Accommodation is important. And on Zante, you have many options.
When you travel, accommodation can define your holiday experience. Zante accommodation offers hotels, villas, studios, private rooms, so there is a lot to choose from.
You book the accommodation online, feeling happy and eager, can't wait to go, but when you finally get there, it ends up being a great disappointment.
It feels as if do it is a gamble of some sorts, just to get a decent room and enjoy your stay.
When you come back from your holiday, you talk to your friends. The first question you usually hear is: "Did you like the room?"
Your answer could be "I don’t know, it was okay, I guess" or you could say "It was terrific! You must see this video; let me show you this..."
A hotel room can make the difference between your holiday being delightful or outright boring and tiresome.
Do you book flight + hotel room, or should you do it
One of the most important questions. You have hundreds of choices and deals regarding Zante hotels and villas so deciding the best one for you is not going to be easy.
Straight to the point, it is always cheaper to book flight and your room separately, no matter what you've heard.
Misdirection and lack of effort lead to bad results, and an even worse experience. Basically, making your entire holiday pretty lousy. Money has the key role here (definitely not a surprise) or more specifically the ratio between what would you want and what you can afford.
Do you want accommodation on Zante without spending a small fortune? Everyone’s budget is somewhat limited, and it is smarter to spend money on exciting things than a room, or services.
(You should definitely consider getting an air-con in your room after you read about weather)
In case you book the flight and the hotel room together,
it can save you some hustle and effort, for a price. This is the lazy approach.
When you book using this option, the chances are services will put extra fees you are not aware of, and you don't have a direct choice of where you'll stay.
You're not in control except for the pictures you click on the website. Occasionally it leads to a room that doesn’t even look like the one from the images, leaving you displeased to say the least.
You can get a room on the bad side of the hotel. No view. Near the kitchen. Or even worse, the dumpsters.
With separate booking,
you are in control of your holiday. Where will you end, depends on you, and thus you can save some money.
It does come with an extra price of transportation, or a bit more effort from you, like actually finding the villa or hotel, transportation from the airport, dragging and packing suitcases etc. But, eventually you'll have the benefits making your own choice.
Sometimes you just don't care and go with whatever they offer you and sometimes you want to save money so it can be spent on something better. Even though the effort can wear you down.
Will you have the nerves and energy to do it?
Transportation from the airport
As you can see on the map to the right, Zante airport is in the middle of the south region, and you need to transport your belongings to the desired destination. It’s 4.3km away from the town of Zakynthos and just 1km from Kalamaki resort. There aren't any public transportation buses around, but there are taxi services available any time of the day. Sometimes hotels arrange this for you when you pay for the full service (hidden fees, remember?), and you will soon be sorted. Here is a small table including basic fares from the airport to various resorts in Zante.
From the Airport
Rate (€ - euros)
Port Del Mar
Booking a taxi is possible via various sites, check the box:
The closest resort is Kalamaki, around 1 km from the airport.
So, walking is off the table. This means you must get a taxi. There is no avoiding this, except if you traveled by your car and by ferry which is a completely different approach.
It's better to leave them a tip. Next time they will fight over you.
Do you prefer enjoying in a fancy hotel
Or staying in a private studio?
There are many big hotels on Zante with lovely scenery, great offers and deals,all for your relaxation and enjoyment. But also, so many people run small businesses with villas on Zante, which offer studios (smaller accommodation with 5-10 rooms for hire) which are usually higher up the slope, more affordable, and more private.
It all comes down to the price that you are willing to pay and your personal taste, but there are some pros and cons regardless of the choice you make. Make the choice easier by reading the pros and cons, all listed for your viewing pleasure and reference.
Booking a Hotel Room: Pros
1. Great SceneryHotels are great. You can have a big balcony, breathtaking view, private pool with a bar, a luxurious room where you feel like a million dollars.
2. Premium ServicesBottle of Champagne awaits you in your room. Your luggage is carried for you. Your room is cleaned every day. Giant cable/satellite TV.
3. Premium WristbandYour wristband gets you everywhere for free. You can eat & drink what you want when you want, how much you want. The pool bar is also at your service.
4. Additional BenefitsYou can have your own tour guy; spend your time lying on sunbeds, enjoying the various performances on daily hotel events. For any problem - there is a service and friendly staff that will help you.
5. Online BookingYou can finish your job in few minutes. Choose from the hotel's website and pay for it upfront, and the only thing left is to pack and get ready to enjoy your holiday.
Booking a Hotel Room: Cons
1. PriceYour fancy hotel room comes with a cost. (Remember the added fees that come up if you book the whole package)
2. CrowdsHotels are popular, and that means you will have to go through crowds, and wait in lines. For the bar, for the sunbed, for the service to come, for your turn to jump on the trampoline.
3. NoiseWhen you come back from a long hike, or a night out, you just want to jump in your bed and enjoy. That’s when you discover that your neighbors want to continue the party. Loud. Or they have an annoying baby that cries throughout the night.
4. Added costsEvery small commodity comes with a price. Satellite/Cable TV, laundry, parking, minibar...
5. ServicesThe staff is rude sometimes, water pressure can get low, and the exchange of the key can get complicated since only one spare key is used to enable electricity in the room.
Booking a Private Studio: Pros
1. Excellent locationPrivate villas with studios are scattered all across Zante, and you can have your holiday at some of the amazing sites, where big hotels can't fit.
2. PrivacyWith smaller number of rooms, and people who usually spend their holiday there, you will have the much needed peace so you can spend your holiday just the way you wanted.
3. PricesPrice of a small private studio can be higher than a hotel room if you book an exclusive villa, but usually it is lower than average hotel room.
4. SeaSome hotels are located directly on the beach, but many aren’t. Private studios, on the other hand, can be literally 15 feet from the sea. Imagine waking up from the sound of waves, and the smell of the sea, and just rushing into the water from your bed!
5. Family feelingThe owner and staff are usually one big family, and you usually end being great friends with them. It is often that tourists spend nights hanging out with their hosts with homemade stuff the owner brings out just for you. Also, you get contacts so next time you won’t think twice where to stay during your Zante holiday.
Booking a Private Studio: Cons
1. Smaller roomsYour room can be a bit smaller than the average hotel room.
2. ServiceThis one is not a "con" because you can make an agreement with your landlord how and when to have your sheets changed, room cleaned, etc. But it's not like a regular service in a hotel.
3. Lower standard of equipmentYou get a "functional" kitchenette. A small TV. Small balcony. Low electricity or just two plug-ins for your electric appliances. (This can also happen in hotels if you stay in a lower class one)
4. No Online bookingNot going to happen. There are some studios that are online, and have started to promote their services, but still there are not enough. Family studios are run on old fashioned communication. (Update - more and more studios are getting their websites up)
5. ReservationsThose family houses where you can spend great holiday usually get booked via phone, a year in front. It's a bit tough to get to those guys, but it's worth it.
Booking Zante accommodation can be tricky, but don’t worry, just follow these tips.
- Use a meta-search engine like Kayak or sites like Booking.com
They have the best rates almost everywhere.
- After you strike the best deal on those, check the same ones on Getaroom.com
You will be surprised how sometimes the same room gets a lower rate.
- Get personal
Go to the interested hotel's website. Grab the phone and call them. Tell them you are about to book a room in their hotel, via hotel booking site, and ask them to give you a discount or a possibility to book straight up from them. They usually pay some percentage of booked earnings to the booking sites for their services, and that can lead to a lower rate.
- Make sure you know the total cost
Some hotels charge a resort fee that may not be included in an online quote. Others charge for Wi-Fi, breakfast or the use of the gym. To avoid unpleasant surprises, always ask about which fees are included and how much they'll cost you.
- Consider hotels that don’t appear on major search sites
Many small hotels don’t want to pay search site commissions, and, therefore, they don’t participate. When you call them, you’re often talking to an owner or manager who can offer you a discount. TripAdvisor is a good site to use to identify these small hotels.
- Group up
You can also take advantage of reduced group rates if you have friends and family staying at the same hotel. Also, when traveling in a group, you can go for something larger, such as an apartment or the whole house. You will have to keep the house cleaned by yourself, or have the housekeepers, for a price. But with a kitchen you may save on food because you can cook meals.
- Off-peak period of the season is your best choice if you want to save money and have commodity
Less crowd, fewer complications, the perfect settings to get the best deal. Both money-saving and peaceful, off-peak period certainly has its charm.
- Pack smart
Overpacking can lead to extra checked baggage fees, so make sure you’re packing only what you need.
The best advice to follow in order to save money on your hotel stay is to invest time. Research your possibilities and don’t be afraid to ask for a lower rate or better room when you check in. Depending on the circumstances, you might just get lucky.
We wish you happy traveling and a pleasant stay in your perfect room.
Which accommodation in Zante do you prefer? Where do you stay when you visit Zakynthos?
Let us know!