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“Turtles Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bitzaro Grande Hotel

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Bitzaro Grande Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   CL Zante, Kalamaki 29100 , Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 32 hotels in Kalamaki
Callington, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Turtles Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

The Bitzaro Grande Hotel Zante. 30.Aug 2012 to 13ep 2012
TURTLES PARADISE
This may seem a strange title but all will be explained so please read on. I will give you a true report as to what this holiday destination is like, then, it will be up to you.

This hotel is a family run concern owned by the mother and run by other family members.
We chose this hotel advertised by Thomas Cook as it was advertised with good reports on Trip Advisor. Having daytime flights we arrived at the hotel at 1930hrs Thursday 30th August 2012. We were greeted with a warm smile and shown to our room 132 on the ground floor overlooking the pool. The rooms are adequate and clean and no faults could be found. Having arrived in time for the evening meal we were greeted by a restaurant admin supervisor called Karin. She asked for our room number which confirmed that we were booked in for all evening meals as we were all inclusive. Later we found that Karin was there to prevent non-entitled guests from having meals they had not paid for. Food was well laid out with a varied selected but a little limited, but all piping hot. The waiters were helpful and polite and soon cleared plates as they were finished with.

The pool is well maintained and cleaned every day and there are plenty of sun beds yet still people put towels on them at 0500hrs. No need, I placed ours at 0730hrs and there were still plenty left to choose from. There are 2 bars 1 inside the hotel and a pool bar which is run by Nicky a lovely lady where you can obtain drinks and snacks all day from 1000hrs to 1700hrs. The pool side bar is open from 1800hrs to 2300hrs. The main bar is open from 1800hrs to 2359hrs so there is plenty of drinking time if you so wish. The barman was always cheerful and would talk to you to make you feel at home. Smoking is only permitted in outside areas of the hotel.

The rooms are cleaned daily and fresh towels are placed in the bathroom every day. Some people may be put off by the fact that toilet paper was not to be put down the toilet but placed in the bin provided. This is because the drainage system is not very good and is subjected to blockages.

The Thomas Cook rep Craig commonly known as Bisto was a great help and his introduction meeting was short, sweet and to the point. It did not drag on for hours, (well done Craig). This is one of the hotels he looks after and is available 6 days of the week. Even on his day off in the evening he sits and chats to all Thomas Cook patrons.

The reason for the title is that Zante is known for the turtles that lay their eggs in the sand close to the sea and in the dunes. Leatherback turtles are in decline and they are doing everything to help save them. The nests are marked with a triangle to protect the nest and the areas are patrolled by wardens who make sure that you do no stray in to the nesting areas. You will see that there are no sun loungers or parasols owned by the hotel there but there are some that are privately owned and will cost you 7 euros a day. The Greek government forbids hotels from building close to where the turtles lay their eggs. This however does not prevent you from buying your own sun brolly and laying on a towel. The sea is crystal clear and safe and you can wonder out some 200 yards and it will still only come to waist level. To snorkel is safe also but limited in what you will see.

This hotel is more for the older generation as there is little for teenagers to do. Younger children are quite happy in the pool with their parents. There is some day time entertainment with quizzes and games so there is plenty to do if you do not want to just laze on a sun bed.

As to shopping there is nothing in the town of Kalamaki which is where this hotel stands. We had planned to do some shopping and after asking Karin the best place to go she suggested Zante town. Either a 1 euro 50 bus ride which are infrequent or direct by taxi at 10 euro each way. This turned out to be a waste of time as we were not told that all shops are closed on a Sunday. Looking in the shop windows they had very little to offer. You are advised to stay away from Laganas as this is the area of nightclubs and drunks. The Falaraki of Zante. To be honest the area is a disgrace and needs to be cleaned up to remove its bad name.

2 things that you need to know, first the air conditioning is not constant. It is on from 2200hrs to 0700hrs and from 1400hrs to 1900hrs. The reason for this is that the electricity supply is a little antiquated and the power is diverted to the restaurant and cooking facilities. Secondly, water, there is no drinking water in the rooms but you can buy it from the bar at 1 euro 25 for a 1.5 litre bottle. Outside the hotel is a mini market where 9 litres will cost 1 euro 60 so the choice is yours. You can fill a bottle from the water cooler in the pool bar but this a little inconvenient if you, like us, like a cup of tea first thing in the morning.

Aircraft do fly directly over the hotel but don't worry there are no flights after 2230hrs so you will get a good nights sleep. They start landing around 0530hrs but we did not find this to be a problem.

To complete this report the flights back to the UK were late afternoon and you are asked to vacate your room at 1200hrs, we asked if we could keep the room until 1400hrs which they were happy to let us have at no extra cost. If we were to keep the room until 1600hrs it would have cost us 40 euros. Overall we had a great time meeting loads of new friends.

Room Tip: Anything you ask for will be granted where possible. Ask for the east side of the pool ground floor...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (175)
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English first
Snodland Kent
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

Thank to all at the hotel for another great holiday . Our 17 th visit so I am a bit bias because I love the staff and owners to bits . They try to help every one if you have a problem don't wait until you get home and moan on trip adviser speak to the owners daughters ,one is always around and they will do there best to sort it .and if you can not find the large salad selection u better go to specsavers before u drive a car . See u all in 2013

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We have just had a lovely lovely holiday at the Bitzaro Grande Hotel. We went as a couple and took our three adult sons and my daughter in-law to celebrate my 50th birthday. I read the trip advisor reviews on a regular basis before we went and just couldn’t wait to get there. I have to say we were not disappointed. What a fantastic holiday I have never been to such a friendly place. The food was amazing and I have to say my daughter in law can be a fussy eater but she filled her plate every meal. The entertainment throughout the day kept the men amused whilst I relaxed around the pool. We did reserve our sunbeds but only to get our favourite spot every day, there were plenty to go round. We did not have to pay for the air con which was a pleasant surprise. My only gripe would be the quality of the drinks served in the pool bar, we have been to all inclusive hotels where the drinks were outstanding and then to others that matched the Bitzaro but I would not use this to mark the hotel down because in a way it was to be expected for all inclusive (remember this is not a 5 star hotel.) The walk to Laganas along the beach was lovely with a pleasant breeze and the attraction of the planes coming and going to the airport. We also enjoyed the half day boat trip to see the Loggerhead turtles for just 15 euros each and got to swim in the bay.

As other reviews have stated the rooms were kept clean, the pool area was clean and the bingo at night was hilarious with big money to be won. The evening entertainment might not be to every ones taste but you have the option of sitting and drinking upstairs where the quality of drinks is better. Having said that we absolutely loved the entertainment there was a karaoke night, a lady playing a saxophone and signing , Greek dancers and the best couple competition and I have to say I have never laughed so much., The audience participation was great but nobody was forced to do anything they didn’t want to. The fact this hotel does not host a children’s club made the holiday even more perfect for us now that our children are grown up so if you are looking for Butlins where everything is aimed around the children don’t go here. Would I return? MOST DEFINITLY.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012 via mobile

This was our 2nd stay at the Bitzaro Grande in Kalamaki. We first stayed in July 2010 and my now husband proposed to me on our first night! This holiday was so special and there is so much to do here! You miss it so much when you leave! This time we went back for our honeymoon to relive the memories of our engagement and couldn't wait back to return to the hotel and you are guarantees to meet so many friendly people, which we have made friends we keep in contact with back in our normal lives. Sometimes it really is the people that make your holiday too. The Kalamaki strip is full of great restaurants and bars...Venue bar is fantastic and a must visit! Cave bar is a lovely chilled cocktail bar and you must got there too. Anyway back to the hotel - the all inclusive option is te BEST, the food is top class always lots of choice and there is 3 area to sit in the restaurant- inside or 2 outside seating areas! The drinks are great and open til midnight. The pool bar outside during the day caters for all, nicky the lady who works the pool bar is such a hard worker and greets you with a smile at all times! The pools are nicely spaces and there are plenty of sun loungers for you to get a space for sun worshipping!

This hotel has great staff - Thomas is great. This year as soon as we walked through the door, Thomas remembered my husbands name. How he remembers everybodys name is so lovely consideri the number of people that stay here month after month!

I can wait to go back to the hotel because it is full of such warmth and fantastic service and it really is a lovely atmosphere, you will have a holiday of a lifetime if you go here!

We had a fantastic honeymoon and got an upgrade on our room with a bottle wine and congratulations card.

Thanks to the Bitzaro staff for making our stay a memorable one, see you again next year hopefully!!!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Well we were not disappointed yet again, this was our fourth visit, and are now Gold members, or as one person said Gold Mafia!!. We stayed the last 2 weeks in August, and met up with lots of friends we have made over the years. It once again ticked all the boxes,and having stayed all inclusive in other places, we cannot fault the Bitzaro Grande. The staff are great the owners are lovely people, and the company was second to none!. We will be going back very soon and , meeting up with our friends once again, whether they like it or not!! haha. Special thanks to Nikki at the pool bar, she is the most lovely person hard working. caring and sweet, we love her. So the people who moaned about slow service, you try working 7 days a week 8 plus hours a day, week after week and no proper break and in that heat!! and see how you like it!!.Well done to my favourite barman in reception brill at his job and to all reception staff and the great chef Eric, super food day after day and the waiting staff and cleaners who do a fantastic job. Not forgetting our Tomas who is as daft and mad as ever we love you too!!!. THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving us another fantastic holiday!! We will be back and can't wait .

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baxenden/accrington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

just returned from this hotel on the 13th for one week do not take any notice of any negative reviews if you dont like this hotel you are hard to please we travel a lot and could not find any negatives the staff are very friendly and are so helpful . it is soo clean you can eat of the floor there are plenty of sunbeds the pool is also very clean if you have mobility problems you must let the hotel know as some of the rooms have no access to the lifts we were in 338 and had to go up the stairs as i have mobility problems this was a bit difficult at first but eventualy got used to it and actualy loosened my joints with more use .. now to food this was delicious always something we liked the breakfast best we have ever had and we have been in much higher star hotels than this .entertainment medeocer but we won at bingo that was a bonous nikey at the pool bar works her backside off and shes so nice and cant do enough for you and the snacks here are lovely everyone so friendly but pauline and daughter claire were lovely we had such a laugh would i return yes

Room Tip: we were in 338 lovely view of the pool if you dont mind the stairs
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

Just returned from a fantastic holiday with my mum
Stayed from the 7th to 14th September
Our room was clean and fresh with plenty of pillows and a good mattress
We stayed on the second floor which was close to the reception but unfortunatly a walk way to a number of other rooms in the hotel so most nights we did experience some noise, the worst was on Saturday night when I was woken at 1am and twice more at 3am and 3.10am with people talking and door slamming this did seem to get better throughout our stay however I would ask not to be in this area of the hotel if I returned
There was a fridge in the room which was a bonus and the aircon got icy cold
Unfortunatly we had little in the way of view from our balcony but didnt sit out there for more than ten minutes a day anyhow
The pool area was clean with more than enough sunbeds, tables and brollies and no one getting up at silly o clock to reserve a bed they didnt use all day
Grounds were well maintained with tennis courts with basket ball hoop and a kids playground where I had a cheeky swing one day!
I found there to be more than enough choice in food and always something to take my fancy
Drinks were poor but after a couple of days i got used to the soft drinks and managed to swig down a few alcoholic beverages although I couldnt seem to get drunk!!
One of my only criticisms would be that there really wasnt enough space between the chairs in the dining room meaning that you I was constantly concerned about blocking people in or knocking their chair and this wasnt just because I am chunky others also experienced this problem.
I do feel people should have more awareness of the economy of Greece at the moment which i feel has impacted on things like one pool bar staff and the entertainment.
I felt that everyone tried their best with limited funds. I am someone that enjoys taking part and met some lovely people who made mine and my mums holiday even more enjoyable.
We were delayed for 19 hours on our return and were put up in a real crap hole of a hotel which reinforced our belief that Bitzari Grande was top notch
Thank you to everyone staying that week esp Scottish Colin and Carol, Sandra and Paul, Colin Carol and Yvonne Carol and John and everyone that made us so welcome and helped mum look for me when I disappeared..hee hee x

Room Tip: dont choose the 200's
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bitzaro Grande Hotel

Address: CL Zante, Kalamaki 29100 , Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kalamaki
#7 Family Hotel in Kalamaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bitzaro Grande Hotel 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bitzaro Grande
Bitzaro Grande Kalamaki
Bitzaro Grande Hotel Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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