Excellent family run hotel on a lovely Island A review of Paradise Hotel
The Paradise Hotel is set up high on a hill, and has stunning views of the ocean and other islands. The location is very convenient, as it is nice and close to Skiathos town. I think this is definately something to consider when visiting Skiathos.
The rooms were clean and tidy. Our room had an on-suite shower, and a balcony which had stunning views of the ocean and other islands. Not all the rooms have sea views, some have views of the hills behind the hotel.
We had breakfast in the hotel each day, and dinner most days. We found the meals to be very pleasant. Breakfast was continental style, with rolls, ham, cheese, jams and boiled eggs as well as home baked goods - a different type of biscuit each morning! In the evenings, the menu is typically Greek, and similar to a lot of the restaurants we went to. We highly recommend the "lamb in the oven" off their menu - it was simply delicious and so tender.
There is a lovely terrace which is great for evening drinks. They also have a lounge and bar area indoors, although it was far too pleasant to spend too much time indoors. The pool area is also very nice, with a good sized pool and a kids section as well.
The hotel offers free transfers to and from the airport, which is only about 15 minutes away. (The hotel isn't affected by aircraft noise at all). Also, there is a free shuttle bus to & from Skiathos town 6 times a day. Whilst we were staying there, the bus left for Skiathos town at the following times: 10am, 1pm, 3pm, 7pm, 9pm and 11pm. So if you want a night out in Skiathos town, these timings are perfect. It is also very convenient for picking up the bus which runs all the way to Koukounaries - the shuttle bus drops you off near bus stop number 4. The shuttle bus returns from Skiathos town 15 minutes after the times above. If you wish to go to Achaladies or Vassilias beaches, you can ask to be dropped off at the bottom of the hill - no problem.
We found the staff to be wonderful. Dimitrious was very friendly and helpful. They were very helpful with regards to our 11 month old baby, providing a cot and a high chair, and warming milk for her porridge each morning. They also stored baby food in the fridge for her. Dimitrious's 18 month old toddler and our baby played together very cutely. In fact, the whole family were very pleasant.
Most of the guests we encountered were English. There were a few Germans as well. A lot of the guests were people who came back year after year, to the same hotel. They have always found the quality of service to be great, which is why they return year after year. And to be honest, when we come on holiday to Skiathos again, we will stay at the Paradise hotel - why bother looking anywhere else? Interestingly, there were some people there who had transfered by Thomson holidays - their accommodation was so bad that they had insisted that Thomson find them somewhere else. They were also very happy with their new accommodation.
A lovely and green little island, with stunning scenery. We went in September, which apparently is off-peak. I believe that the island gets extremely crowded in peak season. There are lovely beaches on the island - we went to 4 of them: Achaladies, Vassilias, Koukounaries and Kanapitsa.
Achaladies beach is fronted by a big hotel, so is quite busy. However, the further to the left you go, the less crowded it gets, and we found a nice quiet spot on the far end of the beach. There are a few tavernas on the beachfront, and we had a nice lunch at one of them. The beach is much more crowded near the tavernas, however. You can walk from the hotel to this beach - it is not so bad as it is all downhill! Also, the shuttle bus will drop you at the bottom of the hill if you request it. There is a water taxi to Skiathos town, which is very convenient. You can then easily pick up the shuttle bus back to the hotel!
Vassilias beach is next door to Achaladies beach, and can be reached in the same way. There is no water taxi from here. This beach is a very quiet beach, with darker brown sand. If you want peace and quiet, this is the beach for you - we enjoyed it. There is a very nice taverna on the beachfront - recommended.
Koukounaries beach is described as the best beach on the island, if not the Aegen. It is very pretty, and very big, and you reach it by taking the bus. If you get on at bus stop number 4, where the shuttle bus drops you off, then you are pretty much guaranteed a seat. It is an extremely popular beach, and if you enjoy lots of people, then this is the beach for you. Personally, we didn't enjoy it too much as we don't enjoy crowds of people. We also found it very "touristy". But don't take our word for it - go there yourself. I think you have to go there at least once.
Kanapitsa was one of our favourite beaches - absolutely beautiful. You can get there by bus, or by water taxi from Skiathos town - we did this and it was very nice. The beach is the prettiest beach we saw, and not overcrowded. On the left side of the beach there was hardly anyone. There was also a taverna, although we didn't go there so we can't comment on it. This is a beach which is well worth visiting.
We really enjoyed visiting Skiathos town, and went there several times. The waterfront restaurants we went to had very pleasant food. Lamb chops are recommended, as is calamari! It is great walking around the Plakas region - narrow and winding cobblestoned streets - but watch out for those motorbikes! The Windmill restaurant is worth a visit. There is a steep climb to get there, but the views are lovely. We recommend the chocolate fondue for desert. They bring all sorts of fruit, marshmallow and biscuits to dip in lovely warm chocolate - exceptional.
A day trip to the island of Skopolos is highly recommended. Go as early as possible to make the most of your day. We went on the Flying Dolphin hydrofoil, and it didn't take long at all. It is lovely walking around Skopolos town, and the higher you go up the narrow streets, the better it gets. Lovely views, and very "Greek" near the top. There are lots of restaurants near the waterfront.
If you have a baby or toddler in nappies, we would recommend that you bring nappies with you. We found them to be twice the price of what they are in the UK. Also, we didn't find our pushchair much use at all in Skaithos, because of the steepness of the streets, and the cobblestones. We ended up carrying our baby in a "baby backpack". This worked out very well - she even slept in there. Greece is very "baby friendly" and your baby will be welcome in virtually all places.