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“Amazing 11 nights! Will be back”
Review of Marelen Hotel

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Marelen Hotel
Ranked #4 of 30 Hotels in Kalamaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Amazing hotel. Me & my boyfriend stayed here for 11 nights & loved every second!!
Ill get the negatives out of the way first however this is the one & ONLY negative from the whole holiday.... We were unaware the safe & air con had to be paid for so we were £103 down on our first day - however I have since found out this is the same with most hotels on greece & also the price depends on how long you are staying!

Now onto the positives
Food- we went half board, breakfast had a great variety & was lovely, we ordered from the snack bar most days & never had a bad meal. Our evening meal consisted of a 3 course every night & was amazing! Again never had a bad meal.
The prices when buying food & drink were good.

Room- rooms where your standard Greek rooms, always cleaned very well by the maids. Comfy & just enough room

-Staff are all great!! Louise on reception was fab, the entertainment team were also brill, especially cat & Kerry!! All staff at this hotel were welcoming, helpful & friendly!

-location 3 min walk from beach & 5 minute walk from Kalamaki strip. 30 min walk from laganas!

Overall we loved the hotel & Kalamaki! We are definitely gonna return & plan to take our family with us.
Thank you to all staff at the marelen we had a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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5  Thank Ajdc123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
The extra charges for safe and air con are not included in the tour operator's contract, so they do state in their brochure there are extra charges for these.
I am so pleased you were happy with all the food, as the half board is quite a new addition to the Marelen so it is always good to get feedback from guests.
I have passed on your comments to all our staff, and please let us know if you rebook in the future.

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822 - 828 of 1,206 reviews

Reviewed 22 September 2013

Just got back after two weeks at the Maralen.Had a great time,nice room,friendly staff and close to the beach,the Strip,taxi rank and bike rentals.Had a quad bike for the majority of the time as my fellah has problems walking.Can highly recommend this form of transport,great fun and you get to see the real Zakynthos not just the tourist side.Chris Papopopolis(,or something like that )is a really nice guy,really helpful and is not too far away from hotel.All in all a very pleasant holiday.

Room Tip: We stayed in 209 which got the sun in the morning and was fairly quiet.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank missdaisybanbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2013

Thank you for your lovely review. We hope to see you again in the future.

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Reviewed 18 September 2013

From the warm welcome on arrival from Theresa and Louise to our departue we had a wonderful time at the Marelen. We requested a west facing room by email to catch the afternoon sun and we managed to succeed. We had an end room on the middle floor of the long block behind the pool. This was just behid the church and overlooked the well kept gardens.

The hotel is ideal for families with an excellent Splash Pool with numerous slides and water features. It was so good even we had a go! We found it quieter than the main pool and there was plenty of shade and a small bar.

All the staff at the hotel were very friendly, motivated and worked very hard to give us an enjoyable stay. Special mention should go to the entertainments team who worked their socks off for both adults and kids. There was always something going on.

Breakfast was buffet style and filling. The pool snack bar had a variety of meals at a reasonable price. We did not eat at the hotel in the evening with the exception of the bar-b-que which was good value for money.

If you are looking for a family holiday with plenty going on, the Marelen is for you.

Room Tip: Room 335 - end room of main block - faces west
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Surf_Pacha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, I have passed on all the comments to the staff.
Please let us know if you book the Marelen in the future.

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Reviewed 17 September 2013

First of all, I have to say that the Marelen Hotel oversells itself marketing as a 3 star - it's probably 1 and a half at best. The hotel rooms are extremely basic as even the best reviews on here confirm. They are sparsely furnished with adequate storage although the walls are paper thin. This meant an early alarm call (7am!) every morning from the three children playing (shouting) in the hallway and bouncing a ball in the upstairs room. The public rooms match the sparseness of the bedrooms.

Don't bother booking B & B - the breakfast is truly awful. Orange squash masquerading as juice, eggs that had been fried so hard that they resembled frisbees and boiled, tinned mini hotdog sausages making up the 'full English' - there are better (and cheaper) versions in one of the many 'tavernas' a short walk away. The food served at the hotel snack bar matched what was available in the rest of the resort - perfectly edible but mostly beige, including the speciality of the house, McCain Chips. The word 'resort' is a touch misleading - Kalamaki is made up of souvenir shops selling cheap fake goods, supermarkets advertising 'great deals' on cigarettes, tour touts, quad bike hire outlets and identikit bars selling identikit food- again, perfectly edible but likely to spark a Jamie Oliver crusade if he was aware of it.

The 'entertainment' at the hotel is straight out of 1970s Butlins - bingo, a 'musical theatre experience' laid on by the tour reps and a couple of failed karaoke singers belting out 'Don't cry for me, Argentina' and 'La Bamba' amongst other 'current' hits.

The pool area is nice enough, clean and there are plenty of sunbeds although you do have to put up with the constant tinny blaring of the local radio station from the snack bar speakers - quiet and relaxing it is not! There is a nice beach about 100yds away, again with sunbeds (although you have to pay for these) and a small 'taverna' (see comment re identikit food).

Back to the rooms at The Marelen. On Day 2 of our 7 Day holiday, our bathroom ceiling started to leak and we duly reported this to Reception. On Day 3 we reported it again and this time a 'Maintenance Man' arrived, stared at the leak for 2 minutes and disappeared. On Day 4 we reported it again, the same 'Maintenance Man' arrived, looked at it again, said he needed assistance and disappeared. On Day 5 we reported it again, the same Maintenance Man' arrived, looked at it, lifted the corrugated tin bathroom ceiling and drenched himself in the water that had collected there over 3 days. He then removed some of the tin leaving a hole in the ceiling and water now dripping from the internal pipework directly into the bathroom. He tried to mop it up using our towels then again (surprise!), he disappeared, this time with our towels. On Day 6 we reported it again, only to be informed this time that the 'Maintenance Man' couldn't do anything until I was there to assist him! Really!? Was there to be a discount on the holiday for providing hotel maintenance? 'Maintenance Man' duly arrived, looked at the hole in the ceiling and guess what ? Oh, you're ahead of me - yep, he disappeared but at least someone else arrived shortly afterwards to give us more towels to keep wiping up the water from the bathroom floor. On Day 7 - oh, do you know, we were so fed up that we didn't bother reporting it and just came home. They did however, let us keep the room for our late check-out as it was not fit to put anyone else in! For all I know, the tin ceiling is still leaking and the 'Maintenance Man' is still staring up at it waiting for divine intervention.
I know that hotels such as this have their audience and you just have to read some of the other reviews on here to see that. Just be aware of what you are booking - suffice to say, it wasn't for us.

Room Tip: Choose one without a leaking ceiling !
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MejimMeloz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write your review.

I would like to make a few comments in response to your review.
We are sorry to read you were not happy with the star rating. These are explained in more detail in the tour operators General Information section in the brochure. "The official ratings are given by the authorities in the country, and tend to give a fair impression of standards withing that country. However, different countries have different standards, so don't assume that a 3 star hotel in one country is equivalent to a 3 star hotel in another. Our universal ratings system is based on the views taken by our Customer Satisfaction Questionnaires".

We are sorry you were disturbed by other guests' children, if this had been mentioned to the reception staff then we could have dealt with this accordingly. Sometimes guests do not realise they may be disturbing other people and are usually very apologetic when it is brought to their attention.

The public rooms were all refurbished in 2011 and match the style and the architecture of the hotel and its surroundings.

The breakfast is contracted with the tour operator as a continental breakfast. As an extra to our guests we offer a full buffet which has a choice of the following- three different breads for toasting, a selection of biscuits, cake, cookies, waffles with syrup, jams, marmelades, chocolate spread, corn flakes, coco pops, muesli, porridge oats, teas, coffees different flavour juices (squash), coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cheese, ham, turkey, cucumber, tomato, fresh seasonal fruits (two different types of melon at the moment), oranges, apples, green peppers, olives, feta cheese, yoghurt, honey, jellies, bacon, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, tinned tomatoes, hot dog sausages (popular with children), mushrooms, baked beans, croissants, and either eggy bread or Greek homemade doughnuts.
In addition to this an optional "Full English" breakfast (if that is what you are expecting in a Greek hotel) is available at the poolside snack bar as a payable extra from 1030am and this has English sausages, hash browns etc.

Our snack bar menu (and I'm sure many other menus at the other establishments in the resort) is compiled from our most popular dishes from previous years.
Kalamaki is mainly a summer-only tourist resort, and it seems a shame that you did not discover some of the very popular and highly reviewed restaurants and more traditonal-type Greek tavernas both in Kalamaki and further afield.

The entertainment in the hotel is mainly provided by the Sunstar Thomas Cook/E3 Entertainment team and has proved to be extremely popular with most of our guests, as most of the reviews here show.
The two nights per week where we have outside acts into the hotel are advertised as Popular singers, 70s/80s mix, and Soul/Motown nights, none of them are advertised as "current" hits, as due to the mixed agegroup of guests in the hotel we find the mixture more popular.

Now back to your room comments. We are very sorry that you experienced a leak from your bathroom ceiling. On the 9/9 we experienced two earth tremors, quite a common occurence to the island and nothing to worry about. Sometimes these can affect such things as pipework etc. We can only assume this was the case regarding the leak above your room. However, the first record we have of you reporting the leak was when you phoned reception on day 4 of your holiday in the morning. The "maintenance man" came to look, and it may seem to you like nothing was being done, but in fact he was in the room upstairs from you over the next few days trying to find where the leak was coming from. As it turned out it was some pipework under their bathroom floor.
He took the ceiling panel away in order to try and have a clearer idea of exactly which part of pipework was damaged. They patched up several areas of pipework, and as far as I am aware at this time the water was not leaking so you were asked that if it carried on happening to inform us of exactly where it was dripping. There was no mention of you "assisting" the maintenance man with his work.
You were informed the day before you were due to leave that both your room and the room above would need to be unoccupied so we could get the plumber to take the floor up from the room above. This is the reason you were given a late checkout room free of charge (value 50 euros), as the guests above would be leaving on the Tuesday.
I am sure you will be pleased to know that the problem was fixed on Tuesday when both rooms were empty, and all has now been resolved. Once again I can only apoligise for the inconvenience the drip may have caused but I am sure you can understand that "force majeure" earth tremors are beyond our control.

The tour operators information also advises "before you book please discuss your choice of resort, accommodation with our reservations staff to make sure it will be suitable for you and the people you will be travelling with".

We hope that his has not deterred you from travelling to Greece, and maybe you will return to Zakynthos sometime in the future and will find something that better suits the kind of holiday you were looking for.

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Reviewed 16 September 2013

We have used this hotel for the past six years and have never had cause to complain. All the staff from the Owner down to the housemaids are very friendly .and go out of their way to make sure your holiday is everything you want. There is a good entertainment programme for both adults and children alike.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Derek P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. It is always good to read that repeat guests still want to keep coming back.
We were sorry to read that you were not happy with the other hotel you stayed in nearby recently, and glad that you will be returning to the Marelen once again (or twice!) next year.

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

Never done a package holiday before but our stay in the Marelen Hotel was brilliant. Everyone was so friendly, especially Theresa and Louise. Our room was very nice with a double aspect balcony and view and cleaned every day. The hotel grounds were very pretty and kept immaculate and there was always plenty of room around the pool. We managed to see a couple of weddings in the pretty little chapel in the grounds of the hotel. Our Thomas Cook Rep Lucy was very good, and knew the area well, also the entertainment team, especially Kat worked really hard. We only stayed B&B because we like to eat out at night and try different places but the breakfast was very good and plenty of it. Our favourite places to eat were The Olive Tree, Duon Amici and Ambrosia in Kalamaki. Ambrosia do greek dancing and plate smashing every evening around 9pm which is an experience to see. Also Peppermint in Argassi is a fantastic restaurant, we ate there twice, food was fabulous and staff very friendly. Argassi is only 10 mins by car. The beach in Kalamaki is only a 5 min walk from the hotel and you can walk to Laganas in one direction which only takes half an hour, at a gentle pace. Zante town is also worth a visit. We loved seeing the planes flying over the hotel, they were fascinating to watch and fly so low, they stop flying at 10pm though because of the turtles nesting on the beach. Airport is only 5 mins away. Overall we had a fantastic week and would return to the Marelen.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nigel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, and for choosing the Marelen both for your first package holiday and your first time in Greece.
We have had several weddings at the chapel this year, they are bookable with Thomas Cook or one of our local wedding co-ordinators.
It is always good to hear guests favourite restaurants and it was useful that you had a car so you could venture further afield to other resorts.
I have passed on your comments to all the staff, and we hope you will return to the Marelen if you choose Greece again in the future.

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

This was our 5th time at the hotel, I must say the atmosphere here has changed since Thomas Cook has taken over, would be good to have the entertainment in the main bar like it used to be, as it was just me and my husband I felt it is a holiday more for families with small children . We never stayed around the pool it was too packed although there always seemed to be sunbeds. WE love DImitre and the family they really make you welcome, but don't think we will be coming back , we will be going somewhere a bit quieter in future. Also the drinks are quite expensive in the bar if you go up the strip to other bars you can get much cheaper drinks, we felt when we got back to the bar in the hotel after being out we were getting questioned where had we been we don't like that it is our holiday we can go out where we want . The rooms are always clean and towels changed. It is a shame as we loved it there but if you are a family with children you will love it.

Room Tip: We had a room on the 1 st floor over looking the pool was nice. Got the sun early evening.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank cookie08London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marelenhotel, Manager at Marelen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write another review on the Marelen.
We are sorry you feel the atmosphere has changed, but due to high demand the hotel is now sold and marketted by the tour operators as a family hotel with full daytime and evening entertainment and kids club.
The entertainments is still in the main lounge twice per week like it always was, but all the other nightly shows are now in and around the stage area for the Thomas Cook entertainers.
Drinks in pub-style bars in Kalamaki may be slightly cheaper, but we find our bar prices are competitive compared to other similar hotel lounge bars in the area.
Our staff often ask guests where they have been, but they ask this out of genuine interest as it is always good to know where the most popular places are in the resort. It is not meant to deter you from going where you want !.Many of our guests go out in the evenings as they always have done.
I have passed on your positive comments to the family, staff and cleaners.

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Additional Information about Marelen Hotel

Address: 6 Post Box, Kalamaki 291 00, Greece
Region: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Kalamaki
#17 Romantic Hotel in Kalamaki
Hotel Class:3 star — Marelen Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 118
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Also Known As:
Marelen Hotel Kalamaki

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