Welcome to the Pink Palace, I hope you left your dignity on the ferry.
Everything you’ve heard about this place is true, its the backpackers Hotel California.
An isolated little resort of partying and debauchery.
The type of place where your more inclined to see a sunrise than a sunset, and Sex on the beach isn’t just a cocktail.
THE REVIEW –
We arrived at Pink Palace early May, which is kind of pre-season and seemed a biiit quieter than it should be, but in hindsight I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
When this place is at capacity it holds 700+ guests and is near imploding, queue’s for food are hours long, and unless you woke up on it, you can kiss that Sunbed goodbye.
On the flip side though, if your not planning on sleeping much and your bedroom is more for recreation, then all this could be in your favor.
Cost and spending –
We were paying 25 Euro per night, which included Breakfast and Dinner.
As it was a bit quieter they put us in nicer rooms with en-suits which were great, but typically for this price you’ll be in a 3-5 person dorm
Pink Palace has all your spending engineered for you. Any single thing you need or want, they’ve already thought of and have a price tag for;
Lift back into Corfu town? 5 Euros, Laundry? 8 Euros, Ice Cream? 3 Euros.
From toothpaste, to sunscreen, to beach towels, to disposable cameras, everything they sell can be purchased almost half the price 200m away in the mini markets, but people are lazy and convenience is key, and thus you pay.
Facilities and Activities –
Their website denotes a plethora of “Free” this and that, the only thing of real significance though is the Free WiFi (which when the staff weren’t Skyping on worked quite well) and Free Pick-up from the Port – which you should definitely take advantage of as getting yourself there is rather comlicated.
The Left Luggage room albeit ‘monitored by video cameras’ was left open and totally insecure all day long. During peak season I’d be blown away if a bag didn’t disappear from here.
Laundry was a bone of contention for most – 8 Euros is steep even by Western Europe standards, ‘but we dry and fold it as well’..
Being 36 degrees outside did not change the fact they MUST tumble dry your clothes regardless, no if’s or but’s!, this left many a girl hand washing the delicates anyway.
Activities were plentifully and varied, ($$ ching ching), Kayak Tours, Quad Bike Tours, Booze Cruises, Cliff Jumping, you got time, they got tours.
Most fall between 20-30 Euros and are a half day affair.
I personally didn’t partake in any, but friends were coming back with mixed reports.
Renting our own scooters for the day and cruising all around the island was apparently ‘soo much better’, and half the cost.
For the most part were kind and helpful. We were there while the all the Greek Ferries were on strike and they did the best they could to keep us informed.
However most sit precariously on title between guest and staff.
Alot of the time the kitchen was cooking their own meals before yours, and as soon as a new group of females arrived, all the male staff were quick to sit down beside and assist them with all their inquiries.
Being a good bar tender doesn’t make you a good DJ, being a bad one doesnt make you a good Dj either. Mixing from Keesha to Neil Young to Irish drinking songs might sound good in your head, but to the rest of us its more like ‘WTF is this shit?’ Everyone is hammered though so you get away with it, only to butcher the airwaves again tomorrow night.
Once your on the actual sand though its a bit of different story, there’s alot of seaweed, debris and rocks about. Not the type of place you can just throw down a towel.
Afternoon Island winds kick-in and it can get a bit chilly too, sand blows across the beach, and you might find yourself pool side more often than you thought.
As an Australian living on the coast though I’m pretty hard to impress, my inland Canadian company were still super siked and thought it was paradise.
After trekking across Europe eating boiled rice and pasta, this is the part that blows most backpackers away. On a hostel scheme of things, the food is pretty good.
Breakfast is eggs cooked how you like, or cereal/yogurt combo, all the bread and jam you can eat, instant coffee, and no brand tea.
Dinner is where its at though – 3 Course meal, generally Soup, Salad and Main. Portions are big and food is tasty.
Dinner is a real social affair as well, set time of 8.30 and big group tables. This is where you get to see if that pretty face can actually use a knife and fork properly.
Typically your half tanked because happy hour just finished at the bar, and the whole event is quite jovial.
Lunch is the only thing you’ll have to part with cash for, a bunch of set options are available at their cafe, Chicken Gyros, Club Sandwiches, Burgers etc. 5 Euros should keep you going.
PARTY ! ! !
And this is why your here, this is what you heard about, this is what you want to live.
A nightly alcohol induced fusion of ‘hey I saw you by the pool today’ and wasted dance moves.
Canadians will teach you to play Flip Cup, Australians will say ‘heaps’ all the time, Irish will be incomprehensible, and American’s will dance like they’re in their own P-Diddy film clip.
The beers are cheap and the cocktails mixed poorly, but it’s all good cause ‘This is Paradise!’
You’ll shot-gun a few cans, and hopefully get to oogle at the cute French Canadians doing body shots on the bar, with most well and truly on their way to being plastered by Mid-night.
What happened? Everyone just got soo much more attractive!
That muffin-top that was hanging out of the bikini’s by the pool this afternoon doesn’t even exist under that dress now.
One-by-one (as you compete with the staff), people start disappearing from the dance floor in pairs; beach, rooms, balcony, showers – hey you might even get to share with a friend.
For the extremely unfortunate, you notice the sky is starting to get light again, and partly comatosed stumble back to your room, try to dodge your roomates puke and used rubbers, then happily pass out.
And so it goes.
The experience you have at the Pink Palace will lie on the dichotomy of why you are there.
Coming for a relaxing few days by the beach and get a good nights sleep? Forget it.
Coming to enjoy some quality time with the other half and slip in a romantic dinner? Forget it.
Coming to get sunburnt all day, party all night (and a high chance of catching some life ending STD) – Your at the right place!
“you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”