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“Overall good, but some disappointments”

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Neilson Aeolian Village Beachclub
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Skala Eresou
Certificate of Excellence
Nantes
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Overall good, but some disappointments”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

Overall a great holiday, which I would definitely recommend, but there were both positive and negative aspects.

Positive aspects were:
- Lovely big room on the hillside with fantastic views over the resort and beach
- Great food in the restaurant (thanks to George the chef)
- Very friendly hotel staff, especially the Greek staff members in the bar and restaurant and on reception
- Fantastic range of activities: tennis, mountain biking, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, kayak, SUP, fitness classes, running groups...
- Excellent tuition for tennis (thanks Andy and James over from Halkidiki and Sivota respectively) and windsurfing (thanks Tim and Sam)
- Nice location just 10 minutes walk from the lovely village of Skala Eressos

Disappointing aspects were:
- Bikes were in a poor state of repair: both bikes I took out had faulty gears, and the inner tubes were wrecked with perished seams and more puncture repairs than you could count
- Windsurfing kit was battered and showing its age: very battered boards with multiple repairs, sails with battens missing
(It was the end of the season, but the kit should still be good for guests coming out in September.)
- The beach was closed on our arrival day, which was the windiest day of the week - very frustrating when you've come on holiday for the windsurfing
- My expectations had been set by a previous Neilson holiday at the Cosmos in Vassiliki where the beach staff always helped you to get windsurfing kit in and out. Not the case at Aeolian Village. (Perhaps one of the reasons why the kit is a bit battered?)
- The transfer from the airport is 2 hours, which feels long combined with the 4 hour flight.

Room Tip: If you don't mind a little longer to walk to the main hotel facilities and the beach, the rooms...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LaFranglaise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (193)
Date | Rating
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English first
UK/Italy
Level Contributor
31 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed at Neilson Village because we wanted to visit Lesvos and we read the excellent reviews.

There were many positives things about this hotel:
- Location : The Hotel is actually in a stunning location, with an excellent beach and lovely landscape. Eressos is only 10 minutes walking distance. It is a very pretty village and there are few artisan shops and great bars. The island is great, we absolutely loved it.
- Activities : There are lots of activities and the instructors were excellent, really knowledgeable and easy to learn from. Spot on!
- Facilities : The Hotel has a nice swimming pool, very private beach and a nice bar.

…. But there also some negatives:
- The bedrooms are marketed as 4 Stars but they are really a 2 stars… We stayed at the Hill top rooms and although the balcony was nice the décor and furniture were dated and shabby. Some friends of ours stayed in Eressos in a 30EUR per night Hotel and the room was fab, contemporary style with sea views and lovely bathroom. We did not spend a lot of time in the room so it did not matter but still for the price you do not get much.
- The place is run by British youngsters that most of the time answered to questions like they could not be bothered. Generally you have the feeling that they are there to have fun, partying and have a great time, and working is a side activity. At the restaurant they were often rude, drunk and not interested. Also it is disappointing as you would want to help the local community but also get to know their culture as part of the holiday, but the place is run and exclusively for British so you do not feel like being abroad. For some people this is a good thing, but not for us.
- The food was abundant but again very British… we struggled to find any authentic Greek food and decided two nights to eat in town even if it was paid for. A big shame, but perhaps they cater for people that do not like to try new things and enjoy English breakfast and fish and chips…

I think overall, it is a nice place, especially if you have a family, the activities for all ages are fun and you never get bored. But if you are looking for quality accommodation, food and service, it is not good value for money.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Definitelygio2
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 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012

It's not possible to give five stars to Aeolian Village because that would imply it's perfect, which - like everything else in life - is definitely not the case.

But it is pretty bloody good; and I say that 3 weeks after coming home.

I booked a 2-week peak season holiday thinking it would be similar to the Mark Warner vacation we did a couple of years ago. This, I suppose, explains why - halfway through the first week - we were a bit shell-shocked by all the active *stuff* going on around the place. Don't get me wrong, despite the usual sales pitches at the "welcome" meeting, there's no pressure to participate in the active *stuff* if you don't want to; and you never get a sense of feeling left out for not doing active *stuff*.

It is fair to say, though, that Neilson are serious about the whole "relax as hard as you like" business.

Getting involved with the active *stuff* just sort of creeps up on you and before you know it you're playing tennis, on a bike ride, having a personal training session (interesting, in 39-degree heat...), doing a boxercise or Pilates class, joining in with zumba (not me though: men of my age shouldn't even think about taking part in a zumba, because that's a crime worse than wearing socks with sandals - a truly heinous offence) or kayaking to the nearby village.

This is all good though, the upshot being that by the end of the holiday you feel energised, not as though you've lazed around for two weeks, eating and drinking too much and occasionally flopping into the pool by way of "exercise".

Although, naturally, you do all that too.

Talking of food, the standard is, in my opinion, as good as you could reasonably expect. Look, you're never going to find Michelin-standard nosebag at this kind of hotel but, given the numbers they're catering for, the cooking was generally very decent and the variety kept you interested for a fortnight.

This is helped, in part, by the two "non-inclusive" evenings each week, which give you the chance to take the short, fairly charmless, walk into the village of Skala (or, possibly, Eressou - I wasn't certain), where there are a ton of restaurants. The quality of cooking in the village is madly variable: one evening we had an absolutely execrable meal in a beach-front restaurant the name of which I have (helpfully...) wiped from my memory; then again, at... erm.. another restaurant in the main square (possibly Aubergine: you'll find it - everything's quite purple), the food was delightful.

During the fortnight we ate at 4 restaurants in the village and regardless of the food they all shared one thing in common: terrible service. But don't let that put you off – just look at it as a chance to relax a bit harder.

The benefit of being close to Skala Eressou should not be underestimated. The fact you can wander (or kayak, or cycle...) over there any time you like helps avoid the cabin-fever we experienced at Mark Warner, which was miles and miles and miles away from civilisation. A definite plus-point.

Back at the hotel, the staff were another holiday plus-point. Put simply, you wouldn’t mistake any of them for "professional" catering or leisure careerists: the vast majority are young people stopping off at the beginning of their journey to responsibility and deciding which fridge to buy. For us, though, this was A Good Thing. In place of the dreary, sunken-eyed ennui frequently experienced at the hands of people who have spent too many years traipsing between tables or standing behind a bar smiling insincerely at crap jokes, the staff were generally cheerful, relaxed and helpful. Which is nice.

And speaking of relaxed, when it comes to signing the kids in and out of their clubs the "nannies" (which is a terrible word to use - someone must be able to come up with a better one) are much more flexible then we experienced at MW. They were, as you'd expect, rigorous in making sure signatures were obtained but otherwise, coming and going was very easy, which suited us perfectly. The clubs were safe and secure and the variety of activities was good. Best of all, the kids weren’t trooped around the resort holding hands and signing marching songs.

The apparently relaxed approach to safety and security continues on the beach - but don’t be fooled. The large, well-qualified and helpful beach team were informed and vigilant: despite the total absence of an officious, pedantic vibe, nothing escaped their attention, which is the way it should be

So what's not so good about Aeolian Village?

A few things, I reckon.

There is no advance warning about the transfer: I guess there is no mention of it until you’re on the coach because some people, knowing they face two-and-a-half hours of twisty roads, would go elsewhere on holiday. Short of chartering a ferry there's nothing Neilson can do about the transfer but it's hardly an ideal way to begin and end a holiday.

The pool is quite crap, too. God-alone knows what the designer was thinking because, with a shallow-end of 1.3 metres, it doesn't work as a "family" pool. The whole area needs a serious re-think, to make the pool more user-friendly and create a focal point for the hotel's exterior. The surroundings could definitely use a few extra trees to provide more natural shade from the sun, which in August is unforgiving.

The accommodation is OK but be warned: if you book a "hillside" room, you're in for some exercise whether you want it or not. It took a couple of days to get used to the schlep but, overall, we didn't find it a problem. Our room was spacious and daily cleaning meant it was spotless; although the owners really do need to do something about the beds, especially the pillows which can most accurately be described as The Worst Pillows Ever. In the history of the world. Ever. In case I’m not making myself clear, and for the avoidance of doubt, they are really terrible: the worst thing about the holiday and no way conducive to a good night's sleep.

Finally, we were unhappy about the cost of things in the hotel. Some of prices are so mental it sometimes felt as though you were personally servicing Thomas Cook's entire debt mountain: €10 per week to rent a beach towel? They're 'avin' a giraffe! For a family of four that means shelling out 64 frickin' quid over the course of a 2-week holiday, which is ludicrous, even if you’re allowed to change them whenever you want.

And don't me started on €15 to get a bag of laundry done...

Then there were the bar prices.

You couldn’t have squeezed a shaved Rizla between me and a very unhappy holidaymaker when I realised the cost of a beer was about the same as I’d expect to pay in central London. There is no earthly way Neilson can justify such inflated bar prices. To be honest, even though you don't go on this sort of holiday expecting "value", it felt like a rip-off.

But I don't want to end on an excessively downbeat note.

Take out these largely minor quibbles (except the pillows – can’t ignore the pillows) and we had a terrific holiday. There’s always something to do, either on your own or with other people; and when you just want to veg-out, that’s OK too.

We enjoyed the place as a family (the kids are 8 and 5) and individually. Aeolian Village is small (only about 300 guests, I think) but there is plenty of space, so you never get a sense of overcrowding. Relaxed and friendly, the service at times feels personal. Best of all, we met some lovely people (a couple of whom I regret not taking contact details for) and, accompanied by the obligatory holiday rosé, talked any amount of nonsense deep into the night.

Perfect.

I reckon we'll go back for same two weeks next year. Only this time we won't be surprised to discover that people go on holiday to do *stuff* and we'll know to start relaxing hard the moment we arrive.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank AndrewNotAndy
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 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2012

I can not recommend this resort higher engough
The whole Neilson experience is execellent from the friendly service, the great tuition on anything that floats on water right down to the cleaners who cleaned the rooms everyday top notch.
Trip advsor comments on wet shoes for the beach was a good one as they were needed. Also I would recommend staying on the main complex rather than on the hill.
As a bit of a trek if you forget something and have to go back.
The food was excellent and the short walk into the beautfiul village was worth it. Would recommend the Parasol Bar for the sunset and a cocktail.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Thomas Cook

Helpful?
2 Thank Sweeney249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
99 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

Our second time with Neilson, the first was on Lemnos. We had another great experience.
The rooms are larger here and the lovely town is closer - the only drawback is the longer transfer from the Airport. It's worth it though as the Hotel is quiet and secluded with just a short walk taking you over Turtle Bridge into town.
George the Head Chef takes great pains to be visible during meals, and on one of the non-inclusive nights his "Famous Hog Roast" is simply superb.
I heartily recommend.

Room Tip: Don't ask for a room above the tennis courts unles you are fit - it's quite a climb
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, UK
Level Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2012

We have just returned from a great holiday in Lesvos.
Once you get over the long and winding transfer the hotel and it's facilities are brilliant.
The pool is great for large and small people alike.
The rooms were spotless and made up beautifully every day. The lady rearranged all my children's teddys so they looked like they were enjoying their holiday too!
The restaurant was very well organised and the food was delicious.
The proximity of the magical village with its bars and restaurants set it apart from the resorts at Lemnos and Halkidiki.
Our children loved the kids club. They well organised and flexible which is ideal for us.

Our only gripes involved the disappearance of our beach towels which we brought from home on day 3 of a two week holiday. Who knows what happened to them!!

Drinks and ice creams are also expensive at the resort and if you are not careful you can run up a big bar bill. We were charged different prices for the same things on a few occasions which is a little bit annoying. We strolled into the village to stock our fridge to keep our room bill under control.
You can buy 6 large bottles of water from the hotel for E4.90 which is well worth it particularly as they bring them to your room. We got through 24 bottles in total!!

The flight is with monarch which on the whole was ok. However, myself and several other people travelling with Nielson were told that there was no vegetarian meal for them. The stewardess proffered up a copy of someone elses Nielson invoice to me which indicated that a vegetarian choice had been recommended but could not be guaranteed. Come on!! I was having these sort of discussions 20 years ago!! Can it really be so difficult.

Room Tip: Our room was very close to the pool and the action. Great for popping back and forth to get stuff. T...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ambarpete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
182 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

A veteran of 5 Mark Warners. Thought I would try Neilsons. They are better. Food is great. Staff are excellent. facilities for sailing, water skiing etc are great. A place to go to meet a. Nice class of people. A wee bit of a trek from the airport to the site but beautiful little town nearby. . Highly recommended. Will definitely be back. Perfect holiday for me

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stallion20000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Neilson Aeolian Village Beachclub

Property: Neilson Aeolian Village Beachclub
Address: Eressos Beach, Skala Eresou 811 05, Greece
Location: Greece > Northeast Aegean Islands > Lesbos > Skala Eresou
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Skala Eresou
Hotel Class:4 star — Neilson Aeolian Village Beachclub 4*
Number of rooms: 129
Also Known As:
Aeolian Village Hotel Skala Eressou
Comfort Inn lésbos
Aeolian Village lésbos
Neilson Aeolian Village Beachclub Greece/Lesbos - Skala Eresou

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