If my last post has you wishing yourself to Kefalonia, then read on. Because today I’m sharing 10 reasons why you should be visiting the F Zeen Retreat, part of Unique Kefalonia, as your base for exploring the beautiful Greek isle.
1. Peace At Last
Those craving the peace, tranquility and friendliness that the island has to offer will feel immediately at home in the boutique wellness hotel. With just 28 rooms and being adults only, you’ll feel as though your in an exclusive, relaxing environment but without any of the pretentiousness that can come with a luxury retreat.
2. A Family Affair
The entire Unique Villa Collection and F Zeen Retreat is family run in true Greek Style – you’re as likely to be shown your room by the owner’s son, although you’d never know it. After spending 4 days with the family it’s obvious that they have poured their passion into this beautiful retreat, with each aspect of the hotel benefiting from those small touches that you will only find at a family run estate.
The entire island of Kefalonia has an instant effect on your inner calm and peacefulness. The fresh sea air, the warmth and friendliness of every local that you pass, and the entire concept of ‘Island Time’ (where ‘5 minutes’ can truly mean anything up to 45 minutes!) instantly relaxes you. Coming from the constant rushing and stress of London, time seemed to slow down while we were on the island. To add to this, the F Zeen Retreat offer a range of spa treatments ranging from traditional massage, to facials, to healing reiki and reflexology. Soon launching a new treatment programme from Voya, wellness and mindfulness is something that the hotel is looking to focus on even more, so i’ll definitely be back to test out their new spa menu in a few months time.
4. Mind, Body & Soul
A continuation from the above, but as well as massages and beauty treatments, there’s plenty of other activities to keep the mind & body happy. We began each day with a yoga class on the decked pavilion overlooking the sea, before retiring to one of the hotel’s picturesque pools. If you’re feeling even more energetic, there’s a gym with equipment all overlooking the turquoise waters of the Agean sea.
5. The Greek Cuisine
Perfectly suiting the hotel’s focus on wellness, the cuisine is a contemporary and healthy twice on your traditional Greek favourites. One of my favourite dishes was the F Zeen Falafel – a recipe adapted by Anastasia – the owner’s daughter – to be a healthy take on the Greek classic. Lightly fried in oil instead of being drenched in it, and served with a fresh salad and delicious tzasiki, it makes for the perfect poolside light lunch.
6. Poolside Perfection
No luxury Greek retreat would be complete without a stunning pool area, and at the F Zeen Retreat you’re spoilt for choice. The top pool area is surrounded by inviting sofas, cabanas and sun loungers and has enviable views across the ocean. It’s easy to let the hours dwindle away enjoying a cocktail (or cup of herbal tea if you’re there to chill like I was!) on the plump bean bags, you might even be joined by one of the kittens that also call the hotel their home!
The second pool in the garden area of the retreat has a more tropical feel, with large palm leaves lining the cool waters, it’s the ultimate place to relax.
What I’m Wearing (right)
White Playsuit by River Island
Sandals by River Island
Sunglasses by ASOS
7. Home from Home
It’s hard to put your finger on what exactly gives a hotel that home away from home feeling. It is a very special combination of honest and genuine friendliness from the staff, personal touches, and a little luxury while still feeling as though you can rock up to lunch in your dressing gown. Whatever the illusive combination, they’ve mastered it at the F Zeen Retreat. Within 24 hours of checking in, I knew immediately that it’s the type of place that I want to return to year after year, my home away from home.
8. A Good Night’s Sleep
The bedrooms at F Zeen Retreat, in line with the rest of the hotel are comfortable, bright and understated. They manage to be luxurious without being over the top, in typical Greek style. The rain shower hidden behind a sweeping curved wall in your room gives a contemporary vibe, while the local greek sweets and quality amenities are the special touches that seasoned travellers will appreciate.
9. The Neighbours
Close to the hotel (and by close I mean a one minute walk) you’ll find Lorraine’s Magic Hill Taverna. The closest we got to a wild night in Kefalonia was spent at the family run Taverna, dancing the night away to Greek music after feasting on endless courses of delicious food. It’s the welcoming nature of the locals and the incredible cuisine that makes you instantly love places like this, and if they’re within stumbling distance of your hotel room, then even better!
10. Beach after Beach
And finally, if you’re a beach worshipper like me, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you decide to leave the home comforts of the F Zeen Retreat. With infamous stretches of sand like Myrtos a short drive away, or secluded bays just waiting to be discovered, you’ll be amazed that such beautiful beaches are within just a few hour’s flight of the UK.
Ah, the smug face photo – and honestly it’s because I felt so at peace, so at home and so content at the F Zeen Retreat. I always find it hard to write about such places because it’s impossible to put into words the love that I felt for the hotel, everything about it makes me want to go back.
If you do find yourself in Kefalonia, then be sure to check out the F Zeen Retreat, or if a villa holiday is more your thing, then head over to their Villa Collection here, and be sure to watch my video of our trip for a little tour around a few of their beautiful properties.
So, have I tempted you?