29 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"it was our first time in zante we went to the venus hotel in kalamaki.staff and accomadation was first class . i would reccomend evening meals in hotel going back next year "
- Travel date: Sun 1st of November 2009
Venus Hotel, Kalamaki
"Just returned from our 6th visit to this wonderful hotel. As with all other visits the hotel did not disappoint. All the staff at this hotel do a wonderful job and are a great credit to Nick and his family.
We booked direct with Nick and it is effortless from first email through to payment. We booked a triple room which is kept spotless. Breakfast is good with lots of choice. The snack bar is reasonably priced and the food is delicious.
The hotel bar is where most people start and finish their evening which leads to lots of friendships being made. The cocktails are great, made with great care by Donna & Spiro, who should be on stage as a double act!!
I would certainly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Kalamaki."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of September 2009
Honest review- MUST READ
I cannot fault the service we received from the hotel staff, the only place we've experienced great service in terms of a holiday. Everyone was so lovely and helpful and do believe what you read because 'they really canât do enough for you'. The staff in the restaurants along the main strip are very nice and again I cannot fault anyone.
The room was very dark on arrival and I was quite disappointed because it was not very clean. Despite knowing how basic the rooms would be; I still didnât quite expect it to be like that but this issue was resolved by the hotel without any fuss whatsoever. Although we were on a bed & breakfast basis it is still pretty much self catering so on those terms we both thought it would have been ideal to have cutlery in the rooms etc. The only items available were: kettle, 2 glasses, 2 cups, a spoon and a fridge (which you have to pay something like Â£55 Euros for 2 weeks) so thereâs not even a toaster to say the least. For reference the air con will cost you approx 90euros for 2 weeks thatâs if you havenât booked through the hotel direct. Average room overall, more than happy though.
The best location, plenty of supermarkets to hand, restaurants, bars and even the beach. Mini golf is just around the corner also. Beach is quite rubbish personally but thatâs my own opinion, didnât like it much although the sea water is crystal clear but also very cold. The restrictions on the beach just ruined the point of going but you have to think about the turtles. If you love the beach than go to St Nicholas beach...the water is warm and itâs a lovely beach and they also do lots of water sports there if thatâs any interest to you but its a little taxi journey away.
Nice place to go if you want to walk along the harbour or want to do a bit of shopping, I enjoyed it and have got nice photos from it. 8 Euros for a taxi there. A few nice places to eat here also...soo so cheap.
I noticed when I looked at the reviews once I had booked this holiday nobody really mentioned excursions etc so Iâll give you as much info as I can. We booked our excursions with Thomson because it seemed the safe option, which in all honesty it was. Now, Thomson did not charge too much more than the stand alone companies along the strip (and believe me there are so many to choose from-huge competition out there). The reason we did choose Thomson was because they set out on the trips way before any of those other companies, for example the shipwreck island, we set out about 9am/10am in the morning....we managed to get to the shipwreck an hour earlier than all the other boats (yes, BOATS) which meant we had it all to ourselves etc, but donât forget to check the weather reports/updates before booking because weather determines everything.
Break down of the trips,
Shipwreck island- really nice place to visit but what you donât see in the thousands of images is that thereâs actually no sand on that island in actual fact its all stones, small and large pure white stones.....so bring decent footwear because it took me about 10 minutes to walk back to my towel from the sea =D seriously painful. Such a nice place and spot for amazing photos. Shame an hour is just not long enough, thatâs the down side. You spend more time travelling.
Turtle island- In my opinion, not worth a penny unless your idea of a great day out is sitting on a boat, all day. Sooo boring and time wasting. Good point, we saw 1 turtle, which is just luck if you do. Ignore the descriptions for this trip...really not worth it, we we're told we get to see the lighthouse-we didnât, we got told we'll have a BBQ on the beach- we didnât. We were served up food at St Nicholas beach in the snack bar which was far from a BBQ...cold chicken, rice and extra sugary drinks. This really is an honest review donât waste your money, we went back starving =(
WHAT THEY DONT TELL YOU-
All hotels are open to every and anyone so that means anybody can use the swimming pools, now this is great BUT when you do pay to be at the Venus hotel and you cannot get a sun lounger around the side of the pool this becomes a bit of an issue if people are using it for free. We did not go in peak season (we went in June â09) so I dread to think what August is like. There were other hotels to choose from when the Venus was full. I do not agree with the fact that most people at the hotel reserved sun loungers at around 8am and they were left until evening, thatâs ridiculous.
PLACES TO EAT/RESTUARANTS-
You have to visit the Italian restaurant opposite Denis supermarket (called Buon Amici), the food is so fresh itâs just amazing I wanted to go every nightâ¦donât be put off by the guy outsideâ¦heâs pushy but if I didnât give in I would never have discovered the food. If you want Greek cuisine which of course you would, visit Michaeloâs to find the best food and amazing service. Must visit the taverna right at the end of the strip also, called âVAKHOSâ we discovered this place on the last day (typical) but it was the best Greek food we had on the whole island and I wish we had known about it previously, visit this place first it really is a must, such lovely people that own it. If you visit Argassi you must go to âpeppermintâ lovely restaurant but always so busy that you have to wait for a table, worth it. Itâs located off the strip down a side road opposite the church. You must try the bakery on the main Kalamaki strip, 2 min walk from the hotel....best baklava on the whole island, the ones in the restaurants just arenât the same. If you want to try the best chocolate cake go to the time out bar just opposite Denis supermarket, we always went there for lunch because the guy was lovely and looked after us....cheap but very nice food (approx 15euros for both lunch time meals with drinks).
I would rate this holiday an 8/10 on the terms that it was extremely cheap as we usually go on long haul holidays, places which always tend to be much more luxurious. Kalamaki is a very enjoyable place to spend your holiday. Recommend you avoid breakfast if you can, boring by the end of the first week because itâs the same everyday. Just not worth an early morning start especially if you can save money from it for your own benefit.
Cheap food, cheap place to visit, the people/staff, the restaurants, the pool...list goes on.
Hope this review helps you decide on your holiday, I would agree that 90% of the reviews posted are honest and fairly accurate which is why we made our decision on this particular holiday/place.
- Travel date: Fri 31st of July 2009
All round nice holiday
"The Venus hotel had LOTS of "fantastic" reviews, and yes it is a lovely hotel and it is clean and the staff are pleasant but its no different to any other 3star hotels i have stayed at before.
The pool was nice, if a little cold in May!! Food was nice and reasonably priced at the hotel snack bar. There was always plenty of sunbeds, annoyingly though you have to pay a euro for each "sunbed mattress" that are quite clearly not new anymore!
The breakfast food and room were both very nice. Lots of food available and always being topped up.
The rooms in the hotel were very small and cramped and the balcony was also very small.
As a young(ish) couple i'd say we were a bit out of place here, the other people staying at the Venus were either older couples or families.
Wouldn't return for any special reason other than a cracking deal in price if there ever was one. Lots of hotels in Kalamaki appeared to be just as nice as the Venus.
Pleasent enough stay though.
Kalamaki is a nice resort, there are lots of hotels/apartments and lots of restaurants, bars and places to eat/drink.
The beach isn't spectacular. You are much better off walking the 2mile or so walk along the beach to Laganas where there are plenty more places to sunbathe, eat, drink, hire pedaloes and go on boat trips to see the turtles etc.
As Kalamaki is so close to the airport its actually quite a nice sight watching the planes land or take off.
We went to Kalamaki in May so the resort was VERY quiet, especially after 10pm. Most of the bars were almost empty except the most popular ones (eg. the cronulla, the rose and crown, the fire club and the iguana bar).
I would return, but only if i got a cheap deal!"
- Travel date: Wed 10th of June 2009
Kalamaki May 2009
"The Venus hotel is a fantastic place to stay. It is very clean and has a lovely pool area. There is a very good choice of food for breakfast and at the snack bar. The bar also serves a good range of drinks and cocktails. The staff are all very helpful and friendly and they seem to go out of their way to help you.
The hotel also offers some very good packages if you book direct."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of May 2009
The Venus Hotel was an absolutely superb...
"The Venus Hotel was an absolutely superb place to stay for our week in Kalamaki. All guests at the hotel were friendly with the majority having returned many times. Its like one big family. The staff were very accommodating with a fantastic customer service. There is nothing to fault on this hotel. We had such a great time; we have already booked up to go again next June and Im sure that will NOT be our last visit. I would definitely recommend this hotel to others. This is a 3* hotel but should categorically be 4*/5*"
- Travel date: Mon 21st of July 2008
The Venus Hotel was an absolutely superb...
"The Venus Hotel was an absolutely superb place to stay for our week in Kalamaki. All guests at the hotel were friendly with the majority having returned many times. Its like one big family. The staff was very accommodating with a fantastic customer service. There is nothing to fault on this hotel. We had such a great time; we have already booked up to go again next June and Im sure that will NOT be our last visit. I would definitely recommend this hotel to others. This is a 3* hotel but should categorically be 4*/5*"
- Travel date: Mon 14th of July 2008
WOW what can i say, from start to finish...
"WOW what can i say, from start to finish this holiday was outstanding, Thomas Cook are so efficiant, easy to deal with and helpful. The holiday was amazing and a lot of that is down to the staff and guests at the Venus Hotel. 3 of my mates and my self stayed in the hotel on a B & B basis, the quality and high standard is a cut above the rest.
There were so many guests there that have been going back to the hotel for years i can see why. THe staff are kind, polite and all speak English. It is 10mins from Laganas for those wishing to party and trust me its well worth it, the restaurants in Kalamaki are lovely, i personally found Kalamaki a little too quiet for my self but my pals loved it. We are looking to go back in September, this time we know what is what.
This resort is fit for any one, families, singles couples or even those who wish to travel alone, one of the best holidays i have ever had.
- Travel date: Sun 29th of June 2008
We have stayed at the Venus many times,...
"We have stayed at the Venus many times, sometimes booking direct and sometimes through a travel agent. If you join the 'Venus Club' you will get a discount on all your bar and snack bar bills, plus a generous discount on the cost of your accommodation if you book direct. The breakfast has got to be the best anywhere in Greece so don't take any notice of the other review saying that it was just tinned peaches and bread. A huge selection of cereals, yoghurt, honey, fruit, various breads and cakes, toast, jam or marmalade, boiled eggs, beans, cheese, ham, tomatoes, plus every day at least two or three choices of hot breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes 'eggy bread' etc). Also, this time, a choice of three different fruit juices and of course tea or coffee. It seems that every time we go, the breakfast menu is extended a bit more! The staff are lovely (and they stay year after year so you get to know them) the rooms are well kept as is the pool area. It is certainly the best Greek hotel we have ever stayed in."
- Travel date: Sat 24th of May 2008
More 5 star than 3!
"After reading about the hotel on this and the Zante web site, we booked direct. Fantastic value for money, a truely lovely clean hotel with very friendly service. Central to everything that Kalamaki has to offer. Certainly going back next year - and we NEVER go back to the same place twice! We have stayed in many 5 star hotels and they have never been as friendly and as welcoming as Nick and his team."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of October 2007
loved the place
"I have to say this was a super hotel. Well worth a visit and best to book direct with the hotel.
We book via the web site and had no problems nike comes to pick you up from the airport which is about 10 mins away so before you know it you are at your hotel.
The staff are all friendly from the owner to the cleaners they are like one big family.
The hotel is handy for the resort and beach of which we did both each day.
Breakfast was basic but enough for our needs and you could buy a full cooked breakfast if you wished.
Nothing no matter how small seemed to be a problem for the staff.
We had to problems while we were there and both were sorted
1 / we were not happy with our room as it was too noisey for us nick found us another room and we were moved by lunch time.
2/ Kettle didnt work in fresh room it was changed within the hour.
A big thanks to all the team there and hope to see them again."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of October 2007
A little jewel in the crown
"I always find reviews a tad worrying, merley because of their subjectivity. As Summer approached the Hotel Venus jumped up several places on this site in popularity and I couldn't help fearing that by the time we visited in late Aug/early Sep I'd be expecting too much. I'm very happy to report that this wasn't the case at all.
If you book direct with the website (and you really must) it works out considerably cheaper than booking through say Thomson and you get a fridge, air con (and God you need it) and safe as part of the package rather than paying for them as extras and, most importantly, it is so much cheaper anyway. You also get the lovely Nick (manager, his parents own the hotel) picking you up for the ten minute drive from the airport. Our flight was delayed 4 hours and he'd patiently been back three times to see if we'd arrived.
As a family of five, we'd hired a suite which comprised of two single beds and a large double bed settee (and still plenty of room) in the main area and a large double bed in the bedroom. (Yes- you did read correctly, a double not two twins pushed together and forced shut with a double sheet).
There is a sink with a kettle and cups etc outside the bathroom, a BATH (a rarity in Greece) with a good shower and shower curtain and sink and toilet. We also had constant hot water whatever time of day and night it was and you get clean towels every day. The suite has it's own private garden with outside shower and four sun beds.
The room was cleaned every day and the cleaner (bless her) managed to make our pit resemble a tidy hotel room without fail.
The pool is lovely with plenty of sunbeds to go around. A mattress can be hired for 1 euro per day. There are plenty of tables to sit and drink and eat in the shade also.
The snack bar has very very tasty snacks from omelettes, to souvlaki to waffles, to wraps to ...well ...whatever you feel like really and they're all very reasonably priced.
Donna and Danny who manage the bar are very very good at their jobs - there are a lot of repeat customers who have been 7,8,9 etc times but both of them never make you feel anything other than very welcome. Their daily changing cocktails are sensational and they can whip up non alcoholic or milk shakes for the kids too.
Donna was very friendly and a bar in UK should snap her up, they'd make a fortune!
Breakfast was good - not the full English liked by some people but it certainly suited us - Greek yoghurt and honey, cake, criossants, cornflakes, muesli, scrambled eggs, toast, fresh breads and jams, orange juice, peaches and tea and coffee.
The reception staff were wonderful - very friendly and helpful.
The piece de resistance though was Nick, a fantastic manager who couldn't help enough. He was very knowledgeable, made lots of sugestions and sorted out any problems instantly. He was never ever intrusive though which is always a good thing.
[--] is the website.
It is worth booking direct because also that way, anything at all that you purchase you will receive a 10% discount off, That's ANYTHING. Drinks, food, mattresses, pool table games, internet access etc. It's all charged to your room and you can have a printout of your costs whenever you want.
The hotel runs Greek nights, quizes, karaoke and show a lot of the major sports but you can either opt in or opt out, there's really no pressure either way.
Most of the customers return and I can now really see why. Eveyone was really friendly but not in that overbearing way you sometimes get on holiday. People leave magazines, books and the usual inflatable dolphins for others to enjoy when they're finished with them too.
Kalamaki has the usual bars with huge tv's in but it also has some wonderful Greek restaurants - Diaz, Paulos, Artemis and our favourite, Parthenon to name but a few of literally many.
We hired a car and would highly recommend the Blue Caves for a visit where we saw shoals of jumping fish, a seal and swam in the most crystal clear waters teeming with fish I have ever seen.
I hope this helps someone who is undecided about making their first foray into non package travel. Book here and you won't regret it and neither will your credit card cos the money is better in your pocket than some tour operators.
Flgihts can be booked easily on line. We flew through xl.com"
- Travel date: Sun 9th of September 2007