“Excellent Value. A great Greece All Inc. But not 5* like Caribbean.”
I rely on hotel reviews when booking my holidays so therefore it’s only fair I return the gesture and write a review about my stay and the Aquis Zorba Village in June 2010.
We are a family of 4 (2 children 7, 6). We have mainly done all inclusive holidays in the Caribbean but have also tried Majorca. All Inc works for us as the children get the opportunity to try all kinds of food and drinks are never begrudged.
We picked the Zorba Village due to the reviews. It is a beautiful hotel with some very good aspects. However that said if you are looking for 5* Caribbean then you may be disappointed.
We booked through You Travel and a free transfer was included. We were delighted when we realised it was a mini bus just for us. On first impression the hotel is not majorly grand. However we quickly realised how lovely it was to be when met at the door by an adorable man who took our bags into reception. Check-in was a breeze and we were quickly taken to our room.
We were placed in room 704 which was a family bungalow. The entrance was at the back of the amphitheatre and the terrace looked out onto some gardens. The room consisted of 2 large single beds pushed together, a living area (which lost the sofa and was made up 2 beds either side of the room) and a coffee table. There was a TV/DVD player which was nice to listen to music whilst getting ready for the evening. Although we did take DVDs we never watched them. When we arrived there were things like missing bulbs in the lights, drawers not opening. But a quick call to reception and these were quickly fixed. Although the hotel has been renovated we were sadly in one of the rooms that hadn’t been and therefore it was a bit tired looking. The bathroom was a bath with a good strong overhead shower which leaked terribly and resulted in us using the towels to mop up each night. There are some toiletries, inc. a shower cap, soap in the wall by the sink and by the bath, there was also a hairdryer which was not very powerful. The room was made up every day and towels were replaced daily even though we hadn’t done the ‘international deal’ of put them in the bath if you want them replaced.
We had a terrace not a balcony as we were on the ground floor which had an opening which I was concerned about from a security point of view however it proved to be much fun for the children trying to beat us back to the room when we used the front entrance.
There is a safe in the wardrobe that costs we think about €6 per day (but we can’t quite remember).
The room had air conditioning which ended up being the source of much hilarity for us. Firstly it was rubbish. But that aside on our 3rd day we returned back at night to find it had leaked all over the floor and soaked a lot of our belongings. We reported it to reception and they assured us it would be dealt with immediately. Granted it was. Someone came and fixed it. The next day it leaked again. We reported it to reception and they said they would send someone to fix it. They did and the next day…. You guessed it. It leaked again. We told them one last time and the same was said. In the end we used more towels to soak up the leak on a daily basis. The room didn’t get so hot it was an issue but the A/C wasn’t very good.
There is one swimming pool and one children’s pool. Sun beds have mattresses and most days we didn’t struggle to find one. However they were extremely stretched and even with a mattress we sunk into them. The umbrellas are on wheels which are easier to move so instead of everyone constantly moving beds about they move the umbrellas. The children’s pool is fenced off next to the mini club, it has some seating around and lots of toys for little ones to play with. The staff (Marta & Co) keeps the children well occupied with games and activities and they involved them in the hotel show. However I don’t think I would be happy leaving very young ones in the club alone. Pool towels are included and can be exchanged on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Spa. One thing to mention about the pool area, we had a pool towel stolen. We think we knew who it was but when we reported it to reception they told us ‘maybe it will turn up before you leave’. So we managed to ‘find’ it. Otherwise it would have cost us €20.
FOOD & DRINK
There is one main buffet restaurant and the so called A La Carte restaurant. The buffet restaurant has plenty of seating and we never struggled to find a seat. The drinks available in the restaurant were self serve beer, wine and soft drinks on tap. I liked the fact that there were jugs so you could fill a jug and take it to the table. The food was good quality and tasty but there was no wow factor to it. It was very samey. But to be fair we have been very spoilt in the past. There is a good salad bar with lots of variety. There’s lots of fresh bread. They have one soup at dinner but none at lunch. There is a children’s bar which has a daily choice of pasta, chips, vegetables and a meat (either nuggets, meatballs etc). There is a choice of pizzas, pastas, vegetables, fishes, meats etc. There were themed evenings, but I’m not sure how as the food was the same. There was a dessert bar to die for and an ice cream selection. Breakfast was typical AI, cheeses, ham, streaky bacon, eggs, spicy sausages, pastries etc. BUT no egg station so no omelettes. I was gutted; I live off omelettes for breakfast on holiday. On the plus side I never experienced any toast wars at the toast machine which was a refreshing change. The orange juice was not good. It was very sickly sweet. I liked the fact you can fill a flask of coffee or hot water for your table.
At 4pm there were sandwiches, biscuits and cake available at the pool bar which was nice.
What I found fascinating at this hotel was the fact that people queue. Instead of the usual huddle around the bar, there is actually a queue in both the lobby and the pool bars and the bar staff are hot on whose queue jumped so it seemed very fair if not very British.
We went to the A La Carte menu on the night of our sons 6th birthday. The meal was nice but nothing special. The service was great. Poppy worked her socks off. We we checked in we told the hotel it was my sons birthday so they had organised a cake, a bottle of sparking wine and a basket of fruit for us which was all free.
The AI bar is open until 11pm and after that the prices are steep. We paid €14 for 2 Cuba Libras. We didn't make that mistake again. The barmen make the drinks as strong or as weak as required.
The animation team work hard to include people if they want to be but don’t fuss if you don’t want to be. We are extremely lazy on holiday but there did seem to be plenty of activities during the day including, beach volley ball, aqua aerobics, salsa, archery, boules and many more. The evening entertainment was dire. There is a mini disco for half an hour at 8.45pm followed by something in the lobby bar or amphitheatre. There was some pleasant live music on a couple of occasions, karaoke and then the animation team put on a ‘comedy show’. The comedy was that the show was so bad it was hilarious. If you go to the amphitheatre take some insect repellent and it was rife with midgies. There is a toilet there and a bar (the bar wasn’t open when we went, it opens in the high season apparently, but we took drinks in plastic cups from the lobby bar).
We hired a car from Anna’s next door. We paid €50 for a jeep for 24hrs as opposed the €78 from the Budget car hire at the hotel. She was flexible when we picked up as long as we dropped off at the same time the next day. We went to Agious Nikolaos which is about 30-45mins away and a beautiful harbour. Then we went onto Elounda and back up to Lasithi Plateau which has some stunning views. It was lots of fun. We ordered a packed lunch from the hotel to take, which consisted of (per person) 2 lots of cheese/ham sandwiches, fruit, cake, bottled water and a carton of fruit juice. All for free.
We also had a meal in Hersonissos one evening. If you venture into the back streets there are some bargain restaurants. The sea front gets a bit manic with people asking you to come into their restaurant.
The beach to the hotel is very shingly. But to be honest I'm not a beach person so didn't venture onto the beach.
We really enjoyed the hotel. If you are looking for a cheap all inclusive break in Greece then this is a fantastic hotel. If you are looking for 5* luxury then maybe this is not the place. The staff were wonderful and any faults we had with the hotel were more than made up for by the staff.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC