Unfortunately there were a few fine details that let this luxurious hotel down. The first being the arrival drink at reception... this was orange squash and was served a little late. As the hotel operates on an all inclusive basis it would have been nice to receive a choice of orange juice or sparkling wine, which is freely available at the bars. We felt we needed a drink after surviving the ordeal of Corfu airport... the conveyor belt stopped for a while then the lights went out! Cases took ages to be retrieved and guests were left on a hot cramped coach waiting for stragglers. Once en route we had two drop offs. Unfortunately, the second was a hotel up the coast which was located at the bottom of the cliff which took a good while to go down and then obviously back up. Transfer time from landing to arrival at the hotel was around 3 hours, I would recommend a private transfer via taxi rather than the Tui included option.
Food was generally ok but not amazing. The show cooking area was a let down; a lot of the meat ended up very over-cooked. Any meat that was stewed was good but the grilled meat was tough. We felt the a la carte restaurants offered a nice change with better quality food, the main courses however were a little on the small side. It was disappointing though that we were only allowed one visit to each per stay instead of per week. I think the 'French' restaurant could be visited when available but as we had to wait 11 days for our first table there it was very booked up and we could not visit again. Desserts looked good but were mostly disappointing with synthetic cream. The ice-cream was abundant and good fortunately. This was also available all day at the bar areas on a 'help yourself' basis!
TIP: Book your table reservations as soon as you arrive - the desk for this is in the foyer on the right as you walk into reception.
Breakfast was ok but there were no poached eggs in the main restaurant and the pastry option was poor.
You can visit the Areti (Italian restaurant) as many times as you wish for lunch. This was our favourite option at lunch time as there are outdoor tables overlooking the pool. The staff here are exceptionally courteous, especially the tall, blonde, short haired lady who makes sure your glasses are topped up regularly!
The drinks selection I felt was ok. My husband wasn't keen on the brandy but he said the whisky was ok. I didn't like the white wine but the rose was fine. Some of the bar tenders were VERY generous with the gin and I often ended with more gin than tonic! If you can only drink decaf coffee/tea you have a problem here. Firstly, there is no decaf tea in the resort so bring your own. There is decaf coffee but you have to pay for it at the bars! There is an option of this in the room. We managed to get extra delivered to our room instead of ordinary coffee. If you order decaf from the bar you are served with a cup of hot water and a sachet to do-it-yourself! Not really in keeping with the standard of the hotel.
By far the most impressive element of this establishment is the staff. We have never had such good service. They were so cheerful, professional, polite and kind. Nothing was too much trouble. Dawn, the Guest Relation Manager, deserves a mention... she sorted out an issue for us without quibble and everyone seemed to have a good word to say about her.
We were in a superior room in block 7 (at the very top of the resort). The room was fine but we had to ask the maid to remove a few spiders and webs which she kept missing when cleaning. There were quite a few insects scurrying around on the floor and on arrival a couple of well fed mosquitoes. After using our plug-ins we didn't see any more. It would have been nice to have had a couple of sun loungers on the balcony; there was more than enough room. The only rooms which appeared to have this addition were the plunge pool rooms. There was no bath but the shower was large and efficient. Fluffy white towels were changed as often as wished. I found the bed too hard but hubby was very comfy in it.
The location of the hotel is absolutely stunning set on a cliff. As everyone has commented it is very hilly, especially in the bungalows or block 7. The golf buggies seemed to break down often - not sure whether this was due to the batteries running out with all the usage.
There are a few bars around the complex. We liked the terrace in the Prestige bar. Just sitting there sipping a Tequilla Sunrise was unique. The roof top bar is where the entertainment is held. There were a few excellent acts. Our favourites being the Jazz band and the Latin group - they had everyone up and dancing, great fun. We weren't so keen on the Three Tenors, although a lot of people seemed to enjoy. The only problem was that it was extremely chilly up there in May - the option of a few blankets wouldn't have gone amiss.
There are lots of sunloungers with deep matresses scattered around, however, some are very close together. You could always get a lounger somewhere but the best positions were reserved around 7:00am. Due to the steep cliff the sun didn't appear very early so there were only a few places where you could sunbathe at that time - those loungers were reserved very early.
We hired a car for 3 days from Rolandos in the village. The roads were fairly quiet but very narrow/steep in places and not well signposted. We enjoyed going up to the hilltop villages; especially Chlomos. The views are spectacular. Everywhere we went the people were fantastic, so friendly and laid back. We went to a pottery shop near the Achilion Palace and were shown around the workshop!
We used the hotel shuttle to Corfu town which runs a couple of times in the day and also does a couple of evening runs. It was 8 euros/person. It was interesting to go round the old fortress and meander around the town.
After a fortnight we still didn't want to come home. The return transfer was fine with no other stops so took just 35 minutes. The airport was a nightmare however - too many queues, and it was baking hot queueing outside the airport in the midday sun! The airport experience would probably deter me from going to Corfu again.
In summary, with a few slight tweaks this hotel could be excellent. Thanks to the wonderful staff we had a fantastic holiday despite the food which wasn't quite up to standard. However, I shall miss Corfu and this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine yourself on a sandy beach, crystal waters and thriving, green mountains rising on the top. Relax to the rhythmic sounds of waves and offer yourself the holidays you deserve.This Adults only hotel located on a picture-perfect hill spot in one of Corfu’s best locations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort Agios Gordios, Corfu