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“Loved every minute”

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Bitzaro Grande Hotel
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Kalamaki
Certificate of Excellence
cheshire
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Loved every minute”
Reviewed July 6, 2009

Excellant hotel very clean and staff very helpfull always something to eat in the day and evening. Reception staff were very friendly and always said hello no smoking ban came into effect while there but people were still smoking in downstairs bar it was outside but under cover so not sure on the rules there.would definatly go back again in june was starting to get busy when came away

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CheshireHoliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Suffolk
1 review
Reviewed June 30, 2009

We have recently returned from a 7 night holiday at Bitzaro Grande Hotel in Kalamaki, Zante and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We found the hotel to be very clean and well maintained and the staff particularly pleasant to look at and to speak to.
The maid service was very good and cleaning was managed by a light system outside of each door using a green light for ‘out’ and a red light for ‘in’ – this was very helpful if you were nursing a massive hangover or trying to hide boys in your room without wanting to be disturbed. The maids also arranged our nightwear in a pretty floral shape every day but it would appear they only did this for females – apparently men’s pants were not arranged in the same way.

The food at the hotel was very nice. There was a variety of breakfasts, lunches and dinners to choose from although the restaurant itself was a bit of a minefield – many guests leave their manners at the dining hall door and decide it is acceptable to push and shove to get as much food as possible on their plates. Also, with certain foods you need to get there early – especially with the melon. We had a melon thief present on our stay who would scrape the melon clean leaving a few tiny morsels to be fought over by the rest of the guests. Also, many guests felt it was compulsory to have chips with everything (despite all of the other culinary delights on offer) so we would like to applaud the kitchen staff for having to continuously replenish these.
The waiters were very pleasant – Nikkos, Hottos and Bossos were all very efficient and polite at all times. They were very well presented and their uniforms were particularly pleasing to the eye – especially Hottos whose trousers seemed a few sizes too small and were particularly snug around his pert bottom.

Anastasia the receptionist, Tassos the barman and Nickey the pool bar lady were also very pleasant. However, Dennis the night doorman had a peculiar way about him – one night he was overly friendly towards us and the next would demand silence from us when asking for our room key. To avoid encountering this worrying split personality we suggest you take a pen and paper out with you to enable you to write your room number down when requesting your key from Dennis at the end of the night.

The hotel seemed able to accommodate all varieties of guests – families, friends, honeymooners, homosexual couples and trans-genders. Infact, we became friends with 2 homosexual men who say this is one of the only hotels they really feel they can be their true selves at and not be judged.
There were a lot of couples at the hotel which unfortunately meant a lot of public displays of affection which we did not enjoy. There were also a large number of guests who played bat and ball in the pool – one couple we believe played it from the moment they woke up to the moment they went to sleep, they may well of played it in their sleep although we have no proof of this. There were also a vast amount of inflatable’s in the pool in the form of sharks, dolphins, crocodiles and plain liloes – although these were a hindrance (and sometimes scary) in the pool they were very helpful to sleep on when your room mate locks you out.

The hotel is situated fairly close to the beach (about a five minute walk) and the beach is lovely – white sands and clear blue seas. We spent a whole day there and found it very enjoyable although beware of the sand in the afternoon as it can be very hot. We were told that the Turtles live and breed along this beach although we were too lazy to see any as it would have involved hiring a pedalo and pedalling up the coast.

There are a variety of shops close by selling the usual tourist gifts, food and drink and the bars and restaurants of Kalamaki are a short walk away. The Thomas Cook brochure describes a “steep hill” which has to be climbed to get to these attractions which admittedly filled us with dread. However, don’t be alarmed, the steep hill is infact no bigger than a wheelchair ramp. Hiking boots are most definitely not required.

The resort of Laganas is a short distance away and entertaining for a night out, however if you are over your mid 20’s (25) then you might not want to go here very often. It is a haven of single sex male and female groups aged between 16 and 20, the majority of whom will return to the UK with either alcohol poisoning, in plaster, pregnant or with an STD. However, for the 25+’s it is fun for people watching and feeling old.

One downside to the hotel and surrounding area is the lack of skinny dipping facilities. The pool at the hotel is closed at 8pm and is heavily guarded by Dennis. The pools at nearby hotels are also very difficult to get to in the early hours of the morning and were also guarded by equivalent Dennis’s. The beach also has a night watchman to stop people going on the beach or in the sea at night time. This is to protect the turtles which nest along the beach which is obviously a good thing but not very convenient if you want to swim naked in the sea under the cover of darkness.

The entertainment at the hotel was interesting to say the least. Thomas, Luke and China had boundless energy and were great with the guests. There were many activities throughout the day like water polo, killer darts and pool tournaments all of which we are unable to comment on as we did not partake in any. The evening entertainment started with 2 rounds of bingo and the prizes were very high, sometimes €300 for a full house. This was incredibly popular with many of the guests some of which would wake up in the morning obsessing over the ‘signs’ that they were going to win that night. After the bingo was anything from disco’s to race nights all of which gave the guests the opportunity to completely loose all of their inhibitions and do things they would never dream of doing at home.
The hotel had a way of making the guests feel relaxed and comfortable and we actually witnessed a man open his shirt and publicly rub his nipples over a karaoke version of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’.
Another form of entertainment was the CD and DVD seller who circuited the pool once a day trying to sell ‘Now 7’ on CD and ‘Night at the Museum’ on DVD. He is also a regular trader in nearby Kalamaki. One can only assume he makes a substantial living out of this to continue to do it all day every day. We were fooled into thinking that we could pretend to be asleep on our sun loungers when we saw him approaching but unfortunately he ‘accidently’ kicked the loungers until we opened our eyes. Needless to say nothing was purchased from him.

Thomas Cook offered us an assortment of day and evening trips to suit all ages and requirements. We chose the boat trip to Smugglers Cove and the Blue Caves which was beautiful and thoroughly recommended. However, if you do not want to go on any trips then just ask someone who has been on one if you can look at their photographs and it will be the next best thing.

All in all we had a fabulous holiday and would definitely recommend this resort and hotel to anyone. The only regret is that we didn’t stay for longer!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TeamKSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Shields, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2009

my partner and i have just returned from a very relaxing 1 week break at this hotel. we booked this holiday after reading the encouraging views on trip advisor. would have liked to have given it full marks but a few negatives have prevented me from doing so.

positives -
hotel is spotlessly clean inside and out
staff very helpful,friendly,polite and hardworking
animation team of thomas and luke are two tremendous guys who try to emrace all of the guests and make an effort to involve all age groups in their daytime and evenjng entertainment programme
pool area has a relaxing feel to it and always enough loungers to go around although a few leaves towels on to claim the best spots
garden,pool and pool area are kept immaculately 24/7

negatives -
although the food on offer is of a good quality and well cooked there is in my opinion a lack of choice on offer
if you eat your meals on the outside terrace do not leave your food unattended as when you return to your table you will find the resident sparrows eating off your plate
be warned that the hotel will be unable to offer you a late checkout,had to book in a neighbouring hotel or spend 15 hours in reception
all evening entertainment is carried out by thomas and luke and although entertaining dont expect any local culture (greek dancing shows etc)
kalamaki strip itself is very run down with a distinct lack of entertainment and cleanliness
not suitable for anyone with any kind of waking difficulties as the footpath or lack of a decent one could cause problems,overall an unattractive resort

would return to the bitzaro grande as it is a top quality establishment just needs a little fine tuning in certain areas to make it a truly outstanding hotel.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank muppetto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
darlington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2009

second year runnining at the bitzaro grande, staff very friendly could not do enough for you .food yet again very very good.anestasia on reception lovely aways had a smile no matter how busy she was.thomas and luke very funny.nicky at pool bar was also great working alone but always smiling and very polite.would recommend this hotel to everybody.great value for money,and would go back again tommorow without a doubt.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DarlingtonKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
79nffc
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2009

We landed at the airport at noon and were at the hotel by 1pm, even using the normal Thomas Cook transfer by dropping others off first. Kalamaki 3km from airport and therefore aircraft flying over hotel daily but only in the daytime, earliest on one day in the 7 day break was 6.30am. The flights are so low that the aircraft noise lasts for seconds and really does not affect the holiday.

The reception staff were very friendly and greeted us with our all inclusive band and recommended we left our luggage in reception while we took the opportunity to grab some lunch.

Food lovely at all times, always hot and fresh. Breakfast has all options including full english breakfast, cereals, rolls, yoghurts fresh fruit.

Lunch had the option to sit at the pool bar for snacks which if you were wet from being in swimming pool was a great option - salad bar and similar food to that of what was served in the reestaurant at lunch. The restaurant oferred a salad bar and rolls for both lunch and the evening meal.

Unlimited ice cream all day!

Evening meal great quality food for all inclusive - did not feel it was like a factory where they were constantly producing food. The meals were well thought of and very tasty. The pork and chicken in honey sauce was delicious!

When we were allocated our room we had not got air con that allowed us to use it in May and June. - Let me explain more!

In the Thomas Cook brochure it states that Air con is free in the months of July and August but it is payable at other times - this is correct but only if you have a room in the main building where the reception and restaurant is. The air con system in the 2 other accommodation blocks had a system where the air con was on or off in the block and they were not willing to put this on until July. The reception staff were fantastic and did not have a room available in the main building until the following day and agreed that we were able to move. We moved to room 308 which was lovely, nice pool view and air con. The air con was 7 euros a day and was worth every penny.

The entertainments team of Thomas and Luke were fantastic, daytime entertainments ran from approximately 11am - 12.30pm then 3pm till 5,30pm and consisted of various wacky and fun games (french boules, killer pool, killer darts, table tennis, aqua aerobics, water polo, connect 4, uno). The noon game was always a wacky game such as teabag throwing, flick a flip flop, crazy darts - must take part to have some fun!! Then the evening entertainment started about 9pm with 2 games of bingo each time followed by various fun evenings, from race nights - disco nights.

Bingo tickets seemed pricey to start with but when you realise that the full houses are usually no less than 80 euros and very often over 100 euros it is worth playing. We won 2 full houses and came out with 170 euros!

We went on the Shipwreck trip organised by Thomas Cook rep (Maccaroy) - a relaxing trip that is a whole day pick up at 8.25am at top of the road and get back to the hotel about 5pm - The trip gave you a day of sunbathing a tour of part of the island and opportunity to dive off the back of the boat and swim in the sea near to the famous blue caves.

I did hear people complaining about the noise of the music by the pool in the daytime, but the pool area is large enough to sit away from the bar area and not hear the music at all if you have common sense and move. Im sure people moan just for the sake of it. The evening entertainment finishes about 11.15pm so the noise of that does not go on too long for those who may have a room near to the entertainment area.

All in all a fab holiday and met lots of great people while taking part in the entertainment!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 79nffc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carnoustie
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2009

spent two very enjoyable weeks hear and met a lot of nice people the entertainment staff of thomas, who's excelent at his job very funny and gets everyone going and joining in . luke, a great guy who keeps it going and makes it a lot of fun. lucy ,lukes sister was also really nice and good fun [but she was leaving soon],made it an enjoyable time. the hotel is very nice as are the staff the room we had was'nt brilliant but typical for greece it was fine and kept very clean.the food was maybe a little bit limited but there was allways something i liked and was very well cooked allthough we did intent to eat out a few nights we never got around to it as the restaurant was so good

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank patandal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2009

This was my fiance and I's first trip to Zante and we had a really nice time.
The hotel is only 10mins away from the airport, so I'd recommend paying 10 Euros for a taxi from the airport rather than paying £25pp for coach transfer. We got to the hotel 20mins after landing!
Staff were so friendly and welcoming, most of them remembered our names throughout the stay. Receptionists were very friendly and extremely helpful.
We were given room 411 and weren't happy with the view because we requested a balcony with pool view (not the hotel's fault), but when we went down to reception and asked if they had any rooms with pool view, they said they were all taken, but noted our request and on our 3rd day we were called to reception and told a room had become available, so we were immediately upgraded to a superior maisonette (404) which had a lounge, upstairs bedroom, 2 bathrooms and 2 balconies at no extra cost. This changed our stay at this hotel from good to excellent!
Breakfast was always nice because it had english breakfast, pastries, toast, fruit, cereal. At lunch you were given the option of either eating in the main restaurant or cheeseburger + fries, cheese&ham toastie or sandwich from the pool bar. Dinner was where they lacked in choice. We've been to other 4 star hotels where there's loads of choice and chefs cook the food in front of you, whereas this Hotel just had a few dishes to choose from and that was it.
I was looking forward to using the gym each day to keep the weight down seeing as we were going all inclusive, but they only had a couple of treadmills that didn't feel safe to run on, a bike, cross-trainer and a couple of weight machines (one of which was broken), so I had no form of exercise.
If you love jacuzzi's, you're gona be disappointed, because it was cold and there weren't many bubbles. The swimming pool was nice though but again very cold. And if you prefer to sunbathe away from all the music and kids splashing around in the pool, there was a quieter garden area with parasols near the tennis court.
They had a good entertainment team (Luke & Lucy) that came round while you were sunbathing and asked if you wanted to play Killer Darts, Killer Pool, French Bowls, Water Polo, Aqua Aerobics, Football Tennis, Table Tennis & Connect4. This was good, although it did get a bit repetitive and would've been better if they had other activities such as Archery, Shooting & Tennis sessions (because there was a hardcourt but never anyone to play). By them coming round and getting people involved in activities you get to socialise with other guests and we met a really nice couple and had drinks with them every night.
The lobby had comfortable sofas (non-smoking area) which was nice for having drinks in the evening. And they also had SkySports and televised the Utd vs Arsenal which saved me venturing out and finding a ba that had the game, plus I could line up the beers which were all inclusive and on tap!
The location was good because it was a quiet area, and walking distance to the shops and bars on the main road, and 10min walk to beach (but the beach isn't great)
Overall, I would recommend this hotel and would go back, because of the friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere and excellent value for money.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Howie83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bitzaro Grande Hotel

Property: Bitzaro Grande Hotel
Address: CL Zante, Kalamaki 291 00, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kalamaki
#5 Family Hotel in Kalamaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Bitzaro Grande Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 140
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bitzaro Grande
Bitzaro Grande Kalamaki
Bitzaro Grande Hotel Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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