Holiday in Kos - May 2004
in Tingaki, Kos, Greek Islands,
|Holiday Cost Breakdown ("Late Deal" booked on 11th May 2004)|
|Kosmar Holidays||East Midlands/Kos||Sunny Days Apartments||1 x 1 Bedroom Apartment Sh Wc Bal/Ter
7 Nights S/C 2A
|Althams Travel Agents||Holiday Insurance Europe||9 Nights||£40.00|
We flew from East Midlands Airport at 23:00 on the Saturday evening 15th May. Flew by Boeing 737 of
"Islandsflug" Airlines, a Scandinavian operator I hadn't heard of before. Not the most comfortable flight we've had but the in-flight meal was above average at least. No in-flight movies or music to listen to though which was disappointing on an almost 4 hour flight. We arrived at Kos Airport at approx. 05:30 Greek time (2 Hours ahead of UK Time).
Kos Airport reminded me of Zante's Airport when we had holidayed there. Not quite as small but just as disorganised!
We went through to the arrivals hall to reclaim our baggage. Everybody was queuing round this revolving baggage carrier, looking out for their cases. A flight from Manchester had off loaded at about the same time as the East Midlands one and there was much confusion as the cases appeared on two carousels but mixed in with each other!! We waited for our cases at what appeared to be the EMA carousel, but when they didn't materialise there we moved to the Manchester carousel where they suddenly appeared a few minutes later, almost the last off the plane!
Next we went through to the entrance to be greeted by the Kosmar Rep's who told us Bus 13 would take us to the resort. A 30 minute bus ride and we arrived at the Sunny Days Apartments in Tingaki. When we got to the apartments the Rep' who was unfamiliar with the hotel couldn't find our room! With all the talking going on a lady called Maria suddenly appeared (we later found out she was the receptionist/owner) still in her nightclothes and helped show us to our room. Not a good start!
I have yet to find a Tour Operator who can make this part of a Holiday experience run smoothly!!
On the coach to the resort we were also given a card giving our Rep's name and details of the "Welcome" meeting in the "Rendezvous" Bar later in the day plus a handwritten "map" showing us the basic layout of the resort and where the bar was located.
Even though we had booked a late deal for this holiday we had luckily managed to get a Double bedded Apartment at no extra cost than a "Studio" type room. The apartment was very clean and spacious, with a separate WC/Shower room and Bedroom. The usual “litter" bin was placed next to the toilet, which we recalled from our last visit to the Greek Islands, was for putting your used toilet tissue in. Obviously, Greek sewerage facilities hadn't improved in the 3 years since we last visited! There was a private Balcony overlooking the rear of the apartments and plenty of towels, utensils, etc. provided. The apartment was cleaned on a daily basis. The hot water in our apartment (B13) was non existent! Instead of complain about it, which I suppose we should have done, we put up with cold showers and boiled a pan of water for washing, etc. There is no kettle in the apartments, so if you want to boil water quickly, you need to bring one with you. In place of a kettle is a small saucepan with a pouring lip that's just big enough for about two cups of water. It suffices and boils quite quickly.
The shower did not have a curtain on it. If you find one that does, consider it a bonus as they are not the norm, we were told. The apartment had an air-conditioning unit above the entrance door which didn't appear to work, presumably to encourage you to rent a Hotel fan from reception instead :-) The Safety Deposit box in one of the wardrobes in the bedroom also requires hiring a key for it from reception at a cost of 15euros for a week.
The bedroom in the apartment was adequate with a wardrobe and plenty of drawers for your clothes. A telephone was in the room but I never tried it to see if it was in use. There was one of those recessed in wall Radio's as well but ours didn't work.
Mosquitoes can be a bit of a problem at night. We did get a few bites, but found that a rolled up newspaper was often the best way of dealing with the pests! We also used a plug-in electric repellent device in the bedroom overnight, which we found very effective.
The Hotel has very little in the way of entertainment, but that may be just because it was early in the season. There is a lounge/bar adjoining the reception area with a big screen projection TV playing Greek and English TV.
The Swimming pool is large with a little bridge cutting it in two, which gives an unusual look to the pool. There is also a toddler’s paddling pool. There was a poolside bar and entertainments area which wasn't in use, but possibly would be later in the season.
A few yards walk to the right out the front entrance of the Hotel is the very large Supermarket - "Konstantinos". They sell just about anything you could ever need whilst on holiday. Even though there are smaller and probably cheaper supermarkets dotted about the resort, the convenience of closeness to the hotel made this one our favourite. I had read on the Internet that the staff appeared to watch you "like a hawk" in this supermarket. In general this wasn't the case in the food aisles, but they did hover close by elsewhere in the supermarket (clothes and souvenirs sections).
After arriving in the very early hours of Sunday morning, we managed to grab a few hours sleep before we went to the Supermarket at about 11am for some basic supplies.
After having a spot of lunch we made our way to the "Rendezvous Bar" on the main street for the Kosmar Rep's "Welcome Meeting". Our rep was Sheila who was very helpful and pleasant. She gave a brief talk on the Resort and things to see and do around it, before the usual selling of the excursions. As is usual for us we booked through the Rep' although you can get most of the same trips cheaper by booking locally yourself. We decided to go on only one trip this holiday, that being the "Discover Kos" Day Tour by coach which cost us 35euros each. This trip is run on a Monday.
I have scanned the "Excursions Sheet" (Opens in a new window) and added it to the site so you can see the other trips available should you be interested. Sheila also came to the "Sunny Days" Hotel at set times on a daily basis, advised on the "Kosmar" notice board at the hotel, so she was easily contactable should you need anything.
The "Rendezvous Bar" along with several others had regular screenings of the top 3 UK soaps, as well as the latest movies and sports events, so you needn't worry about missing your favourite TV if that’s your thing!
After the meeting we returned to the Hotel to catch up on our sleep as we were still shattered from the night flight.
We usually go out for dinner every evening of our trips abroad and this time would be no exception. We decided to go for our first nights dinner to "Sagittarius" which is just a few yards down the main road from the hotel.
The place has a lovely atmosphere with waterfalls down the walls and a fountain centrepiece that add a touch of magic to the place. The service we received was excellent and the meals were very good. This restaurant is highly recommended and I suspect we may visit it again before the week is out!
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 9||Service: 10||Price: 8|
Today was our Birthdays (My wife and I coincidently share the same birthday) and our Holiday was our present for it!
We were going on the "Discover Kos" tour today. We waited outside the front of the hotel at 9.00am for the coach, as told to do by our Rep'. The coach was due at 9.20 to pick us up, so we were outside in plenty of time.9.20 came & went...no coach. 9.30am...no coach...9.45am...no coach! By this time we were concerned that we had either missed it, been forgotten or it wasn't coming at all! I got the local Kosmar office phone number off the Hotel notice board and Marie gave them a call on our mobile phone. She was told it was running late and would be with us in a couple of minutes. Sure enough the coach appeared out of the side street to the left of the hotel and proceeded off down the main road into the village. We knew it was the tour coach as the company name was on the side of the coach and was the same as on our ticket. We assumed it was going to collect people from the other Kosmar hotels then probably turn around at the roundabout at the bottom of the street and come back for us. This it appeared to do and then started coming back up the street. When it got within a few yards of us it became obvious that there was no way it was going to stop and off it sped right past us! We immediately called the Kosmar office again with this news and after a brief pause they came back and told us it was going to turn around and come back for us, so they obviously have some contact with the coaches. By about 10am we were finally on the coach and on our way, after being told by the guide that our names were not even on her list, which was why we hadn't been picked up!
Anyway, the tour itself was very good. We visited several locations on the Island with a good guide who gave an insight into the history and way of life on Kos. The pretty village of Zia was very nice and had some superb views of the island from this high mountain point. We also got a plate of Greek yogurt and honey at a Taverna, which we were told was exclusive to their tour. We stopped for lunch at the resort of Mastichari, which was also included in the price and you could choose your meal from quite a varied selection. The coach was air conditioned which was often a nice respite from the heat of the day. We got back to the apartments about 5.30pm.
Monday evening and we took a walk down the street and called at the "Tigaki Grill" for our evening meal. Not much to say about this place. Decidedly poor! Average surroundings, poor service and a very bland meal, meant we quickly crossed this one off our "Recommendation" sheet.
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 4||Service: 5||Price: 4|
Woke up a bit later today (about 11am) as we were probably tired from the Monday all-day coach tour. But hey, when you're on holiday who says you can't have a lie-in!
A bit dull and overcast today - It rained a bit along with a cool breeze and some thunderstorms ...reminds me of home! After breakfast we went for some more essentials from the supermarket. Then we went on an investigative stroll through the resort.
Tingaki (locally known as Tigaki) is a compact resort basically consisting of one long main road/street (signposted locally as "Main Road") with lots of side streets running off it in various directions. All the main Apartments/Hotels, Restaurants, Tavernas, Shops and Bars are within easy walking distance along the main road.
This road leads up to a roundabout by the beach which is referred to locally as the main square. The beach looks very nice and we will investigate it further on another day. Everybody seems to hire bicycles to get around, so we'll probably try that one day as well.
The road can get a bit busy at times and visitors with youngsters may need to be a careful of the bigger lorries and traffic through the resort.
Where we were staying we found it nice and peaceful and even in the resort centre night life is decidedly "low-key". If you're one of the Club 18-30 brigade you'd probably find the resort too quiet for you. We were told that the resort of Kardamena or nearby Kos Town is where to find the "clubbers".
The staff are very helpful and you'll also get the best £ to Euro Exchange rates in the resort. Ignore the confusing low £ rate listed on the board outside - this is the 1 euro to £ rate, which was something like 0.68p whilst we where there. Just go in and ask them for the current exchange rates and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Also across the road from "Theokritos Travel" and just a few yards down toward the beach is a "Co-Op" Cash Machine. We used this with our debit cards when we needed a bit extra cash towards the end of our holiday. When you insert your card it asks you what language you want to display the instructions in - Just select "English" and then use it just like you would any cash machine in the UK.
There are several other Cash machines dotted around the resort should you need some extra cash and have your credit or debit card handy.
The local Bus service is very good and frequent. There are Bus stops all around the resort and you can get a timetable from "Theokritos Travel".
Investigating the beach later in the day I found it to be very long and with plenty of sun- loungers for hire (3euros a day). The beach was fine sand and the sea was shallow and warm to quite a distance out.
On Tuesday evening we visited "Rodini" for our evening dinner. Everything about this restaurant spoke quality and was a pleasant change after the fiasco of the night before.
You could soon see why it was so busy. The service was friendly and first class and the meal was outstanding. We stayed over two hours and had a two course dinner with drinks and coffee afterwards and it only cost around 32euros for the whole evening. Superb! We have a tradition of trying different restaurants on each night of our stay and then returning to our favourite one on the last evening in the resort. So far "Rodini" is looking top of the list!!
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 10||Service: 10||Price: 10|
Another clear sky, sunny hot day. After a cold shower (!) and some breakfast we went down to the Hotel's pool for a few hours. The staff were busy putting mattresses on the wooden lounger bases to make them more comfortable to lie on. You could tell it was still the early part of the season and the hotel wasn't full yet as apart from my wife and I the poolside area was deserted! A big swimming pool all to ourselves!! Not for long though, it soon started to fill up but nobody was going in the pool as the water was freezing cold! Someone made a comment that sea was warmer than the pool! The poolside bar was also open from today selling drinks and refreshments whilst the Hotel's Hi- Fi system pumped out the holiday music!
I do sometimes wonder why we bother coming to these hot places as before long the heat was getting to us again and so we retired to the coolness of the apartment. We're not "beach bunnies" whose only task seems to be to lie about the pool or beach trying to get a tan like its some god-forsaken rule that you've got to come back from abroad with one. What's that all about? Anybody who's seen Peter Kay's "Holidays" section of his stand-up show will understand what I mean!!
I must admit that we come, like most people, just to "get away from it all". Everybody has there own way of "chillin' out" from the pressures of everyday life and if you find lazing on an Island beach your idea of heaven then good for you. I'm chillin' now just sitting here typing this on the balcony of the apartment with the sun blazing down and a cooling breeze to boot!
Better go get changed now as it's past 8pm and we are soon off out for our fourth evening meal. We like eating late on Holiday and it seems so do a lot of people as most of the Restaurants are still busy even approaching 9pm.
We went to "Meditarranee" for dinner this evening. Another very good meal with friendly efficient service.
Presentation of your meal is a factor at this restaurant which is reflected in it's slightly above average prices. Still haven't found the one to beat "Rodini" yet and with two nights to go it will be a close run contest! "Mediterranee" is well recommended though and is currently placed number three on our top 5 list.
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 9||Service: 9||Price: 8|
When we got back to the Hotel we had a few drinks at the bar until about 1.30am.
|The friendly "Sunny Days" Bar Team are Costa and Yanni - Yanni claims a 25hr working day - this I can believe after seeing him at Sunny Days: day and night!|
They are good fun and chat with all the holidaymaker's and really make you feel at home!
Today we went into the resort and hired two bicycles from "Tigaki Moto" on the main street. There are lots of Hire shops throughout the resort and they all charge similar prices. We hired the better quality "lightweight" bikes at 5euros each for the day; although there were cheaper "standard" bikes at just 3euros each. We were told we had to return them by 8pm in the evening which isn't bad.
|We cycled to the "Salt Lakes" near the resort where there were loads of Flamingos nestling on the lake. Then we cycled down to the beach and spent a few hours there.|
We went out for our evening meal tonight to "Grand Salle". They have a small pond with a fountain on it at the entrance and if you're lucky you may see the ducks, fish and even a turtle swimming about!
We both only wanted a lighter meal this evening and so we opted for their "Mixed Grill" advertised on a board outside. It was very nice and of just the right amount for what we wanted. Good value too, at only 7euros each.
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 9||Service: 9||Price: 8|
After a somewhat sleep disturbed night due to the ever increasing heat in the apartment as even the nights got hotter through the week we awoke late.
We had decided to spend our last two days in Tingaki, just milling round the resort and getting in some last minute shopping.
On the way out we checked out the "Departure Times" sheet for our flight home on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Our flight was departing on Sunday morning at 05:30am Greek time and the information stated the coach to the airport would be picking us up at between 03:20-03:50am Sunday morning. As is usual in these Hotels you have to vacate your room by 12:00pm on the day before you leave. This meant we would have had to give up the room by 12pm Saturday and find somewhere to try and grab some sleep and kill over 12 hours before our departure! As we had done on previous holidays we approached Reception to see if we could keep the room on longer. Maria was very helpful and said we could keep the room until 7pm for 15euros or until 2am for 30euros. We opted for the 2am slot.
She also told us that whilst this wasn't too much of a problem for her to do now. When the Season really gets going and the Hotel starts to fill up more, it is going to be more difficult, if not impossible, for future guests to keep their rooms on longer.
Anyway, at least we'd got that sorted for ourselves, content that we'd have somewhere to leave our cases and grab a few hours kip before the early morning flight.
We wandered off into the resort and did some souvenir hunting and shopping!
We had also decided today that we would "break with tradition" and rather than visit one more restaurant this evening and then our favourite on Saturday night, we would go to our favourite for the last two nights instead. The reason for doing this? Many really, no other places looked busy enough - Always a good sign I've found but at the moment not conclusive as the resort is well under occupied compared to high season. We didn't see any other Restaurants that "took our fancy" and I've read on other websites of people visiting the same Restaurant on every night of their holiday so two consecutive nights is nothing!
The Restaurant that we considered the best: "Rodini" of course! This would be closely followed by "Sagittarius" then "Mediterranee" and "Grand Salle" with "Tigaki Grill" bringing up the rear a long way behind!
We arrived about 8.30pm. We had another faultless meal with the same great service as before.
|Coincidently we met up again with a Dutch couple who we'd chatted to on the previous occasion also. After the meal they joined us again for a chat and by the time we left it was 11.35pm!|
We managed to get some sleep for only a few hours before waking up around 4.30am due in part to the intense heat and the incessant crowing of the neighbourhood cockerels! I'll warn you that if you're a light sleeper the cockerels noise can be a real nuisance as they don't give up for hours once they've started and it often isn't just one, but several of bloody things in some sort of dawn chorus that starts about 3am!! Even the double glazing of the doors and windows, if you can even bear to have them shut, is insufficient to drown out the noise a great deal. To pass the time I am actually typing this paragraph whilst listening to the chorus at 5.25am and the sun is just beginning to rise.
Our last day in Tingaki before the flight home in the early hours of Sunday morning and quite honestly after the sleep disturbed night we'd just had we are about ready for going home!
Today is just a day to wind down, pack, do some last minute shopping and just get ready for the journey home. I'm sure the Airport check-in, etc is going to prove eventful but at least it should be daylight by the time we take off.
We had a fast food lunch today at "Taka Taka Mam" on the beach front.
They provided a very quick meal of Burger & Chips for me and Sausage, Egg & Chips for the wife which was just what we wanted for a quick lunchtime snack.
|Scores (Out of 10):|
|Food: 8||Service: 8||Price: 9|
The other fast food Restaurant we noted was "Munchies" on the Main Street.
We went out for our last evening meal in Tingaki to our favourite Restaurant "Rodini". As always everything was superb and Costa and Christatos (Chris) made our last evening enjoyable.
We went for dinner a bit earlier than normal, intending to get a bit of sleep when we got back to the apartment about 9.30 before vacating the apartment at 2am. As it was, with all the traffic and general evening noise we were unable to and so just passed the time until 2am. I could tell it was going to be a long tiring journey home.
We left our Apartment at 2am and went down to Reception to wait for the Coach to the Airport. The Hotel's staff were there and stayed until all the coaches had gone to say goodbye to us all, which was a really nice touch. Our coach arrived at about 3.30am and soon we were on our way to the Airport.
At the Airport we were herded into queues for our relevant flights. We had to queue up outside (Much like Zante Airport was) and went in a few at a time, as you had too put your suitcases through a Security scanner at the entrance before joining the check-in desk queue.
At the check-in desk we were allocated our seats without being asked whether we wanted isle or window seats, so it seems they just allocate you them as available. As it was we luckily got two windows seats together as we’d had on the outward journey, so it was okay.
We took off on time at 6.30am local time due in at East Midlands Airport at 9.00am UK time. The flight home was actually longer at 4hours 20nins, but not too bad as at least it was in daylight and you could admire the view! The in-flight meal was breakfast as expected and it was not bad at all.
We had a great holiday in Kos and found Tingaki a pleasant and relaxing resort.
We would recommend it to anyone after a relaxing, quiet-ish holiday.
Chris & Marie, May 15th - 23rd 2004.
|This page was last updated Sunday 14 July, 2013|
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