Nestled on the east coast of Corfu, between a large olive grove and Agios Ioannis Peristeron beach, sits the beautiful MarBella.
October half term serves as the final time of the year to soak up some late summer sun with the whole family. This year we decided to head to MarBella on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu. This large hotel complex offers families all-inclusive luxury, fine dining and slick amenities, perfect for adults and kids alike.
The First Impression
Arriving at Corfu airport we were immediately whisked to the hotel in a private taxi and within 30 minutes we were being served pink prosecco as we checked in. The hotel, which is part of the Mar-Bella Collection — a family-owned Greek luxury hospitality brand — is situated on a hillside, spread across six separate wings and nine levels. The first thing I noticed however were the stunning sea views and sub-tropical gardens linked by cobbled paths. This is a large complex, yet with some clever design work and landscaping, it exudes an air of exclusivity.
Boasting 359 rooms, the hotel has a large selection of room options. We were staying in one of the newer family two bedroom bungalow suites, which have been thoughtfully designed to create luxurious private sanctuaries. Modern in design, the suites have a main bedroom and twin room for the children. There are two identical bathrooms, which is a great touch when sharing with children. Outside the room there’s a small garden, overlooking the shimmering Ionian sea with a seating area to take in the idyllic views. Staying in one of these suites gains you access to the Signature Suite programme, which means a luxury pillow menu, VIP check-in and check-out, wine tasting sessions, fitness kits, spa treatments and gifts for the children. My two children loved the little travel games that were left in the room for them.
The Anemelia Aqua Park is nestled in a secluded spot within the hotel grounds. This playground with a variety of slides and tunnels offers hours of entertainment for kids without leaving the resort. As well as the infinity pool and jacuzzi at the waterpark, which has stunning hilltop views, the hotel also has a large fresh water pool and salt water pool which are both shaded by tall tropical palm trees and parasols. Some of my favourite moments were enjoying a pina colada by the poolside as the children splashed around.
Along the beach sits a small pier and the watersports headquarters, where as a Signature guests we were able to take out the pedalos, paddleboards and kayaks. During our stay we booked a boat trip up the Corfu coast to a small beach. The hotel offers this trip twice daily and it is complementary to all guests.
MarBella has a large selection of restaurants ranging from authentic Greek and Italian flavours to the rich heritage of France and Asia. Each restaurant offered child-friendly menus, but most evenings my two would eat something made bespoke from the adult menus, from fresh salmon and grilled tiger prawns to swordfish. The staff were always very accommodating. The Deck Bar and Grill is ideal for lunch, overlooking one of my favourite spots at the hotel, the private man-made beach. Here the kids spent time building sand castles before jumping off the deck into the warm sea or snorkelling. This decking area is lined with sun loungers, deck chairs and umbrellas. The sun hits this idyllic spot for pretty much the whole day, making it the perfect place for a lounge after lunch, and a great place for an early evening cocktail.
The Kids Club
The hotel offers a great kids clubs from ages 4-11, where not only do they get to enjoy arts and crafts, but they often spend time out and about in the grounds of the hotels. During our stay we had one day of storms and the kids spent both the morning and afternoon sessions at the kids clubs: to them it was just another great day on holiday, having fun and making friends. There is also a mini disco for after dinner entertainment whilst parents can enjoy live music and cocktails.
Only two hours and forty five minutes from London, and a perfect temperature of around 26 degrees, the Island of Corfu was an ideal choice for our October getaway. With great service, an imaginative kids club, a superb selection of restaurants and stunning grounds, MarBella offers an idyllic retreat.
Located in Leogang, in the SalzburgerLand region of Austria, lies Forsthofgut: a true gem for families and couples in search of an all-encompassing nature retreat that makes holidaying an act of togetherness.
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