PORTES BEACH HOTEL, HALKIDIKI, GREECEOUR FAMILY TRIP
Hello and welcome! I am Anna, a photographer and a mother based in Yorkshire, UK. Some of you may already know me, but since this blog post is about our travels and not baby related. I wanted to introduce myself.
Why am I even writing this blog you might ask?
Truthfully, I really enjoyed capturing some memories at Portes Beach Hotel, Halkidiki, documenting and creating a little bit of content to look back on that can easily be shared with others. And, since I am really enjoying blogging lately, this seemed like the perfect way. It might even get you inspired in booking a break here.
It’s actually been quite a while since we’ve last travelled abroad, 7 years precisely, therefore it was our first time as a family of 4. We were certainly excited but I was a little nervous too. Will the kids like it, will the temperature be too hot, will the resort be as nice as in the photos?! Not to mention, the packing. Making sure we remember everything, was certainly making me feel a tad bit anxious.
This was also our first time booking with Jet2 Holidays and visiting Greece.
So, scroll down to see some gorgeous photos of the resort, the beach and have a read about our time there.
BOOKING WITH JET2 HOLIDAYS
Previously we have always travelled with TUI. But, after many recommending Jet2. We had to try it.
The website is incredibly easy to browse, therefore easy to find exactly what you need from your holiday (I often find that if a website is too busy and I can’t find steps of how to navigate it easily, I leave pretty quickly).
Once we found where we wanted to go (after 3 weeks of searching), we decided to book our stay over the phone with a representative. I don’t know about you, but something just makes me feel better, booking through an actual person.
The process was simple and quick. And, just like that, the 6 week countdown begun.
At the airport, the organisation was fantastic, there was plenty of staff, all very organised. Therefore, we knew where to go the minute we stepped in.
The flights were great too. Friendly staff and a lovely in-flight experience.
THE HOTEL – PORTES BEACH
As a photographer I would say it’s a gorgeous space for family photographs, lots of beautiful colours, scenery and not to mention being right on the beach with a sunset view.
Upon arrival we were greeted and checked in by 3 lovely ladies. Whom were very friendly, approachable and checked us in pretty quick. So, off we went to start our holiday.
Our room was a little further down from the main hotel building (but this worked for us, as we were closer to the pool and beach).
Although, this is a fairly small resort (in comparison to where we have stopped before), it really doesn’t feel it.
The grounds of Portes Beach Hotel are stunning, very clean and well looked after, with those wonderful Mediterranean colours and plenty of greenery too (scroll down to see some of it’s beauty).
We all instantly fell in love.
Our room was spacious and had a modern feel, the beds were comfortable, with a lovely balcony that looked out onto some of that gorgeous greenery. We certainly took advantage every morning and evening.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the room but you can check them out on their own website here. The photos are pretty accurate, minus the fruit and flower decorations.
The rooms were cleaned every day and towels changed too, I was impressed to see that we all had a towel each after hearing some resorts only give you 2, even when there’s a family of 4.
Firstly we sorted our luggage, then quickly changed, got our beach bag ready and off we went to explore and enjoy our lunch. Kids were so excited to get in the pool despite being awake from 2am.
Anyway, scroll down to see some of Portes Beach Hotel beauty.
When booking a holiday this year, firstly, we wanted to go somewhere quieter but with just enough activities for the kids. We mainly wanted to rest, enjoy the water and maybe see some local culture or go out on a boat trip.
Portes Beach Hotel in Halkidiki, seemed the perfect fit. Quiet spot that is situated right on the beach, with 2 pools, water sports on site, kids park and kids club. With an option to book excursions, not too far away.
As a result of an illness (more about that further down) we actually ended up staying at the resort for the full week. This did have me worried a little. As we are used to venturing out and don’t particularly like staying in same place.
Although we didn’t use the kids club much (as our kids seemed a little too old for it). The pools, beach, water sports and park was enough to keep the kids entertained. With a bar and restaurant next to the pool we didn’t have to go far to enjoy a beverage or some yummy grub.
Having a shop on site also helped, you could get many things, from souveniours to food, toys, drinks, sun cream, skin care, jewellery and more, you weren’t short of anything.
As a result of having to change our plans. We stocked up on rings for the pool, a ball, uno cards and normal playing cards.
Alternating between pools, days on beach, walks, renting out paddling boat as well as the visit to the park (which is right next to the little pool), it was just perfect.
With the resort being smaller, it actually really helped. Everything is so close together (but not crammed). If we fancied a change from one pool to the other, a walk on the beach or park, it was all within a minute walking distance. Including the bar and the pool restaurant. And if you didn’t fancy to go in the restaurant during it’s opening times. You could always pick up a pizza, hot dogs, club sandwich or ice cream in the bar area.
RESTAURANTS & FOOD
The resort has two restaurants, the main one in the hotel itself (this is where we dined at breakfast and dinner). And, the pool restaurant which was only open for lunch. Secretly, I would have loved to dine there in the evening. Simply because of the view.
There was just enough choice of food in both restaurants, that catered for different taste buds. Therefore, if you have little ones that are fussy, you would always find something.
From plenty of salads, dips, fruit and various warm foods. We also had just enough choice. The things that stood out the most were greek salad (of course), sea food, grilled chicken, muscles and some of the meat stews with potatoes were delicious. The desserts were also yummy, we got a little bit of everything to share.
If I was to make a suggestion though, I would have loved themed food nights. Or maybe even open up the pool resturant in the evening for a themed dinner night. I’ve always loved this concept and enjoyed many Spanish, Mexican, Italian nights, when travelling previously. I think it would be great to do this at Portes Beach Hotel with a night of just authentic Greek cuisine as well – yum!
A SHOUT OUT TO THE HOTEL STAFF
Not all of the holiday unfortunately was perfect. Our daughter had come away slightly under the weather and got worse within a day of being there.
When your kids get ill and you are in a different country, the anxiety levels are naturally higher.
The staff at the reception were incredibly helpful. When we were just about to head out to find a pharmacy. They suggested to order what we needed over the phone and get it delivered straight to the reception (basically sorted it all for us). And it only took 20 minutes. I must say I was blown away. Not only was this convenient but much cheaper too, than booking taxis.
The paracetamol wasn’t enough unfortunately, with her gland swelling we knew there was something else brewing. And to our total surprise and shock, the next morning, she had what looked like a fit/passing out. Something that has never happened before. And I have to say, it was utterly terrifying. Luckily, she came out of it pretty fast and we were able to slowly get her to reception to see where we can go. Again they had straight away ordered a taxi and sent us to a local doctor (which by the way was free of charge just like the NHS doctors here in the UK). They really didn’t have to do this as we knew there was a private doctor on site (which was extortionately priced), but they did everything to help.
We were seen to fast and saved our money. I think that is always a worry for many, when travelling abroad. How much will this or that cost should something happen?!
The doctor was really good, checked her over and sent her straight to hospital to make sure she has full checks and to confirm his opinion. All in all, this took around 3 hours with travelling too. We came away with antibiotics and some probiotics. These luckily kicked in quickly and we were able to get back to enjoying our holiday.
Ooo, and they taste good too (surprisingly).
So I just want to give a huge shout out to the reception staff, your input in getting us seen to properly, and your calm presence has been incredible. Thank you!
WATCH A LITTLE VIDEO OF OUR STAY HERE
Overall, I think we had a good family holiday. Although, I do wish we could have ventured out to see what’s around, we just didn’t want to risk it. Make sure you do if you visit Portes Beach Hotel, I hear there are some stunning beaches around.
Maybe next time, we will book 10 nights or 2 weeks. Seven nights is not quite enough.
If you are thinking of visiting here and want to ask any questions, please pop a comment at the bottom of the page.
Hope you have enjoyed this blog.