This resort it beautiful! With 2 different pools both an adult pool and a family pool. 2 separate bars one a beach and another deck bar. A beautiful beach and the scenery is insane. The most beautiful neilson resort I’ve travelled to!!
Great location as always . Been here lots of times . The staff were fantastic , ski team led by Vass always encouraging and friendly. The kids staff do a great job. Managed to entertain my 8 year old on and off the water , well done Alex and the other nannies .
A couple of gripes . I think the food could improve a bit, not as good as croatia !. Limited pastry choice at brekfast.
Also alot of the fitness classes start at 9. Before the kids club? Also apart from aqua there is not many water based fitness. If anyone from management reading this . How about some swimming fitness in sea or pool. Gone is the swim to the yacht club. How about in all resorts you offer this? Rather than just the paid swimming lessons
Definitely worth a visit lovely resort with town clise by .
We stayed as a family of 4 in the last two weeks of Aug. We chose Vounaki this year after a fabulous two weeks at Sivota in 2018 largely because we heard it was as good for water-skiing (which it was) and because it has yachts for day sails, sunset cruises etc.
So on balance how did it measure up? Really they are very similar and are on par with each other. I was very nervous about the view at Vounaki as Sivota is so stunning, but actually they are pretty identical (just no goat island in between the resort and the sunset...the sun in Vounaki sets over Lefkas). From Vounaki you can see Lefkas, Meganissi (reachable on a day sail), Kalamos and Kefalonia & Ithaca in the distance; an equally beautiful view. I did miss the bar at Sivota from where I could watch the sunset, see the kids in the pool or at the pontoon or playing table tennis. That said there are two bars at Vounaki including a beach bar which was perfectly situated just above the water sports centre and beach, making it the perfect spot for a mid day beer or ice cream or end of day cocktail. The hotel bar was almost identical to Sivota... just too far from the family pool to keep an eye on the kids but at 11 & 9 and with lifeguards in duty until 7pm this was also hardly a problem!
Vounaki is a much more spread out and spacious as a resort with beautiful gardens and a step free route through the middle of the resort (handy for buggies or mobility issues). The more direct routes also has a fair few steps, but they are more spread out so not as lung busting. There are two pools, an adults only and a family pool which is a tiny bit bigger than the pool at Sivota. The sea is gorgeous but the beach a mixture of grayish sand and shingle.... I did miss the sunbathig pontoons at Sivota, but preferred spending the day at the beach because it was less packed with greater privacy, and you were in the heart of the action being just a couple of dozen steps from the watersports centre, beach bar, water ski pontoon and marina. There was always something going on to watch lazily from my lounger! The marina shop was also a stones throw away selling very affordable bottled water, drinks, snacks & ice creams....all cheaper than the bar.
Kids clubs, staff and food were all the same good standard, however the restaurant at Vounaki is much more spacious and all tables are open air which we much preferred. No stairs to contend with, and no fighting for a table which we had found an issue at Sivota.
Fitness was much the same although no Sup Fit (no idea why as the conditions early morning were perfect for it), and no early classes apart from sunrise yoga at 7am twice a week which was idyllic but came at an extra charge. We had 8 out of 14 days where the temperature exceeded 36 or sometimes 38 degrees so personally I would have much preferred more 7am or 8am classes. Most seemed to be at 9.30/10am when the kids were in club for me it was at too hot by then.
Paleros itself is a village compared to Sivota and not as picturesque, however most restaurants are right on the waters edge with stunning sunset views. We also found Paleros much cheaper; most nights we ate as a family of 4 for €50/€60 Euros with two courses, local wine and soft drinks. We also liked the fact that Paleros was so relaxed....no dressing for dinner required as the only customers are Neilson, locals or a small amount of Greek holiday home owners.
Our dilemma is which to go back to. We love the yachts and if we ever did a flotilla it would be Vounaki all the way as the South Ionian islands are more stunning than Corfu. Both resorts are great....perfect for water skiing, yachts and both have good cycling (apparently!). Hard to understand why Vounaki is always priced a little higher than Sivota....our only conclusion was the 2 bars, 2 pools and more spread out grounds which must equate to higher overheads. Worth also mentioning that it’s windier in the afternoons in Vounaki so RYA level 1&2 are actually possible. We are torn!
To be fair from the start I wasn't sure about this type of holiday at all. Was it a bit too middle class England meets in Greece? Was it going to be lots of cheesy social gatherings with loads of lookalikes..... I just wasn't sure.
So first the brilliant Titan Air that takes you out from Stansted. People taking BA apparently paid a lot more from LHR. Short queues to check in... Plane full and ready to go and 3 and a bit hours later you are in Greece. Transfer was effortless and 40 mins later you are at the hotel.
On arrival it was a bit weird with no real organization and lots of steps to deal with as you get to your room.
The hotel is no beauty on first impressions but does blend well into the surronding well.
The room was the biggest let down and I wasn't impressed. A large grey room with no features but air con and a small bathroom. Maybe I was expecting 5 star accommodation. If I was then this wasn't it. The king size bed was firm and that suited and my kids had fold away beds. The room became just a place to sleep and get changed for the next activity. The layout is quite open with all the rooms on the lower level opening onto a large terrace that many people walked along.
The view from the terrace is awesome and straight onto the bay and the surrounding islands.
The first real day we had a good chat from all the relevant English staff on activities and off we went to sign up. The kids club is brilliant and their staff excellent at all ages. You feel confident about their care and well being immediately. Their schedule was packed each day and that is what it's all about.
We signed up for tennis and waterskiing and some other things.
The road and mountain bikes looked great and good quality.
I read some reviews that the water sports area didn't have enough kit well it looks well organised and no moans from anyone. Loads of kayaks... Windsurfs... Paddle boards.... Lasers and Hobie cats to sail and loads of instructors watching everyone on the water.
We bumped into out kids in the pool and on the kayaks and paddle boards having a great time.
I played tennis and the group size of 10 was perfect. It was roasting hot at 3pm so I could see why you would grab the 8am slots.
The buffet offerings were good... Not anything more than that. The breakfast offering was awesome and the greek yoghurt and honey combo is a joy which I took on every day.
The system of having to eat out for dinner somewhere else 2 or 3 during your stay was a great idea. The small village nearby is unspoilt and very friendly. Many headed to the Yacht Club or the cool Sensomare. Both worth going to as well as Dionysys. Local wines were a challenge and seeing Mirabeau Pure rose at Euro 33 had to be done.
Overall its a winner with great activity and kids club staff... Amelia.. Each and Sam made our kids holiday. The hotel needs more staff at eating times... Make cold water available more easily please. They could also maximise the beach bar which closes at 7pm....no idea why you would do that?
It's not a 5 star resort but the place is 5 star overall. The kids are happy and busy.... Adults can dip in and out of activities as they want and it's clear families go back year in year out. That is a big tick for us and yes we will be going back again.
Neilson has a better kids club set up with more hours offered and a better watersports programme with kit that's included in the price vs Mark Warner.
This one just ticks all the boxes - 30 minute airport transfer, 15 minute walk into Paleros with lots of tavernas and bars, fantastic staff and brilliant facilities. Mountain and road bikes were great, with excellent bike leaders on fantastic guided routes. Water ski and wake board instructors just wonderful, sailing and windsurfing ditto, fitness instructor was incredible with fantastic classes, tennis coaching first class - no names because they change over time, but you know who you are !! Everyone professional, patient, great fun and everyone taking pains to make sure you were enjoying yourself.
The resort staff were fab - Resort Hosts were so funny, and present throughout the days and evenings (one exception - Theo, the resort manager, kept such a low profile that he was positively sub-terranean, but nobody missed him!) and really went the extra mile.
Although our 'kid' is 20, we were very aware how attentive, caring and hard workiong the kids clubs staff were - they kept all the kids of all ages active, happy and safe - absolutely first class.
Bar and restaurant staff efficient, happy and friendly - food was typically Greek, well prepared and presented - if I was being really picky it was perhaps a little repetitive over two weeks, but we were never bored, and with Neilsons you do eat out three evenings a week, so overall it was great.
Modern rooms - no frills, but everyting there including tea and coffee making facilities, and air-con! huge modern bathrooms with great showers. Chamber-maids kept rooms and bathrooms spotless.
Gardens were kept immaculate, pools clean and not too busy.
So much to do, such great staff - already booking another week at the end of the season! Cannot recommend highly enough if you are into a full on active holiday!
So much to do, such wonderful staff, and the final icing on the cake for us was Neilson's environmental awareness - compostible straws (made from straw!), compostible 'plastic' cups for the beach (made from corn starch) and no single use plastic bottles (you get your own water bottole topped up anywhaere with filtered chilled water).