My boyfriend and I stayed at the hotel from 02/09/12 until 09/09/12. We managed to get quite a cheap deal even though we were half board (£430 each including flights baggage & transfers through Olympic). The hotel looks lovely inside and is very clean (I saw staff cleaning pretty much every day), bins were also emptied in our room and sheets changed daily at around noon. The rooms all seem to have either a balcony or terrace (although there is a basement but I don't know if there are rooms in there). Rooms either overlook the pool or the road, rooms overlooking the road all have a balcony as the terrace on the ground floor on that side is the outside eating area for the restaurant. Our room overlooked the road which I was happy with as it was more private with no noise from the bar (I didn't find the bar particularly noisy anyway to be honest). The road was pretty quiet so no problems there plus there was a lovely field of olive trees to look at. We didn't have to pay for the fridge in the room but it did switch off whenever you took the key out of the electricity switch, the bathroom light also didn't work unless the key was there. The air con was an extra 50 euros per week, a bit steep to be honest but we knew we would have to pay this before we had arrived and so were prepared for it. The air con is remote controlled so you can change the temperature from your bed although it does make a loud beeping noise. The temperature only goes as low as 18 degrees but we found that this was sufficient. The air con also does not work without the key and stops if the balcony door is open.
All rooms seem to have single beds which wasn't brilliant but the beds were comfortable. There was no duvet only a sheet but I guess if you didn't have air con this wouldn't be a problem.
The TV in the room was pretty poor to be honest, very small and high up. There were only about 5 channels all fuzzy and in Greek. Two & a Half Men was pretty much the only English program that came on (with Greek subtitles) so I would suggest bringing a book! There is a lounge area with a TV downstairs though but we never bothered with this.
It would have been good to have a kettle in the room to make tea and coffee.
The staff were very friendly and helpful and offered us dinner upon our arrival even though we arrived after 9 (when they stopped serving). The food was obviously left overs from the buffet but there was a lovely tomato salad and the thought was appreciated.
Our air conditioner was leaking when we arrived but the staff sorted this by the next day.
We had breakfast and evening meal included. Breakfast is from 8:00 - 10:00 and dinner is from 7:30 - 9:00. We ended up missing breakfast twice as two of the days out we booked required us to leave at 8:00 so it would have been better if breakfast had started at 7:30.
To be honest the quality of the food varied. Breakfast options included standard cooked breakfast choices (sausages, fried eggs, beans, bacon, tomatoes plus randomly french toast - I guess this was instead of hash browns) plus toast,croissants, yogurt, some rather processed looking ham (which seems to be popular over there), yellow cheese, fruit and cereal. Tea, coffee and juices (orange & cranberry) were also included at no extra cost. The bacon was very fatty and not as cooked as we would have liked, the fruit was also tinned which is a great shame as there is plenty of fresh produce on the island. The orange juice also seemed to vary in strength suggesting that it wasn't fresh. I would avoid the cereal to be honest as it was in glass dispensers and looked as if it had been sitting around for a good while.
Everything else was very nice at breakfast, I particularly enjoyed the coffee but larger cups would have been nice!
The salad selection at the evening meal was the highlight, lovely tomatoes, great pasta and potato salad with heaps of flavor plus lovely feta. The main courses varied to be honest as some of the food seemed to be bought in rather than made (e.g. the bolognaise sauce). The food was mostly Greek but with some British favorites (chips, pasta, pizza etc), I was very glad it wasn't all British like in some restaurants in the town. The main course was let down by some things being very overcooked at times. Dessert only ever had two options, one of which was always ice cream. I went for the home made dessert option every time which was always nice.
Popular food (such as croissants and sausages at breakfast and desserts other than ice cream) seemed to run out and not be restocked if you didn't get there early enough which was a bit annoying. Especially when a member of staff cleared away a dessert I had saved, upon noticing there was only 2 left, without me even getting to try it.
I was a bit annoyed that we weren't allowed to sit in the bar area at mealtimes as there weren't many tables on the front terrace and we wanted to sit outside but we only ended up having to sit indoors about 3 times.
The pool area was very clean and tidy, again the staff seem to clean this area daily. There were plenty of bins so people didn't seem to just leave there rubbish lying around. There was never a fight for sunbeds as well which was good and there weren't too many people reserving sunbeds with towels (this really irritates me!). I was particularly happy that the hotel didn't seem to attract children so there was no annoying splashing and screaming in the pool. There was no life guard but the varying pool depths were clearly marked and my boyfriend and I are strong swimmers anyway so this wasn't an issue for us. My only issue with the pool area was that we were told off for bringing our own food and drinks down which was pretty annoying as everyone was doing it, but I guess it depended on which member of staff was on the bar. I wasn't about to pay the bar prices for food and drink so we just ate our food when the bartender wasn't looking. My boyfriend bought half a pint from the bar and just kept topping it up with cans he had bought from the supermarket. The pool bar only offered British food from what I saw so I wouldn't suggest eating there plus most of the alcohol was imported so was overly expensive (although if you were full board cocktails were only 2 euros). Even a pint of Greek lager was 4 euros, iced coffee was 3 euros and diet coke was 2 euros for a small glass. Needless to say the local supermarket was much cheaper (with a can of lager only 1 euro).
There are however, two issues with the hotel (aside from the varying quality of the food) which is why I only gave it 4 stars.
Firstly, they are geared up to make you spend more money. The 50 euros for the air con, not being able to take your own food and drinks to the pool (apart from water), having to pay for drinks with your evening meal despite paying for half board (even water) - and you aren't allowed to bring your own drinks, the 3 euros an hour for internet (and the computers are SLOW). If you want extra sheets etc I also noticed that there was also a charge for that.
In the Olympic brochure it also says there is a games room and a 24 hour supermarket on site. This is completely untrue. The 'games room' is just a room of computers which you have to pay for. However, there is a ping pong table on the terrace on the poolside. There is also no supermarket on site meaning that you have to walk to town.
This brings me to my second issue, the distance to town and the beach. The walk to town is pretty unpleasant to be honest, especially when your lugging 6 liters of water back. It takes about 15 mins which I think is too far to be considered a relaxing stroll. You have to walk along the road as there is no path and so need to watch out for cars. There is no shade and so you are constantly under the sun plus the heat seems to reflect off the concrete making it even more scorching (we saw heat ripples more than once). I swear you could fry an egg on that road! Please don't do what I did and wear sandals with no socks as I had so many blisters I could barley walk for the rest of the holiday. I actually had to buy a more comfortable pair of shoes to get me through all the walking. You really need trainers with a thick soul as I could actually feel the heat from the pavement through my sandals. I am not someone who enjoys walking though so others may be fine but for me the walking was an unnecessary stress. Especially since the coaches for the excursions did not meet us at the hotel (although we booked excursions through mytours rather than Olympic as it was much cheaper), this meant that the walk to town was a daily occurrence unless you stayed by the pool all day.
There are no buses to town (the nearest bus stop is in town) and so you would have to rent a car, quad bike or scooter if you didn't want to walk to town (taxi's were 6 euros from the beach to the hotel). There are loads of rental places in town so this wouldn't be a problem.
The beach is at the other end of town which takes a further 15 minutes - this part of the walk is not too bad as it is through the town so there's plenty to look at and a reasonable amount of shade. The beach is nice and sandy with free sunbeds if you buy a drink from a local bar but there are allot of sales people constantly bothering you so we only visited that beach once.
The hotel seemed to mostly attract groups of young people and young couples although there were some older couples and a couple of families. I was very glad that it wasn't child orientated as having lots of screaming children running around would have definitely made it less relaxing.
I wouldn't recommend the hotel to families to be honest as there is nothing for children to do besides the unsupervised pool. The hotel is really best for people who want a relaxing holiday (like us) although the town has a good night life.
If you are going to stay here and don't enjoy walking I would suggest making provision to rent a car, this would also give you the opportunity to explore the less touristy side of Zante. We would have rented a car if we had the money set aside although you should be warned that allot of people are dangerous drivers in Zante and no-one seems to know how to use an indicator! There is also a complete lack of road markings so I's only drive here if I was experienced.
Overall the hotel was lovely although I would love to pick it up and put it nearer to the beach (although I suppose this would make it less peaceful). They could really do with having a shop on site where you could buy water and a few supplies but I imagine if they did they would charge more than in town.
I would suggest visiting the local discount supermarket (across from the petrol station) for your weekly shop as the prices are very reasonable. The bakery a little further up does a selection of sweet and savory pastries and lovely ice cream. If you need anything medical though the pharmacy is pretty much next to the beach, the good news is you can get antibiotics etc with no prescription but this does cost 10 euros.
I hope that you will find this review helpful & have a good holiday!
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- Also Known As:
- Pallas Hotel Laganas