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“Very Nice”

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Bitzaro Grande Hotel
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Kalamaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 2, 2009

We arrived on the 16th July 2009 for two weeks, with our two teenage children aged 18 and 16, the airport is very small which was good because you did not hang around long waiting for your luggage.
We were the first drop off which took about 10 - 15 minutes maximum. This hotel is probably one of the smallest hotels we have stayed at bearing in mind this is about our 20th time abroad. The hotel has 120 rooms and 25 family rooms, most rooms have a pool view, they are a good size with tv which has sky news, sky sports. The bathroom had a bath which has a shower off the taps, you need to get a shower early or you get a cold one as the hot water does not last long.
The pool area is nice and clean, with a jacuzzi and small childs pool, the swimming pool is split in two, one half is warmer than the other. There are plenty of sunbeds to go round and you dont need to get up early to get one which was lovely.
The beach is about a ten minute walk away, the beach was lovely you could get a sunbed and umbrella for 7 euros a day, the sea was nice and warm. you have to be off the beach by 19.00 hours because of the turtles and are not allowed back on there until 7.00 in the morning.
We went on a trip to turtle island and keri caves, we did not book it through the reps it cost 13 euros each for 4 hours, even though we only saw one turtle in the sea but it was a lovely trip out.
When you go on the Kalamaki strip where there are shops and bars just around the corner from the hotel there are people selling trips saving a good bit of money compared to the reps.
We also went to the waterpark for 18 euros each and this included free bus, the reps charge 24 euros. Well worth going kids loved it and even with it being peak time we did not have to wait long for each ride.
We found the hotel food very good, there was a small amount of choice but generally this included meat, fish, pasta a salad bar and childrens section with things like chicken nuggets, fish fingers and mini sausages with chips. We never ate in the hotel restraurant at dinnertime just in the evening. In the day we just used to get something from the pool side bar, again this included a small selection which was always salad, chips, pizza then either pasta or chicken kebab meat with nan bread between 12.30 and 14.00 hours, failing that you could order cheeseburger, toasties, salad, or a roll anytime from 10.00 - 18.00.
The hotel does state that it has a dress code for the restraurant in the evening, although this seemed to be aimed at the females rather than the males. On the first night they were really strict saying you could not wear shorts but after people started complaining this was never mentioned again.
Overal this was a lovely holiday which I would recommend, the only downfall was that at the poolside bar you only have Nicky serving in the day, she has to clear the tables, serve drinks, and lay out the food. And again in the evening there was only one person serving in the hotel bar and pool side bar.
There is a small gym which has a treadmill, two bikes a cross trainer and some weights. There is a tennis court, table tennis and a pool table which is free. They have two computers for the internet and charge 4 euros for half an hour, I suggest you look around as it was only 2 euros for 40 mins at another hotel.
The daytime entertainment included french bowls, killer darts, killer pool, aerobics in the swimming pool, uno, t-bag throwing, then in the evening there was sometimes a kids mini disco, followed by bingo which was good money then a show of some sort varing from mr or miss bitzaro grande, karoake, turtle slide show, dancers. Tomas did a fabulous job doing the entertainment he was very funny and had a fantastic memory he only had to hear your name once and remembered it.
On your return back home the airport has only one duty free shop and food bar when you return which was expensive, cigarrettes are the same price as what you pay in Kalamaki, Perfumes were expensive.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Lolly5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,249 - 1,255 of 1,515 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2009

My friend and I stayed for 2 weeks at the Bitzaro Grande in June, we chose this hotel due to the comments on Trip Advisor which we have used on all our previous holidays but unfortunately we dont think the comments this time gave us a true picture.
The hotel was nice and clean and the staff very polite, the food was nice although not a great range of choice.
Unfortunately we had room 209 which was very near to the main reception and bar area, although there was quite a lot of noise from the bar this wasnt a problem as the bar closed at 12 midnight, our problem was the constant noise from other guests returning to the hotel in the early hours, who felt the need to shout, slam doors and run up and down the corridor to each others rooms, waking us up nearly every night. On one occasion we heard the night staff telling them if they didnt keep the noise down they would call the police over and over and over again. The other problem with being along this corridor was it seemed to be the only access to another part of the hotel, and due to the constant turnover of guests we were constantly woken by people pulling their suitcases along the tiled floor which sounded like a train passing through the hotel, if you are unfortunate enough to be allocated a room along the corridor from reception our advice would be to move upon arrival. We did try to contact reception while the noise from other guests was happening but didnt get a reply.
Our brochure mentioned the steep slope to the main resort area and to the beach, all we managed to find was a slight slope and not steep at all, it also mentioned aircraft noise, this wasnt a problem and quite entertaining.
The pool area was quite small for the amount of guests but we didnt have too many problems getting sunbeds, one of us managed to get up at 7am to just be on the safe side! Entertainment around the pool was ok, we didnt join in but the staff didnt push if you declined. We feel the holiday was over priced and wouldnt recommend it to others unless they got a cheap deal, although we do feel this is not the hotels fault.
We were very disappointment with the area, the main road consisted of English bars, Chinese and Indian restaurants, nothing greek about the place at all, we could have been in the Costa del Sol! (not that we have ever tried the Costa del Sol)!
The beach area was ok, not the best beach we have been on but clean, the best bit of our holiday was seeing the turtles whilst swimming one day, they were lovely.
We wont be returing to this resort or indeed Zante.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jo-Nic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghelly, manager at Bitzaro Grande Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2009

Thank you for taking the time to write your review regarding your stay in Bitzaro Grande hotel. We would like to thank you for your positive words and assure you that all negative comments are taken seriously and are discussed with the hotel staff so that we can improve our services and facilities.

I fully understand your problem about the noise and I wish I had known how you felt during your stay, as there are many rooms on the open corridors of the hotel where sound is not transferred as much. It is our hotel policy to do as much as possible in order to change room to any guests that request this to either our reception staff or the tour operator's rep.
We apologise for not reaching your expectations and we thank you for the useful information concerning our hotel and nice comments for the hotel staff.

We hope to have the chance to change your negative impression soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2009

I stayed for one week at this hotel with my 17 year old daughter , it was a last minute decision to go away and i am glad we came across this lovely hotel and island. We arrived on 9th July and the hotel was fairly busy but we never had problems getting a sun lounger as a previous review said, yes people do put their towels on beds but there were always spare ones even in the afternoon. The staff were fantastic and work very hard , the rooms were spotless and air con a godsend in the heat. This hotel had a varied clientele from families to groups of teenagers but everyone was very well behaved and there wer lots of activities ardound the pool to keep everyone happy. We were there on an all inclusive basis which was fine but we did go out into Kalamaki a couple of times to eat out, We tried the Artemis, Maharajah and the Olive tree restaurants and they were all really nice , We enjoyed cocktails at Coconut Joe's and Apollon .
We took a pedalo out on the beach to look for Loggerhead turtles and saw 3 , the water is beautiful and very clear .We also book a jeep safari through our rep , it was a whole day trip and our driver Alan was superb very knowledgeable about the island and it was a very enjoyable day. I have nothing bad to say about this hotel or resort other than we had to come home after a week when two would have been great . It is a superb hotel that i would highly recommend and i am quite fussy.

  • Stayed: July 2009
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2  Thank LIZcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2009

One of the best hotels that we have stayed in. Pleasant and helpful staff both in the public eye and out of the public eye. Excellent food but the seemingly constant (hardly ever a break between 12 and 3 p.m.) and unnecessarily LOUD music round the pool area in the day spoilt it for us a bit. Music is nice if it's played in the background, at an acceptable level, not as a distraction. There is no "quiet" outside area and if you happen to have a room which is close to the snack bar where the evening entertainment takes place there is hardly any "quiet" time at all and when it was quiet outside we had the misfortune to have room neighbours who played their personal music (very loud) in their rooms. We found the "noise aspect" a great shame considering the many other plus points about the hotel and unfortunately for that reason we wouldn't go back there.

The location suited us. Zakynthos is a scenic delight. It was our first visit to the island and we met a couple who recommended hiring a motor scooter. This is an ideal way to see the island. There is not too much traffic and it added our new dimension to our holiday. I recommend hiring from "Dynamite Bikes." This is located close by the hotel on the main road. Chris Papacostas is the owner and he maintains his scooters well.

Places worth a visit by scooter (and car if you don't fancy a scooter):
Full day to Anafonitria via Limnionas on the west coast and to the shipwreck viewing point above the cliffs.
Half day to Keri.
Half day to Gerakas beach on the Vassilou peninsula. Rotten bends and rotten road surfaces on the bends so watch out.
Half day to Bohali (above Zakynthos town) with its tiny church and to the castle (ruins) above. Not much castle to speak of but fabulous views.
Evening trip to Zakynthos town. Different at night than in the day.

The new airport terminal building is open and although I had previously read of big problems here, much to our surprise and relief we had no problems at all.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RitaBelgium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2009

we stayed at the bitzaro grande fron 22nd june until 3rd july and had a fantasic time, the rooms were lovely & clean maid service everyday. the reception staff couldn't do enough for you if needed. the pool area was great the only down side was that if you went down about 9.30am all te front sunbeds had gone as everyone went down early & put towels on beds so we just joined in. There was lots of daily entertainment going on all day which was aimed more at the adults. The food was lovely too we had no faults with it at all, we even got english sausages.
The only downside we found was because there wasn't alot of children there was no mini disco or entertainment put on for the chilfren which my 4yr old daughter was upset about, but we was told as the school holidays start they start to do more for the children. We would recommend taking a pedalo out in the sea its so clear & lovely our daughter loved it. If you decide to take a boat trip just be careful as it can get very hot, dont book through the reps go up into kalamaki as there are loads of places which are alot cheaper.
in all a fantastic holiday and lovely place to visit as this was our first time to greece we now want to explore more of the island.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank macfamilySheffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank CheshireHoliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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    • Rooms
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Thank TeamKSuffolk
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

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
Hotel Class:3 star — Bitzaro Grande Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 140
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bitzaro Grande
Bitzaro Grande Kalamaki
Bitzaro Grande Hotel Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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