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The real Greece...
Avaliou em 26 de Maio de 2020
The first thing you'll notice when you arrive at the Aphrodite Beach Hotel in Vatera is that it is family-run hotel and you have now become part of the family. Yiannis, Giorgos and Maria are masters at running a hotel and providing all the amenities that they would offer their own family. You will certainly feel as if you were their only guest. From the wonderfully appointed rooms to the spacious pool, to the taverna at the water's edge, to the delicious meals that compare with the best in the world, the Aphrodite Beach Hotel is Lesbos' hidden gem. Once you discover it, Vatera will be on your yearly vacation itinerary. Besides the beautiful location on the beach, take time to visit the neighboring villages of Vrisa and Polichnitos (try the Hot Springs). And be sure to plan at least one full day in Mytilene before you leave. This is always a vacation that lasts longer than the actual visit. This is the real Greece!!
Excellent Relaxing Vacation
Avaliou em 19 de Janeiro de 2020
We stayed at the hotel for 5 nights with our son and his girlfriend. What an amazing time. Maria and Yannis were so accommodating. The place was busy at the end of August, but they made us feel welcomed and at home. The buffet breakfast was amazing for all of us (kids are vegan and had no issues having lots to eat at breakfast or for dinners). With 3 of us with special dietary needs, the staff made sure we were always taken care of, Thank you, you don't know how important that is while travelling!
The rooms were clean and quiet, Our room was near the pool and no issues with noise.
Vatera is a town you want to go to have a quiet, relaxed vacation. Many traditional towns nearby to get the real feel of Greece. We were in Santorini and Mykonos earlier. They had stunning postcard views, but overrun with tourists. And overpriced!
Thank you again Maria and Yannis for an incredible vacation.
Get away from it all.......
Avaliou em 19 de Setembro de 2019
I spent a week at Aphrodite Hotel in Vatera, Lesbos, which I can say was a very pleasant experience. The hotel is a family-run business and the personnel was always attent, smiing, making conversation with me and asking if I was comfortable or needed anything. I felt pampered. It´s a place to go and get away from it all, very relaxing and the beach right in front of the hotel, was impeccable. The buffet breakfast included homemade desserts and the highight of the buffet, in my opinion, was the pistachio marmalade. Very unusual and delicious. Other meals that I had had there were also fresh, hot and so appetizing. One evening, one of the owners, Giorgos, sang Greek songs at dinner-time, providing an enjoyable atmosphere. Yiannis, the other owner, was kind enough to print out my boarding passes for my trip back home. What else can a person ask for?
What a Beautiful family vacation
Avaliou em 27 de Agosto de 2019
What an incredible time my family and I had on our vacation to Mytilene! Our favorite part of the trip was the 10 days we spent in the seaside village of Vatera. It was undoubtedly one the the most relaxing vacations I’ve enjoyed in a long time. We found on trip advisor one of the best kept secrets in all of Greece, the Aphrodite Beach Hotel. This family run hotel has a great taverna with amazing food to satisfy a wide range of palates, from pastas, pizzas, salads, to a variety of fresh proteins and fish. We have been island hopping for 3 weeks now from Crete (crazy drivers) ,to Santorini (wall to wall people), and Mykonos (outrageously expensive), this was the perfect way to finish off our vacation. If you are not the type to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area, this place might not be for you! John and George (2 brothers) that run the hotel were very helpful in guiding us on where to go and what to see on the island. They also had rental cars that we rented to explore the island on a few occasions. We also want to thank Maria (John’s wife) who is also Canadian born, for making some incredible home cooked meals for us. My favorite was the Yemista ( stuffed vegetables), my wife’s was the dolmathes, and the kids loved the pizza. Thank you to the whole family for making this a truly wonderful vacation for us and also making us feel part of the family. Can’t wait to come back on our next trip to Greece!
Don't stay here, it will ruin your trip.
Avaliou em 8 de Agosto de 2019
We had booked this hotel after reading Matt Barrett’s stellar recommendation of this place. We were planning a family reunion - 2 families coming from different parts of the US, 1 coming from Morocco. This was to celebrate my MIL’s 75th birthday.
After arriving in the afternoon, we knew late that night that we had to pull the eject, before the 3rd family arrived, even though we were booked for 4 nights. Thankfully we had just come from Molyvos, where we had a wonderful experience, so we just headed back. I would like to mention that in our group were 2 young children and a stroke-impaired 79 year old, so deciding to hop in the car with no reservations of where to stay in another town was pretty gutsy, and most telling of just how unacceptable the current accommodations were.
Our room, while tacky with pink and blue walls, was ok, my in-laws room was unacceptable. There was not even a window. Depressing, prison-like, down-and-out are a few descriptors I would use for it.
Lesvos does not have the number of tourists that the other islands we visited on this trip had (Milos, Paros, Sifnos). It is clear that this hotel (and Vatera in general) has fallen on hard times. Many items of the menu were unavailable - this was not a ‘we’ve just run out’ situation: all of the servers were well versed in what they had and didn’t have, and there were too many items that they didn’t have. We found the food to be mediocre and exceptionally expensive... a kid's burger was 8 euro. And eating there is really your only option as there aren't restaurants around that are easily accessible without a car.
There was a huge tv and video games set up in the lobby; we had seen kids playing with it earlier in the day. When we asked if we could use it, we were told by a child staffer that it ‘was his cousin’s, and not for guests’, which is a rather odd thing to have set up in a hotel lobby.
We realized then that the hotel seemed to be overrun with family and friends of the hotel owners - they were sitting and eating together; there didn’t seem to be other guests. When we asked the management if it was normal to have the restaurant be completely empty (it was Friday night), they said it was on account of a festival happening down the road. After eating dinner in the empty restaurant (just us, no one else) we walked to check out the festival. It was a local thing that never would have attracted vacationers (in my opinion), so to say that that was the reason the hotel was empty just didn’t make sense. We were then told ‘don’t worry, tomorrow the hotel will be very crowded’. I found this comment to be rather odd, so, later that night we did a little research and learned that on the weekends, the hotel opens its pool up to the public for €3 per person. As it is the only hotel with a pool, and maybe one of the few pools in Vatera... well, you can imagine. It became clear that the money-maker for the hotel was the pool and the very well stocked bar that serviced the pool - locals come for the day and spend money at the bar. One other thing - they offer ‘spa’ amenities: sauna, hot tub, etc. But these are all pay by the hour, which made more sense when we realized their ‘open to the public’ scheme on weekends.
The next morning we informed the hotel that we were leaving. We mentioned that the room accommodation for the in-laws was unacceptable, and while you cannot break a reservation (and expect money back) for a place ‘feeling depressing and empty’, I believe we had grounds for some sort of refund (even partial) for the fact that the pool is not reserved for hotel guests - that it is a public pool on weekends.
Their response was that it is ‘family run’ and that they never considered themselves to be a ‘private’ hotel. What they fail to realize is that by calling yourself a hotel implies that the grounds are for paying guests - the people actually sleeping in the rooms at night. And I’m not sure what ‘family run’ has anything to do with anything; everywhere we have stayed in Greece (this was trip #4 for us) has been family run; that is the Greek way.
Finally, I would like to say that the female manager that we spoke with was absolutely atrocious; she actually mimicked my words (yes, like a 6 year old) as we were voicing our complaints. Her lack of professionalism was astounding. Never have we experienced such a childish moron, especially in the hospitality industry. It was especially shocking encountering this in Greece, which is a country known for its hospitality. She told me that my problem was a ‘bad attitude’ and that I was ‘determined to not enjoy myself’. Why anyone would go to the lengths of planning a family reunion in a special place like Greece (especially when people are coming as far away as the US)... it’s just ridiculous to even say that to someone as a response to legitimate complaints. And, while the reader of this review can’t attest to this... to say these things to a person like me (often described as fun-loving, easygoing)... it’s just laughable.
To be fair, I must state that one of the male managers did comp our food bill, which consisted of 1 lunch for 4 adults and 2 kids and 1 dinner (though only 2 adults ate at dinner). He did this when we voiced our complaints.
In the end, there was no refund.
While it is unacceptable for a hotel to fail to mention that their facilities are completely open to the public on the weekends, I understand why they are doing it - they need the money. And I’m sorry for that.
Fellow traveler... please take my advice... it will save you from disaster and disappointment - DO NOT STAY HERE.