“ Address: Pefkos / Lindos / 85107 / Rhodes / Greece / Tel: +3022440 48181 „
I confess, this is not where I had intended us to go! I had read a review here on Dooyoo and, because the names of the resort were very similar, assumed that they were the same place. They were both places available through UK travel agents. The pictures of them could even have been of the same place.
But they weren't!
However, as it turned out, the Pefki Islands Resort was actually not a bad choice. As we discovered when we arrived at Reception, they had a whole wall full of certificates showing that they had been selected as amongst the best in their class so, that can't be bad, can it? But would it actually live up to its reputation?
We were travelling with Thomsons, flying from Birmingham, the week's package costing just over £700 for the two of us. Living just outside London, as we do, you may wonder why we were flying from Birmingham rather than, for instance, Gatwick. The answer is that by doing so, for the cost of just under an extra hour's travelling time, we saved £200 on the holiday! Also, flying with Thomson we got yet another two chances to watch the utterly brilliant safety video, by Alice & friends (it's posted on YouTube - watch it - I never tire).
Pefki Islands Resort is in the village of Pefkos (or Pefki; either will do) on the South-East coast of the island of Rhodes, which is in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, notable for being far closer to Turkey than to mainland Greece itself.
The island's airport is on the North-West coast so to reach Pefkos requires crossing almost the entire island. The island's roads are currently undergoing much work so at the time of writing, the journey took longer than it might, at just over an hour, and this in the early hours of the morning. Once completed the journey should be a lot easier.
Pefkos is a resort village that has grown from just a few houses to dozens of hotels, bars and restaurants, mostly, it would seem, serving the needs of the UK tourist trade, judging by the meals on offer in many of the restaurants and by the prevalence of wide screen TVs showing Premiership and Champions League matches.
The road that passes through the village is not a through road, just one that serves the local coastal resorts and holiday complexes. Pefki Islands Resort is on the far side of the village and set back from this road on a service road that eventually rejoins it further on.
The resort actually consists of more than just Pefki Islands: there are three separate groups of apartments, all with their own pools and services - Pefki Islands, Island Blue and Lindia Thalassa. We were actually in the Pefki Islands apartments. The whole complex stretches from the service road down to the beach, a distance of around 400 metres. The beach can be accessed either from steps leading down from the Lindia Thalassa apartments or by following the signs for the Philosophia restaurant and the steps down from its terrace.
The Pefki Islands apartments all seem to be in blocks of eight: four up, four down. Each apartment runs the width of the building, with the upper rooms having a balcony and the ground floor ones a patio enclosed by unkempt hedges. On reflection we would have preferred to have been on the upper floor as we then could have left the patio doors open. On the ground floor there was no way of securing the patio doors open just a little, to let air in.
Don't get me wrong, we didn't expect any problems with people wandering into our apartment in the middle of the night although, on the ground floor there is nothing to prevent it. No, the problem was actually with the local feral cats, who seemed to think that they had the right of way though the apartments should they so choose, and the kittens definitely did choose. We resorted to jamming the clothes drier between the doors to keep them out.
Of course, you could, if you so chose, pay extra for air conditioning: it doesn't come included in the package we had from Thomson. This being October though, we didn't really feel the need, though the weather was still very pleasantly warm. The apartment consisted of one main room with a double bed, TV and a kitchen area with nothing very much more than a few electric rings and a grill. There isn't even a microwave, which would have been useful. There is a full set of cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery, for three people, the maximum occupancy. We had no intention of having more than breakfast in the apartment so it served our needs.
There is a supermarket on site, in the main building of Lindia Thalassa, about 100 metres away, so we could stock up with the basic essentials (wine, beer, Metexa...) but there are, in any case, plenty of supermarkets throughout the village, all offering pretty much the same sort of things at the same sort of prices.
Our apartment was clean, attractively decorated and in a generally good state of maintenance. The bed was firm but not uncomfortable although only a single pillow was provided. As well as the main room there was a separate shower room, with wash basin, toilet and built-in shower cubicle. As is common with most Mediterranean islands, you are requested to dispose of toilet paper in a flip-top bin beside the toilet rather than flush it down the loo. The bin is emptied daily, along with the cleaning of the apartment and straightening of bed clothes.
Our apartment was so close to the pool that we could almost have jumped straight out of the door into the water! However, we had no problems with noise or anything else. The pool was amply provided with what looked like brand-new sun-loungers, each pair with their own sun shade. At one end of the pool was a bar and beyond that a café. The pool was not the swim-up type, unlike the pools in other parts of the complex! The water was kept scrupulously clean, as was the pool surround.
As well as the Philosophia restaurant, which I've reviewed here, there is also, beside the entrance to the complex, the Elia Restaurant and Bar, which does look very attractive and has the additional benefit of its own pool, which you can use as well as your local one; we did attended a Greek Night here, which was very enjoyable, but we didn't have an evening meal here so can't testify as to what to expect.
On site there is also a creperie that looked to provide some attractive snacks although this is not really our sort of thing and, as there are so many food outlets in Pefkos to try, we didn't sample their wares.
The staff here are very friendly and helpful. At Reception there is also a small library of books that you can borrow if you run out of reading material during your holiday. We arrived amply provided and so contributed a few books to the collection so as to lighten the baggage load for the return journey.
Would we recommend Pefki Islands Resort? Yes. We thought the whole package to be good value for money and certainly there was nothing about the resort that caused us any concern about recommending it to other travellers. Certainly, that it led us to discover Philosophia was a big bonus.
If there is one comment I would make it is that Greece appears yet to implement any smoking restrictions and so you could, as we unfortunately did, end up next door to a bunch of volcanoes. It would have been nice if the management had allocated smokers to apartments away from non-smokers but, that wasn't the case. This was our only disappointment