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“still good but a few niggles this time”

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Neilson Retreat Beachclub
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Syvota
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 29 May 2014

This was our second holiday at the retreat and we had a lovely time. The activities are great, the staff fantastic and the setting is beautiful.

However Neilson needs to tighten up on the tennis coaching - last week they allowed a group of 12 deluded tennis "ladies" travelling together to join the top tennis group. They ruined it for the rest of us who wanted a good competitive game as they were pretty rubbish. This was obvious from day 1 and I and several other guests mentioned it to the coaches who did nothing. They allowed the tennis classes to be hijacked and spoiled by these women.

We went on the sunset cruise and it was really fantastic - but I don't think its acceptable to boast about being environmentally friendly then chuck plastic champagne corks into the sea!!

The buffet food is of a good standard and the service at mealtimes very good. I would avoid the bistro on the non inclusive nights - it wasn't great and very expensive.

We did the wine tasting which was also excellent.

Accommodation is spotlessly clean and had a lovely view over the bay. The beds are rather hard.

Sivota itself is lovely - lovely coffee shops and a decent selection of restaurants.

This time we felt that the evening entertainment was a bit tacky and getting dangerously close to the club 18-30 philosophy. However they do do a cocktail of the day which is nice and the bar staff could not be more helpful.

Overall it was a great holiday and we are likely to return.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank forkie_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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373 - 379 of 641 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014

Loved every moment of the holiday here. Never a dull moment but total choice about what activities to try or not. Loved the cycling, sailing and canoeing and even tried some Zumba! Great staff who are so welcoming and supportive. The food was delicious and plentiful. Will definitely return.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank Bob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Like nearly all of the reviews, I cannot believe how lucky we were to 'happen' upon this wonderful Neilson run oasis. In fact it's the jewel in the Neilson crown (I believe). It couples the option for huge breadth of activities, along with wonderful relaxation, stunning food and a top class team of reps. Kids club nannies were second to none, so much so my daughter aged 7, wept buckets when she said goodbye to her beloved Izzy, who was running the Surf Busters last week, while we were guests. Another thing for me which I (and husband) loved was how friendly everyone was and how much they supported and encouraged us to 'have a go'. Ok there was a bunch of rather rude 'tennis' ladies but they were together and stayed so in their own little world of middle-class ego (ha ha). The little water taxi which ran on the 3 none inclusive nights was such fun and the little town itself had numerous eateries. Our favourite was on the very right of the harbourside (sea not shore right) with reddish awnings. Fabulous family Greek food, charming company and spoilt our daughter rotten. When I find the card with the name of the restaurant I will add this, as they deserve to be full every night! Yes, there are lots of steps at the resort and yes sometimes our legs ached and our knees cracked, but we had been warned and the steps were a good workout in their own right. Best holiday ever.

Room Tip: All super but hotel rooms probably noisier. Rooms aren't the biggest I've ever seen but imm...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Gillywombat09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We are just returned from a one week Northern Ionian flotilla out of Neilson's Syvota base in Greece. We especially thank our very professional and dedicated lead crew comprising our skipper Mick, supported by Fin dealing with all the social aspects, Joe our resourceful engineer and Will who was being oriented to the region pending skippering his own flotilla party the following week. All our crew worked diligently every day from morning till late to keep us safe and happy. In particular (and in contrast to another flotilla experience with a competitor company) our skipper was encouraging and positive and pleasant at all times even when sailing skills fell slightly short. Will patiently helped us sort out some genoa furling technique issues ...successfully. We had a Dufour 34 which we find ideal for two. Corfu, Gaios and Parga were our favourite stop off locations as we prefer the buzzy busy locations. Sadly the wind was very disappointing (we started our week on 18 May) which meant a lot more motoring than desirable, but that's the luck of the draw. We are looking to push on our sailing in more adventurous and challenging waters but Neilson remains firm favourite for flots. So, many thanks Kachia lead boat crew from Elizabeth and Terence, Cambridge, UK.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014

This was our second visit to this Neilson resort. The setting is beautiful with great views over to Paxos and Corfu. We stayed in the just built superior garden rooms. These were very spacious and smart with a nice balcony to enjoy the fantastic views. They could do with some draws for clothes storage as well as the large hanging space.
The bathroom was large with bath and over bath shower. The only problem was that the light under the sink unit could not be turned off and with the glass door it may affect people who like complete darkness to sleep. Rooms were serviced daily although the tea bags were not replenished and we had to acquire our own from the restaurant.
The road cycling was great with some challenging climbs to nearby villages and great views. With some pretty islands and caves about the kayak trips were great fun.
As others have said there is always a climb at this resort with lots of steps from the beach to your room, this all helps with fitness over the week. There is a walk through shallow water to the sand spit where the dinghys are kept and to the sunbathing beach. Water shoes do help as the stones can be quite sharp.
The staff were excellent very keen and helpful.
For drinks at the bar and restaurant they put it all on a room bill which is settled at the end of the week. I would advise that you keep a record of what you buy as we had extra bottles of water added on and was difficult to prove and check as the invoice did not list individual items but just location of purchase.
We did enjoy the sunset champagne cruise even though the wins was not enough to do any sailing. I was horrified to see the mate on the boat fire the corks from the champagne into the sea. This would have been ok if they were made of cork but these were plastic and potential hazard to fish or just part of the general pollution that washes up on beaches.
It's nice to have the one inclusive nights as it's great to try some of the local restaurants, in Syvota most give a free desert and in Parga free ouzo is the custom.
Generally fantastic holiday for those keen on activities, sailing is not the best as winds tend to be quite light, better for kayaking and cycling.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tog14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Having been on several beach club holidays we didn't find this as good an experience as others have, partly for the activities and partly for the room (see comments below).

The location is beautiful, there are a lot of steps as mentioned on every review, but then most people on this sort of activity holiday are fit anyway. Not having seen it before the refurbishment, the main hotel complex looks good, and I was really impressed with:
1. the small gym and studio. As most of the classes were on the deck, you can use the varied equipment in the studio when its free
2. the spa is new, and treatments were very good
3. being able to road bike is great, a definite plus for the resort
4. the possibility to day sail on a yacht, most beach clubs don't have this
5. the food was generally good, providing you didn't pile your plate high on the buffet (but the coffee on offer in the restaurant was awful).
6. Free beach towels and kettles are a great improvement.

By comparison to other beach clubs I was disappointed in the sailing here. Most resorts have sailing off a beach where one can sit and watch; here the sailing and windsurfing is far removed from the pool area, and the beach sitting area is out of view from the sailing area (with no facilities). We had quite varied weather and it was difficult to tell if there was sailing taking place as no flags were flown - and a return journey of 450 steps to find out what conditions were. We didn't want to do a course because of the time commitment but on reflection maybe we should have. It wasn't sufficiently tempting to do free sailing, which was one of my reasons for going.

We took the night excursion to Parga, but looking back we should have just hired a car - the trip for 2 is about the cost of a car for the day.

The walk into and out of Sivota is OK, and as other have said easy to stock up on drinks cheaper than the hotel. We tried a couple of restaurants and by far the best (and acclaimed by Neilson staff, so maybe they get a discount!) is the hotel before the harbour, excellent quality and a good price, much better than the one's directly on the harbour. I couldn't find it on here, so couldn't write a review or remind myself of the name!

Room Tip: Do not have garden room 402 if its not mid summer. And even then be aware that sitting watching the...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank banstead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

Superlatives abound at this superb holiday and activity destination. Definitely our best holiday experience by a long chalk. You "really can relax as hard as you like" so if your activity is not on the long 'official' list of water-based or land-based activities, then eating 6 star nosh and watching the world go by counts too. The staff are more than happy to please and are most efficient in keeping you trained, entertained, and more. Clean rooms and efficient housekeeping. This was our first time at any activity-based holiday and found it to be excellent value for money.

Room Tip: If you are reasonably fit, then choose a garden room for a really quiet spot, otherwise stick to the...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ILP-JP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Neilson Retreat Beachclub

Address: 10 Min Walk From Harbour, Syvota, Greece
Region: Greece > Epirus > Thesprotia Region > Syvota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Syvota
Number of rooms: 119
Also Known As:
The Retreat Hotel Syvota
Retreat Hotel Sivota
Neilson Retreat Beachclub Greece/Syvota

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