IBEROSTAR KIPRIOTIS PANORAMA HOLIDAY REVIEWS
Iberostar Kipriotis Panorama, Kos Town
I hated it NOT 5 * - Karl Thomas. Date of travel: Sep 2008
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In Summary, Iberostar Kipriotis Panorama was a huge disappointment on so many levels - Definitely NOT 5* Miss sold Panorama Hotel and forced to stay at Maris Hotel. (Report being filed with the UK European consumer centre – through Trading Standards Institute). Clean and tidy complex, Very poor beach, Sea view was a ‘sea glimpse’ overlooking bins, OK buffet dining experience, Inconsistent staff training and service delivery standards. Not 5* by any means. In detail: We were oversold this holiday with a promise of 5* all-inclusive 'luxury'. We bought (text from our receipt) Iberostar Kipriotis Panorama Room with Sea View….all incl basis….hotel. We were placed in the Maris hotel advertised also as 5*. Having worked in the travel industry for many years staying at 5* hotels around the world for the last 20 years - I can definitely assure you that this hotel was a good 3* to an OK 4*. Transfer: When we arrived we were put on the bus and told by the rep “you are the 2 additions”, handed a piece of paper with ‘Maris’ written on it along with our return transfer details. When we pulled up outside the Panorama hotel we thought that it looked very impressive – although we were then told that we were staying at the bottom of the hill, closer to the beach at the Maris hotel. From a distance the Maris looked good. Initially this didn’t appear to be a problem as we thought it was a 5* hotel. The reception was very nice the staff welcoming and helpful. We were quickly on our way to our room. It literally was 100 meters from the reception. Room: This was a good-sized room with plenty of hanging space, storage drawers and a fridge. The advertised Satellite TV had one channel running very old American drama but no English-speaking channels for news etc, all the other channels catered for the mainly Dutch and Italian clientele. Two uncomfortable beds pushed together, good air conditioning and good room and bedside lighting. The room had a marble floor which I had never experience before in a 5* although I suppose that it did help keep the room cool. Our room was right at the front of this sprawling complex: coach, buses, taxis all stopped outside our balcony with people coming and going all day and night. The local scooter hire shop is at the end of the complex and the road outside is used as a testing area for people renting the scooters and two-seater motor buggies – they ride them up and down fast, some demonstrating their skill at skidding on gravel by way of testing the bikes before renting them. Sea View: Having seen the pictures on the website of the sweeping panoramic views of the Aegean Sea looking onward to Turkey – we were somewhat disappointed with the ‘sea glimpse’. The beach was tree lined and so you had to look through a break in the trees to see the sea. However, and this was once of my greatest criticisms we had a direct view of three large Sulo bins which we had to look over for our ‘sea glimpse’. I went to talk to the front office manager who told me that was the sea view! I said that I thought that a view of the bins was unacceptable and she actually shrugged her shoulders and said, “This is sea view”. She was not really very interested in handling our complaint – I asked if we could move 3 rooms closer to the main building which would have presented us a slightly better sea glimpse, she did indeed check the system and tell us that that room would be available in 3 days time. Having reflected on this and not wanting it to spoil the holiday I went back a day later to ask for that room change and was told that the room was now allocated to someone else. Having complained again I was offered a sideways move to the other side of the complex with an even worse view. I declined the move telling the receptionist that I was extremely upset. We never heard from the front office manager again until I asked for the email address at the end of the holiday. Beach: From the Iberostar website: " Iberostar's guiding principles, On the best beaches in the world The greatest of care for our surroundings." Having crossed a busy road, pass the bins to get to the dirt track. You are greeted with what looks like an ice cream / fish and chip van, advertising itself as a canteen for all-inclusive guests, offering a glass of juice or ice tea, a beer or bottle of water. Wooden pallets are aligned in single file to form a walkway over the dirt track on to the grit beach. This is a pebble beach at the waters edge that turns to grit, on which are placed the uncomfortable mainly torn sun loungers and umbrellas. The grit is not kept even in a 3* standard, it is littered with plastic bottles and cigarette butts. We witnessed one couple arrive at the beach and the lady burst into tears saying to her husband, “This is horrible”. You had to walk to the next lot of sun loungers along the beach to use the toilets facilities. These were two wooden sheds housing a WC and sink. Although smelling fresh and covered in post cards of the local area, I have never encountered this before at a 5* resort. In complete contrast the beach that you had to walk onto to use the toilet had really comfortable padded sun loungers and was incredibly well maintained. The gentleman that owed the beach had gone to great effort to create a golden sandy beach from the pebble at the waters edge on which his sun loungers sat. For this experience you paid an additional 6 euros per lounger per day. Complex grounds: Very well kept garden areas. The pools were immaculate and the seating area clean and tidy always. Food: From the Iberostar website "Iberostar's guiding principles - Exquisite cuisine". Pretty average buffet dining. A very good salad, OK dessert bar and average hot food, trays and trays of re-heated food brought out and placed under hot food lamps which quickly got a crust forming on as it was drying under the lamps. What is not eaten one night comes out the following night in a different guise. Very strict times for eating, the evening meal is advertised until 9pm and that does mean 9pm. Lights on the hot lamps go out and the cleaning begins – the food is quickly taken back into the kitchens. Continental breakfast from 10 till 11am as long as you are happy with a few meats and cheeses, bread, yogurt and one jam, the rest of the selection are removed at 10am. No toast either, the toaster is unplugged a 10am and woe betide anyone that wants it plugged in after 10am, I was treated appallingly by the kitchen staff for asking for toast after 10am. The offer of al a Carte dining in the Triton restaurant on certain, book able in advance evenings is very alluring until you get there. We went once to the Asian night: the starter was pumpkin soup; the main was a choice of chicken or pork, we chose the chicken it was the smallest portion of rice with hard chewy pieces of chicken in an inedible sauce. We left the food and walked out in disgust. The restaurant we ate at was outside and the conflicting and contrasting music from the pool and bar vs the restaurant during the breakfast and lunch service became very wearing after a couple of days. Entertainment: All in Italian, which we looked at one, evening for about 10 minutes. It was the lads from SprinTours dressing in women’s clothes dancing badly to Cabaret. It may have been funny if we could have understood it. Greek night in the main restaurant was OK, although I am not sure watching the Maitre'd do a dance for us while being delivered Ouzo on a tray during his dance added to my 5* experience. Staff: From the Iberostar website "Iberostar's guiding principles - Highly qualified team". Inconsistent. Front office manager: ineffective and uncaring. The cleaning staff: exceptional – friendly, polite, chatty and cleaned the room quickly, efficiently and to a very high standard, daily. The reception staff: very friendly and helpful and apologetic for their manager’s inability to resolve our accommodation issue. The bar and waiter staff: on the whole were friendly, polite, chatty with exception of two: a young bespectacled blond haired girl and an aging man named Valises. These two blew hot and cold with different customers, we thought that they were downright rude. Restaurant staff: again on the whole friendly, polite and chatty with the odd exceptions of appalling service standards during breakfast. Maitre'd: a little officious when seating you, but very quick to respond to our complaint about the kitchen staff.