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“first holiday to greece”

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smartline Margarita Hotel
Ranked #3 of 73 Hotels in Laganas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2014

just got back stayed from 16/06/2014 to 23/06/2014.This was the first time, my wife and myself have been to Greece, and if it can be anywhere near as good an experience as this one we will be going every year from now on, the staff are excellent, service was great, hotel fabulous,kids entertainers were great with everyone even us cosidering we went as a couple. rep only seemed to interested in the younger guests, until we were getting on the coach to come home

Room Tip: talking to other guests i`d say all the rooms are great, i recommend having the air-con though
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank neilj8268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 June 2014

Myself and 4 friends arrived here at the beginning of June. We were in the main building with the older style rooms but still very nice. It seemed they put all the young groups in this part of the hotel as its close to the reception....and the security.
Don't get me wrong the hotel was amazingly clean, the maids did a very good job, the staff were almost all friendly and the grounds and setting were lovely. The main issues we had were:
-Being followed to our room by security when we came in. They shouted at us to 'get to sleep, shut up, stay in our assigned rooms and behave'. I didn't go abroad to be treated like a child, we are all around 24 and even though, yes we like a good time, we are all respectful girls and wouldn't cause trouble so this was an insult to say the least.
-The food and drinks were limited in quantity and variety. We asked for a vodka and lemonade and were told 'no you're having cocktails' which I thought was very rude. Myself and another friend were very ill from the eggs, resulting in our friends having to get medication from the medical centre.
-The Rep is great...as long as you're buying from her and up for expensive parties. Don't expect much otherwise.
- And the minor issue of our assigned table being taken half way through the week. We informed the reception who just told us to get another table which meant taking another parties.

Now for the good bits and advice!
-As I said the grounds are gorgeous and well maintained.
-The pools are lovely, a bit cold at first but you get used to it.
-The shop owners are lovely people and usually up for a laugh and a joke.
-The boat trip to see the turtles is fab, we saw two pop their heads up!
-Definitely visit Peri Heaven (Nandos) but don't walk down the alley. Yes its a short-cut and you don't get hassled like the strip in-front but unfortunately its known for bad things happening to young girls. We knew of such a thing when we were out there. Please stay in groups, near the strip, near other people.
-The shops are great, mainly the same things but you can haggle.
-The Waterparks are basic but lots of fun!
-Definitely book excursions cheaper through the tour people on the strip.
-Our favourite clubs/bars out there were: Cheeky Tikis! Mojitos, Glamour, Lush and Whaikiki.
I wouldn't rush to go back, if i did I'd stay in an 18-30's hotel, purely to avoid the above bad points.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank claire w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

yes once again hotel itself is excellent cannott fault in any way but thomas cook are another matter.You can only book the hotel through them and being honest they are letting it go downhill as it should be a family hotel not an 18-30 please tc make up your mind what it is to be. All staff great rep ok sophie and lottie amazing kids love them. Flight times are bad but we flew out late sunday so we could have 10 nights and an afternoon flight home all in all still a great holiday and any complaints are thomas cooks making.

Room Tip: ask for refurbished room
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank gail l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I returned from my holiday couple of days ago but wish I could stay longer. The hotel was very clean and the staff very friendly and helpful at all times of the day or night. The room was very inviting and cosy and kept clean daily by the maid who was lovely and very considerate. There was a variety of food served to please the cultural side as well as the ones who do not like to try new things and stick to their chips and sausages. There was always fresh fruit e.g. watermelon, apricots, apples, fruit salads etc. as well as deserts in the evenings. The pool area was very well looked after as well as the pool itself and the staff by the pool bar worked hard and always smiled, half way through they knew what we drunk and what was our name.

As to the entertainment staff Sophie and Lotti, they were really nice girls who enjoyed being with the people and worked their butts off to please. We played water pool, aqua splashes, played pool and many more games throughout the day but and the girls also went out of their way to make it fun. The evening entertainment was briliant too, the girls threw kids discos, bingos, and games such as family fortune, karaoke, battle of the sexes and it was very much fun as well as it brought the people there a bit closer and after couple of days everyone lost the shame and joined in, chatted with each other etc. I also must say that there were lots of children who were never bored, there was a little playground at the back of the pool area, the children joined in with the games ( an were very much apritiated and included in all of it by Sophie and Lotti as well as encouraged). It is also worth mentiotning that there was no pretended 'niceness' in the entertainment staff, they were really nice to all people, thought of different activities and went with our interests as well. They also arranges Greek evening and we watched greek dancing were included in it too which was fun.

Overall the holiday were very relaxing and I am glad we chose Margarita family hotel as it indeed was family friendly unlike other hotels where we could hear loud music from the pool when passing, I mean who wants to hear loud music all day long.

As I read the previous reviews, someone said that it has double standards. I don't think it has. I am only 30 years old with no children and went with my friend and although I like to party and drink I do not like to see teenagers hanging by the pool, being drunk and shout loud, I find it quite disturbing and annoying to be honest. It was only fair that they were told to calm down because it indeed is a family hotel and there are children around but there are also people who wants to relax and chill and enjoy the holiday away from all the stress, drama and inappropriate behavior seen back in England so it needs to be considered. Of course everyone had few drinks and was tipsy esp. on the sun but nobody was being offensive or disrespectful to the others. Plus if you come to relax you will be tired by midnight (sun, drink, fun) you wanna go bed, so if people are being noisy and loud you wont be able to sleep and that is not very relaxing. The environment was calm, quite for the ones who came to relax, if others return early in the morning, pissed out of their head then fair enough but go to your room, don't make a noise...I find if fair.

We also went for a trip and because it was early morning we would have missed breakfast and lunch so the staff did a lunch box for us..... how nice

As people were departing, it was nice to see Sophie and Lotti going to say good bye, which mind you, they did not have to.....unlike the holiday rep of Thomas Cook who did not show her face once.
It shows you that they indeed cared about us enough to get out of bed in their private time and came.

I will definitely go back to Zante and definitely will choose Margarita again

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank 24Mags84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Just returned from this hotel Firstly the good things.. Hotel very clean the refurbished rooms are very nice airey clean and the decor is lovely the food is of very good quality and varied both pools are very clean and well looked after. The bar staff are very polite kind and alway smiling Sophie and Lotti the entertainment staff go above and beyond duty to please. Now on to the minus side of things, On arrival we were assigned to a table for the duration of the week for all meals, we quickly discovered that we were expected to dine at a table with 4 strangers and found this unbelievable due to the fact we were a couple and not part of a group. We queried this and were told we could sit at another table from the fri evening until the Sunday but if a considerable amount of guests checked in then they would be assigned to our table.

Although this is advertised as a family hotel it would appear that there were as many groups of young all male and all female people as there were families, this was not a problem for us as we are a young at heart 50 something couple but everywhere you look there are notices to keep the youngsters in check and felt that they were being victimised unfairly because they were not of a family unit. Now the way I see it is .. Either this is a family hotel and the management do NOT take booking from 18-30 OR.. Everyone is treated equally. They do not find it acceptable for a younger person to enter hotel fairly late after having a night out and are stared and looked in an unacceptable way but it appears it is absolutely fine for a child of a family to kick footballs near to guest tables where there are hot drinks or scream and cry from early morning all day until that particular family would leave the pool area to go to their room.

An example of this is .. There was a group of female young adults in the adult only pool because there were no free sunbeds in the other family pool area. They were just laughing and splashing in pool and having an enjoyable time but... They were instantly warned about their conduct by the management via the thomas cook rep, who had only previously sold them tickets to the bar crawl taking place during their stay that week, this is why I mention in my heading double standards. the majority of the youngsters were always very polite just a bit giggly when having a few drinks but I did not witness any rowdy behaviour at all and as I previously mention it is ok for the children under 16 to make as much noise as they like without a mention from anyone but this is not the case for 18-30 on occasion even we were looked at like we had two heads when we entered the hotel around 1 am very odd.

We checked in on Friday 12th June around 0700hrs after boarding the plane from Birmingham at midnight on the Thursday 11th June however on the 19th June (yesterday) we received a telephone call to our room at 1145am asking us to vacate by 12pm as we were due to check out.. . I queried this but was advised that our accomodation commenced on Thursday 11th at midday and it was not the hotels fault but thomas cook .. So I will in turn take this up with them separately but in hindsight surely the hotel are very well aware that we were not boarding a plane until midnight and there was never any chance we would be arriving anytime before 0700 on the Friday, they must be aware of who is checking in on what day ......so in effect this is a 6 night holiday not a 7 unless you want to pay a further 50 euros from the midday check out on the 6th day up until the 0300 pick up on the 7th day. Was extremley angry yesterday when we were basically cast aside to make room for other guests to check into our room I just hope whoever checks in is not being picked up for the airport early hours of the 27th as they will be treated in the same way, everyone on our plane from our hotel were complaining of this so this is obviously normal run of the mill for the hotel and in addition thomas cook, the rep gergorgia was not in the slightest but interested and just brushed it off that it happens every week and made no excuses for this. All in all I will not return to this hotel not because of location or facilities but because it felt more like being at a boarding school for a week rather than a holiday. The rules and regulations are ridiculous you cannot unwind and relax as you would expect to do on a holiday hence the reason we all book one !!! So all in all make of it what you will due to the other exception reviews but I have given an honest opinion to save others from disappointment and wasting hard earned funds.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are refurbished but not in the main building so I would advise asking for this
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank monkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014 via mobile

Stayed at this hotel at the beginning on June with a friend, firstly I would say it is a futile endeavour asking for a new room as there are very few and even though we requested one prior to our departure we were actually put in an old room in the noisiest block. I had tonsillitis and glandular fever only a week before our departure and we were hoping for a quiet room... No such luck! When I asked to swap rooms to a new one as requested the best they could offer was to move us on Thursday. That was already 4 nights in to our holiday!

First night was disturbed for pretty much the entirety by people coming in from the strip, although not the hotels fault they could do something to quieten the noise as the doors close! You couldn't close them without slamming them! And the furniture is all wooden so makes horrendous scraping noises across the floor, we found about 50% of our nights were disturbed by noise.

The hotel itself is very nice and exceptionally clean, big 5* for cleanliness, the maids work extremely hard! The bar staff are lovely and very obliging as are the buffet staff and the reception. Could not fault them for one second on their polite manner. We adored Sophie and Lottie, they were some of the nicest people I have ever come across and they were absolutely brilliant in their role as entertainers! I even won 95 euros on Bingo one night!! Georgia the rep on the other hand I have very different feelings on, we had barely sat down in the hotel before she was ploughing us with parties we could go to. Not what you want to hear about when you've been awake since 1am! We had a few issues with her over the holiday, and I found her somewhat unprofessional. But don't worry if you book lots of activities with her she'll be your best friend!

The food is a little up and down, we found it wasn't labelled very well and hence I was very cautious of what I was picking from the buffets. We did speak to a Thomas Cook manager about this and he broached it to the management and within the same day the food was labelled so much better, which is really good. The salad is always super fresh and delicious, I just struggled with accompaniments as there seemed to be a lot of fish and a lot of heavy carb food. The bar food gives you another option for lunch time snacks however and we tended to take the more casual simple option and eat from here.

To summarise this hotel has an awful lot of good points, but the sleepless nights and sometimes hungry days did drain me more than I would have liked. If you get put in to the family/new rooms you may have a much better time. For a quiet relaxing holiday I wouldn't say this is the place for you. Try somewhere slightly further out from the strip! We will not be returning despite the cleanliness and (in majority) good staff.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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1  Thank Chloe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Stayed here for a week in june 2014, best hotel in laganas.

Staff polite, friendly and very helpful. Cleaning staff were fantastic cleaned our room everyday and did more than enough for us and also very talkative and polite.
George behind the bar was great with everyone and you have to try his rocket cocktails very big hit with everyone whilst we was there.

The hotel was very clean and had a mixed group of guests, families, couples, older couples and young groups but everyone got on great and met some amazing friendly people that i will never forget.

The food in the hotel was fantasitc all fresh and spoilt for choice we never ate out as the food was just brilliant in the margarita hotel. The staff here really go out their way for all guests young and old faultless!!

Laganas itself was alot better than i expected we went on the strip everynight till the early hours great fun with friendly people. The greeks are loveley people, very welcoming and always polite and friendly.

The only downside was the last day, you have to come home! :( Margarita herself actually praised us on the last day for being well behaved guests as we came in early hours most days from a night on the strip but still was quiet and respected other guests sleeping, which i thought was really nice of her to praise us like she did!

Take no notice of what others say about the staff being rude to younger guests its all rubbish if you respect them and other guests around you, you will be treated with the exact respect as guests that have been returning year after year.

I will 100 percent be returning to zante and this hotel! fantastic week depressing to be home and would like to thank margarita herself and all her amazing staff!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank katie_20147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about smartline Margarita Hotel

Address: Laganas 29092, Greece
Region: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Laganas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Laganas
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laganas
Price Range: £89 - £325 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — smartline Margarita Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
smartline Margarita is a charming All Inclusive hotel with a warm atmosphere and a beautiful garden. The hotel is an ideal choice for families. Guests stay in bright and modern rooms, and the hotel's restaurant serves home-grown fruit and vegetables as well as specialties from all around the world. The hotel has an inviting and relaxing pool area with three pools, including a kids pool and a relaxation pool for adults only, and if you want to enjoy the gazing sun by the sea, the beach is just a 10 minute stroll away. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Margarita Hotel Laganas
Hotel Margarita Zante

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