“ Address: Skala / Kefalonia / Greece „
I've just returned from a sun soaked week in Kefalonia and after dealing with the comedown of returning to raining England, I thought I would write a review of the hotel I stayed in.
We went as part of a package with Thomas Cook, and stayed from 13th July for 1 week so it was just before the school holidays. The cost was just under £400 per person.
We visited the resort of Skala which is the most developed resort in Kefalonia, and famous for featuring in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, fact fans.
~~ LOCATION ~~
At just over an hour away from the Airport, the Marietta village is located in a brilliant position only 500m from the resort centre with all it's bars, tavernas, supermarkets and shops.
The beach is only 900m away making it ideal for those who want to be in close proximity to the heart of the resort.
The walk to the centre is quite flat so those with walking difficulties won't have to negotiate any steep hills, however it's worth noting that there are a distinct lack of pavements in Skala so watch out for cars and scooters!
~~ HOTEL GROUNDS ~~
Rather than a high rise hotel block, it is a series of apartments set out in a "village" type layout. There are three floors and 48 rooms, however rather than a lift, you walk up in a spiral of stairs until you get to the top.
Luckily our room was on the first floor so we only had to climb up very few stairs, however we met a couple that were allocated an apartment on the top floor and said the 64 stairs (yep they counted!) were a killer, especially in the 40 degrees heat!
You could go up another way by a slope which was useful when you were dragging your suitcase up on arrival. Despite this, if you have walking difficulties or are in a wheelchair, a ground floor apartment is a must. The main areas of the hotel (reception / restaurant) are accessible via ramps.
There was a play area for the kiddies, a mini library which was mostly made up of books left behind by guests which I thought it was a fab idea and made good use of!
I thought the whole look of the village was really pretty and gave it a much more intimate feel than a high rise. The grounds were full of the most beautiful colourful flowers and the gardens were excellently maintained. So far, so impressed.
~~ ROOMS ~~
On arrival we didn't have to go through check in procedure which was brilliant. The owner just gathered us, asked for our surnames and told us which rooms we were in and that the keys were already in the doors. Result! I hate waiting around in reception whilst they check everyone in, I just want to get on with it!
We took a studio apartment which they say sleeps 2/3 although ours only had one double bed so they must have larger rooms with a pull out for 3 people.
Also available were 1 bedroom apartments which sleep 4
Our room was small and basic, but spotless. One double bed, a double and single wardrobe with tonnes of hangers provided, a dresser with mirror, 2 bedside cabinets and a kitchenette with fridge, kettle, 2 ring cooker and adequate cutlery and crockery.
The bathroom was typical of our experiences in Greece - tiny and a small shower with shower curtain, basin and toilet. It wasn't luxury but it was fine for what we needed, we're pretty low maintenance on holiday to be honest!
Air conditioning is payable locally - pretty standard in Greece, we paid 49 euros for the week and we couldn't have done without it - 40 degrees and no air con = no fun!
The balcony overlooked the pool and was just big enough to get 2 chairs and a small table so we didn't really spend much time there. I noticed that the family room and ground floor terraces were slightly larger though.
Finally, a really useful touch was the washing maiden hanging off the balcony - essential for drying out your bikini after a hard day in the pool :)
So all in all small but perfectly formed.
These were not enough to spoil the holiday but worth a mention:
Beds were not the most comfortable, and the pillows were very thick and as hard as a brick, so I did away with that after a couple of nights of neck ache.
There was no washing up liquid or brushes and whilst the maid did wash the pots, I would have liked to have been able to do it myself rather than wait until the next day. This kind of provision should be standard for a SC apartment.
Finally, some might be disappointed at the lack of TV but as I don't come on holiday to watch TV I really didn't care!
I was impressed with the cleanliness of the hotel in general and was glad to find that the rooms were also cleaned regularly. From memory, the sheets and towels were changed every other day, and the bins every single day.
Decent sized main pool with a small kids pool. Adequate sunbeds with enough shady areas and umbrellas for those who wanted to keep out of the scorching heat.
It was adjacent to the pool bar which had lots of seating both indoor and out.
To give you an idea of prices, large bottles of water were 1 euro and a large beer was 3 euros. They had a happy hour (lasting quite a few hours actually) every day.
Food wise they served very English fare with not a hint of Greek food in sight which was quite disappointing. Mainly toasties, burgers, chicken nuggets etc.
Judging by the quality of the food we ate, I am glad we chose to go self catering as it was rubbish to be honest. The salads weren't too bad but my husband had 2 variations on chicken and said they were both awful. Not particularly cheap either so after that, we either went into the village for lunch, or ate a snack up at our room.
On the whole the pool was relaxing.......until they fired up the music at the pool bar.
I heard quite a few guests complaining about this, firstly it was loud so it even made it hard to hear your ipod if you were on a sunlounger underneath the speakers.
Secondly the music was bloody awful (matter of taste I know, but it WAS!) and they played the same handful of songs over and over and over again. Every day. Seriously I have heard the dance version of Ma Baker about 40 times over that week, and it isn't even good enough to hear once!
Aah all part of being on holiday I suppose, but it was irritating to seemingly most of the guests. So sometimes when it got a bit much, we decided to escape to the beach.
About a 10 minute walk from the Marietta village lies a shingle / pebble beach. Not the prettiest but relaxing none the less. Umbrellas and 2 sunloungers are available to hire for a daily charge of 5 euros. There are a couple of beach bars / cafes dotted about, and slightly set back on the road along the beach are several hotels and tavernas (9 Muses is my hot tip for this area!)
Along the main street is where you will find the hub of activity in Skala.
Skala is not a party town, I think in fact it has one small nightclub. What it does have is a good selection of tavernas and bars which kept us more than entertained for a week.
Whilst this is a hotel rather than a resort review, I will say that if you want traditional Greek food, avoid the main street and head round the back for the authentic Greek tavernas (you can tell these as they are full of Greek customers). We found the ones on the main street disappointing as the food was either too English for our tastes, or was just badly cooked in general. They seem to want to get you in and out as quickly as possible rather than the backstreet ones that let you enjoy your drinks and take your time over a meal. Expect to pay between 20 and 30 euros for 2 people, based on sharing a starter, 2 mains and 4 drinks.
So my hot tip is Socrates Taverna near the Pharmacy - if you do visit Skala you will thank me!
There were a handful of bars, enough for a week but if we were there for 2, I would have started to get bored. There were usually good deals on cocktails with happy hours etc, and they were quite chilled and family orientated, therefore didn't get rowdy.
Skala is suited to families and couples wanting a resort that wasn't noisy or too lively, but also not too quiet. Personally I wouldn't return as a week was plenty to experience the place, however I did really enjoy my week there and would definitely recommend the Marietta Village accommodation to others looking to visit Skala.
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crossposted on ciaow as ciaomiaow - thanks for reading :) xx