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“Quite a revelation”

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Carreta Beach Holiday Village
Ranked #13 of 30 Hotels in Kalamaki
Surrey, UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Quite a revelation”
Reviewed 26 August 2012

This was our first visit to Greece, and Kalamaki in particular.

Caretta Beach Resort is in the centre of Kalamaki and has a waterpark attached, which was one of the main attractions for us booking this holiday, with a seven year old and baby in tow.

The room (one bedroom apartment) was clean and comfortable, with a large balcony, fridge and microwave oven, although we had booked all inclusive. The rooms are well appointed and have plenty of space, with wardrobes and drawers, along with plenty of space for luggage, and our baby's buggy.

One small moan would be a lack of hotel supplied towels when using the pools and waterpark.

However, the many many positives far outweigh any moans.

The waterpark is small, but ideal for young families. We felt absolutely safe letting our 7 year old loose in the waterpark, as from most sunbed places, you could see where he was. Also the lifeguards were very attentive, and would ensure that safety was always maintained.

There are 5 pools separately in the hotel that you can use.

The entertainment programme is good, with varied themes every evening, always involving the children.

The hotel is relatively small, and therefore you get a great friendly atmosphere. The staff are always happy and willing to help, and will often go out of their way to accomodate.

We are vegetarians, and noticed within our first couple of meals that there wasn't much vegetarian choice. No problem! I spoke to the restaurant manager and chef, who asked me to me a list of the kind of meals that we would eat. After giving him our fairly lengthy list, he asked me to leave it with him. From that very evening, the chef would keep an eye out for us (and some other vegetarian families) and provide us with a specially made main dish. There were plenty of vegetarian side options to go with these mains.

Also, Thomas Cook, in their wisdom, ensured that we would have to check out of the hotel at 10.30 on Sunday morning and then catch our flight back home at 8.25am the next morning! I emailed the hotel beforehand and they arranged for us to stay an extra night for just €40.00 more. I write this review on our last night here.

The hotel has free wifi in the reception area, but not in the rooms. If you want internet access, then I would suggest you bring an unlocked dongle and pop into the Vodafone store in Zante town (it's in the main square). We picked up a sim card with 15 days, 2gb internet access for €15.00. Just remember to take your passport with you.

The question I always ask is would I go back, and in this case, the answer is an unreserved "yes".

Room Tip: Choose a room in block B or A, preferably overlooking the main pool.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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wakefield
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2012

We travelled to this hotel on august 9th 2012 for 2 weeks. 2 adults, one child (boy 10 years). This is a 4 star hotel and apart from a few small problems, it is worth its stars. I'll start with the bad stuff :-
1. The shower is a wall hanging one, within the bath, there are no shower curtains so the floor gets flooded, the only option is to hold it in your hand .(this seemed the same in all rooms according to people we spoke to )
2. our room (F207) had a very smelly drain in the bathroom (eggy smell !!) but if you kept the bath mat over it, the smell went away.
3. The beds were very hard, woke up a few mornings with back ache.
4. The fizzy drinks at the bar were flat most of the time, as they would line up 20 to 30 plastic cups and fill them with ice, (this resulted in half ice and half water) they would then pour out the required drink from a row of bottles, that dont have any lids on. I know its for quickness, but i'm sure a drinks machine (like the ones in mcdonalds) would have been just as cheap and a lot more convenient.
5 Smoking was allowed In the main bar,( which also has a kids games room in it) even though there was ample outside space to sit and smoke .
6. The football pitch is in definate need of repair, more hard ground than grass.
7.Not enough fruit or yoghurts at breakfast.
SO THATS THE BAD STUFF. The rest was FANTASTIC.There is everything you can want from a holiday. We were in a studio room, which was plenty big enough for us.(my son was in a pull out bed which was ok for him, but he is a smallish 10, so not sure it would be suitable for much older than 12). The kids reps and entertainment team are the best ive ever met. Special mention to TOM the footy couch. There was always plenty of variety in the restuarant. A little kids buffet with the usual kids stuff was great.Puddings yum! ice cream available all day. ( banana, chocolate,strawberry or vanilla). The pools were spotless and each block of apartments had their own pool. There was a bar pool next to the kids world and a super market, a main pool with a juccuzi and a fab volley ball pool, and of course THE WATER PARK. This consisted of 7 large slides, lazy river,wave pool and a fantastic water area for the little ones (and not so little ones). There were plenty of life guards, but apart from a couple, they were very relaxed and as long as you are responsible, they let the little kids on the big slides. (parents waited at the bottom of the slides to catch the none swimmers).
We never had any problems gettng a sun bed. If you want one round the main pool, you need to be up about 7am, but the waterpark doesnt open till 10;30 (closes at 5;30) so most people start to queue about 9;45. I'm not sure why they queue as there were always lots of beds available, even when we went to the beach for the morning we got 3 beds when we got back. There is a snack bar next to the waterpark. There is a small (but beautiful) beach 5 minutes away by free bus ( the hotel has a mini bus that goes a few times a day, but only carries 8 people).the beach is a turtle nesting beach, you can hire pedalo's and theres a restuarant. We walked back and it only tok 20 minutes. There are lots of activities going on all day (except thursday) and football every night for 2 hours.I cant really comment on the evening entertainment as we didnt take part, but it sounded good, with the usual games for kids, disco, bingo, karaoke etc. The journey from the airport took about 15 minutes. You can see and hear the aeroplanes take off during the day but they are literally seconds and then you cant hear them. They dont fly at night. There is a 2 minute walk to the main street, which has lots of bars,restuarants,shops etc. We went on 1 excursion on the glass bottom turtle boat. We booked it on the main street (I cant remember the name of the agent but its next to the pirates bar). We used it on recommendation and were very happy with the tour. So cheap at 40 euros (for 3 of us) and this included turtle spotting, swimming in the sea, seeing the caves and then 50 minutes swimming on a little island.FABULOUS ! Cant think of anything else but feel free to message me if you have any question. PS We never go back to the same place twice but we will definately be going back here.

Room Tip: We were in room F207. studio room. Very quiet .
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2012

We stayed here from the 11th aug for 11 nights. ( 2 adults 2 children aged 7 & 15). The room was cleaned on a daily basis and fresh towels were provided (no shower curtain) but this was rectified when asked. The food was good, there was something for everyone. We was always found a table as soon as we entered the restaurant. The chocolate cake was to die for !!

The daily games kept the little one entertained for hours & after the eldest girl found friends we didnt see her all holiday. The night time entertainment was also ok and kept the little one entertained whilst i drank the green zante coctail (ask for an extra short).

We only used the kids club once when little one went to a chocolate party.... we didnt see a Thomas Cook representative once unless there was new arrivals.

Jay & the entertainment crew are the most talkative, down to earth people you will meet. I am not suprised the kids will not leave them alone !!

Wonderfull holiday and will be looking ti go back :-)

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2012

Firstly, I'd like to confirm that I don't work for Thomas Cook, Carette Beach, and haven't been paid or had my arm twisted to write this review.
I (we) stayed at Caretta Beach from the 2nd - 16th August. 2 adults and 3 children, in 1 one up one down apartment - not what we thought we were getting, but it was clean, had a double and 3 single beds, 2 TV's, cupboards & drawers and a safe (which you have to pay for - €15 per week, I think). Towels and bedding were changed several times a week. Yes...it did face onto the area where the cockerels and dogs were, and yes you can hear the slightly confused cockerels at all times of the day, but they didn't wake me up so I wasn't really that bothered.

Where to start ?

Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner (although I never went to lunch so I don't know what was on offer), breakfast consisted of pancakes, sausage, egg, bacon, fried bread, toast, cereal, fruit... a reasonable choice. Themed nights for dinner - Mexican, Italian and Greek...the rest of the time you had a range of vegetarian and meat dishes (although wait for my girlfriends review, she'll tell you not enough veggie, which I've seen in other reviews), kids corner - chicken nuggets, fish fingers, chips, pasta....that sort of thing...plenty of salad and if you like soup try the mushroom !!
During the day you can get snacks (pizza, burgers, hotdogs, chips) from some of the bars and plenty of ice-cream.

I heard people moaning about the food, but as a relatively fussy eater I always found something, and never went hungry.

Drinks available from 11.00 am to 11.00 pm...pre-mixed cocktails (kids have kids cocktail and a mixed fruit), beer, local spirits, etc.. Never really had big queues, didn't have to wait long for drinks - handy hint for the people that moan about waiting - look at how many staff there are, and if they're serving your kids food, they can't be serving you drinks at the same time. Doesn't hurt to wait a couple of minutes, and a smile and a 'thank you' might make your next trip a bit quicker !

The waterpark opens at 10.30 and closes at 5.30, and the only thing I wasn't aware of on the first day was that you had to queue to get in, and if you don't get there early enough you can end up being sat somewhere you don't want to be. Not a major problem - but we always had beds and always where we wanted. Turn up at lunchtime and you might have more of a problem. Wave pool, kids pool, lazy river, a number of slides (with and without single/double rings), and not all open at the same time. I've read reviews where people were complaining about this, but there are opening times for different sets of slides due to the number of lifeguards. The park is open to paying 'guests' as well as hotel guests, but there were never massive queues for the slides - if you're impatient then I'm sure you'll post a different review !

Outside of the waterpark (but still in the hotel complex) there are a number of other pools - these are used for water volleyball, aerobics, etc with Jay, Maxine, Tasha and Tom...TeamGB vs Rest Of The World volleyball was interesting, and on the occasions I played/watched it was done in a very good natured way. There's also a Thomas Cook run Kids Club (didn't use it, so I can't comment on it) and a shop (6 x 1 1/2 litre bottles of water for €1.50 - be surprised not to be ripped off !!)

Evening entertainment - having been on a few other Thomas Cook holidays (and no..I still don't work for them !), you get used to certain entertainment: Bingo, Karaoke, Mr & Mrs, mainly, I guess, suited to adults, but there's an arcade, pool tables, internet stations (free Wi-Fi in the hotel reception) if you're younger...plus Tom runs a football session from 7.30 until it's too dark to see. The pitch is a combination of dirt and grass, surrounded by a floodlit fence - my kids played every night, and met loads of other kids in the process.

The hotel itself is situated near to the airport - yes there are planes coming in and out, but it's not all the time, and after a while you don't even notice. There's a main road just a few hundred yards from the hotel, consisting of souvenier shops, restaurants and bars, there are car / bike / quad bike hire places, crazy golf and places to book boat trips. The beach is only a 10-15 minute walk away. Be prepared to be accosted while you're walking down the street, but remember that most of the hotels are 'all inclusive' and these places need bums on seats to stay in business. We ate out a couple of times, and it wasn't that expensive. Being so near to other places meant not staying in the hotel every night. The Olympics was being shown in all the decent bars, plus football, Gaelic football, you name it, they'll find it for you ! We ended up in Drunk Corner on a number of evenings, cocktails are cheap (€18 for a round of 8 drinks!), the people are nice and friendly (no...don't work for them either, and don't have shares in the business), and on several occasions went out of their way to squeeze 8 of us in with the rest of the Brits, to watch Might Mo win his gold medals. We also enjoyed their karaoke night...for anyone else that was there - I was the one singing Enjoy The Silence and Personal Jesus.

So...if kids running around enjoying themselves, bingo, karaoke, international volleyball and queing more than 2 minutes for a drink isn't for you...don't book this hotel; you're not going to like it !

Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2012

what a lush holiday,,, was brilliant.. yes the evening entertainment is not the best but my two kids 10 and 7 had a great time. spent evenings in the park or just chilling with friends. water park is great. food is good. my only grudge was their was not enough veggie food or day time snacks.. rooms are small and i didnt like the adjoining rooms but didnt spend enough time in room to worry.. i wish i could go back agian next year as it was great. and we met some lovely friends there.. xxx

Room Tip: ask for a room whats not adjoining another room
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2012

My husband my 5 year old daughter and myself returned from a week long break yesterday.
The Hotel was what I expected from a four star although we had paid extra to have a duplex and only found out on arrival that there was no living area. The stairwell was marble and curved and so me and my husband slept upstairs, no gates were made available to us and there was basically nothing in the kitchen area other than a couple of knives and spoons and teacups, there was no washing up liquid or teatowel, sometimes a few teabags and some sugar are left and that would have been nice.
The rooms are air conditioned although you have to let reception know so they can switch it on as it is chargable if you are not all inclusive. Safes are also chargeable at 15 euros for the week.
What would have been great was a little map of the resort with all of these little details on, mpost people use the first day to acclimatise and get their bearings and these little things would have made things a lot smoother.
The waterpark was fabulous apart from one grumpy greek on charge of the slide you go down on a ring, maybe just a bad day fro him but he was seriously grumpy.
Food snacks are pizza, burgers, hotdogs, chips and salad rolls with some tuna and ham ones.
A lot of the kids drinks are in dispensers aroung the resort, there was a kids punch, orange etc, and self service icecream also dotted about the place.
The location was great, about 10 minutes from the airport and you could hardly hear any noise at all, our room did back onto farm land so you did get the rooster crowing and some dog barking but if you close the shutters at night hardly anything. The biggest racket was from upstairs coming in late and sitting on the balcony and the chairs moving around was quite noisy, there was only one night that was noisy and that was with the live music as the noise does drift and it didn't quiet down until about 2am.
The major positive was the kids club, up to 4 hours a day they will have your kids in an air conditioned club with toys, paints etc. very close to the reception and shop and lovely lovely girls who seem to work very hard and also do a few evening discos for the kids. It was very evident how good they were as they got loads of hugs and waves when they came to wave the coach off.
This was the first time I've taken a holiday in August and I was surprised at the cost for a week, if you don't want to you don't have to spend another penny though.
The food was fresh, clean and the waiters and bar staff fabulous, they seemed to go out of their way for the kids. Friday was Greek night, Monday Italian and Weds Mexican. I did't like the fact that the kids choices were chips, chicken nuggets and pasta with sauce so we gave our daughter whatever else was about which included fresh meat from the grill, salads and whatever the speciality was. Desserts quite samey but delicious, they normally say that you put on weight while on holiday but I think I actually lost weight as it was all salads, you could gorge on chips all day I suppose.
The Hotel was clean and very safe for children, as one other holiday maker said to me, you don't mind what you pay if you're having a good time!
I would recommend this place purely on the kids perspective, waterpark, food, kids club, air conditioning and the friendliness of the staff. NOT FOR COUPLES!!

Room Tip: We asked for away from the pool, upper floor quiet. I would definitely go top floor so no scraping...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hants
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

Just got back from the Caretta Beach hotel after a weeks stay (5th-13th Aug)with my husband and 2 sons (14 & 11). I can honestly say that we had a lovely relaxing time!
The staff were polite and friendly and always made you feel welcome !
The restaurant- The food was good there was always a wide variety of salads, meats , potatoes etc...even for those who are fussy! Any one who has been on All inclusive holidays will know that yes it can become a bit repetitive and people should not complain about the fact that yes the pork fillets may then reappear the next day as stroganoff as isn't that what you would do at home instead of wasting food? The desserts were amazing too.
We stayed in F block in a lovely large room, it was kept clean floor moped and swept daily, towels changed every other day you only had to ask the maid if you needed anything such as an extra pillow/ sheet etc. yes we heard the mentioned cockerel and the dog but they were not a nuisance and I feel that giving a bad review because of these things is ludicrous ( do these people live in some kind of a bubble?)
The water park - You could always find a subbed no matter what time you decided to go, the Life Guards were very attentive which was reassuring and the slides were good, the Lazy river was very relaxing!
All in all it was an enjoyable holiday, we didn't do any of the organised trips, or use the kids club but those who did said they had enjoyed them! The entertainment was ok - if you go with a realistic expectation then you will have a lovely time!

Room Tip: Advisable to try and see if you can have your room for an extra night for 40 euros if you have an ea...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Carreta Beach Holiday Village

Property: Carreta Beach Holiday Village
Address: Kalamaki 291 00, Greece
Region: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Kalamaki
#22 Romantic Hotel in Kalamaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Carreta Beach Holiday Village 4*
Number of rooms: 175
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caretta Beach is a modern hotel situated in Kalamaki on the south coast of the most beautiful island in the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos. The hotel is in a private, picturesque area by the main road of Kalamaki, only 4km from the capital city Zakynthos Town and 2km from the International airport of the island. The soft sandy beach is only a 5 minute walk away and is the home of the famous loggerhead turtles, Caretta-Caretta. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Caretta Beach Kalamaki
Hotel Caretta Beach

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