11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Decent hotel but not 4 star service!
" We stayed at Island Blue to join a family celebration in August this year. The rooms and grounds were very good, clean, spacious and well maintained. However a taxi transfer booked through this hotel lost my suitcase when it fell out of the boot somewhere along the pre booked transfer journey! The taxi sent for us was far too small despite my explicitly stating to the hotel prior to our stay it was required for 4 adults with 4 suitcases. Thankfully it was recovered the next morning BUT I was not allowed to take it to my room until the manager arrived on duty to check its contents! So I was left waiting another 2 hours without my suitcase (all of my clothing including toiletries & toothbrush)!!! Why this could not have been arranged in a more agreeable and sensitive manner ie at the time we went to enquire if my suitcase had been found the next morning is perplexing! Surely another member of staff could have performed this task to avoid further delay and frustration? The whole situation was managed with a total lack of sensitivity. So beware of booking taxis via this hotel! In addition to this, our booking included a two bedroom apartment (which was very nice) for my husband and I booked through Thomsons. When we asked reception if our daughter could stay in the 2nd bedroom (as her hotel had double booked and had no room for her), we were asked to pay 150 euros directly to the hotel, for a room we had already paid for through our booking with Thomsons! The manager has in fact responded to a review similar to this I posted on another review website suggesting that the 150 euros was paid by us to Thomsons and therefore suggesting the hotel management was not responsible -however this is not true as our credit card account shows it was debited to the hotel-not Thomsons! This leaves us wondering who has pocketed the 150 euros! Pefkos is a fabulous, friendly and welcoming resort with beautiful beaches, tavernas etc with normally extremely hospitable hosts and we have holidayed there on many occasions at a variety of different hotels over the years. However, this whole experience at Island Blue understandably has negatively affected our views of this hotel. This kind of attitude and service towards guests is not what you would expect from a 4 star rated hotel! As a result, we will not return to this hotel and would not recommend it to others who think they are booking and paying for a four star service. We are regular travellers and have stayed in many hotels across Greece, the rest of Europe and further afield and have stayed in budget 3 star up to 5+ star rated hotels so our expectations are not unreasonable. You normally get what you pay for! I have to agree with other reviewers on this site-the service this hotel offers is not 4 star, and therefore not worth 4 star prices! "
- Travel date: 26th September 2013
"We have just returned from a 11 night stay at the Island Blue. This hotel was more of a motel, as if your room is on the ground floor, it opens out straight onto the pool area and if on the upper levels opens onto outside landings. This hotel is part of the Pefki Island Complex and the main reception is in the Pefki Island Hotel. The Elia Restaurant and pool is also separate from the Island Blue. The complex also includes the Lydia Thassia Hotel. You have 5 pools to choose from, but we stayed at the Island Blue pool as we found it was less noisy with softer music. The Pefki Island pools are more lively, with louder music. The rooms are very clean and have a very nice bathroom. The rooms also stay very cool as they are shaded by a large wooden canopy/trellis. Personally, I did find the beds to be a bit too firm for my liking. Maid service was daily with change of towels every day and bed linen was changed at least 3 days in our 11 night stay. Very peaceful at night. There is entertainment by the Pekfi Island Pools in the evening which finishes at mid-night.The breakfast was very good. There is a choice of: cereal, yogurt, fruit, croissants, toast, cakes, hams, cheese, and English breakfast! The beach is within a short walking distance, down some quite steep steps. We didn't bother with hiring a umbrella and sun beds, although it is only 7 euros for the day. The water is very, very clear and lovely and warm. Pefkos itself is almost exclusively aimed at the English, although there were a few Italian tourists too. It has one road with bars, tavernas and a couple of night clubs. We were eating for between 50 and 70 euros (4 adults). The best restaurant we found in Pefkos was the Lindos Cuisine - very nice! The worst meal we had was in the Nostalgia Bar - very poor! The resort is good for families and couples and is not at all rowdy. Very sad that there is a large number of stray cats in Pefkos. We always saved a piece of 'Stifado' to feed them on the way back to the hotel! We visited Lindos once every and got lost in the maize of sugar cube buildings. Found Lindos to be very hot and enclosed but it is well worth a visit. Taxi easily found in Pefkos and costs 7 euros."
- Travel date: 28th August 2009
Perfect Island Blue
"My wife and I stayed at the Island Blue mid August and I can confirm thet all the positive reviews which we read concerning this hotel are absolutely true. The Island Blue is a new hotel but is part of a three hotel complex, the Pefkos Island hotel and Lindi Thalassos hotel being the other two. The pools and all other facilities can be shared as and when desired. A total of five pools in all, just pick the one which meets your personal requirements. We hired a car from Kosmos car hire office attached to the Pefkos Island hotel. (the car hire is not part of the hotel facility, only by association as the office is on their grounds). I would advise anyone to shop around first if considering car hire. It was not overly expencive but better deals are available. On the second day the car broke down and luckily we were almost back at the hotel by then, just 20 miles away. We had to push it to a safe location at a filling station, then phoned John the office manager who came out and tried to rectify the problem. His attitude was that it was our fault that his car would not start, and when it eventaully did start it would travel at only 20KPH . When I mentioned any possible compensation or small discount he said 'Quote' you are just the unlucky ones I have nothing else to say to you! and that we would have to contact the main office in Rhodes, we didnt bother!. Apart from that everything was perfect and we would highly recommend the hotel, and Pefkos."
- Travel date: 23rd August 2009
Much higher than a three star, certainly exceeded my expectations
"The Island Blue certainly exceeded my expectations. I thought it should have been rated higher than a three star. The rooms were immaculate as the hotel is brand new. Every need had been thought of (including full size iron, fridge, flat screen telly, clothes stand, hose to get rid of sand before entering e.t.c). I thought the pictures I saw didn't do the room justice. Katerina the receptionist was extreemly helpful and was very kind and supportive when I left my bag on the Thompson coach (doh!). I don't normally spend much time around the pool as I prefer the beach, but it was hard to resist this one. The water was so clean and everything was pristine. I would highly recommend this hotel. Go now whilst everything is so new and everyone gets wind of this place."
- Travel date: 16th August 2009
An excellent, relaxing getaway - you won't be disappointed!
"We have just returned from a week at the Island Blue Hotel in Pefkos. Don't be put off by one bad review - the hotel was actually rated by Thompson as a Four T (their equivalent of 4 star) and well deserves this rating. The hotel is a brand new, stylish building within the dramatic setting of the Pefkos hills and right next to the sea (only a 5 minute walk away). The rooms were spacious, clean, stylish and comfortable with a brilliant bathroom and shower. We were lucky enough to be on the ground floor, with our own spacious terrace, overlooking the pool. But because the hotel is so small all balconies and terraces face the pool, which is comforting to know. It also meant that your room was literally one minute away whenever you were in the pool. There were more than enough sun loungers for everyone. The pool at the Island Blue was lovely, but you also had the choice of four others around the resort and in the sister hotels/apartments nearby. Each pool has its own character (lively - relaxing etc) We preferred the Island Blue pool, as it was quiet (with low level music) and very chilled out. The beach was a five minute walk away down about 60 steps (be aware of this if you struggle with walking). It was a lovely soft sand beach with crystal clear, warm waters. The beach was never overcrowded. We went every afternoon and although we took money every day to pay for sun loungers we never had to as they had been vacated. Pefkos is a small tourist-based resort, which is nice and quiet, brilliant for families and couples with a wide selection of bars, restaurants and tavernas. Perhaps it is not the most authentic taste of Greece, but it has everything you need and was pleasant enough. We particularly enjoyed the hospitality at the Rock Garden Cocktail Bar located right near our hotel! We also enjoyed dining at Enigma, which was friendly and served lovely traditional food. However, we made the mistake of being cheap and going to Zorbas for a 3 course set menu for 8 Euros 70 each. The food was not wonderful (you definitely get what you pay for!), although after drinks it cost the same as better meals we had at other restaurants, so we learnt our lesson! The best meals we had were at the Island Blue's own stylish restaurant, Elia. We enjoyed a range of traditional Greek dishes (everyone should have at least one Kleftiko while staying in Greece!) and other meals, all cooked to an exceptional standard. With drinks inlcuded the meal for two came to about 25Euros, which was less than some of the other restaurants in the area, and the food was better at Elia. Staff still seem to be finding their feet with the new restaurant, but I'm sure the service will improve with time. Lindos is the biggest town next to Pefkos, offering a more traditional Greek experience. We got the bus there from Pefkos (you can get a timetable from reception) for 1.50 Euros each. We personally found the winding maze of extremely narrow alleyways claustrophobic and intimidating, but if you love shopping for gifts, this is the place to go. Overall a fantastic holiday at a brilliant new hotel - we will definitely be back!"
- Travel date: 13th August 2009
New Hotel in town= Treasure Island Blue!!
"My wife and i have just returned from our first trip to the Greek island of Rhodes, and was lucky enough to to spend 7 days at this resort. Located a three minute stroll to the beach accessed by steps, supermarket on route. Food was good, apartments spacious and very well equipped, service excellent. Dimitri*, who looks after the poolside bar must get a special mention for the long hours put in keeping the area in good condition( *i think that was his name).Many appologies if wrong!. Pefkos has plenty of bars/ taverns/restaurants to keep you entertained for a week, especially the Eclipse for loud Rock`n`Metal music. We will return!! Happytravelling."
- Travel date: 10th August 2009
New/Spacious Rooms & Great Pools But Service/Food NOT Five-Star
"We stayed in the Island Blue hotel fpr a week in mid-July, which is part of the Pefki Islands Resort, so this review is really for the entire resort. I've posted various pictures of the room, pool areas, dining area, etc. Overall the resort is new (Island Blue being brand new, opened in June 2009) and very clean as a result of this, with friendly staff, excellent swimming pools and very spacious rooms (at least in the Island Blue hotel where we stayed). But they have a LOT of work to do in order to justify the so-called five-star rating (stars generally do not mean much in Greece) and I would rate this as a three star property because of the inconsistent and disorganised service, the mediocre food and the location which might as well be anywhere on the Med catering to European package/mass tourism. There was a general feeling of corners being cut to save costs, and of compromises being made in order to cater to the (supposedly more relaxed) taste of package tourists. When you expect a five-star holiday, you are not paying for the room or the boat/plane: you are paying for the luxury of feeling SPOILED for a week. Pefki Islands Resort does NOT offer this. They DO offer sunshine, a choice of swimming pools, and very clean and well maintained grounds. But sunshine is free and assuming that someone will pay for it just because they fly in from a country that doesn't see much of it, is a sad misunderstanding on the part of the Greeks. Even on a half board (breakfast and dinner), it's hardly expensive compared to other Greek hotels, but they should NOT make you have expectations of higher quality and service because of the environment and the five stars. LOCATION: Pefki Islands Resort is a good 1-hour drive from the airport, and can be costly to get to by taxi if you don't mind spending between 45 and 55 EUR for the transfer. It was very surprising that for a five-star property there was no shuttle bus, but it seems most arrivals that had booked with Thomson (not us) had a transfer included by a Thomson coach. The resort is on a slight slope next to ths sea (though you can't see the sea from it, just some of the upper rooms, and set back from the main road so it is a very quiet environment. Pefki itself is not a village -- it's a strip of cheap bars, restaurants and accomodation catering to the mass tourism that has swamped Rhodes for decades. This isn't a bad thing if you want a cheap holiday, but if so, there are plenty of other options in Greece that will offer the same sand, sea, sun and fun with also a small flavour of local life. Case in point: the bakeries that are found on every corner every village, town and city in Greece, serving a selection of freshly baked pastries and breads to eat on the go (a great 'street food' to keep you going between meals or as a quick breakfast) were nowhere to be found in Pefkos, or even in Lindos itself, the largest town nearby. Lindos, the most popular destination outside of Rhodes Town itself, is only 5km away and a 5 minute bus or taxi ride. Local buses are cheap (about 1.50 EUR per person one way) but can be unreliable -- we had to wait about an hour for one as they ended up passing the Pefki stop at least 15 minutes before their scheduled time! BEACH: Not really part of the hotel as it is next to the Lindia Thalassa, a bit of a walk down a path and a set of steps, but once you do get there it is impressive: a narrow sandy beach below the bluffs and mostly bare mountain to the west. Crystal clear water, sandy bottom and the occasional rock (though fairly flat and smooth) that can be avoided. The only catch is that for some reason, as in most of Rhodes, you pay for the sunbeds/loungers/umbrellas (4 EUR per person I believe) so we spent most of our time at one of the five pools of the resort. If they added 8 EUR per day (an additional 56 EUR for the week) then we wouldn't feel as ripped off and could enjoy the real beauty of Rhodes' coastline. SWIMMING POOLS: The highlight of this resort. There are FIVE to choose from, each with its own character -- we liked the Pefki Islands pool by the reception for its nice musical selection in the mornings when you want something more lively, and the fantastic cup of coffee served by the super-helpful Dimitris at the poolside bar. In the heat of the day, this pool also has low stone walls around it in some parts, which help provide extra shade along with the umbrellas. The largest pool (actually two separated by a bridge) at Island Blue had the most loungers and space, was the quietest for relaxation but had no shade from trees or buildings, which made a difference during the 40-plus degrees we had during our stay. The impressive 'upstairs' pool next to the Elia restaurant was more for decoration and didn't seem to be used much, but provided a great view during meals as the sun went down. The other two pools (a second one at Pefki Islands and one at Lindia Thalassa) were always very busy and more kid-friendly and if I remember correctly may also be shallower: around 1.30m deep as opposed to the 1.60m or 1.70m at the reception-area pool. It's a shame that not ONE of the pools was kept open past 19.00 to offer a refreshing dip after the sun went down. WIth so much choice they should segregate the pools more (e.g.: one for the older crowd to relax, one for children to play, one for the romantics, etc.) SERVICE: Staff were all very helpful, especially the famous Katerina at reception who was always greeting us with a joke and a smile, as well as Dimitris, who served drinks/coffees at the reception-side pool and was always offering to take pictures and help us out in any way. Our only complaint is with the food service... it seems every other day the method was changing for those of us who were on a half-board basis: at first we could choose anything from the a la carte menu, then they restricted our choices to dishes under 15 EUR, then they restricted the starter/salad to just one (changing each day), then as more guests arrived breakfast was served as a buffet (which we had originally hoped for)... the staff there could have been a bit more apologetic about the inconsistent information... we all realise these are times of economic crisis, but their job should be to make the guest feel SPOILED for choice, or at least be apologetic about not being able to do so. ROOM: Along with the pools, another wonderful highlight of this resort. The Island Blue hotel is the newest part, and we had a large room with 3 single beds for 2 people (though I was travelling with my wife they didn't seem to have any double/king/queen beds, which). Still, the rooms are spacious, spotless and with a large walk-in shower big enough for 4 people (though we hope nobody tested this) and just large enough to relax you without feeling cramped. A sturdy table and chairs on the balcony made for some nice evening relaxation. Furniture was minimal, clean and sturdy and made the room bright and airy. HOWEVER, it is surprising that even in Greece (who leads the EU in smoking) a five-star resort of this type would continue to allow smoking in the rooms, and despite being a new property (opened in early June 2009), our room at the Island Blue was full of stale smoke. We opened door and windows to air out for a couple of hours but even after a week the smell lingered in the pillows and mattresses. Housekeeping service was very friendly and quick but like other guests, I couldn't help but feel that it was superficial -- and again, there is NO five-star resort I have heard of that changes linen twice a week, or does not replenish the very nice toiletries supplied: four bottles of shampoo, bath foam (for what bath, I have no idea), conditioner, skin lotion, soap, sewing kit and a shower cap. Again that feeling that corners are being cut to save costs, but they could take a lesson from many other hotels and print little tongue-in-cheek cards about saving water and the environment by not changing linen or toiletries every day. Again that lack of organisation -- by the time we returned to our room after lunch to relax and avoid the hottest part of the day, our room had still not been cleaned. Understaffing, perhaps? FELLOW GUESTS: I wouldn't normally comment on this but sometimes it is something to consider. Though Rhodes has rowdier parts catering to younger package tourism (think the notorious Faliraki resort, which as I understand isn't as busy as it used to be), thankfully there was none of that in Pefkos and it felt as if the area is trying to become a little bit more upmarket. Pefki Islands Resort is very family friendly and during our stay was full of mostly British families with young children or couples with babies in strollers/prams. Which is another excellent point of this hotel: it is VERY accessible so it is well suited for someone in a wheelchair or parents with babies on wheels... but in Greece at least, there is somewhat an 'us and them' mentality of the locals and there are many Greeks who would NOT go to these hotels if they heard that they cater to cheap package tourism. Pefki Islands should be VERY careful of not falling into this kind of 'touristic segregation' trap. FOOD: The biggest disappointment. For such a nice space, Elia restaurant could do more. The menu has a large selection but is translated badly and has no taste of anything 'local' that Rhodes has to offer. In the confusion around what we could and could not order on a half board basis (why not print separate menus? put little stars next to certain dishes? give us a buffer for breakfast?) we ordered a 'Black Angus' rib eye steak with a pepper sauce that was not grilled/barbecued but cooked in the pan/oven, and was so smothered in sauce that it was genuinely hard to tell if it was pork or beef! The chef himself came out to insist that 'they told us it was Black Angus' and did not offer to change it. The breakfast menu was a choice of one of four menus (English, Healthy, Greek, Continental), and was a sad selection of cold bacon, tiny stale croissant (packaged), frozen mini muffin and no selection as found in other hotels around Greece of a far cheaper quality (where's the honey? the daily fresh bread? These cost nothing in Greece and give the tourists an exellent taste of some of the best local products). A five star hotel does NOT give you condensed milk packets with your coffee instead of fresh milk, does not offer to refill the coffee or even ask you how you would like your eggs! And they should NOT restrict you to sit at breakfast on the hottest side of the building with the sun scorching you while you have your coffee. And though the breakfast buffet was covered, with 30-plus degrees in the morning, why did nobody think of putting the yogurt bowl on ice or the platter of cheese (which had half-melted)? Food is HALF the joy of a half-board holiday in a resort and sadly, here it was mediocre at best. FINALLY: I have travelled to many hotels in North America, the Caribbean and Europe and it is sad that Greek management still seems to think that tourists are clueless and will compromise so much for the sake of a cheap holiday, and then wonder why everyone goes to other countries instead. Even mass tourism is smartening up, and if you don't pay attention to details, then a so-called five star rating does not mean anything. In fact, it's almost hypocritical. For the sme money, there are better choices in Greece with better food, better service and more local colour. Pefki Islands Resort has the potential to be one of them, but not unless they make their guests feel spoiled and not ripped off."
- Travel date: 5th August 2009
Just STAY HERE. You will be very happy
"We just got back from a lovely week at the Island Blue. The hotel well exceeded expectations. The rooms are done to a very high standard and the rooms are huge. I'm orginally from America, and I have never experienced such large hotel rooms before. The beach is very close and lovely. It is a smaller beach, but there are plenty of sun loungers. We went and had drinks and snacks at Philosophia every day. It is just a little walk from the hotel. Island Blue is a part of the Pefki Island Resort. It is off the side with some additional pools and a restaurant for breakfast. They haven't really figured out what they are doing about breakfast yet. Everyday they did something different. It was basic, not a lot of choice. But that is no reason not to stay there. I assume they will sort it out over the coming months. The hotel was by far the nicest property we have seen in all of Pefkos. Pefkos was a nice small/ medium size resorts. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to chose from to keep you going for a couple weeks. I would recommend George's. It was the best meal I had while I was there. The Greek sampler was really good. My partner had a steak and thought it was his best meal too. Just stay at the Island Blue. It was really nice and clean. By the way, there is a deep pool that is off the restaurant. It tends to keep the younger kids away."
- Travel date: 3rd August 2009
"Just returned from Island Blue after a lovely week. The rooms are large clean and stylish, just as depicted on the Travel Advisor reviews. The pool was beautiful water was warm and pool area immaculate. We upgraded to half board which was very worthwhile, it worked out about 10euros a head and this was for a four course meal, salad, starter, main course and dessert. food was of high standard and service was good. Breakfast was also very good. Reception staff very helpful and friendly all in all a very good break in a great hotel. Pefkos itself was lovely especially for families. Would definately reccommend this hotel. Has only been open since end of June09!"
- Travel date: 19th July 2009
"We went to Island Blue for our Silver Wedding Anniversary. We were the first in our room and Katerina had arranged for wine & flowers for our anniversary - a lovely surprise! The rooms are spacious and the bathroom is beautiful: a double size shower stall tiled throughout. A full wall mirror above the basin and well lit throughout. The bedroom was large and there was plenty of wardrobe space. Take extra hangers - there were not many. The pool area was fab. never full, always plenty of space and very clean. Never any need to put towels on the sunbeds. Island Blue, Pefki Island and Lindia Thalassa are all on the same complex and the whole area is exceptionally clean and tidy. The supermarket is reasonable and stocks a wide variety of goods. We had breakfast at the Elia with a choice of English, Greek, Continental or Healthy. My husband had English and I had Continental,more than adequate to start the day. We went to restaurants recommended on the Pefkos forum, including Philosophia, Nostalgia, Enigma, Two Brothers and Artemis Gardens. All of them served great food and 2 three course evening meals with wine and water and coffee, averaged 50 Euros, which I thought was good value. We also ate at the Elia, the restaurant next to Island Blue. Again the prices were on a par with the other good restaurants in town, but the quality did seem slightly better. Everywhere we went, service was second to none. We used our debit card with no problems. There are places to eat for as little as 8 euros for 3 courses, so you don't have to spend a fortune. We did the Turkey trip with Thompson and it was o.k. Wouldn't go again. Set out at 6.30am and returned to hotel at 19.45! Great trip if you enjoy shopping and haggling! I would really like this hotel to stop as quiet as it is now, but once word gets around, I think you'll struggle to get in!"
- Travel date: 13th July 2009
luxurious in great location for the lovely resort of pefkos
"we visited this hotel on our recent stay at pefkos where we have been for the last 2 years.this hotel has just been completed and is really as the pictures portray. It is modern with 3lovely pools including a roof top pool adjoining the restaurant. All building work complete it seemed immaculately kept and maintained. the ambience was peaceful and relaxing. Around the pool Soft variable music playing in the background (not noisy just right) Apartments had lovely patio area overlooking the pools. It is possibly expensive but would be a great holiday for honeymooners/couples although children catered for too. . Also the lindia thalassos and pefkos island hotels nearby offering more entertainment and bars. Very near to the beautiful sandy beach.-but you may be tempted to stay around the pool as we did because it was so nice. We ate lunch there most days and service was excellent. Bar staff friendly. I would be surprised at anyone who could fault this hotel."
- Travel date: 9th July 2009
Top traveller tips for Island Blue Hotel
"Don't expect a 4 star service to avoid disappointment!"