Perantzada Hotel

Vathi, Ithaca, Greece Book from Eur115

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A breathtakingly sleek boutique hotel on the turquoise-and-green isle of Ithaca, Odysseus' mythical homeland
Ithaca is a dream, Vathi is gorgeous, and the Perantzada is the jewel in the crown. The town itself was rebuilt after the 1956 earthquake, but the architecture gives no hint of this: neo-classically-inspired houses smartly dressed in summer colours horseshoe around a shimmering Mediterranean harbour, giving the impression that you’ve washed up on the set of a Merchant Ivory film. Pavements buzz with life, bars fill, locals and tourists dine at waterside restaurants.

This 19th-century, Schiller-designed house sits on the quiet side of the bay. Its formal exterior belies the crispest of contemporary interiors, the stuff of glossy magazines. Bold bedrooms - most with sea views - come in filmscreen white, with funky fabrics in bubblegum pink, electric green, vivid yellow (don’t come looking for greys or browns). Chandeliered lounges, rug-strewn terraces and the small infinity pool offer gorgeous views, with the mountain and town reflected in clear blue water. Fine bathrooms, a small bar and staff that care: a great little place.

Highs

  • Groovy bedrooms – 24-carat ‘designer cool’
  • The view across the bay, mountains rising behind
  • Beautiful Vathi – a very friendly, unspoilt town
  • Boat trips to beaches along the coast

Lows

  • No airport on Ithaca, so you are reliant on the sporadic ferry services which often stop by mid-afternoon
  • Prices are getting steep, especially given that service can be a little thin on the ground
  • No restaurant in the hotel, but it's only a short walk

Best time to go

Spring is ideal for walking - the wildflowers are in bloom and temperatures mild enough to tackle the steep hills. Go in late summer for writing, painting or yoga breaks. In high summer, Ithaca’s beaches are crowded with Greeks and sailboats, but you can join the fun at church festivals (Exogi, July 17; Kioni, July 20, Stavros, August 5 & 6; Anogi, August 14; Platrithia, August 15).

Our top tips

The Perantzada is a lovely place to indulge in the Greek pastime of sitting and watching: boats potter in, locals saunter past, staff bring café frappé. The terraces are lined with ethnic rugs and flower-filled terracotta pots, walls cascade with greenery, at night candle lanterns flicker.

Great for...

Beach
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 19
  • Breakfast only; restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 15 Oct 2015 - 30 Apr 2016
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

All the trimmings are here (TVs, fridges, air-conditioning), but it’s the design that takes the breath away. Rooms come in shiny white: white four-posters, glossy white wooden floors, pristine walls to soak up the light, the crispest of Egyptian linen. But there are splashes of colour everywhere. Yellow silk drapes hang from a four-poster, plump green and orange scatter cushions are piled high. One room is part-lit in bubblegum pink, others have padded headboards. The odd verse of poetry is inscribed on the walls, huge mirrors lean against the walls.

Head into the bathroom and find excellent black-and-white tiled rooms with powerful overhead showers. Bamboo ladders serve as towel rails, smart bath robes and top-of-the-range Korres lotions and potions await. Of twelve rooms, three don’t have a terrace or balcony and four don’t have a sea view. Those on the upper floors at the front have doors onto big terraces with imperious views across the harbour. Those to one side open onto a wide terrace, which is sprinkled with wicker chairs and sofas, a great place to curl up and read.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel serves breakfast only, but you get the full works. You can scoff caviar and salmon, or stick to more pedestrian delicacies such as home-baked croissants hot from the oven or utterly irresistible cakes. Platters of hams and cheeses are left for you to help yourself; coffees and teas are brought to the table. You’ll also find freshly-squeezed juice, island yoghurts, homemade jams and cereals.

You can eat in the airy dining room on 1960s white designer plastic chairs, with an old Ithaca portrait stencilled onto the wall, or out on the terrace with harbour views (though if you’d like breakfast in bed, they’ll bring it to your room). There are bowls of fruit all over the place and cakes are left out in the dining room all day; if you’re hungry, you help yourself (everyone does).

For lunch and dinner, a 5-minute stroll will get you to the other side of the harbour for restaurants in the square, on the lanes or by the water. Staff will happily advise and book tables in high season.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • In Greek myth, Ithaca was the island Odysseus spent his life trying to come home to. You can walk 2.5km south to the cave where, on his eventual return, he hid his treasure; or follow the stony path to the spring of Aretousa where, under the distinctive crag of Korax, he met his swineherd Eumaeus to discuss his rivals for Penelope's affections.

  • A short drive around the northern lobe of the island shows why it exerted such a pull on him: explore the beautiful mountainscape around Agios Ioannis monastery; follow the coastal path at Lefki, which allied soldiers used as an escape route in WWII, to tiny coves and sea-washed rocks; take in Stavros, the second town, with great views to Kefalonia, and the ghostly mountain village of Exogi; then stop for coffee at Kioni, an impossibly pretty waterside village.

  • Back in Vathi (population 3000), lie low on the beaches, or jump on a caique – a wooden fishing boat – and chug south in search of remote beaches.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving

Kids

The stylish interiors and tranquil ambiance are not ideal for children, but having said that, one Executive suite (Rosa) is split over 2 levels, with double bed upstairs and sofabed downstairs, so would suit a couple + 1 or 2 kids. Children are free up to the age of 6 and there is no charge for baby cots.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Family Rooms

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
6/
Food
8/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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