Look inside Corfu’s newly renovated Kerkyra Blue Hotel N’Spa

Fresh from a five-star makeover, Corfu’s Kerkyra Blue Hotel N’ Spa has reopened with a new look. Louise Rippon reports

Sitting on my balcony looking out at the twinkling lights across the Ionian Sea, I thought about what had been a near-perfect day in Corfu. The Kerkyra Blue Hotel N’ Spa has signs dotted around with the words ‘collect beautiful moments’ on them – and I certainly had.

After a morning at leisure, I tore myself away from a comfy poolside cabana for a massage in the hotel’s new Idolo Spa, courtesy of therapist Melina.

Following a dreamy hour-long treatment, it was time to get ready for dinner at one of the hotel’s two speciality restaurants, Alati, which is decorated with beautiful blue and white tiles to reflect the Greek style.

Another member of staff, Despoina, made me feel at home as she enthusiastically explained the menu of homemade dips, salads, chicken souvlaki, beef cheeks, moussaka and the traditional orange syrup cake, portokalopita.

It made for a great taster of the Ionian flavours that the hotel prides itself on. Part of Louis Hotels’ Elegant Collection, the beachside property is in the east coast town of Alykes, surrounded by 38 hectares of gardens. It morphed from a four-star to a five-star property last summer thanks to a €6 million investment, so I went to find out what’s changed since the revamp.

A refreshed superior triple room, perfect for families

Upgraded suites and spas

Kerkyra Blue’s 240 rooms have been given a total refresh from top to bottom with a natural colour palette, and are finished with a mix of modern and wooden furnishings. Many of the superior rooms have sliding doors and separate seating areas – ideal for friends or families travelling together.

As well as wonderful treatments, the new spa features a hammam, sauna and relaxation area. Those who prefer some alfresco pampering to the soothing sound of waves lapping at the shore might prefer a massage at the beachfront cabana.

Renovated restaurants

The resort’s premium all-inclusive dining hits the spot, and the high-quality cuisine and table service across four restaurants and two bars serve to reinforce Kerkyra Blue’s transformation to a five-star retreat.

Main dining venue Naiada – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – is a casual affair with live cooking stations, a children’s buffet, fresh salads and desserts.

The second speciality restaurant, Fiki, serves Japanese fusion including sushi, stir fry and noodles, while Alati Greek Flavours serves local cuisine. Finally, if you’re still hungry – or fancy an afternoon ice cream – there’s a snack bar with food available throughout the day.

Branded spirits are now included and there’s an attractive cocktail list with classics such as daiquiris and margaritas, as well as hotel specials including the ‘Corfu spirit’, a refreshing blend of Corfiot citrusy liqueur, sparkling wine and soda water.

Sample Japanese fusion at Fiki

Family-friendly entertainment

There’s plenty to keep guests of all ages busy, including pool games, badminton, tennis and volleyball. The evening entertainment is just as wide-ranging – I watched acrobatic dancers and local musicians – although many guests were content to play cards over after-dinner drinks.

For younger guests, there is a kids’ club for five to 12-year-olds, a pool with fun water features, and a family disco each night. While it might be tough to leave the hotel’s inviting beach, bustling Corfu Town, less than two miles away, is well worth a visit. The narrow streets of the Unesco-listed Old Town – which is laced with history and architectural reminders of Venetian rule – teem with cute tavernas and shops full of olive oils, baklava and leather goods.

Enjoy alfresco dining at the main restaurant, Naiada

Day trips to Paxos

If you search for images of the island of Paxos, you’ll be met with pictures of aquamarine-coloured coves and sailing boats moored up in quiet harbours. In real life, the coves are even more beautiful and the harbours are heavenly – making this island and its even-smaller sister, Antipaxos, a perfect day trip from Corfu.

I booked a full-day excursion with Ionian Cruises, which costs from €59 for adults and €30 for children. We boarded the boat in Corfu Town’s harbour and enjoyed a lovely cool breeze as we sailed along the historic coastline past Mon Repos villa, the birthplace of the Queen’s husband, Prince Phillip, on the two-hour journey to Paxos. The island can be reached only by smaller vessels, so there’s an authentically slow pace about it.

The welcoming harbour is dotted with charming restaurants and souvenir shops, and there are a few beaches within walking distance. I had just enough time for a wander and lunch – dining on tasty mezze including homemade breads, tzatziki, feta with honey and fresh calamari. Back on board we stopped by the Blue Caves of Paxos en route to nearby Antipaxos, which has some of the clearest waters I have ever seen.

It was so inviting that we spent our whole time swimming in the sun-warmed Ionian Sea before it was time to head back to Corfu – the perfect end to another idyllic day.

Fresh cuisine awaits at the buffet

Agent incentive

For every booking of five nights or more at participating Louis Hotels in Cyprus and Greece (for stays until April 30) agents will receive one night for two people at a Louis Hotels property of their choice in Cyprus. Agents can earn two nights for any booking of five nights or more over the summer months at the hotel group’s five-star hotels: Royal Apollonia in Limassol, Cali Resort & Spa in Paphos (opening in May) or King Jason Zante in Zante, which is set to open in June.

Ask the expert

Popi Tanta, chief commercial officer, Louis Hotels

“Now part of the Louis Hotels Elegant Collection, Kerkyra Blue is perfect for couples and families. We are pleased with the occupancy and quality scores of the resort over our first season last summer and look forward to working with our travel agent friends again this year to confirm bookings and enjoy our incentive programme.”

Book it

Tui offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Kerkyra Blue Hotel N’ Spa, Corfu, from £797 per person, based on two sharing a Superior Double Room with Inland View and Balcony. The price includes transfers and flights from Gatwick on October 9.

Find out more about the hotel at kerkyrablue.com

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