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“Such a shame that standards have dropped”
Review of Aresti Villas

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Aresti Villas
Reviewed October 8, 2011

Just returned from our second visit to the Aresti Villas in Zakynthos. Having stayed at villa Andouan in Oct 2009 and had a wonderful time, we were looking forward to our second visit. If you are looking for a quiet relaxing holiday in a peaceful location then you couldn't choose better than this location. It was so peaceful that when the pool filtration system switched on from time to time it made us jump ! The downside of a location like this is of course that you do need to use your car to go anywhere - supermarket, tavernas, beach etc. so it is a trade off.
The taverna on site is reasonably priced and will deliver an order to your villa (breakfast & dinner only). However, I am assuming due to the problems with the economy in Greece, we found a real drop in standards of food, choice and quality this year. The greek evening every Saturday is good value for money @ 12 euros pp and Thomson and the Dutch tour operator now bring clients from other hotels/villas so it is a much better atmosphere especially towards the end of the season when there are fewer villas occupied.
Tips on choosing which villa:- 3 villas (built in 2007) are south facing ; Andouan, Illia and Maritina and get sun all day until 6pm (prob later in summer) then if you want sunset, go up to the roof terrace seating area (fantastic views on 3 sides) and have your ouzo & sprite ! Villa Ionnis (Johanna) stands alone but is east facing and I wouldn't imagine gets much sun on the pool area at all - maybe good choice if you have very young children. The other villas (I think built slightly earlier are west facing, get lovely sunsets towards the mountains, but probably dont have sun on their pool terrace until late morning/lunch time. These villas though do have a slightly bigger terrace area and some have steps down to their pool so choose these if there are more than two adults as I think you will have more outdoor space. There are newer villas built in a little cul-de-sac furthest away and quieter which I understand are marketed exclusively by a dutch tour operator. Having said that we had a dutch family in villa Illia just on the last day (prob just a courtesy let for a late flight) and we were glad they hadn't been there all week as they were the neighbours from hell.
Niggles this year:- Again maybe due to the terrible economic situation or maybe due to end of season, but despite having space for 6 adults we only had 4 sunloungers all of which were broken. Lounger cushions were positively a health hazard (pool attendant did hose them down each morning but because they were torn, the filling was soaking wet and mildew) The paint is also peeling/disintegrating from the base of the pool so we constantly had blue feet !The cooker in Andouan was rusty and had been painted the paint had run down the oven door ! Not sure if it had got inside so only used the hob for making breakfast items etc. Worst of all we never had any hot water in the mornings, only in the evenings so plan your shave gentlemen in the evenings ! Aresti have apparently switched to solar power (admirable of course) but rather a pain when you have to keep boiling the kettle and cannot take a morning shower oh well you are on holiday I guess ! A lot of the outside lighting around the villa wasn't working and so if planning outdoor dining take some nice citronella tea lights in your suitcase for a candle light supper. It would be a nice touch if Aresti could supply a couple of candles for the villas - they do have holders, but buy your own candles ! That said, we did "scrounge" a nice lantern from Marlene in the restaurant who was most helpful. Beds & pillows still as hard as previous stay but thats greece !
Right Ladies:- Leave at home your; make-up, hair straightners and posh frocks. This is a real chill-out zone and after a hard day catching the rays you can catch up with face packs and painting your nails while hubby pops along to order your greek salad and bottle of wine! Of course the other important things us girls need to know is....... critters ! On both times we stayed we never saw any Cockroaches, rodents, mosquitoes etc, so relax ! Though we did have a very loud chirpy cricket in our bathroom one night because the window had been left open - so close before sunset when they start calling for a mate !!! There are a few gekkos but they are sweet and too shy to come near you. Wasps were a bit of a nuisance, but no more so than an english summer would be. Water as always in Zante is a problem so dont drink, clean your teeth or cook with it and you will be fine. Your rep will tell you this anyway.
Talking of reps; Beverely from simply travel is great; really helpful without being pushy and will leave you information if you dont want to be disturbed. Simply Travel also leave you a useful welcome pack with the basics so you dont need to rush out the first day if you dont want to. A real critical thing to know is that Aresti do not now take credit cards (as is the case with the tavernas etc. again presumably due to the economy situation, so do make provision to have/draw plenty of cash to pay for extras, supermarkets and petrol etc.
To summarise then, a few standards have dropped, probably throughout greek resorts but if you want a lovely away from it all quiet spot to recharge your batteries then this is the place for you. With all that extra space you have in your suitcase from leaving the make-up etc. at home bring; some decanted washing powder/gel so you can do all your washing and take clean clothes home with you (such a bonus when travelling in winter) Sun products and toiletries cost a fortune here so buy them at the airport. Enjoy & have fun.

Room Tip: See notes about position of villas
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Spaaddicts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 - 65 of 77 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2011

My husband and I are recently back from 2 weeks at the Aresti villas and we had a wonderful time.
The "complex" itself is beautiful and all of the villas have clearly been constructed with a great deal of thought and with an eye for detail. The villas are well apointed in every respect and the level of cleanliness is second to none. Nothing is too much trouble for the thoughtful and friendly staff.
The only real gripes I would have is that some of the pool furniture is shabby and in poor repair but really that is all I could find to moan about and that wasn't really a problem.
If you want a relaxed, extremely comfortable break away from the usual tourist resorts these villas are definitely for you.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shella0606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2010

Lovely villas in a quiet central location, you do need a car to get anywhere but you are more or less in the centre of the island. Restaurant on site does breakfast and evening meals, not a great deal of choice but ok for a couple of nights, very friendly staff. We went to Gerakas beach most of the time, quiet with lovely shallow water for quite a distance, lovely tavernas t with kids play area (Nikos), Ionion Beach also good. Other recommendatios is The Cross at Kambi with amazing sunsets, lovely no frills taverna, you really feel part of the family. Word of warning a lot of the beaches seem to have nudists at the extreme ends

Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
2  Thank Jenkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2010

Just returned from a family half term week at Aresti Villas (Andouan), booked through Simply Travel. The villa complex was very well looked after, and Andouan itself was very spacious and well furnished. There are two good sized bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, and another double room and bathroom on the ground floor. The upstairs bedrooms led out onto a terrace, and the downstairs bedroom also had doors out onto a shaded terrace area next to the pool/garden. The kitchen was adequate, and the villa was serviced daily. Good food from the on-site taverna. We liked the fact that whilst our villa and pool was very private, we could also amble along to the taverna for a drink or meal in the evenings where the kids could play in the small adjacent play-area.
There are a number of nice beaches within 15-30 mins drive - all that we visited were very quiet with shallow warm water - ideal for young children. June weather was very pleasant, with temperatures never going above 30 degrees, but warm enough every day for a swim in the pool or at the beach.
In summary, I would highly recommend the Aresti villas as a place for families with young kids to stay for a quiet week or two, and would consider using them again for a half-term break.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank RichBuckinghamshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2009

We stayed at the Aresti villas in July this year (2009) and despite the crippling heat and insect bites we vowed we would be back for a "cheeky week" at half term.
We stayed this time in the villa Antigoni and the air conditioning units in every bedroom (so vital in the summer) could be switched to blow warm air. Vital in the chilly nights in October.
The kitchen set up in Antigoni was woeful (seen better in a caravan), but the bedrooms were better than before. The pool was cold but we used it every day. The gardens are spectacular, picked pomegranetes and limes from the trees. The setting is sublime and it was really great to see the island out of season.
Zante town is a bustling centre, random parking! Loads of mopeds and superb friut and veg from the supermarkets and roadside vendors. Gorgeous honey and brill kebabs.
I can't tell you how delightful this place is. Take plenty of books and a raincoat if you go at this time of year. Lots of walks through the olive groves. October is fly season though, buy a fly swatter and take insect repellant.
The tellies have six channels, all greek and balkan, great to watch the Greek version of X factor. We took a portable DVD player which we could not connect to the tv in Antigoni but could in the other villa (Anduoan).
We travelled around the island this time and took in the famous shipwreck. This did not disappoint but the litter, abandoned cafe just made the place feel sad and neglected which surprised me as it is THE beauty spot and the image is everywhere.
We'll be going back!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Ally1374
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2009

Had a wonderful week in Zakynthos staying at the Aresti Villas (Andouan). It was everything we expected and more! The 3 bedroomed villa was very spacious with two twin bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, both bedrooms led out to a lovely walled terrace, wonderful to have breakfast and evening meals out there. Downstairs a further double bedroom with en-suite bathroom, this bedroom led out to a private patio and the pool. The kitchen was adequately equipped with full size fridge freezer, washing machine, toaster, sandwich maker, kettle and microwave. On arrival we were pleasantly surprised to find a welcome basket with tea, coffee, sugar, fresh bread, crisps, jam and two bottles of wine. In the fridge there was milk, butter, feta cheese, ham, orange juice, beer, coca cola and water. The lounge and dining areas were nicely furnished and there were flowers everywhere! The pool area was so peaceful and private with a well established garden containing fir, pomegranate, bottle brush and olive trees as well as numerous rose bushes and beautiful hibiscus.
Other than a spectacular thunderstorm on our first night, the weather was constant sunshine, around 28 degrees and cloudless blue skies.
The villas are not really within walking distance of any restaurants/bars (apart from the one on site) so car hire is essential, but this is to be expected if you want to be ‘away from it all’. The livelier resorts of Alykes, Alykanas, Tsilivi and of course Zakynthos town are approx 15-20 minute drive away.
One day we managed to prise ourselves away from the peace and tranquility of the pool and decided to drive to Kalamaki, which is where we stayed on our first visit to Zante 14 years ago. Although we did not recognize Kalamaki from the quiet and underdeveloped place it once was, we did find a lovely restaurant to have a late lunch, Stani’s, where the food and service was great and we could sit looking out at the glittering sea, then go for a walk along the lovely sandy beach.

A very relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Donkeytravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2009

We have just returned from a week's holiday staying at the Demetra villa at Aresti Villas. We found the villas easy to get to, and thought the location was perfect as we are not keen on the commercialised built up areas. Some might find it a bit out of the way as there isn't much in the nearby areas - you have to have a hire car to get around. The villa is lovely as are the pool and the surrounding gardens. The villa is decorated tastefully and has lots of blue and white porcelain ornaments in the lounge area - we had to move them all out of reach though because our 11 mth old would have grabbed them all the time! We had a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, and then there are 2 bedrooms (one with a balcony) and a bathroom upstairs. There is a washing machine and iron and ironing board. Kitchen area is very small but fine if you don't want to cook much. Ate at the villas restaurant quite a few times - all meals were lovely and reasonably priced in comparison to some other restaurants we visited. As previously mentioned you can have them delivered to your villa which we found very helpful. There is also a little park area which our 8 year old enjoyed. I have only a couple of negative points about the villa - the bed was so uncomfortable as were the pillows which prevented us having a good nights sleep there. The sofas were lovely to look at, but not really comfy. Having said that, we weren't inside a lot so that didn't cause much of a problem. Also the stairs were a little bit dangerous if you have little ones as they are narrow and have gaps in between and they were very creaky. Apart from the horrendous rain and thunder storms on our first and second day, the remaining days were lovely and warm - about 25-28 degrees so perfect for us. I wouldn't go back to Zante as have seen it all now, but would like to find the same quality villas elsewhere for next year - BUT with a comfy bed....

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank sjfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Aresti Villas

Address: Agios Dimitrios 29100, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Zakynthos > Agios Dimitrios
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Agios Dimitrios
Price Range: $316 - $316 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Aresti Villas Hotel Agios Dimitrios
Aresti Villas Agios Dimitrios, Zakynthos

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