Crystal Palace Studios
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A Really Lovely Place
"We were at the Crysal Palace when the fires happened last year and had to be evacuated to the other side of the island, leaving most of our possesions behind.
When we returned to the apartments we were so relieved to find the apartments and Scala buildings generally untouched, not because of our possesions but because Nick, his family and the local people just make you so welcome you didn't want anything to happen to their businesses or homes.
The apartmenst are lovely, we had a sea facing balcony and the view was beautiful. They were spotlessly clean. The staff couldn't do enough for you and there were snacks to be had from the poolside bar, which were very tasty and good value.
The pool was perfect for a dip, plenty of sun loungers. It did however, get very busy and this was at the very beginning of the season.
Scala is a lovely little town, every taverna we ate at was welcoming. I would say make the effort to go right into the town centre, it is worth it for the choice.
The beach is very pebbley. I would recommend hiring a car, although the roads are scary!! Lots of hairpin bends. It is worth it thoguh as we found the most fab beach with hardly anyone on it. It still had sunloungers, a little bar and a loo!
We enjoyedit so much we will definitel be returning again this year!"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008
"This was mine and my husband's first trip anywhere in Greece and we were so impressed we have booked again to go next September.
Skala is ideal for a relaxing holiday and the island is a delight to explore. We hired a car and as it was end of season we had a really good deal.
Nick and Vicky who own the hotel are really lovely people and can't do enough for you.
The rooms are well equipped and very clean (I am a real germ freak and even I didn't have to get my anti-sceptic wipes out of my case).
Recommend 'The Pines Restaurent' in Skala staff were very friendly and traditional Greek food was amazing.
The only thing I found difficult was I have a fear of heights, which visiting this island you really have to face your fear.
We haven't stopped recommended the appartment and island to all of our friends and family.
Roll on September, can't wait to go back."
- Travel date: Sun 20th of January 2008
a gem in skala
"we booked our holiday diectly through the First Choice website and got quite a good deal. This was our third visit to Kefalonia, but our first in Scala. The appartments are a bit of a walk fom the centre of Scala but this wasn't a problem. In fact we enjoyd the walk home after a delicious meal in any of the many fantastic resturants in Scala.
The appartments are finished to a very high standard,much better than most Greek accommodation. We had no complaints at all and would definetly recommend these appartments to anybody looking for a relaxing holiday in Skala."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of October 2007
So good we went back 3 weeks later!!!
"We originally stayed at the Crystal Palace between 12th-19th August and had such a great time we booked up again as soon as we got back. We returned between 16th-23rd September and again were not disapointed. As stated in other reviews the rooms are clean, well equiped and comfortable. Nick and his family work hard and always make you feel welcome. My only gripe on our return was that they charge extra for air con (35 euros per week after 15th Sept) and the nights were still very sticky. Safety deposit boxes are 20 euros per week.
During the day we rarely strayed from the pool (which is a tad on the chilly side) and partoke in the odd pint or four of Alfa beer. The pool area is usually failry quiet during the morning.
The walk into Skala isn't two bad, and not as far as some of the hotels in the area. I would much prefer to be just outside rather than any nearer the centre. I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly the people are, but not pushy - standing off when you are looking at the menu's and not pressuring you to come into thier restuarants - something I hate in most resorts you go to these days. The Paspalis, Pines & Syposium are all great restuarants and we had great meals there on several nights. The Italian was disappointing - felt it was all showand no substance with small portions. Captains Bar was great for its cocktails and atmostphere - always seem to be buzzing.
The second time we went we hired a car from Easycar which is a lot cheaper than the First choice alternative, plus we had it for the week and saved on the transfer costs.
All in all if you want a quiet holiday with sun, friendly people in a great family run hotel then look no further. Highly Recomended."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of September 2007
Great Value for Money
"My Girlfriend and I (20's) stayed at the Crystal Palace in early September 2007.
On arrival, there was a friendly welcome and qucik check in, where you recieve the TV and Air Con controls!
The rooms, on first entrance, are extremely clean, new and spacious. A wall, wounted Plasta TV, neat Kitchenette and ample sized bathroom welcomes you plus the complentary bottle of chilled water, a nice touch.
Built on a hillside location, the Crystal Palace is a perfect, quiet resort for couples or familes, kept to a hgih level of cleanliness with a personal touch.
The pool is small-medium sized and tends to be fairly cool with the bar offering a limited range of snacks but plenty of popular branded drinks.
The short walk to the beach and then onto Scala is not ideal and certainly not flat! The pathway is lit (at ngiht until 1am) and at the end, you can expect a walk of approx 5-10 mins further on into Scala. This is the reason for giving the Crystal Palace a B+, 4 out of 5.
Overall the Crystal Palace is definately an up and coming accomodation and offers great value for money at 2007 prices. You would struggle to find anywhere else as well equipped in Greece on Self Catering.
First Choice wholly dominates this accomodation and the F.C staff are extremely professional and approachable.
Note: The coach ride to and from the appartments is in the same light as the Italian Job - perfect chance to get soem sleep as looking out of the window would just scare you!
If you go, enjoy your stay!"
- Travel date: Tue 18th of September 2007
Great, Relaxing, Welcoming.
"The Crystal Palace appartments are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a Friendly welcoming clean and quiet destination. Set just 5 mins walk from Skala Town your are an ideal distance to get away from any noise. The pool and bar compliment each other very well (although the pool is not very deep) and snacks are available all day from Nick his wife Vicky or a member of his family.
The rooms were fantastic, ours had a sea view. All the rooms are Air conditioned, have a satellite TV and a kitchenette with fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle and 2 hobs. The rooms were cleaned by the maid daily and were finished to a high standard.
The pool bar is open in the evening and goes on most evenings unitl 2 a.m - this is more of a social gathering than a noisy affair with guest's finishing their evenings with a night cap or two!
Currently the Crystal Palace do not do evening meals (this is planned for next summer) but you will spolit for choice in Skala town. There are many traditional greek taverna offering a great choice of local dishes. There is also a fantastic Italian restaurant and plenty of fish restaurants. The prices are comparable to England for example the average starter was 5 euro, main 6-14 euro dessert 4-6 euro. Bottles of wine varied from 11 to 25 euro and the average pint of beer was 2.5 euro (Amstel or Mythos). there are many cheaper taverna's on the side streets with great food so explore.
We also hired a car, which is worth doing - Sami was very nice and where Captain Correlli's Mandolin was fimed. Fiskardo is a cracking fishing port on the north of the island and Assos sits on a peninnsula which you get to through Italian Job styled mountain roads."
- Travel date: Thu 23rd of August 2007
"I stayed at the Crystal Palace with my husband and two friends in August 2007. We had one of the apartments with a mezzanine floor and there was plenty of room for all four of us and our stuff. We had a great room (504 if you get the opportunity to choose!) as it was at the front of the building with a full on sea view from the balcony which was also in shade in the afternoon. This meant that our apre-beach drink was had in comfort whilst watching the posh boats dropping anchor in the ocean. We also were in a great position in that no-one was able to walk past our balcony unlike quite a few of the other rooms.
We have been to Scala on two other occasions over the last 9 years and chose it again because it is so relaxed and retains a real Greek feeling despite the influx of tourists. The nightlife is very much about long dinners in a taverna and then perhaps a cocktail or two. There isn't anything really going on after midnight and you won't see any hen or stag night parties there. Since our last visit in 2001 there has been some development but as the area is apparently governed by quite strict rules the new places don't really change the small village feel of the place.
The Crystal Palace is just outside of the resort centre. It takes about 15 minutes to saunter to the main street and that walk takes you along the beach so it is really rather lovely. A lit path has just been finished which takes you from the apartments down to the beach road. It isn't paved though so heels aren't a great idea. On the way home each night we stopped in at a great cocktail bar on the sea front for a couple of drinks.
The apartments themselves are really well equipped. There is air conditioning included in the price. The kitchenette has a fridge, microwave, kettle, hobs, pots and pans and crockery. The fridge has a freezer section too. Two towels are supplied each along with a tea towel which were changed once during the week. There is a hairdryer in the bathroom but it is one of those really rubbish hotel style ones that just burns your hand and leaves your hair wet. We ended up going for the "sitting on the balcony for half an hour" approach instead. The apartment pool is nice and there are plenty of sunbeds and a small bar.
Basically everything has been done to a high quality and the only reason I haven't given the place five out of five for everything is because there is the short walk to and from the main area. This didn't cause my party any problems at all though so unless you have mobility problems I wouldn't let it put you off."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2007
Fantastic relaxing holiday!
"Myself and my partner (both in our 20s) stayed for 2 weeks at the Crystal Palace between 3-17 July 2007 in Room 602. We flew with First Choice and currently Crystal Palace is only occupied by other First Choice travellers.
Our room was spotless, being the most well equipped self-catering apartment we've stayed in. The kitchen came with sink, microwave, toaster, fridge freezer, 2 ring hob, kettle, crockery and cutlery (including corkscrew) and was even equipped with a bottle of water, tea/coffee/sugar (but no milk), washing up liquid, scourer and tea towel. The air conditioning was easy to use and provided much needed coolness. Flat screen TV had Sky News, BBC World, CNN and various other non-English channels. The bathroom was also equipped with a hairdryer which was handy. The room had 3 beds (but no mezzanine floor like some of the other apartments) and was very spacious with fantastic sea views. Currently no safety deposit boxes, however they are on order. Nick will put valuables into the main hotel safe if required.
The pool area wasn't too busy (but then as the hotel is not yet finished I can see this changing in the future), with the pool being cleaned on a daily basis (watching 'pool boy' at work in an evening is extremely mesmerising!). Sandwiches / salads from the pool bar come recommended! Note that there is no onsite shop (yet) and only sandwiches/salads/snacks are available through the day.
Only down side we had was the trip into Skala - the hotel has now completed a path down to the main road (which is lit, so no need for the torch), however is it quite sandy (no good for the girls in strappy and healed shoes!) and therefore we still preferred to take the alternative route which was less sandy but more of a rough track and still meant we needed the torch in the evenings.
The journey takes about 10-15 minutes at a leisurely pace along the coast road to get to the main resort centre (which consists of about 10-15 restaurants and about 5 bars).
The beach at Skala is quite pebbly which made it quite painful to walk on and the water did get deep very quickly. For anyone with children nearby Ketalios beach was much shallower, sandy and warm.
One note about Skala, try not to rely on using the cash machine here! There is only one in Skala and tends to run out of cash very quickly and may not be filled back up again for 3-4 days. If you need Euros you'll either need to change English money from the exchange places, use your Visa card or drive/get a taxi to another town to get cash.
I would definitely recommend hiring a car in Kefalonia as allows you to see so much more of this beautiful island (check out Fiskardo, Myrtos bay, Ketalios in the evenings for fresh fish meals, Melissani Lake, Drogarati Cave and Agostoli to name a few!). We booked through First Choice before we went (big mistake!) - we ended up paying nearly double the price offered by First Choice once we got there and I'm sure you could get even cheaper if you just went into town and went to one of the many car rentals there.
All in all a fantastic holiday - great hotel on a beautiful island. It definitely caters for the British tourists without going overboard - like you'll find in many Spanish resorts. You won't find a single fast-food restaurant on the island :-)
- Travel date: Sat 21st of July 2007
Crystal Palace resort/Studios (soon to be known as Pieno Di Vista)
"Just returned from Kefalonia (arrived back in the UK on 24th June) after having spent a week in the new Crystal Palace Resort/Studios in Skala.
We travelled with First Choice and, at the time of departure, the details in their brochure and indeed on their website were an artists impression but we had absolutely no need to worry as the apartments are superb.
The apartments had only been opened for about 5 weeks when we came to stay and the quality of the accommodation does not disappoint. The rooms are tastefully decorated to a high standard with items such as flat screen tv, jug kettle, stainless steel toaster, microwave, hotplates, fridge and air con etc. They even provide a tea towel, dish cloth and washing up liquid. The rooms are spacious and have twin beds, wardrobe, table and chairs, dressing table and self contained kitchenette unit. There is a shower room with toilet, washand basin and shower. The apartments have large balconies with high quality patio tables and chairs. I understand that there are also rooms which have two balconies (a large one and a small one) and that there are also rooms which have a third bed and mezzanine area. Our apartment looked over the swimming pool area and also had sea views whereas other apartments looked out to sea or looked across to the side of the complex as well as the sea. I would add that even though our apartment faced the pool area due to the excellent double glazed patio door (which also tilted) there was no noise so no disturbed nights.
The complex itself is extremely clean and tidy and the owners, Nicos and Vicki are only too pleased to help you in any way they can. The pool area is wonderful with stylish sun loungers and parasols as well as a poolside bar where you can get a variety of drinks, snacks and ice-creams but I understand that in the future a wider range will be available although my view is that what they offer at the moment (toasties, sandwiches and Greek Salads) was plenty choice especially as it was so very hot over there.
As the apartments have only been opened a short while there are still some things to do but these do not impact at all on your stay. Nicos plans to do B&B at some point in the future and there are plans for an air-conditioned lounge area (this is built but not furnished etc at the moment) as well as a shop.
The beach is reached from the complex via wooden stairs and then you cross an area of open scrub land - the path is well trodden although the need for a torch at night is essential as the pathway is only part built (within the complex) and the lights only go part way but when this is all done it will be brilliant. If you do not fancy the walk (although the walk to get into the main part of Skala where all the Tavernas etc are takes about 15 minutes) you can get a cab for about 5 euros.
The complex is situated about 10 minutes walk from the Nine Muses and, from what everyone is saying, the quality of the accommodation is on par (if not better) than the Nine Muses so expect First Choice (when then get around to it that is) to give the Crystal Palace a high rating. According to our rep John (lovely guy), the accommodation is mostly (if not totally) booked for the rest of the year so I say it bodes well for the future and I for one am keen to go back and see how it has developed although I suspect the price will be a lot higher next year compared to what we paid this year!
I cannot praise the Crystal Palace Resort highly enough and defy anyone to try and find fault with it. As I said there are things that need to be finished (pathway etc) but it does not interfere with your stay at all. At lot of time, care and money has been spent on these apartments and it is only a shame that Nicos has to change the name: Nicos is Greek but spent 20 odd years in Australia running a cafe called the Crystal Palace (first time I have met a Greek man that speaks Greek and English with an Australian accent!) Anyway when he came back to Kefalonia and had the complex built he decided to call it The Crystal Palace Resort as its namesake had been good for him in Oz. Sadly, when he came to register the name (after the First Choice brochures had been printed) he was told that there was already somewhere else called this (although I cannot find a reference to it) and that he would have to change the name hence it will be known as âPieno Di Vistaâ which I understand means âBeautiful Viewâ which I certainly wouldn't disagree with.
I have not been able to add any photos yet as I have not had them developed (behind the times I am afraid with my disposable camera) but I will try to add some when I can. To anyone who has booked to stay at the Crystal Palace I am confident you will not be disappointed as everyone who I spoke to whilst I was staying there did not have a bad word to say."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of June 2007
Great New Resort
"We stayed at the Crystal Palace Resort from 17th-24th June.
Flying with First Choice from London Gatwick.
Transfer bus from Kefalonia airport to Skala took an hour.
On arriving at the Crystal Palace Resort, we was greeted at reception by Nick the Manager and his wife.
This resort has only been open for 2 months and is family owned and run.
We was allocated our room 504 with FREE Air-Con and SKY TV Remotes.
We was shown by Nick to our apartment which sleeps 4.
On entering the apartment we were both gobsmacked on how good the apartment was.
The Apartment was an open split level design, with living area and 2 single beds downstairs.
Access to upper level is via a staircase which leads to two more single beds on an open balcony.
The Ground floor has a small seperate bathroom with a walk in shower, but no bath.
Hairdryer and Towels provided. There is also a large wardrobe with hangers.
There are patio doors which lead out onto a balcony, which for us was sea view facing.
The kitchen area consisted of sink, fridge freezer, double ring hob, microwave, toaster and kettle.
All necessary plates and utensils are provided.
We was also provided with a complimentary bottle of water, teabags, sugar and coffee. But no milk.
Which was a nice touch.
The pool area and bar was lovely, all new sunbeds which are plentiful no matter what time we decided to go to the pool.
Bar offered lunchtime snacks and ice-creams, but does not cater for evening dinners.
Bad Points: (Very Few But Need A Mention)
Distance to the only two Supermarkets in Skala is about 10-15mins walk, Not good in the heat.
Also main walking route from resort to main road/beach was a task on its own, starting with a steep dusty decline from resorts unfinished staircase onto a track across a field.
This route is unsuitable for high heels, kids in buggies and people with walking difficulties.
This is not the only route to Skala town, if you have a hire car there is a new road that gives access to the town.
Be advised that from 9.45pm onwards on returning from town to resort, the field/track is pitch black, so pack a torch.
Also the slope up to the staircase is harder to conquer, not so much due to the darkness but I think the beer!
Efforts are being made to finish this staircase, but during our stay this was the condition it was in.
Be aware Mosquitos and flies can be plentiful, but supermarket sells mosi and fly repellants.
Plug in Mosi repellant Recommended.
We hope this assists you in your travels, we have enclosed a few photos as well."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of June 2007
The apartments at the Crystal Palace wer...
"The apartments at the Crystal Palace were amazing, the best i've stayed at in all my visits to Greece. Modern facilities, extremely clean (the maids did a perfect job every day). The towels were changed twice in the week we stayed and they smelled clean and fresh, not like the usual boiled in vinegar type smell. The owners and staff were friendly and helpful. The only let down was the transfer rep from First Choice that met us from the Airport, she was very blase and couldnt be bothered, she didnt bring our welcome packs to the airport and just left them on reception for us to collect (not bothering to tell us), so we missed the welcome meeting. Bit annoying if we were interested in a trip or anything. Skala itself is nice, with a good selection of bars and restaurants, none of the usual touting, just friendly and efficient, good prices and good food. Weather was not good but think all of Europe is like that at the moment. Would definitely go back to Crystal Palace, no doubts."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of October 2008