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“Ionian Sea Hotel - Fantastic holiday”

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Ionian Sea Hotel & Villas - Aqua Park
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kounopetra
Reviewed 2 September 2013

We have just returned from a two week stay at the Ionian Sea Hotel where we had a fantastic holiday. We were met at the airport by the Cosmos rep Julie who escorted us on a short coach trip to the port of Argostili where we were handed return ferry tickets to Lixouri and advised that a taxi would be waiting to collect us at the other side. The short ferry trip made a nice start to our holiday and as promised a taxi was waiting for us at the other side. The hotel is quite isolated so if you want to explore the island it might be advised to hire a car. The rooms hotel were a little basic but were clean had good air conditioning and were cleaned on a daily basis. The food was very good for an all inclusive resort and we never had any problem finding something to eat. The local drinks were all very good Zorbas was a very nice beer and the cocktails provide were very nice but could be a little on the strong side. The bar staff Vladimir and Kassiani were exceptionally friendly and did a superb job serving us our drinks in our two week stay. The kids enjoyed and made full use of the all inclusive ice creams which were very tasty. The water park whilst quite small was very good and the kids visited most days for hours on end, the drinks at the water park are not part of the all inclusive package and can be quite expensive with a slush puppy costing 3 euros.

We met with the Cosmos rep Julie on the first day of our stay and agreed to do two trips the first a coach tour of the island, this was a great trip and included a visit to a winery for tasting, Drogarati Caves, Mellisani Lake, Fiskardo for lunch, a panoramic view of Myrtos beach and a stop for a paddle and a drink in Assos. we thoroughly enjoyed this trip and found the tour rep Esme to be very informative although she did talk a little bit too much.

The second trip we did was a 3 island cruise including a swim off Scorpios and lunch at Lefkada this was a really good trip but was a little on the long side and probably was too much for the kids, we left the hotel at 6.30am and returned at approx. 9.00pm.

Following the advice of some locals we also visited Petani Beach which without question is the most stunning beach I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Whilst at the beach we had lunch at Erasmias which was superb and very reasonably priced with beers costing 2 euros and fried shrimp costing 6 euros.

We have had a fantastic holiday in Kefalonia with some great friends, found all the people very friendly and will definitely be returning next year.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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10  Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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74 - 80 of 164 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2013

just got back from a weeks stay from this resort. Excellent facilities for families on site waterpark where the kids could come and go with the safety of a lifeguard on the slides, three separate pools which were cleaned every morning with activities on everyday either in the water or on the poolside! Food was excellent good variety for everyone from kids to vegetarians. Entertainment most evenings with kids disco to different acts from the animation team and Greek acts coming in from offsite! Cleanliness was excellent with the rooms cleaned everyday with fresh towels and bedding! Can't say enough for this resort it was thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing with the feeling that the kids were in a safe environment! Would highly reccomend this resort for a quiet family holiday!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank cleve y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

We returned just over a week ago from this very Greek hotel we had a lovely time there.Although if you are going for more than a week you definitely need to hire a car because as the Cosmos rep so kindly informed us, (even before we arrived) you can feel isolated. The food was great the staff were lovely and the facilities were fine. the drinks could have been improved with some decent cocktails! the rooms were lovely and the bedding and towels were changed daily.
if you want a typically Greek holiday I can't think of a better place.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
4  Thank Andrea P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

we still had a brilliant holiday. We were greeted by a Cosmos Rep at the airport and directed to a small bus and the Rep accompanied us on a 15 minute journey to the port at Argostoli. She handed us ferry tickets, showed us where to wait, said there would be taxis waiting for us on the other side which were already paid for and our hotel is a few kilometres away. The ferry appears, you walk on and leave your suitcase against the right-hand wall on the ground floor and then go upstairs to one of the decks. It takes about 25 minutes to reach Lixouri and the ferry staff make their way around everyone for tickets. If you haven't pre-booked transfers then you will need to buy tickets which cost €2.50 for adults and €1.20 for children, one-way. When we got off the ferry there were taxis waiting and a driver waved us over as he saw we had suitcases so guessed we were his passengers. Again, if you haven't pre-booked a transfer a taxi costs €12 from Lixouri to the hotel.

We checked in very quickly. The rooms are a decent size (we were in the main hotel building), the bed was a little hard but the pillows were soft and comfy and we slept well. The shower was great, good water pressure and never ran out of hot water. The free A/C is operated by remote control and ours worked well. The only negative about the rooms is a lack of drawers - we lived out of our suitcases for the 2 weeks but it wasn't a major problem. There is a fridge and a TV, which probably worked but we never switched it on to find out. There is free wifi throughout the hotel, in the rooms and by the pool so it was great to catch up whilst enjoying a coffee at the pool bar.

The food was excellent throughout the 2 weeks. It was always very tasty, hot and lots of choice, and the puddings were delicious. The staff were very efficient and friendly, and as mentioned by others, the restaurant manager was very attentive and he was present at breakfast, lunch and dinner, meeting and greeting new guests and chatting with existing guests. He told us about a Greek music festival in the area one night which we walked to by the light of the full moon and it was good to see all the local people turn up and enjoy themselves.

The Ionian Sea is not a fancy hotel and you don't have to dress up in your finest for dinner. It has a relaxed feel and it was a refreshing change to be able to get up at our leisure and still find sun loungers as opposed to the usual sun bed stampede. The pool has a deep end which is great for jumping and diving in. When by the pool, or indeed anywhere on the island, you can hear cicadas buzzing in the trees, sometimes very loud.

All the family joined in with the animation team activities like aqua splash, aqua gym and zumba. The animation team work extremely hard and long hours and the chief animator, Andrei, throws himself into everything he does and is great fun. The pool bar is manned by Kassiani and Vladimir who are both lovely and willing to chat about anything when they have time.

The Reception staff are also very friendly, even giving me an aspirin when I found out the shop doesn't sell them. A safety deposit box is available at Reception at a cost of €10 for the duration of your stay and you can rent hotel pool towels at a cost of €5 per towel per week, exchanging them for fresh ones whenever you like.

The water park is good fun and only a few minutes' walk from the hotel pool. Entry is included with your all inclusive band, but food and drinks are not - we tended just to go to the park and have an hour on the slides and then go back to the hotel pool. We went in the sea a few times but the beach nearest the hotel is tiny and there are nicer ones if you are willing to walk to them in the heat.

The Cosmos Rep visits the hotel once a week on Mondays and as mentioned by a previous reviewer, the trips pick up from Argostoli port, so you have to add the return cost of a taxi & ferry to the trip price. We did the island tour, taking in the the cave and underground lake and pretty villages and winery.

Overall, my family had a brilliant holiday at the Ionian Sea Hotel. Our kids made friends with children from various countries, including the few other British children who were holidaying there. It isn't close to shops and bars, but we loved going for walks along the quiet country roads then soaking up the relaxed atmosphere by the pool, doing a bit of zumba, surfing the net on the free wifi, eating some excellent food then being entertained by the kids mini disco and the animation team before falling into bed. I wasn't sure when I first booked it, but I am glad I did and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Supermum44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

We have just returned from this hotel having booked in January.

Negative first; I must concur with a previous reviewer regarding Cosmos! We arrived at the airport and were directed to our transfer coach, which left a few minutes later. After making 2 or 3 drop-offs we arrived at the harbour in Argostoli where we were invited to leave the coach. We were met by a Greek girl who was not wearing any Cosmos branding, handed 4 tickets and told to catch a ferry which “should be along soon”. When I asked what we do at the other end she said “There should be a taxi waiting for you at the other side” She then got into a car and drove off! We had no information regarding where to embark or which ferry to catch. We managed to find out from a member of the harbour staff where to catch the ferry and duly caught the next one. Be aware that you are expected to carry bags / suitcases up 3 flights of steep metal stairs once you are on the ferry! We arrived in Lixouri on the other side of the island and, surprise, surprise, no taxi! After a few calls to the Cosmos rep a taxi arrived and transferred us to the Ionian Sea Hotel. A total shambles and not what we would expect, having paid for a “transfer from the airport to the hotel”. I’m sure that legally they have met their responsibilities, but it’s certainly not in the spirit of the agreement, in our opinion.

Right, rant over.....The Ionian Sea Hotel. Quite simply superb!! The friendliest staff I have ever encountered on holiday. All spoke excellent English and nothing was ever too much trouble. I have read another review mentioning the restaurant manager. He sought out every new arrival, including us. He showed us around the restaurant, told us how everything worked, how to get drinks etc. We found out he is called Frank, and you will not find a nicer guy anywhere, the staff could certainly teach English hotel staff a thing or two about customer service, not to mention Cosmos!! The quality of the food was exceptional for an all inclusive hotel (they can sometimes be a bit bland, can’t they?). If there was one criticism it would be that it was a bit repetitive. They have obviously worked out what they are good at and stick to it. There is a very wide range each mealtime so still lots to try, even if each night the menu is a bit samey.

The Pools are clean and well maintained and the pool bar staff are attentive without being in-your-face! Try the local drinks as only these are part of the all-inclusive and are perfectly ok. There are branded drinks available should you wish to pay for them.

The room was basic and functional, but everything worked very well including the air-conditioning and a fridge was supplied too. Towels, loo rolls, soaps etc. were changed and topped up every day and the room thoroughly cleaned.

The hotel is a little remote and there are no restaurants or bars within walking distance, so if you prefer to try different restaurants etc. you will need a car.

We decided to hire a car to see something of the island and had rejected using the Cosmos tours and rep as you had to get a taxi and ferry back to Argostoli to see the reps, apparently it was too far for them to travel to the Hotel, but it was fine to expect us to do it?! However, we got chatting to the Polish rep who was extremely helpful and organised a hire car and one excursion for us. Needless to say, they got our money rather than Cosmos and the car arrived exactly on time right to the front door of the hotel, not a taxi and ferry ride to pick it up as Cosmos wanted.

Entry to the Aqua Park was also included in the all-inclusive package, although drinks were not and were quite expensive, so take something from the hotel with you. There is a small beach a short walk from the hotel (5 mins) with the usual sun beds and cafe/bar.

Get out and about on the island. The Melissani Cave is a must see, as are the villages of Asos and Fiskardo in the north. Both beautiful old traditional fishing villages which now boast a multitude of quayside restaurants and bars but have lost nothing of their traditional charm.

We have had a great holiday and would thoroughly recommend Kefalonia and the Ionian Sea Hotel to anyone. Just more than a bit disappointed with Cosmos.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank MLoftMaindstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We hadent booked this hotel, however our travel company had messed up and so we ended up staying here instead of on the other side of the island in ketalos. We arrived not knowing what to expect as we were told we were going to this hotel an hour before our flight. The hotel did not know we were coming however they were wonderful and told us that we would have somewhere to stay for the night (they eventually got our booking reference the next morning). We had booked into a 5* hotel for couples and friends so it was a slight shock that there were so many children and that it was only 3*.
The staff make this hotel the evening reception ladies and the resturant manager are fantastic! The rooms are clean if a little basic (the beds are very hard). The food was great, huge choice for breakfast and the option to try more traditional Greek food as well.
As said in previous reviews this hotel is very remote and to get about a car is a must (we hadent go one as we were not expecting to stay here).
Great for family holidays but wouldn't stay as a couple or for a relaxing break.

Room Tip: For a quiet room try to be away from the pool and towards the back of the hotel.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Jetset891
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

I have three negatives only: our bathroom wasn't really four stars (especially in the corners), the hotel is 7 km from Lixouri (you need to rent a car, take taxi or hotel minibus to get there) and there is a strange difference between "soft / light all inclusive" or "extra all inclusive". It's for alcoholic beverages only and if you like to have few beers or Cuba Libre during the day, you can save some money by an upgrading for "extra" by 5 euro per day. We went there with Czech travel agency and it means always lower standard.
But there is a lof of positives! People are AMAZING!!!!!! I've never seen such a nice and professional staff. They are perfect!
The beach is not so far, but it's better to be fully equipped (water, snacks etc.). The food were delicious. I think Ionian Sea is perfect for the family holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Almira_Pi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ionian Sea Hotel & Villas - Aqua Park

Address: Kounopetra Mantzavinaton, Kounopetra 28200, Greece
Region: Greece > Ionian Islands > Cephalonia > Kounopetra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kounopetra
Price Range: £89 - £262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ionian Sea hotel is situated on the south end of the island, in the quiet, unspoilt green countryside 7 kilometres from the picturesque town of Lixouri. The hotel is mere 100 meters from a beautiful red sandy beach. Built in extensive grounds, this hotel in Kefalonia offers two swimming pools and one pool for children, aqua park, a pool-bar, restaurant and a Greek traditional tavern (with traditional cuisine), one playground, children's station, sport facilities, mini market, parking and a beautiful natural garden. Our hotel welcomes you in its tasteful and friendly environment. This is the perfect place to stay for your vacations in Kefalonia. The 87 rooms are modern and attractively decorated. All rooms have en suite facilities, air conditioning, telephone, TV, fridge, hair dryer , WiFi and all have balconies. We also offer well-appointed family rooms. ... more   less 
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Ionian Sea Hotel & Villas - Aqua Park Ionian Islands, Greece

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