Very few destinations have escaped the quarantine curse during the pandemic and it is a real testament to Corfu that they managed to maintain an air corridor with England once flights resumed. This idyllic Greek island is home to some of the most luxury resorts in Greece and they’ve all stepped up with enhanced measures on the health and safety front to ensure the health of the hotel guests are of paramount importance.
MarBella Corfu was the first five-star property in Corfu to re-open in July 2020 and they’ve been going above and beyond since, whether it is regular sanitation of all surfaces, offering complimentary hygiene kits, or installing plastic shields at the buffet stations and all the bar areas.
You wouldn’t guess the hotel has been around for 50 years judging by the modern, homely reception and bar area with well-cushioned couches that are dangerously easy to slouch on, but near impossible to escape from. And bookshelves that aren’t just about literary sustenance, but you can admire an assortment of porcelain art pieces from local artists. They undergo a regular programme of renovation works and the reception and bar area was the latest to be modernised, hence why it looks more like the 2020s rather than 1970s.
The owners have added additional buildings throughout the decades so you do get sprawling zones with ever so subtle design differences. But what is a constant are the lush, well-manicured gardens throughout the complex and the weather that is perpetually temperate no matter what time of the year you visit.
The buildings have been constructed to blend in with the local landscape, so you do feel like you are experiencing an authentic Greek island experience rather than being stuck in a hotel chain with hundreds of guests. Do study the folded map you get on arrival as it’s initially tricky to find your way around, especially if you are looking for the beach.
With so many categories on offer, it can get a little confusing for the uninitiated. There are 15 categories listed on their website but there are also sub-divisions depending on which building you are staying in. My advice would be to pay slightly more and opt for either the superior double room with sea view or splash out on a junior suite with your private whirlpool or swimming pool. The views of the straits looking onto mainland Greece is picture-postcard perfect. And who wouldn’t want to lounge in the comfort of their private pool whilst enjoying the Greek sunset?
Décor erred on the side of minimalist and, unsurprisingly, the predominant colour was white. All your five-star hotel comforts are available including Nespresso facilities, multi-channel flat-screen television, and integrated music channels. Wi-Fi connection was slightly variable on occasions but that is to be expected when they are trying to provide coverage for hotel guests spread across acres of land.
With few dining options within walking distance of the hotel, you have to be thankful that they offer plenty of options within their grounds. Most of the hotel guests are on the half-board option, so the most popular venue in the evening is their buffet restaurant, La Terraza which offers mostly an international buffet with some Greek specialities.
It is the perfect place to enjoy the stunning Greek sunset plus they also offer twice-weekly theme nights. And I am guessing the menu must change weekly or fortnightly, as you rarely see the same food repeated on the menu. There is generally a varied mixture of healthy options, vegetarian dishes, roasted meat station, etc. to ensure all tastes and dietary requirements are catered for.
There are also specialty restaurants on site for a supplement such as Platea Greek for local cuisine, Comodo Italian for your fresh pasta needs, and Dolphin Beach for your quick, lunchtime bite by the seaside. On some packages, you can also dine at their sister hotel, MarBella Nido, and the soon to be opened, MarBella Elix.
Boredom is a word missing in the vocabulary at MarBella Corfu as there is a daily schedule of programmes that will appeal to anyone from the age of 8 to 80. Highlights for me include early morning yoga to enjoy the crisp morning air, afternoon hiking through the local hillside, and paddle-boarding on the shimmering Ionian waters.
For pure relaxation, you can enjoy the plethora of entertainment each week from live acoustic bands to sultry jazz music and there is also a cosy spa for those seeking the ultimate in relaxation with their signature treatments using APIVITA products, which is the leading Greek wellness brand. They use active ingredients from organic essential oils, extracts from local Greek plants, and exceptionally nutritional beehive products.
In a nutshell
In what has been a tricky nine months, all you want to do is just relax. No need to worry about restaurant bookings or searching for entertainment, At MarBella Corfu, this is all sorted out for you – just sit back and relax.
MarBella Corfu offers rooms from £117/€130 per double room per night.
Address: Agios Ioannis Peristeron, 490 84 Corfu, Greece
Phone: +30 26610 71183
All images courtesy of MarBella Corfu and Heinz Troll