The Rou Estate

Corfu, Greece Book from Book from £110 per night

Fourteen luxurious villas (for 2-10) in a village-like retreat with private pools, hotel facilities, fragrant gardens and coastal views

Cast high in Corfu’s leafy hills, The Rou Estate gazes seductively over a vivid scene of olive groves and distant Albanian hills, a thin slice of azure Ionian sea separating the two lands. The grounds extend along the brow of the hill, with each of the 14 villas separated by lush gardens packed with cypress, oak and olive trees. Seasonal flowers bring changing colours, and fragrant herb beds perfume the grounds. It's a hidden oasis on bustling Corfu.

The estate is a restored hamlet, so the whole property has a charming village vibe. Architect Dominic and his wife Claire have expertly transformed the old remains into rustic stone houses, each with private pools or plunge pools in their gardens. Villa sizes range from two to five bedrooms, but all have large living spaces, kitchens, elegant interiors and sweeping sea views. With a larger shared pool on site, as well as a spa, gym and restaurant serving typical Greek fare, Rou has all the perks of a hotel, coupled with the space and independence of a self-catering retreat. This set-up means it works particularly well for families, but the sophisticated styling will appeal to couples and groups, too. It couldn’t be better suited to a long-awaited post-lockdown escape with loved ones.

Information provided by The Rou Estate on 04/08/2021.

Food and drink
We regret, the Garden Terrace will not be opening in 2021 but there will still be a weekly barbecue evening. There is a well-stocked honesty bar and a private chef can be booked to come to your villa (prior booking is advisable in the summer months). There is also the option to have pre-cooked or pre-prepared food delivered to your villa for you to reheat or cook.

Highs

  • Beautiful gardens that are sympathetic to the local environment, with native trees, seasonal flowers and herbs covering the estate
  • The best of both worlds: self-catering accommodation with hotel facilities, including a concierge service
  • Villas are perfectly positioned to maximise on the stunning sea views
  • Each villa comes with its own private pool or plunge pool

Lows

  • Weekly stays (Sunday - Sunday) only
  • You'll need a car as it's quite remote; and try to avoid arriving in the dark as the access lane is winding and bumpy
  • The restaurant isn’t open every day, so you’ll need to cook or drive out to eat occasionally
  • Not suitable for those after the lively side of Corfu; nor - given the stepped paths on site - for the less mobile

Best time to go

Corfu's holiday season runs from March to November. Spring is lovely for walking and wildflowers, and the gardens of Rou Estate would look particularly colourful at this time. July and August are good for families, and the remote location means you'll escape the island's summer crowds. Autumn is lovely thanks to fewer visitors and warm seas.

Our top tips

If you're coming in July or August and plan to explore Corfu by sea (highly recommended), make sure you pre-book your boat hire as availability can be limited. The Rou Estate has a partnership with a local boat hire company.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Romantic
  • Boutique Villas
  • 14 villas (for 2-10)
  • Restaurant; meal deliveries on request
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: Nov-April
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Houses

The villas come in various shapes and sizes, from two bedrooms up to five. All face the sea and have wonderful views from their gardens and shuttered windows. The décor features soothing white linens, fireplaces and period features, creating a very light and elegant look. Villas are named after garden flowers, and all have lovely outdoor spaces with pools (plunge or lap).

Your two-bed options are Acanthus, Hestia, Laurus, Lilium and Trifylli; three beds are Campanula, Centaurea, Lavandula, Muscari and Thyme; four beds are Cyclamen, Papaver and Strelitzia; and the five bed is Plumbago – which looks so exclusive we’d class it as a supervilla.

Bedroom set-ups vary - some villas have mostly double rooms, others mostly twin – as do bathrooms. So whether you’re travelling as a family or an adult group, you should find one that works for your party. Cots and high chairs are available to borrow if required.

Eating

All villas are equipped with full kitchens for self-catering. You get a welcome pack of staples and local produce, and you can pre-order groceries for delivery on arrival. For restocking, the nearest supermarket is a 10-minute drive away.

Breakfast deliveries of freshly baked bread and pastries can be arranged, as can other meal deliveries or private chefs. Dine in or alfresco on your terrace and enjoy the glorious sea views.

The Garden Terrace restaurant opens four nights per week and offers a menu of Greek and Mediterranean dishes, like cheese pastries, lamb kleftiko or moussaka. Tuesday night is barbecue night. The nearest taverna for eating out is a five-minute drive away.

Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Get pampered at the Granary Spa, which offers a menu of massages, facials and beauty treatments
  • If you’re feeling more active, hit the gym - personal trainers are available - or join a yoga or Pilates class
  • Hit one of Corfu’s lovely beaches: Agni and Avlaki are both a 15-minute drive away, each with tavernas for lunch
  • Hire a boat - lots of guests tell us this was their highlight, and there's no better way to explore the coastline
  • Cross the strait to visit Albania - private day tours can be arranged
  • Head into Kassiopi, on the island’s north coast (20 mins), for shopping, great fish restaurants and lively nightlife
  • Explore the island’s capital, Corfu Town , with its cobbled streets and Venetian, French and English architecture. You can catch a boat directly to the town from Avlaki beach.

Kids

What a place for families! It’s got the lot: villas with different bedroom set-ups, full kitchens for self-catering, a private pool per villa plus a larger shared pool, an on-site restaurant, and lovely gardens. The estate's hilltop location keeps it cool and tranquil, though in school holidays you’ll see plenty of other families – great for finding playmates. Beaches aren’t far away, though do bear in mind that you’ll need to navigate a bumpy access road to get to and from the property.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Baby equipment:

  • High chair
  • Car seats and booster seats (extra cost)

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

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Horse riding
  • Cycling
  • Boat trips and watersports (paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, diving)
  • Sandy beaches
  • Aqualand water park (1 hour's drive)

Families Should Know:

The hillside location and the many steps throughout the property mean it's not very pram-friendly.

Distances:

  • Airport: One hour
  • Supermarket: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Rou Estate is located in a tiny hamlet in the foothills of Mount Pantokrator. It overlooks the island's east coast and beyond to Albania. Access is via 1.5km of unmade country lane.

By Air
You can fly direct to Corfu (28km).

From the airport
The drive takes about an hour. Taxis are available, but you'll probably want to hire a car to make the most of the island - see our car rental recommendations.

By Sea
It is possible to reach Corfu from the mainland and other islands, though it's not really island-hopping territory. Year-round car ferries and seasonal hydrofoils sail from Igoumenitsa on the mainland to Corfu Town, and there are also ferry links from Patras (Peloponnese) and from Italy (Venice, Ancona, Bari, Brindisi).

Detailed directions are provided when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Corfu 28.0 km CFU

Other:

  • Beach 6.3 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.5 km

Rates for The Rou Estate

Arriving on: