More about Emelisse Art Hotel
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Emelisse Art Hotel in September 2006, booking the holiday through Ionian Island Holidays (who are very professional).
This hotel is an amazing place - lots of attention to detail and some truly stunning 5 star touches and vistas. We had a Full Sea Room, which had a nice little balcony looking over to Ithaca. Our room was wonderfully put together and we had to tear ourselves away every morning.
The hotel's communal areas have been carefully thought out and considered. The main pool areas is surrounded by very plush sun loungers, with extra cushioned seating on the cliff side looking down to the sea. The restaurant area here is lovely and the food and service is excellent. There is a smaller plunge pool and a traditional greek restaurant on the other side of the hotel complex which is a great spot also.
There is an Elemis spa on site and the girls who run it are lovely - the treatments are wonderful and reasonably priced. Fiskardo is a beautiful town and has many great restaurants along the harbour front. Emblissi beach is just outside the hotel gates and offers some excellent snorkelling and seems to be a popular spot with locals. Later in the season, they do tend to have a problem with wasps so be aware if you suffer bad reactions to strings. I cried when we left, because we had enjoyed such an amazing week together. It rained for two days during our stay and I can honestly say there's no where I'd rather be in the rain, the hotel was that good! I can't rave enough about this Island, Fiskardo, the hotel and its staff - it was the best holiday I've ever been on!
We got back to England and found out that I was pregnant! Baby conceived during a magical week in Kefalonia!!!!
We stayed at the Emelisse Art Hotel for our honeymoon in September. The hotel looks out over the Fiskardo Bay area and you can see the islands around Ithaka. The hotel itself is well run and the staff very friendly and attentive. We were lucky enough to get a free upgrade to a suite with joint pool (with 5 other rooms). The room was amazing with it's own lounge area, dining room, two bathrooms and lovely bedroom. The bedroom and dining room has double doors which open onto the pool. It's well worth paying the extra for one of these suites. At night time the hotel is lit up with candles and clean towels magically appear by the pool on your sun loungers in the morning. The overall atmosphere of the hotel is very relaxed and by 12 at night most people have gone to bed. Importantly the bar is staffed until you head to bed and there is an open air fire pit that you can sit by and watch the stars until you fall asleep.
The food at the hotel is very good although pricey (as you'd expect at a five star hotel). There are two restaurants. One by the main pool which serves main stream Greek food and a small restaurant by the another pool which serves tapas style food. Light lunch is also served around the pool. The only problem with eating during the day was the vast amount of wasps which buzzed around you. However staff were more than helpful in lighting coffee beans around you which detered them.
The main pool looks very beautiful, especially when lit up at night but unfortunately it was freezing cold so only the most intrepid would venture in. There is however a private cove area, with a ladder to get into the sea. Again very peaceful and beautiful and probably warmer than the pool. Also great for snorkelling.
The hotel also has spa facilties which are well worth a go, and the hotel can cater for private trips out. As it was out honeymoon we hired the private speedboat for the day. It was expensive but worth it. We were taken to private coves to dive off the boat and went to local villages over the sea. There is also a mini bus that takes guests to and from Fiskardo on an evening which was helpful. However the food was that good on site that we rarely left to eat out.
Overall we had a fantastic honeymoon and I would recommend the hotel to anyone. However it caters for those wanting a relaxing and quiet holiday. Kids are welcomed at the resort but there weren't many around in September.
The perfect romantic hotel ... but not the genuine Greek experience
My wife and I stayed at the Emelisse in Fiscardo from 15 to 22 October 2006 for the second week of our honeymoon.
As our first week was spent scrambling around a yacht in rough October winds, we wanted a romantic retreat for the second where we could relax, spend some time alone and generally do very little.
The Emelisse was almost perfect.
The setting is stunning, situated in a pine forest high on the hill above Fiscardo. The views from the main terrace (and from your own private pool) look out over the sea to the town of Vasiliki on Lefkada. Frankly, you could do a lot worse than spend most of your time here just sitting and watching the boats sail by.
At night time, the Emelisse enters a league of its own. It's lit by thousands of individual tea lights, hidden away in nooks and crannies in the stone around the complex. There's also an open wood fire that burns all night on the terrace. If you want romantic, it's here in bucket loads.
The menu on the terrace is varied enough that you could eat in the hotel most of the week and not get bored. But to do that would be missing out on the ‘genuine Greek experience’ down in Fiscardo itself. The Emelisse can seem a bit clinical by comparison.
The niggles ...
Another reviewer commented that the head waiter, George, was “very much the genial host and very likeable and helpful at all times”. We couldn’t agree more. They also said that he was “omnipresent”.
George was omnipresent because he had to be. In his own words, he was pretty much the only waiter left on Fiscardo that hadn’t abandoned the island for winter back in Athens. By the end of the week, George was looking positively knackered. He was getting up at the crack of dawn and going to bed after the last guests had turned in. And we got the distinct feeling on more than one occasion that arriving for breakfast ten minutes before he was due to dismantle it was … well … a little irritating.
The Emelisse, and Fiscardo for that matter, isn’t a place for kids. This didn’t bother us, but we met a couple with young kids who were perpetually moaning that there was nothing to do. There’s plenty to do, but if your kids are tugging at your hems for water parks and jet ski rides, don’t bring them to a 5* hotel on a small Greek island late in the summer.
Mid-October really is too late. Our two weeks in the Greek islands were bathed in sunshine, but during the second week (15 to 22 October) it got noticeably colder, especially in the evenings. We were prepared for this, but it was nonetheless a shame not to be able to use our own pool (which was heart-stoppingly freezing) or sit out on the terrace with that stunning view and bake in summer sunshine.
More savvy visitors clearly knew this and had got their Fiscardo-fix earlier in the season. We did want peace and quiet, but it was probably a little too desolate for our liking. We’d pulled into Fiscardo on the boat the week before and the town was heaving. Just seven days later and we felt a little like we’d missed an important news announcement predicting the end of the world in our part of Greece.
We’d return to Fiscardo in an instant. We’d return to the Emelisse too, though probably just for a weekend. Somehow, high up on that hill, the Emelisse is just a tad too far removed from what Greece is all about.
A little piece of heaven on earth
We booked the Emelisse for a 2 night stay as we could not get fliights to tie up with the private villa we had booked....how glad am I that that was the case!!!
The accommodaiton itself is fairly simple and basic, very Greek in style but oh wow the setting!!! Perched on the cliff edge, infinity pool merging into the sea below.....pool area surrounded by wonderful deep cushioned sofas, and open air restaurant.
The first evening we lounged on the sofas watching a stunningly beautiful Ionian sunset, sipping cocktails and wondering if we had died and gone to heaven. As dusk fell, the hotel staff positioned candle lit lanterns along every pathway creating a wonderfully romantic atmosphere.
On the second night we dined al fresco again (lovely food, scary waiter we nicknamed Lurch) and afterwards we lay on the sofas again looking up at the most incredibly starry sky. William, 9 at the time, declared that this was the best night....no, in fact, the best MOMENT of his life so far!!
If you are considering going, stop considering and just GO!!!!
Is this the best hotel in Greece?
We stayed at the Emelisse for two weeks of pure indulgent luxury in July. It was fantastic hotel and exceeded our expectations; it’s the best hotel I’ve stayed in Greece. The transfer time is long and very winding - it’s about an hour and half.
We had a room with sea view which was a decent size and a bathroom with a really powerful shower (a rarity in Greece). The design is simple and modern and all parts of the hotel reflect this – in fact we met the designer when he was having a photo shoot at the hotel. Only downside was our balcony didn’t get the evening sun and we didn’t get to use it much. But we would go and sit on the comfy sofas outside by the bar – and late at night under the stars by the fire pit. And met some great other couples (most people stayed a week though).
There are two lovely pools both with amazing views. The larger got very crowded with families and the loungers were “bagged” early in the morning – the children were generally well behaved. We opted for the smaller top pool most of the time which was adults only and some days we had it completely to ourselves – we even had our own barman bringing us drinks and lunch. A couple of the blocks have their own pool but they are fairly small.
We ate at the hotel regularly and both restaurants had really good food and attentive staff. We only had one hiccup; after our meal (although before dessert) I went to use the bathroom and my husband decided to go back to the room for my pashmina, whilst we were both away they cleared away our unfinished wine and gave our table to another couple. When we pointed this out they were very apologetic and the next day we had a bottle wine in our room and a note from the owner apologising. So they rescued the situation.
The breakfast buffet got very crowded by 9.30-10am but outside that was fine – with a good selection of food. The wasps were very apparent but only the outside tables were bothered by them.
I also had a couple of treatments at the Elemis spa onsite, which was lovely and had only just opened.
As we stayed for so long we made friends with some of the staff and met the owner, all were delightful and all had ideas for where to go to see the Island at its best including some great restaurant recommendations for Fiskardo. Maria and Rich were fantastic.
Whilst it was very lovely hotel we did drag ourselves away to go to the Islands of Ithaca and also Lefkas – both are a short ferry trip. We also went to Assos and climbed to the fort, visited the underground lake at Melissani, beach at Foki Bay (lots of Wasp’s) and the little beach (and trail) near the hotel. Fiskardo is definitely worth visiting in the early evening when all the sailing boats are coming in to tie up for the night. There were some very big ones during our stay. Fiskardo has a good selection of restaurants and pleasant atmosphere – Although only one good bar which you can’t miss as you walk along the harbor on your right. It’s best to make sure you early for the complimentary shuttle to Fiskardo or to walk it.
All together this wonderful hotel and friendly service made a memorable holiday.
Modern, Minimal and Quietly Elegant
Imagine living in one of those glossy penthouse apartments, Imagine living in a supremely manicured village, where everything is colour-washed and styled: a true deluxe, ‘Art’ hotel, where placement is everything.
It may not be everyone’s 'cup-of-tea', but if you are looking for a stunningly attractive, modern complex (about 40 apartments) in a lovely setting (unobstructed sunsets over the Ionian each evening over the sea) then this may well suit you. It is a 5 star hotel where most of its artefacts can be bought (from the T-shirts that the staff wear to the bath products and strangely also, the wall lights and switches in the apartments).
I visited in June 2004 and was overwhelmed with the hotel and its service. ‘Yes’, its modern but it is beautiful in a minimist way. It is not traditional Greek by any means, but I can’t fault its setting (in a high, pine-wooded peninsula) nor the care and attention of its (equally designer) staff and its core values. In the evening, the paths around the apartments are lit by individual candles and a weather report is put in your door, guests are met at the car park and ferried to the hotel by a courtesy golf car. Breakfast each morning is in the open air veranda (great for spotting dolphins).
It is quiet and relaxing ‘get–way-from-it-all’ type of place for people who enjoy a certain degree of decadence but not suffocated by unnecessary formality or pomp. If you your typical holiday idle includes: just sitting by the pool, gazing at a wide expanse of cobalt blue sea, being brought an exotic cocktail by waitress in crisp white linen, reading a book or two to a backdrop of softly piped jazz/funk music then you will like the Emelisse.
It is about five minutes from Fiscardo (by car), so eating out in the evenings by the most animated traditional harbour on the Island, with its many bars and restaurants, is an easy excursion. Food in the hotel is under the stars and also from designer school –but is truly enjoyable. We eat at the hotel most lunchtimes and a couple of evenings and were never disappointed.
The only slight drawback of the hotel is its relative position and getting to and from points south of the Island. I understand that there are 360 (mostly hairpin) bends on the road to the Airport (south of the Island) from the hotel (north of the Island). The road is spectacular and the views are breathtaking, however if you don’t like driving along 1,000ft precipices you may need a blind-fold in certain areas of the route! You will also need a good map because most the roads and towns aren’t on the general tourist maps (Plus there’s not many petrol stations).
However, there’s not getting away from it, the drive to and from the hotel and other areas on the island is tiring and requires concentration: the hairpin bends do take their toll, especially after a week. Quite often we had to weigh up the relative merits of driving out for the day against a day of being pampered..! decision, decisions..
In summary, its beautiful and spectacular and unlike any other place. I’d certainly go back….
We stayed at the Emilisse hotel for our Honeymoon earlier this year and it was wonderful. Beautifully located on a promentary overlooking the Island of Ithaca this boutique hotel offers a stylish yet relaxed retreat for those looking for somewhere a little bit special to stay. The decor is modern and minimal which works well in the public areas although it can sometimes feel a little too minimal in the bedrooms. The infinity pool is fantastic and is a great place to relax and enjoy the views. The staff are very attentive, breakfast is first rate and the food in the restaurant is also very good if a little expensive. Nearby Fiscardo is a lovely town with a wide range of restaurants clustered around the harbour. A hotel minibus runs into the town if you don't feel like making the 10-15 minute walk every evening. Overall, I would thoroughly recomend the Emilisse hotel, Fiscardo and Cephalonia.
what a gem!!!
We went to this hotel in August 2006. It was amazing!!!
We have travelled to some pretty spectacular locations in our time but this was the best!!! The attention to detail was excellent, the Spa amazing and the surrounding incredible.
The outlook for our balcony was perfect azure sea and spectacular islands rising up through the mist in the morning, it was magical.
We went for a week and wished it was two.
The pool area was great, complimentary towels, waiters on hand to bring drinks and the food! The food was second to none, we ate out one night and regretted it. The back drop was wonderful, the sea lapping at the rocks as the sun set , and then the lights turned on that lit up the ocean a few feet away. We dined in lamp light every night, with a lovely breeze. After dinner there were several places to sit and ponder in candle light, then a dreamy sleep in a fully airconditioned room.
would we go back ? definately!!!!!!
This was a surprise birthday present and what a wonderful surprise. The location is idyllic, beautiful and so romantic. The staff go the extra mile to make the holiday perfect. I cannot fault a thing. This rates as the best beach holiday ever. Take someone you love with you and you cannot fail to go wrong.
Just the best holiday location!
The hotel and staff were outstanding. The attention to detail just makes the hotel a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the breath-taking views.
We opted for a room with a private pool which was well worth the extra money, saying that the main pools were never too busy and sun loungers were always available.
The only other advice I would give is don't get too carried away with ordering drinks and food by the pool unless you want to run up a big room bill - but frankly we didn't care.
Also, probably not the best place to take kids, much more of a relaxed adult place.
Would defy anyone to have a bad experience here.