When we booked the Ionis Art Hotel back in October, 2010 we were well impressed with the price, £150 deposit, and the remainder was £329, which is pretty good for a hotel that boasts to be 4 star! That evening, I went home and decided to check the online reviews, and it's fair to say that I became very worried! Most reviews said that the hotel asked for a bond of $30, some said $40, even $50 from each person, which they did NOT get back at the end of the week because the hotel had set them up, claiming that they had damaged this and that. Also, a lot of reviews said that along with the loss of their deposit, they were also charged additional prices for getting make-up stains on the bed sheets, towells, etc. Obviously, I thought, that this hotel was adept at swindling money out of naive youngsters simply because it could.
Anyway, the holiday was already booked, so I pushed the reviews out of my mind. We were a party of ten girls, all eighteen years of age, and we departed from Cardiff Airport on the 29th of July at 6:30 am and arrived at Zakynthos around 11:30 pm local time. It's only a ten minute bus journey from the airport to Laganas, so we were at the hotel and checking in in no time. After being in the same clothes since 8pm the following evening, and the temperature in Zante being over 44degrees, I was in a hurry to check into my room, to get out of my clammy clothes and to put a bikini on. But, due to a large amount of guests checking out that same morning, some of our rooms weren't yet prepared for us to move in, which meant that we had to hang around in the reception area until almost half past one, bearing in mind that we arrived at the hotel at around twelve o clock! Unimpressed with the wait, when we finally did check in at reception we handed over $30 each (there were two of us sharing a room), and we paid for air conditioning, a safe box and a fridge (optional) which did cost a large amount.
Having finally got into our room, which was room 98, the first room from reception (we heard almost everything that went on in the nights!), we discovered that the cleaner had done her job well and it was spotless. Although I wouldn't have quite called the accomodation a four star, you have to remember that the accomodation in Greece is very basic, therefore a four star to them would be rated perhaps three-three and a half with us. The bathroom was small and basic, but clean. The only complaint I did have with the bathroom was that the shower (again, typical Greece) was a square in the floor and a shower curtain, which was very small, and did get very stuffy because unless you pull the curtain right around, everything in the bathroom would get absolutely soaked!
Upon checking in, we had to hand over our passports (which I wasn't too keen on doing) and were only allowed them back when the receptionist had put them all on their computer database, which was much later that evening. Meanwhile, we had to fill in a form stating anything that may be damaged or broken in the room. Having read the reviews and been forewarned, I checked EVERYTHING, and I wrote everything down. No way was I losing $30, that was my bottle of perfume in the Duty Free on the way home!
Despite the bad reviews, I personally thought that the Ionis Art Hotel was a fantastic choice of hotel. Firstly because, it is one of the only two 2wentys hotels in Laganas (the other one being the Laganas Hotel, which is quite far from the main strip) therefore everyone at the hotel is around your age. Secondly, it is bang in the middle of the strip, so no long walks or taxis to get about, and if you need to go back to get more money etc it's only a short distance away from where everyone else is. And lastly, it has a KFC and Pizza Hut on site, a Subway directly opposite, and a McDonalds next door to the Subway, so any of you who hate trying foreign food, you will not go hungry at the Ionis! It also has a small shop next door that sells large cans of their Greek beer, Mythos for $1, $24 for a crate of 24 cans, their Greek wine (which is vile, but gets you absolutely hammered) for $3, and other well known brands such as Strongbow, Carlsberg, Koppaburg, Smirnoff Ice, WKD etc. It's a good idea to check the shop out and pre-drink in the room because the bar in the hotel is quite expensive, a vodka and mixer will cost you $5, and any imported beverages such as Stella, WKD, Smirnoff Ice, Koppaburg and Magners will cost you more again.
My personal advice, if you're between the age of 18-30 and you're going with a group of friends for a mad one, GO TO THE IONIS, it is absolutely crazy there. The reps, Trigger and Rachel are a good laugh and the music by the pool is banging! While we were there, there was a large amount of Welsh people staying in the hotel, along with our group of ten girls combined there was perhaps forty of us from Wales there. There were also a lot of Northern lads there. According to the reps the hotel attracts mostly Welsh people and Northerners, which if I may say so myself are a nice bunch of people!
Like I said, if you're between the age of 18-30, this hotel is for you, and unless you've been on a 2wentys holiday before, book some of the events, they are wicked! We booked the Friday Foam Party, the Naughty Reunion which was on the Saturday, and then the Booze Cruise which was on the Thursday. For the three events we paid $112, which isn't bad seeing as you get two hour free bar (drink as much as you can, afterwards the drinks in the clubs are $5 each and they are definitely watered down!). The events were amazing, especially the Booze Cruise. I'd also suggest, unless you get drunk every night or you are a major HEAVY sleeper, you will NOT sleep at the Ionis. On the last night, I remained sober for we had to be up at eight the following morning because we had to be out of the hotel early, I did not sleep at all that night, and although Adonnis, the security guard (I'll come to him now, there's quite a bit to say about him) tries to keep things quiet, the noise will still disturbe you. Remember, it's a 2wentys hotel, therefore, from 12am till 8am in the morning, party-goers are going to be stumbling down the corridors, singing, chanting etc all night long.
Now, Adonnis and the staff...the reception is open 24hours, so you're allowed to stumble in at any time you want, just make sure you're quiet about it because Adonnis, who is HUGEEEE and mega scary, will go crazy on you! It's probably best to stay on his good side, because he will throw you out of the hotel. He's relatively patient with girls, but has no time whatsoever for boys. One night, one of the Welsh boys brought back a girl for the third consecutive night, and they both fell out over it, squaring up to each other. Adonnis then threw him out of the hotel, so a word of advice, behave when Adonnis is about, and not only in the corridors, also in your rooms! One night we had a party in one of our rooms, which was on the third floor, and we had the music blasting, needless to say, Adonnis was there within seconds turfing us all out!
As for the deposits, additional costs, damaged items etc, we had our $30 deposit back at the end of the week, and me and my room mate didn't have to pay for anything extra such as stains on towells, bed clothes (even though I did drop my mascara wand on the bed sheets). My friend in another room did get fake-tan on her bed-sheets and was made to pay $20, but she didn't lose her deposit. If you get the sheets dirty, don't worry, but if it stains, be prepared for a bill in your pigeon hole at reception. Also, be carefull with the items in your room, two members of our gang were charged $6 for accidentally smashing two little drinking glasses. One night, while having a few drinks in a few of the Welsh boys rooms, they all got a little bit excited, started jumping around and smashed the bedside lampshade, they had a bill for $80 the following morning. It's not only the items in your room you should be careful of either, the expensive artwork all around the hotel is very fragile. One boy fell against a painting while drunk one night and it smashed, he was fined $500 by the owners.
Despite all this, I absolutely loved the Ionis, I met some great people, and I had the best time of my life out there. Don't pay any notice to reviews saying bad things about the hotel, it seriously is a great place. As long as you respect the hotel and it's staff, they will respect you back and no trouble will come to you!
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Ionis Art
- Ionis Art Hotel Zakynthos/Laganas