Have just returned from 10 days at Planos Bay Apartments for what we hoped would be a quiet and restful family holiday, as it was described as ‘family friendly’ by First Choice. How mis-sold we were…
Apartments were small and poky with everything just superficially clean. Plenty room for the kids in the double room but we (the parents) were left to sleep in dark and airless kitchen type room accompanied by a humming fridge and dribbling toilet. No chill out space other than the balcony.
Apartment complex had an expensive and uninspiring snack bar, ample sun beds and a good size pool. Didn’t notice much cleaning of the pool (apart from a hose getting stuck in it each morning for a few minutes) so there was persistent worrying murk in the water. A large pile of cats also hung around the pool side that were prone to squirting diarrhoea around and about, which was a nice.
Despite First Choices’ persistence in trying to throw our kids in a ‘kids club’ we actually wanted to spent our holiday with our kids so can’t comment on the standard of the Reps. However the kids entertainment endured from our balcony each evening was a painful and talentless mix of Steps vs CBeebies. The ‘talentless’ theme continued into the night, every night, with an excruciating programme of tacky entertainment blasted through a PA system which rendered the putting of kids to bed any time before 11pm utterly pointless.
Following that, the noise of the complex persisted through the night, all night, be it music from the pool bar, drunken guests piling home with forgotten keys or beer kegs getting changed at 1am! Not one of our 10 nights of sleep was unbroken and the photocopied sheets of paper urging ‘partying guests’ to respect ‘non-partying guests’ offered little in the way of policing.
Didn’t dare eat in the complex and turned down multiple offers to part with an extortionate amount of Euro’s for an ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ hosted most nights. Amused that the ‘Mexican Night’ was sold to us by the Rep on the basis that you can “really pig-out on chips and pizza”???
Water Park was a godsend as the kids loved it. It offered welcome relief from the apartments with cleaner pools and surroundings. All very well kept with friendly staff and some great facilities. Was really quiet too offering a nice place to relax during the day and it was fantastic that we could dip in and out at any point during our stay with the arm bands offering free entry.
Planos / Tisilivi is a tacky resort with not much going for it (unless you want to watch football, eat chips and drink beer) with the exception of some fantastic little beaches with superb (and safe) snorkelling and some outstanding (and affordable) little restaurants… if you are amongst the few people who actually want to eat Greek! Supermarkets are really expensive so we ventured into the main town by bus to buy on bulk at the big ‘Spar’ it offered. Zante beyond the resort is a beautiful island though and the boat trip to the Smugglers Cove and the Blue Caves is a must! I must add that the weather was outstanding too.
So, if you want the full tacky and noisy ‘Agadoo Doo Doo’ package holiday experience (and that very track was played during our stay) forced on you 24/7 then the Palnos Bay Hotel is for you. If you want a peaceful and relaxing family holiday (actually with your kids) you would do well to look elsewhere.
Shudder to think about it all going fully inclusive through First Choice next year! They seem very concerned about their impact in the local community they operate in but in one swoop will take tons of business away from local eateries. But sadly it seems a worryingly large proportion of us ‘Brits’ still need to be spoon-fed our holiday while we brown our tattooed beer guts. Thanks First Choice and Palnos Bay Hotel for educating our family in all that’s bad about the 'package holiday'. Next year we will invest locally, put some adventure back in our lives and go it alone!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC