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“Hotel Exotica - It's like coming home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Exotica Hotel

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Exotica Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Exotica Hotel, Kalamaki 29100, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #28 of 32 hotels in Kalamaki
vale of glamorgan, wales
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Hotel Exotica - It's like coming home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2010

Having just come back from our second year at the Exotica, I feel that it only right to sing its praises. The management here have got the running of this hotel spot on.

We were given a huge welcome by Sue, and it felt as if I were visiting a friend's home. The room although basic, was spotless and did what it said on the tin. Make sure you purchase the air-conditioning (you will need it, esp in the summer months). I love the fact that there are shutters outside the patio doors which act as black out blinds as well as keeping the heat out in the daytime.

Efe, on reception is a wonderful lady. I chatted with her a few times and she made me laugh with her dry humour - hope you're keeping up the daily swims at the beach Efe! Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

The pool at the Exotica is one of the best I have ever swam in. We hate going on holiday where it takes half hour to brave the freezing cold water to get in. The temperature was perfect and the pool is split by a bridge overhead which means that you'll always find a nice spot to lay and chill on a lilo without getting splashed by volleyballs.

The food at the bar is reasonable and perfectly fine, we ate their most lunchtimes. Burger with chips only 4 euro, kids meals from 2.50 euro - very good value. We found that the drinks weren't a rip off either - a bit higher than the shops but certainly not double like some hotels inflate their prices by.

A must is cocktail happy hour - 2.50 for any cocktail but be careful their potent. No holding back in the measures unlike some of the bars offering cocktails for the same price.

MUST DOs
Go on a Day Retreat with Sue - this was a wonderful experience. Personal transfer to a wonderful hotel and a true relaxing day awaits. Reiki treatment on a decked balcony whilst listening to the waves below was truly amazing. A fantastic boat trip which was skippered by the fantastic Denis was again so personal unlike the ferries that were to be seen, there were only 6 people on our boat and Dennis was able to take us right into the caves. The trip also allowed us to swim at Turtle beach and we even got a close up of a turtle at the end of the journey. Lunch awaiting me after my boat trip and was lovely. Then a couple of hours of relaxation before being driven back to reality. :-(. I would have easily spent a week. The cost is 80 euro and it is worth every penny. The personal service you will receive is amazing. I slept for about 12 hours straight through that night (something I haven't down since the birth of my daughter!)

A Trip to Vana's Cafe/Grill
This lady is amazing. She will welcome you with open arms and you truly feel like you're visiting her at her home. Her food is proper homemade - just like Momma used to make :-). Although her menu is limited - the daily specials never disappoint. On offer is Pasta with mussels, beef stifado (the most tender beef I've ever eaten), and a variety of meats all with Vana's homemade sauces. If you have go - have one of the meze's to share as a starter and ask for some of Vana's secret suace - divine. The Greek salad is simple gorgeous as the tomatoes are grown in her garden. She grows as much of her own produce as possible and you can really taste the difference. If any of you guys that have kids visit her - get your kids to draw a picture and Vana will put it on her wall. She makes the kids think their work are masterpieces! Ny daughter proudly showed off her work to all the other customers! Please say Hi from Kate to her and say I'm thinking of her.

Another nice restaurant was Buon Amici (a firm favourite of ours). All the food is cooked to order using the finest and freshest ingedients. You will not be disappointed if you visit here. Nikos and his wife Liza are amazing hosts and their staff are a credit to them. We'll definitely be back next time.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Lichfield, England
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2010

Exotica is very handily located for a stay in Kalamaki. 5 minutes from the verty gently shelving beach (ideal for children of all ages, mine 9 and 7), 45 seconds from the fabulous ESCAPE resaurant and 2 minutes from the main "strip" of restaurants, bars etc. Our room was cleaned daily (bar Sundays but toilet bin emptied EVERY day) and beds firm but ok. Generally the hotel (incl poolside and garden) very clean and tidy. Plenty of sunbeds available and kids club available 6 days per week. Buffet breakfast adequate, could do with a little more variety but the pool bar does very good snacks/food for a few euros, snacked here most days for lunch. The main downside is that the place looks tired, it needs a makeover (lots of grey paint - dour!) and some new room doors and ceiling tiles !!! That said we had a very pleasant and happy stay, there was the occaisional bit of noise pollution but nothing really past midnight and a little aircraft noise from around 06:30 most mornings. They also do relaxation and reiki but cannot pass comment as we didn't try these extra's .

Tips:
Read the do's and dont's from the "holidayvixen" review below, she nails it on the head. Glass bottom boats DO corral the turtles and hover over them, we left feeling guilty and upset because they informed us they don't encroach more that 10m.....utter bull from our experience. DO visit the Archealon (turtle info etc) people just up from the fabulous MILOS restaurant and next door to the 'misleading' boat trip company!!!
Cave bar very good but our favourite was a little further on at MOJITO's, very sophisticated, pleasant bar.

Overall we had a wonderful, fantastic two weeks and would love to go back again for a 3rd trip.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife, Scotland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2010

Just got back from the beautiful island of Zante. Temperatures hitting 40c and dropping to 26c at night! very hot!! Needless to say it is raining and 10c in Scotland today.
Hotel Exotica was lovely. We are a couple in our 30s and we travelled with another couple of the same age group and their 3 year old son. The hotel caters well for children (and grown-ups) of all ages. The pool was a good size and the pool bar offered a great variety of food and drinks throughout the day. Buffet Breakfast is served in the main building from 8am-10am and was basic but nicely done. If you wait until after 10 you can purchase a cooked breakfast at the pool bar. We didnt eat at the hotel at night as there were so many good restaurants on our doorstep. (2 minute walk to the main street) Would recommend Bon Amici (italian) and Mermaids. Mikalos Restaurant is a 30 minute walk if you want a traditional greek taverna. We only went to the beach once - it's only a 15 minute walk. loungers are charged at 7 euros each at the beach and you have to stay near the water's edge due to the turtle nests towards the rear of the beach.
Our friends went to the water park one day and we did the Kerri Caves half day boat trip. Would recommend this trip to see the gorgeous beaches and scenery around you. You get plenty chances to have a swim at the stops you make on the way. We saw a loggerhead turtle swimming right beside the boat - amazing! Only 18 euros for the trip.
All in all this was a great holiday. Very relaxing. Thanks to Sue for the reiki - I would highly recommend a treatment from her. She doubles up on reception through the day and has a great local knowledge. Such an asset to the hotel.
A good, basic, clean and well run hotel in a great location - we will return.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2010

Hotel Exotica is exacltly what you'd expect from a 3* Hotel. The rooms are clean, but show signs of use in the bathroom, the facilites are spot on, and the staff are incredibly friendly. The beds weren't the most comfortable I've stayed on, but I've had worse.

The hotel is about 5 minutes walk from the nearest beach, and 2 minutes walk from the main strip, although we found that there was a nice bit of beach around 10-15mins walk away which we decided to head to.

At night, the hotel itself was very quiet (it seems quite family orientated), although at times you could on occasion hear noise from neighbouring hotels.

Overall, we had a great 10 nights at the hotel, and it is right in the centre of the Kalamaki action

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rugby Warwickshire
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2010

This hotel is situated perfectly for those wanting to be far enough away from the action to enjoy a relaxing holiday but close enough to have a night of fun if you wish.

10min walk from the beach, 5min walk away from the best food in Greece. Do yourself a favour seek out tarverns which are not on the main street. There are good meals at low prices to be had away from the tourist spots

Hotel itself offers clean standard rooms, great swimming pools with plenty of sunloungers, cocktail bar and small cafe at the poolside offer very reasonable lunches. (about 4euros for a large plate) Breakfast is buffet style and offers everything from fruit, waffles to full english breakfast. Staff are extremely helpful and friendly.

Okay NOW - WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR- THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT:

1. DO NOT take the boat trip tours which are offered to you on the main street. They will take your money and cram you into a boat with about 400 other tourists. DO NOT listen when they say there are quiet days - THERE ARE NOT. Instead take your money, hire a car (make sure you do this through Thomson or your travel agent I will come to this later) and drive to Ag Nikolaos there you will find a small family run boat trip business next to the windmill studios. (which you wont miss) - They will take you to all the places the large boats will go and more for about 50% of the price. Best of all you will do it with only 12 other people which means you really get to SEE what there is to see.

2. DO NOT HIRE QUAD BIKES especially not from the greek guy down the road from this hotel. They are not maintained and are dangerous. Any local will warn you about this. Our brakes failed while coming down a hill - thank goodness we were not going fast otherwise it would have been fatal. To top it off we had to pay £70 to have the brakes repaired in order to get our drivers license back. You can go to the police but you will need to pay 3x this to hire a translator. It is just not worth it.

3. DO buy suncream before you go. And lots of it. The price for suncream in Greece no matter where we went was ridiculous. (about £12 a small bottle)

4. DO visit the cave cocktail bar at sunset it is the best view

5. DO avoid the English restaurants and try local food it is incredible

6. DO NOT use the glass bottom boats to see turtles, the locals say that since these have come in they have reduced the numbers of turtles coming into the bay dramatically as they chase them and then hover over the poor creatures so they can not come up for air. It just generally terrorizes them.

7. DO NOT waste your money on Thomson trips either as they are just the same as the ones they are offering on the high street which are pretty crap too.

8. DO hire a car and see the sites. This island is beautiful and it only takes 50min to drive the length of it. You will only need the car for a day. DO go to Keri and drive up to the highest point of the hill - this is the best site in Kalamaki.

9. MUST SEES Blue caves, shipwrek (although honestly it is just a metal rust bucket which has been graffitied by the local kids), Turtle island

10. ALSO if you are feeling confident hire a little speed boat and take a trip yourself it is amazing.

I could ramble on for hours. I loved this place and wish I didnt have to come home

ENJOY!

  • Stayed September 2009, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
east yorkshire
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2010

Stayed for 7 days at the exotica, went as part of a thomsons package deal. Flew from doncaster, all flights, transfers etc... all OK.
Arrived Hotel 2200 ish, knew who we were (good start!). Got checked in and paid for the air con, fridge and safe 70euro. Rooms are basic, but clean and well maintained. Had a balcony overlooking the pool, but to be fair spent no time in the room apart from to shower, change and sleep so view not that important.
Turn a right from the hotel and walk to the end of the road (10 mins) brings you to a wonderful huge beach, good for kids as it is very shallow shelving away, I got a good way out still touching bottom, no sports though as a turtle sanctuary. There is a taverna on the beach front and loungers for hire.
Exotica has an excellent pool and a seperate paddling pool for the toddlers (under 5).
There is a poolside bar open 1000 till late (they had just started leaving it open on a night, not open during off season). Its serves really good food at reasonable prices from 1000 till 1800. Souvlaki 5e, gyros 3e, plus all the usual burgers, pizzas, toasties, and a kids menu.
Breakfast was included and was typical continental fare, meat, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, toast and a different hot dish every day, scrambled egg, beans on toast, boiled egg. Coffee, tea, fruit drink etc..
Kalamaki itself consists mainly of one main road running through dotted with shops, tavernas, bars and supermarkets, there is a supermarket next door to the hotel. Shops not overly cheap though, so dont go expecting to buy loads of cheap clothes.
Tavernas are typically open till midnight, the bars around 0200. Prices are about 2.50e for 1/2 litre bottle of amstel, local wine about 4e for a 1/2ltr carafe.
Typically for 3 of us dining with a couple of drinks was 35 - 45e. The combined chinese/indian was expensive though, 65e on one night, but not bad.
Tried a different place every night and have to say did not have a bad meal once, and the greek portions are generous so forget the diet's!!!!! There enough places around to keep you entertained for a good 2 weeks and then some. We did not do any trips whilst there but they can be expensive if a large party go, if you can hire a car and haggle can get you some good deals.
All in all had a really good time, word of caution however, departing from zakynthos airport, strict on excess baggage, departure lounge very expensive, wife went for a cup of coffee and a small tube of pringles for daughter, 7euros!!!!!! Duty free shop well expensive, get it before you go

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

Our holiday party consisted of my parents (in their 50's) my brother and his friend (both 19) and myself (21).
We moved to the Exotica on the second day of our holiday after our pre-booked 'villa' turned out to be god awful. When we arrived the staff we lovely. Lots of smiles our cases were carried to our rooms.

Rooms
The rooms were very basic but exactly what we needed. TV, fridge and plenty of storage, air con, balcony with table an chairs. Beds were comfortable. Our shower was a bit scary going from boiling hot to freezing cold but was fine if you let it run a while. My parents didn't have this problem with theirs.

Pool area
The pool area was large enough and we were able to get sun beds no problem. The snack bar was great, we ate lunch there every day. The gardens were very well kept and pretty. The pool is a very odd shape with a bridge over the middle. I think this was to segregate the pool a bit. On one side there were always lots of ball games and the other side was more mellow. Me and my brother got good use from the pool table also.

Staff
The staff were all great, except the lad who ran the bar in the evening pestered us (girls) quite a lot which was irritating so we stopped going to the bar in the evening.

Breakfast
Breakfast was great, you could eat on the lovely balcony surrounded by birds. The food was fine. There was a variety of breakfast choices, it was the same selection every day but this doesn't bother me at all. Much more variety than I manage when at home!

Location
Location is great because it is near the turtle beach which is one of the reasons we go. This is not a beachy beach really as it is protected and preserved for the turtles but there are others a bus ride away. The main strip is close by. But go a bit farther afield to find the great traditional Greek restaurants.

Overall a great holiday, a simple but very pleasant hotel. Would go again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Exotica Hotel

Address: Exotica Hotel, Kalamaki 29100, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Kalamaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Exotica Hotel 3*
Also Known As:
Exotica Hotel Kalamaki
Exotica Hotel Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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