise from the other rooms/guests apart from a bit of door shutting along the corridor, but I think there were only about 4 rooms along our block and we were on the end of the run so no one was ever really walking past either. Ideal!
We tried one night without air con and after hardly sleeping we promptly went and booked it for the rest of the week. It was very reasonably priced as was the key for the safety deposit box. Lofos dont use it as an add on money spinner like a lot of hotels do and we had no qualms paying for these.
I read on another review that the beds were a bit hard so took my camping self-inflating mattress! They are a bit, and also quite low which felt a bit odd at first! The shower-room is basic with no window or fan but we did get a strange little louvered window thing out into the hall (?!) However you do get a shower curtain (I know a lot of Greek places don't even have this) and the shower area was very spacious. Some people have mentioned the towels are a little old, and they were a little flattened from use but it wasn't something that bothered us at all. I mean, its Greece in August...you only have to look at the towel once you've showered and you're dry! One thing that could be improved would be for a wall shelf or even just a hook as I had no where to hang my makeup bag so it had to sit next to the sink on the vanity top and they always get a bit wet there from splashes from the sink. I had to hang stuff on the door knob! Also, the shower works by a tap type arrangement with a diverter to send it to the shower head (a bit like youd more have over a bath really) and the bracket on the wall wouldn't hold the weight of it and kept dropping down so the shower was only really washing the wall! I reported this on the first day and was told it would be fixed, but they must have forgotten, but by the time about 4 hours had past I was already so relaxed and at home, I just didn't have the energy to care and ask again, and I just got by propping it up on the controls so it was pointing in the tray and lifting it back up when I needed a rinse. I certainly had clean feet that week.... Also, if in the future they refurb' and alter the taps for the shower, thermostatic ones would be good as they are only regular taps and when everyone's using the water the temperature did jump around a bit!
The kitchen area is laughably basic...You get one unit to house a sink bowl (no drainer!) and then the worktop extends over an undercounter fridge to house a double ring sealed-plate electric hob (you know the type that takes half an hour to get warm, then within 30 seconds your pans boiling over and it continues to do so after you turn the heat down for another 10 mins so you have to constantly be lifting it up and down off the heat!!!) and there was an extractor fan above and another wall unit only. I was expecting a random selection of utensils so we took a good sharp kitchen knife and a tiny grater (for the pasta cheese!) etc and we got by fine. We only cooked a couple of pastas and breakkie and ate out the rest of the time. Again, it wasn't a bother as we were too busy constantly giggling at how lovely it all was to care. The daft thing is, the room was so MASSIVE you could have had a much better kitchen corner! If they refurb, an extra double base unit for a bit more worktop space and a bit of a drainer on the sink would be a cheap but massive improvement!
There was plenty of clothes storage for us both, we felt. We got a double fitted wardrobe with loads of hangers and it had a tiny drawer pack at one side. We also had a dressing table with two little drawers and 2 bedside cabs with a drawer each and a hidy hole at the bottom. Plenty!
The pool - WOW! Its a really good sized pool for the amount of guests the hotel can house. It was never crowded or noisy, but really clean and very deep. I think it went from about 1m 30 to 2m 50 or something so really good for a proper swim. The little pink flowers from the plants on round the edge blow off and float on the water and make it feel really spa like!!! There was ALWAYS plenty of sun loungers. (No running down at 7am to put a towel out!). You could even breeze down at 11 am and have your pick of loungers. We liked going on the little grass area under the olive trees. The view from the large terrace area at the end of the pool is wonderful down to the harbour!
The bar/snack area at the top of the pool serves a basic selection of lunches and breakfasts. Breakfast normally started at 9am but on the first day we had booked to go horseriding at Dimitris Stables and were being picked up early, so they agreed we could go for breakfast at 8 (so accommodating and hospitable!) They also serve a great iced coffee and the prices are extremely reasonable to say that with the hotel being just out of the main town, sometimes people charge a bonus for having a captive audience, but everything was very good value. As a lot of other people have mentioned, the 13euro saturday night Greek evening barbeque is completely unmissable! I think the Saturday we were there EVERYONE in the hotel was in attendance and the place was buzzing! It was so busy we shared a table with another couple (who turned out to have very similar interests to ourselves so we had a fantastic evening!) and they bring you a lovely selection of barbequed meats from the lovely open air barbeque and oven they have on the terrace, along with a huge greek salad and breads. The two guys and the girl that did the dancing were very cheeky and funny and got everyone up - its a fantastic ice breaker and gets all the guests mixing. If you go to Lofos its a must-do, you wont regret it even if you're a bit shy about getting dragged up!
Kassiopi on the whole is a nice place. The harbour is picturesque and the nucleus of an evening down in town. There are some great places to sit and enjoy a cocktail with lovely views down by the harbour. I read a lot of reviews about the restaurants before we went but can honestly say we never had a bad meal at all. We didn't even have an average meal, we enjoyed everything, particularly the Mezze at Castillos which we felt was really good value and the litre of wine (hic) was rather good. We had a fantastic meal at Uncle Simo's on the last night (another couple we spoke to said they had a meal they didnt enjoy there but I think Simo's was the best meal we had) it was finished off with a spectacular power cut which left nearly the whole town without power for about an hour (apart from the ones that had their own generators - cue an impromptu cocktail at Jasmine bar on the way back, who did have power ... what a shame!) One of the waiters at Uncle Simo's put his motorcycle lamp on so people could see!
The town was lively on a very small scale. I was a little concerned about how lively it would be as that's not my sort of thing, I like things quite typically Greek and small scale and the town does look quite geared towards the British tourist with a few bars showing sky sports and that sort of thing, but everything is kept low key and it has a very welcoming, non-threatening atmosphere. All the staff in the bars and restaurants we visited seemed genuinely friendly and hospitable, not like some other resorts/places where they seem only to be smiling whilst trying to extract your euros. If anyone is looking for a week of partying all night, Kassiopi isn't the place to visit, but for perhaps one slightly boozy night out in your holiday and then lots of ambling around sampling the lovely food, atmosphere and hospitality then it does tick all the boxes.
After you've enjoyed a bit of an evening out having a nice meal and a few cocktails, the hotel is just the perfect distance out of town to be away from the entertainment and any of the residual noise and it really is only a handful of minutes down to the centre and the harbour. In fact, I thought the walk down to the town was a lovely start to an evening out and absolutely no hardship at all. The hill is only very gradual until you get right to the hotel. Seriously though, this massive hill everyone's on about in front of the hotel entrance comprises about 30 steps to the front door and anyone of average health would have no problem whatsoever with it.
There are some great trips that you can book through Olympic, but it is true they can be booked cheaper down in the town from Cosmic and there are a couple of other companies in the town that do trips, so check those out. We only did an hour horse riding which we booked with Dimitri's Stables before we went (it was great! we rode down to the beach!) and did quite a bit of exploring by foot to the various beaches, such as the Avlaki beach on the way back from the horse riding, and then were so chilled out we just flopped around by the hotel and couldn't find the energy to go on a trip after lifting all those excellent iced coffees!
If I could pick up Hotel Lofos and all the staff and the cheeky ginger cat that wanders around the place and take it with me to any place/resort I wanted to visit I would stay there every single time. I've never felt so welcomed and instantly at ease and happy at any other hotel we have stayed at. If I could ever get stuck in a ground-hog day scenario it would be a never ending perfect day at Lofos! I almost didn't want to do a review as its such a good secret to give away but the staff at Lofos deserve a great review for all the hard work they put in and getting it so right! Thank you all for a very memorable, lovely holiday!
- Also Known As:
- Lofos Kassiopi Hotel
- Hotel Lofos Kassiopi Corfu