Staying at a 5 star resort already sets your expectations quite high, but the Corfu Imperial hotel exceeds all expectations, says Mary Braddick
Corfu Imperial hotel is simply breathtaking. With complimentary airport transfers, I was met by my friendly driver who drove me through the scenic island. The journey from the airport to Corfu Imperial hotel took around 30 minutes. A selection of fresh fruits was also provided which made the journey that extra bit sweeter while I took in the beautiful scenery.
Upon arrival, I was stunned by the hotel’s art deco interior. With its extravagant marble floors and tables and bright open spaces it has the classic feel of a Greek palace with a modern twist. Luxurious, yet welcoming. It felt a little surreal, like I was in a movie. Everything was in slight Sepia. I felt the calming sea breeze wash over me and could finally… relax. The hotel has lots of secret pockets of seating where you can escape the busy parts to spend alone time with your family or to get that perfect insta shot.
A highlight of mine was the evening music every night. It’s very romantic and a good opportunity for parents to spend a bit of quality time together. There are good quality live bands and singers so you fully enjoy the experience (I have experienced too many awkward cringey hotel bands). The hotel is set on a private peninsula. The location ensures everyone gets a balcony and sea view, while family rooms provide the perfect balance of luxury and functionality, with the open sliding doors for parents to keep an eye on the kids and the pool.
The hotel is isolated so it is quiet, but there are four different restaurants and also free shuttles to and from two neighbouring hotels so multiple options for nice meals if you fancy a change of scenery, before going into town if you choose. It offers the perfect combination of getting away from the hustle and bustle without being bored if you’re on a two-week trip.
The Yali seafood restaurant is situated on the hotel’s private beach; its vast panoramic views of the island made this an ideal lunch spot. Eating fresh mussels by the sea with the glistening town in the horizon highlighted again that feeling of being in a classic European film. This is also the perfect spot to watch your kids enjoy the various water activities such as paddle boarding, water skiing and parasailing. You can still feel out at sea with a glass of wine whilst watching your kids have a blast.
The food, as you’d expect in a five-star hotel, is extraordinary. With fine dining options, the hotel also provides buffet-style breakfast, lunch and dinners with lots of variety (the buffets were my favorite). I never associated the word buffet with fancy and delicious food, but this was exactly that. The juicy tomatoes, the colourful selection of dips, the freshest seafood – even the water tasted amazing!
Getting into town was an experience in itself. Riding on the pontoon (aka water taxi) to the old town was exciting and a much more fun way to travel (and quicker) than by car (the hotel also offers car shuttles to and from town). Corfu Old Town is currently my favourite place in Europe. From archaic buildings to the narrow laneways and fresh Mediterranean food – I know numerous European towns have all this, but what distinguishes Corfu for me was the markets and locals – an amazing array of Greek treasures sold by the friendly local people.
The clothes and souvenirs are all top quality and handmade by locals. From decorative ornaments for friends and family to fashion, everything here is unique and authentic. I am especially obsessed with earrings and found a gem of a store. The jewellery here is so unique that you won’t be able to find something even remotely similar anywhere else. It is also reasonably priced and a good way to spend your money as it helps the local community.
The ultimate highlight for me was the staff at Corfu Imperial. They really go out of their way to make everyone’s experience special. Simple things I noticed like placing a towel on a sleeping baby on the platoon and bringing breakfast straight to my door when I was sick. The staff was extremely caring, genuine and very smiley (and not in a forced robotic way). The holiday was a perfect balance of luxury, culture, and adventure. I am now in love with Corfu and will forever be reminiscing about this experience.
Stay Period: June & September 1st- October 30th
The package is valid for selected accommodation and for a minimum of 7-nights stay