“ A hotel resort in Greece. Address: P.O. Box 65 / Vassilikos / Laganas / Zante / 29092 / Greece „
BOOKING My husband and I decided to spend our holiday on the Greek island of Zante. We had already stayed in Louis group hotels, and have been impressed, and so decided to try the Louis Zante Beach Hotel. This is a four star hotel. I booked as a package through First Choice Holidays after looking around at other tour operators. I found the flight times with First Choice great and the price seemed good, therefore I chose this company. I looked up the holiday details on-line but booked by telephone. CHECKING IN We travelled from the airport to the hotel on the First Choice/Thomson coach transfer service which took no more than thirty minutes. Several people arrived at the same time and the reception was busy but well manned. I was impressed with the quick checking in process. We paid a deposit for a room safe and a deposit for the use of pool/beach towels. We were supplied with information regarding meal times, food outlets, bars etc. An A/I band was attached to our wrists. We were given a room key which had a magnet attached to control the electricity supply in the room. Our cases were taken to our room by a porter. I would say that reception service throughout our stay were excellent. HOTEL ROOMS Rooms are located on the first and second floor in the main hotel building as well as in bungalows dotted around the hotels grounds. Our room was situated on the second floor of the hotel. Inside the hotel there are two lifts for guests. I was pleasantly surprised that we never had to wait long throughout our stay for a lift to be available. Our room was close to the lifts and staircase which seemed a good location although we were worried it might be noisy at times. However, the room position proved to be ideal; we never found the hotel at all noisy. OUR ROOM On entering the room the first thing I did was to open the doors to the balcony and step outside. As a sea view is very important to me I had paid for this feature. If I hadn't liked the view then I wouldn't have unpacked but would have requested a different room. I know from past experience of the Louis Hotels group that they will endeavour to please their guests. Well, the view was simply gorgeous. I couldn't complain about my home for the next two weeks. The room had a lovely large bed and this proved to be one of the most comfortable hotel beds that I have slept in. We may have been fortunate and been given a fairly new bed as some others guests did mention their beds being uncomfortable; ours was lovely. Extra pillows were to be found in the wardrobe but we requested more for extra comfort. These were brought to our room. There was a bedside table/cabinet (with drawer) on either side of the bed. We each had a reading lamp and controls to operate other lights in the room plus the light for the balcony. In the dressing table drawer a hair dryer was placed inside. Next to the dressing table there was a mirror and a light above it. The room contained a sofa bed and two chairs.. Also in the room was a chest of drawers with tea and coffee making tray placed on top. There was a kettle, cups saucers and various sachets of tea and coffee plus milk and sachets of sugar. A large plastic bottle of mineral water was supplied on our arrival. Literature we had been given on checking in informed us that if this bottle was empty and left outside the fridge it would be replaced. Tea, coffee etc. was replenished throughout our stay. We never had to ask for more milk or sugar. The wardrobe was large with a shelf and the doors opened out into the room. We had enough hangers for our clothes which is unusual. The fridge was a decent size being large enough to hold bottled water, a bottle of orange squash and a litre carton of juice. A further set of drawers was located under the fridge. The fridge and safe were integrated into the wardrobe fitment and a door closed over them. There was plenty of storage in this room but then there were only two of us. I think if we had stayed in this room with any of our children some years ago then we might have needed another chest of drawers, but then I think it's rare to find adequate storage in hotels when there are more than two people using the room. But I would still say that this was one of the better hotels that I have stayed in in terms of storage space. I thought that the air conditioning was good and used it often. The room had a telephone and a television. EN-SUITE The bathroom was small but adequate, although the bath was the narrowest I've ever come across. Even just using to stand and shower (over bath shower) it was too narrow for comfort and I wonder how some of the more ample guests coped. But the shower itself gave a good shower apart from on two occasions when I tried to shower earlier than usual in the evening. There was a toilet and vanity sink unit in the bathroom. It had a shaver point. Hand soap was supplied as was shower gel/shampoo. Toiletries were replenished as necessary. There were four towels in the bathroom and a bath mat. BALCONY The rooms have been recently refurbished at this hotel and I think the balcony furniture must have been renewed at the same time. Furniture consisted of a small table and two comfortable chairs. The balcony because was well screened from the balconies on both sides and this afforded a good measure of privacy. There was a rail to dry clothes/towels fixed onto a wall on the balcony. CLEANING OF ROOM Towels were changed every day unless left them folded on the towel rack. Toilet tissue was always supplied. Toiletry dispensers were refilled when necessary. Drinking water was refilled whenever we left the bottle outside of the fridge. I have always found Louis hotels very clean but the maid who cleaned our room really surpassed herself. Often in hotel rooms I see something that's been missed but our room was thoroughly cleaned every day. Sheets were also changed frequently. Any dirty cups (even our own mugs) were washed and dried. It really was a delight to enter our room after it had been cleaned. ACCESS We became friendly with a family of three generations and the elderly grandmother was confined to a wheelchair. They said they coped well and were staying in a room in the main hotel. Their only grumble seemed to be that their beds weren't comfortable. I think that the reliability of the hotel lifts must have been a big help to disabled guests and those with babies in pushchairs. There were many bungalows on ground floor level. I was impressed that the hotel had ramps fitted throughout. The swimming pool was one of the easiest to access that I have come across. It had easy to ascend/descend steps rather than ladders and sturdy handrails. GROUNDS The grounds are extensive and lovely with lawn areas, trees and flowers dotted around, a pleasant pool area with entertainment area and a beach bar. There are several ways to reach the beach and walking around the grounds is easy owing to many linked pathways. POOL The swimming pool had a life guard in attendance. I loved the swimming pool although it wasn't the largest ever. It was easy to access by shallow steps and hand rails. It looked clean; we saw the pool and surrounding areas being thoroughly cleaned every morning. The pool area was kept clean throughout the day too and the life guard regularly swept away puddles to keep the area as slip-free as possible. There was a small children's paddling pool close to the swimming pool. The sun loungers were comfortable and the parasols attractive. Although I appreciated this swimming pool I did think that the hotel needed a second pool. We found at times, especially during our first week, when English and Welsh (not sure about Irish) schools were still on holiday, that the pool and its surrounds became too noisy. This was really because of parents leaving pre-teens for too long to their own devices. Several people were disappointed that these older children didn't seem to be checked and they did spoil the tranquillity of the hotel. The second week was more pleasant when most of the children staying were Scandinavians under school age (under seven) and young pre-school aged children from around Europe who weren't any trouble at all. I thought if the hotel had another pool it might have helped with this noise issue and been an improvement on the hotel, making it even nicer. Also, there were too many guests staying here in peak season, in my opinion, for just the one pool. The hotel certainly had enough room for another pool which could have been either an indoor or outdoor one. One didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to secure a sunbed. The pool area was thoroughly cleaned every morning at around eight o clock and towels seemed to be laid on beds after this time. We never had trouble finding two beds and a parasol together. Sunbeds were placed around the pool and on the lawns. ENTERTAINMENT The daytime entertainment was excellent. The animators were a group of lovely and friendly young Italians and one Polish girl. I cannot praise them enough. They were charming and hard working. I felt they spent time speaking to all guests and although we didn't join in many daytime activities on this holiday we weren't forgotten and became friendly with the entertainers. All guests were invited to participate in beach volleyball, football, killer darts, pool, table tennis, French boules, pool games, water aerobics and more but there was no pressure at all. Animators worked hard in the evening too and put on some lovely sows. We did think that the entertainment could have gone on a little later in the evenings. A/I OPTION Food and drink is available at the Louis Zante Beach from breakfast through to supper snacks. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are available from ten in the morning until midnight. A pay bar is open until midnight. Meals consisted of self-service buffet and show cooking. Guests could eat in the Asian restaurant if previously booked. Carafes or glasses of red and white wine were available at lunch and dinner as was beer, water, soft drinks and tea and coffee. After dinner snacks consisting of sandwiches, crisps, and popcorn were available from the main bar area. Afternoon cakes were served by the pool bar. Drinks were served during the day from the poolside bar and at the beach bar. In the evening drinks were available from the poolside bar near to the entertainment area and also from the main bar. Waiter/waitress served drinks by the main bar. Local beer was on draught. The poolside bar served beer in small recyclable plastic glasses but in the main bar beer was served in 'proper' glasses, either in half or pint glasses. Overall we thought drinks served in this hotel were mainly of a good standard. We thought the red wine was better than the white. The local beer was decent. I usually drank vodka or ouzo as well as sampling various cocktails. I enjoyed the cocktails as they weren't overwhelmingly strong but pleasant. My husband and I thought the all-inclusive option at the Zante Beach was impressive. Most guests seemed to be staying here on an A/I basis. FOOD (INCLUDING VEGETARIAN OPTIONS) Vegetarian options weren't bad although I think meat free options could be improved upon in the way of a larger choice. I would say that it is better than many hotels but not as good as two Louis hotels that I have stayed at in Paphos, Cyprus. There was nearly always a pasta sauce (and pasta) suitable for vegetarians and there was a vegetarian corner, although I did sometimes struggle to find something I fancied. I think if the salad bar had offered a little more, perhaps in the way of quiche, more cheeses, tuna, then this would have better suited both vegetarians and omnivores. I thought the salad choices were disappointing although the sauces and dips were lovely. There didn't seem to be many complaints about the food but my husband and I were a little disappointed. We felt food was cooked well but often there were weird choices for instance roast beef but only wedges to go with this and altogether some strange combinations. We also thought that the joints of meat on the carvery ran out too early and should have been replaced. The food wasn't bad but we felt it could have been better. The restaurant had Greek, Cypriot, Italian nights and there was usually something Greek to be found. STAFF We were very impressed with staff throughout the hotel; we found cleaning staff, bar, waiting, reception and entertainment staff to all be polite, friendly and efficient. FACILITIES The hotel has an outdoor pool and paddling pool. Sun loungers are free to guests around the pool and lawns but loungers and parasol are charged for on the beach. I believe proceeds go towards the preservation of turtles in the area. There is a small games area for children Computers are available and Wi-Fi is at a charge. Fully equipped gymnasium Darts Table tennis Diving centre Car hire Television room Evening and daytime entertainment Hair salon Children's club Two floodlit tennis courts Wedding packages and services Towel hire LOCATION The hotel is beachside. The beach is long and of soft golden sand. The sea is clear and it's easy to access the calm waters. When we were here (late August to September) the sea was wonderfully warm and inviting. Water sports aren't available because they would disturb the turtles in this area, which is an important nesting area for the loggerhead turtles. However, pedaloes can be hired and the hotel has a diving centre and small boats can be hired. A few metres from the hotel there's a small jetty where boat trips can be taken from. Louis Zante Beach Hotel is located on the outskirts of Laganas and close to the small resort of Kalamaki. It's on the outskirts of Laganas and is fairly peaceful but still easy to travel to the main (and lively) Laganas strip or the lovely family resort of Kalamaki, or to Zante town. From the front of the hotel there is a long driveway leading to the main road and the start of shops, bars and restaurants. It is more pleasant to walk a short distance along the beach where one soon comes across bars and shops. GUESTS AT ZANTE BEACH There was a good mix of nationalities staying at this hotel which makes things more interesting. It is nice, in my opinion, to meet people from other countries. There were probably mainly British guests during our first week but there was more of a mix during the second week. OVERALL The Louis Zante Beach is a family hotel of a good standard. We would definitely consider returning to this hotel. We loved the beach and the grounds. Most of all the service was excellent. I liked our hotel room and was impressed with the cleanliness of the room, hotel and grounds. I also liked the fact that the hotel is close to the airport meaning that the transfer time was short.