On Monday the 27th August we arrived back from an all inclusive 2 week holiday in Zante at the Turtle beach resort.
Regrettably the experience that we had was not suggestive of a good holiday and I feel strongly that I have to complain. I am a working mother and had worked hard to save for the two week break and feel extremely disappointed with the accommodation and your description of it.
The description offered at the time by yourselves was that this resort was suitable for couples and families, and this certainly was not the case.
I had travelled with my daughter and her best friend and it was the plan that for the second week of the holiday that my partner was to come over. He had booked his stay with low cost holidays at the same resort.
On arrival we were designated a room on the ground floor looking out onto the swimming pool and sea front. My passport was taken and I presumed that it would be returned or I would pick it up the following day.
The room was basic, as we expected, and it did not concern me initially that the bathroom door did not close (needed re-hanging) or that there was no shower head on the shower and we had to told the water pipe over our heads to have a shower . The toilet lid was broken, and when I sat down on the toilet seat the broken and jagged bit hit my back nor did it initially concern me that there was no cutlery other than a spoon or that there were no cups other than 4 plastic disposable cups which accompanied the travel kettle in a cupboard. Nor that the refrigerator was dirty.
Our first day was pleasant enough but we grew aware of other people being dissatisfied with their stay. But this was not my concern and I do not wish for this letter to be about anyone else’s concerns but my own.
The music from the bar area grew louder as the day went on and at about 10.30pm increased some more. Having travelled overnight I was tired and went to my bed and my daughter her friend did the same. At one point I was not able to hear what my daughter was saying to me even whilst in the same apartment. The music continued to about 2.30am after which we could hear people jumping into the pool at intervals during the rest of the night. This behaviour was continuous throughout our family holiday. In addition to this people were coming back from the night out and took to having alcohol fuelled discussions on the sun lounges. Discussing if they should go skinny dipping in the pool. I witnessed people who had come in from the night clubs and fell asleep on the inflatable’s in the pool and the heard the cries of ‘let me in, let me in’ when a man was trying to gain entry into a group of girls room.
We were getting increasingly tired and when my daughter and her friend did not wake up in time for breakfast on two consecutive occasions, (breakfast is served till 10am) I asked the reception about moving to another room. The receptionist informed me that if I wanted to move I would have to do it now, this very moment, as they were expecting holiday makers to arrive. I asked to see the rooms and declined the offer of the room, as the kids were still asleep and the thought of packing everything back into cases ‘this very moment’ was not practical. Also I was mindful of other peoples complaints of people running through the hotel at night, shouting, screaming, laughing and even playing football. I essentially was caught between a rock and a hard place,
The resort was advertised ’suitable for couples and families’ yet the music from the bar was not general pop music but more hardcore /dance. The resort is occupied by a majority of young groups on girls and lads holidays, stag do’s etc it is not appropriate for families. Unless they are made aware of this before they book. The bar is advertised as being open till 6am in the morning with the offer of drinking unlimited peach snapps, vodka and sambuka for a payment of 10 euros. Certainly the bar note that the bar is on face book. I have looked at this site and if you care to have a look at it and the pictures you will note that there are pictures of people standing on the bar and not happy pictures of families.
Language around the pool was sometimes ok and at other times vile. Whilst my daughter and her friend was in the pool one man had said to his friend ’which one do you want?’ referring to my daughter and her friend. I also hear comments such as ’there is lots of pu**y here, lots of chicks etc’. On a few occasions I saw plastic cups in the pool and young men empty their drink into the pool.
The majority of sun beds were broken and the occasional plastic table also broken. The new beds that were there were blue fabric covering a metal frame. Considering the temperatures out there the metal frame caused more of a hazard than the broken plastic beds.
The all inclusive category was very limiting. Snacks were available but we had to pay for them. No low calorie drinks were available (unless you paid for them) and we also got our drinks served in plastic disposable cups.
On one instance when asking for drinks I was told that I could not have three drinks. I explained that there was three in our group.
Another occasion was when I asked for drinks and informed that I could not have any more as I had drinks on the table already. I explained that the plastic cups were indeed empty on our table.
This ‘policy’ seemed to be not adhered to consistently as I recall coming back from lunch and having to step over numerous half drunk drinks from a group of young women and to be met by a member of that group coming back from the bar with a tray full of drinks.
The pool was ok, nice and warm in the afternoon, lots of inflatable’s in there which others had left.. But again when thinking of families especially with young children there was no gradual gradient into the pool or shallow areas. The pool had a 2 inch layer of ’scum’ at the sides. On our last day this was being cleaned off by the caretaker using a clear liquid in a child safety bottle (Screw cap) I could not say for sure but on the bottle was the big red cross and the picture noting that it was harmful to aquatic life and that it was not to be tipped down the sink etc could it have been turpentine/white spirits?
Air conditioning is optional and payable locally at 49 euros. However some rooms like mine had two units in which for the two weeks would have come to 196 euros. I have spoke to people who had complained that their air conditioning did not work and had been moved straight away and then spoke to someone else who had moved into that same room by the resort already knowing that the air conditioning did not work.
There was an instance in which a lady had come on holiday with her daughter and she had been accused of owing the Turtle beach Resort money for air conditioning. I heard the manager say that she would not get her passport back till she had paid this. This saga carried on for several days with a threat that men would come to her room to get the money off her. Two male holiday makers offered to change rooms with her as she was rightfully upset. This scenario ended in the manager pushing the lady to the ground in the reception area. She must have been late 60’s or early 70’s years of age. This commotion was witnessed by many. My daughter and her friend was upset and shaken by the experience, as I was. There was shouting, screaming and crying. The police was called. Looking round the pool area later there were only anxious looking faces.
Another instance we witnessed was when the manager came out to the bar area and was shouting at a holidaymaker who had complained about the all inclusive restrictions at the bar. The manager was very vocal and demonstrative and ‘charged off’ saying that if he [the holidaymaker] was ‘not happy he could have a refund and sleep on the beach’.
These scenarios was upsetting to hear about and made me anxious about complaining to the resort or the number I was given to ring by a rep at the airport.
I had still not got my passport back and this was declined when I asked for it back. The receptionist stated that the manager held on to them till departure from the hotel. I stated that there was no legal responsibility for them to hold onto my passport. (I have videoed this on my mobile phone) In my experience he held onto it to try and extradite more money from people as they leave ie pay me or you will not get your passport back.
My partner came for the second week and was placed in another hotel as they had been overbooked. He had been given his passport back within 24 hours. Turtle Beach Resort had tried to get another 20 euros off him as he was leaving but as they did not have his passport he just walked away. My partner did not owe them anything.
On two night we helped out people who were ‘stuck’ as the hotel had insisted that people check out at 12noon. These people had then to sit with their bags for upto 17 hours before their taxi came to pick them up in the early hours of the morning. There were children laid out on sun lounges at night‘, having had their all inclusive bands taken off them. They were no room to put their belongings, no room to hire so that they could shower..it was a farce.
There were many events I witnessed and many people I spoke to, many people we saw cry and upset. Indeed on the last night we had returned from a trip to Zante and as we walked throught the bar area a young woman was upset and saying that she was not going to stay here, her family was trying to calm her down and I was so used to these complaints, so de sensitized by it all and I just though that it goes on and on. There was a lot of people there who were not happy, who then returned home and was replaced by new arrivals who then went onto expressing their concerns. The complaints were never ending such as a rat on top of air conditioning, broken air conditioning units, diarrhoea and sickness, sore throats, aching joints and the list goes on and on. I am currently off work on sick leave having had the sore throat, aching limbs, phlegm on my chest and general weakness.
I hope that this email expresses the depth of my anger and you will consider a full refund for this holiday. As I said earlier in the letter I work very hard for things that I have and experiences in my life. This holiday has been the worst that I have ever experienced. Not Zante but Turtle beach resort. I would strongly suggest that you alter the description not to include families and couples as this itself led me to believe that it was suitable for such, and it blatantly should not.
Going on holiday and living under the veiled threat of extortion, witnessing the aftermath of physical assault from the manager of the resort against an older lady, listening to the ongoing and enduring complaints, concerns and anxieties, seeing countless people crying to name but a few is not my idea of a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The renovated Turtle Beach Hotel & Spa with monastery style architecture is conveniently located at Arkadianos beach at Agios Sostis village a 20 minute stroll from the bustling resort of Laganas, Zante. A popular hotel with couples and families, the hotel offers stunning views across Marathonissi, Cameo island and Laganas Bay. Offering a simple, yet full range of facilities that cater well for adults and children, guests will find plenty to keep them occupied. The sandy beach (with sunbed hire) and local bars are just few meters away and the main shops and restaurants are all within 100 meters. Small boats can be hired from the beach for trips to Turtle Island. The Turtle Beach is approximately 8 km from Zakynthos Airport.Accommodation is made up of studios for 2-3 people and spacious apartments from 4 up to 6 persons. All feature a bathroom (with shower), air-conditioning, the sea view rooms are extra equipped with shower cabin & hair dryer the back view rooms have shower curtain without hair dryer(kitchenette with fridge), 24-hour hot water, telephone, plasma satellite TV sets and balcony or terrace.Cots are available free of charge (on request). Guest with walking disabilities or wheelchairs are accepted at this accommodation. All Inclusive Meals. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arkadianos Apartments Agios Sostis
- Arkadianos Apartments Hotel Agios Sostis
- Arkadianos Hotel
- Turtle Beach Hotel Zakynthos/Agios Sostis, Greece