Even the most seasoned of Ionian island devotees will struggle to stifle a gasp upon first gazing out from the hilltop heights of five-star Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa. A dramatically sweeping infinity pool – the biggest in Corfu – segues seamlessly into a vast swathe of twinkling azure and out to the Greek mainland. And you rarely have to tear your gaze away for very long, with swoony vantage points spread across the hotel’s various top-notch dining spots, its vast spa and most of its rooms and villas. Aching to plunge into that shimmering bay? Hop in a buggy and you’ll be whisked down to the hotel’s private beach club for feet-in-the-sand cocktails and squishy seafront sunbeds, too.
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Two signature welcome drinks. GoldSmiths also get an upgrade to the next room category (subject to availability) and a 15-minute massage
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £127.96 (€149), including tax at 13 per cent.
Rates include an excellent breakfast buffet, chock full of fresh local produce and plenty of cooked-to-order items.
The Angsana Gallery is a gift shop with a tasteful selection of local handicrafts and other souvenirs that you won’t feel embarrassed to have on display when you get home.
At the hotel
Private beach, kids’ club, spa, gym, infinity pool, children’s pool, bike rental, concierge, beauty salon, fashion boutique. In rooms: Nespresso coffee machines, tea-making kit, terry towel and kimono-style bathrobes and slippers, minibar, free water, 24-hour room service
Our favourite rooms
If travelling as a family, the villa rooms would be our top choice. You have all the benefits of the hotel facilities and service, but with the privacy and space of a villa rental. Private pools-with-views certainly also add to their ample appeal. Honeymooners might prefer the corner suites, with their wraparound windows and glass-panelled balconies they offer the best sea views from the comfort of your king-size.
Snag a prime spot on the sleek wood deck that extends into the centre of the pool and you feel like you’re suspended between water and sky. You’ll also find the options of all-day dining and drinking just a buzzer-prod away.
The huge Angsana Spa feels like a destination in its own right, with 11 treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms, and a 25-metre heated pool. There’s even the poolside Juice Bar for virtuous post-swim refreshment.
Don’t fret about last-minute swimwear shopping, the hotel’s on-site fashion boutique – the White House – has resort-friendly designer togs that’ll ensure you match the oh-so-swish poolside setting.
Unusually for the Greek Islands, the hotel is open year-round. However, outdoor facilities such as the beach club, the outdoor pools and terraces do not operate off-season (November to April).
Furry travel companions are welcome, as long as they come accompanied by a health certificate presented at check-in. Each room can only sleep a single cat or dog, and there’s a cleaning fee of €100 for the stay. See more pet-friendly hotels in Corfu.
The hotel’s eco-forward ethos is evident throughout, from minimal plastic usage and green bathroom products to super-efficient lighting and heat recovery systems. Kitchen produce is also sourced from local farmers and suppliers, and food waste is even monitored.
You’d be hard pressed to find a bad table at any of the restaurants, though a terrace table at Botrini would be our top choice – sea views rarely get more expansive.
For post-pool daytime dining just throw on a cover-up, though dinner here demands something a little dressier – leave the flip-flops in your room.
The hotel offers a rather impressive raft of places to eat, which is useful as there’s not much within easy strolling distance. The day starts for most at Ruen Romsai, a casual poolside spot with highlights of honeycomb-drizzled yoghurt and cooked-to-order stations. Sofrito is popular for lunch, with its up-dated-Greek-taverna styling and Corfiot-focused cooking. Dinner is generally a more grown-up affair, especially at Botrini where the eponymous Michelin-garnered chef conjures up inventive Italian fine-dining with a local twist. For sushi-centred Asian fusion, opt for a semi-circular sea-view booth at Koh – their snow-crab-topped dynamite roll is a must-try.
It’s all sweeping sea views, comfy couches and craft cocktails at Starboard Lounge, one of the hotel's impressive four main bars. Open all day, it’s good for a lunchtime tipple as much as a nightcap under the stars. The wood decked Sunrise Pool Bar offers waterside drinks barely an arm’s length from your lounger for most of the day. The more upbeat, adults-only Vertigo Sky Bar is the spot for sundowners and late-night libations accompanied by live music and 360-degree panoramas. And down at the beach club, Emerald Beach Bar serves up seafront snacks to chilled-out tunes.
A full menu of Greek, Asian and international favourites can be ordered up to your room between 7am and 11pm. A pared-down service of drinks and snacks is available around the clock.
The Angsana is set overlooking Benitses Bay on the east coast of Corfu in the village of Benitses, 10 kilometres south of the island’s capital.
You can fly direct to Corfu Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport from numerous hubs across Europe, including London Gatwick and Luton. The airport is 12 kilometres from the hotel and around 20 minutes by cab, or speedboat.
Picking up your own set of wheels at the airport is handy if you’re planning to explore the glorious Corfu coast. Parking is free at the hotel.
If you’re popping over from the mainland, you can take a ferry to Corfu Town from the passenger port in Igoumenitsa.
Worth getting out of bed for
Quite the hotel of superlatives, Angsana not only boasts the biggest infinity pool on the island, but also the biggest spa – so it would be rude not to give it a whirl. You can pick from a long menu of mood-elevating treatments, though we recommend one from their signature Rainmist range, which combines a rain shower and steam bath with pampering of your choice. Set your alarm for sunrise yoga on their dedicated deck, or turn up at dusk for sunset sessions. A vast gym also offers every iteration of fitness machine as well as a studio hosting regular exercise classes.
For a change of scenery, just five minutes away by road is the small coastal town of Benitses, where you can stroll around its bijou marina and lunch on its pretty plaza edged with restaurants and shops. Corfu Town’s historic centre with its age-polished cobbled lanes and colourful multi-layered history is also just 20 minutes’ drive away – there’s a speedboat transfer too from the hotel. If watersports are your thing, there’s a hut on the hotel’s private beach that offers the full gamut. Over the cooler months, the hotel can provide maps for hiking and biking routes that snake around the surrounding mountains passing olive groves and ancient stone churches.
You’ll find most of the local dining lining the leafy square in Benitses, a short drive away. Oi Oraies is a particularly popular favourite, thanks to its combination of smiley waitstaff, breezy open-sided setting, and homestyle Greek cooking. If you can’t get a table here, a couple restaurants along the equally excellent Flora's offers all the traditional Grecian staples and fresh seafood, all cooked by the owner’s mother, no less.
If you feel the need to venture beyond the hotel for nightlife, there are a couple of fun beachfront cocktail bars in Benitses town. One is the couple-run Connection Cocktail Bar, directly overlooking the beach. Expect colourful concoctions complete with real flowers and sparklers and a younger, up-for-it crowd. Ether is another holiday-friendly cocktail bar nearby, where DJ sessions, disco balls and an upscale-beach-shack atmosphere set the mood for balmy summer nights.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hillside hotel in the Ionian Sea and unpacked their ouzo and olive wood spoon, a full account of their dreamy Greek Island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa…
Positioned on a prime piece of hillside on east-coast Corfu, it’s only natural that the breathtaking views from the Angsana take centre stage. But the hotel itself certainly isn’t short of gush-worthy features, too. For this, the Banyan Tree’s first opening outside Asia, the upmarket chain clearly didn’t hold back. From the showstopper infinity pool to super-size spa, its slew of top-notch dining spots to its own beach club – it all adds up to a mighty impressive package of five-star facilities. Subtle notes of the Far East also chime perfectly with the property’s sleek Mediterranean chic – sophisticated but far from formal. Although it does feel very grown-up, it also artfully manages that delicate balancing act of appealing as much to love-flush couples as worn-out parents with tots in tow. The result is a rather dreamy slice of Greek Island-luxe that more than does justice to its dazzling sky-meets-sea setting.