Hotel Review: Grecotel EVA PALACE, Corfu, Greece


If you are ready to retrace the steps of Austrian Empress Elizabeth "Sisi", Corfu is a Greek island packed with culture and natural beauty. The second biggest island in the Ionian sea (which you find between Greece and Italy, it is also the greenest thanks to intermittent rains between September and May. It truly is Greece's emerald island. This is where we find EVA Palace, a luxury resort, part of the Grecotel chain which is taking the traveling world by storm.


And don't forget to scroll to the end of this post for my pick of 10 must-do things in Corfu.



LOCATION

The hotel is perched over the peninsula of Kommeno in the east side of the island, a short drive from the airport (there are direct flights to Corfu from London) and a 15 minute drive to the capital "Corfu'.


There are 3 hotels all owned by the same chain on the peninsula: Daphnila Bay Thalasso which is an all inclusive resort and more families oriented (more on this below), Eva Palace which is a luxury resort and the exclusive Corfu Imperial. A little bird mentioned that not so long ago, the Princess of Morocco had booked all the waterfront suites of the Imperial for her and her entourage.



Back to Eva Palace, however, and its panoramic views of the peninsula as well as of the town of Corfu. Something you will not tire of. You can choose to stay in a room in the main building, or for more exclusivity and proximity to the waterfront you can rent one of their villas.


I tried the 'Romantic', a 1-bedroom villa with a large open plan bedroom/lounge area and a separate kitchenette - not that you will be inclined to cook while there. EVA Palace has amazing restaurants and chefs to take care of that element of your holidays!



Photo credit: Seasons in Colour

Aesthetic to delight


First thing you notice when you look at the rooms, is how well put together they are, conforming to traditional local design. Eva Palace has warm, earthy tones throughout the resort that are interchanged with blue from the sea and the pools. The decor is traditional with lots of wooden surfaces. Whether your room looks towards the sea or the gardens, it is bound to be comfortable.



Photo credit: Seasons in Colour

Photo credit: Seasons in Colour. Welcoming tray for the villa guests.


I love the attention to detail like locally made beauty products in the bathroom and the welcome platters (which I also saw in Daphnila Bay and which I don't doubt also make an eclectic appearance in nearby Imperial.



Photo credit: Seasons in Colour


BLENDING IN


A Greek team of architects was brought in to update the resort. LIAKOS and ASSOCIATES were given the challenge of creating a resort that unites the best of the local construction detailing and character with requirements of a modern hotel, while taking into consideration its gorgeous natural setting.


With that in mind, great care was taken in locating the entrance, roads, sitting of the buildings so that this first class resort could take advantage of the peninsula and its amazing views. This has resulted in amazing 270 degrees of views which are best enjoyed in the main lounge next to Reception.


The 1-bedroom 'Romantic villas'


Manicured Mediterranean gardens filled with olive trees and tropical vegetation sit next to pools, creating an oasis of relaxation under the hot Greek sun. The landscaping was designed to maximize guests’ privacy which you will find especially around the sea front villas. The atmosphere is one of refinement and serenity.


About Corfu

Corfu is full of Italian influences, especially in its architecture. Expect to find an abundance of cafes around the main square (below) but be warned, parking is really difficult in the afternoon, the town is packed with cars.


Top tip: Go to the capital in the morning (10am) and walk to the Museum of Asian Art, then pop for a coffee around the main square. Later stroll to the old Port fortress and have lunch at the Sailing Club of Corfu. You get complimentary transfer back to the entrance of the Old Port where you can grab a horse drawn carriage for a mini tour around the town. Cameras at the ready!


Best beaches


If you don't manage to get lost, try Halikounas beach which is a paradise for kite-surfers. There is a beach bar to cater for basic needs (drinks, ice creams but nothing more. They do, however, have sun loungers and sun umbrellas so you don't have to brave the strong Greek sun. This is around 45' from the Eva Palace to the south of the island.

Photo credit: Seasons in Colour

Photo credit: Seasons in Colour



Where to go with kids



Best for the kids (and adults of all ages if I may say so): Aqualand is a short drive from the hotel (10-15'). The place is extremely well organised with lifeguards in all pools, locker rooms to keep your stuff safe while you go onto the slides and restaurants and bars.

There are slides for every age and a special pirate land feature for under 7s as well as 70 degree slides (above) for the really brave ones (I was not one of them). Some of the bigger slides get town rafts in and you can have some good fun with your kid or other half. Or just grab an inflatable donut and go lazily around the stream, waterproof camera in hand. #snap



10 things you need to do in Corfu


  1. Visit the 19th-century Achilleion Palace, built for the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth of Bavaria.

  2. Get on the Corfu Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Bus Tour

  3. See the current exhibition in the Museum of Asian Art

  4. Walk around the Old Town and shop for traditional Greek sandals

  5. Visit Kanoni, the peak viewing spot and landmark of Corfu.

  6. Visit Mouse Island

  7. Visit Mon Repos Palace on top of Analipsis hill, near Kanoni area, in the middle of a beautiful setting full of greenery. It was built in 1826 by the British Commissioner Frederic Adams as a gift to his Corfiot wife, Nina Palatianou. It is a small but very beautiful palace with colonial architectural elements.

  8. Have coffee in the open cafes on the main square, Spianada Square, in the afternoon while the Corfu brass band is playing!

  9. Antipaxos & Paxos Blue Caves Boat Cruise (under £30/person) - Duration 7 - 12 hours. Enter the Blue Caves of Paxos and admire the white cliffs of Erimitis. Get views of the castles of the Old Town of Corfu as you sail into the Ionian Sea. Swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters of Paradise Beach at Antipaxos.

  10. Light a candle in The Saint Spyridon Church, a Greek Orthodox church located in Corfu, built in the 1580s. It houses the relics of Saint Spyridon and it is located in the old town of Corfu.



Photo credit: Seasons in Colour

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