This Week, I Have Mostly Been On Holiday

Friday, August 28, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Reviews, Travel

[a little Fast Show 'Jesse' reference there for you.]

No, if you’ve noticed some interruption to the normal flow of spam hammering; if it seems that a few more spam comments have made their way through to the website proper than usual, this is because I have been on holiday for the last two weeks. Only because I’m a lovely considerate sort, I made sure that you lot have had plenty of posts to keep yourselves ticking over with in this intervening period.

I should however be back today. I might even be back by now, depending on what time the flight got in, whether it was delayed or what have you. However, I decided to prepare this post in advance also, because I thought after two weeks on holiday and four hours on a plane, I don’t think “quickly knocking up a blog post for today” was going to be top of my to-do list.

So instead, I’m going to tell you the story of the holiday preparation. Back in the days when I was in full-time paid employment, we decided to book a foreign holiday, as my wife and I had not made it outside the British Isles since our honeymoon in 2002. We had booked a trip to Rhodes in 2005, but this had to be cancelled owing to the fact we discovered we were having our second child and this would have necessitated flying at a point in time when it wasn’t particularly recommended to fly.

So some four years later, we tried again, and we went to book up a trip to the island that had been our honeymoon destination (as we both very much like the Greek islands). We found a lovely hotel, priced it out according to the brochure, and then went into the travel agents to book, only the “in the region of £2400″ that we had estimated from the brochure had turned into around £3400 by the time we made it to the travel agents, which wasn’t particularly helpful. Nor was the travel advisor in Thompsons particularly helpful either, suggesting that we should instead look for a kids club type of holiday, which wasn’t the sort of thing we were going for at all.

So we went to Thomas Cook with our budget, our destination, and the plan of approximately when we wanted to travel to see what they could do for us. They were remarkably helpful and we booked up with them at a place called the Roda Oasis Hotel, which was described as being good for families with young children.

It seemed nice enough on the holiday advisor type sites, so we were perfectly happy with the plan. Whether the holiday (and in particular the hotel) has lived up to expectations may be something else however, so I’ll tell you what the expectations are, so I can tell you how it fared against them when I get back…

My research is based on looking up the venue on various internet sites: holiday watchdog, where it averaged 7.5 out of 10. What I learned to expect based on this: it is a very nice hotel but there’s not much ‘free’ — although it has already told us in the brochure that aircon and a fridge cost more.

Trip advisor ranked it as the best hotel in Roda, where it averaged a mark of just over 4 out of 5. And some people were very keen to suggest that it wasn’t as money grabbing as others thought:

If you readsome reviews of this family run hotel, you would be left thinking that your money would be grabbed at every opportunity but this is definitely NOT the case. [...]The prices are slightly expensive however, this is true of corfu as a whole and due to the exchange rate more than anything else.‘EnglandBanker’ on TripAdvisor

Overall, Trip Advisor seemed to give the same general tone: most people had a fabulous holiday, but a few were unhappy suggesting that the hotel was more expensive than other restaurants/bars… (given that we’ve paid half board and weren’t anticipating eating lunch in the hotel, this shouldn’t be an issue — we might just need to buy big bottles of water/coke elsewhere).

Then there was Holiday Truth, which at least assured me that we had definitely picked the right resort:

If it is a bit of nightlife you desire – again Roda may not be for you. Sidari a few km away is a lot more lively and destined to become the new Magaluf or Kavos resort – basically if you can’t live without a MacDonalds and enjoy clubs – Sidari is more what you want! =). In fact, place a large tower there and you could mistake it for our own Blackpool!Holiday Truth

Not much nightlife. With small children in tow, that will do me just fine. The only other new thing I learned was that it is a longer walk into town centre than the brochure stipulated and may take more than 10 minutes. Other than that, it was just back to the hotel being nice if a little expensive.

Real Holiday reports didn’t have anything more recent than 2002, so I just discounted them entirely, leaving me expecting a nice, friendly, clean hotel, a bit further from the town centre with expected, and with hoteliers looking to scalp me at every available opportunity. Well, if that is the case, at least I will have gone prepared… and I’ll tell you what I thought of it once I’ve had a chance to unpack…

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3 Comments to This Week, I Have Mostly Been On Holiday

  1. Mike says:

    August 28th, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Typical: dole-scrounger goes on holiday to Greece..
    That’s MY taxes paying for your jaunt, my lad.

  2. Gary Miller says:

    August 28th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Welcome back! Hope you’ve brought me some duty-free baccy and booze back.

    Oh, and the AF team have coped very nicely without you… :)

  3. says:

    August 31st, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Love Can Change Your Business…

    …We all know that skills come pretty handy when doing something new and even more it if is important to us.[...]…

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