As lockdowns ease across Europe, many people are beginning to look at how they might be able to escape for a summer holiday as life begins to return to some sort of normality, albeit with certain safety restrictions.
Although here in England travellers are still obliged to go into quarantine for 14 days when they return from abroad, it is hoped that this particular restriction may be eased soon or that at least some European countries may be exempt from this holiday-damping rule.
With summer escapes in mind, how about flying over to Corfu for a week or two in the recently opened Villa 1870, an historical five-bedroom villa located just 3km from Corfu Old Town.
This family-owned villa has been beautifully restored to become a private retreat, whilst maintaining the grandeur of the original 19th century mansion property, complete with Corfiot architecture. It can sleep up to 16 guests and is ideal for families and larger groups looking for some privacy and perhaps a reunion trip with relatives who have not been able to see each other during the lockdown.
Unlike some places in Corfu, Villa 1870 is open all year round and is surrounded by rich tropical vegetation. It comes with its own private chef, transportation for getting around the island and a pretty heated outdoor seawater pool with beautiful views over the Ionian Sea.
Spread over two floors, the villa has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and some spacious living areas. There is also both a fully equipped kitchen and separate professional kitchen.
Villa 1870 is owned by husband and wife team Dimitris and Nancy Kyriakis, who bought the villa with the intention of creating a holiday paradise for families of all ages that can be enjoyed all year round. It offers entertainment for every generation, including a state-of-the-art games room and wide range of outdoors and pool-based toys and activities. The villa, as the name implies, was built in 1870, and maintains a number of original features. It has been lovingly restored over the last three years by Dimitris and Nancy, with the interior design overseen by Nancy, incorporating handmade pieces sourced locally and from mainland Greece, traditional stone and tiled flooring, light airy rooms with bright summer colours.
Whilst Corfu is considered by many visitors to be a summer-only destination, Dimitris and Nancy are keen to highlight the attraction of visiting the destination at any time of the year. This means that those of you who are keen to explore the island without the summer crowds, can rent the villa during the winter months, and still enjoy temperatures in the high-teens as well as the lovely heated outdoor pool. Corfu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also offers plenty of sightseeing and things to do in the cooler months, such as discovering Venetian architecture, exploring quiet cobbled squares or even joining the Corfiots swimming in the sea.
Nightly rates are between €800 to €1,400, depending on the time of the year and include accommodation, daily housekeeping, private mini-van airport transfers to and from Corfu Town, baby equipment, laundry facilities and an in-house private chef. You only pay for the ingredients of meals, not for the Chef service.
You can also tailor your stay at Villa 1870, at additional cost, with a selection of wine from the villa’s carefully curated cellar, as well as private swimming and tennis lessons from certified trainers and in-house beauty treatments. In short, you can enjoy all the five-star amenities of a luxury hotel but with the added advantage of not having to share them with other guests.
Villa 1870, 35 Spirou Rath PC, 49100 Corfu, Greece.
Villa 1870 overlooks the Ionian Sea and is a short 5-minute (3km) drive from Corfu Old Town.
Type of Villa: Private 5-Star Villa
Number of Rooms: 5 bedrooms that can sleep up to 16 people with a separate detached house that can sleep a further four people.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Villa 1870