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“Did the job...”
Review of Sofia's Hotel

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Sofia's Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Did the job...”
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Stayed here from 10/09 - 17/09 through Thomson.

Accommodation is basic, however this is Greece, and we knew this was to be expected based on the money we paid for the trip. Greeted on arrival by Sarah who seemed friendly enough, and who checked us in quickly.

Our room (B213) was spacious enough and more importantly, was clean. My only grip with the room was a lack of storage space (no shelves for toiletries and one small cupboard to put clothes in), other than this, it was fine considering how little time is spent in there. Unaware that we needed our own loo roll once the original one had run out, surely not too much to ask for this to be replenished as and when?

Chose air-con, costing 55€ for the week, sounds a tad expensive, however it is only 8€ per day, and most of the time was well worth it, weather still hovering around 30 degrees for most of the week.

The pool area and bar was good, decent prices and good bar food during the day. Christina works hard and is very friendly. One big moan for this place is not being able to bring your own food and drink to the pool. This is fine if you are buying it from a rival superarket down the road and taking it in, however with their own supermarket being tagged on to the side, it is a bit off that you cannot bring stuff from there back to the sunbed.

The accommodation could do with a pool table or games area being put back in. This was in the Thomson brochure, however i understand the place was re-done last year, and these have all gone, hence the Thomson brochures being completely inaccurate! I would also recommend walking to a bar in the middle of Kalamki if you are intending to watch any sports whilst away, although advertised as a sports bar, the feed is actually a dodgy internet server which freezes almost every minute, you are better off at the other bars.

Kalamaki is a pleasant enough resort, ate at a variety of restaurants, with Yamas being a favourite, however all the restaurants are pretty much the same, not a bad meal to be had though. Very cheap to eat as well.

Overall, Sofia's was as expected, however as mentioned above, a few things could be changed to make it that little bit better. Would i return? Probably not in all honesty, but i didnt dislike the place...

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Adam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Pontefract, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

We were a party of 4 adults and 2 young children and we holidayed at Sofia's for 2weeks in August. Having read the reviews before hand we were really looking forward to our stay. We didn't expect any kind of luxury knowing we were going to a 2 star accommodation. I was expecting basic and it was VERY basic! The rooms were spacious but we thought we might have had at least a toaster. We paid extra for the air con which was a pain to control. There were sensors on the external doors so every time one was opened it knocked off the air con, the temperature was awkward to control if you turned it off during the night it was too hot and if you left it on it was freezing. My biggest disgust was that we had to buy our own toilet roll when the one provided was gone, we were not told this upon check-in. The pool area was pleasant enough, there were always enough sun loungers, the sticking point was that you couldn't take your own drink or food round the pool area so considering you were self catering this is not good. Some of the other children round the pool were told off for splashing??? I thought this is what you do on holiday! My son also got told off for going to the toilet or bar while he was wet. Again if he's playing in the pool what do they expect they would have really had something to moan about if he had a wee in the pool!! It advertises pool tables as part of the facilities and even shows you a picture of them, but I can assure you they don't exist. It also says it has the 'best sports bar in Kalamaki' well I definately wouldn't say that. We tried to watch football and the picture was terrible and kept freezing, it was just a bar with a few tv screens. The Drunken Corner in the centre of the resort is what I would call a sports bar. The supermarket attached to the Sofia's is overpriced so we would walk further down the road where it was a lot cheaper. We have travelled to Greece many times before and enjoy the culture and people, this was my second visit to Kalamaki and it is a wonderful family resort. This won't put me off visiting Zante or Greece again but I would not return to Sofia's.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 24072012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

Read most of the reviews, Rooms typical of Greek hotels, Basic, but this is above basic, Very Clean Maids are brilliant, Just returned 3rd Sept having been there 2 weeks and we didn't want to come home, Have booked already for next year and can't wait.

Sarah greeted us, and was warm and friendly to everyone, Christina simply superb behind the bar, full of life and fun, The Cook was great Breakfast here not the same, Ok menu basic but great for a snack, plenty of places to eat, and places to explore, Martina, Athena and Sofia from the Supermarket always greet you with a smile, So some of the reviewers, Self catering is what it is, We go S/C so we can suit ourselves not to see if there's a toaster, we didn't cook, used the Fridge and Kettle like most other's so Those of you saying it was C**p get a life.

One issue though is Thompson Holidays, who quote the hotel as having a games room, and advertise the point, with Pool tables and Air hockey, Sadly they no longer have these at the Sofia So Thompson Holidays get your act together update the info both online and at the Hotel.

Roll on August 2014

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Doug R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Staying at Sofia's hotel was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was so bad that after the first night, I happily forfeited 50% of the money for the rest of our 9-night stay (and have posted a photo of the receipt as proof). To call this dump terrible, disgusting and rancid would be an understatement.

I have stayed at many 2-3 star hotels in Europe, and was born/raised in southern Greece, so know what to expect. I did not expect this...

When I arrived to check into my room, there were clumps of hair on the bed, toilet seat, in the shower and several corners in the room (see pics). No big deal, these things are easily fixed...right?

When I tried to raise this to the attention of "one of the owners" (who wouldn't tell me her name...), I advised her I was a bit embarrassed (I've never done this before), and asked to have the room cleaned or for another room. Not only was I yelled at for "upsetting" the owner, I was called a liar. The hairs were blonde, I'm a bald male, and my wife is a brunette - we clearly didn't plant them there... When I asked the owner why she was 'upset' for our bringing this to her attention, she told me I was "one in a million", pointed to her tripadvisor certificates and told me she was "the best in town."

I acknowledged that this was probably a one-off, and that it was because of her rating that I booked the hotel, and even still, because of my "complaint," she stormed away telling me that she was tired and had to work the bar, and that I was "only one of her many customers," and her hotel manager (someone without authority) would handle the situation. She also told me that we had different definitions of what 'cleanliness' was, and that North Americans were pretentious. I didn't bother mentioning I moved to Canada when I was 11, and grew up in a small Greek village of 7 houses and 30 people. Lastly, she said I was loud (I wasn't) and that she'd call the police and report my passport number.

I have never been so embarrassed to be Greek in my entire life. This woman was an AWFUL human being.

After being told there were no other rooms available, I asked for a full refund. I was told that I was not entitled to one as the policy was only 50%, however after some pressing there suddenly there was another room available. The room was clean, and with a bit of reluctance, wc took the room hoping to make the best of a bad situation while on vacation.

The shower did not offer hot water, but again...this is Europe, sometimes these things happen. After falling asleep, at 4am I woke up to one of the most rancid, awful smells I have ever encountered. Seeping septic gasses, permeating the entire room (see pics of septic truck that arrived the next day) and mold...MOLD!!! My wife and I both woke up with terrible migraines, stuffed noses and sore throats. Can you say TOXIC?! DISGUSTING!!!

Our room was next to an unmarked door from which the smell was even stronger... At this point, we decided rather than ruin our vacation because of both the filth of the hotel and the unappreciative, rude, self-righteous, and rotten ownership, we would rather be scammed out of 50% of our money and go somewhere where our health wasn't going to be at risk, and we could enjoy a peaceful night's sleep (FYI, the music was very loud till almost 1am, and this was on a Monday).

We made alternate arrangements to stay at a local (unadvertised) apartment complex who were so horrified at our experience with Sofia's, they offered us a room for the remaining 50% balance at that hotel (ie half price). Not only that, they even invited us to their family dinner and cooked us a 5 course meal! WOW! The room included a TV (Sofia does not) and A/C (Sofia gouges you for that at 70E per week...unadvertised, of course). THAT'S the spirit of Greece!!!

They had heard similar stories about this disgusting and filthy dump, and said that the hotel made money serving overpriced alcohol and snacks, and scamming people in their super market next door.

When we packed our bags and asked to check out early on our second day, we were told in a very defensive manner that the room did not smell. I asked the hotel manager to come and see, and she refused, telling us that we clearly did not know what to expect from a "2 star" hotel (I thought Sofia advertises 3 star...?). Needless to say, the manager did not accept our offer to show her, and even if it smell did why did we not just turn up the A/C. Isn't that like your car making noise, and turning up the radio to fix it? We were told we were from another planet, pointed again to the tripadvisor certificate on the wall and made to feel like WE were the problem.

We paid our ransom, and went on to enjoy our wonderful vacation with truly great local people with warm hearts and cleaner rooms. :)

If you value your health, stay far, far, far away from this place. You'll otherwise be very sorry!

Room Tip: Rooms are either dirty, or smell like toxic waste. If this is what you're looking for, I guess...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank tom_mah1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sofiashotel, Front Office Manager at Sofia's Hotel, responded to this review, February 20, 2014
Thank you for your review. I would just like to clarify a few points. After rearranging the schedule I managed to offer you the choice of 2 other rooms. You were given both keys and asked to decide for yourselves. I explained that 1 room was on the ground floor in a quieter location and the other on the first floor, overlooking the pool but you may get disturbed by music from the bar at night. You and your wife inspected both rooms, informed me that they were both very clean and decided to take the noisier room. This room had been newly decorated and the smell was from the brand new furniture that had been placed about 1 week before your arrival. The unmarked door where you claim the smell was even stronger is in fact the owners residence, not a septic tank.

With regard to not being given a full refund - On you booking confirmation it clearly states the terms and conditions regarding cancellation and early departure policy. I find it very difficult to believe that a lawyer (as you informed me you were on many occasions) would tick the 'I Accept' box without reading thoroughly what they were agreeing to.

You were informed that the police would be called if you continued your behavior of slamming your fists into the reception desk, general violent attitude towards the staff, and your threats of your friends who were in the travel industry. You did however come to myself and one of the owners the following morning and apologized for your behavior.

Growing up in Greece you spoke excellent Greek. You fail to mention that the 'septic truck' that arrived the next morning had "Πόσιμο Νερό" (Drinking Water) written on the side.of it. It was actually delivering clean water, not removing dirty water.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2013

We stayed at Sofia's hotel at August 2013. The path to my room smelled of garbage (there were trash cans lining it not too far away) and on occasion room smelled of sewage too.

Also we could not bring our own snacks to pool area and were forced to overpay at the pool bar for 'tax' purposes. The room safe was also extra at 4E/day - quite expensive for basic security.

Lastly the music was loud until almost 1am and could be heard from our room, keeping our children up most nights, as we're most of the loud guests.

Fool me once...

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Capers61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Stayed at the appartments in August.we were welcomed and given the keys to our room quickly on arrival.The rooms are basic and should have a Tv and especially a toaster having to buy one in the supermarket is not really acceptable.The complex is lovely and clean and the pool great for the kids not to deep also plenty of sun beds which is wonderful .The bar is nice but the down side is you canot have your own snacks or drinks by the pool unless purchased from the bar which can end up beign soo expensive and at times the children would have to go upstairs to have a snack or drink because of the no food or drink rule which is ridiculous as its self catering and thats the whole point somedays I would spend €30.00 just on drinks because I was getting fed up going upstairs to have a drink or say some crisps . Also the children get told by staff not to splash in the pool as it wets there tables i think personaly a pool is for swimming and fun and this made my children very self consious when in the pool they were worried they were going to splash .Would I go back to kalamaki yes as its very calm and relaxing place .Beware of the charges for the safe and aircon I paid €85.00Euros for a week and I was very dissapointed as it should be included .Sophias supermaket ia also expensive a pint of fresh milk was €2.45 and cereal €4.00 you are better off going for a walk up the road to a supermaket called budget its half the price.The restaurants are wonderful and always had fantastic meals good value for money.For the kids there is nothing really to do in the evenings so its quite boring for them and the teenagers theres laganas which is a short journey €10 in a cab.Zante is lovely to go into at night by the marina nice and busy and lots to wonder around .overal lovely holiday and would recomend kalamaki and Sopias and get up early to see the logger head turtels hatching this made our holiday was wonderful to see.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gizmo308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cardiff
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My family 0f 5 -3 adults in their 50s and our adult sons have just returned from Sophia's Apartments and we had a fabulous time. The place is beautifully laid out with a nice pool right in the centre. There is a supermarket right next door so handy for all your needs. The staff who work tirelessly at this place are wonderful, I really felt like I'd come home. Sarah and Christina go that extra mile and take a personal interest in your stay and they will chat and offer advice if you want to spend time at the pleasant bar. The food here is EXCELLENT and very very cheap, I never eat burgers in the UK but my husband talked me into trying their homemade burger and it was gorgeous. There is a calm feel to the place and although it is near everything it feels like a little oasis in Kalamaki. Well done you guys and I will be recommending you to all my friends.

Room Tip: Catch the FREE bus that stops over the road every morning at 10.15 to Agios Nikolaus for a great day...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carubwyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofia's Hotel

Property: Sofia's Hotel
Address: Kalamaki Street, Kalamaki 291 00, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Kalamaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Sofia's Hotel Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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