Activities such as yoga, diving, and trekking available
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Extensive layout can be confusing
Location is a little isolated
Some bathrooms open-plan (a pro for some)
Spa is small for size of resort
Sunbeds around the pool tend to go quickly
The upscale MarBella Corfu Hotel is a 384-room resort set in the forested hillside overlooking Corfu's Ionian Sea. While the location is undeniably picturesque, there's not much in the surrounding area. However, with so many on-site restaurants, bars, and leisure facilities, the low-key setting is unlikely to bother too many guests. Kids are particularly well catered for, while two adult pools, a spa, and water sports on the private beach appeal to the grown ups. Rooms are bright and modern, with many offering superb sea views and some suites even have private pools. The sheer size of the place can be a little confusing, whereas the four-pearl Delfinia Hotel just down the coast is cozier and cheaper, though with fewer facilities.
Family-run, upscale hotel with labyrinthine layout and lovely gardens
Three years of renovations, which ended in 2015, have transformed the MarBella Corfu Hotel (previously MarBella Beach Hotel) into a genuinely upsacle resort. And, with 385 rooms spread over nine levels and six separate wings, it's no surprise the revamp took so long. Fortunately, as well as a welcome drink on arrival, new guests receive a map to help them navigate the sometimes confusing complex. It's also worth noting that the hillside setting means plenty of steps and stairways -- but also lovely sea views from many vantage points.
Although dating from the '60s -- the hotel is now managed by the third generation of the founding family -- the makeover has given the resort a fresh, stylish, and distinctively Mediterranean look throughout. Gardens are extensive and beautifully tended, with swathes of carpet-like lawns, colorful flowers, and numerous palm, olive, and pine trees. There's direct access to a beautiful private beach via a tunnel that runs under the street. A small Greek Orthodox church on-site used for weddings or blessings is another interesting touch. Guests are almost equally split between couples of all ages -- including some honeymooners -- and families with younger kids.
Picturesque hillside setting overlooking sea, half an hour's drive from Corfu City
The hotel has a particularly picturesque setting built into a long hillside overlooking the Ionian Sea on Corfu's east coast. While there are a few hotels and one or two eateries and bars within walking distance, the location can feel a little isolated. There's also very little in the way of nightlife nearby. Although most choose to stay in the self-contained resort, there are options for getting around. Namely, hiking trails, accessible via the property, lead to nearby villages and surrounding woods that can be explored on foot or bicycle. Bustling Corfu City -- with its UNESCO-designated Old Town and impressive historic buildings -- is also about 30 minutes' drive away. Corfu International Airport, also known as Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport, is about the same distance away.
Sea, garden, or mountain views, plus some open-plan bathrooms
Decor in the rooms is light, modern, and understated, featuring wood floors and homey touches such as reading lamps and floral bedspreads. Stylish accents vary from room to room and may include cherry-red armchairs, leather benches, and striped wall accents. All open to furnished balconies or terraces with either garden, mountain, or sea views (some side and some full). The hotel offers Double Rooms, Family Rooms, and various Suites that range from Junior to Presidential. Each Family Room has one separate bedroom and a sofabed, which sleeps two children. Some Suites include two bedrooms and lounges, allowing space for four adults and one child. Upgraded Superior rooms only really differ from Standard in size.
Amenities across categories include mini-fridges (with free bottled water), coffee- and tea-making facilities, and 32-inch flat-screen TVs with satellite channels (though minimal English-speaking). Suites add Nespresso coffeemakers and minibars, while some also have private pools or outdoor whirlpools with panoramic sea views. Free Wi-Fi is good enough for email/social media, though not so much for video streaming. Bathrooms are clean and modern with neutral-tone tile and large vanities stocked with quality Apivita products. There are showers or shower/tub combos, though some bathrooms are open-plan with walk-in showers and privacy might be an issue.
Wide range of eating, drinking, and child-friendly facilities
With a total of six restaurants and four bars, there's no shortage of places to eat and drink in the resort. Most rates include a half-board package which covers buffet breakfast and dinner (with live cooking stations) in the bright and spacious La Terrazza restaurant. There are several a la carte options that cover Italian, Greek, and seafood menus as well as a fun American diner. Beach and poolside dining are also options. While there's plenty of variety, food has generally received mixed reviews from guests. Bars also provide evening entertainment such as live music and Greek dancing.
The main adult pool has salt-water, an infinity edge, and partial sea views, while a second quiet pool is fresh-water. However, both pools are unheated so can be chilly depending on the season. Guests have also noted that loungers tend to be reserved very early in the morning. A children’s pool offers waterslides and a splash park, and a more shallow pool is available for younger ones. Further child-friendly facilities include a supervised kids' club, a club for teens, and a nursery for babies and toddlers (extra fee). A private shingle beach has loungers, parasols, and plenty of water sports such as scuba diving.
There's also a spa with sauna, steam room, and massage treatments, though it's pretty small for the size of the hotel (the hotel plans to expand in 2017). Yoga classes, however, are offered daily, in addition to a "Special Aerial Yoga" program twice a week. A fitness room provides up-to-date exercise equipment, and various sports facilities such as table tennis, pool tables, tennis courts, and canoes are available.
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