Kom i onsdags hem från Rhodos där jag och min syster tillbringat en sju dagar och nätter vid Ixias kust.
Försökte redan samma kväll posta min tankar om resan på TripAdvisor, men har man inte bara pussar och kramar att ösa över platser som besökts så tar behandlingen några extra dagar, och fick nyligen veta att mina något skeptiska synpunkter refuserats på grund av en (eller flera) av följande anledningar:
No profanity, threats, prejudiced comments, hate speech, sexually explicit language or other content that is not appropriate for our community.
NOTE: We do not publish explicit or implied profanity. This includes acronyms which contain intended profanity and profanity that has been masked using symbols.
Det betyder att jag nu måste dumma ned min recension till en mer barnvänlig version, och därmed också troligen kapa de partier jag själv gillade bäst (läs threats och hate speech).
Kommer på grund av detta istället att posta originalversionen här, så att min sanna bitterhet finns för evigt bevarad, plus att jag slipper skriva ett separat inlägg om resan.
Så, varsågoda, här har ni +6000 tecken svordomar, hot, fördomar, hets mot folkgrupp, sex och annat innehåll som inte är lämpligt för folk som ska åka på semester.
”The comfort and service of a WWII bunker”
I’m sure there’s plenty of people who’ve had a great time at the Area Blue Beach Apartments in Ixia, Rhodes. Most likely because they’ve kept a safe distance to the room where we had the great misfortune to lodge.
To be frank, we got a shit deal. The size of the room wasn’t that bad, but the beds were as comfortable as a sack of potatoes (although an unfair comparison according to our Danish neighbor, as he pointed out that if you slept on a sack of potatoes long enough, at least the potatoes goes soft), and the balcony was submerged halfway underground, and had the same cosy feeling I’d imagine Hitler’s bunker must have had that lovely spring day in -45 when he decided to put a Luger to his temple and pull the trigger.
Our reservation said ”sea view”, but the only view possible was that of the many asses currently seated at the pool side bar. Oh, I didn’t mention that the room is located right next to the pool side bar? Well, great news, because the room is located right next to the pool side bar! And I mean literally. It’s like a two step walk. You could easily poke out one of the eyes of the bartender with the sharpened tip of a broomstick, should one feel the urge.
Sure, having a bar at a broomstick poking distance is pretty easy to forgive at happy hour when all watered down cocktails are half price. However, less so when you’re shaken out of bed by the bassline from some mediterranean pop song (turned up to eleven) in the morning, and cradled to sleep by the very same.
Sadly, this isn’t even the worst part. Like a couple of suckers we kindly asked to be moved to another floor. The problem (well, add it to the pile) was that, according to the staff at the font desk, the only one allowed to change or assign rooms was the manager, and he was only at the office for a few hours each day. And while he was there, he was like a master ninja, always keeping out of sight. We asked to be informed whenever he entered the vicinity, but apparently they’d all sworn a vow of silence, so we had to pretty much stake out the reception if we wanted our complaints to be heard.
The incompetence and inefficiency of this establishment is just mind boggling.
To add insult to injury, the manager – when finally backed into a windowless corner – turned out to be a massive tool. Neither did he great us, nor did he find me worthy of shaking his hand. He just gave us a look as if he’d just found two turds floating around in his jacucci. He was quite a storyteller though. Could very well be a descendant of the great ancient authors, as he was able to deliver a fresh batch of excuses on the spot every time we addressed him.
At first he told us that the hotel was fully booked (which turned out to be a lie as we later learned that he was keeping two far superior rooms for his sister and her nephews, who actually lived in that same town). He then changed his story, now claiming that the fault laid with us as we had booked one of their cheaper categories. True as that may be, we were still promised a view of the ocean, not that of a Free Willy size lady doing cheese burgers at the bar as if they were tequila shots. This we had in ink, and when faced with this fact, the manager finally manned up. Or, well, sort of, anyway. He at least made the grand gesture of freeing us from guilt and put the blame on the travel agency. Such a pro. And just to mix it up once again, he later told me that he as well hated our room, and that he’d rather just board it up completely.
So, to sum it up: We paid for a room with a sea view, were put in Fritzl’s basement, a room not even the manager himself deemed fit to live in, just so the manager’s relatives wouldn’t have to walk home after a day by the pool. Awesome.
And it’a not like we were unreasonable. We even offered to pay for an upgrade, just so we wouldn’t have to stay another second in the Area Blue chamber of torture. But the hotel was either fully booked or the rooms ”very expensive”. One would think it’s either the one or the other, but I guess that Area Blue Beach Apartments is such a hyper advanced establishment that it exists in multiple universes at once, giving you almost endless possibilities (except, of course, that outerworldly task of getting what you’re promissed).
This horrible experience bled over to the vacation as a whole, and pretty much ruined the entire week. I wouldn’t come back even if I got a free weekend as compensation. Not that I’ll be holding my breath waiting for that curse to take effect, as I doubt the Area Blue management ever offered anyone anything other than a massive headache.
The night porter who greated us upon arrival was very nice though, and so was the young bartender working the graveyard shift, as well as the older lady at the front desk. But that’s it. Then again, like I said, there’s probably plenty of people who’ve stayed at the Area Blue and had a really great time. But be warned: it’s a gamble. Don’t gamble. Not on your vacation. That should be a sure thing. A time to relax, not to repeatedly shake your fist in anger.
I know it’s easy to imagine yourself by the pool without a care in the world when you’re at home making plans, like the pure fact that you’re on vacation will make you cool as a cucumber and untouchable to any grievances. But when you’re actually there, lying on that sack of potatoes in your WWII style bunker, you’ll be kicking yourself repeatedly for not forking up those extra 50 bucks to stay somewhere else where you’re less likely to be treated like a leper.
I should also warn you that the ”free WiFi” got to be a misspelling. It should probably read ”WiFi free” since the WiFi was hardly accessible. And if you’re lucky enough – and that’s a huge if (and a questionable definition of luck) – to get it working, it’ll be painfully slow. We’re talking early modem days. 14.4 Kbit/s. That slow. Should not be used unless you have a few minutes to spare, on every single webpage.
Oh, and the pool is open to the public, so good luck getting a sunbed after 10:00 AM. But if you enjoy local kids (later identified as the manager’s nephews) doing cannonballs and knocking you unconscious by smashing beach toys in your face, you’d guaranteed to have the best damn time of your life.
PS. As I’m a strong believer in the courtesy of giving credit where credit i due, I should probably mention that we actually were moved to a lovely room on the fourth floor on our very last night (thanks to our travel agent, who only needed three angry e-mails to react).
However, not only was it a little too late, the move mostly served a bitter reminder that this was what our vacation was supposed to be like all along. And it didn’t take long for that sudden spike in the service chart to make a turn sharp enought for you to be able to cut a hard boiled greek steak with it. All we had to do was request a late check out. Not an outlandish proposal, given the suffering they’d put us through.
”No problem”, they said, ”that will be 40 euros”.