Friday, 26 June 2015

Art Style Love Goes to Greece

   At the beginning of this month, I travelled to the sun-soaked island of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands and one which I have visited previously on holiday. This time, I stayed in Hersonissos, a marina town just 45 minutes away from Malia (yes, the teenager-infested party destination as seen in The Inbetweeners Movie), at the ironically-named Hersonissos Palace.

   Given the state of the Greek economy, I didn't have high expectations for the hotel; however, this was the weekend of my sister's hen-do, and I very much doubted that our enthusiastic party of seven would be spending much time in our rooms (cue hastened montage of alcohol-fuelled antics involving plastic willies and neon ginger wigs). As we arrived through the double-door entrance, having ascended two flights of marble stairs (good luck staying here if you're in a wheelchair), we were greeted by a very large and airy reception area, complete with neo-Baroque furniture and nautical-style lighting which wouldn't look out of place in the private office of someone well-to-do and slightly eccentric.

   Greeted by a chirpy receptionist, we were handed the customary 'all inclusive' wristbands - the ones that dig into your skin and completely grate on you by the end of your stay - and began a leisurely stroll to our rooms, buoyant from the aesthetic of the welcoming area, and hopeful that our rooms would be just as pleasant.

   Well. It's safe to say that the aforementioned reception was obviously a guise to keep potential guests optimistic. The only word I could use to describe my room is 'dingy'. Verging on the unclean, I took it upon myself to wear shoes at all times, and not even think about touching the shower curtain *shudders*. This was apparently five star accommodation, and although we all know that five stars in Europe sits around the three star mark in the UK, I wasn't expecting it to be THIS bad.

   On the other hand, as I said, we didn't plan to spend much time in the rooms. Everything else about the hotel was adequate: food - delicious; swimming pool - clean; alcohol - strong; staff - good sense of humour. In terms of location, we were a minute's walk away from the beach, and the long strip of bars complete with desperately friendly club-promoters and 17-year-old Dutch holidaymakers. Most nights, we ended up in a token Irish bar called Shenanigans, convincing the bar staff to let us dance on the bar *cringe* and give us free shots.

   However, my favourite night was spent at the Palm Beach Club: a mind-blowing open-air venue with an amazing DJ and stunning VIP area. We drank Moet Ice Imperial, which was perhaps the most delicious champagne I've ever tasted; it was cool and creamy, and definitely worth the €150 we all chipped in for. That night happened to be our last night; we rolled in at 7am, and by that time I had had too much fun to care about the dusty hotel room floor and unsavoury shower curtain, proving that it doesn't matter where you are, but who you're with.

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