We had just exited the ferry and stepped foot on the gorgeous island of Mykonos. Within a mob of people, Jorge and I began to search for a shuttle bus driver who we were told would be awaiting us with a sign that read, “Paradise Beach Resort.” Even though we booked the hotel merely 5 hours prior to our arrival, the hotel was prompt in their response to confirm that a driver would in fact be waiting to transport us to their hotel.
The Paradise Beach Resort was where we would be staying for our 2 days on the island. We quickly spotted the driver and he pointed us in the direction of his bus. He suggested we wait there for him while he sought out the remaining guests. Jorge and I nodded and began to walk through a massive line of buses all waiting to drive away and transport their new arrivals to hotels around the island. We realized after passing by 20 buses that we didn’t exactly know for sure which bus was ours because none of them said the hotel’s name anywhere on them. The driver mentioned something about his bus being pink so we found the most likely culprit and got on. The bus was entirely empty.
To our surprise, it stayed that way. The (correct) bus driver returned maybe 15 minutes later and started up the engine. It was only me, Jorge, and the driver… on our way to Paradise.
I knew this resort didn’t have the greatest ratings but Jorge and I did the best we could to be in a fun area given the available budget we were working with. Mykonos is an expensive island and to make it affordable, you have to cut costs in at least one way or another. Although Paradise Beach Resort isn’t known to have the fanciest amenities or the most elite service, its affordability and accessibility help make it one of the two best LGBT-friendly party beaches on the island. I mean… we were both pretty darn excited to be staying there!
As we pull up to the hotel, I see the welcome sign. The sign was falling apart and it looked as though it said, “Par Dive Resort.” Was that somehow foreshadowing what was yet to come? I believe it was. If Paradise Beach wasn’t the definition of a “dive resort,” I don’t know else is.
We are dropped off at the main building. After waiting quite some time, we approach the check-in counter. The clerk asks, “Who is the reservation under?”
“Hi, Sir. That would be me,” I respond before spelling my name for him to look up on the computer.
“No it’s not.”
“What? What do you mean… maybe it isn’t showing yet because we booked it last night?” I tried offering the suggestion but I did become a tad bit nervous that our reservation didn’t actually go through somehow since it was made so last minute and arranged on a (seemingly credible) third-party website.
“Stop. Give me your passport.” The clerk said.
Jorge and I exchange a glance. We stop spelling my name and I hand him my documents.
“Yeah. Sorry, Rocky Balboa. I’m afraid you do not have a reservation here.”
“Impossible.” I state quite seriously and unamused.
Jorge interjects, “Maybe it is under my name,” before sliding his ID card over.
Miraculously, the reservation now shows up. The clerk scoffs and I’m feeling very put off that a professional could be so short with guests who have just arrived. I knew we chose a comparatively cheap resort to stay at but I would have thought being respectful with new arrivals would be common courtesy- in any hotel setting! I guess not. The exchange did not leave a good first impression on me.
It really felt like he didn’t want to be helpful. I undoubtedly booked the resort under my name – on my account – and listed Jorge as my guest. There was no apology from the clerk. No explanation for the scare. How it got reversed in their system, I don’t know. Why they couldn’t find my name at all while searching, again, I have no explanation for.
Before finishing the check in process, we were told we would be receiving an “upgraded room.” Yet, this upgraded room was not ready even though it was past the time when rooms should have been accessible. That was fine though. Excited that we might now have a nice view of the ocean, I said nothing more than a few words of thanks to express my gratitude. I would love to have a better room for Jorge and I.
To put that weird situation behind us, we left our bags in the waiting area and set off for the beach. The ocean was unreal. It was gorgeous, almost unbelievably so. I am talking about aqua blue water. Light, crystal clear sand. Close and easy access to food and drinks. We couldn’t wait to start enjoying Paradise Beach. We grabbed our bathing suits from our backpacks and went to the bathroom to change.