Just returned from two weeks in the White Rocks. The hotel and grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The bedrooms were typical of a Greek hotel - one quibble - the air conditioning was not very effective and quite noisy. The majority of the staff were wonderful -they appear to be able to retain the same staff season after season. Particularly wonderful were the reception staff, the staff in the pool bar, the housekeeping staff and the female staff in the dining room. Others - in particular the staff in the main bar took efficiency to the point of rudeness. Nothing specific but you just got the impression that by ordering a drink you were making their lives difficult. Two of the waiters in the dining room were unwilling to engage in any form of conversation with us. This could be because on the first morning at breakfast my fried asked for tea. The waiter confirmed he would bring it but it was more than 20 minutes later when it arrived - in the meantime he had gone round partically the entire dining room with coffee, juices and even brought tea to the people at the next table but ignored my friends "excuse me". When the tea eventually arrived there was no apology but a comment about how busy he was. The other waiter started wearing glasses one evening a few days after we arrived. When I was signing for the wine I commented on this and he said "Yes, now I'm very busy". We didn't let this lack of courtesy spoil our holiday. As I said a wonderful hotel, most of the guests have been coming for years, very few children, gorgeous private beach, fabulous breakfasts but the evening meals were not all that great (one evening the choice for the main course was between beef and grilled salmon. I had the beef the previous week and decided to have the salmon this time. I saw salmon being brought to other tables but when mine arrived the plate was put down and the waitress said "fish". The fish was some sort of fresh water fish like perch and bore no resemblance to salmon. If I had been told that the salmon was gone I would have selected the beef rather than this overcooked, vile tasting fish. If you want to go this summer try to get a bargain and don't be put off by travel agents telling you that the hotel is fully booked all season - tourism on the island is down about 40% and Panorama (part of My Travel) have cancelled their packages after 31st August.
We had visited Zakynthos twice last year - 2 weeks in June/July and a further 2 weeks in late September. So obviously we loved it and were looking forward to going back for even the day on this visit to Kefalonia. We were very disappointed when our rep did not do the trip and the KTEL office in Argostoli advised that the trip, despite being advertised, was not being run this season as "it is not popular with British visitors" (we are Irish). Anyway a helpful guest in the White Rocks passed Panem Travel and discovered that they run the trip every Friday. It cost 33 euro and was well worth the money. The guide, Karen, was very informative and great company. The ferry crossing was lovely and we even saw dolphins. OK we saw nothing that we had not seen last year but it was wonderful to be back on the island and to make a comparison with Kefalonia - we much prefer Zakynthos. It was a long day but good value for money.
i have no idea where dan c*mberland keeps his sense of humour but he obviously does not take it on holidays with him. this was a fun fun fun day out. it is not cheap but great value. makis is one of the nicest, funniest and most tolerant of men. the guide, gary, and his partner yvonne who looked after the bar and the lunch, were great company - we had gary as a transfer rep the day we arrived, again on the onassis dream cruise, the bus trip around the island and we met up again at the airport on departure. the man is tireless in attempting to ensure that people enjoy their holiday.
anyway back to the boat trip - no dolphins - makis was as disappointed as any of us. on xi beach helping with the lunch was optional - i didn't bother but my friend did and from the laughter coming for the assistants none of them regretted their offer of help. beach games were available but i just lay on the beach and drank the copious quantities of lovely wine, enjoyed the delicious lunch and relaxed. wading in to shore with the water chest high is funny enough but wading back out when the tide has come in and the water is chin high and the wine has been flowing is another matter altogether. the karoke on the way home is funny if you want to take part but it is possible to ignore if you are up on the sun deck. tipping is optional but is the norm even in the uk and ireland in service/entertainment industries. what more can i say - a great day out for all the family - but take your sense of humour with you, after all you are on holidays.
Loved this cruise. Left from Sami and returned to Fiscardo. All the small satellite islands off Lefkada are stunningly beautiful. Boat very comfortable, all the reps took turns in giving us information over the intercom. No pressure to go to any particular restaurant for lunch (I like this because when you are given a recommendation you know the rep is getting his lunch their free). No dolphins - slightly disappointed but just sailing through beautiful clear waters on a calm and sunny day - what more can you ask for. Again particular thanks to the guides - Gary and Vanna