Monday, May 31, 2010

Video! This was not easy...

Took some high def video of the resort, but uploading it on the slow internet connect was like fueling up a Hummer through a drinking straw (I've tried on and off for a couple of days). Will post more clips later but will convert to lower definition.

If you have a high bandwidth connection, consider navigating to Youtube (click the YouTube image at the bottom of the player above) and watching it in 1080p full screen (see the controls at the bottom of the Youtube video player).

Eating Tips…

For more information on eating at Blue Domes, see my previous post. IMG_1318 (1280x853)

Thought I’d condense our hard won wisdom into this post.

  • Get to the restaurants near the beach when they open  if you want a table virtually guaranteed (12:45 for lunch, 6:45 for dinner)
  • Get to the main building for breakfast before 8:30 if you’d like a good chance to sit on the (beautiful) veranda. The view and fresh air are spectacular. Go around 9:00 if you like waiting in line to be seated and big crowds.
  • Take something with you to breakfast (like a backpack or bag) to mark your territory. Today I saw a couple’s table cleared and given to another family while they were getting more food!
  • In the restaurants, I order 2 beers at a time (tacky I know, but I’m a major consumer of beer). Unfortunately, service, even at its best, is relatively slow. The waitresses seem to actually appreciate this.
  • Be nice to the wait staff! They are a bit overwhelmed and the hardest working folks at the resort. A few kind words and a little patience can get you some special treatment later.
  • If you want crêpes at the creperie (a great place to get a bite from morning till night), sit down an wait for the wait staff to take your order. They seem to hate it when people try to order at the counter.
  • Be prepared to assert yourself. In a resort with so many guests and so many language barriers, people get downright aggressive sometimes. Please don’t be one of those people.
  • The sushi place in the middle of the resort rarely fills up
  • Most of the frustration I’ve seen, particularly at the theme restaurants is the results of large groups of people wanting to sit together. I understand why folks want to eat with those they travelled with, but these restaurants are not particularly well suited to handle large groups. Keep that in mind.IMG_1329 (1024x683)IMG_1331 (683x1024)

Pent up demand…

According to Google Analytics, there are a lot of folks interested in Mitsis Blue Domes. In 3 days, this blog has gotten almost 600 hits from 22 countries (mostly from the UK). Good news for the Mitsis folks I would google mapgoogle stats

Late evening at the beach…

A couple of days ago I headed down to the beach after dinner to rest my head. I threw on a pair of headphones (Dark Side of the Moon) and smoked a couple of cigars (Romeo and Juliet). The beach is very peaceful at night (almost deserted) and quite beautiful in my opinion.IMG_1348 (1024x683) IMG_1349 (1024x683) Had our progeny not made the trip, it would have been a great opportunity to open a bottle of wine with the wife and watch the mountains fade into the darkness. The sun descends over the mountains “behind” the resort so the sunset is not particularly spectacular.IMG_1350 (1024x683) Here’s a shot back toward the restaurants.IMG_1355 (1024x683) Below, you see a Mitsis sister property lit up beautifully.IMG_1362 (1024x683)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dinner at Burger King…

We were a bit disorganized last night as the wife is still feeling a little under the weather so decided to have dinner at one of the small restaurants near the center of the resort. As far as I can tell, Blue Domes’ Burger King has nothing to do with the American franchise. Regardless, the burgers were excellent. Amazingly, service was still far from zippy, but not a big deal.

Jogging at Blue Domes…

After 5 days or so of eating and drinking too much, I decided to drag my carcass out of bed and jog this morning at around 7:00. As you arrive at the beach, there’s an exit from the property to your right (there’s a tavern just off the grounds there). You can jog down a poorly maintained paved rode there that stretches on for some distance. I ran for about 20 minutes before turning around and there seemed to be plenty of paved road still ahead. I saw quite a few other folks out running and walking as well.

Later today or tomorrow I plan to give the gym here a quick once over and may even work out. Will (of course) write about it later.

Is Blue Domes kid friendly?

This strikes me as a loaded question, even though I ask it rhetorically (of myself no less!). Our kids are 10, 8, and 6 and are fairly social, adventurous, independent and can all swim like fish. So the answer for us is a clear "yes". The sea is very calm, the pools uncrowded and the kiddy land seems to be quite entertaining. So far there's been enough variety in terms of meals to keep them happy. They're also eating a gallon of ice cream and drinking innumerable Pepsis every day.

Being a closed resort, we feel very secure letting them head out unchaperoned to get ice cream or play in the supervised kid area. They really look forward kiddy disco at night and are loving the shows. Not sure what it would be like here with toddlers, but today the folks nearest to us on the beach had an infant with them. Although I can't bear to even imagine what it would be like to have tiny tots again (I'm getting old!), I feel fairly safe in saying Blue Domes is a great place for the entire family.

Greek lunch…

We had lunch at the Greek restaurant, which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. We arrived a bit before it opened at 12:45 so had no trouble finding a table for the 5 of us. Thought I’d post a few pictures of the place and, of course, the food.IMG_1839 (1024x683)IMG_1843 (1024x683) IMG_1858 (1024x683) We start with a delicious appetizer made with grilled cheese and vegetables.Copy of IMG_1862 (1024x683) I’m fond of the gyros plate.IMG_1872 (1024x683) The wife is partial to lamb.IMG_1875 (1024x683)Emily ordered meatballs with a hint of mint. Good eating all around!IMG_1877 (1024x683)  By the way, the beer here is quite good and served nicely chilled.

The weather...

We're now into our 4th full day here (May 30th, 2010), and it's been 95% sun, with a few clouds passing by from time to time. The most remarkable aspect of the weather in my opinion is the wind. Today it's been windy all day, a most welcome development given the heat. Although shows the temperature in the high 20's, it feels hotter to me. The wind helps one keep cool, especially after a dip in the pool or sea. At night the temperature dips into the high teens, most pleasant as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Entertainment update…

Tonight the kiddy disco and family show was held in the open air amphitheater. Yesterday, it was held in a sterile, nondescript room in the main building. The kiddie disco started right on time at 21:00. The main show, comprising acrobats, singers and dance numbers starts at around 21:30.

IMG_1434 (1024x683) IMG_1442 (1024x683) The location makes a world of difference. I found the show to be well produced. The bar at the back serving soft drinks and beer was also a nice touch.IMG_1456 (1024x683) IMG_1474 (1024x683) An acrobatic troop was in the house and on point.IMG_1485 (1024x683) IMG_1488 (1024x683)Finally, here’s a few shots of Hannah (whose parents made an appearance on the tripAdvisor thread on Blue Domes). Directly below, she’s dancing with my youngest daughter.IMG_1460 (1024x683)These were shot by my 10 year old son (along with hundreds of others!).

IMG_1585 (681x1024) IMG_1586 (680x1024)

Mackin’ at the Blue Domes…

Although I’ve been married over a decade and came to Blue Domes with my wife and kids, I vaguely remember years gone by when the likelihood of meeting exotic women was the primary motivator for my choice of travel destinations. Alas, Blue Domes is probably not a target-rich environment for the young crowd (under 30) with visions of wild nights dancing in their heads. blue domes night_1417 Panorama (1024x270) IMG_1427 (1024x683)IMG_1412 (1024x683) IMG_1413 (1024x683) In general, I would guess that the average age of folks at this resort is a little over 40. As the little woman was feeling under the weather tonight, I made it to the bar in the main building after 23:00 alone. I would say the average age of the patrons there was closer to 50 (excluding the numerous kids that clearly were ready to hit the hay).IMG_1408 (1024x683)IMG_1410 (1024x683)The bar in the main building is really nice. Every night there is live (very tame) music, which we could hear from our room (we stayed in 378, see map here).IMG_3290 (1024x683) All that having been said, I’ve seen a few singles that seemed eager to mingle,  but just a few. Consider this a heads-up from an old fart to the next generation (or two) that is planning a trip to this wonderful part of the world.

Update on the room..

In an earlier post, I mentioned that there was a loud buzzing sound coming from within the wall in our room. Turns out it has to do with water pipes. They sent someone to look at it but I guess nothing could be done. Luckily, it happens very seldom and doesn't bother us at all.

We've had no further issues with our card keys, except we couldn't get into our room during a blackout that lasted an hour or so. Not sure if it's true, but heard from another guest the issue was with the whole island, not just the resort.

More gratuitous shots…

IMG_1070 (1024x683)IMG_1199 (1024x683)IMG_1146 (1024x680) IMG_1161 (1024x629) From inside the Greek restaurant.IMG_1180 (1024x683) IMG_1191 (1024x683)  

The pools…

This resort is littered with pools. I’ve never seen so many in one place. We spend our afternoons at the one in front of our room. I find it interesting that they are filled with sea water that, judging from the (low!) temperature, is piped in regularly. pool toward mountain kos_1240 Panorama

pool toward sea kos_1240 PanoramaI took both the shots above from inside the pool. The second one is taken toward the ocean. The white tent is a bar roughly in the middle of the property. The small lunch restaurants are to the left and right (although you really can’t see them in these shots).

All the pools seem to be crystal clear except a couple down by the restaurants at the beach (see the dull color of the water below). IMG_1202 (1024x683)The one in front of our room also has a heated donut-shaped section. IMG_0885 (1024x675)

That’s entertainment…

It turns out Blue Domes is a pretty entertaining place. During the day, the animation team keeps adults and kids occupied with various games, both on the beach and in the kiddy area. kiddie land kos_1305 Panorama (1280x295)IMG_1312 (1280x826)Our kids loved the carousel, which runs until 21 or 22:00.IMG_3286 (1024x682) In the main building, there’s a game room that you must pay for. Most of the time, it feels like a sauna!IMG_3300 (1280x853)On the beach, there are volley ball games (low key), darts and a bacce ball-like game, all hosted by the young, frenetic entertainment staff.

At night, folks congregate in the main building for drinks in a good size bar area on the first floor (there’s a smaller bar upstairs, on the same level as the reception desk). IMG_1414 (1024x682) There’s a show in the evening that starts at 21:00 with “mini disco”, music and dancing for the little ones. At around 21:30, the family show begins, with the young adults from the animation team dancing and singing. They get an A for effort (American education system’s highest rating),  but I must admit it’s not my personal cup of tea.IMG_1685 (1024x683) Anyway, it’s takes some perseverance to get drinks in the bars, but the price is right. We haven’t ventured from the resort yet, but when we were coming in from the airport there seemed to be plenty going on in the city. We’ll probably head out tomorrow night. I’ll let you know how it goes.