2nd August 2002
Dear Sir / Madam,
Following our recent 14 day holiday to Kardemena, Kos on 10 July
2002, I feel it is necessary to bring to your attention the following
points which we were less than satisfied with.
Before even leaving the UK, we paid extra to fly from Stanstead
airport for convenience only to have our flights re located to Gatwick.
(we later found out that flights still left Stanstead on our original
A bad start, but in optimism we thought things can only get better,
how wrong could we have been..
Upon arrival in Kardemena, Kos we were incredibly disappointed
with the standard of our accommodation. (Stefanos Studios) Our Rep
'Emma' practically run off after showing us to our rooms, which
incidentally backed on to a barren field adjacent to a noisy, smelly
farmyard. We soon discovered the reason for her haste when it took
5 minutes to unlock one of our doors. Despite the struggle with
the door, we felt that the plastic door handles were not sturdy
enough for the large wooden doors. Later in the vacation we were
proved correct after the entire door handle broke away!! Once inside
(eventually) we realised that there were no safety deposit boxes
or security drawers to store our valuables. Next to make matters
worse, the toilet seat broke and both showers (without holders or
curtains) flooded the entire bathroom and part of the floor in the
main room. This was quite worrying considering the electric fridge
sat right outside the bathroom door.
By now we had decided enough was enough and that first thing the
next day we would visit the Golden Sun office (which we were told
was situated in the main square) to request to be re located. It
was at this point when the first power cut happened. As we had no
warning about what turned out to be a frequent, almost daily occurrence
we were stuck in darkness with no torch / candles or sense of orientation.
Leaving our luggage unpacked, we set off the next day to speak
to the Golden Sun representatives in their office prior to the 'Welcome
Meeting'. After finally finding the office we discussed our concerns
with the staff. The fact that we were out of town was mentioned
to us by Gemstone Travel when booking the holiday. However, we were
told that we would easily be able to hail taxis to and from town.
This unfortunately was not true and we very rarely saw any taxis
along our strip of road. This was very worrying as there was no
phone / reception / security desk at Stefanos, so if there had been
an emergency, the only possible way to reach the town would have
been to walk 15 minutes along what was mostly an unpaved rocky road.
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We were horrified at the response from the staff who were rude
and avassive towards us and our problems.
When we requested to be relocated we were offered to look at a
hotel in an entirely different resort on the other side of the island.
We were then told that we would have to responsible for moving all
luggage and any extra costs incurred would have to be settled by
ourselves. We felt we were stuck, with no alternative but to stay
where we were.
The staff at the Golden Sun office were not at all fazed by our
problems and any queries or requests were answered in sarcastically.
We asked if we could have a spare set of keys each for our rooms,
they pointed out the place where we could have them cut for a reasonable
When we mentioned that there was no way of getting a taxi from
our apartments to town - we were told we could hire bikes!!
When asked where the hotel next door with the swimming pool was
they just replied:'That's life, Gemstone Travel have lied to you'
When we enquired why we had no warning about the power cuts, the
staff said they had no way of predicting when they would happen.
Although I think they missed the point on this, because they happened
nearly every night for a least 1 hour.
We were told that safety deposit boxes are actually unsafe because
people can pick them up and carry them away. There were however
special shops which held safety deposit boxes, but they were a 15
minute walk away from us and had limited opening times.
They were so unsympathetic towards our case that it lead me to
believe that this was a regular occurrence for them. Eventually
they did offer some concern about the broken toilet seat and the
unsecure doors to which they promised that these problems would
be fixed and extra locks would be fitted. At least we had something
to look forward to!
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With the news that there was no real way of resolving any of our
problems we grudgingly made our way to the 'Welcome Meeting' where
the previously obnoxious reps 'Emma', 'Beth' and co. suddenly changed
into the friendliest of people as they told us about their 'Favourite
Excursions', which we discovered were half the price if booked independently
in the town.
During the 'Welcome Meeting' it was brought to our attention that
all the information relevant to our stay and the details of our
flights home would be maintained on our notice boards situated either
inside our doors or at the reception. As we had no reception we
assumed later that ink run scribbled message was about check out
times. As it turned out the note on the back of our door was in
regard to keeping the room on a little longer in the event of evening
flights (which applied to us) We could tell it was old as the additional
cost was quoted in Drachma.
That would be the last time we saw 'Emma' until the day before
our departure. When she arrived on her bike I suggested that we
may have just seen a mirage. After enquiring as to where us notice
board was she rudely snapped asking whether we had been to the 'Welcome
Meeting' we told her we had then asked her again where the notice
board was. She then (obviously embarrassed) pointed out an old scrap
of plastic propped up on someone's patio at the front of the block.
Nobody did come to fix the toilet seat and door handle which we
ended up screwing on ourselves with a makeshift screwdriver!
The day prior to leaving we asked the cleaner, whose English was
poor, about keeping our room until 16.30 (check out was at 12.00)
she nodded and told us 'Speak tomorrow'. At least we would not have
to worry about stowing our luggage for the day if we had a room.
It was at 11.00am on the day of our departure when we were told
that we had to evacuate our rooms by noon.
This chain of events had become incredibly frustrating and more
and more unbelievable as the holiday went on. The icing on the cake
was on the final evening when around 300 sheep with bells round
their necks came down to feed in the dry field which had been our
view for the fortnight.
I look forward to your response on these issues.
Yours sincerely, Julie Howe
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