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“Hugely Disappointed”
Review of Romanza Hotel

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Romanza Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Agios Stefanos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We have just returned from a week’s stay at The Romanza. We booked this accommodation purely and simply on the basis of the brilliant reviews and photographs posted on here.

I felt I had to write this (what is in my opinion, a constructive review) because I did not want anyone else to feel as disappointed with the Romanza as we were. It certainly is not as nice as described unless you are lucky enough to have one of the upgraded rooms. Don’t forget you are paying the same money whichever room you get and I certainly felt like the poor relation here! Some of the rooms are beautiful and some are definitely not!

Firstly, when I booked this holiday I did e-mail the Romanza to request a first floor room. I never received a reply to my e-mail and was very disappointed on arrival at 11pm, after a full day’s travelling, to be shown a ground floor rather dark, smelly and dingy room. When I mentioned I had requested a first floor room, I was rather curtly advised they were fully booked and basically like it or lump it. I do, however, appreciate that not all requests can be met, however, please do not think that everyone staying at the Romanza will get one of the lovely modernised rooms as advertised because we certainly didn’t. Please see my pictures below just to illustrate. I asked the next day at reception if we could move rooms and, again was told abruptly they were fully booked and to be honest I was made to feel a nuisance for even asking.

I will start with the positives which undoubtedly was the view. Fortunately, we were at the end of the ground floor block and had a lovely view of the beach and harbour below from our patio, and the view from the pool and restaurant were also lovely. Being a B&B (and I use the term breakfast rather dubiously) I thought it was nice that we were provided with a fridge (albeit a rather noisy one) and kettle (perched in the corner of the room on a wooden chair) which came at no extra cost. Not being a self-catering establishment I understand they do not have to provide these extras which were very welcome. On a night the noise from the fridge was reminiscent of listening to waves breaking on the beach!

I found the whole experience at the Romanza a money making scheme on their part. The breakfast has to be the worst I have ever experienced in Greece (20+ years) with absolutely no choice whatsoever unless you were willing to pay extra which sorry, I have already paid for the benefit of breakfast. This consisted of cornflakes, tea, coffee, and orange squash which was help yourself. We were served then by a rather miserable looking waiter who provided 4 slices of toast, butter, jam etc. each morning and either scrambled eggs one morning, 2 sausages the next, 4 rashers of bacon and a tiny croissant. It seemed a ploy to me to give the customer no choice so they would fork out for an upgrade as there were menus showing various breakfast options at an extra cost on each table? It was as though they didn’t want to offer the usual buffet style Greek breakfast as heaven forbid anyone would over indulge! I did speak to a few people who had stayed here before and was told a couple of times that the place had gone downhill and was not as good as it used to be, the breakfasts being one of the complaints.

On to our room. I found it rather bizarre that there was a shower knob located just above the spare bed in our room. It was as though the place had been modernised ?? and they couldn’t be bothered to remove the knob. The bathroom was adequate. Although we had a shower cubicle, which is a novelty for Greece, the shower head didn’t fit on the wall bracket so was rather a waste of time and we still had to shower with the one hand. There was a plastic chair, rubbish bin, mop and bucket located outside our room which remained there for the duration of our stay – why and could they not move it?. I also found the drawer and wardrobe space rather limited and very dated.

The pool was nice although I did notice quite a lot of towels on sunbeds early morning and then not being used until much later on in the day. Why do people feel the need to do this!
I found it rather amusing watching the staff moving parasols around the pool because there was a shortage of these and not all the umbrella stands had parasols fitted. Why they didn’t buy more I don’t know but if someone left their lounger to go for lunch etc they would pinch the parasol and give it to someone who had requested one.

My top tip is do not ask for a soft drink at the bar as you will not get what you are paying for. I asked for a Fanta orange which was served a glass. I didn’t give it much attention until I went back to the bar and asked for a second drink. I watched the bar man produce the remnants of a bottle of Fanta (obviously from my first drink that didn’t fit in the glass), pour this into a glass and then open a new bottle and save the remnants of that bottle behind the bar for the next customer. Basically another money making scheme and conning the customer. Buy a tin from the fridge at the side of the bar instead that way you are getting the full tin.

Otherwise an OK holiday, the resort was nice with some good bars and restaurants. The hill to the Romanza is a bit of a trek, I consider myself reasonably fit but, because it is a constant 10 – 15 minute all uphill walk, I could really feel it in my legs especially walking up and down there usually twice a day - once to get to the lovely beach and then on an evening and onto the main strip. Just my observation, but I think the restaurant at the Romanza does well because basically people cannot be bothered hiking up and down the hill as there are no taxis. The food there is Ok but nothing special and certainly no better than the restaurants we visited.

Sorry to write this review as it does seem rather negative but these are just my observations. I was so looking forward to my stay here as the reviews are really good and I was very disappointed with this place and I really felt I had to get some of these issues off my chest and to warn any future guests that the place is not as top notch as described. Some people return year in year out and basically have nothing else to compare the place to. I have certainly stayed in better places!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank LAJ52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 - 122 of 330 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2014

I have just returned from two weeks at the Romanza, this being our fourth visit. The welcome received on arrival is warm and that feeling is carried right through the holiday. The staff at breakfast, evening dinner and in general situations are courteous and helpful, really very good.
The rooms are adequate, very Greek, very clean and comfortable, although the word luxury doesnt really apply. We had a bathroom which had been refurbed, and was very nice, if a little on the small size.
We decided to hire the air con unit at 35 euros a week, and this worked well during the holiday.
The hotel has a lovely pool and sunlounger area, although it has to be said, it does suffer from the towels on the beds at 7.30am syndrome. The hotel overlooks the sea from high and the views are beautiful, the sunsets made for the camera, you can choose to go to the beach each day , but please be aware if you struggle with inclines , this is a major issue to overcome at this venue.
The hotel beach path, down from the hotel is fine, but a real struggle to get back from the beach, if you decide to go via the main road, the walk down is enjoyable, the return awful, to the point where we hired a car, lifes too short to walk up that hill on holiday !!!. Wi-fi can be received in ther reception areas/lounges of the hotel, but not available in the rooms.
The food at the hotel is good, breakfast is adequate, but you can upgrade for very little, the service good , the environment outstanding overlooking the sea.
The evening offering is first class, a special of the day , or the standard menu, all really good and
served with courtesy and respect. The Romanza is a special hotel , run by kindness itself, and offers a really good holiday in a beautiful location.

Room Tip: Some rooms have refurbed bathrooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank STEVE P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Most of the reviews for this particular establishment, I feel, are not far off the mark. Remember folks, as I have commented before, nowhere is 100% perfect………but this place is not far off it.

Shall we get the most important issue out of the way out of the way first? There is no Internet/WiFi in the rooms at the Hotel Romanza! There is free WiFi in the bar/reception areas. It's not the best signal in the world but does a reasonable job. So if the WWW is the most important thing to consider before booking a holiday, you now have the information you need. If it's just a holiday you require, then by all means read on.

I have visited this island twice before, in a much younger body than I exist in at present,(oh happy days) but being that little more mature now, I thought it might be interesting to re-visit Corfu. I am glad I did.

As always, I consider the start of the holiday to be the moment you are dropped off at the airport. On this occasion I had the ‘pleasure’ of flying from Birmingham International. This airport, in my opinion has the endearing quality of not being able to cater for large volumes of passengers. Obviously e-booking boarding passes and pre-flight seat allocation is a must for this airport, but even though I did all this, it was very obvious there is not enough square footage/check in staff at the terminal, to process the masses that want to get away, stress free, during the UK holiday season.

The extortionate fees payable at the drop off/pick up car park leaves a nasty enough taste as it is. Whilst we are on the subject of taste, if you are lucky enough to find the time to eat once the other side of security…….. well done!

If you are flying from Brum, take a look at the reviews for the catering issues. Long queues in pretty much all of the shops/restaurants. The management at the airport have made great efforts to laud the changes made in recent years. I am not quite sure if they are being more than economical with the truth. In reality I see this place as a regional airport with a bit of a longer runway of late.

Anyway……..the plane took off after an avoidable delay, this being down to the ineptitude of the ground crew/baggage handlers who obviously, just like the owners of the airport are not really geared up for the holiday rush. The Captain of the aircraft was obviously a little niggled by them as well, as he commented ‘they were going to get a jolly good ticking off’.

Flight time to Corfu should be around three hours, depending on which route is available. Flight was OK, we went with Thompson’s. The on board food and drink as per usual costing about the same price as an arm and a leg. The seating, cramped if you were unfortunate to be taller than five feet. You can pay extra for those ‘special seats’, but with it being a short hop, DVT just about sets in on final approach to Corfu Airport.

There was no real difference to the structure of Corfu Airport since my last visit. But, it would appear that if you hold a passport from a country within the EU, passage through Passport Control was a breeze. There will be the usual barging of elbows and verbal tutting at the baggage carousel, priceless entertainment prior to exiting the arrivals hall. The Thompson Reps that greet you seem ample in their numbers and it appears pretty well organised.

Now depending on your eagerness to get to the Romanza, especially if getting to Corfu reasonably early in the day, you may want to find alternative means of getting to the hotel a tad quicker. The coach transfer, I understand is more than adequate, but as other reviewers have stated it can be a longish journey mainly due other drop offs and the resort being up north. However………it’s a bit of a lottery as you could have a reasonable coach journey and be at the resort within the hour. Anyone wishing to seek my thoughts on alternative transport please feel free to contact me.

Now, my intentions are not to bore you too much by going over what other reviewers have stated previously, but I do feel compelled to comment on some issues. This is a hotel, therefore there will be other guests. It could be busy, there may be low occupancy on your arrival. This hotel is no different to others in that respect. Guests arrive at all times within a 24 hour period. Though not large in capacity, the hotel and its staff appear to be on the ball and there will always be someone to welcome you at the gates. They will be aware that you may be tired and hungry, they will cater for this.

The rooms………some have been upgraded, some have not. I think we were in a room which has yet to be modernised, but the standard was acceptable. If you get a room with a posh bathroom, congratulations! All balcony’s face the sea, beds were better than I thought we’d get and it’s one of the first establishments I’ve been to in Greece where hot water and the pressure was constantly good. The TV in the room supplies you with very little in the way of entertainment, but the one channel that does make any sense will provide some background noise whilst you prepare for the evening. There is a fridge, basic hairdryer for those lucky enough to have an amount of hair worth drying. Room cleaning is frequent and discreet. You will have to make your own bed on Sunday’s, it’s just the bins that are emptied on that day. As for the air-con………. this is the first time in Greece that I have done without it.

The screens fitted to the patio doors in conjunction with the opened bathroom window (also screened) at night, provided enough cool air to sleep well. But, if you feel you need a cooler environment, then rent the air-con………dead simple! The mosquitoes will get in at times ie: open doors, but providing you use deet etc. regularly in the evening/night, then the messages they leave on your limbs will be minimal if not non-existent.

There are a few reviewers who made comment on the ‘established guests’. Due to the level of hospitality this hotel provides, it goes without saying that many people have made this hotel a regular place to holiday, year in year out. It was no different when we were there. There were some who made it blatantly clear they were more than familiar with the hotel and had quite possibly stayed in all of the rooms over the years. Other regulars were, let’s say, a bit more discreet about their familiarity with the staff. The only solace I can give on this subject matter is, if you have sense of humour and enjoy people watching, the more blatant of these regulars can provide some amusing entertainment when they conduct their ‘debriefs’ together. Testing each other’s knowledge of how much they have found out about the staff and the daily running of the hotel. Depending on how good your hearing is, you may learn something.

The staff paid enough attention to all guests, regardless of how regular they may visit the hotel. On the other hand I do understand how people may find these groups a bit intimidating. It’s not intentional or personal, just typical human behavior. In these circumstances it could be mis-interpreted to appear like a ‘clique’. However, there did appear to be a bit of a competition going on, as to how many times these people have stayed at the Romanza…..or did I mis-interpret that?

As for the staff, well we had no complaints. If you wanted to engage in conversation with them, they were always willing to chew the cud on whichever subject matter you wanted to debate. They were good hosts, however busy they were. If you wanted to be left alone, you would be, no pressures, no hassles.

Food…….it’s all been said so you will know what to expect.

The Hill………..depending on how often you visit the main resort and what you consume when down there, it gets harder or easier. Our record was just over eight minutes back up at a normal walking pace. Just don’t try having a deep and meaningful conversation with the Missus on the return journey…..especially if too many G & T’s have been consumed, they tend to get a bit irritable. Even more so if she is wearing stilettoes!

There are sporadic street lights at night. Normal road safety precautions will stop you from being wiped out by a quad-bike ridden by fellow Brit holiday makers. I’m talking about those that really do not understand the concept, that if you ride the quad-bike beyond your capabilities then you will leave half of your skin on the warm tarmac. There are drinking establishments on the way up the hill, so why not stop off and discuss the next leg of your accent. There will also be the occasional groups of dog and cats (who appear to get on rather well with each other) greeting you at various locations on the hill. They are quite happy for you to provide them with a brief ‘Hello’, but otherwise they have no desire to interact with you.

The main resort………anything you need, it’s there. Not the epicenter for a full on alcohol induced Ibiza style frenzy, but subtle and caters for most tastes. If you have an appetite for cheesy entertainment then there are a few establishments providing music and singing of a much deserved bygone era. The typically Greek style entertainment is still around, and you will have no problem finding it.

Interestingly, you don’t have restaurant staff in the street outside their eateries telling you how wonderful their food is. Basically, you walk up to the menu situated outside any of the many restaurants, peruse, then if you are taken with it, step inside. That’s when the hospitality begins. No pressure……just the way it should be.

If it’s your first visit to Corfu, I would implore you to travel around the island. There is very little signage that makes sense, but you will get to wherever, eventually. Old Greece still exists on the island. If you are really brave or even just curious, then have a drive through Kavos and you will appreciate your choice of resort even more. If passing through during the day, you will not have any problems wondering what happens there during the night. The tarmac and pathways on the main through route will be imprinted with evidence of stale beer, projectile vomit and night club flyers blowing around the swarms of quad bikes. Take in the wonderful scenes of the un-conscious mis-understood, we affectionately call ‘the youth of today’, slumped in the bars. Luckily this resort is aptly placed at the bottom of the island. We didn't stay in Kavos long.

The Thompson Rep for the Romanza is a young lady by the name of Chelsea if my memory serves me correctly. She is a very happy person and goes about her work with much enthusiasm. She visits regularly and to the best of my knowledge can sort out any enigmas with relative ease. She is armed with a tablet device that says either yes or no to any questions. In other words…….no skirting around issues, which is nice. If it can be done, it will be, if it can’t, she will tell you why. Chances are she is already many steps ahead of any questions you may have.

The pool area at the Romanza is advertised as a ‘Free Pool’. One assumes that people passing by can take a dip…..and they do. Whilst you are lying on your back taking in the UV’s, trying to remember if you locked the front door properly back home in the UK, you may find a few of the locals paying a visit. This is in no way a violation, in fact you would never know they were there unless you were looking for them. They are usually friends of the owners/staff anyway so rest assured they are not strangers, and know full well you are on holiday, and they respect that fact.

The return home was a little fractious, I hasten to add this was not in any way connected to The Romanza. Attempting to get into departures at Corfu Airport was indeed, an operation of epic proportions. It involved a large amount of passengers arriving at the same time for different flights out. I did not care for having to stand in a long line on the pavement outside the terminal in 80 degrees of heat for nearly an hour, just because the airport has no capacity to serve the islands main source of income. Unavoidable? I do not know what the answer is, but Thompson should address this if they wish to continue selling holidays on Corfu. It was a bit third world to be honest. I know Greece has had its financial problems, but in terms of on-going investment, the airport is seriously lagging behind in the process of getting rid of their guests in a comfortable fashion.

Perhaps, if the Reps are going to stop you entering the airport for long periods then some water would be appropriate? The Duty Free Shop, ablutions and catering facilities are very underwhelming in the departure lounge, or perhaps more aptly the ‘Debacle Lounge’. The staff serving at the counter of the only food outlet in the departure lounge had no organisation, and the facial expressions of grieving haddocks, if they had to walk any more than a few feet to pick up you’re chosen food/drink from behind the counter. Not that you would have time to consume it.

Because so much time had been wasted waiting to check in, it was pretty much time to board the plane. So……..word to the wise………use the toilets and eat prior to security check.

So there it is, The Romanza Hotel. It’s a nice place where a lot of nice things happen. It’s a family run affair with a warm welcoming family feeling. Ideal for couples of any age who want some ‘us’ time.

Would I stay there again? Yes....... I would.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
26  Thank theviolator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I stayed here last September and after reminiscing about it yesterday I realised I hadn't written a review! I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at this hotel, it was in a lovely remote setting with beautiful views across the sea - the sunsets were incredible every day. The walk down to the resort was okay in the daylight, and there is a good variety of restaurants and bars. The only negative thing I would say is that walking back at night was a little bit scary as the roads aren't well lit.

The breakfast was basic but you can order extras for a very small cost which was good. The food in the hotel restaurant was lovely and the staff were all very helpful, including letting us keep our room past the normal check in time on our last day for a small fee. The pool area was very well kept and clean, as was the rest of the hotel.

Overall, I had a really great time at the Romanza, and it really doesn't surprise me that people come again and again!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank emmarfmorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Everything that has been previously said about this hotel is accurate.

This is a good clean 2/3* hotel with excellent views, good pool adequate sunbeds good food and reasonable breakfasts (if you want a full English you can pay a little bit extra).

All staff are great and do care that you enjoy your holiday. Meals, lunch and dinner are very good and prices not bad - drink prices are on a power with other hotels and bars - a large beer is 3 euro 2.50 @ happy hour much the same as in the resort.
If you are of decent health then the hill to the town or beach won't be a problem (if not you can hire a quad like many do

Rooms are good but bathrooms in the block that I was staying in do need upgraded.

This was my first time in the Romanza and the first time in Corfu and I can see why people go back year on year.

The resort has a decent beach although I would say that the beach at Arrilis (over the headland) is much better and it has some very good restaurants in including the hotels own.

Room Tip: chose one with an upgraded bathroom
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank 1STTIMEBERLIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

We stayed at this hotel for the first time in late June and had a wonderful time, the rooms are clean and comfortable.The breakfasts are a little basic but additions are available for a minimal charge, the staff are wonderful and always have a friendly word. The view is marvellous and the pool area never crowded, town is a short walk down hill and has ample bars and restaurants. We will definitely be returning in the future.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank sunburnt51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014 via mobile

Back in san stefanos again after visiting two years ago. Chose to stay elsewhere this holiday ( the hill became too much last time) , but ate here on the nights we had transport. Recieved a very warm welcom back on arrival and had two fantastic meals. The sevice is friendly but efficient and the food delicious. Sat on the beautiful veranda and watched an amazing sunset. Well worth a visit, one of the highlights of our holiday.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
Thank timetravs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Romanza Hotel

Address: Avliotes | Ag. Stefanos, Agios Stefanos, Avliotes 490 81, Greece
Region: Greece > Ionian Islands > Corfu > Avliotes > Agios Stefanos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Agios Stefanos
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Romanza Hotel was created to indulge your dreams and allow you appreciate the simplest pleasures in life. Enjoy the tranquility and hospitality, the wind of the sea and the waves of the Ionian from the privacy of your own room. The captivating sunset from Romanza's cliff is unparalleled. Experience pure serenity and relaxation, but most importantly take advantage of this unrivaled sensation of being free. You have no choice but to experience all that life has to offer. We give you the optimal location for your summer holiday. Come discover the paradise that Romanza is, the ideal location for a Romanza… ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Romanza Hotel Corfu/Agios Stefanos

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