Set in the foothills of north Zakynthos - the sleepier side of this Ionian island - the members-only Peligoni Club is a family-run affair offering a rustic-chic, whitewashed hangout spot for eating, drinking, lounging and partying with a backdrop of killer clifftop views. Open from May until October, it's the kind of club guests return to year after year thanks to its singular ability to please all crowds - be you looking to soak in the sun on a double daybed, try your hand at sailing or dance after dark at the bar, The Peligoni moulds itself to your own definition of a holiday.
A weekly membership (reserved exclusively for residents of its 40-villa portfolio) not only gives you access to the club's restaurants, bars, pool, deckchairs and daybeds, but also a leg-busting round-up of gym classes (ocean-facing Peloton, anyone?), yoga classes, guided bike rides and tennis sessions. Kicking off the summer season in style, the club's PACE Wellness Week (22-26 May 2023) encompasses all these activities and more - think crystal healing sessions, cold-exposure therapy with Wim Hof-certified coaches, and breathwork, mindfulness and yoga coaching from industry gurus including Richie Norton and Rob da Bank. And to round off the season? There's the club's dedicated House Party week (20-23 September 2022), a festival-come-wellness holiday knees-up of live music, pop-up feasting and wellbeing workshops.
A rustic door, left, and the sundeck. | Photo credits: Holly Farrier
All villas are located in the sleepy hills above and around the seafront club, ranging in size and character from upmarket B&Bs and restored farmhouse cottages to sweeping private villas.
We stayed in Meraki, a five-bedroom design-forward villa with an infinity pool overlooking endless sea views, a hot tub, cushioned outdoor seating area, large open-plan kitchen and living room and five minimalist-chic bedrooms, each with en-suites and sea views.
What's for breakfast?
You'll be spoilt for choice. Don't fancy getting out of bed? Order a breakfast hamper from the club's deli and you'll be delivered a generously filled box of fresh orange juice, milk, homemade granola, yoghurt and fruit, as well as a selection of ham, cheese and olives to enjoy in your home-from-home.
Prefer to get your morning going elsewhere? Just make your way to Tasi, the club's relaxed all-day restaurant, which serves nourishing breakfasts until 11am, as well as laid-back, seasonally focused lunch and dinner menus.
How about lunch and dinner?
Lunch and dinner can either be enjoyed at Tasi or The Terraces, a slightly more formal set-up shaded under a canopy of pine trees at the heart of the club. Heavily influenced by the island's Italian history, the menu here is based around the restaurant's outdoor grill and wood-burning oven - think wood-fired pizzas, grilled seafood dishes and a strong roster of Mediterranean salads. Keep an eye out for weekly supper clubs at The Courtyard, too - they're often hosted by guest chefs and make for a great way to get to know other guests.
Is there a bar?
There are three. For sea-facing views, make your way to The Yard Bar, a lively spot above the watersports area, where cocktails are served until late, or head towards The Driftwood Bar for a more relaxed affair. Fancy a sundowner in the pool? Set up camp at The Pool Bar, where you can swim right up to the counter, or order a drink to sip in the shade of nearby eucalyptus trees.
Outdoor dining space, left, and fresh seafood from the menu. | Photo Credit: Holly Farrier
Hidden among sprawling bougainvillaea, in a quiet corner of the club, you'll find a spa offering first-class, indulgent-as-they-come treatments, including massages, manicures, pedicures and a range of face and body treatments.
Watersports enthusiasts will be in their element here. Just head down to the beach shack and you'll be greeted by a friendly stock of bronzed instructors ready to take guests out onto the water, windsurfing, sailing, paddleboarding or water-skiing.
If all that's not enough, pop up to the club's outdoor gym and fitness area, join a yoga or fitness class with sports and wellness gurus OyoGO, explore the island's winding roads on a hosted cycling trip or grab a tennis racket and head down to the sea-facing astro courts.
How about their green credentials?
You'll find no plastic water bottles at The Peligoni - instead, sign up to the club's water delivery service and you'll be given a sustainable glass bottle, which, if left outside your villa, will be filled up each morning.
What about accessibility?
The naturally rocky terrain of the island makes accessibility a little trickier at The Peligoni. That said, with a chauffeur service on hand, you can be whisked from your villa to the club with ease, where all restaurants and bars are on the same level as the car park.
What's the crowd like?
Slightly one-dimensional. The Peligoni Club has, since its inception, been a mainstay on the summer circuit of residents of the Royal Borough. Make of that what you will, but if you can see past the Vilebrequin shorts and Old Etonian sweatshirts (and we recommend you do), you'll likely come away with a bunch of new friends and phone numbers. What's more, with the addition of extended season initiatives like PACE week and House Party, it's clear the club seems to be attracting a much less clique crowd, and we're into it.
Things I should know
All payments are made via a membership card given to you at the beginning of your stay. Just remember, it's not free money - you will have to pay the balance at the end of the holiday. Keep tabs on your spending, particularly after sunset.
Within a short walk I can find…
Given the amount on offer at the club, we wouldn't blame you for straying no further afield than the pool. If you can't help but scratch that itch to explore, though, take a stroll around the postcard-pretty horseshoe bay at Agios Nikolaos port.