This Hidden Gem in Greece Is the Definition of a Luxury Retreat

Ultima Corfu Review
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It’s not every day we get to experience such a magical stay in one of the most beautiful and soul-reviving escapes in the world, but this was exactly our experience at the Ultima Corfu. A true hidden gem, the Ultima Corfu is a private residence with all the benefits, amenities, and services of a five-star resort. It’s the kind of place you want to return to again and again — and not just for the view.

Ultima Collection takes pride in creating bespoke experiences for its guests and meeting every wish and desire before you’ve even had the thought to ask. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the staff have already prepared a plan B, C, and D to ensure that every day of your stay is perfect and exactly what you wanted.

From the 180-degree view of the Ionian Sea, to the familial staff who work on a level above the rest, the culinary creations prepared daily, the dips, trips, and tastes around Corfu, and the immaculate villa itself, the Ultima Corfu experience feels like a gift from heaven.

ultima corfu review
Photo: Courtesy of Ultima Corfu

First Impressions

Our first introduction to the villa came from the sea itself. After racing across “The Blue” (the name our hosts kept using to refer to the emerald-blue waters surrounding the island) on a private yacht with Vision Yachts, we finally came into view of the villa itself built into the cliffside and rising majestically above us like a small, medieval fortress. The staff were gathered on the dock to welcome us all with a friendly smile and addressed each of us by name without any introduction.

The smell of jasmine, rosemary, pine, and sweet mulberry trees filled our senses as we walked up the stone steps along the cliff to reach our villa, passing various lookout points situated with lounges, chairs, and tables all waiting to be used to take in the inimitable view.

Certainly not a climb for the faint of heart but well worth the steps, every level up we went, the view became more and more spectacular, until we finally reached the top and saw the pride and glory of the Ultima Corfu: an unhindered view of the sea, the lush hills of Albania to the left, the verdant islands of Greece to the right, and the infinite joining of sea and sky straight ahead. In a kaleidoscope of watercolors, pinks, purples, and golds dripped into the sea as the sun set over the endless Blue in a heart-stopping sunset we would certainly never get used to.

Welcome to the Ultima Corfu, it seemed to sing.

Ultima Corfu Review
Photo: Courtesy of Ultima Corfu

The Villa

Ultima Corfu is at its core a private residence and a home away from home. The villa consists of a main house (with four en-suite bedrooms) as well as a separate guest house with two more en-suite bedrooms connected by a private living room and kitchen.

Every room in the entire villa – from the living room, dining room, kitchen, and even the gym – boasts an unforgettable 180-degree view of the sea. Only the sauna and cinema room – yes, there is a private movie room with tiered seating, cozy couches and blankets, and a giant screen – do not have a wall of windows to the sea for obvious reasons.

With no shortage of spaces for entertainment, a grand piano sits on one side of the massive fireplace in the living room while a blackjack table sits on the other next to a telescope primed for star-gazing at night. Each level of the house has an infinity pool, and just off the living room and up the stairs, sits a tower with a warm and bubbling jacuzzi shaded by olive trees and a gazebo.

Ultima Corfu Review
Photo: Courtesy of Ultima Corfu

The furniture is modern and elegantly tied in with the luxe, mediterranean decor. Unique touches of vintage pieces like the wooden Moroccan doors, Turkish sculptures, the Assouline travel collection, and high-end art – such as prints from Rothko – adorn the walls throughout the villa. Outdoor couches, tables, and lounges invite guests to unwind on the wrap-around veranda and act as an extension of each room, cultivating a seamless transition of rest and conversation from inside to outside.

Even though there is a gorgeously appointed indoor dining room, we found the gentle breezes of the outdoor dining room to be so enjoyable, there was never a need to move the party inside.

Ultima Corfu Review
Photo: Courtesy of Ultima Corfu

The Food

Before staying at the villa, each guest is given a questionnaire so the staff can tailor their cultural and culinary experiences. The result is that every meal prepared by Ultima Corfu’s private chef, Chef Alexandros Porfyris, was better than the last. For one thing, each meal always consisted of the freshest ingredients sourced locally, and Chef Alex took pains to please with his skill and careful thought of each guest when creating his menus.

As he discovered more about our personal tastes and preferences with each meal, he incorporated the things he was learning about us into the following meal. Like the evening he included elements from each of our home countries throughout the menu, or the simple things like having our favorite coffee ready to go as soon as we padded into the kitchen with the sleep still in our eyes.

Ultima Corfu Review
Photo: Courtesy of Ultima Corfu

Location, Location, Location

It’s easy to see why the late Prince Phillip‘s family took up residence on Corfu, the most verdant island in Greece. A feast for the senses, colors of the deepest hues delight your eyes on every corner, just as the scent of sweet fruits fill your nose and the crisp, cool water acts as a balm for your sun-kissed skin.

In the small village, it is fun to meander through cobblestone streets under vines laden with grapes trying to decipher the Greek alphabet, and taking in the old buildings of the proud Greek town. We enjoyed exploring a number of the surrounding, uninhabited islands where we hiked under pine trees, swam in the endless Blue, and even discovered a cave (alas, no buried treasure).

However, without a doubt, our favorite activity was simply enjoying the villa itself, particularly jumping off the dock and swimming in the clear waters of the sea. It was so private, so serene, and so surreal, that as we floated in the salt water looking up at the Ultima Corfu towering on the cliff above us, we couldn’t help but feel like we were home.

Ultima Corfu Review
Photo: Courtesy of Ultima Corfu
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