Just returned from an 11 night stay at the Diana Palace and I have to say that it was not all that! Arrived in the afternoon and was cheerily welcomed with a drink and directed to our room which we were pleasantly suprised with as it was a pool and seaview room which we had not requested or paid more for. The overall appearance of the hotel is very good and very clean looking. We realised during our first night that we probably had been allocated this room as it is very noisy being directly above the outside bar area and pool area which also gets quite noisy during the day which wasnt a problem for us but would imagine a nightmare for elderly guests or young families.
As seasoned travellers having done AI, twice a year, for eleven years, we were rather suprised to find the lack of choice and variety at mealtimes for a 4* hotel. Breakfast (my partners favourite mealtime) was very poor. Only had fried eggs once evey three days, also bacon, again only every three days, which was chopped into little pieces and swum in grease! As it isn't a Muslin country what's with the hotdog sausages? That was just a cheap cop-out as proper sausages were available everywhere else on the island. Lunch and Dinner was also a bit of a let down. They certainly like their chicken as they serve chicken portions most of the time. Lamb, traditional meat of Greece, was only served twice at dinner during our whole stay, as they have apparently started using pork more as cheaper (not for sausages though). Also some of the dishes were good at re-inventing themselves! Spinach pie at lunch became Chef's special pie at Dinner, Ham and Mushroom sauce for the lunchtime taglietelle became Chicken a la creme which was chicken portions with the sauce poured over them. They have taken on board earlier comments about lack of chips and were serving these more at lunchtime. Unfortunately they cooked a huge batch of those skinny french fries at the beginning of the mealtime and didnt replace them so an hour later they were cold and like rubber!! I could go on but all in all the food choice put me in mind of an end of week meal at home where you make do with what you've got left in your cupboards!!
The bar staff were quite friendly,the young girl waitress was exceptionally pleasant and very hard working, as she had to be, because the two bar tenders(Danny&Stathis?) were too busy enjoying themselves laughing and joking with the guests building their populartiy status!! Quite often she had to call to them to help clear tables at busy times whilst they were just standing about talking.
I have to agree with previous comments about the bartender in the Reception bar. What a lazy arrogant man he is!! He must be related to management to be able to retain his job! We went down for pr-dinner drinks and wanted to sit outside but the tables were full of dirty glasses which were attracting wasps. My partner asked him if the tables could be cleared because of this and he said he would get somone to do it. He then spent the next 3/4 hour chatting to the staff on reception in between serving a few drinks or reading the paper. The tables were eventually cleared when the young girl came on duty. Quite a few times during our stay we had thunderstorms and rain and the outside seating was not always brought under cover quickly enough and therefore the seat cushions got wet! One evening the young girl wouldnt put them back out as they were damp on one side, he just tutted and put them out with the damp underside. Very nice for the unsuspecting guests sitting on them and not realising until too late that the damp had soaked through! Would have thought that a 4* hotel would have dry replacement cushions on standby for this kind of eventuality?
The pool area was a bit claustraphobic, plenty of sunbeds but tightly packed together. Again the matresses were victim to getting wet in the rain and as they were foam you didnt always realise till after about an hour that the damp had seeped through and you were lying on wet towels! The music was sometimes played a bit too loudly but it was middle of the road stuff and we quite liked it but some guests asked for it to be turned down which was understandable. The pool is very nice although I was suprised to notice it only gets a proper clean once a week? The day before it was due to be cleaned it had what felt like a greasy film on the water. There was a pool shower tucked away in the corner but this didnt seem to be in use. Also the balustrade pillars which separate the childrens pool have a green slime circle around the base of each one at water level!!
The hotel does have comment cards by reception for guests to fill in and do seem keen to encourage people to use them. However my tip for the hotel would be to do away with lunchtime in the restaurant and turn it into a snack bar where snacks are made to order, such as pizza, toasted sandwiches,burgers,chips,hotdogs(as they have an abundance of the sausages)etc. This would do away with wastage and the need for dishes to re-invent themselves at dinner. I have seen this done at other hotels and it has worked really well as the food is served fresh and people tend to order only what they want and it does away with having to make hot veg when a salad bar would suffice. Also, at the moment they finish lunchtime at 2.30 then prepeare snacks for 3.30, but if they increased the time of snackbar orders till about 4.30pm then there would be no need to do this. Also I would suggest that the management put in an appearance from time to time by walking around the public areas and speaking to guests or spot checking. The pool area at the end of the day is pretty messy with discarded plastic cups and dirty ashtrays by the sunbeds which havent been collected or emptied all day.
Argassi itself is very much a tourist area. The usual array of supermarkets and souvenir shops. Apart from a couple of shops, the staff are very arrogant and rude and just talk amongst themselves whilst serving you. In one shop were I purchased a leather purse, the old lady was positively hostile. She ignored me completely, held out her hand for the money, then double checked the price tag and then looked me up and down as if I may have possibly switched tags as she obviously thought It was underpriced! Talking of prices were not getting much for our Euros at the moment. Two coffees at a cafe in Zante town was 7 euros. Ate out for Dinner couple of times just main meal 1/2 carafe of wine and beer usually about 35 euros, not bad but on a daily basis would get bit expensive every day!! We booked couple of trips but they were cancelled due to bad weather. Got the bus to Tsilivi but they dont go straight through you have to change at Zante bus station so make sure your connection is not too long, limited service Saturdays and none on Sunday from Argassi. Tsivili is nice but dont get off til you get to the harbour. Recommend Popeyes to eat as staff friendly and they keep topping you up with coffee and have British papers for you to read and they do really good food. Also just across the road from the bus stop back to Zante.
You can walk to Zante town, takes about 40 mins but some parts of the road are dangerous so would not recommend if you have young children as there are no pavements and they do like to drive fast. The tourist train is 10 euros return and a nice little run that stops just at the back of hotel.
Our second time to Zante (it rained last time too!) the new airport great improvement however for me this island is not typical greek and very commercialised. Kos and Crete are more to our liking with contrasting towns of old and new and we hope to try other islands too apparently some guests who went to Kefalonia for the day couldnt beleive the difference. Sorry Zante but definitely won't be back!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC