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“Absolutely brilliant, undersold! Wonderful for families & couples alike”
Review of Marelen Hotel

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Marelen Hotel
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Kalamaki
Certificate of Excellence
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Absolutely brilliant, undersold! Wonderful for families & couples alike”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Firstly let me just say that this is the first ever time i have written a review, i feel absolutely compelled to write this one. I booked what i thought was to be a 'cheap and cheerful' holiday earlier in the year as money is tight. I travelled with Thomas Cook, alone with my six year old daughter. I am in my late twenties and was looking for somewhere close to amenities, with a suitable balance of both commercialised things for my daughter and interesting Greek things to see for me. The marelen appeared to offer me all the things i was looking for at an extremely reasonable price. When we arrived, we were very tired from travelling all night, we checked in and walked through the grounds to our hotel where i immediately knew I had made the right decision! The grounds are beautiful, the brochure photographs do not do it justice. The adult pool is amply big enough, there were always loads of sun loungers even with your typical towel reservations occurring, the children's pool was ideal to keep the small kids happy and safe, it was never too busy to be used, the kids splash pool is located slightly around the corner from the main pool, apart from being a little cold (which is because of all the water fountains,slides etc constantly moving the water so the sun cannot heat it up like the other pool) was absolutely great! The pictures really do not do it justice the pool is ideal for ages 0-12 it gives them something extra to do and there are plenty of sun loungers by this pool too. The adult whirlpool/jacuzzi pool didn't actually work, but this really wasn't an issue for me. Both pool-sides have a pool bar: the one by the splash pool serves drinks (soft and alcoholic) and snacks like crisps etc, the one by the main pool is open all day and serves hot and cold British and Greek food (sandwiches, salads, burgers, toasties etc) as well as a very wide selection of drinks and sweets,crisps etc. This is not a five star resort of-course but the food in both the pool side bar and the evening restaurant menu is well presented, ample, cheap and edible, what more could you want? You're not going to eat solely there so that's all you need! You expect to get what you pay for, we got well beyond what i expected i couldn't fault the facilities at all. Reception staff (on the whole!) were friendly and helpful, you can exchange money, book late check out rooms, buy stamps, pay for air conditioning etc here. They have a very mini shop selling essentials (bread,milk, biscuits, shampoo, souvenirs etc). The bar was always lively (not packed) plenty of entertainment evening, bar staff extremely friendly, he makes the most lethal cocktails! The thing that makes this place is the staff, there is a lovely lady by the splash pool bar who is very friendly and happy, and a nice waitress/receptionist/jack of all trades that is at the breakfast buffet in the mornings, they both make you feel very welcome and remember you etc. The Thomas cook entertainment team (kids club and adult entertainment) and rep (Jo) were the very best i have ever encountered, so much to do, trips very well explained/organised, very friendly but not pushy, they were awesome and i am not one for being pestered to entertain i like to relax with my book. We did three excursions booked through our rep, apart from not seeing any turtles (out of their hands!) we thoroughly enjoyed each one (water-park, totally turtles and pirate ship). The hotel is located literally two minutes walk from the beach, you can rent pedalos and sunbeds here and see turtles if you are lucky. They shut the beach after sunset due to protecting the turtles. It is approximately a ten minute walk (with a slow hot 6 year old) to the main strip of restaurants and bars, souvenir shops and there is a few supermarkets even closer. We never had a bad meal out (lucky i suppose) but some restaurants are a must: plate smashing and Greek dancing happens in quite a few restaurants but we went to 'Yamas' and thoroughly enjoyed it and the food in 'The Olive Tree' was beautiful (staff not as friendly though). It is a five minute cab ride to either Laganas (party area) or Zante town (harbour town with lots of shops, restaurants, bars) so is ideally located and there is a taxi rank right outside the hotel, but reception were happy to call one if none were there waiting. It cost 10 Euros to get to Zante town. Yes the Marelen is very close to the airport (the whole of Kalamaki is!) but it was really quite fascinating to see the planes coming in to land while laying on the beach or by the pool, how many opportunities will you get in life to see that? The noise didn't bother me (or seem to bother anyone else) at all . All in all i was so happy with this place, we had a wonderful holiday, i was very anxious about travelling alone with a young child for the first time but everyone made it so easy. I have been on many Thomas cook holidays and have never been particularly fussed about returning to one of them (not that they weren't nice) but i can quite happily say i would return here. Thank-you so much for a wonderful stay Marelen. Helen & Faith August 2012.

Room Tip: Some rooms over look the pool area, these appeared to be for the bed and breakfast holiday makers an...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Croydon, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

Myself, my partner and our two year old stayed at this hotel from 30th August until 9th September on a B&B basis and we did not want to leave.
The hotel is very well situated very close to the beach from which you can hire pedaloes. The beach is a protected site for the turtles who lay their eggs so you can't go onto the beach late at night.
We were not disappointed when we arrived at the hotel. We were greeted by two very friendly ladies Juile & Theresa and offered a soft drink which is welcomed in the hot weather! We were then shown to the block in which our room was situated.
The grounds of the hotel are lovely and very well kept. They are worked on daily.
There is a lovely little church in the grounds too.
The main pool area is nice and clean with a childrens pool there too. There are plentiful amounts of sun beds and there is a snack bar too offering hot and cold snacks, drinks etc.
The main bonus is the Splash pool for the kiddies and my two year old loved it there. There is a lockable gate so it allows you to lie back and let the kids play. The pool is lovely with lots of fountains and slides too to enjoy. There are also cars and other toys for the kids to pay with. There is a snack bar there too serving snacks and drinks and proper food can be ordered by the really lovely lady there, Geri, from the main snack bar.
We had a room in the block right next to the splash pool which was big enough for us - even though being on the top floor wasn't ideal, I'm sure if I'd asked the hotel for a ground floor room due to being pregnant they would have been more than happy to help. The staff really want you to enjoy your stay and they are truly very nice. My little boy loved the lady that worked in the snack bar by the splash pool !
We were on a B&B basis and took advantage of the breakfasts a few times. It is not standard english fry up food but it's more that adequate in my opinion. you get the options of fried/boiled or scrambled eggs, bacon, little hot dog sausages (widely eaten in Greece) beans, mushroom, your continental stuff like ham & cheese, croissants, cake, fruit, cereals and juices and teas and coffees are there to have as much as you like.
The bar area is very nicely decorated and it was nice to sit in the bar at night and relax after a hectic day.
I would definitely recommend this hotel to everyone, especially to those with young kiddies.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chelbel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2012 via mobile

This year was our third year at the marelen! To say we want to go back again and again and that so many people go back again and again just goes to show why the marelen is so popular and has such a great reputation. Yes as mentioned in previous reviews the rooms may seem basic for example but the positives far outweigh any negatives. One comment I would like to make is althought the Thomas cook entertainment team do an amazing job with the kids, Ido believe this may have had some detriment to the other activities which used to take place in the evenings for example the quizzes and bingo which used to brig all the guests together in the lounge and create such a fantastic atmosphere. I believe these could run alongside the children's evening entertainment and would like to see this considered again for next year!!!

Kalamiki itself is a case of what you see is what you get, it's not as roudy as laganas which is a good thing but there is still plenty of stuff to do, a holiday is what you make it in my eyes and if you are just going to sit and not interact with anyone then don't expect much to happen!


We have already booked for next year Again with many other friends whom we have met over the last 3 years.

We can't wait for party nights again! See you all next year!!!!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hardcastle76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ashington
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2012

me partner and little boy age 5 had a great time here and would go back for sure nice clean room a bit small but dose the job the shower cubicle was tiny, had a fridge in that was good 80 euros for air con for 2 weeks 50 euros for a safe it was needed it was so hot.went b and b which was ok i did nt care for bacon and the rest of the hot breakfast but found food i liked.great little water splash pool for little kids kids club was great to my boy was very happy.big pool nice and lots of sunbeds.staff happy to help and nice people to.beach just down the road a flat shallow sea great for kids watch out for nibble fish try to keep on the move unless you want to be nibbled. the strip is close by where there are nice places to eat like olive tree, palos, pandisa,ambrosia.they try to get you in to there place so you have to pass them all.marelen is close to the airport so there is aircraft noise early morning.has nt but me off but.went on reps pirate ship trip for my son did nt think its worth the money,and it was a long trip 9.00 till 4.00.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marina b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
staffordshire
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here with my daughter and her friend , the hotel is lovely and clean , always a sun bed round the pool do no having to get up early !!!
15 mins from the airport , clean rooms .... Clean pool lovely children's pool with slides !!
Shop on site reasonable food prices at pool bar and restaurant .... 5 min walk into the main strip best cheap food at crunalla hotel ..... Really reasonable priced 5 of us ate most nights mixed grills and 5 drinks 38 euros !!
The beach is 2 mins walk from hotel ... 7 euros for 2 sun beds and parasol fab !!!
Walk along the beach to laganas ... If going at night would advise when walking road way walk one way get a taxi bk although it is only 25 min walk ... Plenty of shops and bars in laganas full of youngsters but there is a KFC , McDonald's and pissa hut lol I would advice the kebab and chips with drink 3 euros across the road from McDonald's !!!
A few shops in kalamaki and places to eat ...
Get the bus to Zakinthos town 2 euros more shops and museums etc...
Few pedaloes at kalamaki beach only but beach is lovely !!!
I would stay at this hotel again plenty of entertainment , kids and teenager clubs and activities throughout the day if that's what you like me I spent my time on the beach !! Kalamaki quiet bit ideal for families and those wanting a quieter holiday ... Friendly people ... If your going you won't be disappointed

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank carryonnurse68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012

The trouble with reviews and is that it is just someones opinion depending on whether they had a good time on their holiday and it's important to remember that everyone is different and wants different things.
I have Just returned from 2 weeks at the Marelen Apt. I would like to start with how all the hotel staff were amazing! It's a family run hotel in a great location and you are made to feel a part of that family. The Thomas cook rep "Nikki" was fantastic she couldn't do enough to help, there is a separate little area for unders 12 with water shoots- slides and a little splash pool. There is also a Jacuzzi for the grown-ups and the main swimming pool and gardens are well kept and clean.(you must see the little chapel they have for weddings). There were also great daytime and everning activities for the kids put on by a great team of Thomas Cook reps.We also ate at the hotel on a few occasions and the food was really nice
but the standards of the apartments were awlfull and they really let the hotel down. Our apartment was supposed to have been refurbished but was still really basic, the bath was far too narrow and the shower was just a shower attachment so you could hose yourself down( no good after a day at the beach) the shower curtian was also green with mould.
We went self catering but found the cooking facilities far to basic. There was no oven, only 1 hob ring which you plugged in and a small microwave which meant that actually catering for a family of four was impossible there were no bowls and when we moved in we found all the cutlery really grubby. The beds seemed to have seen better days and the wardrobe kept breaking even though they were supposed to have fix it. The apartments really need upgrading a proper bathroom and cooking facilities would make a world of a difference.
However I would still recomennd this hotel because eveything else was perfect!
I

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank charlotte3kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2012

Returned from the Marelen a few days ago after a fantastic week away. The staff were very welcoming and helpful when you asked them about anything. The hotel is really geared up for families, with Thomas Cook kids club and entertainment throughout the day and in evenings. Our 5 year old daughter made so many friends to play with, it meant we could relax more whilst keeping an eye on her, as she was really happy to join in and play with the other children.

The room was what we expected in Greece - basic but clean and adequate for what we needed. We had a ground floor apartment near the main pool which was ideal.

The breakfast was again what we expected - plenty of variety and enough to keep everyone happy. The snack bar was reasonably priced for lunch - only 2.5 Euros for a toastie. The BBQ was really good - 10 Euros for adults and 5 Euros for children - we had so much food that we couldn't eat it all. The free pizza night is also a great idea - you get 1/2 a pizza each, and then pay for chips and salad - it cost us 6 Euros in total for 3 of us for our evening meal - can't be bad!!!!

We went on the Jolly Roger boat trip to Smugglers Cove which was great - Thomas Cook have a few reps on board to keep the kids entertained and you get to go in the sea a few times. We also hired a car from Merlis Car Hire, which was only 35 Euros for the day - they delivered it to our hotel in the morning and picked it up first thing the next day.

There are plenty of places to eat/drink at along the Kalamaki strip, with many doing Greek dancing to keep you entertained.

All in all a great stress free week away.

Room Tip: Self catering apartments bigger than bed and breakfast rooms but both fine.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Claire_Phelps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marelen Hotel

Property: Marelen Hotel
Address: 6 Post Box, Kalamaki 291 00, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Kalamaki
#17 Romantic Hotel in Kalamaki
Hotel Class:3 star — Marelen Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 118
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Also Known As:
Marelen Hotel Kalamaki
Marelen Hotel Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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