What I did in my summer holidays

Posted on September 26, 2012


With schools recently returning across the country it occurred to me how many kids would be asked to write something with the title – almost wrote ‘headline’ – What I did in my summer holidays.

Then I wondered how I would answer that question.

This year I was happy to be able to get away for almost two weeks, for all kinds of reasons. I went to Greece with Becky and Josie and here’s the thing – we stayed in a less expensive place, next to the hotel we went to last time, only it was better.

A year back we went to this particular part if Greece for the first time. There is a wonderful beach, perfect for a youngster practising her swimming and a dad who is even worse in the water.

There is a small, touristy, was-once-a-fishing-village town nearby but not so nearby that you’d know it. Same goes for the airport, meaning just a 15min cab ride.

And best of all was the fancy hotel, part of a big international chain, with squillions of infinity pools and all-round fabulousness.

In the spring, when I got around to booking, for once we thought it’d just be easiest to return to the same place. But the hotel I just described in glowing terms was mostly booked up. When it wasn’t its prices were very high or didn’t dovetail with flights. (And we’d been reading for ages about empty resorts because of foreigners’ apocalypto bail out fears.)

We decided to take a bit of a risk on the resort next door. Those of you who know me might have seen a few photos on Facebook. Basically, we needn’t have worried. We found:

–          Not only was it cheaper than the previous place but things such as the food and pool were just as good.

–          Because it is a smaller place the staff were more attentive and really friendly

–          We could still use exactly the same beach as the previous year if we wanted to – the hotels might differ but the shoreline is the same for everyone.

If you’re wondering if there’s a message here for the type of companies people should do business with more often then you’re right – that’s what finally got me to write something about this.

Small, friendly and flexible often beats the big guys – and not just on price.

We might even go back.

Follow Tony on Twitter – @tphallett