The finest approach to describe Singapore-based Banyan Tree’s first foray into Europe, Angsana Corfu, is that it’s a resort constructed round a pool. And, actually, for those who’re ever going to construct a resort round a pool, this may be it.
Glowing sapphire, the pool that covers possibly 1 / 4 of a soccer discipline and followers out in an arc that disappears into the ocean earlier than forming, on a transparent day, a horizon of blue damaged solely by the mountains throughout the strait, the occasional boat, or one other visitor swanning round in an try to get an epic selfie.
The resort itself is perched on the hillside of Corfu’s jap coast—a large L-shaped construction of wooden, concrete, and glass with villas cascading down the slope to the shore under. Additionally it is the newest choice for our sequence on thrilling new motels—the New Room with a View.
Corfu is the seventh-largest of Greece’s islands and the resort is roughly 20 minutes by automotive from the island’s airport, which has direct flights to quite a few main European cities. Corfu is a part of the Ionian Islands, positioned within the sea of the identical identify simply off the coast of northern Greece and Albania. It was as soon as the vacation spot of alternative for royals and celebrities. Actually, only a 40-minute stroll (down the hill and again up it once more) from the resort property is the long-lasting palace constructed by Sisi, the Empress of Austria whose already tragic life was ended by an assassination on the age of 60 in 1898. The palace known as Achilleon and was an homage to Achilles, whom Sisi admired for his magnificence and energy. It’s impeccably positioned on an outcropping of a mountain’s foothills with staggering views out to the ocean from quite a few terraces. (It makes a pleasant threesome with the equally completely sited palaces of her equally tragic shut family—brother-in-law Maximilian’s in Trieste and cousin Ludwig’s in Neuschwanstein). It was subsequently purchased by Kaiser Wilhelm II earlier than altering arms all through the twentieth century and falling additional and additional into disrepair. Whereas at present in a horrible state, it’s nonetheless definitely worth the fast go to for those who want your tradition repair.
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The resort’s foremost constructing has 159 rooms starting from 330-square-feet rooms that face the hillside, comparable sized ones that face the ocean, mid-size suites overlooking the ocean, to 4 nook suites that really feel as for those who’re floating out over Benitses Bay. The rooms in the principle resort have their design aesthetic influenced by the resort group’s Singapore roots (suppose darkish browns and greys and angular minimalism) whereas the 36 villas starting from one to 4 bedrooms are extra conventional Greek of their aesthetic (suppose iron railings, earthenware, mild coloured stucco, and delicate minimalism). The villas every additionally include their very own pool.
As anyone who goes to Greece in the summertime is aware of, discovering a spot on the seaside generally is a chore. Angsana has its personal non-public seaside membership on the base of the hill the place you’re solely competing with fellow friends for a chair. And right here’s the second, albeit lesser, advantage of the resort’s insane pool. Most friends appeared to need to spend their day up on the pool, which means that the seaside was half-empty. (One observe in regards to the seaside is that the meals menu is fairly restricted—maybe due to COVID—however the close by city a 10-minute stroll away has numerous choices together with an ideal gyro stand.)
Which brings us to a different cause people may keep up on the foremost pool—it’s surrounded by the resort’s foremost eating places. Sofrito is the resort’s Greek taverna-style eatery open for lunch, whereas Koh is its Asian-fusion dinner spot (Asian-fusion appears to be a should these days for any resort advanced, which, no complaints right here!). The spotlight of the culinary choices is Botrini’s, a model new sister restaurant to Ettore Botrini’s one-star Michelin spot in Athens (whereas the menu adjustments, if the mushroom macarons are on the menu, attempt them regardless of all of your instincts).
Within the morning, breakfast is served buffet-style, however once more the star is the pool as the sunshine displays off of it and ripples and twinkles all around the ceilings and large glass home windows that open up onto the terrace.
In case you haven’t realized but, the resort advanced is huge so it’s not for these vacationers in search of that quaint Greek getaway. However as a result of it’s huge, it additionally means it has issues like a full spa overlooking the ocean and a full health club (the biggest on the island) and indoor pool for the colder seasons. However for those who actually need to escape the opposite friends, simply wade out into the pool and look out—all you’ll see is the ocean which Lawrence Durrell as soon as described as “just like the heartbeat of the world itself.”