Anyone have personal experience with rooms on the Mani peninsula? Googling "dhomatia" is nearly worthless.
We visited at Eastertime exactly a year ago, but used small hotels with one very small place In Monemvasia. Are you wanting an en-suite room, or a self-catering place? Having breakfast with fabulous Greek yogurt and other goodies at each place got each morning off to a great start, and lodging prices were very reasonable. Using Rick Steves’ Greece book got us started in looking at places, and we’d booked all but one before we left for Greece.
It's been some years since I was there. If you are on Google Maps and want to search primarily by location, then searching for "b&b near Mani Peninsula" works better than the word "dhomatia." It reflects prices pulled from Booking.com and other sources and of course lets you drill down to more detail, like web address, photos, or Google Street View. But if other criteria are more important, then it's not a very efficient process and opinionated guidebooks or search engines with more filters may work better for you. If you're really flexible and/or traveling in shoulder season, then the old fashioned method of just turning up and looking around can also work.
What I'm really looking for is recommendations from people who have personally stayed in places that are not apartments, entire homes like one finds on Airbnb, hotels or resorts. Rick mentions dhomatia (rooms) in his book and in videos. We are going to "wing it" while on the Peloponnese peninsula where we will spend 99% of our time on the Mani.
If we don't receive recommendations we'll just stop along the wait in places that look inviting and ask around. We are travelling by car and will be pretty flexible.
Thanks Cyn and Laura
mel I remember dhomatia from my first 2-3 trips, 99 thru 2002, but I think Rick himself is indulging in a little nostalgia (or else you're looking at earlier videos and/or editions). There were in smaller towns & villages for decades, rooms in people's homes, where you shared their bathroom, and put your grocery items in their fridges. and packed your lunches right on their kitchen counters. These are far and few these days, for several reasons: householders have expanded their lodgings to provide separate baths & kitchenettes for guests -- not only because of guests' requests, but for the owners own privacy.
As others have said, you can wander around in towns and you may see small signs saying "Rooms" or sometimes (if there are German tourists around) "Zimmer". I do remember coming in to Nafplio on a busy weekend (I think it was "holy spirit weekend"- Pentecost) and seeing such a sign. The woman of the house took me down a corridor, a grumpy grandpa was limping out of the room as I entered... it was dusty and he'd left his slippers behind, under the bed, it smelled like Old Man. I said, thanks but I'll keep looking ... and got the last room (for €30) in a hotel that I ended up returning to 5 times in later trips. Good hunting!
Janet - that’s a really funny recollection. And to think that, for years, Old Spice commercials featured a younger, rugged guy wearing a Greek sailing cap, but that’s probably not the same scent as Old Man.
And nowadays, it’s more posh and expensive places that include slippers with your room- although they’re generally not already broken in.
Back to melcooke, for what it’s worth, we stayed at an actual small hotel in Aeropoli, the Hotel Mani, but it definitely wasn’t either a Holiday Inn or a resort type of place, and had one of the better breakfasts of our whole 3-week trip, and I’d definitely stay there again.
If you are renting a car to travel around the Mani it might be better if you simply look for a place to stay when you decide you have gone far enough. There is so mush to see in the Mani that any plan is messed up within the first 25 kilometers as you get distracted by must see things. Having a firm reservation restricts flexability. We have done the Mani that way twice and it worked perfectly. Find a village and park the car and walk around looking for signs there will be someone watching the front door for interested customers. We do not negotiate a price but if you say you want to look at other places there is a good chance the price will drop.
Here is what you can expect.
Peloponnese Battle Castles https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157645468134284/
Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/
Cyn and stanbr, thanks! Your comments validate what we had expected. We are so looking forward to our time there and the fewer things to do ahead of time, like making reservations for places we don't know anything about, the better off we feel.
Thanks again, I'll be taking a look at the links.