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“Great choice despite the Thomas Cook-Up”

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Neilson Retreat Beachclub
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Syvota
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great choice despite the Thomas Cook-Up”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Beautiful setting; more than adequate rooms; excellent food; very good variety of activities. Lovely village with harbour in walking distance and although a bit of a hike back uphill it is easy to hire a taxi and save your legs. It has been written before and it's true- there are a LOT of steps here- but view them as part of your keep fit programme and they don't seem so bad.

The jewel in this crown is the staff in my view and, in particular, the watersports staff under the leadership of Vasilis.They seem to have endless patience and skill- getting young and old up on wakeboards and skis -giving folk a great sense of achievement and pride. Cant recommend this place enough.
Have to say the holiday wasn't helped by the ' Great Thomas Cook-Up.'; diverted on the way to Greece to deliver a plane part; delayed hours on the way back because of computer failure. The Captain said he was sure we understood. Got that wrong too. Ask Neilson for some tips on customer care.

Room Tip: the sea view rooms are more popular but there is so much going on I don't think it matters much
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scotspoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (250)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Greek first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

Wow! Another amazing holiday with Neilson. Having been to Sivota every year from 2006-2009 (followed by other Neilson holidays after that) I can honestly say this was the best one yet.

Following an extensive refurbishment programme and significant investment, the Retreat is now a stand-out property. The public areas are modern, sleek and comfortable. We had one of the newly built superior garden rooms and it was superb; spacious with great facilities. The balcony was huge and the view stunning.

The layout of the hotel and activities is well spread out with plenty of alcoves, bays and pontoons. A wide choice of spots for sunbathing and people watching, just remember to allow enough time to get to and from your activities.

Top tips - 1) water shoes essential, even if not crossing to goat island as the sea has a rocky and stony bed. Buy them from Alex at the hotel shop though. 10 €, they'll last the week. 2) insect repellant advised, especially for the evenings. 3) stand or sit close to your preferred activity at the welcome meeting-the queues get very long very quickly!

Thanks to all of the team for the fantastic tuition and service throughout the stay.

If you're in any doubt whether to book the retreat, don't be. It's a beautifully tranquil place where you truly can relax as hard as you like.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank njc727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Have just returned from another excellent holiday with Neilson, at the retreat resort, so much to do and choose from and something for everybody. Food good Staff good views amazing. My son had a great time being a Sea Badger and was knackered every night from all the well organized activities will defiantly be booking an other holiday very soon.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank billygracia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edinburgh
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Just returned from a one week flotilla out of Sivota. The views were absolutely stunning from beginning to end. Mick our skipper, along with Neil (engineer) and Tim our social host (amongst other things) kept us safe and entertained. They really were the best support crew we could have had. Our Bennetau 33 sailed well and we enjoyed some good winds on a couple of the days. May have to try and fit in a last minute return before the end of season! Many thanks to the aforementioned crew and the Neilson team for a slick service and a great sailing holiday!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bella57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

This place far exceeded my expectations, I have never done an activity holiday before however my other half has and he too was impressed.

Resort: Yes, there are a lot of steps and even the fittest would struggle to begin with however been at an activity resort I felt it was pretty fitting and helped one to work up an appetite for lunch/dinner. The Rooms are reasonably sized, between 6 of us we had 8 bruises on our calves from walking into the bed at night! The Cleaners did a wonderful job and it was nice coming back to a freshly made bed after a long day of activities. We didn’t turn on the TV once as I wasn’t on holiday to watch TV and much preferred to watch the world go by on our balcony with a glass of wine or cold beer.

Food: Outstanding! There was always a lot to offer and been a Vegetarian there was also always something new for me, lots of meat and fish for my partner. Desserts weren’t amazing but I find most European countries don’t do dessert as good as us Brits anyway, I stuck to their gorgeous yoghurt and honey most evenings. The food is worth at least £20 a head with the amount of variety you can get making a perfect;y commendable starter, main and dessert. The Restaurant staff were really attentive and always had smiles on their faces. Breakfast was great, with something for everyone. Even a gluten free section which was perfect for me. Coffer wasn’t amazing but it comes out in two streams, one with espresso and one with water, I only used the coffee stream in my mug and let the water stream into another so I found that made a decent strong coffee. One thing worth mentioning which I do home they take not on is that possibly the worst night for food was Saturday night (one would think that the last night should be the best, going out with a bang). The BBQ was OK but we would have much preferred to head into town for another meal. Cocktail hour is always worth heading down to the bar for, they are all good and I would thoroughly recommend the espresso martini.

Fitness: Georgie is such a character and so much fun. She hold’s some excellent classes for all abilities and will push you as hard or as lightly as suits you. We didn’t manage to get to her bicycle rides but heard that they were lots of fun and some pretty extreme for those that like a challenge. We took part in the tennis lessons which were great and although you are playing or in my case failing to play in the sun it is an excellent way to seat out last night’s cocktails and work on your tan. The tennis coaches where great fun and really helpful, shout out to Brindley for been so patient with us and helping 3 of us get through to the final’s in the tournament. Water-skiing is a must and you are allowed one pull a day which is a great way to practice and work on your skills. WIND is pretty non-existent for windsurfers but you can head out f the bay and catch some knots on a dinghy. Callum on the kayak beach is a great lad and his dog Meythos is a great character to have around.

Spa: I would definitely recommend a massage, the oils they use are just beautiful and the views over the bay in the treatments rooms are magical.

A few Tips: The Photo deals they offer are good but the best one is just over 100 Euros (I think) for ALL your photos, keeping that in mind it is worth finding out where the photographers are going to be so they can get some great action shots of you, My Mum only did the fitness on the deck and only got two photos taken which she was pretty disappointed about, basically the more you do the more photos you will have.
We took wet shoes for walking across the spit and glad we did (you can buy ten for £4 from sports direct) we saw a lot of people struggling slowly across to the kit beach.
Wine isn’t amazing at the resort and not worth paying their ridiculous prices, it is worth heading to the mini-market in Sivota to stock up for the rest of the week and the bar men are pretty chilled out about taking your own wine.

All in all, I would thoroughly recommend this to everyone and anyone. We wouldn’t go back because we are prefer sailing and there wasn’t enough wind but we would recommend it to families and people with children.

Room Tip: You can upgrade to a garden room but all have sea views anyway so I don't think its worth it.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank FromLondonto-
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

If you're in two minds about whether to book this holiday, book it. We have just got back from a week at the Retreat feeling relaxed but absolutely knackered from sporting endeavour.

Resort:
I found the resort really warm and friendly. The bar is well fitted out and comfortable and for some reason the swimming pool was often empty which made it easy to swim some lengths to cool down in the middle of the day. There are a lot of steps. I counted 234 from the ski pontoon to our room at the very back of the resort but you soon get used to it.

Food
The food was consistently good and there is so much variety that if you can't find something you like then it might be you with the problem. A good mix of standard fare and local fish, Greek dips and proper chicken gyro kebab etc. The only criticism I'd venture is that the coffee at breakfast is terrible! Part of me thinks that this is to get guests to order coffee from the bar which is actually pretty decent but costs. Other than that, really enjoyable - if I hadn't eaten three courses for every meal I think I would have lost about 2 stone during the week.

I'd recommend the BBQ night on Friday which was a really good end to a busy week. There are a load of restaurants in Sivota - I'd personally recommend the Blue Coast which is down the far end of the harbour and does litre jugs of wine for less than 10 euro which is a big tick in my book.

Room
The room was fairly standard but to be honest we rarely used it as we were always out although I did require about 4 showers a day. The cleaners do a really good and unsung job - everything was back to normal when we returned to the room in the evenings. The TV is weirdly situated in the mirror which took a bit of working out. You can't really see the picture during the day and at night it only seems to pick up repeats of M*A*S*H which, to be fair, was an excellent show.

Activities
I can't fault many of the activities I tried. The tennis coaches strike the right balance between sardonic tomfoolery and genuine insight. They were also incredibly patient with our (bottom) group who were largely unable to perform even the most basic of tasks. I'm not a biker but enjoyed the 20km mountain bike ride which coincided with a massive rain storm. Volleyball was okay but perhaps slightly too alpha-male with lots of bare, hairless chests and fist pumping. By far the thing I'm most pleased with is the swim round goat island which is the smallish island opposite the resort. It's a 2.2km open sea swim and I was gratified not to be the only non serious looking swimmer attempting it. I managed it in 47 minutes and possibly had 4 courses for lunch that day. I'd definitely recommend it as a challenge to plan your holiday around.

Extras
I guess a lot of the profit comes from the 'extra' bits and bobs that don't come included in your headline price. As I said before the coffee from the bar is good enough and a welcome change from the breakfast stuff. Draught lager is served in ice cold glasses which is wonderful. The local beer, Zorbas, is pretty good and a little bit cheaper than the premium lager (Amstel).

All in all, a big thumbs up. Simple transport, great resort, great staff, great food, tonnes to do. Get it booked.

Room Tip: If you have a top garden room, prepare for your thighs and buttocks to take a battering.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Benjamin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2014 via mobile

My husband and I had never been on a Neilson holiday until the Retreat, we have been missing out! Guests are a range of ages and fitness levels so don't be out off if you think everyone will be super fit and 20.

The resort is brilliant, yes there are steps but it really didn't bother us. Our room overlooked goat island and the Ionian Sea which was absolutely lovely. The rooms minimalistic but clean and modern, with a nice balcony to relax on.

The activities were well organised, easy to book on to and the instructors were excellent. Special thanks to Callum and Tony on the kayaks - very good tuition and very helpful and friendly.

Although there is a comprehensive activity planner it was also great to book free play tennis and mountain bikes to explore a bit more of Sivota. We took the kayaks out in the bay, there is a huge area to go and explore safely. We didn't feel restricted at all.

Food was excellent, new things added to the buffet each day - I think there is something for everyone!

We ate at one of the bistro nights, which in hindsight we wouldn't do again. The food was fine it's just there are lots of lovely eateries in Sivota that I would prefer to eat out in. The BBQ night was good, and followed the staff vs guests volleyball which is worth going to for a bit of entertainment!

There is a good physio on site who is really reasonably priced if you have any niggles!

We have never gone back to the same place on holiday before but we definitely would take a trip back to the retreat.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Gemma A
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

Property: 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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