42 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great Hotel,Resort and Rep!
"Myself, friend and her mum stayed at the Contessina Hotel in Sept 2006 for 10 days and it wasnt long enough!, We arrived at round 2pm, it took around 35 mins from the airport to get the hotel. On arrival at the hotel we were served a glass of orange and was told about the facilities the hotel has to offer we were then given our room keys we booked for a basic room (2 single beds and a put you up bed, wardrobe and bathroom) the room, although basic was very clean and over looked the pool, the surrounding gardens and pool were kept emaculate by Ronnie (I think he was the gardener, pool cleaner and night porter of the hotel!). the Hotel is a 2 min walk to the (sandy!) beach which is one of the cleanest I have ever seen, the sea was clear blue (except for some seaweed but that cant always be helped and if you walked up the beach a bit further there was none) and so shallow, you would walk into the sea and it would come up to your waist but if you kept walking it would soon be up to your knees! excellent for those who want to teach there little ones how to swim, the beds and umberellas are 3 euros (we obviously had to get 3 beds and an umberella which was only 9 euros!). The bar to go to on the beach is Freddies Beach Bar, they do the best toasties! (it the second bar you come to when you first get on the beach). The barman at the hotel (Nikos) gives big measures of spirts so becareful when ordering you vodka and cokes! if you like a hot drink before bed ask Nikos to make you a hot LuMumba (hot chocolate with a very large shot of Metaxa- Greek Brandy). The rep at the Hotel- Andy was lovely, he was there everyday at the times it states on the board (sometimes earlier) he always had a smile on his face and never tried to fob you off if you did have a problem- which I can tell you was few and far between! if you book on any of the excursions make sure it is the Saturday night Live on Sunday (its around 39 euros), all the Thomson reps get together and make fools of themselves although the finale is one of the best, you get a meal and free red and white whine at the table then you walk across the road to the show, be warned though the prices for drinks are very high- for 3 malibu and lemonades is was 15 euros! my advice is to get some cans of Mythos (lager- its 3 euros a can). If you want a nice cheapish meal go to Maina's when you come out fo the hotel turn left and it is on the left corner, a gorgeous cocktail and a brilliant sing along go to the Two Brothers bar and for a good steak and chips head to Manos Grill. When you come out of the hotel turn left and follow the road right up the road it looks like the strip stops but if you walk for about 5 mins you will come to more bars, shops and resturants, if you do walk all of the way up go to Popeye's and try the Cattleman's Grill.
The airport coming home was a bit of a nightmare, they have you queuing up outside under canopy's for around 30-45 mins (this could be longer in high season) so take a bottle of water with you, you then have to queue in the airport to have you suite case scanned, they have about 3 of the machines and at the time we were flying there was anotheranother 5 flights so you can see there could be a lot of waiting around, you then have to queue for you boarding tickets again there were only 3 desk for this, then came security control which has 2 scanners and metal detectors, you then get into the departures 'lounge', one thing I should mention at this point is make sure you take your own food, i went to the only cafe there and bought 2 sandwiches and 2 packets of crips and it cost nearly 16 euros! there are round 75 seats in the lounge so alot of poeple end up sitting on the floor, there are 2 gates currently at Zakynthos airport but to be fair they are in the middle of a massive extention of the departure lounge so hopefully it should be close to completion for the new season.
This has been the bestlocation and hotel in Tsvili by far and i will be going back to this hotel and stay for 2 weeks!"
- Travel date: Fri 29th of September 2006
Lovely stay in the Contessina
"Stayed at the Contesina for one week . Came back last monday 18th . The hotel was very pretty and extemely clean. As other reviews have said, the rooms were quite basic, but lovely and clean with nice balconies. The pool again was spotless with plenty of sunbeds before 10 am. Also the staff were very nice and helpful. Breakfast was very basic, andt ypically continental, but saying that there was enough choice for everyone to find something they liked - unless you are extremely fussy!!!!! There are loads of restaurants around the area, and we had very nice meals in all of them. Mano's was one of my favourite, as was the Olive Garden, which was about 10-15 minutes walk away. Also, another nice restaurant, but I can't remember the name, - had a model motorbike in the middle of the table and chairs. One restautant to be avoided, or at least in my opinion, was the Green Boat, which is on the road to Zakynthos town. It was recommended to us by someone in the hotel, but was full of locals, and I think they would have preferred to keep it that way.
My friend and I bought the red snapper - 45euros a kilo, and nearly had a fit when the bill came and we were charged 54 euros for two fish. To add insult to injury, we didn't even get any chips, baked potatoes or salad with it, which all the other restaurants do as a matter of course! My biggest regret is not bringing the fish bones home to put in a frame. It would have made a great conversation piece.............All in all we had a brilliant holiday, made all the better by hiring a car for the week.Zakynthos is a very pretty island, and I would definately go back again.
p.s. You must try the Balkony restaurant - on the way into Zakynthos town, and another restaurant we liked had a windmill outside - can't remember the name. One last tip -take some earplugs, and then the cockrel can crow to his hearts content!"
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of September 2006
Loved the Contessina
"We stayed for two weeks ending July 13th and found the hotel comfortable, clean and friendly. The staff could not do enough for you and their English was very good. The rooms are clean if basic and be aware if travelling with Thomas Cook you pay 6 euros per night for air conditioning, we had 2 rooms for teenage kids so can get expensive, but it is necessary.The pool is great and very clean, we had no problems getting sunbeds as long as you are by the pool before 10am.Breakfast was ok if not inspiring but there is plenty of choice nearby if you want a change (sunset bar next door has a full English for 5euros about Â£3.50 which would feed 2). The cockerel did crow most mornings although towards the end we thought someone must have "shot him" as he was absent. We ate in a different restaurant almost every night and did not have a bad experience anywhere. The beach is narrow but long and no shortage of sunbeds for hire there. The tour operators excursions are expensive compared with the local travel companies which appear to be affiliated to the Zante tourist board so shop around. (the reps told us they were uninsured and you would end up with non English speakers and at timeshare sales pitches, this couldn't have been further from the truth) All the trips we booked (4), not through the rep, were great and in three cases got a lot more than the reps were offering for a lot less.I would say treat their comments with caution and do your own research ( i understand timeshare is almost unknown in Zante so don't be scared to talk to the travel companies). We wll definitely go back and would use the same hotel. The reception staff in particular are friendly and helpful especially with the teenagers.
There was little entertainment in the hotel because of the world cup and it did not appear to be more frequent at other times of the year so this is probably not for those who want club 18/30 type holidays but there are many bars and one night club within easy reach if that is what you want.The bar closed at 1am and we had 2 rooms directly above it and had no noise issues.
The locals are very friendly and although you wil be aproached to eat and drink in their restaurants and bars they do not hassle you if you say no (unlike Spain).
The airport is a nightmare with too few seats and up to 90 mins to check in but it is still worth it. One thing to note is all the cash machines are at the other end of the resort about 15 mins minimum walk or 5 euros in a taxi.
All in all a great holiday."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of July 2006
Great Base for Beach, Bars and Restaurants
"We arrived on 29th June for 1 week stay at the Hotel Contessina. Upon arrival the Thomas Cook rep left us in the hands of the Contessina Receptionist who fully explained the hotel facilities, rooms and additional extras we could purhase. We decided to purchase a safe, air conditioning and a fridge which came to a total of 95 Euros - thats before we even hit our rooms. The air conditioning was a savour as it was very hot and I dread to think how we would have coped without it. The safe again was a must to store our passports, money etc. However the fridge was a let down. Over the week the temperature in the fridge just didn't get any cooler - yes we played with the control and ensured it was plugged in correctly. Upon talking to others around the hotel it seemed to be a common theme that the fridges were useless. Save yourselves 42 euros per week and not get a fridge. The air conditioning keeps the room cool enough for water etc.
We were allocated room 612 which was at the back of the hotel facing the waste land rather than the pool. A quiet room it seemed until we were awoken each morning at 5am by the cockeral that was housed in the waste land next to us. Nothing to do with the hotel but something to alert you to. It would have been a great alarm clock had you needed it. The cockeral belted out its cry until 11am when evenutally it got fed up and stopped.
Rooms were very clean and more than big enough for myself and partner. The maids were great at cleaning and replacing towels and sheets.
The pool area is lovely and well kept. We were advised by our Rep on the first day that the pool had plenty loungers to go round and that the hotel did not tolerate people putting towels down early morning to secure sunbeds. Excellent....or so we thought. 4 out of 6 days we could not get a seat around the pool. Not only were people reserving them early bells but people from outside the hotel were using the pool and all the sunbeds. On one occasion a group of 8 outsiders came round the pool and used sunbeds, this was the eqivalent of 4 hotel rooms using them. My advice would be to get up early and secure your sunbed.
The beach was great and only a short walk away. Very shallow for those with children.
The hotel was mixed ages, mianly couples I would say ranging from early 20s to 50s. Not many families but those that were the children were less than 5 yrs. (We are both 32)
Location of the hotel was fab for the restaurants and bars. A few steps away and you hit the first of many eating places. We choose a different one each of the 7 nights and found only one that we disliked - Dionysis I think it was called. Its a Greek tavern set slightly back off the main street towards the beach. Service wasn't great and the food was certainly not the best. Don't go.
Our favourite place was Zeus, again a Greek Tavern. Excellent food, wine and service. Would recommend this place. The good thing about this restaurant was that it was elevated above the main road which allowed you to catch a lovely breeze as you ate...and of course you were able to view people passing by as you ate without them being able to stare at you and your food.
We drunk in a few bars. Due to the world cup and most bars showing the games it was hard to imagine what the entertainment would be like for each night had it not been for the games. All drinks seemed to be priced at 4 euros regardless of what the alcohol was.
Overall, the hotel and resort was great for us. We would recommend this to couples of all ages."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of July 2006
NOT SO PEACEFUL AT CONTESSINA
"Me and my boyfriend just got back (05/06/06) from a lovely weeks holiday in Tsivili which is a lovely peaceful village perfect for relaxing. We stayed at the Contessina Hotel and must admit were a little dissapointed with it considering Thomas Cook mark it as "Marque of Excellence". The room was very basic but very clean and the maids clean and make the beds every day leaving fresh towels - this was all great!! The location of the room (302) was the problem we were overlooking the outside seating area for the bar and although nobody ever sat there the music was played until after midnight we were also above the cellar and could hear crashing and banging until after 2am they also clean the paths and water the plants etc at this time aswell - neighbouring rooms also complained about noise levels late at night. The breakfast was also dissapointing not much choice and ques for everything which i presume will be worse in season. There was a good age range (we are 26), young couples, older couples and families and the pool is lovely and spacious. Zante is a beautiful island and it is well worth hiring a convertible jeep and touring the island (you can do it all in a day) there is somebreathtaking sights you dont see from boats and its much cheaper than doing all the tours. The airport homebound is a complete nightmare ques for check in well over an hour not enough seats in departure toilets are worse i've ever seen and really expensive so take your own food and drink as sitting around the floor can be very boring and long. HAPPY HOLIDAY."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of June 2006
fantastic stay. must read
"Me and my fiancee stayed at the hotel contessina from 19 may 2006 for just a week, this was our first time at the hotel and the island.
on arrival to the hotel you enter a clean, spacious area in which we were given a complimentary juice drink, with great receptionists which were freindly, approachable and helpful all throughout the stay.
our room was very basic (as all greek accomadation) but very well maintained, however there are no double beds unless you specify it is a honeymoon or aniversary, but this is not always guarenteed. we had cleaners in our rooms everyday cleaning the floors and making our beds in which we recieved clean towels twice a week.
the only area of the hotel we found to be slightly dissapointing was the breakfast. this was only becasue the choices available were limited and the milk was a bit warm.
we definetly recommend this hotel and the resort itself as we found almost everything about it to be exactly what we wanted.
we spent most of our holiday beside the pool as we thought this was fantastic, the pool was spacious and clean. also in regards to a previous post in which a young couple complained about older people moaning (we are only 20 and 21 ourselves) we found this hotel very mixed in ages as there were older, families and younger couples staying here. we had no problems with any people although you can imaging some of the younger kids are excited around the pool. one point is that we did go just before the peak season kicked in so there would obviously be less tourists in the resort.
the location of the hotel in tsilivi is spot on, with a less than 5 minute walk to the beautiful, sandy beach with shallow waters (great for kids) to the right of the hotel entrance. to the left is the main steet full of fantastic resturants (especially Dionysos) bars and tourist shops.
if your looking for a traditional greek place to stay, this may not be the ideal area but it has many greek resturants and bars with a feeling of the greek way of life.
if anybody has any queries please feel free to e-mail me. [email protected]"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of May 2006
Take your Factor 25!
"We stayed here in early August 2005 and found the hotel to be very well looked after. The pool area was beautiful and having read a previous review where the writer was complaining about old fogies, it must have been the fortnight they were there, that all old fogies went. We are early 50s so may be old fogies in their eyes, but there were a lot of children and teenagers there when we were. I disagree about the pool size, I felt it was exactly the right size and when illuminated at night was breathtaking. My only complaint about it it is that it is open to the public, and by the time we wanted to use it (10am) the usual trick of sticking your towels on it and then going out for the day was prevalent, and people who were not staying at the hotel were literally occupying sunbeds all day. If kids are using the pool I don't see why a sun bed should be used by them to stack their pool toys on and never sat on. Also there were signs all over the hotel telling people not to save sunbeds, but as is the British tradition, people were going out at dawn and putting towels on beds.
The entertainment was very low key, but it was competing with all the other forms of entertainment in the area, so I think whatever was put on would fall flat. But I do agree that the karaoke guy monopolised the night with really old songs.
The Ark Bar is a good night and also Utopia over the road. Breakfast is good at the Red Lion and food/folk/sun/sea/sun beds is very well catered for at Freddie's Bar on the beach. We are going back this year but to the apartments next door, where we don't have to pay for a breakfast we don't eat but we can still use the Contessina's pool!"
- Travel date: Wed 11th of January 2006
Its very long but its worth the read if you want to know everything!
"Me and my boyfriend stayed at the Contessina at the end of Aug for 2 weeks and at first we thought it was the best hotel we could have picked.It was spotlessly clean, rooms were very nice and of good quality, maids cleaned it everyday and Eva at reception was the nicest person you could ever have met. But, i found all the other staff to be miserable and ignorant, especially an excetptionally miserable girl who worked in the bar during the day. The breakfast was exactly the same every morning and wasnt of good quaulity. You had a choice of beans(which were rock hard), mini sausages (which were the only nice thing in the whole breakfast) toast, cheese, an extremely small bowl of cereal and tea or coffee.And for the whole 2 weeks it never changed until in the end we thought bugger it and went to the hotel/restuarant next door which made an excellent breakfast and were very friendly and couldnt do enough for you. The pool was very small and as the other guests were all old and grumpy, my boyfriend and I couldnt play any ball games or anything similar as they kept going off their heads if a drop of water went near them e.t.c.If you have young kids dont take them here as this hotel s aimed at seniors. Also, the evening "entertainment" was atrocious. There was a bingo/quiz night once a week and a karaoke night once a week and they should really get rid of the guy who does it because he was about as entertaining as watching paint dry. He sung most of the karaoke songs himself and did nothing to get the crowd going other than just stand there.It also didnt help that the guests were all miserable gits who didnt want to do anything or join in. My boyfriend looked like a right pillock all the time because he was the only one singing along and trying to liven things up! Tsilivi itself is a wonderful place, i couldnt have picked anywhere nicer with an excellent selection of bars, restaurants and the odd club, its not too busy and not too quiet either. There are also plenty of attractions to visit and id recommend the turtle island cruise!we saw one!yay!he was huge!!!!the beach is magnificent and safest i have ever been to. it stretched for mles and miles and you could walk out into the sea for miles too without it getting any deeper! Tsilivi is perfect if you have children, but just dont go to the Contessina, unless you want an angry mob of pensioners running at you with their walking sticks!Oh, and their "park" is just one swingy thing and i think there was one very small slide too. Not nearly enough to keep children amused!If you're an older couple or just someone looking for peace and quiet then visit the Contessina. If your looking to have a good time and enjoy yourselves and have fun, then dont!But please visit Tsilivi! its brilliant!Couldnt fault it in the slightest! Anyway, i hope i havent destroyed anyones dreams of having a brill holiday in the Contessina, maybe it wont be as boring when you go there, maybe we were just unlucky. If theres anything you want to ask me about the Contessina or Tsilivi then dont hesitate!I like to chat! :-D This year were going to Salou!yipeeeee!"
- Travel date: Wed 4th of January 2006
simply the best
"We are a group of 6 geordies and this was our first holiday to Zakynthos. We stayed at the contessina hotel for a fortnight in may 2005 and it was a fantastic hotel. Its very clean, the pool is huge and there are plenty of sun loungers for everyone. The staff are very friendly, especially Eva the receptionist and the gorgeous evening barman 'Dennis the menace'. The breakfasts are basic but if you want a full english for a reasonable price go to the bar next door. The hotel is situated in a fantastic location not far from pubs, restaurants and the beach. Tsilivi has its own nightclub but when we went in we were the only ones in as it was too early on in the season but you can get a taxi down to Laganas for 15 euros. We definetely recommend this hotel, we do not have a bad word to say about it, it is simply the best! We are already planning on going back next year."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of June 2005
PERFECT HOLIDAY IN A PERFECT SETTING
"We stayed at the hotel contessina during the last week of september 04, myself husband, daughter & 18 month old grandaughter, this hotel was faultless, spotlessly clean with lovely friendly staff who could not do enough for you, we had a lovely bright big bedroom large enough for 3 beds & a cot, the breakfast, continental was lovely & the food from the snackbar was of a very high standard the bar was also very good & reasonably priced, a lovely pool area with an excellent kiddies pool however watch the tiles around the pool area as they become very slippery when wet, my grandaughter has the bruises to prove this! a throughly enjoyable holiday was had at this hotel & i cannot recommend in enough, perfect accomodation in a perfect location!!"
- Travel date: Fri 1st of October 2004
"Just returned from a 10 night stay at the contessina
I really can not fault anything about it the staff really helpful and friendly local to all restaurents and bars also the beach It was my daughters birthday and we
returned to our room she received a card and a bottle of wine from the staff at the contessina. The cleaners work really hard and it is spotless I think the cleaner must have told management about my daughters birthday after seeing her cards in our room how lovely is that.
Wonderful holiday wonderful hotel would definitely return!"
- Travel date: Tue 9th of August 2011
"just returned from a 2 week stay in the contessina and was dissapointed with the way staff treated the customers. there was a wedding party in the hotel and there were other members of the wedding party staying at different hotels and coming to the contessina to meet there friends, they were complaining that there were sunbeds with towels on and the staff took them off and gave them to the people from the other hotel. the people who had left towels on the beds had been using the beds and had gone to lunch, and when they returned there was no sunbed for them. i think this was totally out of order as people had paid good money to stay there and in my opinion should have priority. if it would of been my sunbed i would of kicked up a fuss. there was no entertainment in the hotel as advertised, when i asked the rep why she said that people wouldnt come back to the hotel in the evening and pay the bar prices as the drinks where much more expensive than in many other bars. it was also reported when i booked my holiday that all rooms had been refurbished which was untrue. we had a room with 2 single beds in and a old campbed for my son to sleep in with a old army blanket. which we thought was normal until we got talking to other people and was informed that the refurbished rooms had a double bed and a proper single bed. the bathroom was also very small, if u sat on the toilet your feet was in the shower tray, so you had to sit at a funny angle when on the toilet. needless to say wont be going there again."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of July 2010