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“A week in Laganas”

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smartline Margarita Hotel
Ranked #3 of 73 Hotels in Laganas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for a week and travelled as a family of four.

On arrival, we were greeted by Margarita herself which is something that I didn't expect as it was so early in the morning (about 6.30 ish).

Our family bedroom room was spacious although there wasn't hardly any storage space meaning we lived out of suitcases for the week and the shower was very small.

The food was nice but seemed repetative after the first 3/4 nights which was fine as we were only there a week but I would probably have a different opinion on this if we were staying for 2 weeks.

The entertainment was good, Aaron and Antonello did a fantastic job and work really weel as a team as one Ant is more into getting involved playing sports throughout the day and Aaron was great with the kids of a night. The night before we were due to come home a bunch of men threw Ant and Aaron in the pool which was very amusing, even more so when one of the owners (George) run over shouting at the both thinking they had jumped in which resulted in the lads packing up and going home (the entertainment had finished by this point!), luckily this was all sorted out for the following morning and they all semmed fine.

The bees are a problem but if you drink your fizzy drinks as soon as you get them or stick to water they will leave you alone.

We were concerned about large groups that was using this hotel for the strip before we travelled. Our first night we were woken up at about 5 in the morning by 2 lads next door who knocked every door along the corridor beofore getting to their own room where they started singing and shouting. The second night we were also woken up by the same lads who wasn't as bad as the first night. Other guests must have complained about their noise as on the third morning we heard Jen (the rep) telling these guys off and issuing a final warning, she basically told them that one more complaint and they would be out as it is a family hotel. After that we didn't hear a peep out of them!

My only concern about this hotel is the way Thomas Cook sell this hotel in the UK to youngsters who are booking it for the strip but they advertise in the brochures as a family hotel. While we were there it was the main 6 weeks school holiday so there were a lot of family's there, I don't think I would go to this hotel in school term time.

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbed room - ours was quite dated
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Loz_C3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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546 - 552 of 1,004 reviews

Reviewed August 11, 2013

We as a family of 3 with an 8 year old had 10 very good days staying in the Margarita hotel. The staff were all very friendly, from the owner to all the guys and girls who work constantly keeping this hotel effiecient and clean. Again sold as a family hotel but there was still at least 50% couples and groups of youngsters making up the numbers. The adult pool was a good idea and should have been encouraged a bit more to the older couples and leave the family pool to the families.
The food was good at times, but a little consistant in choice.
Still with the on site entertaiment team of Aaron and Antonello things were always busy and fun. From kids and adults darts competitions and table tennis, to some very eventful and fun games of water polo and football. The evenings entertainment was good but started a bit too late for the younger ones to get to involved. The bar at times was a problem in the evening by not opening untill 9.30, 15 mins after the show started. Up to 20 people could be queing at one time with only 1 person serving all.
The wasp and bees can be a bit of a nuisence around the pool but not really a threat unless you leave the sweet tasty drinks hanging about or tread on them. This should be told to the guests upon thier arrival, rather than other guest spreading the word.
The trip to the beach was a little walk, which wasn't too bad as our young one could walk. Might have been different if in a buggy. Watch out for the speeding Quad bikes buzzing around every where.
Overall, we found the hotel very friendly and new friends where easy to make. I would recommend the hotel to families but only during the school holidays where their experience can be fully enjoyed.

Room Tip: I stayed in room 309 on the 3rd floor, great view watching the sun come up over the mountains on a p...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank rodney j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

This is a fantastic hotel the location was ideal, not smack bang on top of the strip. We arrived and was greater by Margarita herself, a very lovely lady who will go out of her way to help you get the best out of your stay. All the staff at the hotel were lovely, the only downside was the entertainment staff, an obnoxious bloke called Aaron who made it quite clear on several occasions that he didn't want to be there, his attitude stinks and he can't take constructive criticism at all! That is my only nag, . We read lots of reviews before we went about he bees and wasp, but they didn't cause us any really problems if you return your empty glass to the bar then it doesn't give them the chance to swarm around the sweet sticky drinks. The hotel rooms were lovely, all very clean and the food was delicious too, my only grumble was that the food was too English at times and not enough Greek dishes !. There is a mixture of cliental from the young groups of teenagers to couples and families, LET IT BE KNOWN MARGARITA TAKES NO NONSENSE FROM THE YOUNGSTERS!!! .one warning and your out. The beach is glorious and about a 10- 15 min walk the local people are very friendly . There are some fantastic bars and restaurants. Even tough the hotel was all inclusive we did eat out on several occasions as it was so cheap. I old definitely return to this hotel .

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank littlelisssunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Got back from here last week with my boyfriend and it was definitely worth every penny. Before I say anything about the hotel itself, the wasps/bees are annoying, but I wouldn't let them stop me from coming back for a second time.
The hotel itself was great. MOST of the bar staff were nice and friendly. The two who run the hotel were lovely and extremely helpful. The entertainment staff, Aaron and Antonello, were incredible and they really made our holiday what it was. The maids are great and do/did their job well. The catering staff are a bit pester-ish but that's their job and I wasn't bothered by them as such.
There was always stuff to do during the day such as killer darts, water polo etc etc and if you weren't interested in that stuff, you could go to the adult pool.
The hotel isn't too close/too far from the strip. Far enough to not be able to hear the noise but close enough to be able to find your way back when you're hammered.
However, one thing I may add is, they didn't give us any warning as to when they were going to kick us out of our room or when we had to check out or anything. They had already put new guests into our room despite not asking us if we were going to be using the room during the hours between our last day and our transfer. So we had to pay 50 euros for a smelly room above the kitchen so the new guests got nice rooms.
Despite that negative experience, I would definitely say this is more of a family hotel than anything else as they do seem to put families first in most circumstances. On my last day, a large group of teenage boys took up the entire pool and all the families left the pool area, therefore the lovely lady who runs the hotel took it upon herself to tell them where to go so everyone could go in the pool.
All in all, beautiful hotel with wonderful staff. Would definitely come back here again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Having read the reviews before travelling and having spent '6 nights' (not advertised 7) at the Margarita, there is a lot of merit to all the reviews, both positive and negative. Positive aspects include:
1. Rooms are very clean, spacious and relatively modern with lockable door between two bedrooms, maid service very good and no problems at all with insects inside which remains cool if doors / curtains remain closed.
2. Staff were very nice and polite but quite stern and conservative (which was a good thing), children told to get off the stage area and pool tables, towels removed off sun beds, etc and there is a strict policy of avoiding late night noise, which was good from my point of view with two children. Location is away from the 18-30 hotels with thumping drum and bass dance music and skinny teenagers. From personal experience of the last week Lagonas is predominantly a location for teenagers and young 20's, and as a family whenever leaving the hotel always felt a bit out of place and in a minority. There is stuff for families to do with excursions etc, but I would question whether Lagonas is for you if you have children.
3. Entertainers did try and interact and both good. Aaron is a nice chap but at times he did seem to be a bit fed up and I don't blame him as it must seem like groundhog day. Ant was a really nice guy and was a lot more enthusiastic about sporty stuff rather than the entertainment side of things. I assume that was there respective areas?
4. Jen the rep was friendly and helpful. The welcome meeting was three hours after arrival in the morning after travelling for 8 hours with children, so we didn't attend and then missed the opportunity to get information as she was not around for the next day or two. I know this is a regular arrangement for package holidays but why they do this I don't know, surely there is a better way of managing interaction with guests.
5. Food was OK, nothing special but adequate.The table allocation is silly and guests are not advised of what the situation is. (We didn't even know that some tables were shared until reading reviews on here after returning).
6. The beach which is 15 mins walk away is good, with nice clean sand and shallow calm sea extending out for about 100m. Best to go left away from the centre of Lagonas and towards Kalimaki where the beach is quieter. Haggle with boat trip / boat hire guys for a better deal if going to Turtle Island and go later in day as they seem happier to lower prices then. As a guide we paid 60 euros (two adults and two children) to hire a boat for 3 hours. It was 80 euros to go on a 3 hour glass bottom boat.

On the downside:
1. Yes there are bees but these never really bothered us much. The problem was guests leaving half finished food and drinks which attracted them. Move them away from where you are sitting and the bees wont bother you.
2. The bars could have been managed a bit better. At times the during the evening the bar next to the pool where the entertainment is, was closed, whilst the reception bar was open in an empty reception. When the poolside bar did open at 10pm there was one member of staff meaning large queues and people having to double up with drinks, which made the queue longer.
3. The entertainment was repetitive. The same songs at the kids mini disco were played every night as was bingo, which enjoyable but not every night. A bit of variety would have been very welcome. There is nothing for families to do outside the hotel during the evening, so there is a lot of reliance on having something to do inside the hotel.
4. Lastly, the biggest gripe which has been touched on by other reviewers, the holiday when booked clearly stated 7 night accommodation, which is factually wrong, and I would go so far as to say is a blatant lie. It is 6 nights as you are required to vacate your room at midday the day 'before' departure so was left with having to deal with two children for a day without a room and sleep on a chair in reception that evening until a 3am pick up. When i queried this with reception the person I spoke to guiltily advised that this is an "international standard". I am not sure if this is Thomas Cook's responsibility or the hotel, but must be a breach of trading standards as they are incorrectly selling a product on the basis of a literal untruth.

This aside the hotel is nice and from my experience clearly above average / good if you are happy to deal with the downsides (as in all cases) then i would recommend.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JML010813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Although this hotel was lovely and clean I would not return, the buffet is same every day, not a good selection of drinks in bar, millions of bees around pool area. Location to close to 18-30 strip . Overall I would not recommend to families and beach a fair walk away and not best beach :-(

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Linda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Through arriving at the Margarita Hotel around 6pm i was very impressed and thought the surroundings of the hotel were lovely. It was not until the next day when i was physically unable to sit anywhere near the pool area because of black bees. Everywhere I would sit there was bees following me, and if you took a drink to the pool this would make the problem ten times worse. I saw four people even get stung in the pool, not to mention the amount of bees surrounding the kiddies pool. If that wasn't enough they would enter your hotel room if you left the balcony door open. Personally I found it physically impossible to sit around the pool, which is such a shame as the hotel itself was lovely. The pool/ pool area also closed at 6:30pm which is extremely early as we found most people wanted to relax around the pool while much later...

The food is ok, nothing special. However one issue is the drinks, you are only able to drink fizzy drinks apart from during breakfast time, which is a bad thing for me as i would have loved some soft drinks or a cup of tea throughout the day. The times for the food are very strict and if you go up for food last minute you will be refused it, which is quite frankly ridiculous. I found that many people did not like the fact that you had to sit with other families to eat, however we met some great people through this! Oh and If you want a goods night sleep i would also advise you not to come to this hotel, although the majority of people staying here were families there are still groups of teenagers who will arrive in from the strip at 4/5am waking you up.

The hotel rips the majority of its customers of as it advertises itself as a "7 night holiday" however if you have a night flight home you will only get 6 nights in your room. For example i met a couple who's pick up time wasn't while 3am however they had to vacate there room at 12pm, having to wait around for 15 hours. Oh, and if you do not vacate your room at 12pm you will get around 5 phone calls from Margarita herself stating that you must leave the rooms immediately, which i thought was personally patronising.

Lastly the entertainers were awful, Aaron looked like he wanted to not be there most of the time and his singing was below average, it was so bad it was funny. Antonio was a lovely person but didn't really contribute. I think it was also quite ridiculous how the hotel presumes that all of its english guests want to play bingo every night.. because we don't.

Although we had a great time in Zante, this was due to the great trips we booked through Thomas Cook and certainly not the Margarita Hotel.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room in the new side of the hotel because there is such a contrast and everyone...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank artlover2222013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about smartline Margarita Hotel

Address: Laganas 29092, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Laganas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Laganas
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laganas
Price Range: $131 - $400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — smartline Margarita Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
smartline Margarita is a charming All Inclusive hotel with a warm atmosphere and a beautiful garden. The hotel is an ideal choice for families. Guests stay in bright and modern rooms, and the hotel's restaurant serves home-grown fruit and vegetables as well as specialties from all around the world. The hotel has an inviting and relaxing pool area with three pools, including a kids pool and a relaxation pool for adults only, and if you want to enjoy the gazing sun by the sea, the beach is just a 10 minute stroll away. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Margarita Hotel Laganas
Hotel Margarita Zante
Smartline Margarita Hotel Zakynthos/Laganas

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