My friend and I have just returned from a great week in the sun staying at The Koala Hotel. I think from both the reviews on here and the attitudes of the different guests we met while we were there, it really is very clear that a holiday is what YOU make of it.
If you decide that you are going to pick fault about everything and always focus on the negatives, if you spend your time sat around moaning with other narrow minded guests, well that's up to you, it's only your holiday you are spoiling with your negative attitude.
If, on the other hand you decide you are going to have fun and enjoy yourself in a great value hotel in a lovely little town on a beautiful island with the sun shining down everyday, you will have a great time!
We arrived in the early hours of the morning to be greeted by George, who confirmed our email request for an AC room (6 euros a day and well worth it), took our passports, briefly explained the all inclusive policy and minibus to the beach and directed us to our room with a smile.
The room was basic and dated, but spacious and clean, and was cleaned throughout our stay. The bathroom was small and could have been a little cleaner, but it did the job. The room compromised two beds, bedside tables, dressing table with a big mirror, a big wardrobe and a couple more tables/units. The balcony had a couple of patio chairs and a table, and the bathroom had a WC, washbasin and small shower cubicle. Once you got over the feeling of being on the set of a 1960s TV show, the room was more than adequate, and the AC unit worked really well to keep it very cool.
The next morning we went down to breakfast, and it is exactly as has been described on here, cereal, yoghurt, toast, cheese, ham, fruit, cake, tomato and hot option of either beans, sausage, scrambled egg. Tea, coffee and juice to drink. If you want freshly cooked omelettes, an array of pastries and international cuisine, pay for a five star.
The indoor dining area is quite utility, but sitting outside on the terrace is very pleasant.
Following breakfast we went to the pool (and barely left for the next 7 days!) the terrace/gardens are great, there were plenty of sunbeds when we were there, and the hotel was pretty full. The beds are comfy, make sure you bring your own pool towel as they aren't provided. The pool itself is deep and cold! Very refreshing in the middle of the day, and there is a corner that is stepped if you don't like deep water, as well as a baby pool.
At 11 the pool bar opens each day offering soft drinks, beer and (poisonous!!!) wine. All the soft drinks come from a refrigerated dispenser so are cold, so ice isn't served as standard, but the bar girls would give it to you on request. The local beer was good also. The glasses are the standard all inclusive small plastic ones, but the staff would happily fill up water bottles/your own glasses or containers if asked.
Cocktails and spirits were served from 5-11pm, and the 11pm end to all inclusive was strictly observed, so make sure you get a couple of drinks in before this time if you want to stay up later. The bar plays music throughout the day (to be heard around the pool) and into the evening. There is no other entertainment, so if you want nightly shows/bingo/discos, this isn't the hotel for you.
Now, to our favourite part of the holiday after the sunshine, the food! We loved every meal! I simply can't get my head around the constant negative comments about lunch and dinner. There was always variety in at least a two of the main meal options (lamb chops, kebabs, fried fish, mousaka, fish in tomato sauce, pork chops, sweet and sour, to name just some of the dishes I can remember) these were always accompanied each meal by pasta and sauce, rice and salsa, a lovely fresh Greek salad bar and then either chips/potatoes. There wasn't masses of choice, but, what was there was always fresh and plentiful, and as with the bar girls, the dining room staff were attentive and kept the food trays filled up and cleared tables quickly and with a smile.
Add to this afternoon tea and cake/biscuits, and I can't believe anyone could ever have been hungry here.
There are three dogs who seem to have made the hotel their home, and they are lovely. Yes, you often see them around the dining room at mealtimes, SLEEPING! We never had a problem with them begging, and most of the guests enjoyed watching the playing around the pool area all day.
We spent most of our time around the pool, taking full advantage of the sunshine and the all inclusive, because we really enjoyed it! There was a daily mini bus service to the beach, but we only ever walked down. There were also buses to Rhodes Town and Lindos. We went to the water park in Falaraki one day (free bus transfer from Kolyumbia, 20 Euros adult ticket) and would highly recommend it.
The town is about a 20 minute stroll from the hotel, and about 10 minutes to the first supermarket and bars. The walk down is very pleasant on a long road sheltered from the sun by eucalyptus trees. Many of the bars offer happy hour cocktails and there are all sorts of entertainment evenings on throughout the week, details of which can be found in reception at the hotel.
I'd like to end with a word about Liz. This is the first hotel I've ever stayed in where I've seen the owner every single day working her socks off. She's there manning reception when you get up, and always ready to answer any questions and offer advice to make your stay enjoyable, then she is around working hard all day, from serving cake at afternoon tea to straightening the sunbeds around the pool at the end of the day. She puts so much time and effort in this place, and for what thanks? Some of these terrible, petty comments on here just aren't a fair reflection on the service and product she offers.
So to Liz and her great team, thank you all for a wonderful holiday, I hope we have the opportunity to stay with you again in the future :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC