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“Nice Bungalows”

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Naxos Magic Village
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Stelida
West Chester, PA
Level Contributor
33 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Nice Bungalows”
Reviewed July 8, 2006

This is a lovely and isolated bungalow complex halfway between the Chora and Agios Prokopius. Each bungalow has a sitting area with couch/daybed, table and kitchentte, along with a separate sleeping room and balcony (of course a WC too!). Even when people are in the rooms next to/above or below you, the setup is just right to give you a feel of privacy. The pool is nice, though the lounge chairs are impossibly hot without long beach towels on them. The food and drinks at the bar/restaurant are reasonable priced and tasty, so you need not venture out if you don't want to. The only thing you should know is that you cannot stay here without a car--unless you don't plan on leaving the place OR you are willing to spend 10-20 Euro per day on taxis. If you like hiking, it is a 45 minute hike to the Portara off the Port, plus it has the Stelida right behind it. They also have tennis courts on the property.

While I find it a bit pricey for Naxos, you get privacy and lovely bungalows. Just remember your bug repellent as this area (plus the Agio Anna and Agios Prokopius areas get QUITE buggy and dusk.)

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank prof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2006

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Naxos Beach Hotel 2 for two nights in May on our Greek Island hopping vacation. The hotel was just great. Our room was so cute with an enormous key. We had a fun balcony with a breathtaking view of the ocean. The staff at the hotel was superb. They were so friendly to us and really directed us how to spend our short trip in Naxos. We found our way to a secluded little beach where we didnt see one other person for the entire day! It was romantic and beautiful.

On a sidenote, the food we ordered by the pool was phenomenal! The calamari and greek salads are definite musts! However, try to avoid ordering fancy drinks. While the Bloody Mary tasted good enough, it tasted more like a Jamba Juice than a Bloody Mary. We didnt care, it was just so fun here.

While the shower may be a bit small and the amenities are not the Ritz Carlton, this hotel had such charm that was unrivaled in the other hotels we stayed at throughout Greece! I whole-heartedly reccomend this to anyone who wants to have a wonderful trip to Naxos! PS - Be sure to get to the Portal of Apollo at sunset - truly magical and I think more beautiful than Santorini's over-rated sunset.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Rob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2006

After hectic but fun visits to busy Mykonos and Santorini, we couldn’t have picked a better place than Naxos to relax, unwind and enjoy some hearty Greek hospitality. We only wish we had arranged to spend more time here, because we had not realized just how much we were going to love this beautiful Cycladic island during the three days and nights we had planned for our visit.

My partner and I stayed at the Naxos Beach II from June 11 to 14, 2005 on a “Glorious Greece” island-hopping travel package arranged through Canadian tour operator World of Vacations (now called Nolitours).

We had absolutely no idea what to expect when we arrived at Naxos harbour from Santorini and disembarked from the high-speed Flying Cat ferry. The port seemed quiet and practically deserted, in sharp contrast to the crowded and almost chaotic ferry docks at Mykonos and Santorini. “Where is everybody?” was the question that first came to mind when we stepped onto the dock along with only two or three dozen other passengers.

Just minutes later, we were sitting in a taxi on our way to the Naxos Beach II. The driver followed a series of one-way streets that took us from the harbour all the way around the Old Town of Naxos and onto a two-lane highway linking the Town with the western coast of the island. We passed Agios Georgios Beach, a long, curving beach that begins right at Naxos Town and is very popular with local residents. It was a sunny and warm Saturday afternoon, and there appeared to be hundreds of people on the beach, with dozens of windsurfers taking advantage of the brisk offshore winds. A tall, rocky hill loomed up in front of us, and the cab driver turned onto a dusty dirt road next to it. We wondered where he was taking us, because we couldn’t see a hotel. But moments later he stopped at a stone archway with a large green wooden gate – the entrance to the Naxos Beach II. The hotel complex, a group of one- and two-storey stone and white stucco structures, is set on a hillside just below the road, so that’s why we couldn’t immediately see it from the taxi.

We followed a stone pathway from the gate to a set of wide stairs overlooking the hotel’s oval swimming pool, and found the entrance to the hotel office just off to the right at the bottom of the steps. Registration took only a couple of minutes, after which one of the friendly receptionists showed us to our room. She walked us past the pool and down a courtyard to our room, No. 13, and opened the Dutch-style green wooden door with what looked like the key to a castle – a heavy, thick, antique-looking metal key almost as big as the palm of my hand! It was without question the largest hotel room key we have ever seen.

We had been expecting a simple, standard hotel room, but were pleasantly surprised to discover that Room 13 looked more like a small apartment -- it had a bedroom, a bathroom, and a combined kitchenette/sitting area – but felt like a little country cottage with its traditional Cycladic decor.

The bedroom was approximately 10 feet by 10 feet in size, but didn’t feel cramped. One wall was exposed stone brick, while the other three were smooth surfaces painted in a terra cotta wash. Two firm but comfortable twin beds were pushed together in the middle of the room; a mosquito net hung above them. There were two side tables, a large clothing and storage armoire with two deep drawers built into one wall (and a room safe inside the cabinet), a colour television mounted high on another wall, an air conditioning unit and French doors that opened into the courtyard (along with a pair of solid wood shutter-like doors, lockable from inside the room, for privacy and security). On the terrace just outside the doors were two Hollywood-style canvas and aluminum “director” chairs, and a marble-topped wicker table.

The sitting room/kitchenette was furnished with a daybed, a writing desk with mirror, two chairs, a round marble-topped table, a bench for luggage storage, a counter with sink, cupboards, a stove with two electric elements and a refrigerator, and a wall-mounted cupboard that held dishes and cutlery. The kitchenette was equipped with plates, glasses, coffee cups, cutlery, a cutting board, two pots, one frying pan, a spatula, a ladle, a corkscrew and a bottle opener.

The compact bathroom was lined with patterned square white ceramic tiles and had a toilet, sink, and an extremely slim shower stall with a heavy brass shower wand and brass knobs for hot and cold water. Mounted on the wall above the sink was a wooden cabinet with a mirror and several small storage slots and shelves.

A short clothesline hung just outside the door to our room, providing a convenient place to hang swimsuits and towels to dry.

But Room 13 had more than just a traditional, rustic look and feel– it also had some authentic problems and inconveniences that North American travellers might expect to encounter while “roughing it” for a weekend at a cabin retreat somewhere in the woods. The bathroom was rather dimly lit, which made getting a good shave in the morning somewhat challenging. Far more irksome was the heavy brass shower wand. Anyone taking a shower would risk sustaining a serious head injury if he or she made the innocent mistake of hooking the wand to its holder, mounted high on the cubicle wall, for hands-free showering and shampooing. Indeed, the holder did not hold, so the weighty wand would slide out and strike the unsuspecting bather hard on the head. Both of us wound up with sore bumps on our heads the first time we each used the shower. But the head banging didn’t end there. The shower compartment was so narrow, you would bash either your head or your butt – or both body parts – against the cubicle walls whenever you bent over to pick up soap or shampoo (there was no ledge or shelf in the shower stall on which to could keep those items within easy reach, so we had to leave them on the floor). Meanwhile, we kept wondering why the bathmat on the floor next to the shower was constantly soaking wet. We thought water may have been splashing onto it through a gap in the sliding shower doors; however, we eventually discovered that much of the water draining from the bathroom sink leaked directly onto the floor. The kitchen sink didn’t drain properly, either. If we simply ran water from the faucet, it would drain as expected. But if we filled the sink with even just a small amount of water – in order to wash dishes or to rinse swimsuits of chlorine after a dip in the pool – the water would pour onto all the pots and pans inside the cupboard below. As if all that weren’t enough, the telephone in our room did not work, so we couldn’t even phone the front desk to alert them to the problems, but had to walk over to the office instead.

We didn’t let the room’s problems and shortcomings detract from our vacation, though: We tried to laugh them off and accept them as part of the unique charm of the hotel. In fact, we quite enjoyed our little apartment and considered it a treat to stay there, rather than in a basic, bland bedroom-bathroom-and-balcony room typical of so many hotels in the world. There were a few features we particularly liked about our room. We found that if we opened the top half of the Dutch entrance door, as well as the French doors in the bedroom, a refreshing breeze would circulate throughout. We had to turn on the air conditioner only at night, and were pleased that it worked efficiently and kept the room as cool as we wanted. The big Dutch door in the sitting room, together with the shutters for the French doors in the bedroom, kept the rooms exceptionally dark and quiet at night, which helped us sleep soundly. We actually may have enjoyed a better night’s rest here than in any other hotel room we’ve stayed in so far during our travels in Greece. In the morning before and after breakfast, and again in the evening before dinner, we enjoyed sitting in the sunshine in the director chairs on the terrace outside our room, gazing at the lovely view of St. George Bay and Naxos Town in the distance. It was incredibly peaceful and relaxing; the only sounds we heard were birds chirping and singing, wind rustling through nearby trees and bushes, and waves crashing on the beach below the hotel.

Hotel facilities included the pool, which was deep and equipped with a diving board; a tennis court that appeared to be in need of considerable maintenance; an outdoor dining terrace and bar close to the pool and hotel office, and an indoor breakfast room, situated on a lower level of the hotel. Internet access was available (for a fee) from a computer terminal near the reception desk. The hotel courtyards and perimeter grounds were nicely landscaped with trees, bushes, plants and flowers that were regularly tended by a team of gardeners.

We loved the pool! Unlike hotel pools in Mykonos, the Naxos Beach II pool was filled with chlorinated water, not salt water, so we didn’t have to worry about burning or stinging our eyes if we opened them while swimming. Although the pool was deep, and heated only by the sun, the water was a comfortable temperature, and we spent hours in it. When we weren’t in the pool, we sat or lay in the sun beside it. We didn’t have any trouble finding lounge chairs at the poolside whenever we wanted to lie in the sun or go for a swim, but during our visit no more than one-quarter of the hotel’s 45 rooms were occupied. When the hotel is fully booked, it could be difficult finding seats by the pool since the deck area is not very big.

Breakfast was included with our room package, but was a tremendous disappointment. There was a limited buffet-style selection of cold cereals, plain and strawberry yogurt, white bread, cheese and cold cuts, canned peaches and fruit cocktail, scrambled and hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit (bananas, apples and oranges), and tea and coffee. The food usually didn’t look very appetizing, and items rarely were replenished when they ran low in supply. Staff checked on the buffet tables infrequently, and one morning when there were no eggs at the buffet – and very little of anything else -- we couldn’t even find anyone in the kitchen or dining room to ask if more food was available! After we waited about 10 minutes and still didn’t see any staff arrive in the kitchen or dining room, my partner walked all the way up to the hotel office to ask if any eggs were available. Eventually one of the managers hurried in to prepare hardboiled eggs, replenish some food items, and clear away used dishes; she apologized profusely, and explained that the cook had fallen ill and gone home.

Happily, food served at the poolside dining terrace was tasty and presented well. We dined at a restaurant in Naxos Town the first night of our visit, but were too tired to travel back into Town on the second night, after a busy day of swimming in the hotel pool and walking for the entire afternoon along several of the wonderful beaches along Naxos’ southwest coast. We decided to take our chances by ordering dinner at the hotel – even though we were the only guests who did so that night -- and were pleasantly surprised with the food quality. For starters we had tzatziki and pita bread, dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice, onions and ground beef), and salads of grilled green peppers, red onions and feta cheese; for mains, we had chicken and pork souvlaki. With drinks, the meal cost 31.10 Euros, but we enjoyed it. We also dined at the hotel on our final night, after the front desk staff told us it was the weekly poolside barbecue special and assured us we would enjoy it. For 15 Euros per person, we received a large plate heaped with slices of barbecued lamb, chicken and pork, plus fried potatoes. The meal also included one glass of wine, plus as many trips to a buffet as we desired for appetizers, salads and desserts. The grilled meats were delicious and the buffet selection and quality were equally impressive. This time, we weren’t the only people dining at the hotel: Five other couples attended the barbecue, and everyone we spoke to said they had enjoyed their meals.

The Naxos Beach II staff we met during our stay – including Albert, Alexandra, Emmanoela, Michaela and Maria Stella – were cordial and helpful. Actually, everyone we encountered on Naxos was friendly, which was one of the qualities we liked most about the island. The locals all seemed happy and laid-back, without any attitude. Shopkeepers seemed delighted to see us visit their businesses, even if we didn’t purchase anything, and were happy to chat with us about the products they personally made (some were artists) or sold, or to talk about Naxos in particular and Greece in general. We got the distinct impression that all were immensely proud of their island and country, and wanted us to have a good visit. Similarly, the front desk staff at the Naxos Beach II were happy to call taxis or to contact car and bicycle rental agencies on our behalf, and were quick to respond when we reported problems in our room (when I had a “klutzy” accident one night and knocked a coffee mug on the ceramic tile floor, I went to the reception desk to ask if I could borrow a broom and dustpan so I could sweep up the hundreds of shattered fragments that had scattered everywhere. One of the hotel staff insisted on cleaning the mess for me, and rushed right over to sweep the floor). Almost all hotel employees, including the maids, greeted us with waves, smiles or “hellos” (in either English or Greek) whenever we passed them on the hotel property.

So what are things like beyond the hotel’s property line? The Naxos Beach II is situated in the Stelida area of the island, between Naxos Town and Agios Prokopios Beach. A taxi ride from the hotel to Town took less than 10 minutes, and cost 6 Euros. An Australian couple told us that it took them about 50 minutes to walk from the hotel into Town one afternoon, following a route that led them along Agios Georgios Beach much of the way. We had not realized we could have walked into Town on the beach; had we known that earlier, we would have walked into Town ourselves and only taken a taxi back to the hotel late at night.

Since the Naxos Beach II sits on a hillside facing northeast over Stelida Beach, we had excellent views of Naxos Town and its harbour from many parts of the hotel, as well as the mountains and hills that stretch the length of the island. Another small hotel and several private homes sit just a stone’s throw away. A tract of land right beside the Naxos Beach – in clear view of some tables on the outdoor dining terrace – appeared to have been recently bulldozed in preparation for some kind of development, but no construction work took place during our visit. There were a number of partially-constructed buildings that looked like unfinished apartments or hotels in the immediate vicinity, but not much else besides empty fields and rocky hillsides.

Stelida Beach is less than a five-minute walk down the hill from the hotel, along a dirt road. This isn’t a beach you’re likely to see depicted on a Naxos postcard, because it’s a rugged shore that is not suitable for swimming and water sports. It’s a fairly short stretch of beach, bordered by steep hills at each end. The soft brown beach sand ends at the water line, giving way to a stoney, rocky floor that stretches a few dozen yards into the sea. In several spots, the surf pounds a row of huge boulders just a short distance from shore. There were only two people on the beach when we strolled down to take a look shortly after arriving at the hotel, but that was not surprising. Why spend time on a mediocre beach when some of the most beautiful beaches in the Cyclades are nearby?

The hotel staff told us that Agios Prokopios beach -- one of the best-known beaches on Naxos – was a mere 10-minute walk away, but it took us at least 20 minutes to get there. Along the way we passed many more partially-constructed buildings (a sight we’ve seen in Athens as well as on every Greek Island we have visited), but also some gorgeous private homes and attractive small hotels, most of which boasted lovely lush grounds filled with leafy trees and bushes as well as flowers and plants, such as bougainvillea, bursting with beautiful pink, purple, red and orange blooms.

Once on Agios Prokopios beach, we walked for miles on soft golden sand, passing busy Agia Anna beach (popular with families and groups) and the very long, wide and lovely Plaka Beach (sections of which were popular with nude sunbathers). At several points on the roadway that winds its way alongside all the beaches we saw tavernas and convenience stores, as well as a few hotels and resorts. We spoke to several guests at the Naxos Beach II who told us they had walked to Agia Anna to have dinner at some of the tavernas near the beach; they said it had taken them only half an hour to walk each way along the main road, rather than by walking the much longer, less direct, route we had taken along the beach.

Naxos Town is fun and interesting to walk around, too. The harbourfront features a pedestrian zone filled with tavernas, shops and cafes, while just beyond the ferry port, on a small hill at the end of a short causeway, Iies the Portara – a marble gateway dating to 522 B.C. that was meant to be the grand entrance to the Temple of Apollo, which was never finished. The Portara seems to be the symbol of Naxos – photos of it appear on many tourist materials, such as island maps and tourist guides, and it is even illustrated in mosaic tiles on the bottom of the swimming pool at the Naxos Beach II. The hillside next to the Portara is an excellent spot for watching the spectacular sunsets. The Old Town of Naxos – divided into the Venetian Kastro, and the medieval Bourg market, rises on the hill above the harbour. The narrow alleyways are lined with quaint shops, tavernas and galleries, while the medieval castle hosts a variety of arts and cultural activities ranging from exhibitions by local artists and jewellers to musical performances by orchestras and soloists.

There is much, much more to see on Naxos than the Old Town and the wonderful beaches. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time during our short visit to rent a car and explore the mountain villages and lush valleys that other tourists told us about. We will see those sights on our return visit to the island during 2006. However, we won’t be staying at the Naxos Beach II this time. Although we enjoyed the hotel and were made to feel very welcome and appreciated by the friendly staff (management even sent us a Christmas card last year), we have decided to stay in a different part of the island and try a different hotel. It’s possible we might revisit the Naxos Beach II during a future holiday on Naxos.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank Donny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 31, 2004

This hotel was one of the nicest places I stayed in Greece. I was there for two months in the smmer of 2000 and it was incredible.

The hotel was very clean and the service was incredible. One of the nicest attractions is the mosaic pool and the view from the balconies.

I would go back every summer if I could.

Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Naxos Magic Village

Property: Naxos Magic Village
Address: Stelida 843 00, Greece (Formerly Naxos Beach 2)
Location: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Naxos > Stelida
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Stelida
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Naxos Magic Village 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The endless seaside and the crystal waters is just one of the wonderful sightseeing of Naxos. In one of the amphitheatrically regions of Naxos, on the hill of Stelida, is Naxos Magic Village, with the wonderfull view to the Port of the island, the Venetian Castle which stands on the top of Chora for many centuries, as well as the impressive temple of Apollo, known as Portara. The view during the sunset is really unique. Our Hotel can cover all your needs and is ideal for couples for a romantic gateway and Families since we have a playground for our little guests so they can have their dreamy vacation. All our rooms have a balcony or veranda with pool/Town/Garden or Sea View, Air-Condition, cable TV, telephone, kitchenette, refrigerator,hairdryer,safe, private bathroom with showers and Free Wifi in all the property and rooms. Our professional staff is ready to answer all the queistions regarding the island and our Hotel by providing you maps and suggest the best solutions to make your vacation easy and comfortable. We are looking forward to welcome you in our Hotel Naxos Magic Village operating by New Management. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Naxos Beach 2 Hotel Stelida
Naxos Beach 2 Stelida
Naxos Magic Village Stelida

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