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Where to stay on the island named the best in Greece

best hotels in kefalonia
The best hotels in Kefalonia for summer 2024Celestial

Greece's hundreds of islands are holiday heaven and if you want to find out why, head to the Ionian Sea this summer and book a stay at one of the best hotels in Kefalonia.

BEST HOTELS IN KEFALONIA

Recently named the best Greek island for being a large island with plenty of space, as well as offering peace and quiet for travellers in search of a tranquil trip to Greece, Kefalonia is known as one of the most beautiful islands in the country.

One of our favourites, along with Santorini, Corfu and Crete, Kefalonia is a heavenly isle to visit, whether you're travelling solo, as a couple or with the family (it's a terrific babymoon destination, too).

Across the water from Odysseus’s island Ithaca, Kefalonia is an island of beaches, pine forests and peaceful harbour towns, such as its capital, Argostoli.

If you’re hoping to follow in the footsteps of Nicholas Cage (or Captain Corelli), head to Sami, which is where parts of the 2001 film were shot.

A super-stylish recent arrival to the island is Eliamos, 20 minutes away from Argostoli and above a sleepy cove. The retreat will have 12 sea-facing villas, with multi-room options that are perfect for groups and families.

We also approve of Celestial, which has apt LED lights above its pool to ensure things are suitably starry.

Or check in to F Zeen, a design hotel where guests’ wellbeing is the focus of every stay, whether that comes courtesy of the wholesome Mediterranean food served at the two restaurants or a session on a reformer Pilates machine.

Read on for our favourite hotels in Kefalonia for summer 2024…

Eliamos

A recent addition to hotels in Kefalonia, Eliamos features 12 villas overlooking the Ionian Sea, each with its own saltwater pool or hot tub, plus outdoor dining space with a barbecue. There are one- and two-bedroom villas, along with one with three bedrooms that’s perfect for bigger families and groups.

Kefalonia’s capital Argostoli is just 20 minutes away, but you’ll feel a world away from this secluded spot, above a quiet cove and remote beach. Guests can work out at the wooden outdoor gym, with a view of the water.

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F Zeen

If you’re not someone who lets their routine fall by the wayside on holiday, F Zeen is the hotel in Kefalonia for you, since it's home to some inspiring fitness spaces, whether you choose to frequent the two-level, sea-facing outdoor gym, do some yoga on the deck or join the daily fitness classes. Reformer Pilates is available too, as are good old jogs on the beach.

A general state of wellbeing is also assured by the two restaurants, which take a Hippocratic approach to eating (food as medicine), with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, many from the chef’s garden, and the Med’s famous life-prolonging meals.

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Celestial All Suites

As heavenly as its name suggests, Celestial All Suites is near the forest of Mousata and Trapezaki beach. Choose between suites overlooking the forest or the Ionian Sea – either way, you’ll have a private pool out on your deck. The Mediterranean restaurant extends out onto a terrace by the pool.

There are lots of beaches to explore nearby and you’ll also be able to visit sleepy fishing villages, caves and ruins.

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North Point Rooms

North Point Rooms is an adults-only Kefalonia hotel in a village called Markandonata in the north of the island, close to the fishing port of Fiskardo. There are just six rooms, set across three buildings, with a walled garden and a swimming pool.

Other spots to relax in at in this serene spot include a library, a living room with a fireplace (just in case it’s a little chilly) and an outdoor sitting area. There’s also a kitchen, where the breakfast spread is laid out each morning.

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Emelisse Nature Resort

Close to the fishing village of Fiskardo, Emelisse Nature Resort is another Kefalonia hotel that’s all about your wellbeing, with the wild surroundings, starring acres of cypress and cedar trees, as its starting point. Unsurprisingly, rest and relaxation is the order of the day and it’s not hard to feel serene when gazing out across the turquoise bay below.

Then there’s an Elemis spa, with treatments for men available, alongside its signature rituals for women. And if you’re not feeling great by now, there’s yoga, canyoning, kayaking, scuba-diving and sailing to name just a handful of the activities on offer.

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Kefalonia Grand

On the harbour in Argostoli, Kefalonia Grand is a white townhouse that’s perfectly placed for exploring the island capital’s many bars and restaurants, as well as its picturesque promenade. The rooms have beamed ceilings, white four-poster beds and, if you’ve booked wisely, French doors showcasing the sea.

The open-air restaurant served classic Mediterranean cuisine, with some dishes based on 19th-century dishes. There’s also a café by the beach for coffees, smoothies and cocktails.

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Ionian Emerald Resort

Ionian Emerald Resort overlooks the port of Sami in the east of the island. It’s close to the village of Karavomilos and a short drive from Agia Efthimia, as well as two caves: Drogkarati and Melissani, not to mention several beautiful beaches, including the shingle one it has direct access to. The centre of Sami is 20 minutes away on foot, perfect for an evening stroll down to a waterfront restaurant.

The hotel has a spa with a hair salon, in case your beach hair needs rescuing, plus treatments by hero Greek brand Apivita.

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Canale

Slicker than some of Kefalonia’s more traditional hotels, Canale has suites with padded headboards, smooth concrete walls, open-plan bathrooms and sleek pendant lighting. For added indulgence, book a Penthouse Suite, which have a hot-tub-enhanced terrace and spectacular sea views, plus more Italian furniture and tech-geek-pleasing additions. Your room will also have its own wine cellar.

There’s no full restaurant, but the hotel has a lounge that serves salads and light dishes, plus a snack-dispensing pool bar.

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Avithos

This Kefalonia hotel is in Svoronata, on the island’s southern shores, with olive groves and cypress trees creating the dream Hellenic backdrop. Avithos spans various buildings, which creates the feel of a village – guests can choose from studios, maisonettes and apartments, and the fact that they’re self-catering make it perfect for families. There’s a child-friendly pool, in addition to the main one.

You’ll be perfectly positioned for exploring each corner of the island from this central setting.

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Petani Bay Hotel

Petani Bay Hotel is another adults-only retreat on Kefalonia’s western coastline. Sunsets over the Ionian are especially enjoyable from the hotel’s pool deck. You might prefer to linger in a cabana by the pool, but when you’re ready to venture out the concierge can arrange everything from boat rentals to wine tastings, fishing, spa treatments and horse-riding.

And if you’re keen to visit Odysseus’s island, day trips over to Ithaca are possible, too.

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Makis Hotel

Makis Hotel is steps from the shores of Skala Beach in southern Kefalonia. The boutique hotel has 43 bedrooms, almost all of which have a sea view. Activities on offer include cookery lessons, daily cruises and trips to local wineries, or for something a little more active, the staff can put you in touch with a company which arranges caving, abseiling, paragliding, zip-lining and canyoning (who said Greek islands were all about the sunloungers?).

There’s a pool bar where you can get your Greek-salad fix, or you can stroll to one of the many neighbourhood tavernas nearby.

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Electra

Another sea-facing hotel in Kefalonia, Electra is just a couple of kilometres away from the airport and a short drive from the island’s capital, Argostoli. It’s a great choice for anyone who likes to keep active on holiday – there’s a gym at the hotel and lots of scenic cycling trails nearby. Wellness facilities include a spa with a sauna, hot tub and hammam, and the hotel has a hair salon for tending to beach-wrecked tresses.

Guests can enjoy sunset cocktails before Mediterranean meals at the restaurant, which overlooks the pool and the Ionian Sea in the distance.

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Skala

Just 100 metres from the sand on Skala Beach, this family-run hotel was renovated a couple of seasons ago. Breakfast is served in a sea-facing space, with à la carte dishes to accompany the buffet and choices for vegans. Each room has a smart TV with Netflix, on the off chance you’d rather be binge-watching indoors (highly unlikely).

There are lots of bars and tavernas in the neighbourhood, and just over the road from Skala is a Roman villa that dates back to the 3rd century AD, with inscriptions and intact mosaics.

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Harmony Suites

These adults-only suites are on a hilltop overlooking the Ionian Sea in the west of the island. At the heart of Harmony Suites is a pool, surrounded by chic teak decking and grey sunloungers. Other communal facilities include a sauna and hammam. The residences are within easy reach of Kefalonia’s capital Argostoli and the sandy beaches of the south.

There are six apartments, each with an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, television and coffee machine; some have kitchenettes and two have an outdoor hot tub. Each opens out onto a private balcony, with sunbeds to lounge around on.

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Oikos Boutique Residences

If you’re in search of a Kefalonia hotel for a group, look no further than Oikos Boutique Residences, a set of sleek villas that sleep between eight and 20 guests. The name aptly means ‘home’ and you’ll certainly feel comfortable in these well-equipped dwellings, located 400 metres above the shore in Platies on Mount Ainos.

The sea views are a big draw – on a clear day, you’ll be able to spy Zakynthos in the distance. Facilities at the villas include fully equipped kitchens, Cocomat mattresses and pillow menus – and for additional charges, you’ll be able to enjoy the services of private chef, a stocked wine cellar and yoga classes.

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