A friend in need...

by Paraskevi Lazaridou

This story is part of our 'Funniest hotel experiences' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition.

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10 years ago my husband and I decided to visit Naxos with friends, a very beautiful Greek island which is usually packed during August...

Against my beliefs, that I have to be the one to book our holidays so as to avoid surprises, I agreed to let my friend's boyfriend book the hotel rooms since she told me that "he has a buddy who is a travel agent there and who will find for us some "super" good value for money rooms".

The result was (of course) us arriving at Naxos port spending 1-2 hours looking for the guy, who did not answer his mobile phone and who finally met up with us and very calmly said "I will lead you to your hotel".

After the first shock, fearing that in the middle of August we had no room reservations, our best shot was to listen to what he had to propose. So we took a taxi and followed him while he was going from one hotel to another in his quest for rooms... The taxi-meter was running and I was getting very nervous with his attitude. Obviously he had never bothered looking for rooms for his "buddy"!

After spending our day in the taxi, which we ended up paying a lot for, he finally found something for us about 15 km out of town on a hill. It was in fact an apartment which was not being used at the time by the family who lived there. Since we were all exhausted, we agreed to stay there despite the really rude behaviour of the owners, who lived in the flat below. So we checked in, changed outfits and went to the beach to catch some afternoon sun.

After spending some time at the beach, my husband and I decided that we were too tired to stay out late and went back to the apartment to get some rest. When we got there we found the door half open and thought that the maid got in to clean the apartment. Instead, we found a man in our bathroom "on the job". I totally freaked out and started screaming, rushed to the owner downstairs to report it. The owner told me that the man in my toilet was another customer of his who was about to move in another apartment downstairs. Without apologising he told me rather rudely that the toilet downstairs was occupied so "naturally" his customer had to use the one upstairs...

We were about to "attack" him but instead decided to leave and try to spend the rest of our holiday in peace, which we did and finally enjoyed the beautiful sand and sea in the otherwise very hospitable island of Naxos.

So the morale is to never trust a friend of a friend to book anything during the high season!

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