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“Almost fantastic but needs a few changes”
Review of Aqua Bay Hotel

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Aqua Bay Hotel
Ranked #10 of 51 Hotels in Tsilivi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Returned last week and so many things are great about this hotel but it really lets itself down on a couple of points - kids food and bathroom.

The staff are excellent and could not do more to please (better than any hotel I've stayed in with First Choice / Thomson) - they really are very good and a real asset to the hotel. They make a real effort - particularly with kids. The surroundings are lovely - very quiet and peaceful, great pools and the rooms that have doors and a veranda straight onto a pool are very convenient. The decor is modern ikea kind of thing - very comfy beds and great beanbags outside. The rooms (we had a family room with sliding doors) are clean (again the housemaids are very pleasant and do a great job) - could be a little bigger and as mentioned before, the bathroom looks great but literally gets flooded with water (like 2-3cm of water rather than just a little wet) and doesn't drain away. We would have to use 3 or 4 towels to soak it up every day - a real design fault. No DVD player in the room (when booking it said it would have but this didn't bother us) but the wifi worked perfectly for us in our room and we got a 5mb connection so fast wifi too....

The big issue for us was the food - the adult selection was good, albeit a bit too salty and a lot of sauces on everything (sometimes catering more to Eastern European than traditional Greek) but we really struggled to find things that kids could eat. Unless they were doing a roast (pork or chicken some nights) as a carvery kind of selection, everything else tended to have a lot of sauce on it (and salty too).... They did pasta but a lot of time this also had sauce mixed in - other hotels we've been to did plain pasta for kids with optional sauce at the side. The bolognaise use to go with plain spaghetti was far too salty.There were rarely any plain vegetables - most again had sauces or were in casseroles. Plain carrots, peas, broccoli etc would have been easy to do...the kids section was crazy - usually potato smiley faces and the worst quality chicken nuggets or fish fingers I've seen in years (the sort of thing Jamie Oliver gets up in arms about) - even when hungry my kid took one bite and said yuk - I looked and the inside was grey mush...nice... When we ate out at the al la carte restaurant (again nice adult food) I was dismayed to find the same grey chicken nuggets being served up for kids...the thing is, this is SO easy to get right - just have some plain grilled chicken on offer or make chicken/fish goujons for kids. I would have expected more of a family resort and have had far better in all of the other hotels we've gone to with the same tour operator.

The other issue for us was some of the other guests - I'm used to and expect cultural differences (lots of Eastern European guests here) but some of these guys were SO rude and had no concept of queuing (they'd skip straight to the front when it was obvious when there were 5 people waiting for the toast machine or the buffet), then when someone said something to them they would shrug "I don't understand"... We got fed up with people pushing through doorways and us standing aside to let them go ahead without even getting a thank you. One Russian teenager came up and blocked a doorway I was already walking through and refused to move, waving me aside, telling me that this was the exit (which it wasn't) and I should walk to another door round the other side of the restaurant - I resisted the temptation to swear at him in Russian.... I'm not a shirty person - we are a polite and considerate family but really did find this wearing us down after the first week.

So the hotel environment and staff were great, food needs tweaking to cater better for kids, not sure how you'd improve the bathroom drainage without retiling them and goodness knows what can be done about other guests behaving rudely but those things would make me less likely to return.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank bluepManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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184 - 190 of 411 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2014

Just returned from a 2 week stay at Aqua Bay. Made sure we had booked correct hotel before hand (different code in brochure than the Planos) and very glad we did. We were allocated a family room overlooking the main pool and bar which was nice and clean and a decent size although smaller than it looked in the internet photos. Clean towels and a bottle of water were provided daily. Meals were fine but beware of the battle for the pancakes and ice cream - some people don't know how to queue! Staff works very hard to make sure everyone had a nice time.
Went to the waterpark most days which is right next door and is very clean and safe for children. Lunchtime snacks and drinks are included and were always very nice.
There is limited entertainment at night ( karaoke/quiz night/singer) but we preferred to go out to local bars instead. Liveliest bars were Two Brothers, Molly Malones and Paradise in the old part of Tsilivi. The crazy golf is also worth a visit at 5 euros each for 18 holes and you can take drinks round with you.
Visited the Planos a couple of times to take our son to Kids Club (not the best! No structure and staff seemed bored) and at night time a couple of times but found it very crowded and a bit smelly. Book Aqua Bay - well worth the extra money.
Overall a good holiday.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
8  Thank FoxyLeicester1884
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

Great place for families with children. But definitely not a good place for silent and calm holiday for couples.
Nice place.
Great food.
Perfect service.
Clear pools.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank DnesAno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We loved the hotel, the room the pool and the staff were fantastic! The food there was so much choice and plenty of it. The rooms were cleaned every day as were the pools, decking. Fofi wad wonderful I miss the cocktails you made!! Bela you are wonderful and my " butterfly" daughter Ava loved you. The two girls on reception were amazing so helpful and kind. We loved our stay and would recommend this hotel to families we will defiantly be going back.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank lisa m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Just returned from 11 nights at The Aqua Bay booked through First Choice. Friendly welcome. All staff go out of their way to assist you and are excellent with children. It was my Daughter's 9th Birthday during our stay. Bela (Restaurant Manager) organised our table to have balloons. They brought out a cake with sparklers and candles. A bottle of Champagne for myself and hubby. The waiting staff all sang Happy Birthday in English and Greek. My Daughter was made up.
Food does get a little boring and is quite salty but we varied the buffet for a few theme nights at the Aqua Park, a visit to the A le Carte restaurant and we also found an excellent taverna near the beach through the olive grove called Ellinon Pellagos. (well worth a visit).
Nikolay at the pool bar works like a Trojan.
If you do visit the beach I recommend that you go through the olive grove (a 2 minute walk) and to the left as this has shallow waters and is less stoney and weedy.
The rooms are very modern and comfy. The shower leaked everywhere but this was not too much of an issue as plenty of towels to soak it up. Just slightly bad design.
The first choice kids club was brilliant. The reps really made an impact on my girls. My only gripe with this is that you have to pay for evening kids club. At 7 Euro's to 10 Euro's per child it can get pricey if they want to go a few times.
The kids club is at the Planos Bay Hotel which is just a 2 minute walk through the waterpark. Unfortunately the club room is old and dingey but the girls do their best and the kids don't mind.
Pirate playaway excursion with kids reps to the shipwreck cove was ok. It's a shame the coach journey is fairly long and the day we went the sea was choppy which didn't make for a good boat trip.
If you get the choice I would make sure you are in Aqua Bay as the 2 hotels are worlds apart unless you want lots of noise and smelly drains.
Overall a fantastic holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank samjoe79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank happyhollys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank ellie1Scotland
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 #10 of 51 Hotels in Tsilivi
Price Range: £126 - £284 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Aqua Bay Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 68
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