We (family of four) went to Portes Beach in June 2015. Here is our review. We paid for our rooms, so don’t worry, this is not a promotional piece.
Just 30-40 minutes south from Thessaloniki you have a chance to have unforgettable vacation. So, if you are coming by airplane via International airport “Makedonia” you will be in no time in hotel rooms. I am sure hotel arranges airport pickup but you will need to check this with them because we came by car so we didn’t really care about shuttles from the airport to the hotel.
If you are coming by car just take the Ring Road around Thessaloniki and stay at the road to Halkidiki. Portes beach is located at the very beginning of Halkidiki, 3-5 minutes after Nea Moudania. Drive slower once you pass Moudania because Portes Beach sign will be right in front of the hotel, you won’t see hotel until you reach it. It is on the right side of the road. You can park the car at any available place in front of the hotel.
Once you are in the hotel, a friendly staff will give you your AI (All Inclusive) wristbands and point you to the direction of your room. We booked Superior Double room through hotel website which was a great decision. For two reasons. You can’t find better prices online, a lot of sites don’t even offer AI option and you may end up with an upgrade if you book through hotel site (that was our case). We basically booked Half board but hotel management upgraded us to AI (some 500 EUR value).
They politely asked to come 3 days later and in case we accept this they will give us free AI. Sure, we will take it:) That was great for 2 reasons
1. 500 EUR value free of charge
2. You really need AI, especially if you are coming with family. Hotel is not located in a city, it is a beach hotel, so there is no other food option for lunch except what the hotel offers. Also, all drinks by the pool (beer, cocktails, domestic liquors) and ice-cream are free of charge. If you don’t have AI you will spend at least $25 per day per person on all of this.
As I already mentioned we took Superior Double room. I am not sure how Standard double rooms look like, but our choice was good. Superior Double room that we stayed in was nicely decorated, with one big bed for two adults and another smaller bed (also for 2 adults) prepared by the staff (I guess it is some kind of sofa bed) the 4 of us could sleep without any problems. So, pretty good room for 2 adults and 2 kids. No problem at all when it comes to the size of the room.
Nice balcony with garden view with 3 chairs and a table. We were not spending much time there, but if you like to have a smoke or check your Email, sure, it is a quiet corner.
At our arrival there was a complimentary fruit plate and a bottle of white wine from the region. There is a flat TV screen with around 30 different channels. Mostly Russian, Polish, UK, Serbian and German channels.
The bathroom is clean and new. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Cleaning ladies come each day to clean up the room, They usually come between 10am and 1pm. Room is usually clean after the lunch. No complaints at all about cleanliness.
The Hotel Grounds
Once you unpack you will probably want to check out the hotel grounds, the beach and the pool. One of the best things in the hotel is the fact that you have a feeling that your hotel is not in Greece. Why I say this? Well, when you are approaching the hotel you won’t see anything spectacular. It is mostly dry grass and olive trees. Once you are in the hotel you will be surrounded with Green colors.
This is where hotel slogan came from (Where Green Meets Blue). A lot of trees, different type of flowers, palms, fruit trees, green grass…all this is helping to raise the quality of your vacation one step further. It is not just a building and a beach, it is much more than that. Taking a walk from the beach back to your room, or from the room to the restaurant was always a pleasure.
This can be really one liner. Great food, a lot of choice. But let’s add a couple of more words, shall we?
First day we arrived, we were late for the lunch and we ended up waiting in the hotel lobby for dinner. We were really hungry. We really didn’t expect this amount of food. And it is not just quantity, it is quality as well. I really can’t say what is the best thing I ate there, I just know that there wasn’t a single meal in those 10+ days that I didn’t overate myself. And I really am not a guy that eats a lot.
You just can’t help yourself. Especially in the first couple of days when you still didn’t tried all the things they offer. I mean, you probably won’t have the chance to try all.
And you know what, don’t skip their soups. Each day there is a different soup and each soup is better than the one you tried day earlier. Desert cakes are small and they may not look like something special, but the taste….there was some chocolate cake with pistachio and raisins. WOW. I could eat a kilogram of these.
You like salads? Go there. Tomatoes in Greece still have the real taste of a tomatoe, not like cardboard tomatoes you buy at the supermarket. For lunch you mix yourself a salad from different vegetables and for dinner you choose from some 10+ already prepared salads.
I ate some great breads in France but bread with Olives offered by Portes beach is unbeatable. A must try. I ate it each day. And while I am at it, bread (10+ different kinds) is fresh each day for each meal. It is those little things that make your vacation unforgettable.
Staff in restaurants is made of Greeks and Ukrainians and they are all professional and there to help you. You can feel that they are under some quality management. Our kids were making mess each day for dinner and lunch (real mess, sometimes even throwing food on the floor) and no one from the staff is going to tell you anything about it. Great service, fast service, professional service. If someone tells me one more time that Greeks are lazy…. I have been all over the Europe and this was probably the best service I ever had.
Did I say the food is great?
The Beach and The Pool
OK, so you are in Greece because you heard the beaches are great? Well, guess what. Portes beach Hotel lies on a long (approximately 5 kilometers) sandy beach. The part that is regulated by hotel is awarded by Blue Flag and it is some 100 meters long. Down the beach there are some 4-5 other hotels. Right next to Portes Beach is Istion Hotel (it is a 5 star hotel) but Portes have a better beach. I think the owner of both hotels is the same since I notices some really similar things in both hotels and the bus that takes tourists to Moudania is the same bus for both hotels. Maybe I am wrong but this is just my opinion.
You will be able to have some stunning sunsets each evening (sun goes down around 9pm here) with a view on the Mount Olympus when the sky is clear. You will be able to run in the shallow water (barefoot of course) down the beach if you are into jogging, you will be able to have some romantic moments if you are a couple, you will be able to enjoy with your kids during the day. Sand castles and what not. Pedal boats, Kayaks and speed boats are available for renting. Towels are available with a small deposit.
You leave a deposit at the hotel reception and take the towels at the beach. You can change wet/dirty towels for clean ones whenever you want. At the checkout, you give back the towels, take your deposit back and that’s it.
You have one pool for the kids and one pool for adults, both pools look and feel clean, and this is probably the place where you will spend most of your time. In the evening there is animation by the pool. First for kids, till 10 PM or something like that and after that, grownups have their party till midnight or so. Sometimes there is karaoke, sometimes Portes beach Miss/Mister, sometimes Greek night.
Greek night is something special. They prepare a special dinner for this occasion with Greek specialties and after the dinner there is a few hours long Greek Dance performed by professionals. And if you happen to stay there when they organize Greek night, this will probably be the best evening of your vacation.
Things to see and Visit
While we were in the hotel we wanted to enjoy as much as possible there. But we did managed to visit Thessaloniki. We took a boat ride to see Thessaloniki from water and this was a great decision. You get a better view of the city and you enjoy the ride on an old wooden boat (there are usually 3 boats there, but wait until the wooden boat arrives). There are no tickets, you pay the ride with your drink. A nice 30 minutes tour with boat drinks, you can’t go wrong there. The kids were more than happy.
We did visit Nea Moudania as well, but there is nothing special to see there except the Greek Church (which is huge) and we visited it during the open market day (Wednesday). You can buy some really cheap (and quality) fruits there. We stumbled upon some wonderful honey and we also bought some olives and cherries.
Most Greeks talk English and sometimes even Serbian! Therefore we didn’t got communications problems outside the hotel.
I didn’t mention animation for hotel guests. There is animation throughout the day for both kids and adults. Mostly next to the pool and on the beach. They can keep you busy if you like active vacation. They also talk different languages : russian, serbian, english, german, … everything is made for you to be at ease without struggling to be understood by somebody.
For this price you probably won’t be able to find a better deal in the Northern Greece. I did spend a lot of time to find this jewel and I am super-happy this was our decision for this season. This is not a luxury hotel but it is a real 4 star hotel. Sometimes you book a 4 star hotel in Greece but you end up in something that is more like 3 or 2 stars.
This is not the case with Portes Beach. You won’t feel like you overpaid, not a single moment. We really enjoyed our vacations there, we sure gonna come back there.
Portes Beach Halkidiki Hotel Review reviewed by Editorial on July 21, 2015 rated 5.0 of 5