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“2 very different holiday experiences....”

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Neilson Vounaki Beachclub
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Palairos
Certificate of Excellence
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
173 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“2 very different holiday experiences....”
Reviewed 12 October 2011

My husband did a 5 day ICC course and had a fantastic holiday; I did a 3 day Intro to flotilla and had a so so holiday. All down to the instruction. I raised my concerns whilst I was there - Sunsail UK say they know nothing about my complaint- disappointing to say the least. Their guidance says to rasie it whilst you're there.......

Rules around day hire of yachts were not explained, so we lost the chance to have a boat off the draw, shame.

We've done Neilson and Mark Warner so we know the set up - beach kit was very good and even though its the end of the season the beach staff were keen. Liked the ladies only sessions, mainly as the numbers were low!

Wind was either non-existent or high; on yachts it meant we used motor mostly,didn't really give either of us the sailing we'd hoped for.

Down sides for us, and not really mentioned elsewhere on these reviews were noisy rooms (we tried to keep the a/c on at night to block out external noises), and the buffet becomes rather boring - I found waiting for food straight off the BBQ better than taking off the buffet.

Rooms were very comfortable and clean and loved having a kettle. We had sea view, so glad we had to, rear view rooms looked dark. But then again its an activity holiday!

Complex was very well maintained, and views from the seafront rooms were good. Bar prices were OK and the beach bar food prices were similar to local bars (food not as good). Marina supermarket was also a bonus, prices keen. Wish we'd taken gym kit - very well equipped gym. Spa underused, very friendly therapist.

Overall, could have got 4/5 stars but the inabililty to deal with my complaints whilst on site were disappointing.

Room Tip: Pay for a sea view, request an end of block room, preferably top floor.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank banstead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (122)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Greek first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We recently spent two weeks in Vounaki - the first doing the ICC course and the second on the Kefalonia flotilla. Highly recommend the venue, company and the whole Sunsail experience. Expectations exceeded, food fabulous and the staff made us feel welcome. We'll be back

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank debbieinlondon096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

Didn't know what to expect - but was very pleasantly suprised...

Even though the end of the season staff were all polite, helpful and enthusiastic.

A variety of dinghies always available when I went to the beach.

Buffet breakfast and lunch/supper (some days lunch provided, most days supper) provided a varied choice of good quality food. In particular the omlettes with breakfast deserve mention.

Best part (for me) was the on-site (5-star PADI) dive operation - Submerged. Alex, and his team, provide the full range - from try dives, through certification, to good fun dives.

The only advice I would give, if you want to take advantage of the Day boats, is to pay the (small) extra fee to book one in advance. The remaining slots being allocated by lottery - which can result in disappointment if there's a lot of demand.

Currently looking at school holday dates for next year - with a view to returning with more family members.

Andy

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2011

This was a great holiday overall.

The good things:
- Free use of all the beach equipment - dinghies, kayaks, paddleboards, windsurfing equipment is all included in the price. No need to book. Well maintained and you can use it as much or as little as you like.
- The staff. Beach and holiday staff are excellent and have some fantastic instructors who are helpful and you can take part in free instructional sessions as they are provided.
- The buffets are great (for a buffet) good variety of food and tasty. Breakfast is very good.
- Location and setting. The resort, water and mountains are all beautiful.

The bad things:
- Cash card system. This is a cashless resort where you use a card and pay at the end of the week. This is very convenient and easy. However most people have a shock at the end of the week as it adds up very quickly.
- Evenings entertainment. If package holidays and theme nights are not your thing (and they are definitely not mine) go out. We chanced it a few times and spent most of the night as far away from the entertainment as you physically can be.
- The mountain bikes. These were kept in an appalling condition. My friends seat sheared off while riding, my derailer bent out of place, brakes were unreliable and several wheels were on backwards. This is a massive shame as there are good routes in the area.

Must dos:
- Yacht charter. A great day and very good value for money.
- Mountain biking - monastery route (pick and good bike and take someone capable of fixing en route).
- Get out on the water - kayak, paddleboard, dinghies, cats, wakeboarding, waterskiing! I cannot reiterate how much you must do this!!!
- Have a breakfast omelette (cooked to order by Dimitra).
- Go to the New Mill Tavern in Paleros!!!

Overall, I had a fantastic holiday. We could do what we wanted when we wanted and there were so many activities we didn't get time to try. Watch the weather and wind, don't plan things and do activities as conditions allow. I didn't really know what to expect and the only real downside for me was sometimes feeling claustrophobic on a package holiday. However, I would definitely go back for a relaxing week in the sun and on the water. We also waited for a discount deal on low season - thus making it much better value for money.

Room Tip: Ocean views are nice but more expensive. However, we only went to our rooms to sleep so it depends w...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Natalie_JLW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margate, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2011

We arrived home yesterday following a week at the resort. This isn't one of those long detailed boring reviews but a simple guide.
1.The brochure/website doesnt make the most of the fantastic views or great location
2. Yes the rooms are simple but, spotless and if you like a firm (and i mean rock like) bed then you wont have anything to complain about
3.Childcare was great, our 3 year old went in every day and came home every afternoon exhausted, thank you to Jess and the team
4.The range of boats/beach equipment was great and even though it was then end of season, still in fairly good condition. I never had to wait longer than 5 minutes for any of the equipment.
5. The instruction was great. Despite my instructor being half my age i learnt so much. Thank you to Eliza for the paid training but all the beach staff were on hand to offer helpful hints and tips all day.
6. The powerboat tour wasn't cheap but was well worth the money our guide Nick was very laid back and and didnt rush us round. What a fantastic coastline to see, we swam in some amazing caves, private beaches and stopped for lunch in a wonderful cove. I hung on for dear life there and back - bit like a bouncy castle roller coaster ride!
7. The gardens are really pretty with lovely flowers and plants, lush grass to lie on (or play in) and with some unusual wildlife like bats flying from our balcony, beautiful birds, crickets and cats! There is also lots of different places to sit and walk - into town, along the coastline or up the mountains.

When you go out for the non inclusive nights make sure you go to the Old Mill in the local town. The food and service are first class and its fixed price E30 per person, so you know what your getting, (including some wicked home brew wine in giant bottles). Also enjoyed a delightful pizza at the yacht club which boasted a beautiful view - and there's a cool shop that sells handmade jewellery, t-shirts which is up the hill on the way to the supermarket and run by a cockney!

The only downsides to the holiday are small but simple things to resolve:
- the mountain bikes are now very tired and could do with replacement
- there are hills and stairs everywhere so if you have bad knees be prepared - but this does mean great views from all the rooms
- the coffee included with the breakfast/lunch/dinner was terrible - if you paid for it at the bar it was good but such a shame they can't improve the coffee.
- the wine selection is pricy and not great - just needs someone who knows their wine to sor this one out!

Overall this was a fantastic holiday (sunsail please update your pictures online - there's a local based photographer who has some lovely ones - buy these!) and sort out the coffee and wine!

Room Tip: All the Mezanine rooms have fantastic views
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Nik B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2011

We really enjoyed our holiday at Club Vounaki.

The setting is lovely, with fantastic sunsets. The meals were all excellent, with lots of choice, fresh seafood and particularly good cake (though not good for the waistline!). Drinks were relatively reasonable- considering the Euro and the house wine was tasty. All of the staff are friendly and seem really happy. Rooms are clean but basic, as has been stated, a couple of paintings would not go amiss as they really are very plain! Also watch out for the mosquitos!

We did a three day sailing course, which was really good- largely because of our fantastic instructer Dave, who was a very patient teacher. We then took out a boat on our own which was fantasitic although a bit terrifiying when we couldnt get the anchor to work. We were also not given any navigation equipment, which could have been helpful.

The beach is very small so if you need a large beach this is not for you, but there are two large pools with brilliant views where it was not hard to get a chair.

If we had not been sailing so much we would probably have run out of things to do as the local town is pretty dire, bar a couple of lovely restaurants on the sea front. But if you like sailing then come here, as it is so easy to take a dingy or cat out- they will rig it for you and away you go.

Overall it was a great chill out holiday, I would come again.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank zoe025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton Uk
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

We had a fantastic 2 weeks at Vounaki this Summer and I've been meaning to write a review for a few weeks.

The staff are genuinely friendly, helpful and hard working. The resort is a short transfer from the airport. We have visited before, but I found it really charming this time, perhaps aided by some wonderful sunsets, and the slope means you can appreciate the view of the charming bay easily. Also, I found the food and drinks pretty good value and we actually under-spent.

About 10 types of dinghy to take out, which was ample for me and my husband, Our kids loved the Kids Clubs and freedom to muck around in the water and make friends. The inclusive food was good and pretty varied and the kids meals and access to 24 hour kitchen with free milk/baby equipment was a bonus. The local town, whilst not being much to write home about, has several good tavernas. Not being a commercial holiday resort was actually an advantage as we could go out in to the town without being assaulted by the usual demands for plastic tat from our kids. Our room was very spacious and comfortable. Intially the blank white walls felt a little institutional, but this soon wore off. A picture or 2 on the wall would not go amiss.

But here is the rub. Maintenance. Or lack of it. This was apparent at our first Sunsail holiday a couple of years back, but nothing has changed. Broken tillers and jamming cleats were all still broken at the end of our 2 week holiday. The same goes for broken loos, nursery equipment, tennis raquest etc.

My personal annoyance was the lack of batteries in the rowing machines, meaning the displays didn't work. After asking every day for a week and getting nowhere, I finally was driven to make a formal complaint to the Manager after which batteries were finally installed. This can't be a good use of her time. Another was tennis raquets with several broken strings. I brought this to the Fitness Coach's attention 3 times. Nevertheless, the broken raquets were still being given out on a daily basis. Not something you would expect at a top resort. But since there is no system to log, prioritise and then carry out repairs within a target timeframe, nothing ever, ever gets fixed. even the most basic boat repairs did not seem to be carried out as the beach staff do not hold any spares - none! Sails can't be mended, lines or cleats cannot be replaced, so the boats carry on, week after week, being handed out with the same defects.

All that said, we had a fantastic and great value holiday and will definitely go back a 3rd time.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WyseARK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Neilson Vounaki Beachclub

Property: Neilson Vounaki Beachclub
Address: Paleros Bay | Vounaki, Palairos, Greece
Region: Greece > West Greece > Aetolia-Acarnania Region > Palairos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Palairos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 98
Also Known As:
Sunsail Club Vounaki Hotel Palairos
Sunsail Hotel Vounaki
Sunsail Hotel Peloponnese
Neilson Vounaki Beachclub Greece/Palairos

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