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“Another fabulous holiday”

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Carreta Beach Holiday Village
Ranked #24 of 30 Hotels in Kalamaki
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Just returned from Caretta beach my 12th visit there, another fabulous holiday,outstanding food in the restaurant the new chef Andreos and his team were lovely and very welcoming. Jay and his entertainers were great fun, Taz in the pool bar, what can I say, he is absolutely fantastic the place would not be the same without him, he is caring hard working and just fab in every way.Savela and Nikos on reception are so helpful nothing is to much trouble for them, and not forgetting the maintainence team and the maids they work so hard and do a great job.The only negative comment I have is about Kids Club team, I felt that some of them could benefit from more training, and the lack of a supervisor let it down, something Thomas Cook need to address.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank Yvonne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

thank you very much for your kind review.

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Reviewed June 24, 2013

Myself, my husband, and our three kids aged 7, 6 and 3 had a lovely week at the Caretta Beach.

The staff were very nice and welcoming right from the start of the holiday. The holiday / kids club reps were great too.

The hotel is right next to the airport, but aeroplanes were not very frequent and we didn’t really notice any noise. In fact the kids enjoyed seeing the odd plane.

We had an apartment for 5. It was basic but clean and tidy. It suited us as we had a room with a double bed in it and the kids had three single bed in the second floor on the same level as the toilet.

The water park was really good. They have a large splash pool for little children. The only concern we had is that the pool was really cold so the kids didn’t spend has much time has they normally would in there. The water slides are fun for all and are open two or three at a time at various points throughout the day.

The restaurant was clean and tidy and the choice of food for adults was good. There could have been a better choice for kids but being a family of five doing all inclusive with them for the past six years we know this is what to expect.

Our kids love the Thomas Cook kids club and would have done all 4 clubs per day if allowed. We limited them to one 

The entertainment was great. The kids couldn’t wait to get to the mini disco. However, as soon has the kids entertainment had finished the kids wanted to go do the parade at the back of the resort. This had bouncy castles and rides. It was 2 euro to get into the bouncy castles and they could spend has long has they wanted in there (5 great castles, pirate ships etc.) Although the rides and castles weren’t part of the all-inclusive we didn’t mind as there are tables to sit at and you can still use the all-inclusive bar.

We had a trip to the beach. The hotel runs a free mini bus throughout the day. It’s a small beach but really nice and kids enjoyed building castles, turtle spotting (none seen) and playing in the waves.

We had a trip into Zante town which was really enjoyable. We were dropped off at the church along the sea front which is worth a look around. Part of the town looks run down however has we walked up the mariner into the town square it became really nice. We ate in a restaurant in the square which was really nice authentic Greek cuisine and the kids loved chasing the pigeons around the square.

This holiday is suited to families with young children.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank DellyonHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2013

thank you for your kind review.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We stayed at the Caretta Beach from 30 May for 10 days as a family of four with two children aged 8 and 5 and had a fantastic time.

I've been to lovely 4 and 5 star hotels all over the world with my husband but once kids come along you adjust your criteria and expectations. Certain parts of the Caretta Beach are more 3 star than 4, but on the whole the facilities and everything else about this hotel are great, the price is very good compared to other hotels and its totally suited to a family with kids, so I would definitely recommend it.

The hotel is situated close to the airport so the 10 minute transfer is a bonus. You can see the planes taking off when you're sat in the Water Park but it didn't bother us in the slightest and the planes don't fly at night.

The weather wasn't as good as I'd hoped but that's hardly the hotel's fault! We had 2 bad days out of 10 and the rest of the time it was sunny in the day (mid-20's), but cool of an evening.

ROOMS
This is the area that lets the hotel down and for me stopped it being a true 4 star. Accommodation consists of 2 storey blocks spread around the grounds. We had a one bedroom apartment. It was a dated and quite basic but spacious and adequate for the amount of time we spent in it. You have to pay for the safe (we paid 20 Euros for 10 days), but worth doing. It will say in the room you need to pay for air conditioning but it was free. We had a TV showing English channels (BBC, CBeebies, ITV) so useful for catching up with news back home. There was a little kitchen area in one corner with a sink, fridge, microwave and cupboard. Not really much use to self-cater with, but an bonus for all-inclusive. The maids came in 6 days a week and our towels were changed 4 times in 10 days which was ok for us.

FOOD
The restaurant is self-service buffet. Breakfasts were a choice of Continental and Full English. Lunch and dinner had a choice of a fish dish, a couple of meat dishes (usually pork, turkey or chicken), some show cooking and the usual veggies and salads. There was a kids area with chips, pasta and sauce, sausages, chicken nuggets, etc. Lots of cake desserts, jelly, ice cream and fruit. On the whole the food was lovely (the chicken pie was the best I've ever had!). My daughter and I can be quite fussy but we ate well the whole holiday. At the main bar and Water Park bar you can also get snacks all day i.e. toasties, pizza, chips, etc and best of all you can help yourself to ice cream as much as you want which was lovely as in previous hotels you can only have them at set times. All our family came back considerably heavier than when we went!!!

FACILITIES
Lots of swimming pools of various sizes. Note - the hotel don't provide beach towels so you need to bring your own. The most popular pools seemed to be the main pools near the restaurant, one of which had a net across for water volleyball, etc and those in the Water Park. The Water Park is absolutely brilliant and is enclosed to the side of the hotel and is open 10.30-5. There were always sun loungers available but if you want a prime spot I'd suggest queuing up from 10.15. There's large shallow pool with slides and water features suitable for children up to around 10 years old. There was a wave pool which operated at set times of the day. A lazy river and the larger slides, some in a tunnel, some with twists and turns and a multi lane slide, two which you sit in rings to go down and the ultimate kamikaze slide. About half are open at any one time and there were hardly any queues to get on. What I loved was you could position yourself on a sun lounger in the middle of the water park and watch your kids in whichever area they were in, plus there were lots of life guards on duty.

The evening entertainment consisted of a disco at 8pm for young children followed by adult shows, etc but I can't comment on these as we never watched them in full but they didn't look overly impressive. There were organised football matches (which the boys all loved) from 7-9pm and there was a fair type area with bouncy castles, trampolines, go carts, merry-go-round rides, etc but note these are not included and were 1 or 2 Euros each to go on. The best value by far was the bouncy castles as they stamped your hand so you could come and go all evening for 2 Euros.

There was a kids club which operated through the whole day. My kids only went for 2 sessions but had a lovely time.

We found the staff all to be very helpful and friendly.

BAD POINTS

1. There was only one double wardrobe with 2 drawers in our room for 4 people which is totally inadequate!! Some clothes had to stay in the suitcase the whole holiday! There was plenty of space in the main area to put a chest of drawers in and this should be done.

2. The bathroom had no shelf or cupboard for toiletries. We had to balance my husband's shaving gear and our toothbrushes, etc around the edge of the basin!

3. No bottled water was provided anywhere! There were water dispensers but all you could take was a cup at a time. Bottled water should be available around the hotel and in the rooms.

4. The restaurant opening times need some amending. Breakfast started at 8 which was too late. Anyone going on a day trip or an early flight had to miss breakfast. There were also a lot of families with young kids who wake early who wanted to have their breakfast earlier. I would say 7 or 7.30 would be a better time to open. Dinner started at 7 and oh my God, what a bun fight!! There was always a queue at opening time (& much annoyance caused by some people who just went straight to the front - mostly Russians!) Anyone arriving at 7.30 could not find a table. As the evening entertainment started at 8, most people wanted to be in at 7 so they could be out by 8. I would strongly suggest amending the opening time to 6pm so they'd be less of a stampede.

These bad points are definitely outweighed by the good. Its a hotel which keeps kids entertained and as any parent knows, if the kids are happy and occupied, then you get to have a relaxing holiday. We would definitely go bad to his hotel again if the situation arose.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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12  Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Thank you for your kind words.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

From start to finish apart from hotel entertainers Jamie jay cloe and jasmine Harry and not sure on others names they were fantastic had lots of laughs and fun they gave us all but as for everything else the manager sakis or belilo he is the most nastiest man you would like to meet them poor restaurant workers worked there n ts off and were run ragged everyday don't drink any wine from restaurant manager sakis was pouring what was left on tables into other bottles left by others restaurant not clean went in 3 mornings to find chairs covered in slime eggs not fried whites left still slimy everything covered highly in pepper only had 2 breakfasts and 3 lunches 5 evening meals for the 2 weeks we were there no prices up on board for candy floss waffles ect was charged 2 euros 1st night then put up prices to 3 then 3.50 wouldn't go back to this hotel pools only cleaned 1 during our stay never saw hosepipe swilling floors down ever all inclusive drinks terrible never saw anyone drunk apart from chap with broken arm and finger trying to wee in pool ha ha what a laugh he went home with one lovely white arm

Room Tip: Stay away there must be better and cleaner hotels in Greece
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Pearl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

im sorry you didnt enjoy your holiday, many of your comments i find hard to understand, however this is your honest review and i respect it and thank you.

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Reviewed June 22, 2013

Myself, my wife, and our 19 month little girl have just returned from a lovely week at the Caretta Beach. Both my wife and I worked abroad as holiday reps for 6 years in various parts of Greece and I can honestly say that this is one of the better AI hotels we have come across.

Hotel Staff

All staff that we encountered were extremely friendly, helpful and made every effort to make a fuss of our little one. Both head chefs in the restaurant were delightful characters and the food for an AI hotel is arguably the best we have experienced in Greece. As my wife is vegetarian she is often not well catered for, however there were several options on an evening and if there was not enough the head chef would offer to make up a dish upon request.

Water Park

We really liked the fact that the water park opened at 10:30 in the morning as this meant that holidaymakers were unable to reserve sun beds with towels at silly o clock in the morning. I would say that the main pool is more suited to younger children (ie 2 - 11). The one piece of advice I would offer is that if you are taking a toddler I would take a wetsuit as our daughter found it a little cold even on the days it was hot. The water slides are fun for all and are open two or three at a time at various points throughout the day. Plenty of sun beds in the water park, however people do start to que at around 10:00 to get the beds around the pool. We always managed to get a sun bed so no complaints on that front.

Rooms

The room we had was basic but clean and tidy. The bathroom looked a little tired, and the floor when wet became very slippery ( not good with a toddler). We were situated in F block which had its own private pool. The bar in F block was about to open just as we left so not sure how quiet it will be over the coming months. We had a few nights where we were woken by barking dogs and a cock crowing. Tip: leave the air-con on as it drowns out the noise. The room was on the ground floor right next to the pool which was ideal for family's who had young children who they could watch from the comfort of their balconies.

Entertainment

Having done this job myself I know how hard it is to keep family's entertained. I cannot fault the enthusiasm and hard work put in by all members of the team especially when it came to the mini disco (which my daughter, wife and myself thouroughly enjoyed!). However after the disco the evening seemed to be a little un organised, which is a shame as the ents team have a great area to work with. The bouncy castles etc probably don,t help as this tended to draw the crowds away from the entertainment area. Jay if your reading this I did mark you as excellent on the CSR as I know how hard you guys work. One last comment is that although my wife and myself watched our daughter like a hawk on stage, sometimes due to the volume of people it is difficult to get to your child if they are very young and like to go down the stairs on the farthest side of the dj booth. I would suggest putting some sort of gate/barrier there to prevent any potential accidents.

Restaurant

Always clean and tidy, great choice of food and the staff are very quick to clear plates etc. At peak times this can turn into a bit of a cattle market, however I really cannot stress enough the quality of the food, it is head and shoulders above most AI we have eaten in Greece. As mentioned earlier my wife is veggie and every night there were at least 2 different main dishes to choose from. One night the chef even offered to cook her an individual dish if there was nothing she fancied. My advice to management within the restaurant would be to get a few extra high chairs and to replace the older ones as occasionally we had one that was a bit tired and dirty. A point to think about next season, maybe look at offering an alternative restaurant either on or off site to take the pressure of the staff and dilute the number of people in one space at any one time.

Resort

We ate out 2 nights of our holiday, the first was Escape. Fantastic food and wine! Brilliant with the children and for any family's that enjoy authentic Greek cuisine this is the place to go. We ate inside as there was no space within the garden, however I would recommend getting a table in the garden if possible. The second restaurant we ate in was recommended by locals, Michealos. Another beautiful evening with wonderful food and wine. We sat next to a couple who ate there every night of there holiday and simply loved the place. Kalamaki is full of bars and restaurants of which I am sure are all of equal quality and a great experience. Zante town itself wasn't as picturesque as we had hoped but we managed to find a greek taverna on the back streets which served delicious greek food. The church along the sea front is worth looking around as the architecture is phenomenal.

Beach

The beach is good for young children as the bay is shelved therefore they can play and paddle safely. 7 euros for two sun beds and an umbrella which I though was reasonable.

Overall a good holiday and we would definitely recommend this hotel for young family's.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Helen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2013

thank you for your kind words.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Very impressed with the hotel the staff are very friendly the rooms are lovely would reccomend this hotel for familys only special mention for taz the barman very friendly and pleasent The food was nice the only small fault I could say was the puddings aren't great but if that's all I can fault then the place must be excellent

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Tillymai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2013

Thank you for your review :)

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Reviewed June 21, 2013

This holiday was amazing from the very start. I travelled with my husband and 3 kids, aged 12, 3 and 2. Also my mum and dad.

We stayed in B block which was great and overlooking the main pools etc. Not too noisy as the entertainment ended promptly at 11pm. We all found beds and room comfortable and clean. Air conditioning was great as was uk tv channels - I like to watch tv to get me to sleep! Maids cleaned room almost every day and changed beds and fresh towels every 2 days.

All staff where amazing and very helpful from the receptionists, entertainment staff (jay is a lovely genuine guy), cleaners, shop staff, bar men and Thomas the manager who was a lovely Scottish guy who was very helpful and even joined in on karaoke!!

The restaurant was run brilliantly, always plenty of food on offer. The food was for us the tastiest we have ever had and that is including restaurant food in uk. Fish melted in your mouth. It was delicious and we couldnt get enough of it lol the cakes were amazing. Our party ranged from 2yrs old to 60 yrs old and everyone was of same opinion. My 2 toddlers loved the fish and lamb kebabs etc and there was also the kids buffet off chips, pasta and vegi burgers etc to fall back on. Chef is a legend!! No wonder so many people want his picture. I have noticed people moaning about bottled fizzy juice being used but to be honest they went through that much very quickly that there was no way there was time for it to go flat or warm so it was not a problem.

Everyone made us feel very welcome, always coming and mucking around with kids etc even although we didn't use kids club and we don't really join in with the entertainment games etc as we prefer to spectate but that didn't stop entertainment team making us feel included. Lovely bunch.

The waterpark was great, and that combined with the entertainment, play park and funpark made this resort a wonderland for kids and it was all so safe and confined areas so it was easy to keep track of 2 toddlers at all times whilst letting them run about having great fun. they were not bored once and that was they main thing.

***After having such an amazing holiday we had a technical problem with our plane and 240 Scottish passengers where delayed and coaches took us all to Caretta Beach where the restaurant was able to feed and water us all with great food at very short notice with no hiccups - they run a very tight ship and nothing is a problem. All of the delayed passengers were NOT originally guests of this hotel but the only place that could help us all out after being delayed for hours and they all coped extremely well under tremendous pressure. And the 7 of our party were even given rooms till the next morn when our plane would be ready whilst everyone else was distributed to various hotels. Another amazing part of the service. Big Big thank you Thomas Moffat and rest of the team. Marina is a lovely lady too xxx

See you next year!!!!!!! Anywhere else is not an option!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank dunnett76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomas M, General Manager at Carreta Beach Holiday Village, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

thank you so much we hope see you soon :)

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Additional Information about Carreta Beach Holiday Village

Address: Kalamaki 291 00, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Kalamaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Family Hotel in Kalamaki
#22 Romantic Hotel in Kalamaki
Price Range: $121 - $239 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Carreta Beach Holiday Village 4*
Number of rooms: 175
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caretta Beach is a modern hotel situated in Kalamaki on the south coast of the most beautiful island in the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos. The hotel is in a private, picturesque area by the main road of Kalamaki, only 4km from the capital city Zakynthos Town and 2km from the International airport of the island. The soft sandy beach is only a 5 minute walk away and is the home of the famous loggerhead turtles, Caretta-Caretta. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Caretta Beach Kalamaki
Hotel Caretta Beach
Carreta Beach Holiday Village Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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