Domes Miramare, Corfu, Greece
18 October, 2019
Once owned by the Onassis shipping dynasty, Domes Miramare is the Corfu kickback hotel for those in the know.
Portrayed as an idyll in Greek mythology, Corfu is where the shipwrecked Odysseus was soothed and sent on his return trip to Ithaca. It's also where the likes of Jackie O and Maria Callas sojourned throughout the 60s.
Once owned by the Onassis shipping dynasty (hence a guest list dominated by Aristotle Onassis' wives and girlfriends), Domes Miramare (a member of the Luxury Collection) has been polished up to a standard in keeping with its glamorous heyday. Cutting a 60s shape to rival Palm Springs' architectural offering, the hotel does barefoot luxury very well. Expect light-filled interiors, villas plotted on the water's edge and al-fresco dining, as well as a centenarian olive garden that engulfs the whole property.
The flaxen-hued resort consists of 113 bedrooms across the main hotel as well as a more exclusive area, which comprises of Pavilion Retreats and two villas. Close to the pebble beach and pool, standard suites combine minimalism and elemental design, conceived as places of calm. Those clever enough to pick a Pavilion Retreat on the waterfront (fitted with a private pool or hot tub) will appreciate the extra space this room type offers - whether stretching out on a chaise longues in your fluffy bathrobe or, you know, mooring your own boat right outside the door. Another tick for the Pavilion Suites: the retractable roofs over the living room area - perfect for airy days and stargazing come nightfall.
What's for breakfast?
The breakfast buffet at Makris (the hotel's main restaurant) feels akin to circuit training, so expansive is its spread. The eggs station keeps a steady flow of poached, boiled and fried eggs in reserve (eliminating wait times); freshly cut fruits billow from their bowls; an elaborate serving of baked goods renders decision-making near impossible. Choice is seemingly unlimited, though when it comes to picking a table, opt for outside to make the most of the Ionian breeze - just make sure to ask your server to burn coffee at the table to ward off wasps.
How about lunch and dinner?
Lunch and dinner at Makris are toothsome affairs, with a focus on simple and locally sourced fare. Kick things off with a traditional Greek salad and follow with a dish of al-dente orzo pasta with fennel, asparagus and mushrooms - the sea bass papillote with vegetables and herbs is another lovely, lighter option. With just enough room for dessert, opt for the ekmek kataifi pastry, vanilla cream, almond and homemade Greek brioche ice cream. When your palette is craving more international flavours, The Raw Bar offers sushi (and some great sake-infused cocktails).
Is there a bar?
There are three. For day time sips, the poolside Verde Bar is plotted right in the middle of the action. With a strong snack menu and shaded seating options, this is where to head when the sun is at its peak, while sun worshippers in total "holiday mode" will thrill at the sight of the bar buzzer located next to their sun lounger. Come evening, split your tipples, enjoying an aperitif at The Raw Bar's open-air terrace and a post-prandial cocktail at the indoor, lobby-adjacent Blu Bar. (The latter's clustered Moroccan lighting and proximity to the hotel's Assouline library is likely to sway your vote).
Most guests will be more than content to spend mornings on the tennis court, on the sun loungers or at the Soma Spa, but for the adventure-seekers among you, it's worth stopping by Miramare's private beach to hire out a glass-bottomed canoe. Luxury seekers will feel most at home on Miramaretta yacht or the pale blue Mas 28 Elegance boat if they're feeling (a tad) less flash.
Things you should know
Domes Miramare is adults-only - you need to be age 16+ to stay here.
Within a short walk you'll find…
The Ionian Sea, and a string of other resorts dotted down the shoreline. Corfu town is a 30-minute journey (whether you travel by boat or by car).