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Gythion Bay Camping - or Olive Grove? PDF Printable Version E-mail

 

Gythion Bay Camping, Gythion, Greek Peloponnese

Olive Grove or Camp Site? That is the Question.

Is it better to suffer the scratches and dints of outrageously low Olive Tree branches or to take a chainsaw to produce a working campsite?

The following correspondence between Margaret and Iliana, Manager of Gythion Bay Camping, follows from the campsite's request for feedback after our brief stay  in May 2014. Margaret wrote three times, Iliana replied twice, and another former long-term user of the campsite adds some comments.

Click: Margaret's subsequent review of Gythion Bay on the ACSI website.

Click: Margaret's review of Gythion Bay on this website.

Clickhttp://www.gythiocamping.gr/

Please Contact Us if you have any comment or any experience of Gythion Bay to Share.

This is the correspondence

From Iliana of Gythion Bay Camping, 29 May 2014

Dear Family WILLIAMSON!

We would like to thank you once again for staying at our campsite and hope that you have had a safe journey home.

Were you happy with everything on our site? If not, please let us know. We are always willing to listen and will try to find a solution. You can contact us on tel. no. +302733022522 or at

If our campsite came up to your expectations, we would really appreciate it if you could provide a rating for us on the well known campsite ratings platform ACSI. You can get directly to the right page for our campsite with the following link:

http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/en/europe/greece/peloponnese/campsite-gythion-bay-106309/

Simply click on “Submit a rating” there. It is very quick and easy. We hope that we will soon have the opportunity of welcoming you back on our site.

Best regards

Iliana & the camping Gythion Bay team

From Margaret to Gythion Bay Camping, 30 May 2014

Dear Iliana

Thank you for inviting feedback - very few campsite owners undertake market research, especially in Greece.

I met you 2 years ago, when we came to see a motorhoming friend. You and I talked a lot about the improvements you planned. During our recent visit (11-14 May) I was both impressed and disappointed. We had intended to stay longer.

On the positive side, the refurbished toilets and showers are much better and are kept very clean, though the hot water sometimes ran out.

The new pool looks great in your publicity photos but is not the right shape or depth for swimming. I saw nobody using it, just one or two people sitting round it on the grass. To build the pool you have sacrificed the games area, and also the space along the sea front where larger motorhomes could park.

But the biggest problem is still the trees, with low olive branches that even overhang the driveway around the site. Entering the site, finding a clear space for our caravan, and leaving again was like an obstacle course. On arrival, I asked the woman in Reception why the trees were not pruned and she said 'The boss will not hear of it, this is an olive grove' and 'campers need the shade'. I'm afraid your father needs to consider whether campers want to dent their expensive vehicles on his trees, and whether they want to feel so nervous when driving round the narrow access road. If you want to attract more people with anything bigger than a tent and car you must clear some space and think of head-room.

When we came, a French convoy occupied the easier pitches, making it almost impossible for us to find a clear pitch. Disappointingly, the restaurant only opened on one evening, when it was crowded out with the French campers and there was little choice of menu.

I overheard one French camper complaining in Reception about the "grass" in the camping area. He was told that it is cut every week, but it had certainly not been cut recently. It was simply a mess of weeds under the trees and the only soft green grass is laid round the ornamental pool, not for camping on!

Finally, free WiFi is always welcome if it works, especially on all pitches. Your WiFi (only available round the pool and common room) was so unreliable and slow that it just became another frustration.

I know your wish was to make Gythion Bay the best campsite in Greece, but you have forgotten that campers need (and are paying for) SPACE!

I will put a review on the ACSI site, as you suggest.

From Iliana of Gythion Bay Camping, 30 May2014

Dear Mrs. Margaret,

Thank you for your comments. It is always nice and useful to hear the complaints of our visitors. I would have appreciated more if you would have found me and told me all those complaints when you were here.

Nevertheless everything has its own explanation. First of all, my daddy died last year from cancer and at the same time I was all alone to do this rennovation with the swimming pool and the grass.

For this reason now I am the only boss here and you know from our past conversation that I care very much for the campers and all day the only thing that I am thinking is how to make you more and more happy.

The trees is the only way to give shadow to this big area and in south Peloponnese we have a lot of low trees such as olive trees. If I take them away and I replace them with higher trees it will take ages to grow. So some parts of the camping are suitable for tents and some are suitable for campers.

Also the places at the beach front still exist and they are 6. Six places are enough to cover the needs of the people that want to stay on the sea front.

Moreover, in Mani region there is a law for the swimming pools and they are not permitted from the government. For this reason the only way to build something with water in this region is to make something that has the depth of a lake and for this reason it is only 1,40 meters height. But you can always swim at the sea that it is right in front of us.

Now that the weather is better people really enjoy the swimmming pool. When you came the weather was not so warm as it is now and for this reason noone was there.

Finally, the dinner was planned initially for the group of french people. Some other visitors heard that we are going to open the restaurant just for one day and they asked if they can join us. Then we thought that maybe is a nice idea to inform all the visitors that we are going to open the resaurant and reserve if they want a table.

In our website it is written that the restaurant is not open on May, so it wasn't supposed to be open.

For the internet I am also very frustrated with the greek company but unfortunately in Greece we do not have as good telecommunications as in other european countries. And the more distance you have from a big city the worst is the signal of the Wi-Fi. I really hope that I could resolve this but it is not in my hand. Just in case you visit us another time, there is also internet from the 2nd group of toilets until the restaurant.

I am really sorry to have ruined your holidays. I am always willing to hear your complaints and try to find a solution when you are still here.

I try to do my best but it is not always possible to satisfy everyone.

Thank you for your email.

Many regards,

Iliana

From Margaret to Gythion Bay Camping, 1 June 2014

Dear Iliana

Thank you for your reply and explanations. I am truly sorry to hear that you lost your father last year and I am sorry if I upset you by mentioning him. I can understand that this has made things more difficult for you.

When the Receptionist told me that 'the boss' would not hear of pruning the olives, I just assumed she meant your father, in view of what you had told me two years ago when I said the trees were your biggest problem. They still are. I cannot understand why you don't at least trim the trees which overhang the access lanes, along which campers have to drive. I have camped in other Greek olive and orange groves (we are in one now), but they are not such a hazard as yours.

After we arrived on our recent visit, I did complain strongly to the Receptionist, telling her how stressed and angry we were about the trees on the site, the lack of clear pitches and thedangerousbranches overhanging the access road. I was not prepared to waste time looking for you if this complaint was not followed up. When I left and paid, I again complained and the Receptionist said she would note my comments and tell 'the boss'.  I don't know if that happened.

I did not expect the WiFi to work on our pitch, but took the laptop to the pool area and into the common room: the WiFi Zone. It hardly worked at all. This may not be your problem, but it's better not to offer what you can't provide. I wonder how one of our favourite Greek sites, Camping Finikes at Finikounda (a very long way from any city), manages to provide reliable free WiFi throughout the site, on every pitch, all year round?

Thank you again for taking the trouble to seek feedback. I wish you well for a busy summer season.

From Iliana of Gythion Bay Camping, 2 June 2014

Dear Margaret,

Thank you for your time and your reply. I really count your opinion because you are professionals on the campings and your blog helps us a lot too.

The lady at the reception mentioned the problem with the trees, but she thought that it was just the two trees near the reception which blocked the passage of the big campers, so the next day we cut those specific branches. Unfortunately she didn't understand that you meant the trees on the pitches too. Now that I know, I hired a person to cut the olive trees so as a person of 1,70 meters can pass underneath and to create easier places for the campers. Since I don't have a camper I cannot understand all the problems that may arise. For this reason it is important for us to speak with people and listen to opinions for improvement.

For the internet issue, we are going to make mass complaints, because all the hotels and campings in Mavrovouni beach have the same problem. In Finikounta maybe they have the telecommunication station near to the campings. Here the nearest is 5 km away which makes the internet signal very weak. In Gythion they have download speed 10 Mbps and here we have 1,5 Mbps. I called the technicians last week and they counted it, but they told me that nothing can be done unless they install a station closer to us.

I really want everyone to be happy during their holidays and I think that talking the problems will always lead to a better result year by year.

Since I cannot be everywhere and sometimes people do not wish to express their dissapointment, visitors' feedback is really important for me.

Thank you for your recommendations and your interest.

I hope to see you again another time and what made you unhappy to be solved.

Many regards,

Iliana

From Margaret to Gythion Bay Camping, 4 June 2014

Dear Iliana

Thank you for replying again and for your interest in our feedback and our website.

However, you need to understand that modern caravans and motorhomes (costing tens of thousands of Euros) are not cars. Surely you do not need to drive a 'camper' yourself to observe that the vehicles visiting your campsite are higher, wider and longer than a car. They need space to drive along the access road and to manoeuvre onto a pitch that is long enough, and high enough, and wide enough to put out an awning or park a car alongside a caravan. A campsite is not merely a car park - the pitches need much more headroom and space.

The access road round your site is too narrow for vehicles to pass each other, yet you do not have a one-way system, creating the need to reverse when two vehicles meet. This is difficult enough with a large motorhome, harder still with a caravan, and almost impossible with bends and overhanging trees.

Cutting the trees for a person 1.7 m high, as you say you have done, is no help at all. We are not talking about walking under the trees (and the average man is taller than 1.7 m). Our caravan is 2.6 m high, the van with which we tow it is 2.7 m high, and typical motorhomes are over 3 m high.

Two years ago you expressed the desire to make Gythion Bay the best campsite in Greece. You have a long way to go! At the moment it is an olive grove with nice toilets and an ornamental pool. It cannot be described as a campsite, except for tents under the trees in summer. You need to fundamentally replan the layout with organised accessible pitches.Your six (and only six) large clear spaces at the beach end were, of course, all taken when we came.

I do feel it was a mistake - and a waste of your enormous EU grant - to sacrifice the only open area for a decorative pool, when people can swim in the sea and sunbathe on the beach.

This correspondence is now closed, as there is nothing more to say. I wish you, your mother and uncle well with developing your business.

Margaret

www.magbaztravels.com

www.magbazpictures.com

From a former long-term user of Gythion Bay Camping to Margaret, 2 June 2014

Thank you for sending us this copy email. I am so pleased that you made your complaints and comments known.

Iliana is telling you untruths though, as her Uncle and Mother are in charge of the campsite and she manages it, although of course it will be totally hers in due course.

We also thought the pool ridiculous, they got an EU grant of half a million to build it we were told.

They do have an obsession with the trees and the olive harvest to the detriment of campers we saw over and over again. We found though that they were always cutting the trees to the point that it became annoying every day - but they only cut off the tops leaving the bottoms to spread!!!

The Germans and Swedish couples we know from Gythion Camping will not return due to the attitude of Iliana who governs attitude to customers on a daily basis. She has lost their custom forever, the Germans having camped there for 14 years! They had a 'Man Phoenix' and liked to park on the beach side but Iliana put the prices up so much. The Swedish also. They now go to nearby Camping Meltemi and pay the justified higher prices, and we know of two others.

We paid only €220 or so per month for the whole year through. Now for Winter they want €290 plus electricity. From our experience of paying for electricity over and above in Spain, and the fact that Gythio is colder than Spain, we reckon about €10 plus per day!! In Spain this last Winter we never needed heating and it cost €70 per month. In Gythio we couldn't have managed without our two radiators.

This Winter we are going to Gythio again to meet up with our yogi friends but we are having an apartment each - at € 200 per month!! They say there is room to park the motorhome. We are just hoping it's not Greek lies!! but have ideas of where to park it if there's a problem.

Please Contact Us if you have any comment or any experience of Gythion Bay Camping to Share.