With six bars, six restaurants, three pools and an array of fitness and water sports activities – all included within the ultra-all-inclusive package – Mar-Bella in Corfu is the ideal stress-free holiday destination for you and your family – especially young kids.
Nestled on Corfu’s beautiful south-east coast and perfectly located less than 30 minutes from Corfu Old Town, it’s so easy travel-wise. It’s also one of the most efficient airports I’ve ever been to. We were in and out in a flash!
My first impressions of the rooms at Mar-Bella
The hotel has reopened with 67 newly redesigned and extended bungalow rooms and suites, including eight new room types, some of them with private pools or private gardens to accommodate large families. Rooms here all come with a balcony or terrace, air-conditioning plus a flatscreen TV and Wi-Fi. You can choose a room overlooking the gardens – alternatively, there’s the option to upgrade to a sea view, which I’d highly recommend. Superior family rooms offer a bit more space, while superior junior suites have a whirlpool bath and loungers set up on a large sea-view balcony.
The reviews are mixed online about the bedrooms, but the one I stayed in was great. The decor is non-offensive – looks wise – but they’re equipped with everything you need with a decent amount of space.
What I thought about the food at Mar-Bella
The hotel boasts six bars and six restaurants – all of which are included in the all-inclusive offering.
I am often nervous about the restaurants within all-inclusive resorts, and I’m not a fan of buffets, but I was pleasantly surprised with the food choices during my trip.
The prettiest restaurant had to be The Deck Bar & Grill, overlooking the sea. It has a super selection of mediterranean dishes all prepared in an open kitchen.
As we were in Greece it would have been rude not to try Platea. Bizarrely, this was perhaps the quietest of all the restaurants, but I really enjoyed my greek meal on the night I visited.
I also dined at Kum Kuat, the Pan Asian a la carte restaurant on-site. This is definitely worth a trip and is perhaps the most serene with pretty outdoor lights twinkling away.
My favourite restaurant – food wise – was Comodo, the hotel’s Italian offering. The service is amazing, and the restaurant also opens for breakfast which is where we went to the most. You do have to book though!
Last, but not least, Celeste. A fine dining French Provençale dining experience. This was the most beautiful out of all the restaurants, but sadly, my least favourite when it came to the food.
Overall, the food was good, and the service was excellent at all the restaurants we visited.
Is Mar-Bella a good hotel for kids?
The kids will be in heaven thanks to the recently opened Aqua Park – Anemelia Aqua Park – which offers guests their very own water world on site and is the first aqua park in a five-star hotel with slides in Corfu.
There are a huge selection of activities suitable for the youngest members of the family, all the way to the oldest.
There are pottery and ceramics and the educational robotics class. Watersport activities such as kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding are available for guests as part of the ultra all-inclusive package to explore the stunning coastline and make the most of the summer months and crystal clear water.
My overall verdict
I recently discovered that 70% of bookings made last year were all-inclusive holidays – they’re definitely back in vogue. I can see why, it’s relaxing to go on holiday and not have to stress about a food bill or get burned by unexpected costs.
There was a lot to love about this hotel; quick and easy to get to, stunning views, great service, decent dining options, and it’s so perfect for families.
I don’t have kids, but I went there desperate to have a break, and to read a book in the sunshine and to just relax. And I did! I loved the weather (we went in September and it was still lovely and hot) and spent most days overlooking the sea. The view was magical and I felt instantly relaxed as soon as I looked out to the ocean.
I am a foodie usually, but I’ll be real – I always have quite low expectations when I visit all inclusive hotels. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just being realistic. Did I have my “death row meal” while on this trip? No I did not. But did I enjoy most of the food I ate? Yes. Did I go to bed hungry? No, not once. Did I go to bed tipsy? Occasionally.
My favourite part of the hotel was the bar and the atmosphere after 9pm. There was a buzz that I’ve not seen before at an all-inclusive hotel. We watched as kids and adults took part in karaoke and quiz nights and mingled with other holiday goers. If you’re a sociable family, you’ll be in your element. The staff were excellent with kids, too.
I do think the hotel is best suited for families, and if I were to return to Corfu, I’d likely opt for the hotel’s sister site Nido, which is adults-only and looks absolutely stunning.
The all-important details you need to know
What’s included in the Premium Ultra-All-Inclusive Package at MarBella?
- Four a la carte dinners per week with a selection among the hotel’s a la carte restaurants.
- Branded beverages including cocktails from 10am up to 1am according to bars operating hours.
- Unlimited ice-cream, snacks & refreshments.
- Complimentary welcome mini bar – replenished once every week.
- Complimentary use of the gym, sauna and hammam.
- Welcome in room with fruit and wine.
- Complimentary childcare for children aged 4-12 years old and teens activities.
- 30-minutes free use of Canoe or Pedalos per person, per day.
- Experience the local Traditional Kaiki day or sunset cruises. Available once per stay upon reservation.
- Free beach towels, sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach, access to Αnemelia Aqua Park and pools.
- A complimentary Traditional Kaiki cruise to Corfu town is organised once a week and is sure to please the whole family.
Rate: Starting from 296 euros on all-Inclusive basis. A week-long summer holiday for a family of three works out to be around £3000 at the time of going to press.
When is it open? April – October.