The Best Hotels in Kefalonia, Greece, for Every Traveller

The pool at F Zeen Retreat overlooks Lourdas Beach
The pool at F Zeen Retreat overlooks Lourdas Beach | Courtesy of F Zeen Retreat / Expedia
Mischa Smith

On this tiny island in the Ionian Sea, secluded bays and sugar-white beaches are as common as skyscrapers are in Manhattan. Limestone cliffs give the waters a beautiful emerald tinge which makes swimming and snorkelling all the more magical. Then there are the upmarket restaurants, Venetian architecture and sleepy fishing villages – it’s not hard to see why Kefalonia provided such a stunning backdrop for the hit film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. You can find accommodation near famous locations from the movie, as well as in other villages like Kourkoumelata – declared by locals as “the most wonderful village of the Balkans”. Here’s our pick of the best hotels on this gorgeous Greek island.

F Zeen Retreat

Island life doesn’t get much better than a stay at F Zeen Retreat, an adults-only escape facing onto the Ionian Sea. To one side is the great towering hulk of Mount Aenos, while to the other is the yawning stretch of Lourdas Beach beyond lush, green grounds. The emphasis here is on health and relaxation: try sunrise yoga; hit the outdoor gym tucked away in a canopied corner of the garden; or take a dip in one of three freshwater pools. That’s before you’ve pampered yourself in the Idor wellness retreat, which specialises in organic therapies. And if you’re feeling restless and ready to explore, there are bikes, kayaks and paddle boards available for hire.

Emelisse Nature Resort

With its own private beach, spa, gym, open-air cinema, tennis courts and two restaurants, you need never leave the evergreen grounds of Emelisse Nature Resort. You should though, if only to dive into the lapis-lazuli waters of Emplisi Beach at the foot of the health-focused hotel. After a morning of snorkelling in the secluded cove with its vanilla shingle and shimmering water, saunter through the sun-bleached streets of Fiskardo, a historic harbour village comprised of candy-coloured buildings, traditional Venetian architecture and now a superyacht-strewn marina. Back at the hotel, there’s pizza at the Riza restaurant, while a menu of classic and tiki cocktails are shaken through happy hour and beyond at poolside bar Votsalo.

Northpoint Rooms 1953

Three rustic farmhouse-style buildings restored from the ruins of the 1953 earthquake (the same one depicted in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) comprise Northpoint Rooms 1953. Drenched in the warm glow that filters through large rattan lampshades, the cosy interiors exude a familial atmosphere that extends from the snuggly fireplace corner and into rooms that take their name from friends and family of owner Haris Tsimaras. The vibe here is very much “make yourself at home”, and given the remoteness of the area, it’s best to take heed and make the olive tree-lined pad your own. However, a trip to nearby Fiskardo for a special dinner shouldn’t be missed.

Kefalonia Grand Hotel

Plonked on Argostoli harbour, this eco-friendly bolthole does its best to limit its carbon footprint on the island. You’ll only find local products in your room and food is all bought and made fresh from local suppliers. The hotel is also partially solar-powered and makes use of LED bulbs throughout. None of this compromises the design and Grecian aesthetic of the place: think vaulted beamed ceilings and plush white linens that match with provided robes and slippers. Some rooms come with jacuzzis or plunge pools – a satisfying way to unwind after a boat trip out on the waves, which the hotel staff will be happy to arrange for you.

Melidron Hotel

The famously fabulous Greek hospitality is a key component of Melidron Hotel. In Greek, méli means honey and “dron” refers to water, which suitably implies the ambrosial quality of the service here. Everyday, visitors wake to a bountiful and delicious breakfast, and once a week the hotel offers a true experience of the island on “Greek night”, when travellers can enjoy live music and an expansive buffet of regional cuisine.

Aeolos Beach Hotel

Amidst lush and lavish gardens, Aeolos Beach Hotel allows visitors to really settle into the beautiful surroundings of Kefalonia’s favourite village. It takes its name from the god who gives Odysseus a bag of winds to help ferry his ship safely home to Ithaca in Homer’s The Odyssey. While the hotel itself may not be full of winds like Aeolos’s cave, it does have a great view and offers its guests a delightful setting to relax in after a day of sightseeing on the island or in the nearby village of Skala.

Odyssey Hotel

The upscale oasis of Odyssey Hotel offers stunning views over Kefalonia and is just a short walk from Skala Beach. After a sunbathing session, explore the streets of Agia Efimia before heading back to the hotel for lunch, or perhaps a few hours of self-pampering in the spa. Offering balconies with sea views, the airy rooms are equipped with generously stocked minibars and whirlpool tubs for enjoying their contents in.

Museum Hotel George Molfetas

Once a charming 19th-century family home, now an equally charming hotel, Museum Hotel George Molfetas was conceived as an antidote to the mass tourism of today. Owner Katerina has gathered together all her family’s memorabilia and antique furniture – including Persian rugs from the Far East, Murano chandeliers from Venice and Smyrna, and books on poetry, art and history dating back to the 1800s – and displayed them proudly. Romantic bedrooms overlook a flower-filled courtyard where breakfast is served in the morning.

Magnolia Resort

The family-owned but adults-only Magnolia Resort is located in the southern inlet of Katelios, and offers up spectacular 360-degree views of the Ionian Sea. It takes around 20 minutes to get to nearby Skala by car, but the remoteness of the hotel is more than made up for with the brand of unrivalled hospitality the Stroutzas family brings to your experience. You can expect freshly prepared meals made with island-sourced ingredients at every meal time – as well as a pleasant pool to swim and doze by to your heart’s content.

Regina dell’Acqua Hotel

If classy design is as important to you as great food, you likely won’t be disappointed with a stay at the Regina Dell Acqua. This beachfront hotel combines traditional stone and marble architecture to outstanding effect – it creates a chic scene to enjoy whether chilling by the pool or dining at the Amethyst Hippocampus Restaurant as the sun sets over the Ionian Sea. Rooms come in all sizes and suites offer a living room and an outdoor pool of their own. Parking is also included with the room rate so you needn’t worry about that if you’ve hired a car for a few days.

Tesoro Blu

Tesoro Blu on the southern tip of the island is sandwiched between a verdant valley and a pristine beach that’s rarely enjoyed by anyone other than hotel guests. Its adults-only policy ensures the utmost relaxation and enjoyment – so no splashing and screaming by the pool unless you really are that excited to be there. A contemporary design runs through the boutique hotel, but it sticks to the old Greek island tradition of white walls set against dazzling blue. Upgrade your room to ensure the best sea view from your balcony – or a private pool if you really want to splurge. The two on-site restaurants showcase rich Mediterranean flavours through classic dishes and locally sourced ingredients. You can go half-board so that breakfast and dinner is sorted at Piacere – but you’ll need to book in advance if you want to dine à la carte at Azzurro.

This is an updated version of an article by Michelle Schmid.

Looking for more inspiration? We’ve narrowed down the best places to stay in Kefalonia for a local experience and you can book right here on Culture Trip. You can then spend your days discovering the top things to do and see in Kefalonia and enjoying delicious Greek food at these top restaurants.

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