More about Kontokali Hotel
Strolling around the Kontokali area in the early morning, in search of the "Dafodill Yellow Villa" where the Durrell's family lived, I came across a little farm where they had these beautiful deers. I don't know if they had them for a zoo or so, but I found it quite interesting, deers in a farm in Greece...
Gouvia and Kontokali villages
We passed through Kontokali, a place full of meat restaurants, not attractive at all, I was told to come here for some good meat though. Kontokali took its name from Christofolos Kontokalis, a sailor that back in 1571 managed to took up a Turkish ship during the Naypaktos battle and gave the ship to Corfu! The locals gave him in return the area that we call today Kontokali. We just took a pic of a church on our way (pic 3) and we continued down to Gouvia, which is actually part of the area, you cant really tell where they split each other.
From Kontokali you can visit Lazareto islet which is only 2 miles away. It’s only 70 sq meters with many trees and relics of buildings from several periods of Corfu. The history of the island is connected with some bad memories though as it was this place that the Italians forced the Greeks during WWII. What’s more during the greek civil war(1946-1949) many people were killed too and for this reason the islet is historical site with the wall against which those who were shot to death still can be seen. During the 16th century, the Venetians built a monastery and later a peprosarium (after it the islet was named) that was in use later too by the british and the greeks.
There were some clouds above us so we preferred to continue to the next little port on the west so after a while we were in Gouvia, a typical fish village that has long history behind (although most of the tourists come here during the summer for the clubs). It was here that the famous Barbarosa from Corsica led the Turkish ships (because of the natural harbour that is located on the area). The turks destroyed everything on their way to the capital where they tried to enter the fortress but failed. Two centuries (!) later they came again at Gouvia but failed again to enter the fortress (although the siege lasted one month). After that, the venetians fortified the port at Gouvia and a new naval dockyard was built in 1778 so they could protect the war ships.
It was relaxing to watch the small port (pic 1) but seeing the Venetian naval dockyard (pic 2) was really nice although it’s only the arcs, some arched arcades and the central gate.
best hotel in Corfu
We just got back from a one week stay at the Kontokali Bay Hotel, and it was a lovely experience.
I was a little worried, after reading other reviews, that the hotel is quite isolated. I think the location is great: the hotel is just 5 kilometers away from the main attraction of the island, Corfu town. One day we took the bus, which is just 5 minutes walk, another day we rent a car (the best way to travel around) and usually we took the taxi.
The best things about this hotel are: the staff, which was the nicest staff I've seen (there are people who come here for twenty years...); then, the view from the beach is very spectacular: you can see the mountains, the mainland, Corfu town (with the two fortresses), and a small island. The beach has a Blue flag, we saw lots of fish swimming along side us, and the sunbeds are free.
The rooms are not as spectacular as you expect in a five star hotel, but they are very clean, and the safe is included in the price of the room (not a regular thing in greek hotels).
The food is for every taste, no complains there.
After coming back home, we felt that one week was not enough to see everything there is to see in Corfu. When we will come back, we will definetly stay here.
We have just returned from a week at Kontokali Bay Hotel. We travelled with our two children aged 17 and 20. The hotel was lovely, we had a warm welcome when we arrived and our rooms were the waterfront rooms a stones throw from their lovely private beaches. We had a large bottle of water in the room with a large basket of fruit a bottle of wine, dressing gowns and slippers. Their is a mini bar in the room but we requested this was emptied and we put our own water etc into it. There is a supermarket on site and shops nearby but the walk from the hotel is not worth doing as the area has very little in the way of facilities. The bed linen and towels were changed daily. The rooms were well airconditioned and nicely laid out all very clean. The food was wonderful with a huge choice of fresh fruit and a buffet style with a great variety. The lunch time food at the Tavarna was once again very good with a wide choice and very reasonable. The spa is a must and is all new with great facilities and a huge gym all newly equipped. The hotel has two private beaches with boat rides and all the water sports at a reasonable price.
We were all greeted by the staff in the restaurant at night who were all very friendly.
Nearby is the sea plane trips (about a 10 min walk) and we went on the sea plane to Paxos then a boat ride to Anti Paxos which is the most blue and wonderful beach I have ever seen. If you decide to do the sea plane trip it is best to pop over and see them direct to book as we got this for half the price offered from our rep and the brochure prices that they were currently indicating, it was a wonderful trip.
Although the hotel is not recommended for teenagers our kids had a wonderful time and went out to other resorts in the evening as the evening entertainment was very good but not their thing. Near to reception is the lovely air conditioned bar which overlooks the pool with lovely comfortable furniture where you can get drinks anytime of the day including tea and coffee a must for us tea drinkers. It was all very reasonable prices for drinks.
We also took their free bus to Corfu Town and had a nice day there. If you do decide to taxi anywhere the reception will sort it out for you and their advice is to agree a price beforehand.
It was certainly the best hotel we have ever stayed in and we are already looking to book there again.
you have to stay here...it has everything you want from a hoiladay
we got a trasfer from corfu airport and was dreading the journey as we have been to corfu before but stayed further out.
when we got to the Kontokali Bay Hotel we were greeted by an oldish gentleman who was on hand to carry our laugage...where was he when we reallt needed him back at home when we lugging the suitecase around...ha ha ha. Hw was so sweet and cheched us in and then took us straight tour room.... we thought at first we had the wrong room.
Our room was amazing and it was what they call a luxury suit and it was all that....and more. It was like living in a celebritys pethouse because the room was huge and it was all decorated very tastefull and the veiw from our room was breath taking even at 3 am when you could just see the sun set peeping over the water.
This wa our honeymoon.
There was everything ther I needed....An spa that give great wraps and they are all so lovely the staff and also need to mention that ther is a jewellers in the hotel..if you feel super rich they have a lovely collections of rings.
They sports activites are brilliant.
My husband hired us a boat for four hours and we had a great time wizzing around.
the weather was great and we are both now worried that nothing will ever live up to this hols.
this is a great hotel and the food is 5 star all the way.
We were very glad we chose this hotel.
I booked this hotel with Palmair travelling from Bournemouth,for myself,my mother and teenage son(who came to help me look after mum,who is in poor health and uses a wheelchair).The hotel is only a short transfer from the airport.
All rooms are triples,with a double and single bed,and are spacious.Some are in the main building and others are like chalets in the grounds.We requested to be in the main building,and had a nice terrace with sea view.
The hotel feels very exclusive as it is on an isolated peninsula with no other hotels around.It has its own private sandy beach with sunbeds and umbrellas,and towels and cushions are provided.There are watersports and boat hire available here,from a jetty.
We found reception staff to be friendly,helpful and spoke perfect English.The hotel is immaculate inside and out,and the owner is very proud of it.The staff were all attentive and courteous.The lift is large enough for a wheelchair,and there are ramps for access to all areas. There is a lift to take you from the pool area down to the beach.
Breakfast is buffet style with a huge choice,and beautifully presented. The hot food varied daily.There are views of the pool and sea, or the hills with cypress trees, or the harbour,depending where you sit! The same applies to the evening meal.One night was a Greek evening, with musicians playing in the dining room.
Lunch is served at the restaurant by the beach,and again has a good choice of hot or cold buffet. You take a tray round, and pay for the food you have taken.Someone else has mentioned the garlic prawn kebabs-they were delicious!! In the evening this area was used for the entertainment, with a small stage and the bar.It varied nightly with singers,magicians,and greek dancing.
My son was impressed with the young girl on a tall unicycle, who did an amazing juggling act with her father!
There was alternative music in the hotel itself every evening.One of the staff played the grand piano beautifully,and one night there was an accordionist and violinist, who played together superbly. As I play the accordion myself, this was a real treat. You can also get pizzas and bar snacks all day from the bar, until late.
We went on an excursion to Paleocastritsa which has very pretty bays, with boat trips to see the caves and amazing blue water. My son did scuba diving here for the first time. We took a taxi to the top of a hill to see the monastery, which is worth visiting.
We also went to Dassia to look at the Dassia Corfu and Chandris sister hotels ,out of interest, as we had considered staying here. There is no comparison!! We were so relieved we had booked Kontokali Bay instead. The reception was like an airport lounge, miserable staff at the bar, disappointing pool area, and no access to beach for wheelchairs. We had to walk downhill around the hotel to get there. The beach itself was shingle and dirty. It is also set beside a VERY busy main road.
Although there were very few children or teenagers in the hotel,my son was quite happy as he had the pool to himself most of the time.He could dive safely as it is very deep.He also had great success water skiing for the first time with a friendly instructor, and skiied all around the bay.Sadly he was the only guest using the watersports this week, so didnt go on the banana boat, but he had a long go on the ringo, pulled behind the speedboat.
There is a small play area and pool for very young children but this is tucked away amongst the bungalows, not near the main pool. There was also a small gym,table tennis, beach volleyball and water aerobics session. It sounds as if the hotel has now built a spa and indoor pool, which sounds good.
I would certainly go back to this hotel with my husband, and hopefully hire a boat to see more of the island.
We took our son (12) to stay for a week at this hotel - too 'cool'for any of the organised entertainment in other resorts but not old enough to be left to his own devices...this hotel turned out to be perfect not only for him but for us as well. We stepped off the coach after the 10 minute transfer from the airport (heaven!) into a beautiful reception with helpful staff and someone to take our bags to our room which had the most gorgeous sea view. Small criticism here would be that we had a bungalow in the gardens which although spotlessly clean and maintained was a little 'basic' I felt compared to the rooms in the main hotel which had clearly been updated. This was minor though and quite honestly because the weather was glorious we were rarely in there anyway. This hotel suited us perfectly because of it's location. The infinity pool is stunning and I never tired of the view, we had loungers here every day but only because my husband was up at 8.30am, anything later than about 9.30am and I think we would have struggled. The best part though was how accessible the beach is from the swimming pool, literally steps (or the lift!) away which meant that we were happy for our son and his new friends to divide their time between the pool and the beach as they wished. There is a lifeguard on duty on the beach which is a private beach and the water is calm unlike other sides of the island where it can be quite wild! The other children in the hotel were well behaved and well mannered and it was lovely to get to know them and their parents. Food wise, the beach bbq is great for lunch and the prawns are to die for! Breakfast and evening meal are buffet style in the main restaurant and the staff really take pride in what they have prepared. However, for us it was lovely to have the option to pay the extra and eat in the alacarte restaurant outside on a couple of occasions where the chateaubriand was an absolute revelation - perfectly cooked and presented and I have never had better anywhere else. You need to book a day or so in advance and they take 16euros a head off your final bill. Service, food and setting is amazing. Also recommended is the Kontokali Bay white wine which is made specially for the hotel in a small local vineyard - very nice especially when well chilled! Evening entertainment, not brillliant and in some cases so bad it was funny! We had an Elvis impersonator....all the way from the Czech Republic....had to be heard to be believed!! Again though it is the setting for the evening entertainment that makes everything alright - on the beach, with the sound of the sea and the clink of your wine glasses - nothing can ruin it! We are booking again for next year, ths is the first time we will return to a hotel as we always like to try new places but why try new when you have found something which has absolutely everything you look for in a holiday?
Perfect, one of the best on Corfu!
The Kontokali Bay was the third hotel on Corfu we visited, during our fifth stay. And it was by far the best one we’ve been to on this lovely island. There are almost no negative points, and many entries on the upside. Definitely recommended for a relaxing stay in great setting, with excellent food and extremely kind staff.
The hotel is built on a small peninsula outside the tourist resort of Gouvia. The downside is, that it’s a fair walk from everything. The stroll down to the main road takes 10 minutes. There you find a supermarket (prices are a third of the ones at the hotel supermarket), one or two tavernas, and the bus stop for Corfu town (every 20mins on weekdays, 30mins on weekends). The taxi ride to town and airport takes about 10 minutes and costs around 15€.
However, being away from the hustle and bustle of Gouvia makes the atmosphere nice and calm. Perfect if you like to relax.
On the other side of the peninsula is Gouvia marina, a big yacht harbour. Sometimes you hear the noise of the seaplanes taking off from there for the flights around the region. Since that’s only 10 daily flights at most, it isn’t really disturbing. By the way, the 30 minute flightseeing is a great experience and is highly recommended.
There are rooms in the main building as well as bungalows (containing 4 to 8 rooms) spread around the lush park-like grounds. We were in one of the Bungalows. The rooms are good, but not as fancy as in other places, mainly because the design is nothing special. However, they’re clean, spacious and there’s enough space to store clothes and personal belongings. Flat-TV with a fair share of international channels and an effective aircon.
We booked a seafront bungalow, and the location is great. 20 meters from the sandy beach, 40 meters from the sea. That’s heavenly – just sitting there, watching a beautiful sunrise, listening to the evening entertainment from “home”, or hearing the waves crashing in the middle of the night.
The free (and fairly highspeed) WLAN is another great future – right now I’m sitting outside our room, enjoying the view on the sea and to Corfu town in the distance while writing this review. Can it get any better?
The hotel is set in a big park-like area. The main building contains the reception, the main restaurant, the A la carte-restaurant, and the sea water pool. A lift or several footpaths take you down to the sandy beach, split in three separate bays. The water is fairly clean, however, there’s some seaweed both on the ground and afloat in some places. However, this is common in Corfu (being such a green island), and it is still by far the best hotel beach we’ve had on Corfu so far. Sunbeds and towels are free (unlike in other Corfu hotels), and most of the time you shouldn’t have much trouble finding an unoccupied place.
There’s a big restaurant down at the beach, where lunch is served and the evening entertainment is taking place.
Since we love food, this was –until now- one of the downsides of Corfu, since most buffets here are nothing more than basic. However, this hotel is completely different!
In the main restaurant (completely inside, but overlooking the pool and garden with a large window front), there’s a dinner buffet each day. It has a great varierty of both cold and hot dishes, containing the usual ones (in great quality!) but also regular seafood, good meat and poultry and a selection of Greek specialities. Although there are no real theme nights (except for Greek), the food selection changes considerably from day to day, so it’s not repetitive at all. Food quality is mostly excellent and no one will go out hungry – thanks also to the huge dessert selection with fruits and lots of sweets.
There’s no entertainment during the buffets except for Tuesday’s Greek Nigh. Musicians are roaming the tables, the waiters and even the chef are dancing, clapping, singing themselves and the ambiance is simply great.
There is an A la carte restaurant as well, placed in a nice setting, overlooking the pool and beach area. It offers very excellent quality food. The prices are quite high, but with half board you only pay the difference to your normal rate. Going there once or twice is for sure a great decision, and the shrimps recommended by all the others are definitely worth a try.
Breakfast is taking place in the main restaurant. The selection isn’t quite as wide as during the evening buffet, but there’s about everything you need – lots of fruits and vegetables as well as hot dishes.
I’ve hardly ever been to a place with such nice staff.
No boring perpetual smiles like in Thailand, no profit-minded faked smiles like in other hotels, but genuine kindness and a desire to treat the guests nice. The service was extremely fast (we got our drinks always within 20 seconds) and professional – but always with that expression that makes you feel really welcome. The mood among the staff seems to be great as well, this is our impression after a two weeks stay. They’re dancing and singing together on the Greek Nights and they work hand in hand like nowhere else. It seems they really like their work – that’s become quite rare these days.
The receptionists were a bit less “warm”, but their english (and german, italian, russian, etc.) is good and they dealt with all our requests in a fast and efficient way.
We had two weeks of greatest holidays in this wonderful place. A friend warned us, that it was for sure one of the top hotels – but that it was still Corfu, and that we shouldn’t expect too much. Well, our expectations were way exceeded. The beach is not Carribean-like, but sure one of the nicest on Corfu. The food is way better than in all the other Corfu resorts we tried. And the great setting as well as the extremely kind staff make you feel very comfortable. I can’t possibly imagine, how much more you could expect from a destination barely 2 hours from central Europe.
I can truly recommend the hotel for everyone, except for the clubbing crowd maybe, who will miss the action here. But for families and couples of every age this is a great place to relax and have a great holiday!
Relaxing holiday on the beach
Stayed here for a week 16th - 23rd June 2008. We booked with Olympic and stayed in a Double bedded sea view room. The room was on the top floor of the main building, so we had a fantastic sea view. Lots going on in the sea (cruise ships in and out of Corfu town, boats being hired from the hotel, the sea plane flying over) so plenty to watch. A bay view would have been no comparison.
The weather was hot and sunny, not a cloud in the sky!
We got the courtesy bus one day to Corfu Town, which was well worth the visit, particularly the Old Fort. You have to book the courtesy bus in advance at reception.
The hotel exceeded our expectations in terms of its facilities, the grounds were a lot bigger than we expected and the view from our room was the best view we have ever had in any hotel! The staff were all friendly, and the food was quite good for a buffet style restaurant (particularly the desserts!). Lunch in the beach bar mainly consisted of barbecued meat etc, which was far too much for us at lunch time. Therefore we went to the supermarket at the end of the road every day to buy bread, ham and cheese etc and had our own picnic on our balcony!
The only (minor) negative points were:
- the beach is not a private beach, as advertised. In fact a lot of locals use it, and sit on the sun loungers. On one occasion we went to the swimming pool, leaving our towels on the sunloungers on the beach, and when we got back one of the locals was sat on our loungers! They soon moved when we told them to! But there is no effort to stop other people using the beach, and the towel boy seems to charge some of them for use of the loungers (not sure the management are aware of this!)
- the shower: it was a good quality shower, but the hose seemed to be too short, which meant it was not good for tall people, and the way it was arranged meant you could not get very close to the water. Very strange set up.
- the local area: it is not worth walking to Kontokali village or Gouvia Marina. Kontokali village is a road with grotty cafes, and you have to walk along a smelly, dirty road to get there. Gouvia Marina (described by Olympic as a cosmopolitan resort) was very quiet, with nothing going on (maybe June is too early in the season). We went to these places once, but were happy to have an evening stroll around the hotel grounds on the other nights!
All in all a very relaxing holiday, in a very pleasant hotel. No good if you like to walk out and about in an evening, but as I said before the hotel has plenty of grounds to walk around. It would be very difficult to beat the views.
Returned from this hotel on 02/06/08 weather bit mixed first week so not much to do at hotel. I found the hotel ideal for a relaxing break, we are not ones to partake in the activities so can't comment on that. I think Mari at reception could do with a refresher course in hospitality and manners, quite abrupt and rude not just to me but I observed her in action with many of the guests. I requested a low floor with bay view, it was second floor but that is ground and reception level which was ideal. Didn't think much of the view though and wished I had gone for sea view. Rooms were adequate size and bathroom had all amenities good shower, mirror and hairdrier. Room was kept spotless and sheets were changed daily, pillows were like marshmallows very snug! No noise from either side occasional on corridor but generally well sound proofed. Free use of safe and fridge. Could have been more drawer space. My beef with hotels is the t.v. channels one english speaking and that was bbc world news so boring, but seven german speaking!!! if they can't get the channels why not pay per view. You always get someone saying "You don't go for the telly " but I like to come back to my room some nights around 10.30 and read and also be able to watch a film.
Restaurant was spacious waiters were attentive and tables cleared quickly. Food was fresh and well presented vast selection of fruit and cold dishes at breakfast, hot plate could have had more choice and could have been cooked better, the scrambled eggs were like they had just been shown the pan and to me were inedible, and I like mine quite loose. Fried eggs were cold and would have been better cooked to order. Now the boiled eggs were great you could put your raw egg into an egg boiler wander round and get the rest of your breakfast come back after five mins and the egg was perfect. No problem taking pieces of fruit for later from the restaurant. We ate a couple of times at night here and what we had was good we enjoyed it.
I think what sells this hotel is the location great outdoor views and the design of sun bathing areas. The pool area is very pretty with comfy seating and effinity pool. But we spent our days on the decked area by the sea. It's a big space but not crowded only limited brollys and beds, my husband swims each morning before breakfast and leaves his towel on a sunbed 'till we return around 9.30. There is the odd towel to be seen down there but be warned the towel man from the hotel was seen putting towels on beds for peolple at 7.30am!! The beach restaurant was really nice plenty of seating including comfy sofas, . The food here was excellent choose fresh fish or steaks to be cooked on the barby also self serve hot and cold dishes, I must say the sweets were delicious. I think the only drawback with this hotel is the distance from the restaurants and shops which is only 10 mins to nearest one and thats it one! the next is another 10 mins and only 2 or 3 there in Kontokali. Gouvia is busier and has more choice but that is further still. I think the hotel should consider a shuttle bus every hour as I would imagine for anyone with walking difficulties it could be a problem having to walk especially in the summer temperatures. They do provide a bus into Corfu Town but that is only once a day at 9.30am and has to be pre-booked the day before. The alternative is to take the local bus about 150yards from hotel but you have to cross a very busy road and there is no shade to wait in. Taxis are quite pricey 15 euros into Corfu town but I love it there so cosmopolitan now lots of cafes shops etc. We ate out one night here lovely meal bit pricey but we enjoyed it. The taverna nearest the hotel was very good limited menu but cooked fresh to order and was always delicious just 20 euros for meal for two with salad water and wine. I must also mention Vissalis restaurant which is a small hotel in Kontokali centre the restaurant is situated at the rear of the property around the pool. At night it puts on greek dancing and the food and service is excellent made us feel very welcome.
I haven't been to Corfu for fifteen years not much has changed, I think the powers that be need to tidy up in places it gives a bad impression on arrival all the rubbish dumped round the streets not a pretty sight. All in all Corfu is a lovely island and the hotel was all I expected and would return in the future.
church at Kontokali
palace of Saints Michaels & George
MIC MAC fast food restaurant