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Corfu / The Olivar Suites

An 18th century olive press is at the centre of this Greek village fantasy, but it’s very much family and a sense of the authentic that is at its heart. 

That olive press is now the bar area, set just in front of the pool with old cogs and whirligigs still intact. That combined with the sporadic olive trees that have forced the hotel to merge around them ensure that you’re never too far away from a reminder of the owners’ past oil endeavours. It’s this preservation of the land’s 350 year history that tips the scales ever so slightly from modern-minimalist to boutique-esque old-charm. It fits in well with the tiny washing-draped alleyways and bustling tavernas of the surrounding area just a short stroll down the road.

Suites more akin to bungalows cleverly placed along serpentine pathways complete the Corfiot hamlet feel, but are distinctly more contemporary and sleek in their interior approach. Much like the palette through the rest of the resort, white is the canvas that carries grey and walnut shades and smooth wooden furniture. The Ionian Suites are the lucky ones that get beach access, gardens and private cabanas, while all but the Riviera Suites (that claim huge sea-facing terraces) have private pools that make for the perfect excuse to hide away. While it doesn’t bear the “adults-only” tag, it has that kind of atmosphere, so there’s plenty of places that retain the feeling of solitude beyond the suite walls. But it’s the pocket-rocket spa that does this particularly well, with staff doing an impeccable job of making guests feel like they are the only ones there.

Travel notes:

  • 120 suites sleeping up to 6 people, most with private pools
  • Fully private walled-terrace suites are available at the expense of any views
  • Flya restaurant is run by the former head chef of Grace Santorini focusing on traditional Greek cuisine with a gourmet twist
  • Activities are of the chilled-out variety including olive oil and wine tastings, boat trips and cooking classes
  • Corfu town and airport are between 30-40 minutes’ drive away
  • A small road runs between most suites and the pool/restaurant area, but this does not impact an idyllic stay

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When to visit Greece

Greece is blessed with a Mediterranean climate. From mid May to mid June and mid September to October the climate is pleasant and sunshine is plentiful. July and August are hot with temperatures reaching 37°C. Winters tend to be mild in the south but much cooler in the north with an increased chance of rain.

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