You’ll be treading in illustrious footsteps at beachside Domes Miramare – it was once the summer playground of the Onassis family, hosting royals and celebs in its Sixties heyday. Century-old olive trees are dotted around the pool and gardens, while two bars and a trio of restaurants serve Corfiot specialties, kumquat cocktails and the catch of the day. A private champagne-service boat ferries guests up and down the Corfu coast, but if you charter your own you can park it right outside one of the waterfront suites. Relax, have a spa treatment, and enjoy that unmistakable sound of a child-free resort: silence.
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A cocktail each; Smiths staying three nights get a sushi platter and Smiths staying five nights also get a three-course dinner for two
11am, check-in 2pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £384.90 (€451), including tax at 24 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €4.00 per room per night on check-in.
Rates include a bottle of wine on arrival, but not breakfast (from €8 for cereals and Greek yoghurt, or you can go big on the full buffet bonanza for €40).
You won’t find too many hotels on the beach in Corfu – it’s illegal to build them within a hundred metres of the seashore. Luckily, Domes Miramare got its permit from before that law was passed.
Domes Miramare shuts for the winter, usually from mid-October to mid-April.
At the hotel
Private beach, WiFi. In rooms: minibar with locally sourced snacks, air-conditioning, free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making kit. Each HRH villa has an iPod dock, hammam and private parking.
Our favourite rooms
Pick a Pavilion Suite Waterfront with a Private Pool (Room 202 is a good ’un) – not only can you moor your own boat right outside the door, but there’s a retractable roof over your living room; watch the palm trees sway in the breeze by day, and then stargaze all night long.
The enormous main pool is flanked by palm trees, nest-egg cabanas and pairs of sunloungers; the beach is just a few steps away. There’s a separate pool with a juice bar, for the exclusive use of guests who book an Haute Living package.
Soma Spa uses Elemis and Codage Paris products to administer a raft of wellness treatments on a platform overlooking the sea. Go for a booster facial, deep-tissue massage, or perhaps buddy up for the Finding Equilibrium treatment for two. There are fitness classes in the olive garden most mornings.
Bring your most elegantly head-turning outfits, the kind that’d make Jackie Kennedy Onassis proud.
All communal areas are wheelchair accessible, and two of the Emerald Retreat Sea View rooms have adapted bathrooms. Book a Villa or Pavilion for access to the ‘Haute Living’ facilities, including a private living room, swimming pool and free drinks.
Welcome to join you in your room for €20 a night, plus a one-off cleaning fee of €100. They’re not allowed in the public areas of the hotel, though (including the pool, spa, beach and restaurants), and trouble-makers will be asked to leave. See more pet-friendly hotels in Corfu.
It’s over-16s only, so you'll need to leave little Smiths at home for this one.
Snag a table on the terrace for the best views of the azure Ionian Sea.
Sling on a kaftan for a break from the beach; rock a resort dress or light linens for dinner.
There are three, each catering to a different appetite. Makris is the Corfiot all-rounder masterminded by Michelin-star veteran Tassos Mantis; you can’t go wrong with the meze platter, the slow-cooked octopus is a must, and the catch-of-the-day is always tempting. Mantis’ premium offering is 1962 Gastronomy, which takes Greek classics and international comfort food to new levels – expect plates of fresh pasta that are so much more than plates of fresh pasta. Finally, there’s Raw Bar, which crafts delicate sushi to be served alongside champagne cocktails on the rooftop.
You’ll be seeing a lot of blue and green in your time on Corfu, and the two in-house bars follow the theme. Blue Bar is a regal setting for after-dinner drinks – the King of Greece hosted heady shindigs here in the Sixties, and now you can sip ouzo martinis with live piano in the air and silver lanterns swaying overhead. There’s a beachclub vibe down at the poolside Verde Bar, where summery signature cocktails are made with kumquats plucked straight from the Raw Bar roof garden.
Breakfast is available at Makris 7am to 11am, lunch is from 1pm to 4.30pm, and dinner is from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Over at 1962, dinner is served from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.
You can request breakfast-in-bed, and order a range of dishes to your room, 24 hours a day.
Domes Miramare is in Moraitika, on Corfu’s east coast, about a 30-minute drive south of the capital, Corfu Town. Call the Smith24 team if you need any help arranging travel.
You can fly directly to Corfu International Airport from dozens of hubs across Europe, including London Gatwick and Luton with Easyjet. The airport is 18 kilometres from the hotel, which takes around 20 minutes in a taxi (budget around €50 each way).
Your own set of wheels is handy if you plan on cruising around the Corfu coast; hire at the airport and park for free at the hotel.
Arrive in style on Domes Miramare’s private motorboat, the Miramaretta, which picks you up in Corfu Town and drops you on the hotel jetty. Greek island-hoppers should get familiar with the ferry timetables; the trip to Igoumenitsa on the mainland takes around an hour, or you can sail further south to Paxi, Kefalonia or Patras. You can even nip across to Albania, in just 35 minutes.
Worth getting out of bed for
Spend your days at Domes Miramare exactly how the Onassis family would have wanted: lounging in the sun, taking alternate dips in the pool and the sea or sipping cocktails under the olive trees. Work your way through the massages and beauty treatments on the spa menu, then strike up a tune on the piano in the lobby (that last bit’s probably only advisable for the musically inclined, though a few bars of Zorba the Greek will do in a pinch). For a change of beach-scenery, head over to the soft, golden sands of Halikounas Beach on Corfu’s windsurfer-friendly west side (Alonaki restaurant will keep you very well fed and watered), get your kit off at Myrtiotissa nudist beach, or join the locals at the secret bar on Gardenos beach. Porto Timoni is a narrow headland with back-to-back beaches, which you can reach by pedalo (or, less romantically, a rocky path from Afionas). If you didn’t take the Miramaretta when you arrived, book in for a trip on the luxury motorboat to Corfu Town. Science, tradition and more than four-million olive trees go into making the oil at The Governor's Olive Mill (Ágios Matthaíos 490 84) – take a tour and learn how they do it. Hire a boat, grab a map, and set a course for the laser-blue water of the Paleokastritsa caves – and don’t forget your beach gear for basking in the coves nearby. For a daytrip, take the one-hour ferry to the sleepy island of Paxos, Corfu’s little sister; neighbouring Antipaxos is the baby of the bunch, an idyllic escape lined with white-sand beaches. Achilleion Palace in Gastouri was built for the Empress of Austria in 1890, and was later the summer home of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It’s every bit as majestic as you’d expect, with classical statues, gleaming colonnades, and immaculate gardens facing the sea.
Townhouse café Sway (Kappodistriou 52) does all-day dishes alongside iced coffees and meticulously crafted cocktails; you can sit on the terrace or inside, where pendant lamps hang above the patterned tile floor. Classic Greek seafood doesn’t come much better than at Bacchus Taverna on Messonghi beach; go for the cheese-stuffed squid, then pick a fish, any fish. For a lazy lunch go to Bioporos (Vrakaniotika Lake Korission 490 80) – the entirely organic ingredients are sourced locally, so expect this-morning’s eggs from the adjacent farm, and traditional Greek bread fresh from the wood-fired oven. In the oh-so-pretty fishing village of Benitses, Nikos Bellos’ Klimataria is a date-night destination, serving market-sourced seafood with legendary house sauces.
Caldera (Moraitika 490 84) is a beachside bar and restaurant with regular live music and fresh-fruit cocktails flowing late into the night.
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 adults-only hotel in Greece and unpacked their olives and ouzo, a full account of their Greek-island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Domes Miramare in Corfu…
You know Domes Miramare means business even before you arrive: at the Corfu Town dock, the Miramaretta is waiting – not a blingy white superyacht, but a sleek black cruiser with a lacquered wooden deck and an understated elegance. The 20-minute journey south is just long enough put a bottle of champagne to good use, and get acquainted with Corfu’s aristocratic heritage – as the Old Town disappears behind you, the forest-set villa of Mon Repos comes into view, once a summer residence for the Empress of Austria, and later the birthplace of our very own Prince Philip. But it gets better (sorry, Phil)… On the 600-metre beachfront of Moraitika, a lone jetty juts out into the water, leading to the sprawling Domes Miramare estate. It was here that the shipping-zillionaires of the Onassis family lived out their own Great Gatsby fantasies in the Sixties, hosting royalty, celebrities and the leading lights of politics. Now it’s all yours, to laze in the sun like Jackie O…