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“Fun family wedding”
Review of Aqua Bay Hotel

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Aqua Bay Hotel
Ranked #9 of 51 Hotels in Tsilivi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 July 2014

We travelled as a family group of 6 aged from 25-82 for my sister's wedding. My sister and her family were staying in the Planos Bay, but we had decided to pay the extra to stay at the Aqua Bay as this included free air-con, access to the A La Carte restaurant and a more modern décor in the rooms and hotel grounds. We were not disappointed by our choice to upgrade!

We were warmly greeted outside of reception by Claud who took care of our luggage for us which was greatly appreciated as we were tired from our flight. We were shown to our rooms by the manager himself (who kindly showed us how to use all the appliances, etc). After a quick look around the room we headed down to the restaurant where we were given a selection of food from the dinner service (this was at 9:30-10pm) which was much appreciated! The beds were comfortable for those that like a firm mattress (luckily me and my partner do) and two pillows (which is a rarity in hotels that we have visited) one firm and one soft for those that like the choice. The room we stayed in (208) was extremely spacious with a larger balcony area overlooking the pool, unlike the rooms given to the other party members (while still big enough, were not as large as ours). Included in the price is also a maid service who supplied us with fresh bottled water, bathroom/ pool towels, bathroom toiletries and toilet roll daily. She also swept & mopped the floor, made the bed and cleaned the bathroom. There is also a fridge in the room to keep all of your drinks and food fresh.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner services were always of a good quality. Having stayed for 2 weeks we only saw a handful of dishes (out of the dozen a day) repeated. The service was exceptional, all the staff are friendly and no request is too much. Bela, Alina, Luiza, Fofi and Andreas are fantastic hosts, always greeting you with a smile and a personal touch (in our case they asked about the impending wedding, checking everything was going smoothly).

When you get sick of buffet food you can go to the A la Carte restaurant (Italian) where there is a three course meal of freshly prepared dishes, all cooked within sight of your table. There is also a different theme night on down in the water park 4 nights a week (Italian, Mexican, Greek and BBQ), of which we tried the Italian night - we weren't keen on this however, it would be ideal for families that fancied the change, and we heard good things about the BBQ night!

The waterpark is great fun for all ages, even my 82 year old Grandad joined in having a good on some of the big slides! The pool cocktail bar is very handy!

Overall, the hotel grounds are very quiet and while there is no entertainment on a night, it is only a 5 minute walk down the road to Planos Bay where they provide nightly entertained and also a mini disco for the kids (my Sister has two children, one of which is aged 3 and half and he greatly enjoyed this!). I would also personally recommend the Greek Entertainment night. All of the facilities available at Planos Bay are accessible to Aqua Bay guests - this means that you can choose to take part in the entertainment rather than it being imposed on you, as it can be quiet loud on an evening.

The beach and the town centre are around 15 minutes walk away from the hotel.

We would also like to mention our holiday rep, Tim, who went out of his way to check that we were happy with the hotel, the only ever rep we have known to actively seek us out in person!

Also a massive thank you to all the staff who helped make our stay an enjoyable one.

Room Tip: Request a pool view.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank happyhollys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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187 - 193 of 408 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2014

We have just returned from a family holiday to the Aqua bay hotel in Tsilivi Zante . Where do I start. What a holiday! Your holiday begins as soon as you get off the bus and are greeted with the biggest smile and welcome from Claudio who takes your bags to reception, where the friendliness continues non stop. Katrina and the other girls on reception are always on hand to help in any way.

The rooms are super clean and spacious . Anything you need , you get . The rooms have a fridge, hair dryer, bathrobes , slippers and tv's. If you need an iron and board , you just ask at reception.

It is like staying in a villa with your own pool but all inclusive . The downstair rooms open out to your decking and straight to your pool. Although they are shared, we never found them crowded as there are many around the complex.

At the buffet restaurant you are met by Bela and her staff. They make you feel important and want to make sure your holiday is the best ever. Dorina, Fofi, Alina, Anna , Andreas etc etc are always at hand for your requests.

The walnut tree bar is open for drinks and snacks and Nicolay is first class.

The waterpark is at hand and keeps the kids amused. As it is on your doorstep and free for the Aqua bay members as well as certain snacks, you don't have to go back to your room if hungry.

If you want entertainment you can use the facilities at the Planos bay (sister hotel) but this not as peaceful or of the same standard.

The town is a nice walk through the olive trees or a bit further by bus is Zante town about 10-15 mins away .

We would recommend this hotel and would return in a minute.

Thanks to all the staff and management .

Room Tip: Any room would be nice but the ground floor rooms lead straight out to the decking and pool. You hav...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank ellie1Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

This holiday was booked for recuperation after a difficult and I cannot express how wonderful the hotel and staff were.

The hotel is very quiet and there is no evening entertainment which suited us down to the ground but being all inclusive you could also use the facilities at the planos bay hotel which is a 2 minute walk through the water park where there is the kids club, day and evening entertainment. Each section has it's own pool and loungers which means you are not going without, there is a bar set up for food and drinks, when restaurant is closed, staff come round with fresh fruit in the afternoon which is a lovely touch, as being vegetarian sometimes the selections can be not great but that wasn't a problem here and staff were happy to explain dishes when asked. Rooms were clean and very comfortable. Previous reviewer mentioned water in bathroom eventually causing mould there was water over spilling from shower but there was a small drain for this and not shortage of towels to place down if need be and as for mirrors two in bathroom and large one in room next to socket so have no idea what the complaint was about. I would def recommend this hotel for any age. My four old was very upset at leaving as he had a great time and so we were we. Definitely somewhere my family and I would return to!

  • Stayed: July 2014
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6  Thank lmh1307
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

A party of 9 of us stayed at Aqua Bay for a family holiday between 24/6-1/7, aged 10 months to 50+ and we had a fantastic time! We were fortunate enough to be allocated the ground floor rooms which as everyone says, were the best, particularly with little ones needing an afternoon nap, there were no arguments as to who was going back to the room with her as we all sat outside the room on the terrace while the older kids carried on in the pool! Food was fine, always found something to choose, we went to the Mexican, Greek & Asian nights which we all enjoyed, (the mexican being my favourite!) Worked our way through the cocktails list, which were all acceptable ( especially once they knew we liked an extra shot of vodka in them!)The staff were lovely & friendly, nothing too much trouble for them, Bella, in restaurant, arranged a birthday cake, balloons etc... for my 9 year old grand-daughters birthday which was a lovely surprise for her as all the waitresses/waiters gathered around to sing Happy Birthday to her in Greek! The Aqua Park was great, not packed, no need to queue for anything and always found sunbeds. We went on the Turtle Bay Cruise (booking it with First Choice, yes more expensive than others but I wanted peace of mind) lovely day out, swimming through the caves was the highlight for my grand-daughter! Overall, I would highly recommend the Aqua Bay for a family holiday and would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms with direct access to small pool, safety guard for young children.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank suziecoops25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2014

Very nice Family hotel

Aqua Bay is a very nice newly built family oriented hotel with great staff, but is far from the 5 star hotel they advertise it as. If you consider this a luxurious 3 star hotel you will enjoy yourself. If you go looking for a 5 star you will come home disappointed.

Pros
- Modern looking family rooms with a divider to separate 2 sleeping areas.
- Many small semi-private pools
- Friendly staff

Cons
- Food is not great and lacks freshness.
- Bathrooms are poorly designed and are starting to stink.
- The town nearby is not noteworthy and the beach not "easily" accessible.

The Hotel and the rooms
The hotel is built up of 2 story buildings surrounded by small pools. It has been said before but I can recommend you request a ground floor room especially if you have a small child that goes to sleep during the day or early at night. This gives you far more mobility. The ground floor rooms all have a half door which will prevent the running outside and jumping into the pool if they wake up before you do. The pools are all 1.25 m deep and most are quite small. There are 6 pools. Am guessing that there are about 60 rooms but as many people also spend time in the water park you usually do not feel overcrowded at the pools.
The Family rooms are nice and have a modern look and feel to them. A divider allows you to close off the front area where you have two smaller couch/beds. The ground floor rooms close off completely the 2nd floor rooms do not as they have space above which might cause problems with the light if you have small kids. In both cases though the dividers are thin and do nothing for sound. So watching TV at night with a child sleeping might be an issue, but then again there are very few channels that work.
The bathroom is a designer bathroom. Meaning that it was designed to look nice and be absolutely not functional. After taking a shower you sometimes need all the extra towels to get the floor dry again. And although this is a minor inconvenience, due to a few more building irregularities you can start to smell the mildew and rot setting in. As it's cleaned daily this is not a big problem yet but I expect that if you don't use the aircon with a bit of heat the bathrooms will really stink badly soon. If this is not solved in a few years this will be a big issue.
The rooms all have air-conditioning which is linked to the doors being closed and the key being put in the power-slot. This I consider a good thing but on the downside they air-conditioning settings are locked and set to 19 degrees. Sometimes it's nice to just have it on a bit and not just full whack or off. 19 is just too much a difference from the 30 degrees outside.

Restaurant, food and drinks.
The serving staff at the restaurant are great. They take the time to check in with you every day and see how things are going. They do their best to make sure you have a good time. There are always enough places to sit inside or outside and the decor is pleasant.
The food was "ok". In the most cases it was decently prepared and seasoned. But only with a few exceptions did I want to go back for seconds. It's a shame that there is so little fresh produce available. I would have at least expected the fish to be fresh and not frozen. Even the turkey roast tasted more like spam then like turkey. The Greek dishes I did like more than the rest. It is a shame that there were so few of them.
There was also a distinct lack of fresh juices. And even the concentrate they used they managed to let it go bad to the point of fermentation and served this to my 3 year old son and my pregnant wife.
4 times a week they have a theme night at the water park. We only went to the bbq night. We had no interest in going to the other nights as both my wife and I got violently ill after having eaten the pork chops. I was disappointed at how the reception reacted to this when I told them so.
As far as the drinks go here they could also make some great improvements. I found there was too little for kids to drink other then soft-drinks and juice from concentrate which tastes more of sugar then juice. The beer is watery and flat. I did not try the cocktails so can’t comment on those.
Water Park and surrounding area.
The water park is nice. The staff is good and are strict when it comes to the rules. There are 5 larger slides and plenty also for the smaller kids. It was never a problem finding a place to sit/lay down. The only down side I found was that there are too few single person tubes for the slides. The food and drinks at the water park are also all inclusive (or at least most of it). I did not try the food as it looked a little greasy.
Tsilivi is the town close by which we only really visited to go the supermarket but we did walk through it a bit. Not much to see there. Couple of tourist stores and some restaurants/hotels and that is just about it. It has very little character and was not appealing to us.
Guests and other things.
There is a nice mixture of nationalities that visit. Quite a few Dutch/Belgium/British/Scottish, but I also noticed some Scandinavians and also quite a few eastern Europeans/Russian. There were little problems with other guests being rude or excessive drinking/lewd behavior. The only issue was with some Russian(or so I was told) kids who at night were making a lot of noise and hitting each other and just about everything with other peoples blow-up pool toys.
The hotel has an all inclusive formula which in my opinion they could improve on. In the morning and afternoon snacks are available. And by this they mean hamburgers and fries etc. I would have much more preferred fruit, saltines, or maybe some chips/nuts. The breakfast buffet opens at 8 am. I find this very late especially if you want to go on excursions etc. Before that hour though you can grab food as they are setting things up but it’s limited to a few cold dishes.



Would I return? Mostlikely not. Although quite decent and I enjoyed myself, one week there is enough.

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms are the better choice. Rooms closer to the waterpark seem to be a bit larger.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank Traveler_Robert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

This hotel is linked to Planos Bay, it is however a completely separate hotel. This wasn't obvious when I booked but was an excellent bonus. Planos Bay and Aqua Bay are separated by Tsilivi water park and all facilities were included in our package. I cannot fault any part of the holiday......the hotel, food, waterpark and general area were fantastic. The staff at Aqua Bay are amazing, nothing was too much trouble. The pools in the hotel are very good and the water park is even better. I would definitely go again and would highly recommend it to others :-D

Room Tip: The swim up rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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8  Thank Nicola P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

this hotel is joined by a water park to a 3 star hotel planos beach, at the planos guests are offered to pay for a upgrade into this apparent 5 star hotel which doesn't even rate as a average 4 star and im well travelled in 4 and 5 star hotels. Obviously if you are putting people used to 3 star standards into a higher grade hotel you will get good reviews, great marketing technique!

we however booked into the aqua bay and expected 4/5 star standards this we did not get! the first room offered had a blood stain on the mattress and was right by the pool with no barriers to stop people going on your terrace, it was small with a communal door, we refused to stay in it,

our second was huge roomy and overlooking quiet scrubland, so looked acceptable, though cheaply decorated, our main gripe with this hotel was the fact there are no mirrors in the bedroom to do your hair you have to take electrical appliances into the bathroom which is dangerous. the bathroom in this room smelt of sewerage, and the shower was flooding the bathroom under the cubical door, we couldn't stand the smell so once again had to unpack and move rooms.

our third room was small, no mirror once again, I had to stand in the shower cubical using straighters to access a mirror? it was at the back of the hotel overlooking a pool, open terraced again, when I asked for a mirror I was told to buy one, after complaining reception bought me a tiny 6 inch one, I rang first choice 24/7 line but received no call in 3 days, no mobile signal in this hotel but they could have called our room via reception. the rep was useless saw her twice out with her friends but she ignored us and our issues, very unprofessional, I complained on first choice facebook page they where more understanding but still wouldn't help.

wifi is awful by the way! and no mobile phone reception!

the pools are too shallow to swim but too deep for children to be safe alone, although the food is good and the staff exceptional you have to sit and have your breakfast in a café style and ambience free indoor room or outside where traffic zooms past, noisy quads etc. the seats table and décor very cheap ikea style! loved the fact chickens walked around the terraces though very nice! didn't like the fact some parents allowed their children to chase and kick out at the chickens though!
the restaurant in the water park on the roof is the nicest we had the opportunity to eat there once during our stay I would recommend! was only us and our reps party dining there that night she ignored us again, great to your guests Stacey!

long hot walk from this hotel into town and uphill on the way back, no decent beach near the hotel the main beach is a good 20mins walk away, just a small rocky tatty beach if you walk through the planos (10 mins walk) eventually due to the help of the lovely staff of the hotel and not first choice we got a move to a lower grade 4 star hotel, was much nicer! had no complaints at all there! which proves how bad aqua bay is!

wont be going to aqua bay again but we are going back to tsilivi next month its a lovely resort on a lovely island. madelenas is a great night out and the shipwreck is a must see! zante itself is amazing my favourite holiday island!

Room Tip: choose another hotel! Mission impossible!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank shelly622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aqua Bay Hotel

Address: Tsilivi 29100, Greece
Region: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Tsilivi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 51 Hotels in Tsilivi
Price Range: £124 - £270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Aqua Bay Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 68
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