Thursday, August 13, 2009

Loucas Hotel: Bad Reviews

Like I said before people either love or hate this hotel. Thankfully most of the bad reviews refer to previews years (2008/07/06) rather than later times. I can't answer to the bad reviews directly as I am not the manager/owner of the hotel but I work there so I know the ins and outs of the place and need to "defend" it in a way.

WestAussie111 (30/08/08)wrote:

We stayed at this hotel in June. Despite their advertising that all rooms have spectacular views this simply is not true. Our room and the one next to it shared a balcony situated immediately above a donkey path. The separating wall blocks any view, spectacular or otherwise, unless you are prepared to stand and lean over and thus putting your head next to a very noisy airconditioning unit.

Our room was very small and basic for the price charged. The shower too was very basic with the shower head broken from its wall support. We therefore had to hold the shower jet at all times. Try shampooing or washing with only one hand - it's not easy.

Breakfasts were definitely uninspiring and poorly cooked. The pool was not working during our stay. Staff appeared courteous but were unhelpful and any queries were fobbed off.

Also the great many steep steps are not for the faint-hearted. In short, no view, no pool and overpriced.

First the hotel never advertises private balconies. We make it abuntantly clear to both individual travelers and travel agents that the balconies are shared. The donkey path crosses our hotel whick is also no secret to whoever is interested in the property. As far as I can determine there are no walls anywhere in the balconies that block the view. The hotel is built amphitheatrically and all the rooms face the caldera.

The hotel has standard type rooms which are normal sized for the category of the hotel (3 stars) and the showers likewise. If anything is malfunctioning there is a permenant maintance guy who will fix it as soon as the problem is mentioned. As for your problems in shampooing here is a solution: Turn the shower jet off. Wash using both hands and turn the jet on again! People have been doing this for years you know. It saves a lot of energy and water as well.

How exactly can someone be courteous and unhelpfull at the same time? Also where in Santorini can you find a caldera view hotel without steps?

Sunshyne10 (31/06/08) wrote:
We had our worse night in Loucas Hotel Santorini in our 14 nights in Greece and we paid 175Euro for that 1 night.
Luckily, we only pre-booked 1 night, we really thanked our lucky star for that.

Our little adventure started as soon as we arrived.
We're told to wait for the receptionist to return before we could checked in and that resulted in a 45 mins delay.
The receptionist was neither polite or apologetic about or wait, which set the tone for the rest of the stay.

The room was alright, not bad in terms of size but it had 2 single beds even thoug we requested for a double. The small balcony has no view as the view was blocked by the, i think, chimney blowing hot air from the kitchen. There was no way one can sit on the balcony unless you don't mind smelling like yesterday's dinner.

The beds were spring beds, very soft, unlike the hard beds that I was getting used to in Greece. Needless to say, we had a tossing and turing sleepless night as I'm sure they beds were too old to be of used.

Breakfast was alright, nothing to shout about except the fantastic view from the breakfast room, which is not exclusive to the hotel.
Most hotels along the same stretch will have the same great view.

My suggestion - bring your business elsewhere where you will feel more welcome and appreciated. Which is what we did for the rest of the trip on Santorini.

There is no way for you to have been waiting 45 minutes. I can accept maybe 20 given the number of steps but unless the receptionist stoppe along the way to get a cup of coffee you are slightly exagerating. Once again nothing blocks the views of our rooms. You didn't like the beds because you have requested for a double bed instead of two singles. Here is the thing about requests they are to be fulfilled depending on availability. The hotels of course wish to accomodate these requests to keep the guests happy but alas this is not always possible. Also you do not indicate when you made your request. Was it upon arrival? It would be extremely difficult to oblige you then as the hotel has only 27 rooms and can be fulled to capacity really easy.

keenaussietraveller (26/6/08) wrote:

We booked at this hotel because it claimed great views of the famous caldera from all rooms and it had a swimming pool. It appeared pricey at 150 Euros a night (145 for cash) but this was, after all, our dream holiday.
Initial impressions were good. We were met from the bus by the reception manager, Constantinos, and taken through the narrow streets of Fira to the hotel. The views of the caldera from the reception area are fantastic.
He then took us to our room. 119 steep steps down the cliff face from reception. You have to be very fit to stay here. But at least the view from our (shared) balcony was still very good. We then made the trek back up the steps to have dinner and arrived back at our room late that night (tired but fitter) to find that smells from the rubbish tip down the caldera face immediately next to the hotel (yes people use the spectacular caldera as a rubbish tip!) had percolated our room and it stank! I tried to blow in some fresh air but the a/c remote was missing. I tried to call reception but there was no phone in the room and there was no connection point in the room for one (we also later found we had no hot water for a shower because no-one had explained about the need to turn on the power at the fuse box in the room). After 2 further trips up the steps to reception trying to get assistance we finally changed rooms. I went to bed totally exhausted.
The new room #16 was only 84 steps from reception and we were assured by staff had equally good views but as we found out in the morning the balcony had no views at all unless you were prepared to lean out over the high wall at the front and put up with the sound of a massive air conditioner blasting in your ear.
But we had the swimming pool even if it had absolutely no shade from the full sun (our balcony had no shade either). At least we would have if the pool had been working for more than one day of our four day stay.
In short we had no view from our room - the only reason most people pay a premium for caldera side hotels; we had only very limited use of the swimming pool and we were continuously given false and misleading information by hotel staff (we'll install a phone tomorrow, we can't install a phone tomorrow, the pool will be fixed tomorrow, the pool is not fixed today but will be fixed tomorrow etc. etc.).
Our recommendation, save money and get a hotel with good views facing away from the caldera and then treat yourselves to caldera side restaurants to view the fabulous sunsets.
Oh! after complaints about the lack of ammenities we were finally given a derisory 7.50Euro per night reduction on checkout.

Once again there are a lot of steps in the hotel. What really amazes me is that you counted them! Wow! You claim that the staff was misleading but you are not taking into account that the problems you encountered were beyond their control. The pool occasionally has operational problems. It happens. It's very unfortunate that this happened during your stay but that couldn't be helped. If the staff had it's way it wouldn't have happened at all. What they could do was change your room which they did.

Siorap85 (06/09/07) wrote:

We've been told how beautiful santorini is so we thought we'd go see it for ourselves before we die..
Initially we stayed at a cheaper hotel which didn't have a view of the caldera but we found this place 'hotel loucas' which we thought was prime location and seemed quite good which it was't at all!

I'll begin with the room. The bathroom was dark and dingy.. no air ventilation and no window and only one vanity mirror light was working. The toilet was disgusting i dont think they cleaned it the whole 5 days we were there, on arrival the toilet smelt like someone had taken a dump and left it there. The shower head was cracked so we had to sticky tape the cracked shower which didn't stay anyway so water went everywhere.

The rooms were o.k! The bed was clean i admit but as others have said.. the floor was a bit dirty still. The cleaners didn't clean the room thoroughly as they never emptied our bin.. in fact we had to ask them to come clean it and we'd go out during the day for 4 hours and it still hadn't been done and when they did come i really dont know what they cleaned apart from making the bed?
For some reason there was a lack of towels, and everytime we asked for towels they said we have to come get it from them instead of them delivering it to our room and if they didnt have towels.. bad luck! u have to wait till the next day which is pretty pathetic considering u paid good money to stay here.!

The view was amazing from our room but again as others said you have to share your courtyard with others so its not very private if u think your getting a private balcony your not!

The service was terrible.. again as others said u ask for management and hes too busy attending to his personal needs rather than attending to your needs.. i mean seriously its peak season you'd think they'd be working a little more but thats not the case.

When we left we asked for them to call a cab.. but they have some deal with the mini bus company so the manager for the day refused to call us a cab. We put up an argument with him and said well we request a cab and he still refused mind u the first day we arrived the lady said they could organise one. This is poor service i can't believe we stay at a place for 5 days and they wont even help u out with transfers, they only want to do it there way so they get there 'cut' from it.

All in all.. will never stay here again.. Please stay somewhere else but book early in peak season as everything on this island runs out quickly.

Most of the rooms of the hotel are curved in the caldera stone. That means there can be no windows in the bathrooms and I admit at times the smell is a little bit too much. Once again I will point out that the hotel never advertised private balconies. If you had housekeeping problems you should have addressed them immediately instead of waiting for such a long time (retun back home) and then point them out. I am very sorry for those incidents. You have pointed out that you arrived at peak season. Well apart from limited availability in rooms it's also extremely difficult to find transportation espesially during rush hours. If you asked for a taxi a few minutes before your departure instead of the previous day it could prove to be challenging. Every hotel has an affiliate transfer servise/taxi driver whom they prefer and he in returns obliges them even if he has to cancell some other prior apointment. That is why it was possible to arrange a transfer with a particular service and not a regular taxi like you have asked for.

Traveleroo111 (13/08/07) wrote:
yes, there were ants in my bed. and when i told the staff about it, they asked me how many, why i didnt say something earlier, and whether there were sweets in my room - never an appology. if that's not enough...we had had a problem when the airline lost my co-traveler's bag. the staff at the hotel had said they would help but couldn't do anything until the manager became available and he wasnt avaliable at 5pm because he was SLEEPING so there was nothing they could do! plus, the person helping us with our bags up and down the narrow and hilly streets decided that he only needed to help with one bag and let us handle the rest on our own. don't go to this hotel unless you are looking for a dirty room and bad service. i have never written a review about anything but felt so strongly that others should avoid this hotel that i wanted to write this review. the views are beautiful but not worth the trouble.

I am really sorry for what happened to you. Seriously I am. I wish I could have been there to sort things out for you. The problem with the lost bag was not something the hotel could have done, the manager probably knows someone who knew someone else who might probably help you but that's just about it. Once something is lost in Santorini, it usually stays in Santorini.

Well so far so good. I still have a few more things to address to but I will continue to another post.

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