Emelisse Nature Resort

Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Greece Book from Book from £195 per night

Luxury on a sublime stretch of coast with exquisite sea views and rooms that spoil you rotten
This place has the lot: exquisite views over turquoise seas, unyielding luxury in super-cool rooms, smartly-cushioned loungers flanking the pool, and a path down to a smooth belt of rock where you can swim into a cave. It's the rarest of places, one that fulfils every detail of the dream. You're alone on a tiny peninsula with views across to the islands of Lefkada and Ithaca.

The hotel's rooms and family apartments are spread across colour-washed houses with soft yellow walls, tiled roofs, manicured rose gardens and watery views. Some have access to additional swimming pools; all have terraces or balconies. Wander around and you find sofas that look out to sea, an enormous infinity pool down by the bar-restaurant, and 2 breakfast terraces up at the main house (one for the sun, one for the shade). Food is irresistible and threatens waistlines, so make sure you do your lengths in the morning.

Highs

  • The setting: enormous views over the Ionian Sea
  • The infinity pool, flanked by smart loungers and parasols
  • Simply sumptuous suites that indulge you ad infinitum
  • Despite the Corelli factor, Kefalonia is a gorgeous island with a breathtaking coastline and little mass development
  • A regular shuttle bus to and from Fiskardo that runs until 11pm – perfect if you’re eating out in the evening and don’t fancy walking back up the hill

Lows

  • Luxury comes with a price tag, and extras (Nespresso pods, tennis and squash courts) can add up
  • The buildings look a bit suburban, and some rooms are a little dark, but they ooze style inside
  • You’ll want to a hire car, but will hardly use it
  • WiFi is patchy in some rooms
  • It's a largish resort by our (and the island's) standards

Best time to go

Try and avoid the summer holidays if you can: May, early June, September and early October are ideal - perfect for spring colours and gentle exploration, though the sea is a little chilly before June. In July and August you get lots of Greek visitors and English yachters. Direct charter flights run from late April to mid October. If you can get there in the pre- / post-season dip, you'll have the island to yourselves.

Our top tips

It can be tempting to stay put, but if you fancy a change of scenery, venture across the island to Jerusalem Beach, a pretty pebbled bay that’s perfect for swimming. Have lunch at charming Odysseus Taverna, which serves delicious homemade food and great local wines and beers; the stuffed aubergine and meatballs were some of the best food we ate on our trip.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 63
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 16 Nov 2018 - 23 Apr 2019
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Pool Table
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Family Apartment

Rooms

Rooms are deeply indulging with a smart colonial feel. The style is contemporary and uncluttered, but the influences are classical: four-poster beds, cavernous armchairs, stone floors, bamboo matting. You get the best of everything. Beds are dressed in crisp Egyptian linen, white pillows are piled high. Olive green and purple walls soak up the light, doors open onto small balconies or terraces (rooms on the top floors get the best views). Head into the bathroom for power showers, tiled floors, smart bathrobes and fabulous Korres smellies.

Tea lights are left flickering outside your room at night, and beds are turned down. Size and position are what you pay for, but the same smooth style runs throughout and none of the rooms are small. Most get uninterrupted views out to sea; some get side views. We thought the Junior Suites with Full Sea View had the best vistas - definitely worth paying more for in our opinion.

Rooms are defined by the number of bedrooms, the type of view you get, and whether you have a shared access to a pool. Double Rooms sleep 2; Junior Suites generally have sofabeds (and can take an extra bed in their sitting areas). There are also Family Apartments and Maisonettes (the latter on 2 floors) with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a kitchen area and a shared pool outside. Executive Suites also have 2 bedrooms and a sofabed.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries

Eating

Breakfast (included) is served up at the main house. It's a sinful buffet of largely homemade treats: breads, jams, pastries, croissants and cakes (the latter are quite exceptional). There are also freshly-squeezed juices, fruit and yoghurts, platters of cold meats and cheeses, and cooked options. Then, from 10am, brunch begins. It's just as extravagant, with treats like Croque Madame/Monsieur, cakes/pastries and pancakes on offer. There are 2 terraces for dining, one for sun, one for shade; both have views out to sea. If you want, you can eat inside in the dining room, or ask for a tray to be brought to your room (extra cost).

Lunch and dinner are taken down on the lower terrace by the pool. It’s very informal, but if you want to dress up for supper, no-one will stop you. You can have a bowl of pasta, a salad or something fresh from the sea, followed by homemade ice cream and accompanied by wonderful island wines. In the evening, a full à la carte menu is available, so you can have as much or as little as you want. Alternatively, you can head down to the relaxed Kinema ('Cinema') Terrace for oven-fired pizzas, or traditional dishes such as Souvlaki pittas from the grill. Afterwards, sip a cocktail or tuck into dessert while watching a movie on the large outdoor screen.

If you want to eat out locally, head down to pretty Fiskardo, where a string of tavernas hug the harbour. You won't go hungry.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • At the bottom of the hill is Fiskardo, a pretty little fishing village with boutique shops and tavernas on the waterfront - if you don’t fancy walking, hop on the free shuttle bus
  • Relax with a treatment at the Elemis spa, or join a yoga or Pilates session - ask at reception
  • You can catch the ferry or hire a boat and sail across to Ithaca for the day, visit Kioni and Vathi, and still be back in time for supper
  • Head south to tiny Assos to swim from the beach, visit the fort, and eat at one of the harbourside tavernas
  • Continue a few miles and you’ll come to Myrtos, a huge arc of sand, shingle and pebble, and the best beach on the island (and much photographed)
  • The east coast north of Poros is wild and lined with turquoise sea. Explore the town of Sami (you'll recognise backdrops from the Corelli film), drive up to mountain villages (ditto), and hike among the firs and eagles of lofty Mt Ainos
  • Active types can borrow mountain bikes, or hike the ancient path from Assos up to Drapanitika. There are also squash courts and tennis courts on site (extra cost), and a gym that's free to use
  • If you want to explore in luxury, charter the hotel's speedboat or hire its chauffeur-driven air conditioned Mercedes for tailored tours

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Pool table
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Trekking
  • Yoga

Kids

Emelisse is chic and rather wonderful with a plethora of activities nearby for families who love the water, and a good blend of privacy and shared facilities. Children are made welcome. Those under 6 go free; baby cots are also free.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The 5 family apartments and maisonettes sleep up to 6 in 2 bedrooms, and have a kitchenette and living room for extra privacy and limited self-catering. Note that the maisonettes, as you'd guess, are on 2 levels.
Junior suites can sleep a family of 3 (but all in the same room). Double Executive suites have interconnecting bedrooms. All of the bathrooms have showers, not baths.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby listening:

Baby listening/monitors are available on request. They don't work everywhere in the complex - ask for accommodation near the main house if this is important.

Baby equipment:

  • 20 cots, all free
  • High chairs
  • Pushchairs
  • Baby bedding
  • Baby baths

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

In the hotel itself, food is served all day, with half-portions for kids, and family suites have a kitchenette with a blender and a microwave. There are child-friendly eateries and takeaways within walking distance; the nearest shop for food is 1km away.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Unfenced infinity pool; some houses also have access to additional shared pools
  • Playground
  • Children's DVDs

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Plenty of beaches, including Eblissi Bay, which is pretty much next door to the hotel and has safe waters for swimming
  • Series of flat rocks leading down to the sea, amazing swimming cave
  • Ferry trips to Ithaca and Lixouri
  • Mountain biking and walking trails
  • Small fishing towns to visit

Families Should Know:

The pools aren't fenced. You can buy food and nappies etc in the nearby village of Fiskardo. There's mobile phone signal everywhere

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Doctor: 1 hour
  • Shop: 3 minutes by car; 15-minute walk
Kid Friendly:

Location

Emelisse is situated along the rugged shoreline of the Ionian Sea, on the northern tip of Kefalonia.

By Air
Kefalonia (56km away) is the nearest airport. It's served by charter flights from the UK and other European countries over summer; at other times you'll probably have to fly via Athens (380km away) and get a connecting flight to the island.

From The Airport
Airport pick-ups can be arranged through the hotel (extra cost). Alternatively, you can hire a car (see below).

By Boat
Kefalonia is served by ferries from Astakos (on the Greek mainland), Kyllini / Patras (Peloponnese) and neighbouring islands. The hotel can arrange a transfer from the port.

By Car
For car hire see our car rental recommendations. For an idea of distances, the airport is 5km south of the island's capital, Argostoli, and Fiskardo is 45km north, at the top of the island.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Kefalonia 56.0 km EFL
  • Athens 380.0 km ATH

Other:

  • Beach 0.2 km
  • Shops 1.5 km
  • Restaurant 1.5 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
8/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

We had a brilliant stay - the breakfast is quite outstanding. The only thing I would perhaps suggest is that the pool could do with heating. Throughly recommend.

9/10,

The Emelisse Art Hotel is truly a destination of relaxation and revival. The big pool has one of the loveliest views imaginable and the staff is warm and gracious. The charming and lively village, Fiscardo, is an easy walk away, although there is a hotel bus going back and forth hourly. It was hard to say good bye.

9/10,

Beautiful location, beautiful pools, the regular rooms are just OK. Service very nice. Great buffet for breakfast

7/10,

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