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“Absolutely Perfect Hotel and Holiday” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Emelisse Art Hotel

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Emelisse Art Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Emblissi Bay, Fiscardo 280 84, Greece   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 9 hotels in Fiscardo
UK
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Absolutely Perfect Hotel and Holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2011

We have just returned from a 7-night stay in the Emelisse Art Hotel in Fiskardo. A work colleague of mine who had visited the hotel a couple of years ago and actually got married out there recommended us the hotel. I was particularly impressed with his reviews of the hotel and staff. I was delighted to hear he had kept in touch with some of the wonderful staff he had met out there near on 2 years ago. I was surprised to find that 2 years on the team are the same group of people - great continuity.

Well, in simple terms the recommendation from my work colleague was one which I appreciated and we had an absolutely fantastic stay. It is evident that the hotel prides itself on its very personal service and high standards.

We arrived and were immediately greeted in the lobby by Emma. She met us with a smile and quickly provided us with an ice cold drink and cool towels. She walked us around the hotel and showed us where everything was including walking us to our room. I found this a very nice touch, as we were able to quickly find our bearings and also ask any questions.

Upon our arrival to our room, it was exceptionally clean and very well presented. The room had a king sized bed, flat screen TV, DVD player, Nespresso coffee maker and even a JBL iPod dock which meant we could charge our phones without getting the travel adapter out. The standard of the room was great and we had clean bathrobes, towels and Korres products supplied. The air conditioning was fantastic in the room and took the edge of the mid 30's temparature quite comfortably. The only improvement could have been the view - we had a side sea view room and the view to the sea was rather limited - albeit we did have a sea view. Perhaps a balcony room would have met my expectation a little better - but this is not a fault of the hotel at all - instead a poor description by my travel agents.

The hotel has an excellent gym, probably one of the best I have seen in Greece in all my stays to date. It has branded equipment, which includes 3 running machines, 2 cross trainers, 2 rowers and various weights systems - both machine and free. It has a cold water machine and also a small hifi where you can bring your own CD's to help you workout. I will say however, that it is very hot and if you expect to arrive and workout hard, you may want to think again.

The general areas of the hotel are excellent. The lobby is bright and airy with a beautiful view out to the Ionian Sea. It has a billiard table, coffee machine and comfortable sofa's where you can relax and read a through a book from the lobby's extensive book library. Adjoining to the lobby is a small bar area where you can enjoy some complimentary homemade cake and use the various laptops to catch up with your emails or Internet.

In terms of restaurants the hotel boats a small eating area behind the lobby, which includes a wood fired pizza oven and al fresco seating area. Looks really nice and contemporary, however we did not spend any time in this area at all.

There is a nice eating area just by the swimming pool which by day provides a simple but very high quality lunch menu and then by night transforms into a lovely restaurant serving excellent food. We had lunch at the hotel every single day and the food was excellent, whether you want a salad, grilled meat, traditional pie or a sandwich you will not be disappointed.

We ate in the more formal restaurant on a special Greek night, which the hotel hosted. The atmosphere was brilliant with a live band and the food was fantastic. I know a previous reviewer has commented the food was not that great, I couldn’t disagree more - the food is good quality, freshly cooked and tasty. My wife and I are both fussy eaters and we did not complain once - honestly we loved it. The previous reviewer talked about Michelin star - this is not a Michelin star rated restaurant - instead it provides fresh cooked food with locally sourced products - look on the side of the pool area and you will see a small allotment area where they grow some produce for use in the kitchen.

The area where you lounge in the sun is excellent. It is modern and exceptionally clean. The beds are wooden framed and have very comfortable padding. Each and every morning you can walk into the area and be greeted by a mountain of fresh, clean towels and then simply walk over to your bed to enjoy a relaxing day in the sun. If you don’t wish to sit on a sun lounger then instead grab a comfortable sofa in the shade. The infinity pool is awesome and looks out to the Ionian Sea where you will see many yachts, boats and cruise ships moving past throughout the day - a beautiful sight. The backdrop to the sea are some mountains, which really make you feel like you are sat somewhere special. The pool is clean, the area is generally quiet and you will be more than happy to sit here and relax for the day and sink into a book or have a snooze.

Yes, there are some wasps, but like a previous reviewers commented I do not agree you can blame the hotel. The hotel is not responsible for nature and therefore I don't think that the wasps listened when the Emelisse asked them to not fly past the hotel. Its not that bad, the hotel provides anyone at request with a tray of burning coffee which keeps the wasps away if you are that bothered.

One of the things I really liked was the fact that you are not bothered when sat by the pool. The staff are attentive and happy to serve you, but they do not approach you asking you if you want a drink. This is a classy hotel and they do not need to constantly approach you to increase the poolside bar revenue. When you want a drink, stick your arm up or walk over to the bar and you will be served a lovely cocktail with a smile.

The hotel has its own private area where you can walk down and swim in the sea. The area is a little rocky and therefore beach shoes may be a good idea, however the sea is crystal clear and a dream to swim in. I have not seen water this blue and clear in a long time...........

The hotel is close to the Fiskardo port. The hotel operates an efficient shuttle bus, which drops you off or collects you at designated times. The drive takes about 5 minutes, of which 2 minutes will be driving out of the hotel grounds. The shuttle service is brilliant and means you are free to explore the bars and restaurants in the port. We missed the last bus back every night and with a quick phone call to the reception we were happily collected from the port whether it was 12am or 1am - no problem.

On a final note what makes the Emelisse if you are not convinced with the fact it is clean, high in standards, with fresh home cooked food and all the necessary comforts - it is the team that cares for you during your stay.

I would like to thank Eleanor, Maria, Emma, Petros, Leki, and Nikoleta. They were all brilliant in making us feel welcome and ensured that we had a nice stay. I would also like to say a special thank you to Haris who is the owner. You will not find a hotel owner like him. He is there every single day and greets all his guests’ everyday as they walk to breakfast. Haris is everywhere and ensuring his guests are happy is clearly a passion for him. During the Greek themed night he was serving guests and not afraid to collect plates; hand out napkins or simply chitchat with his customers. Haris you are a legend and it is clear why the Emelisse is so special, because you have made it your mission to delight customers.
Overall, a fantastic hotel and I will be going back one day real soon. Thanks to everyone at 'TEAM EMELISSE".

Room Tip: Go for a full sea view room if possible
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011 via mobile

Maybe I've been spoilt by too many visits to real 5 star resorts but if your idea of a 5 star service is helpful hotel staff setting out towels on your sun lounger without having to go and hunt them down yourself, occasionally being offered a drink from the bar (albeit €4 for a coffee) while relaxing by the pool, and being able to read or snooze quietly without being divebombed by swarms of virile wasps, then this hotel probably isn't for you. 

The rooms are more bland than chic, the staff more cordial than friendly  and the food more McDonalds than Michelin.

In short, if you are actively seeking a holiday in Fiscardo (which is a lovely place incidently), the Emelisse will be comfortable and adequate; if you are searching for hotels first and foremost, give this one a wide berth. 

Dining at the restaurant on 'Seafood night' was quite an experience. Having paid €20 for two sub-standard mojotos (lukewarm/ no crushed ice- unforgivable), I ordered a rather pricey batch of mussels for my starter. Imagine my astonishment upon discovering not a single mussel inside any the shells placed in front of me. Not one. Granted, there was some slivers of life in there but no one single mussel that I could scoop out, pop into mouth and satisfactorily chew. It was like cracking open 10 empty fortune cookies only to find that you must be the world's most misfortunate person..  

For our main, we ordered the hotel's signature dish 'Lobster spaghetti'. It had all sounded so promising. Fresh lobster and spaghetti- what could go wrong? Plenty it seemed. The lobster proved impossible to break using the implements provided.  Not being lobster connoisseurs by any stretch, we consulted the waitress who studied the cracking tool at length and then concluded she was as mystified as us at how to operate it effectively. So.. in true 'we've paid €85 for this amd wont be beaten' spirit we resorted to using our hands, the table quickly turning into something out of an episode of CSI. And if that wasn't enough, we had the bed of spaghetti to work our way through. No scrimping here. There was absolute mounds of the tasteless, rubbery stuff. Enough to feed several Augustus Gloops - and then some.

Breakfast was a dismal affair. Not once were we greeted in the morning, shown to a table or offered orange juice or coffee, having to hunt down a waiter to ask them on every visit (akin to a bad episode of Oliver Twist). The buffet is laid out in a dark corner of the restaurant and missing essentials such as glasses for the fruit juices and a toaster that actually toasts bread. Empty bottles of water languish in melted ice while sweaty pieces of fruit are crawling with wasps. Staples such as bacon, sausages, etc are all to be paid for separately, with sickly looking scrambled eggs and some pallid potato patties being the only 'hot' part of the buffet.

Another highlight was the nightly minibus trip into Fiscardo, driven by a a colouful character, straight out of Fawlty Towers. He drove so fast you could only merely cling hold of the seat in front of you while closing your eyes and slowly counting down from 10 as he screeched down the hill to the port. One night, after a particularly over zealous wheel-spin, he clipped the kerb with his tyre, subsequently puncturing it.  Gesticulating wildly, he frogmarched us off and into another vehicle without so much as an apology. Priceless.   

Back to the pool though... Most of the day was spent swatting wasps, running away from wasps and plotting numerous ways for the little pest to meet an untimely death.

And when I did get round to ordering a that €4 coffee (having had to flail my arms wildly for about half an hour until one of the lacklustre waiters noticed me), it arrived lukewarm, mostly consisting of froth and leaving a bitter taste in my mouth: a metaphor for the hotel I fear. 

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

The Emelisse hotel is a very nice luxurious hotel. It has nice clean rooms and has a gorgeous view. Fiscardo is such a beautiful area to stay in and the hotel provides a shuttle to fiscardo and also to the near by Emblisi Beach. The staff are very friendly and accomodating although when we booked to have 2 beds this was a problem and we had to have a roll away put in the room. The breakfast is delicious and the pool is lovely. The only thing I didn't like about this hotel was the wasp problem. They are everywhere! I have stayed in other places in kefalonia which don't have this problem. They try to get rid of the wasps by burning greek coffee but it is very annoying. There is also the occasional smell of sewage around the resort which is a bit off putting. All in all a very nice place but I don't think I could stand the wasps again!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2011

Hotel fantastic but rules not upheld at all - thomsomn said no under 16s but might be SOME from other operators - it was like a kindergarten....we are very stressed and unhappy at the amount of toddlers in the pool which states no children in pool on the sign. When i asked the rep and reception about this they agreed that this happens and they have had many complaints....trouble was the main culprits seemed to be the owners extened family.
I was so upset as the hotel is stunning, the people friendly and the location and rooms superb but this problem coupled with a huge wasp problem would stop me rebooking.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

We stayed at the Emelisse for 5 days, as part of our vacation in Greece. We should have stayed longer!

Upon our arrival it became obvious that service was going to be incredible. Our golf cart driver Petros introduced himself and helped us get everything loaded. The next time we saw our stuff was in our rooms. Petros, throughout, helpful and with a huge smile.

We took the ground floor of one of the villas, with a total of 5 bedrooms in 3 separate appartments, two of which connected, very useful when travelling with a larger group with kids. Tastefully decorated in local style, very clean and most importantly functional. Regardless, we did not plan to spend a lot of time in our rooms! The villa had a wonderful 15 ft pool, just enough size for that late afternoon swim the kids always want. The view of the Ionian sea (and Ithaki and Lefkada) was breathtaking!

We took a half-meal plan, meaning breakfast was always included, then we had the choice of either lunch or dinner. Breakfast was served in a wonderful and serenely colored hall above the reception, with view onto the Ionian. Huge choice, very attentive staff and even home made cakes by hotel owner Haris Tsimaras' mom!

While the staff was always attentive, polite and helpful, without ever being invasive, Haris himself brings hospitality to a new level. He is literally everywhere (!) and seems to never sleep, except for the necessary siesta from 3 - 5 pm to recharge. The staff take their lead from Haris. Even though he is the owner, I saw him puling back chairs for ladies, filling cups of coffee, helping guests with daily plans, always, always smiling!

The food at the two restaurants (one mostly grill) was always satisfying. We even got to try a 250 lbs tuna that was caught that morning, sublime! The kitchen delivers great grill, but also provides very satisfying execution of local greek dishes (mageirefta, like moussaka).

Our 9-year-old happened to have his birthday while we were there. I arranged with Haris to have a cake at dinner, then tried to give him our room number to charge it, to which he declared: 'You don't pay for birthday cakes at Emelisse!'. Very generous.

The hotel location is beautiful, both in views from the water and of the water. Nearby Emblissi beach is a great alternative, only 100 m away. The hotel provides frequent shuttles to Fiskardo, one of the most beautiful little ports in Greece.

On the last day of our stay, Haris took some of the kids out on a wild tubing ride with his jet-ski.

There is no doubt, this was a remarkable stay for us and we will certainly be back.

Thank you Haris for everything!

- Mike, Liana and family

Room Tip: It's quieter in the 400 building with the larger pool near the tennis court, also has a differen...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

We just came back from Emelisse. I have been there in summer 2003 when it opened for a sort weekend so I only remembered that it was a very nice place! I am so glad that we chose to visit this hotel again!!!

The scenary is just amazing, the rooms are very comfortable, fully equipped (nespresso machine provided) and modern (although designed in 2003 is is like it was designed yesterday)! Althhough the beaches nearby are amazing, we had such a relaxing time in the resort that we only went out once. We spent most of the time in the swimming pool or in the beach that was few steps down!

The restaurant had delicious dishes and in very good prices! The minibar was cheap and the hotel also provided bicycles for free!

But the most important advantage was the friendly environment...the owner was there every mornig to say "goodmornig" and the staff was always smiling (the two romanian sisters, ne in Breakfast and one in the restaurant where always willing to help). Once we ordered a coffee with no sugar and they brought us one with sugar...because they were mistaken they gave as the coffee for free (it is the gesture that counts...).

After visiting a very big and luxurious resort last summer, we appreciated much more the choise we made this year to visit a family resort!

If you plan to get married in a greek island...CHOOSE EMELISSE!!!

Room Tip: Most of the rooms have at least side sea view! There are only few with no sea view (at better rates...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perthshire
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We visited the Emelisse again this year for the third time in as many years. The first time was our honeymoon in 2008 which was amazing but our further holidays have been just as good. In fact this hotel seems to be getting better all the time.

The previous reviews describe well the beautiful setting and design of the hotel so no point repeating them. To summarise if you want a large indoor-based hotel with a nice but overcrowded pool area the Emelisse is not for you, Instead it is based around beautifully designed outside communal spaces, a small extremely relaxing lobby with old-fashioned veranda and lovely cool minimalistic rooms.The staff are friendly and relaxed while providing excellent service and Mr Tsimaras is always in the background ensuring everything is perfect. We have used the spa several times on our visits and found it to be excellent especially the massages. We have really been spoiled as have visited a few other 5 star hotels in Europe since our first vist and nothing compares, hence we have to keep coming back. We have always paid supplement for sea view room and found it to be worthwhile, if only due to the position of these buildings on the edge of the "village" and not overlooked. Howver for our last few days this year we were upgraded to a room with shared pool which really spoiled us and we both felt would need to be the choice in future.

We went on the hotel boat trip this year which was one of the best days out we've ever had - such luxury, do not miss the opportunity please. Also the hotel drivers Pedras and Zakythos are so helpful, made us laugh every day in their attempts to prevent us using leg power to go anywhere and deserve special mention among the staff.

My husband is a farmer and I am a vet - we both have physical jobs involving long hours and very few days off. We feel that the Emelisse "fixes us" each year, almost like a kind of retreat and recharges our batteries for the harvest ahead. Thsnks again Mr Tsimaras!

Room Tip: Shared pool room well worth the extra money for sheer luxury.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Emelisse Art Hotel

Address: Emblissi Bay, Fiscardo 280 84, Greece
Location: Greece > Ionian Islands > Cephalonia > Fiscardo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 hotels in Fiscardo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Emelisse Art Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
THE HOTELSituated above Emplisis bay overlooking a unique painting of nature, this resort is hidden out of sight, among cedars and cypress trees. From an architect’s point of view a finely tuned pallet of multicultural influence creates an environment of high aesthetics and post-modern design. Space consultant Sophocles Maraveyas has combined an ambience of serenity with original pieces of furniture and local architecture elements. Note that this is the only establishment in Greece to use teak wood items to furnish rooms, all painted in subtle pale shades, and decorated with pictures from artwork photographer Tatiana Karapanagioti, highlighted by the cleverly hidden support lights.HOTEL LOCATIONHotel is located above Emplisis bay, close to the picturesque port and fishing village of Fiskardo, which is within close proximity; it will take not more than 15 minutes to reach, walking distance. The hotel lies just 1h 15m away from Cephalonia airport and the ferry port of Sami is just 50 minutes away. It is 60klm from Poros port, your destination port if you travel from Kyllini. It takes less than an hour to go to the capital of the island, Argostoli. Many magnificent beaches to choose, closest is just 100m far from the reception area.HOTEL FACILITIES & SERVICESCatering services could not be an exception to the quality that characterizes all the services offered. • Welcome cucumber water and iced towel on arrival• Two swimming pools, sun beds, pool towels, shower• Children swimming pool• Pool bar• Lobby bar• Indoor restaurant• Riza restaurant with Greek traditional and local delicacies• Votsalo restaurant, an open kitchen restaurant serving special Mediterranean flavors• All day room service• Laundry service• Business services, business center, meetings up to 50 people, audio visual equipment• Event facilities, church for wedding and Christian ceremonies• DVD selection• Book Library• Early check in upon availability without charge• Late check out upon request/ availability; until 14:00 free of charge, until 18:00 30% surcharge on the room rate, after 18:00 100% charge• Fitness room, fully equipped, free of charge• Complimentary shuttle bus service to/ from Fiskardo village• Water taxi service• Transfers upon request (private taxi transfer)• Porter service• Parking area, up to 25 spaces, 100m far from the reception area, transportation is done by club cars• Tennis court (rackets and balls are provided by Reception free of charge)• Baby sitting upon request, baby monitors, baby chairs, baby cots• Elemis Spa• Billiard, free of charge• Gift shop• Playground• Scuba diving• Boat trips to the islands of Lefkada, Ithaca, Scorpios, Meganisi with our brand new speedboat Princess V50• Speedboat, private daily cruises• Bicycles, are available for hire, free of charge• Cinema is available without charge, by the reception area• Excursions to villages, beaches, sights with our brand new and luxurious Mercedes Viano!• Daily cruises to Perantzada Hotel• Car Rental arrangements• Wireless Internet access• Club cars’ transportation within the hotel area, from/ to the Emplisis Bay• Hairdresser upon request• Housekeeping is provided twice a day• Special evenings every week (Greek night, Pizza night, Barbecue)• Weekend events for children, Spa treatments, sport events, yoga ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Emelisse Art
Emelisse Art Fiscardo
Emelisse Hotel Kefalonia

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