Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Greek Islands - hotel solicitors at the dock?

Greek Islands - hotel solicitors at the dock?

Jul 2nd, 2003, 05:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 262
Greek Islands - hotel solicitors at the dock?


I hear that lots of solicitors wait at the dock to sell their hotels.
Is that a viable option? Anyone have experience just going with the
"hotel pimps" that surround you at the docks? Can you trust these hotels or are these just hustlers trying to rip you off?

I know each circumstance is different but are these places GENERALLY a
dump or some Greek family who will rent you a nice clean room in their
house (which we don't mind) We just don't want to be lure into a dump in the middle of nowwhere by a hustler
for 100+ Euros. Also, are the prices negotiable with these people? We
would like to spend only 30-40 euros a night for double.

kittycatangel is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 07:21 AM
Posts: n/a
The best way to take advantage of the solicitors at the dock is to be prepared with a map of the island, some general knowledge of the location of the villages there and an idea where you want to stay. Ask them to show you on the map where their hotel or room is located. If it's not where you want to be, don't go. You're not obligated to stay with them if you don't like the room, so check it out if it's in an acceptable area. Make sure that water and electricity are included in the price. The rooms won't GENERALLY be dumps. Most people know that if they don't offer something competitive they won't make much money. Some are people just starting out with a new facility and are eager to get your business. Yes, you can barter some for a better price, but be polite and don't expect them to give it to you at a much-reduced rate, especially in high season. As a whole they know what current prices are. You definitely should be able to get something for 30-40 Euros. If the first solicitor doesn't have what you want, try another. You will eventually find a good deal.
Jul 2nd, 2003, 11:46 AM
Posts: n/a
We arrived in Naxos at 4am and took a room for about $15. It was clean and decent and worked fine for the one night we spent there. We didn't have a clue where to stay (our ferry to another island had been canceled and we ended up there instead) but it worked out fine. If you had a map, that would be perfect! We found the 'hotel pimps' to be nice, friendly, normal people.
Jul 2nd, 2003, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 166
Ahhhh ... That kind of solicitor. I had visions of someone (with bowler hat and umbrella?) offering legal services.
Cluny is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,567
Many times you'll find people with rooms to let in their homes. They usually have photos of the home/rooms.

As mentioned, location is important, so know where you're going if you can. Once there, if you don't like the room, they may not take you back to the dock. That happened to me once.

If it's prime season and rooms are hard to find, you can always take something for one night and move the next day.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 14
When the ferries dock on the islands, you will be greeted by (for the most part) very respectful, trustworthy & honest greek people offering rooms in their homes at a fair market rate. In the 5 times that I have been to Greece, I have yet to see them trying to rip anyone off. The places that I have stayed at are clean and reasonable. If you do get somewhere and you don't like it, ask them at the ferry what their policy is, will they return you to the ferry? Most will. Also, don't panic about them taking your passport as they just want to write down the info and will return it.

Whether or not it is negotiable depends on the time of year you go and how busy it is. In July & August, I would say be prepared to pay the asking rate. In May, September, I negotiate.

Greece and the greek people are amazing. You cannot find a safer place with such hospitable people! They aren't interested in ripping you off. They are just trying to make a living.
Kalina is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 786
you need to do your own research before you leave by checking out the many excellent websites relating to any particular island that you are going to. You will find plenty of places in your price range with photos, if you book on the net the host will generally meet you at the dock. I think this would be a better option for you as you seem to have preconceived ideas about what to expect.
The people at the dock are not 'pimps' at all but are usually the owner of the house or B & B which is offering a room to you. Treat them with the respect they deserve. It will make or break your vacation.
If you are going in the off season you will not find people waiting to meet and greet you at the dock as you might think, by then they will have had enough off trying to please everyone who passes by and will be looking for a well earned rest.
Remember that the greek people have many years of experience in tourism and are reknown for their warmth and hospitality.
KathyNZ is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 07:17 AM
Posts: n/a
With the greatest of respect, this phenomenon certainly isn't exclusive to Greece...it often happens in some railroad stations in Europe. prague particularly comes to mind and perhaps it does happen in more "economically depressed" areas as opposed to places like London or Paris where it probably still happens, but only in print!
I do wonder, though, about your use of the term "hotel pimps" and am curious if you think those people who seem to gather at rail stations and airports with cars for hire, usually caled "taxis" would be considered "pimps" also?
Jul 15th, 2003, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,318
As several others have said, the term "hotel pimps" is both insulting and inaccurate. Most hotels in the Greek islands are small family run establishments, and few will have their own websites, except for the more expensive luxury hotels. Most are fully booked in July and August, but in the shoulder seasons of May/June and September there is a surplus of rooms. What better way to find business than to meet the incoming ferries with a sign advertising your hotel? What better way to find a room than to have a dozen or more hotels to choose from right at the docks when you arrive? You even get a free ride to the hotel of your choice.
Heimdall is online now  
Jul 15th, 2003, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 833
I loved using them. Just be sweet and firm, and negotiate (depending on season, as stated in a previous post)! I'm not a bargain basement negotiator, but did get the owner down to 4 days for the price of three, plus a 6am ride to the airport (which would have cost me another 25 euro by taxi), and true to his word, he picked me up that early. If you don't like the place, you can always opt out. In May, I got an oceanfront room in Naoussa, Paros for 25 a night (which was actually more than I paid in Santorini at 10 a night)

Also as mentioned, do some research beforehand with a map and figure out where in you want to stay. That's key, to making it work for you, I think.
crazymina is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:23 AM.