It was with trepidation I arrived on Skiathos to review the family owned 5 star Skiathos Princess as I had read some mixed reviews and I also wondered if this Greek island could possibly live up to my expectations from its amazing portrayal in the film `Mamma Mia`.
I am delighted to report that the answer is yes!
The small island was quite beautiful. Stunning beaches, long stretches and secluded coves, small villages, friendly locals, great food and Skiathos town; a mixture of quaint tavernas and restaurants, cobbled streets and a port where you could catch a boat trip to a neighbouring island.
For families the Skiathos Princess is a real find. Very individual and definitely not corporate it is owned and run by the Santikos family and is now a member of the `Small Luxury Hotels of the World` group.
I have been to many Greek islands and experienced varying degrees of luxury (and plumbing) and so was pleasantly surprised to find how much I liked this hotel, how perfect it would be for our families and how much my own girls would love it.
From the outside the small frontage disguises what’s behind. The hotel has only 132 rooms and they are spread throughout the pine clad hillside, overlooking the gardens down to a long stretch of sandy beach. On the beach the hotel has a lovely taverna – great for a spot of lunch or meze, there are luxurious sunbeds and umbrellas with a drinks service and sumptuous bean bags for that chill out with a glass of champagne watching the sunset – well I had to test everything!
The staff seemed to adore children and had a real “can do “attitude. I decided to put them to the test. Could they provide, potties, plastic cutlery for children, a particular brand of nappies? I have to say they delivered. They have a large supply of complimentary items for guests to use and will purchase any extra items required – provided of course they are available on the island. One guest had told me they had driven to Skiathos Town to pick up nappies for her, added to the room bill of course, but I could not fault the service.
Children’s menus are available at all their restaurants and on room service; early suppers can be taken at the taverna.
The crèche is great, I wouldn’t have hesitated to leave my girls; purpose built, full of toys, Graco cots, highchairs, Little Tykes, all those reassuring things and available for babies from 6 months.
In the height of summer there is a tented garden area for the children to play in with toys and activities organised by trained nursery staff and during inclement weather, which is thankfully rare an air conditioned inside area. A life guard is on duty at the pool.
Even if the children’s club is not for you the gardens are spacious and perfect for children to run around in.
There is a great choice of rooms all modern and contemporary. I would recommend the family suites with 2 separate sleeping areas (the photos do not do them justice) and some junior suites interconnect but you must be prepared for the bathrooms in all the rooms. Tiled in marble with luxury toiletries, fluffy towels and robes their one mistake was not to refurbish the old suites so be prepared, you may find it pink or grey, the only thing out of place in the hotel.
Overall the hotel and island exceeded my expectations and I would personally give it a 4 star plus rating. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this property to families looking for a Greek holiday with great child care in stunning surroundings; I can’t wait to go back with my girls.
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