The Aquamarina Hotel in Nea Makri -Our short stay

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It is funny how long it has taken me to come to Athens this time.

For the last 4 or 5 months I did not even come once to our flat at the Lycabettus Hill. Even though I had two trips in Cyprus yet I did not bother come to Athens even for once. Both times Yianni dropped me at the Airport and when back we would leave straight for Evia.



The funniest of all is that I forget the time the shops open and after driving for 2 hours we reach Athens quite early. Yianni drops me off to take the Metro and he drives off for the house. I go straight to the city centre where to my disappointment I realize that the big shopping Malls open at 9:00 and I am angry with myself. It is no way that I would sit and wait for one more hour so I am out walking. It is the best timing for exercising and the best I can do actually. So, instead of the usual swimming I am walking this day!



The reason for this trip is that I have a complimentary invitation to visit the Attica Zoological Park. The visit is for this afternoon and we have booked to spend 3 nights at a nice beach hotel in Nea Makri.



Below I have my TripAdvisor's Review:

^^^^^

 We just returned from the Aquamarina Hotel where we spent 3 amazing relaxing nights. The reason I booked here was that I had to visit Nea Makri and Mati, to see what the area has to offer, take photos and write about everything in my Guides. I take seriously the comments written on TripAdvisor and for this reason I am careful where I book. I also know well how to set apart those comments made from people whose only aim is to harm a hotel from the ones who write the truth. In this case I did not regret booking here at all and our stay was wonderful.
The hotel belongs to the Xenotel Grouphotels S.A. and the Aquamarina is the newest hotel of the company with a long –over 30 years presence in the tourism field. With all these years of experience a pleasant stay at any of the hotels is a guarantee.

Upon arrival the front desk staff without delay handed us our keys and indicated how we get to our room- #304 which was on the main building. I noticed that personnel are multilingual and besides Greek guests there were other nationalities too, with the majority of French. The staff proved very helpful guiding us with the correct information about distances to different places we wanted to visit, and places of interest in the round area which I had no idea that they were so close to the hotel.

On this first visit we were mostly enjoying outdoor activities taking photos and visiting places of interest in short proximity to the hotel, however I want to come to the hotel again in winter as I believe the strong point of the Aquamarina is its amazing SPA. I just could not resist the beauty of the round area at this time of year, with the beautiful beaches, -in some places sandy and in others deeper waters with rocky coasts.

I asked to see the Spa to know what to expect on a coming visit. The indoor Wellness Centre is the perfect place to relax and revitalise your body. In winter the indoor swimming pool has heated sea water and is equipped with hydro-jets. Besides the hammam and Jacuzzi rooms there is a fitness room with a fully equipped gym and a couple of massage and treatment rooms. The amazing of all, is that residents have these facilities for free without any extra cost -something which I come across in other hotels that I visit. Treatments are upon request and on appointment with an extra charge of course! The Spa is open between 12:00 until 20:00 for adults and 12:00 to 14:00 for children.

The hotel consists of two fully remodelled buildings and it stands out in the area. It is open all year round and it has a traditional Greek yet modern style.

Our sea-view room was quite comfortable and there was a lovely flowery smell coming from the air conditioner that filled the room with positive energy. The room was cool and fresh and the best part is that it is kept cool even if you remove the key from the power –the air conditioning is still on making you look forward to return especially after a walk outside. The room was equipped with all necessary amenities for a relaxing stay. I appreciated the mini fridge where we kept some cool water in. Between us, I prefer these than mini bars where there are all sorts of different things but you are never sure how old they might be and they are usually valued twice the real price. There was a safe but we never use it as I never carry valuables along. I also never carry many clothes and because I am a traveller and not a tourist I have along a few clothes which don’t need ironing and sometimes I wash and wear while on the trip. I try to make my stay and appearance as simple as possible. There is a nice big terrace outside the room with chairs to sit and watch the blue Mediterranean waters, -an ideal spot to enjoy reading a book, watch a beautiful sunrise as the sun comes out of the sea, or simply leave the morning sea breeze fill the room with oxygen.

The bathroom towels were bright white and were changed daily, however the bathroom was really small and narrow, allowing one person at a time but this was not a big problem really. The huge disappointment comes when you see the two single beds attached when you expect to find a double one and immediately the romantic side goes away. You see, couples who pick this hotel for a short get away expect at least to have a double bed! Even though our two single beds were comfortable, the sheets clean and bright, yet I consider this a drawback. Besides the Shampoo and Shower gel don’t expect to find a plastic cup or slippers. They are provided if you visit the Spa I was told, however you can ask the housekeeping lady to provide you or call the reception and let them know that you need them.

Breakfast –American-style included a rich variety of things to choose from and it was adequate.
We had our buffet dinners at the "Amvrosia" restaurant all three nights and I found the cuisine interesting. The menu is mainly Greek and international. I loved the salmon dish one of the nights –really tasty, and the roasted meat the other night. I rarely eat meat but I really enjoyed this one. The third night I had simply salads and fruit. There was always fresh melon and watermelon (seasonal fruit) or fruit in syrup on all nights and ice cream as well. What more could one want!

The outdoor pool (not very big) is mostly crowded and the “Pool Bar” must be the highlight of the premises during summertime. Snacks and drinks are served here and it is a fun place for most guests to be. There are plenty of pool beds and umbrellas both around the pool and on the upper level of the blue-grass garden. Guests seem to enjoy this hot spot out here a lot and you find them enjoying their drinks or reading a book or a newspaper. The kids are those who are mostly in the pool splashing in the water and having fun.

There are two medium sized conference rooms and the facilities and services are tailored to cater for any business or social event.

During the summertime you will see many elderly people coming here, or families with children, -people who keep coming back for years and it is a proof that they come back again and again because the hotel meets their expectations. It is nice seeing staff hugging warmly the guests and calling them by their small names. During our stay I met Spyros the Barman who was telling me that he considers the owners as part of his family. It is important to be working with the same people for probably more than 30 years, -being in a partner hotel and now working here at the Aquamarina. He has become professional after all these years, he is open-hearted and always with a smile and a good word.

A few things about the location. Well, Mati is a very small place but there are places of interest in the round area. For this reason I suggest that it is preferable to have a car along. Have in mind that the nearest bus stop is about 300 metres from the hotel and the drive to Athens can exceed the hour by bus plus the waiting time at the bus stop. So if you want to do some sight-seeing in the city centre of Athens I recommend booking at the Novus City Hotel which is centrally located and with an easy access to the Metro and belongs to the same group of hotels.
It is true that taxis are quite expensive and a drive to the airport can cost up to 50 euros depending on the number of luggage one has, and the cost is more if the traffic is heavy. Moving to different places by taxi is not advisable and it will cost a fortune.

There is a small grocery shop 100 metres from the hotel but this guy takes advantage of the customers and sells everything higher than the usual price.

There is the Nautical Club of Nea Makri 200 metres from the hotel and you can go there for a snack or ask for a pikilia and some ouzo by the beautiful marina.

Now, don’t expect to find a white sandy beach here. There are several man-made coves and you can pick the one you like, and the coast has rocks and pebbles. If you are after a white sandy beach you have to drive all the way to Marathonas -15 kms away.

Ask the reception to show you how to get to Cavo. It is a seaside Bar and Restaurant worth visiting and it is about half kms from the hotel. Take along your swimming suites as there is a pebbled beach just below Cavo and I am sure you would love to swim here. There is also a fish tavern next to it. The view from up the restaurant which is among pine trees is stunning.

Smoking is unfortunately allowed in the rooms, but there is a non-smoking floor available for non-smokers.
Free wireless internet (WiFi) activated with a code given by reception.
Two Free outdoor parking areas.
Baby cot upon request. Checking in at 2 pm and check-out at noon.
One drawback is that there is no air conditioning in the lift.

In all it is a nice hotel which I highly recommend, and I want to visit again in winter to check with the Spa facilities. I believe it is a good value for money and I advice that people who come here book on a H/B basis instead of B/B.
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Comments

travelmonster
travelmonster on

The indoor pool with the jets looks great Popi, very inviting xx

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