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“Exceptional...fantastic holiday !”

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Garden Village Apartments
Ranked #1 of 8 Kalamaki B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Exceptional...fantastic holiday !”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

We stayed at the GV for 2 weeks from 23rd June. GV is excellent. The rooms are great; kitchen is very well equipped with everything you need.

The rooms were cleaned daily to a very high standard. Carol, Justine and Shane are all very friendly and efficient. However, like some previous comments I read, I too felt that behind the friendliness there was a sense of something ‘going on’ like an elephant in the room. It didn’t effect my holiday and wasn’t a problem, but at times something didn't feel quite right.

During our stay at GV there were several couples who had been previously, which whilst this didn't effect us I can see how it might have deterred other couples or families from using the bar or pool, and finding it more difficult to feel part of the complex. Unfortunately some people do like to be heard more than others and you will always find this wherever you go, but in a smaller complex it’s more noticeable.. I guess.

GV is a real gem; the attention to detail is like something I have not experienced before and something you won’t experience from a large hotel, from the stone vases, flowers, mood lighting around the bar, the scene is set which creates a stylish and homely feel.

The reception area is well equipped; with information, books, sofas and chairs should you wish to escape for peace and quiet. This is where your safety deposit box is should you wish to hire. Plus a bookcase full of books..happy reading !

During our stay we ate at the following restaurants, Zepos, Hera, Heavens Kitchen which were all excellent. We drank at Oceanic chill out bar and the Cave bar; these too were great, and reasonably priced especially for cocktails.

We did try Michaelos after much recommendation; however we were not impressed, the setting, staff and starter were all good, however our main courses were disappointing, one meal red fish fillets mornay was cold and spaghetti in the oven was no more than spaghetti, with cheese on top, very dry. I think that perhaps we both didn’t choose well on the main course.

We didn’t take the opportunity to attend the Greek night or the steak and prawn night held at GV, mainly because we didn’t often return back to GV until after 7 most nights, we didn’t want to be restricted by times.. after many years of all inclusive we wanted to be free and come and go.

We hired a jeep for our two week stay, it was great to be free and have the chance to explore the island and discover the stunning beaches; we really enjoyed Banana Beach, Gerakas and Alykes.

We did the speedboat trip to smugglers cove and blue caves, this was excellent and well worth the money.

Carol was an excellent help to us with the car hire, boat trip and helping us plan our driving route to explore.

The only suggestions I would make is to have a full length mirror in the apartment. Perhaps GV could become adults only or no children under 10. ..just a suggestion !

We thoroughly enjoyed Kalamaki, all in all I would thoroughly recommend GV and would definitely return.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank tinakeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

We spent 2 weeks at GV. An amazing setting with beautiful gardens which were exceptionally well maintained by Viktor and the apartments and studios are comfortable and spacious and kept clean by the lovely girls Edwina and Dimitria. The food in the bar is excellent and Justine does a fabulous job day in day out with the cooking and in the evening Shane is guaranteed to make you laugh and deliver up some great cocktails. The surrounding area is ideal - either peaceful and laid back in old Kalamaki street or louder and party time in new Kalamaki strip. The beach was lovely with sunbeds always available and an amazing restaurant overlooking the sea and mountains called Zepos - a truly fantastic place where nothing is too much trouble for them.
However my criticism comes from being in hospitality for over 20 years myself. If you commit to writing that you offer something then it should be delivered - mosquito plug in if you hired a safe. We hired but got no plug in! Flowers and sparkling wine on arrival if you're getting married at GV. We were and we never received! The owner telling you the wedding breakfast you believed to be booked and sorted could be a bit difficult now as she's changed the day she holds her Greek BBQ night and they will now be on the same day so could you have it with everyone else!!!!!! The owner telling you she has to cancel an evening because of you when you say you wont have your wedding breakfast with all the other people staying and she has a row with you - SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN!!!!! Considering the extra money spent to have our wedding at GV we felt let down with delivery. We were not made to feel special at any time - we weren't regulars so didn't stand a chance!! our friends and a couple of local restaurants and bars made our wedding holiday one to remember. My memories of the service received from Carol will be disappointing

  • Stayed June 2012
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Helpful?
9 Thank 5712Perkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

I have just returned from a week in Kalamaki staying at the Garden Village for a best friends wedding. There is absolutely no doubt that this property is stunning and very well maintained not to mention exceptionally clean (Edwina) our housekeeper was an absolute gem and being a hotel manager myself I would snap her up if she lived in England!!
My review I suppose is more about what suits some people and not others, the staff were good and Carole the owner does come across very friendly but for me it seemed something was missing maybe a slight doubt that it was genuine. I had read reviews on Garden Village and agree that if your not part of the returning in crowd then your not treated the same. I also have to agree that this place is not at all suitable for disabled people due to no ramps and stairs everywhere. It is a very beautiful oasis of trees and plants. I did not have any problem getting a sunbed however it is true that people are placing towels at the crack of dawn then going back to bed till later and nothing is done about removing them despite it being a hotel policy.
The bar food is excellent however very expensive compared to the excellent restaurants just a short stroll away. Some embarrassing moments for my friend on her wedding day which included a staff member coming to say in front of everyone that the champagne needed paying for!! if we drank it. The hotel pool is quite dangerous for slips and falls and my friends father did actually slip as there is no rail to hold on too when going in or coming out the low level end. Although not the fault of the hotel it is also swamped with wasps surrounding it and both myself and my sister in law were stung in the pool area.
That said a holiday is what you make it and this was an excellent base, our group ate out every night and found some absolute gems. Hera restaurant was excellent, as was where we had the wedding meal at Zepos by the beach you really must try that one. They were just amazing and made my friends wedding meal a very special event. Try the Venue if you want a fun night of Karaoke no matter what age you are!! its a fun night out. and Mojitos for cocktails is where we ended our evenings every night and is just fantastic. I lost count of the amount of free drinks and champagne they gave my friend and our party as they knew we were there for a wedding. The people we were with made the holiday as did the places we visited. I would not recommend visiting in July as the month is too hot and the mosquito's are rife!! However if its a beautiful base in a nice setting you want then this would be the place to stay.

Room Tip: All rooms are well placed
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank elly w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2012

Just returned from a wonderful, relaxing holiday at GV. We would not hesitate to recommend anyone to stay here. Beautiful gardens, lovely pool and really spacious and clean apartments. Carol, Justine and Shane are genuinely nice people and are always ready to help. Very friendly people staying and we met and had some good laughs. Plenty of nice restaurants, we found Hera's to be the nicest. Ambrosia was very nice and so was Michelos, a fair way to walk, but worth it. Buon Amici, the Italian restaurant just off the main drag is really good too.

It is well worth asking Carol about the trips as Carol can get them a little cheaper for you. We went on the trip to Olympia with Thompson, well worth going, but beware it is not cheap and all the people on the coach were amazed when told we had to pay 9 euros per person more to get in to Olympia. We are not tight by any means, but you should have been told this beforehand!!! It is an amazing place and wish we could have spent longer there. The short boat trip is worth going on too.

People who complain about barking dogs, what do you expect, we found it no problem, and the only dog we could hear was the one next to the apartments and that was no problem, do not let this put you off!!

Would we stay there again? Most certainly and are planning to go back next year. Thank you once more Carol, Justine, Shane and last but not least Edvina for looking after us so well

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Momentum192
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHAMPTON
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2012

Hi! got back from gv on sunday 1st july.we booked these apts mainly because its hard to find 2 bedroom places in greece without hiring a villa etc.so these were the next best thing. both bedrooms spacious enough. one room has double bed and the other twin beds. both have free air con however if one balcony door in either room was opened then both went off.the rooms opened onto a double length balcony which had 4 chairs and a table plus a handy clothes horse.we had apt 19 which overlooked pool/sunbed area and had the sun in the late afternoon.the terraced apts below didnt have much privacy from sunbathers/swimmers, people could look straight in!! kitchen and bathroom was best ive come across for this type of accomadation. the kitchen had english type oven and glass hob although grill tray had been taken from the oven. a full size fridge,toaster, plenty of utensils, crockery and tea towel and wash liquid provided. there was a table and 4 chairs in kitchen too. the kitchen window looked towards the coast and offered a welcome breeze. the bathroom has a great shower and enough room for two (mum and dads!) with english style toilet and belfast basin which was a bit to big for the amount of water flow.
All the apts were located around the the pool/bar area and the studios were located around a nice garden setting. the attention to detail around the gardens,pool and bar were what really made this place feel really relaxing. the bar had a small menu for breakfast or light lunch. while we stayed nobody booked up for the bbq or steak and prawn nights which a lot of people have raved about. this may have been because they werent exactly cheap and the apts are surrounded by lots of very good restuarants. i think the bar shut at about 1am? so the rooms next to it didnt get too much noise.the bar is ran by justine during the day and shane takes over in the afternoon. carole the owner?/manager is around and also helps out.they are very charming likeable people and will offer any advice to better your holiday. speak to them first before booking any trips or car hire.i hired a jeep and found they could have saved me a few quid after!!!
now for a few small negatives bits and remember these are just my thoughts so its upto you if you find them the same as me if you do stay here. DOGS ! i have read on another review about barking. the apts are close to local houses,everday without fail from 06.30 to about 07.30 it started and there are several of them from all directions but mainly right behind the the outer group of the studios. also behind them are a few chickens and we kept hearing something which we couldnt quite make our minds up was (poss a goat) .so if your a light sleeper or like a lay in beware lol. Bathroom towels.. a bit of conditioner wouldnt go amiss! becareful when drying yourself if your suffering from a bit of sunburn.
one thing that i found out was that many people return here the same weeks each year,in fact out of the arrivals with us only 2 others were first timers.we felt it almost like a club and that we were outsiders.we like to go out to eat/drink (to try and keep my 14yr and 16yr old entertained) but a lot of people seemed to stay at the pool bar. when returning from a night out we had to walk past the bar and although we said hello and got the same in return we felt a bit like we were being talked about. we did stop and have a few beers but not everyone wanted to talk to us or let us join in. it seemed there was one alpha male who liked to be the main attention lol.
On a final negative.. the gv is a very nice clean relaxing place to stay but the surrounding area was scruffy houses and scrubland. the resort of kalamaki lacked any charm and appeared to have seen its best days. quite a few bars,shops restuarants were closed and in disrepair. the mini markets were very dear making it almost a waste of time using the apt for self catering. the beach was only good for the first 2 days the rest of the week it was covered from the shore to about 30 feet out in thick seaweed so the beach was empty. however we did hire a pedalow here and went out about 200 yards and we were greeted by a huge turtle who happliy posed for pics!!

Now for eating out! we ate in the following. hera and georgias on the road towards beach.and heavens kitchen and ambrosia on the main road. we couldnt single any one out to be the best as all were good. if you like your garlic mushroom starters beware they all use tinned ones.
ambrosia had the best atmosphere with all the waiters greek dancing in flames and plate smashing (around 9 pm) but this was the most expensive. georgias had the most greek feel and setting and was prob the cheapest but still enjotable. tosas on lagana beach had the nicest setting and real mushrooms!!
we used tazzies take away near to apts who offerd to deliver us. great pizza , burgers and
gyros etc.

if the garden village was in another resort we wouldnt hesitate in returning but kalamaki just didnt do it for us!!!
ps id just like to mention the manetenance/gounds man who worked so hard in the 30's deg heat it made me feel guilty i was on holiday lol. ive not added any pics as i think everyone has covered it well enough.

Room Tip: try and get an upstairs apt just for a bit of privacy. (there are no great views here) and for studi...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank pompeyrule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2012

My partner and I chose to marry in Greece. We wanted somewhere private, pretty, Grecian, intimate and somewhere we could make our own. Garden Village apartments did not dissapoint.

The staff were fantastic! Carol replied very efficiently to all of the many emails that i sent her prior to our visit. She found someone to make my cake exactly as i wanted it, she ordered in decorations to my specifics and created a menu that was perfect- even for the fussy eaters! The food was gorgeous and plentiful. Carol even ordered in our favourite drinks! We were recommended a horse and carriage that was fab and a hairdresser (Shane)who was worth his weight in gold! The Greek Dancers that we had for entertainment were fantastic too.

Garden Village Apartments themselves are beautiful. You walk into a beautifully kept Grecian garden with a gorgeous stone brick gazebo where we married. If you like somethiong a little unique this is the place. There are beautiful old wooden wagons to have your photo taken by plus flowers and decorations that suited our 'shabby chic' vibe perfectly. This place is paradise without any input from a bride but you can also put your own stamp on it.

We really did have the perfect wedding and perfect evening. You will not find better surroundings to marry in or a more helpful set of staff. They will (and did) taylor make everything you could wish for and do everything they can to make your wedding the day of your dreams. We cannot thank them enough and would give them a 100% recommendation (and i'm quite fussy!!)!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jo W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2012

Not very often you write a review before you visit for your holidays, but as this year will be our 6th visit to this wonderful place I thought it was about time we posted on here!! Everyone at the GV is genuinely lovely and can't do enough for you. We've seen staff come and go and it's great to see Justine & Shane will still be there, not to mention all the other helpful staff. As for Carol, she is amazing. Nothing is too much trouble for the team if it makes your holiday, you really just need to ask. So much so the wedding is booked for 2013 in the lovely garden. Only problem is we have to share our secret hide away with all the family & friends now.

Recommend this resort for couples, families young & old. If your a single traveller I'm sure you'll love it too, you'll definitely make friends.

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LolS551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Garden Village Apartments

Property: Garden Village Apartments
Address: Arkadii, 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 #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Kalamaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Garden Village Apartments Hotel Kalamaki
Garden Village Apartments Zakynthos/Kalamaki

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