On the face of it, this hotel seems to be everything you are looking for. It looks smart from the outside and on first impressions certainly looks like it has earned its three star rating. The lady on reception, Mel gives you a warm welcome on arrival and all seems OK. Then we checked in. Be warned.... not all of the rooms have air conditioning and if you are lucky enough to be offered a room with it, you will be charged for it (we were lucky and our tour operator told us about this before when we booked but many were not told). It seems the price you pay really does depend on what mood the hotel owner is in (usually not a good one).
I actually speak some Greek so was horrified to often hear the receptionist asking him what she should charge people and when chatting with other guests it seems the charge can be any thing from 50-70 Euro a week (in many cases you may find that after paying this your ac does not work anyway). You may also be charged for a safety box too which bizarrely is housed in the hotel lobby.
We were taken to our room which was typical basic Greek accommodation, a little disappointing i found as the kitchenette area was dirty and covered in grease. We had a kettle but no toaster, something we thought of as a basic requirement for self catering and the bare essentials in crockery etc ... three spoons, three forks, three knives. etc etc. We later found that there is a bit of a rip off going on here as the owner of the hotel owns most of the resort (including shops). We were lucky to have a kettle it seems as many did not even have that... Oh but that's OK because when you go to ask for a kettle or toaster you are told that unfortunately there is a shortage of kettles and they don't supply toasters at all, but if you would like to purchase one from the shop just up the road (owned by the hotel owner) you will find them reasonably priced, of course if you don;t take it home with you it will quite simply be placed back on the shelf for another unsuspecting holiday maker to purchase after you have left. At this point I should also mention that if you buy an inflatable from the shop owned by him and on the last day of your holiday decide to kindly leave it for future children to enjoy, don't .... deflate it and take it home or give it to someone or it will also end up being re-sold.
Anyway, back to the room. Our room was cleaned everyday (sheets and towels changed regularly), but don;t expect a thorough clean, it literally is a quick flick round with a damp cloth and a dirty mop. However our beds were comfortable and when we had to complain about our leaking ac unit it was mended quite quickly by the long suffering handy man on site.
The pool area again looks nice until you look closely and realise that there are some serious Health and Safety issues here. The are numerous lifting tiles on the bottom of the pool. The ladder at the deep end of the pool is just about to rip out of the ground as it is has not been repaired. The surface around the pool is a death trap, I watched many people slip over round the pool notably children as there is no non- slip surface (except a little round the children's pool) most of it is polished marble. Then there is the Sun beds..... every single sun bed is broken and many have metal or wood sticking out of them. The fountain at the end of the pool area is not working and is full of hornets nests so be careful if you are sunbathing near there.
**TOP TIP** we soon found out that the pool bar is extortionate charging nearly 3 euro for a small bottle of Diet Coke, we quickly found that if you go up to the shop just up the road ..... yes you have guessed it, again owned by the owner but it was much cheaper (almost have the price!!), but walk even further on and you will find another shop with drinks and beer etc even cheaper still.
Quite a few people we met had problems with no sheets on their beds on arrival (one family having to wait three days before they actually got any sheets) and there were others that didn't even have a bed to sleep on. Also again beware ... they base your stay on nights stayed not days so if you are unfortunate enough to have an early morning flight you will be asked to vacate your room the whole day before! One family had had to leave the hotel at three in the morning to go to the airport for their flight and were told that they had to vacate their room by 10 am the previous morning. If they needed a room they would have to pay for it and it would be a dirty room at that.
Now a word or two about the staff, they were all lovely especially Mel on reception and the owners Son who runs the pool bar who was always very helpful. You will quickly realise that the owner is not a pleasant man at all, and most of the people who work in the resort raise an eyebrow when you say where you are staying. We didn't eat in the hotel itself so I can't comment on that but safe to say the restaurant was often full (maybe with bed and breakfast or half board guests).
The resort itself is quite simply charming and the restaurants are superb. There is so many to choose from notably Vagi's which was super friendly with excellent food and fabulous with kids. The Chinese/Indian is a must, the food is fabulous and reasonable and if you really do have have that full english then the Cozy Corner is where you will find an amazing breakfast for just 3.50 Euro served by two very nice English chaps who own the place and are very good at soothing you into the day if you have had a bit of a heavy night before (you're on holiday lets face it). The beach is a stones throw away and lovely too.
We looked at the trips available (go see Maria near the bakery, she has the cheapest prices and won't give you any flannel either) we decided to go for the island bus tour which was great and you MUST do the train trip into the mountain, it is fabulous and just a great way of seeing a bit of real Zakynthian life finishing off with an amazing authentic lunch served by Spyros who will greet you on arrival with the most amazing red or white village wine (only 50c a jug thereafter) and after your meal will hurl plates and tiles at you as you leave on the train waving goodbye.
Did I have a lovely time? Yes I did. Would I go back? Yes I most certainly would. This hotel has so much potential and is let down badly by its owner. If you can go without any pre-conceived ideas and are prepared to take it for what it is, you will love it.
Oh and one more thing, the wifi is dreadful and it is very difficult to get a signal at all. So be prepared for miserable children with smartphones etc.
Health and Safety Consultant.
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- Also Known As:
- Letsos Hotel Alykanas