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“Happy Kids Make Happy Parents!”

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Alykanas Village Hotel
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Alykanas
Staines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Happy Kids Make Happy Parents!”
Reviewed June 19, 2012

I read all the reviews before I went and was really looking forward to going and am really pleased to say that I was not at all disappointed. The hotel is set on a lovely little beach with the most fabulous views towards Kefalonia, is within a couple of minutes' walk of a family-friendly authentically Greek village with enough restaurants to keep you going for 2 weeks and has everything to keep the kids entertained. The management (Gloria and her staff, including reception, bar staff and cleaners) are an extremely well-run team who can't do enough to help. Gloria provides a personal touch and made you feel welcome and looked after, unlike some hotels who make you feel like just another customer. The Thomson reps were very helpful and onsite at all times.They also did a 'Towel Patrol' every morning - I've never seen it done before although they always threaten it but the reps actually took away the towels that were 'reserving' sunbeds if people weren't sitting on them each morning which I think was brilliant and alleviated the sunbed envy that we've all experienced.The Kids Club enabled my husband and I to have some free time during the day (2 hours) and several evenings where we were able to drop the kids off for 2 or 3 hours and head to a romantic restaurant (Neraida is one where you can sit overlooking the ocean watching the sun set) on our own which we've not been able to do for the last 5 years. The pools are great, with a new splashpark. There is a covered play area too, a softplay for under 3's, creche, etc. Basically it is VERY kid/parent friendly. The rooms are of a good standard (especially for Greece) - we had a 2 bed apartment which had an OK sized kitchen but the most fabulous view over the sea-pool. The sheets seemed to be clean every day and so did the towels but I think it was just the way the lovely cleaners left everything immaculate every day. The food at the cafe was good value and tasty enough for breakfast or lunch. It closed at 6pm so no good for dinner. The horse and carriage service awaits you not far outside the hotel and will take you to most of the restaurants for 5 or 10 Euros - not strictly necessary as everything is within walking distance (The Lemon Tree is the furthest but that only took around 20 mins) but the kids enjoyed the experience. On restaurants, we tended to go to the ones that had play areas as we have 3 and 5 year old boys (who find it impossible to sit still for the length of a meal) ... we visited Mantalena 3 times (great playground, nice food), Neraida (on our own, very nice authentically Greek with live music and a sunset overlooking the beach), Paradosaiko (towards Alkyes - no playground so on our own, very nice authentically Greek), Memories (OK playground and OK food), The Lemon Tree (great playground, inc, bouncy castle - good food but not as great as all the reviews seem to indicate), The Taj Mahal Indian (also Chinese) - bizarrely had a trampoline inside the restaurant ... great Indian food, fresh and cooked by an Indian chef ... we went there 3 times! - well the football was on!!), Apollo 2 (went there twice ... kids seemed to love the play area although it didn't seem much) - food was very nice and they also do the best currency exchange in the area (the only place we got 1.20 for our Euros rather than 1.18 that everybody else was offering, Vagis (OK play area and very nice Italian food although there was obviously a Greek menu on offer) and last but not least, La Caretta (very good play area for smaller kids) with good food, a very gorgeous looking Greek waitress (had to kick my husband a few times to stop him gaping) and a free half litre of wine and ice-cream for the kids. There didn't seem too much free drinks being given away which is unusual for Greece but bearing in mind their financial worries I'm surprised they haven't all packed up and given up. The economy doesn't seem to be impacting the islands too much - the only real thing I thought was evident was the lack of gold and silver jewellery in the gift shops which are usually very tempting.
Anyway, I could go on ... but basically, we had a lovely relaxing 2 weeks in a great hotel with perfect weather and we'll be booking to go again next year.

Room Tip: There were no sea view rooms available on check-in but I asked if they could move us when one became...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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2 Thank Fran D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 18, 2012

We have just got back from our 3rd holiday and had another great holiday. We keep going back because we know that it is perfect for the children and you can't risk a disappointing family holiday. The hotel is great, the pools are lovely, particularly the splash pool which is new this year. The thomson staff were great this year, much better than the last couple if years and both children went to kids club and loved it. The hotel staff are so friendly and hard working. Gloria the manager, looked after us as usual and works ridiculously long hours. Sakis behind the bar is a one-man cabaret act and has become a good friend, along with Nikos. The dogs are not a problem and if tourists stopped feeding them they would no doubt move on. I understand that there is no risk of the hotel becoming all inclusive ( certainly not within the next 3 years) and this is good news as the surrounding restaurants are fantastic and would probably not survive if they lost custom from Alykanis Village. Paradisio (I think that's what it is called? On the road to Alykes) is lovely and serves beautiful fish dishes and steaks. The kids love Apollo and The Lemon Tree, which have good kids play areas. Bonkers is great for a bit of lunch and a drink and The Mill House is a lovely stroll along the beach and provides a good lunch in a friendly atmostphere. However, their friday night greek night is a MUST. A great night out with fantastic entertainment and amazing Greek dancers who defy gravity and age!
I can't recommend this holiday destination highly enough. The island must be explored to be fully appreciated. We have found some absolutely beautiful quiet beaches, but you'll have to find your own, that's half the fun!

  • Stayed June 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank AnnaMayon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2012

Firstly if you are looking for a greek holiday with an abdundance of good inexpensive restaurants within a 5 minute walk, with a nice hotel with good activities and an excellent kids club then this is the place to go.
The hotel is lovely and clean with two swimming pools in the main area, with a 30 yard walk through to the pool by the beach and has a new small waterpark for kids (5-13 at a guess). The beach itself is only another 20 yards away which has lovely clear water and is very shallow for a long way out.
The room we stayed in was a studio for 4 and had just we refurbished (as it was different to the picture on the Thomson website) and was actually a much better design as the kids had two single beds seperated from the double by a small wall, which meant the kids could go to bed and you could go out onto the balcony without disturbing them.
Excellent Reps (Tickly Tash, Handy Andy & Iced Gem) who were not at all pushy to get you to join in, but if you did fancy joining in great fun.
Kids Club was very well run with drop ins in the morning or afternoon with nice facilities and very friendly staff.
On site a small supermarket with others a 5 minute walk away, maybe a little more expensive but handy. That said it seemed more expensive to buy stuff than to go and eat out.
The only things that are negatives are the lack of sunbeds, the paving around the main pool is "crazy paving" which is not great for kids feet, and there are stray dogs, although to be fair they are not aggresive and did not seem to bother anybody.
On site snack bar was good, but outside the hotel are some great restaurants. Our favourites were Cosy Corner (extremely firenadly and great value for money), The Lemon Tree (nice horse drawned carriage ride), Vrisaki and Parodisiako (which is a 10 minute walk towards Alkyes, but excellent) although all restaurants were good (and most had a small childrens play area and exteremly welcoming to children), these were the best. The village wine was very good in all the restaurants and for a family of four bills were usuall around 50 euros which was good value for money.
Outside the hotel at night the horse drawn carriages wait (which seem to be the local Taxis) and they will take you off to various restaurants.
Also lots of bars, which unfortunately we didn't get to many, but Dilema Bar was great. There is a mini golf course for the Kids along with Wii and Xbox, and they make one of the best Mojito's I have have ever had. Ammos bar on the beach is also very chilled during the day with hammocks and a kids play area.
We did the Thomson trip to Smugglers Cove which was named a Pirate Party I think, which was really just a trip to smugglers cove with a rep dressed as a pirate and played some games on the beach whilst the adults relaxed for an hour, a bit overpriced as you can get similar from the various ticket stalls about.
One trip which was surprisingly good was the Trainaki (which you walk down to Jammin Bar to board), which is a little road train which takes you up into a village where their is a museum, church and taverna, the lady who was the guide was really knowledgable and the kids enjoyed feeding the goat!. We enjoyed this so much we booked the Saturday night trip which is a Greek night with dancers, plate smashing etc. It was a great atmosphere and Spiros who owns the Taverna is a genuinely warm character, the food was good and the home made wine was surprisingly excellent and plentiful.
No problems with local cash machines, as their seems to be some scaremongering about this.
Thomson, please do not turn this hotel into an all inclusive, as the main reason we booked this was to have a family resort with the opportunity to sample local restaurants.
All in all a great holiday and although I didn't think I would ever say it - we will probably return next year!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Just returned from our second stay at the Alykanas Village hotel - and have to say I can't wait to go back again !

When we visited last year we were given a room with a view of a field and a cow - despite nearly all the rooms in the hotel having a pool and/or sea view. We asked to be moved but were told there were no alternatives available. Eager not to have the same view this year, we emailed and telephoned the hotel before our arrival requesting a pool/sea view. When we arrived we were over the moon to have been allocated a two-bedroom apartment with both a pool and sea view - fantastic. However, after two days I received a call from reception stating that we had been allocated this room by mistake and we would have to pack up and move. Needless to say we were not very happy at all. We spoke with the Thompson reps and eventually the issue was resolved. We were moved to a studio still with a pool view. This was the only disappointment during our holiday.

All rooms have had a fab makeover with more than enough self-catering equipment. The new water park is a fabulous addition but, as others have said, would benefit from some shade and more places to sit - but that doesn't bother the kids - they love it !

The pools are all great and the Entertainments team work so hard with a variety of games/activites during the day - including pool party at 4pm when they get in the pool and let all the kids splash them. They have a few hours off before they then provide the evening entertainment in the Venue bar, ending with the club dances - always a big hit. Tickly Tash and Iced Gem were amazing - always jolly and happy - my son, Ben, was so upset when we had to say goodbye to them.
Another favourite for us was the reps vs guests event every Saturday and Guinness World Records day - where you can attempt to break certain records - still waiting for confirmation that my other half has broken the record for shortest time for putting 20 coins into a piggy bank blindfolded !!!
The great thing about this hotel is that you can have great family time with the kids around the pool, or if you prefer, you can sit by the pool overlooking the sea which is a lot quieter.
The on-site cafe/restaurant provides lovely food/snacks and the staff are friendly and helpful. You must try their Greek style chicken - yum !

There are a lot of dogs wandering around and, although they are strays, they don't look like it. Fell in love with one of them and wish I could have brought him home ! They don't bother you if you leave them alone - actually saw some people let them into their rooms - you can't do that and then expect the dog not to want to do that every day.

The resort itself is small and friendly with great restaurants. My absolute favourite is the Neraida - just along the beach from the hotel where you can watch the sun set whilst listening to the live bazouki music - paradise ! Also like the Lemon Tree and Vrisaki.

If you are planning any excursions/trips then I definitely recommend specialoffers.gr - competitively priced (much cheaper than Thompson) and the guide, Sue, is very friendly and knowledgable. We went to see the Loggerhead Turtles this year - saw three which was truly amazing. Last year we went to see the shipwreck with the same company, which was another great day out.

All in all this is a truly great destination for a family holiday - the weather was fabulous and never had a problem getting a sunbed as we just got up early and got one. Highly recommended and I simply cannot wait to go back - I hope it will be sooner rather than later ! One request - please, please Thompson do not make this an all-inclusive resort - it works very well the way it is.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hollydolly50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

A pity the staff allow the dogs free reign in and around the hotel. Most establishments in the resort do not allow the stray dogs to lie against restaraunt tables begging, to lie on the sun beds, to lie on the lounge sofas and scavange in the bins but the apparent small staff presence to not seem to have the will or numbers to control the situation.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank john W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2012

We have just returned from a week long stay at the Alykanas Village Hotel. The hotel is great and there are only some minor criticisms from us. 

The hotel itself is really nice, in a great location. However there are nowhere near enough sunbeds. Bearing in mind this hotel has circa 150 rooms and each on average sleep 4 people it doesn't have more than 230 beds in total. This leads to people getting up really early and putting their towels down and then maybe not returning until nearly lunchtime (or beyond). The Reps will then walk around the pool at about 10 taking the towels off the beds and taking them to reception for these people to retrieve, which is fair enough, but for a hotel this size there should be a lot more beds available. As for the dogs mentioned by other posters, yes they are clearly hanging around but they are no bother on the whole, unless you were the poor lady that my husband watched come back from the mini market with two bags of shopping early one morning. She was quite literally surrounded by five dogs each jumping up at her to get a look at what was in her bags. To be honest some of the children around the pool were more of a menace to the dogs on more than one occasion. On a couple of occasions we'd see the dogs minding their own business and various children would come along and squirt them with their water squirters, causing the dogs to seek solace in between the sunbeds or even on the sunbeds!

The pools themselves are great. There are three pools which our children loved, plus the hotel has it's own small splash park, which they thought was fantastic. There is also a snack bar which sells great snacks throughout the day. Based on other holidays in Greece we have had it is also reasonable priced.

Safety deposit boxes are 25€ per week and there is free wifi in the reception area which is great.

We were given a pool facing studio for 4 which was lovely, well appointed, plenty of room and recently refurbished if the photos on Thomson's website is anything to go by. The room had plenty of self-catering equipment if you needed it. However although the studio was for four, there were only three chairs at the small table inside and only three at the small table on the balcony. Upon looking at some other balconies it would seem that this was the norm regardless of how many people your studio / apartment housed. Only a minor point but you don't really want to be moving chairs every time you want to sit down as a family. Second point it was great to have a bath with a shower attachment but the water pressure was very low in the late afternoon/ early evening and sometimes the water would stop all together, only for 20 seconds at the most, but when you are stood there with a head full of shampoo you do wonder whether it will ever start again.

The rooms are cleaned every day to a high standard and the staff were great. Upon asking whether we could hire the remote control for the Air Conditioning the lady at reception asked us whether we were sure we wanted it as it does get quite cool at night and she didn't want us to waste our money. Really refreshing that she said this to us as she could have quite easily took our money and we would have none the wiser. 

The Mini Market on site was reasonably priced and had most of the essentials, always staffed by really friendly people. 

Alykanas is a great little resport. It is on the small side but just up the road you have the resort of Alykes. There are plenty of restaurants in Alykanas with lots of choice. We like traditional Greek Tavernas so in Alykanas we liked The Lemon Tree, Sweet Memories and Apollo 2. We also took a horse and carriage ride over to  Alykes to try some of the Tavernas over there.

And finally the Thomson reps & Entertainment team who are a very friendly, helpful and fun bunch of people.  Our eldest daughter loved the sessions run by the children's entertainment team, however there were two things that made me mark down the overall rating. On occasion we did feel very pressurised to join in the activities by the pool. We favour holidays where we can relax, read a book and top up our tans, therefore we don't want to feel like we must join in all the time or made to feel guilty because an activity has been cancelled due to 'lack of numbers'.  Second point whilst sitting in reception using the wifi I heard another guest and the head rep talking to one of the kids team. The guest's daughter was going to be three in the next week and a half and she was therefore wondering whether her daughter could join the tots sessions as she was so close to being 3. The member of the kids team said that she couldn't because it was against health and safety  / insurance rules, the guest said she would be willing to sign a disclaimer and surprisingly the head rep joined in saying 'yeah what if she signed something'. Whilst it is entirely up to the guest if that's what she was prepared to do, I was shocked that the head rep would condone this. The member of the kids team did keep saying no but she would check with her boss. I don't know what the outcome was but it did surprise me as we also have a daughter who is a similar age and I would be quite taken a back if someone took such an attitude with regard to my daughter's safety. 

However we really did enjoy our holiday and I would definitely go back to Alykanas and the Alykanas Village Hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 3008robs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2012 via mobile

Had a weeks stay in June over the jubilee weekend so needless to say this wasn't cheap. I have to say the hotel and location where great. The staff and reps seemed nice, although the wife and I found all the kiddy stuff a bit much but we just went to the beach if we wanted peace. And in fairness we wanted a family resort over a loud clubby type place.
My only 2 criticisms are: the constant reserving of sunbeds which the reps were trying to crackdown on, I mean somedays towels where down at 9 am and nobody sat on them til 4pm its not acceptable and I think the hotel needs to look at its policies. The 2nd criticism is the charging for air conditioning. We paid a lot for this holiday and it seems money grabbing €8 a day. I've never had to pay in some dives I've stayed in in the states and if a Greek traveller came to London in December it would be like charging them for heating. Anyway moan over on the whole a great holiday at a great hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alastair80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alykanas Village Hotel

Property: Alykanas Village Hotel
Address: Alikanas, Alykanas 290 90, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Alykanas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Alykanas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 216
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Also Known As:
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