55 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Gorgeous place, shocking accomodation / staff
"Well , i booked this holiday with romance in mind...i thought i'd treat my girlfriend to a nice week away in the zafiris complex... i was sold by first choices photos and some of the reviews on here...
im a working class 27 year, not someone who is used to luxury. i saved up the Â£850 for us both and booked the holiday....
On arrival the staff greeted us and took our cases to our room....i was led in to my room.. upon entering my room i instantly became depressed.... the kitchen and bathroom was infested with ants..not the token few you would expect, but a whole colony! the sink was black with them... then i looked at my view... i had a great view of the reception area :-(...
i inspected the room..... Mould patches on the ceilings, wooden furniture falling apart, dust all over...then i entered the bathroom,,,,, the shower was thick with limescale.. the head it self was rusted up and black. the shower curtain was rotten, the hangers were rusty... the water outlet was partially blocked so the bathroom flooded when you showered... the standard was absolutely shocking. I was so upset and embarrassed that i had wasted nearly a grand on a room that would be condemned in a salvation army hostel!.
i went to complain.. the receptionist was an english lady in her 50s, long blonde hair and a southern accent.. she was very very rude and unprofessional. After many debates She would not move my room.. i endured the festering pit for 7 days.... A maid was sent in to obliterate the ants by using a spray can.. she sprayed it so much i was gassed out and had to leave for the night!
the complex itself is very good , friendly staff, nice pool... just a short walk away is the canal d'armour.. thats where i spent my week sunbathing.. it was gorgeous.. awesome coves, bottle testing cliff jumping, sea canoes etc..
Sidari itself is nice, plenty of bars , very polite barmen and waiters ( not sleezy like turks).. food was very very good in Sidari.. Dont bother going on the excursion to Corfu for shopping.. its crap ..
heat/weather: very hot 33'c most days... I have served inRAF based in middle East the desert has a much hotter climate, but i have never burnt like i did in Corfu, the air is clean so the uv doesnt get filtered out..be very careful.. even if your a hardcore sunbed user/sun god, make sure you use at least factor 10.. i was caught out for the first time in my life and burnt my legs... Im dark haired and olive skinned!
last day was washed out with thunder and lightening :-(
Area: its gorgeous, beaches are nice , nice coves, very friendly people, very nice food...
I would recommend zafiris to other holiday users, but would strongly advise to call direct and state you have walking difficulties/injury and require an apartment near the pool and one that overlooks the sea.... if you are led to the block opposite reception, be prepared to sulk,,,..sulk even more if you get allocated the blocks at the bottom of the hill.
i'll try upload pics of my shoddy room.... just to reiterate.. im not a stuck up git, im an ordinary person who wanted to take my partner on a romantic hol..... the room ruined my perceptions initially but this was countered by the sheer beauty etc of the area and cleanliness of the pool.
i have plenty of pics of the shoddyness of my room...feel free to get in touch if you want more!"
- Travel date: Sun 9th of August 2009
Good location within Sidari, nice pool, great restaurant, basic rooms
"What struck us straight away upon arrival at the Zafiris hotel was the friendliness of the staff. We had help taking our luggage to our rooms and throughout our stay were made to feel very welcome. It's always nice to be greeted by name and asked how you are enjoying your holiday by staff members. Having waiter service so you don't have to leave your sunbed to get a drink was also a bonus!
The studio apartment we stayed in was basic and the shower though hot and powerful was a complete pain as try as you might the shower curtain just didn't stop the bathroom floor from flooding during every shower. We decided not to really make use of the self catering facilities as there was little surface space and the equipment was very basic and the apartment although fine for sleeping wasn't really nice enough to want to spend much time in.
The pool area was attractive and the views from the pool and restaurant were lovely. As was the little cove just down a few steps from the hotel. The beaches in Sidari weren't great although swimming in the cove in canal d'amour was a pleasure.
One thing Zafriris had going for it is that it is a little bit further out from the main street that runs through Sidari which we found to be pretty stressful especially in the evening when all the restaurants try to drag you in to eat. Sidari itself wasn't the greatest place - too British and there were better beaches elsewhere. We also had a lot of decidely average over priced meals and even some pretty bad meals even in the more traditional greek tavernas (a meal we had at the three little pigs was the worst meal we had all holiday). The big exception to this was a place a bit out of the centre called the Sailor which I highly recommend.
We did quite a lot of trips from Sidari to other parts of Corfu and would definitely go back to the island as it's stunning but wouldn't return to Sidari as there were much nicer places to stay on both the west and east coasts.
So in conclusion although basic I would stay in the Zafiris hotel again but only if it upped and moved to another part of Corfu. If you're reading this and have already booked a holiday in Sidari don't panic we still had a fantastic holiday and I'm sure you will too!"
- Travel date: Wed 27th of May 2009
Lovely hotel, lovely location - great holiday
"I stayed here with my wife in 2007 and really enjoyed the stay.
The appartments have a wonderful view across the bay and are in a good location in easy walking distance to the main strip.
You will not be disappointed with your stay here - I just wish I could have found a really traditional greek restauarnt and not just chips everywhere!!
- Travel date: Thu 21st of May 2009
Exellent place, cant wait to go back!
"Corfu Sidari Zafiris Apartments....
The best place I have ever been to on holiday!
Cant wait to go BACK!!!!
If you have young kids about aged 7 - 12 its fit for them!
Its very Child friendly and there is many swimming pool's and water slides ect...
If your looking for the dream holiday then its HERE!!
Clean rooms, great service, exellent restrurant's and cafe's, Exellent clean swimming pool's, kids entertainment brilliant ect...
Would ALWAYS go back!!
Atleast next year!!"
- Travel date: Fri 10th of April 2009
Not brilliant but cannot fault the value for money
"Booked a late deal throught First Choice and this was good value for money. The accomodation was spacious, although in need of a bit of an update. Rooms were clean and room services were ok. Self catering facilities were bare minimum with a fridge, 2 electric hob rings, a microwave, a kettle and a toaster. Other than the fridge, there was just one plug socket beween each of the latter and that was dangerously close to the sink. The pool area was nice although the water fountain near the bar area had been let go, green stagnant water. The canal d'amor area was without doubt the nicest part of Sidari, some very pretty scenery indeed. The main Sidari beach was dissapointing, very dirty and not maintained at all. Two streams of luminous green stagnant water trickled across the beach, not nice to try and jump over in bare feet or flip flops. The general upkeep of Sidari in general is disgusting. Litter absolutely everywhere and a complete disregard from local businesses to keep the place tidy and clean. I fear that this lack of cleanliness will ultimately cost Sidari as people will not return to the filth. Generally, the people are reasonaly friendly as you would expect, the Greeks more so than the Brits. There is an interesting array of entertainment each night on the main strip, from tribute acts to comedy, to transvestite shows and quiz nights. Seriously tacky stuff, but enough for a giggle. Food and drinks are relatively cheap, I had been told that prices had gone up recently but I found them ok and prob a bit cheaper than UK. Not much in the way of traditional Greek tavernas although you can find them if you look hard enough. Unfortunately, the Greek specialities are often not fresh, and this was a big let down although to be fair, it was the last week of the season we were there. I'd advise not to book trips with First choice as you can get much better value from travel organisers in the town. We paid double what we needed to pay for a beach BBQ boat trip, although we did enjoy it. Days were warm about 75-80 degrees, nights were bitterly cold and a coat would be recommended. I don't think we'll be going back to Sidari, this is a very British resort catering for Brits with every bar serving a full english breakfast, that coupled with the dirtiness of the place has put me and my wife off returning. We will return to Greek isles but maybe our own mistake to select Sidari, great for some but not for us. Despite my negativity, you get what you pay for and this break was cheap as chips, and we did enjoy our stay in a wierd kind of way. Zafiris wasn't bad accomodation for the money so thats a good point."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of December 2008
Excellant Family Value
"We booked fairly last minute, and did have some concerns regarding Sidari. We needn't have worried, we were met by Zafiris after just 1 hours transfer time. Zafiris showed us to our apartment and helped with our luggage and little girl in her pram. We were in the 1 block not situated near the pool, but it was only a couple of minutes walk to the pool area and restaurant. We had a 2 bed apartment, which was of a good standard with balcony. The Complex offered free saftey deposit boxes, room service at no extra charge, and a small soft play/adventure area in the resorts Saxaphone Bar, situated at the entrance to the site. The soft play was great on the odd day when we had a little rain, it could have done with a hoover, and a bit of tlc, but we were there towards the end of the season. The pool area was lovely, and the nearest cove only a couple of minutes walk, at the end of the gardens. The restaurant was a lovely place, and the food of excellant quality, if slightly more expensive than the the huge selection of restuarants on "the strip" about a 10 minutes walk away. We did not like the main Sidari beach, but already knew this from a previous visit to Corfu, this said the little coves near our accomadation were charming. We hired a car from Dimitri and Manos, near the 3 little Pigs Restaurant, which was good value, and explored the coast, Roda, Acharavi, and Kassiopi one day, stopping to swim in the clear watered pebble coves. The second day we drove to Aqualand, near Corfu town, which was a great day out with lots of slides to choose from, we ate later at a restuarant in Corfu town, expensive, small portions but tasty, at the Liston, the place to be!!!!!!! Turn right out of the complex and the first travel agent, NSK was a good place to hire a motor boat, we were collected and driven to San Georgias to collect the boat for the day, we headed towards Paleokasritsa and beyond, a great family day out, nice boat from a family run business.
All in all we had agreat time and must say that the pictures on the first choice website do not in our opinon do the complex justice."
- Travel date: Fri 10th of October 2008
Old and Tired
"My wife and I stayed at the Zafiris Apartment complex during September 2008 as a last minute booking via our local travel agent. We chose the location based upon the reviews here on TripAdvisor - all were very positive : a little too positive we feel...
On the plus side, the location of the apartments, we felt, were in the nicer part of Sidari (the Canal d'amour area) - with it's quieter pace of life during the day and nicer restaurants during the evening. It's costal path (originating within the apartments and meandering through all of the coves leading to the main beach area) provided a great alternative to repeatedly walking down to the main part of town via the 'main road' (term used very loosely!).
As mentioned on tripadvisor and in other locations on the web - much is made of the staff and the way they make you feel during your stay at the Zafiris. The staff are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as an actual 'family' who are there to assist / serve / share a joke etc etc - and this gives the place a real, genuine warmth. They all work in all areas of the site ( restaurant, reception, bar, pool area) from early morning until late at night - and seeing the same faces there to help and serve in the different areas as you move through the day - really breeds familiarity and comfort. They have this spot on we believe.
Unfortunately, the actual apartments and their grounds etc can, at best, be desribed as 'old and tired'. Starting with our room....
We stayed in one of the blocks set approximately 150m down a small hill road from the main pool and apartments - quite literally visibly separated and stylishly different (one other guest asked us which apartments we were staying in as we left our door one morning - yet it was the same complex). We're reasonably fit so the walk up and down was no issue for us - but it made it hard to 'pop back to the room' if you needed the loo and didn't want to use the filthy WC's by the pool.
This is not to say that our room's cleanliness was much better... our bathroom was very very dirty indeed. The shower heads were all caked with thick limescale and all of the jets were blocked with RUST. We took one look and said - 'nope' - we didn't want to contract Legionnaire's Disease!. Our saving grace was the small 'foot shower' attachment which seemed to have been recently replaced so we used that when requiring a shower (which required us to crouch!). The shower tray was filthy also, and the bottom 10 inches of shower curtain were darkly stained with what looked like faded engine oil - really terrible.
As it was self-catering, the kitchen equipment was also very poor - with a decidedly dodgy looking two ring table top hob, a kettle and a cheap-as-you-like microwave. The pots, pans, cutlery and crockery all smelt 'musty' even after a good scrub - we decided that we'd eat out and not use any of it.
The beds weren't comfortable at all - and had no 'double' apart from two seperately made singles pushed together - not great consdering the rampant mosquito attack metered out every evening meaning you had to stay 'under your covers' - which was hardly romantic and also very hot! Our telephone didn't work, and the 'Satellite' Channels on the TV consisted of BBC World (just reminds you of the business trips you were on holiday from) and BBC Prime.... so no 'night in, in front of the TV' if you so wished either!
The area around the pool was 'Old and Tired' as this review is titled... the lovely polished decking you see on the Zafiris website is now old, bleached, cracked and in some places broken with rusty screwheads poking though (my foot went through one section). Wooden 'table' chairs were also split with some completely falling apart (there were broken chairs lying around the whole pool area) . The pool table was rusted up and looked like a 101 desperate birds had 'used' it (although it wasn't ripped to be fair!) - making it rather an eyesore - and the decorative 'fountain' was not working resulting in very green / brown looking pools of stagnant water (lovely place for mosquito bites whilst taking photo's of the little beach below!).
The swimming pool is very deep at 2.4m so youngsters / those who don't want to swim or tread water all the time are relegated to a tiny part of the pool were it drops below 1.7m (although the pool was dirty whilst we were there so you couldn't actually see the bottom). Sunbeds are plentiful and, refreshingly, guests are prohibited from 'reserving' them with towels (didn't stop one family from doing it before waltzing off into town for the morning though!) - meaning you can always grab a place to lie down.
There was a tremendous series of thuderstorms which greeted our arrival and, although these were quite fun, did mean that our apartment was flooded (although with no more than surface water) a total of FIVE times - with rain coming through both the windows (and over the kitchen worktops) and under the door. Now we realise that nobody can predict or control the weather, but after the fifth return 'home' to find it soaking wet we decided to ask to be moved. Apparently, 'all' rooms were like this so nothing can be done - we're quite philosophical about these things so we decided to stick it out... but for the rest of the holiday our room was damp, musty and VERY humid (especially as they removed the air conditioning controller a couple of days in).
Sidari itself, to us, was immensly 'tacky' : catering for Brits and (unusually) Brits alone. Pick your nearest UK seaside town on a Bank Holiday - remove all but the bars, takeaways and restuarants and you pretty much have it. - Oh, except each needs to advertise how much more 'British' it is than the next with it's 'who can serve the biggest Full English Breakfast' / 'who can show the most English TV Soaps, Football and of course, the who has the largest amount of 'Brit-familiar lagers / ciders etc'. The more established bars, rather than relying entirely on Sky Sports ( ... and when there's no football, Sky Sports News), have, as their entertainment - 'acts', which as far as we can see consisted of...
Karaoke - great for families and the immensely drunk (although not if you're in the audience).... Elvis Impersonators : - 'The original Chinese Elvis' or 'Sidari's best Elvis' or 'The Real Elvis' : and any combination.... Rat Pack Tribute Acts : we counted three seperate ones (for pensioners?).. and finally : Hypnotists / Magicians / World of the Strange etc. - That was basically it - a strange combination but lots of versions of each one weirdly! - If this is the kind of thing that appeals to the majority demographic of Brtain today then I'm shocked.
The Beach is narrow and really quite filthy which was strewn with rubbish and broken sunbeds, sandwich boards and a fairly strong whiff of sewage drifting down rivulets of 'brown water' coming from the beachside restaurants. I wouldn't take my shoes off let alone lie on it....
Anyhow, as mentioned before, we're quite philosphical and understand that you 'get what you pay for' - and for what we paid - which was quite considerably lower due to it being a late deal - we think it only just met with our expectations. Sidari is cheap and tacky - but it's very honest about that I think - it knows what it is, and that's something you can't hold against it : just don't be expecting a golden sandy beach and a relaxing peaceful sunbathe - remember this is Union Jack Shorts, Lager and Tattoo territory!
If you don't mind that, you'll probably have a ball..."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of September 2008
"Went to Zafiris in May 2008 with husband, daughter and friend, everyone was very friendly, could not do enough for you. Rooms were clean, maid service and reception excellent. What more can we say.
We have already booked to go again in September and our mum and dad have also booked.
Daughter aged four, absolutely loved it and is already calling it her second home. Thank you to Tom, all bar staff and of course the ever friendly Barbie aka Dawn."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of August 2008
A little gem but not without it's downsides
"Just returned from a week at the Zafiris and had a great time! The complex is situated in the Canal D'Amour area of Sidari amoungst the cliffs and pretty coves. It's about a 15 mins walk to the main street. We were picked up at the bottom of the complex by mini bus which was lovely as the weather was scorching and we were all tired and we were quickly shown to our room with no fuss whatsoever. Dawn who greeted us was very welcoming and made us feel right at home.
Here's the main gripe with the holiday....I was disappointed with the room. We are a family of 4 and the accommodation was way too small. The accomodation is over 2 floors connected by a narrow sprial-type tiled staircase that (in my opinion) is quite dangerous for little ones. The living area downstairs is about 10 foot wide and with two beds made up in there and the furniture you couldn't swing a cat. It was very cramped and the balcony just had enough space for 4 chairs and a table but no room for moving around. The bedroom upstairs was better but very stuffy and we found it unfomfortable to sleep. The air con was not the best and rattled all night - adding to the uncomfortable nights.
Despite what I've said above we did like the complex and the pool area was great with sea views and it was the warmest pool i've ever swam in!!!!. The staff were very attentive and you could tell they genuinley wanted you to enjoy your stay. The food at the pool par was tasty and fairly cheap but we didn't eat at their cliff top restaurant and wish I had as the views looked great!
There was a daily maid service which was great for apartments and the complex has it's own bar down at the main entrance called the Sax Bar. This is very popular with the guests and the staff once again work hard here to make sure everyone has a good time. There is nightly entertainment like bingo, karaoke, quizzes, singers etc. The hotel also puts on a greek night round the pool and a pool party and BBQ where you can swim until the early hours of the morning!
There is a lovely coastal walk from Zafiris to the main beach which takes in the stunning views and takes about 20 mins. Take your camera especially at sunset - it's breathtaking.
Sidari in general is a lovely pretty resort perfect for families. I think the 18-30 crowd would be bored but they are all probably in Kavos anyway. There is a great selection of bars which seems to all have some type of entertainment to entice you in and many of the restaurants opened up onto the beach where the views were great.
If you are thinking about booking these apartments dont hestitate but do bear in mind the size of the one bed apartments - especially if you are a family of four."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of July 2008
Can't Wait To Go Back!
"Well where do I start. If you are thinking of staying in these apartments, think no more I can answer for you, Book it! You will not regret it.
The transfer from the airport is about an hour. On arival at the entrance to the complex we were met by the owner Kostas and his son Zafiris. Little did we know we were about to have one of the best holidays ever.
The holiday can only be booked through First Choice and is therefore a British complex. You do get the occasional foreigner visiting the complex maybe to use the pool or onsite restaurants but they go pretty much unnoticed.
The comlex is situated about a 5 minute walk from the main strip in Sidari, where you will find a number of bars, restaurants and shops. There are a few smaller restaurants shops and bars in the Canal D'Amor area just a stones throw away from the complex entrance. The beach is a 2 minute walk and stretches all the way round to the main Sidari Beach or you have the Canal D'Amor cove which can be reached by steps near the pool, however you will be charged for the sunbeds on this beach..
We were staying in a one bedroom apartment. The apartments were basic but very spacious and clean. All come with a fridge, 2 cooking rings, microwave, kettle and toaster. There are 2 types one bed apartments, one has just one floor (ground floor apartments) and the second floor aprtments have an upstairs. Studios are adequate. Cleaners come to the rooms every day except sundays to empty the bins and change towels where needed, which I found very unusual for a self catering property, but was very impressed.
The pool area is a very large area, and there is never a problem finding a sunbed, this is whether you go down to the pool at 9am or 3pm. It is also where you will find the Kahlua Pool bar and Restaurant and many of the amazingly friendly staff, Zafiris, Tom, David, Nicky, Dimitrios x 2, who will wait on you hand and foot all day. Snacks are served all throughout the day, chips, sandwiches, toasties, baguettes, you name it they had it.
As well as the Kahlua Restaurant there is also the Waterfalls Restaurant situated at the cliff top overlooking the Canal D'Amor, the views of the sunset from here are beautiful and well worth a look. We ate in the complex most nights as the food was superb and could not be faulted. We ate outside in Sidari a few times but found that the quality of the food was nothing compared to that of the Zafiris. The menu had a bit of everything, ranging from traditional Greek food to more international dishes.
On an evening you can head down to the Saxaphone bar. There is an entertainment programe usually starting around 10pm. This consists of Bingo, a Hypnotist, a Live singer, quiz night etc. You will also get to hear DJ Nicky spinning his tracks on the decks.
Speaking to other guests while we were away, many return year after year. We are already planning our next stay at the Zafiris Apartments. If you have any questions I will be more then happy to answer them for you."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of June 2008
The best family holiday ever
"Having left my wife to book the whole holiday i was expecting the worst !!
However this was by far the best holiday we have had and we have been all over the world.Thinking we would have a budget holiday we booked with average expectations,but we got the holiday of a lifetime mainly due to the superb staff at the Zafaris, from the minute we got there which was 4am in the morning we where greeted with a big warm smile and some fresh cold water by Alan who drove us up the short hill to our apartment.
The apartment was clean and modern.Everyday the bed linen was changed and the apartment cleaned,supplied with the basic cooking implements,microwave grill toaster and kettle.
The one thing which was way above everything else we experienced was the hospitality of the staff,especially Niko and Angela who waited hand and foot on us everyday by the pool..these guys work from 9am till 6pm 7 days a week,not once did they complain or look fed up.They looked after us and our our 3 girls every single day,serving good food and refreshing drinks.they talked to us everyday and showed genuine interest in ourselves and the girls.Kids club was also brilliant a couple of hours each day providing good educational entertainment,leaving me and the wife to do grown up things..wink wink!
The zafaris is situated right on top of the canal demour,with lovely sunsets every evening.The beach is 50meters away, so one day beach the next pool..fantastic.You must try the swim through the cave awesome!!
Next year is all inclusive which is a great idea as we spent far more than we had budgeted for, as usual.So see you next year..forget the star rating because this is 5 star plus.
see you next year...Yamass!"
- Travel date: Tue 13th of September 2011
"Spent last week at the Zifaris with my partner, two sons aged 10 and 5 and my partner's elderly parents. It was a terrific location overlooking the Sea. The staff were great and looked after us well. The apartments were ok and regularly cleaned. No bother with insects,a few ants but if you use plug ins, citrus candles and regularly clean all sticky mess and food up then no problem
Food in surrounding Tavernas was more hit than miss and reasonably priced. And local beer and wine is also ok.
Back to Zafiris. It is great for young kids but Grandma and Grandpa thought it was a brilliant holiday to! Would recommend it and Corfu as a wonderful holiday for the family."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of June 2011