Laid out like a traditional village and painted in Corfiot colours, Marbella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas entwines Ionian heritage with the Mediterranean good life. Built on a tree-clad hillside that descends to a pebbled beach, this all-suite stay is on Corfu’s quiet southeast coast, and has an adults-only policy to ensure the atmosphere stays as serene as the sunrises. The novel layout means every suite gets a sea view, adding a burst of blue to the neutral palette lent by the hardwood floors, Louis XV furniture and pastel fabrics. Corfu Town can be reached in 25 minutes by car, but you may find you never want to leave this idyllic village, where you can revel in the restorative power of Cinq Mondes spa treatments, sip Corfiot wines at the poolside bar and dine on some of the island’s dishes at restaurant Apaggio.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of wine and an in-room breakfast, served the morning after arrival; GoldSmiths also get a candlelit dinner
Double rooms from £306.80 (€340), including tax at 13.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.00 per room per night on check-in.
Rates usually include a buffet breakfast in San Giovanni, which includes fresh bread and pastries, local jams and preserves, cereals, fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt and an expansive range of cold meats and cheeses, all cut to order at the deli counter.
If you're staying in a Deluxe Junior Suite or Deluxe Suite for five nights or more, you'll get various extras like early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability), dinner at a local restaurant one night a week, free traditional boat cruises and one 25-minute head massage a suite.
The hotel is usually closed over the winter.
At the hotel
Beach; spa with hammam, sauna and treatment rooms; gym; free WiFi throughout; laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV; minibar; tea and coffee kit; free bottled water.
Our favourite rooms
All the suites have sea views, but we’re particularly taken by the Deluxe Junior Suite with a Private Pool, which has the bed facing out to sea (it’s side on in most of the other suites).
The sea-facing infinity pool is on one of the terraces, giving swimmers an unobstructed view of the horizon. There’s a shallow area with row of partially submerged lounge seats against the wall, and a terrace with chairs and parasols off to the side. The pool terrace is shared with restaurant Aquavit – the tables sit between the pool and a larger sun terrace with sunloungers and shaded daybeds.
The spa has a sauna, hammam and two treatment rooms. The hotel collaborated with Parisian beauty brand Cinq Mondes to produce their menu of treatments, which make liberal use of the brand’s serums, oils and moisturisers, which are packed full of natural and organic ingredients. Ayurvedic, aromatherapy and couples’ treatments can be arranged too.
Bring something to slip over your swimwear so you can dine at poolside restaurant Aquavit without getting changed.
The layout makes this hotel unsuitable for wheelchair users.
The hotel is adults only, keeping things calm and collected.
At all three, a table on the terrace is the place to be.
Aquavit and San Giovanni are informal affairs – sundresses, smart shorts and cuban-collared shirts will keep you right. Apaggio is dressier: trousers and a tailored shirt for Mr Smith, a sheath dress for Mrs Smith.
There are three. San Giovanni is the main restaurant, split between a covered terrace and an elegant dining room with a parquet floor, Louis XV chairs and tall arching windows overlooking the Ionian sea. The cuisine is focused on Greek and Mediterranean dishes, with a dash of internationalism to keep things varied. There’s a wide-ranging wine list, too – bottles are drawn from the glass-fronted cellar at the side of the room. Open for lunch, poolside restaurant Aquavit is the place for casual, sun-soaked meals – the lighter options like the classic Greek salad, beef carpaccio and anchovy linguine all hit the mark on a hot day. On a terrace perfumed by a sun-warmed herb garden, Apaggio is the showpiece restaurant, serving a six-course tasting menu and à la carte offering that's rooted in Corfiot cuisine.
As the name suggests, Heritage Bar is tinged with a old-school glamour, sporting a decorative wooden bar topped with green marble, cream and purple velvet armchairs and Corfiot sculptures. Slip into the gentlemen's club spirit with a Paloma, a blend of aged and spiced Havana Club rums, cinnamon, lime and grapefruit juice. There’s a second bar on the pool terrace, where the waiters will bring drinks to your lounger.
San Giovanni serves breakfast from 7.30am to 11am, and dinner from 7pm to 9.30pm. Lunch is served at Aquavit from 12.30pm to 5pm. Apaggio is open for dinner from 8pm to 11.30pm.
The room service menu is made up of range of starters, mains and deserts pulled from the restaurant menus.
Marbella Nido is on Corfu’s southeast coast, around 25 minutes’ drive from Corfu Town.
Corfu International Airport is closest, and can be reached directly from many larger UK and Continental airports. It takes 30 minutes to drive from the airport to the hotel; transfers are available for €35 each way.
It certainly wouldn't hurt to have your own set of wheels, though you’ll manage without if you don’t plan on straying far from the grounds. If you do want to hire, the Smith24 team can arrange it.
Worth getting out of bed for
There are few better ways to start the day than a dip in the glittering Ionian Sea. If you’re not into a salty start, head down to the pool terrace after breakfast, where the barmen will bring you drinks to your lounger – the gin smash makes a particularly good sunbathing companion. If you’re in the mood for an active afternoon, book a waterskiing or paddleboarding session down at the beach; if not, escape to the spa for one of the Moroccan steam or Ayurvedic treatments. If you’re into your eco tourism, head to Bioporos Organic Farm on the shores of Korission Lake, home to a particularly diverse ecosystem. You can take traditional cooking classes (where you’ll get to use the farm’s produce), make your own organic soaps or hike through the Mediterranean cedar forest that surrounds the lake. Named in honour of the first governor of free Greece, the Governor is an award-winning olive oil made by the Dafnis family, who’ve been tending their Corfu olive groves for three generations – not a single tree on the estate is under 100 years old. They offer tours and tastings at their factory, where you’ll get to see how they turn the native lianolia olives into an extra fine, unfiltered oil that’s packed with antioxidants. Equestrian types shouldn't miss Silvaland, a working stables and sanctuary for the rare Skyrian horse, a relic of antiquity said to be a descendant of the breed that Achilles took to Troy. The historic sights in Corfu Town are just 20 minutes away, where you can also board ferries to Paxos and Antipaxos, Corfu’s pint-sized neighbours known for their vivid blue lagoons.
For brunch or a light lunch, stop in at Sway, an all-day eatery with a high, beamed ceiling, handsome wooden bar and patterned tile floor. The service is warm and the menu concise, ensuring everything from the succulent steaks to the ice cream hits the mark. For a more leisurely lunch, book a table at waterside restaurant Imabari, where the views of the Old Fortress more than justify lingering for another bottle or two after a meal. Not that you’ll be rushing to the end, with moreish dishes like steamed mussels, smoked mackerel salad and grilled octopus making up the main event. Come evening, secure a table at Limnopoula, a waterside taverna and seafood specialist that’s as popular with locals as it is with in-the-know tourists. The lamb and grilled sea bass are always safe bets.
Café Bristol is a traditional Corfiot bar with a difference – it’s got the classic tiled floor and wooden bar, but there’s a thick canopy of filament bulbs dangling overhead, adding a shot of artistic appeal. During the day, they do a steady trade in coffees, made in a gleaming vintage machine that’s crowned with a winged angel. Things get more lively after dark, when the music kicks up a notch and the attention turns to cocktails.
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 Corfiot olive oil, a full account of their coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Marbella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas in Greece…
Arriving at Marbella Nido is a bit like stepping into an idyllic Greek village. On the approach, the car carves across a hillside swathed in coastal pines, arriving at a clearing with stepped levels of villas painted in ochre, henna red and terracotta tones – traditional colours you’ll see up and down Corfu’s coast. A cobbled street snakes between the levels, connecting each row of villas with the beach at the foot of the hill, where bathers bask in the glittering blue of the Ionian Sea. It’s a picture of Elysian bliss, pairing the peacefulness of a centuries-old fishing village with the polished looks of the present. The sense of calm is partly to do with the location – outside the city and away from the swollen resorts on other parts of the island – and partly due to the fact that little Smiths aren’t allowed, giving the hotel a very grown up feel. No matter what category of suite you go for, you’ll have stylish, mod-Mediterranean interiors and a private terrace with a panoramic sea view; in the higher categories, the terraces grow apace with the rooms, sprouting alfresco dining areas, whirlpool bath tubs and eventually private pools.
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