(SAMOS, GREECE) – I have passed by a certain resort hotel a few times in my trips to Samos and once even stopped in for lunch and a swim. So, on my latest trip to the beautiful island of Samos I decided to give it a real try out.
My conclusion is that the Doryssa Seaside Resort is a true 5-star hotel, albeit a bit on the “industrial” side. By this, I mean it caters to large tour companies and offers all inclusive packages. Loads of Dutch tourists seemed to take over the property, many with small children who preferred the pool to the beautiful ocean front.
If you have stayed at an all inclusive in the Caribbean or Mexico, you get the point. So many bars and restaurants and crowds of people are a bit much after the hotels where I had previously stayed.
For example, breakfast was in a large dining room with several outside tables. The food was excellent, but the clacking and clattering of dishes and harried looks of food servers suggested an factory-like atmosphere.
The other hotels were much smaller and breakfast was intimate where one was afforded an opportunity to establish a bond with the servers and food preparers. But, at Doryssa, they handled the crowds like true professionals. No easy task concerning the volume.
In consideration of the Dutch tourists, I noted the Gouda and Edam cheeses at breakfast.
Check in was seamless and polished with an upgrade being given without any prompting. The executive suite was enormous in comparison to the other hotels and we loved the space. Immaculate and super modern bathroom with high end toiletries. Seventeen-foot high ceilings and a view of the ocean.
Of course, this was not a cheap stay, but far less than you’d pay in most European countries for the same quality and location.
One advantage of Doryssa was its proximity to the town of Pythogoras. A twenty-minute walk peppered with ancient ruins and mountains in the distance was an incentive to escape the resort.
Pythogoras is a tourist mecca, full of yachts, restaurants, and bars. It was still relaxing, however, and not something you could ever find in Canada. A wonderful place for a pre- or post-dinner drink is Bar Fly, right on the waterfront with a splendid view of the harbour.
The clear majority of guests, since most had children, stayed at the resort and never left it. And if you are all-inclusive what is the incentive? Children playing in the pool have very little energy to head out for dinner beyond the resort. Not only that, there was a myriad of activities for the little ones including a Kid’s Club.
Doryssa has everything a wealthy European tourist needs, including a reconstructed Greek village with a town square, taverna, museum, stores, and even a church. And it’s very well done. Disneyland, perhaps, but a marvel of ingenuity. You can even stay at these “local” houses.
The resort beach is superb with small pebbles for a few feet then sand and clean water. Rather obnoxious if you are paying a princely sum and then must pay 5 Euros to rent beach chairs with an umbrella. A definite flaw for a luxury resort.
All said and done, a great hotel, particularly for young families, yet space and separation for the older crowd is needed. The proximity to Pythogoras, where perhaps a more real Greek experience awaits you, is a plus.
A slight flaw was that some of the wallpaper seams had split in a few areas in our room.
Check the website for a peek at the hotel. Rates in high season start at $285 USD and go up to $1,025 USD.