After 10 whole nights and days I felt I had to review our family summer trip to Gouves, giving an honest account of whether it is an inclusive complex for a child with Down Syndrome.
August 2019, our summer trip back to Gouves which we know is quiet but that’s what we love, as a family we don’t do hustle and bustle but this holiday was going to be slightly different to what we were used to. Why? Usually we book a small family villa with one pool so we can get to know the other the staff and other families. This year as we had left it a little late to book we had a water park…..would we enjoy it, would it be inclusive? Read on to here my review.
Arriving very late we were greeted by a porter who helped us with our luggage and advised by reception that there was a cold buffet awaiting for us. The bar was open and we could purchase drinks as the all inclusive finished at 11. I thought this was very courteous after a long day travelling and immediately could tell the difference between a 3 and 4 star accomodation.
Reviewing The Hotel
The next morning we were greeted with sunshine and right outside our 2 bedroomed appartment (much needed as Ellie, my daughter who has Down Syndrome, needed here a bedtime routine) was our view.
On the first day we had a good look around, isn’t that what most families do, ‘find their feet’. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the hotel was huge, with different areas and was immediately concerned about how Ellie would cope. In fact we didn’t even find two of the bars advertised or one of the restaurants and thought it was a shame that a mini map wasn’t issued at arrival.
On the second day we found a part of the water park, which I thought the kids would love but they never wanted to go back after one afternoon 🙁 I’m guessing a few scrapes and burns from the slides didn’t help but it was small enough for Ellie to access the steps independently and we had eyes on at all times.
The larger slides were a hit with my son Billy but Ellie wasn’t that keen after the first go. Maybe it was the waiting in turn that put her off as normally she is a water baby. However I did find the lifeguards and the queuing system a reassurance.
The food was incredible and I have to say one of the best we’ve ever tasted, different themes and often cooked whilst you waited. My only concern during August was how busy it was. Some days you felt like you were packed like a tin of sardines and often was left waiting to get items or banging into people. To give the hotel credit it did say what times were quieter for those that needed it. However I couldn’t trust Ellie to get her food by herself.
Reviewing The Staff
Once we had settled into holiday life it was nice to begin to get to know the staff and the animation team. The kids club which was open every day (am & pm), and whilst at first I was worried at leaving Ellie, the team were amazing and got to know her and what she enjoyed. Billy, her younger brother really enjoyed the club especially learning his new card game Uno and wanted to visit most days. This is a great facility when you want some shade for your children or just some me time. The entertainment was provided daily in the main pool, which we didn’t join in (we preferred it quieter) and having several pools helped. The mini disco at night, again was too hustle and bustle for Ellie and I have to point out though that on our last night, one of the ladies actually stood with Ellie so she could have a dance without being jostled proving just how much the staff wanted everyone to join in; inclusion.
Conclusion of the Review
Apart from the hustle and bustle at dining and some of the rude people we encountered I would definitely recommend this hotel. Overall the staff were helpful, the hotel was kept clean with regular maid service. However I wish I had known beforehand that two of the restaurants you actually had to pay for drinks (Smile on the beach and the Asian A La Carte ). The shop was fully equipped and there was plenty to spend your money on (yes I know it was AI) including arcade games, additional drinks, and extra’s for the kids such as slush and named ice-creams.
All in all it was worth the money, it deserves it’s four stars and if you like water parks this is a hotel for you and for me and Ellie it was a thumbs up on inclusion.
Thanks for reading this review and I hope it has helped you to make a decision about this holiday. Please feel free to ask me any further questions in the comments and keep tuned for more reviews coming. If you are looking for a carvan holiday in the UK, check this review out
Until Next Time