A boutique hotel provides the ideal alternative to an all-inclusive resort along the Corfu coast. And there’s plenty of choice, from suites in the capital’s historic buildings to bungalows set in century-old olive groves. Read on for our pick of the best.
Sleep is part of the wellness offering at Delfino Blu, an eco-conscious boutique on Corfu’s north-western extremity. Start the process at around 7pm, with a sunset cocktail on the veranda, then follow it up with a seafront, candlelit dinner before heading for a luxury spa shower. Accommodations range in size from two-person studios to family apartments, all with views of the sea or pool area, and are a short walk from Agios Stefanos beach, a popular diving spot.
Relax on a hammock hung between three hundred year-old olive trees at characterful boutique Corfu Palma. The gardens are one of the standout features, showcasing natural Corfiot fauna such as cypress, pear and kumquat trees and, by the sundial, an olive tree that’s over seven hundred years old. There’s also a heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi, a buffet restaurant specialising in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and a sleek lobby bar. Dassia’s shops, bars and restaurants are right outside and the nearest beach is 300m away.
The four-star Siorria Vittoria offers nine classically-decorated suites in Corfu town, just a five-minute walk from the Venetian Fortress and its attached museum. Spread over two floors in a traditional Corfiot villa and an adjacent building, all rooms reflect the quiet elegance of the property, with oak floors, marble bathrooms and Venetian hues of pink and yellow. Enjoy breakfast or an early evening cocktail in the shaded, romantic garden, before exploring the narrow lanes and traditional tavernas of the old town.
Guests receive a warm welcome from the Tsoukias family at Ekati Mare, a four-star boutique located in Kavos, south Corfu’s most popular beach resort. Activities available from its pristine sands include pedal-boating and diving, and the main drag is packed with restaurants, bakeries and souvenir shops. Onsite, Ekati’s lobby bar serves cocktails, coffees and ice cream, and vibrant Greek cuisine is the gastronomic focus of the main restaurant. Light and contemporary, the accommodation ranges from rooms and suites to a maisonette, some with balconies and sea views.
Romantically situated in Kassiopi’s picturesque harbour, against the medieval castle walls, Melina Bay is a great option for couples (you can pre-order champagne, chocolates and flowers, and honeymooners receive a welcome toast with bubbly). On the premises is a hotel pool and a two-floor restaurant and wine bar, where celebrated chef Fotis Bouras cooks a menu inspired by local ingredients. Chic, sober-hued accommodations are by Italian architect Alberto Artuso, and most look out over the glinting Ionian Sea.
Run by an Italian family that made its name in luxury silverware, Art Hotel Debono is surrounded by a garden of palm and olive trees in the northern town of Gouvia. Accommodations comprise light-filled rooms and suites, the most spacious of which are in the bungalow, and have verandas overlooking the garden. Recline by the pool, sip cocktails to live music in the bar, or explore nearby attractions such as the beaches of Barbati, Glyfada and Dassia, or the tavernas and churches of Gouvia, a former fishing village.
Lena Mare is a pretty boutique located 700m from the beach in Acharavi, north Corfu’s main hub. It’s perfect for an all-inclusive luxury stay, offering smart accommodations around a pool terrace. Kick back with a frozen cocktail from bar Althea and drink in the uninterrupted sea views. When you’re done lounging, pamper yourself rotten in the spa or prop up the marble bar in the lobby lounge. All the amenities of a small town are on your doorstep, and Corfu’s capital is 37km (23mi) to the south.
The restaurant here was one of Corfu’s first when it opened in 1971, and it remains one of the island’s top spots for traditional Greek cuisine. The boutique’s 50 sea or mountain view rooms are located in an idyllic area on the east coast known as Kaiser’s Bridge, named after the walkway built to connect Achilleion Palace with the beach in the early 20th century. Guests have access to a private beach and the seaside village of Benitses is just 2km away.
The three-star Arcadion overlooks Spianada, Corfu town’s principal square and the focal point of the famous Easter celebrations. Rooms and suites feature handmade Corfiot furniture and opulent fabrics, and most have views of the Old Fortress, the Spianada and the pedestrian thoroughfare of Liston. Breakfast is included in all room prices and consists of a colourful buffet of honey, marmalades, pastries and fruits. Later in the day, have a tea in the mezzanine-level lounge, before heading up to the rooftop wine bar for pre-dinner drinks.
One of Corfu town’s grand old dames, the Bella Venezia occupies a stately mansion with many previous lives. It was almost obliterated during WWII, but a loving renovation in 2006 has resulted in 30 simple-yet-classy rooms and a second-floor suite overlooking the old town. Breakfast is served in a gazebo in the gardens during winter and in the gardens themselves during summer; try the hotel’s speciality – Greek yoghurt topped with honey and nuts – or head to the egg corner, where they’re cooked to order using locally made olive oil.
The adults-only Corfu Mare offers stylishly retro rooms and suites on the western side of Corfu town, some of which are decorated with bold pop-art murals. The sea-view pool and jacuzzi area backs onto gardens shaded by Venetian-style arches and palm trees. Kick back in the moodily-lit bar, where cocktails feature herbs and fruits from the garden, rejuvenate in the sauna or pump iron in the gym. If you’re in the mood to explore, rent a bike, boat, car or yacht from reception.
The four-star Cavalieri occupies a landmark 17th-century townhouse on the edge of the Spianada, a short stroll from the Old Fortress and main streets of Corfu town. For a balcony overlooking the fort and the sea, book a Superior Room. When not roaming the narrow lanes of the old town, enjoy wine or cocktails on the rooftop bar. Other perks include a daily Greek breakfast, a Venetian-style lounge and free parking nearby.