We have just returned from Marina Bay Hotel/Apartments - stayed 2 weeks in August (2013)
What a wonderful holiday! Kefalonia is a beautiful island, and our stay was made even more fantastic by staying at Marina Bay.
We arrived after a 40 minute taxi transfer. The friendly receptionist Georgia showed us to our room (224). It was spacious and clean and we opened up the french doors on to the balcony to the most stunning view of the beach and sea! Apparently all rooms have a sea view, which I think is amazing... I love to open the doors first thing on a morning to the sound of the waves and the sun beginning to light up the beach...
The room was basic but had all you need, bed was comfy and made daily and sheets/towels changed every few days. Air conditioning was a god send, we had to pay extra when we arrived (think it was 90 euros for the 2 weeks) but it was lovely to come back from the 35 degrees heat to a lovely cool room, and nice to put on low for a comfortable nights sleep. A small kitchenette had a fridge and 2 ring hob.
Breakfast was included - I've read some reviews here on Trip Advisor, of people moaning about the breakfast, but I think it was a lovely bonus - most self catering apartments don't include any food so I think this was great. It was just what you needed to start the day: toast with ham, cheese, tomatoes, honey or jam, eggs, rice pudding, delicious home-made sponge, coffee/tea and juice. Spiros the cook was a friendly face every morning, greeting my 5 year old son Lucas with "who is my favourite friend in the whole 7 islands?" and a hug. He'd make sure we had whatever we needed and all the staff were friendly and spoke fairly good English..despite a review I noticed saying nobody spoke English! The food here is basic but quite adequate for a bite to eat if you want lunch here. For the price you pay for this holiday you obviously aren't going to expect gourmet food, so people that complain about the food are not really being realistic....
There is a lovely little Taverna called Anemos a short walk along the road or beach, and up a little hill which we ate at a few times (make sure you have cash, they don't take cards - I found out, oops)
The grounds of Marina Bay are lovely, nice lawn with sunbeds and parasols looking out over the beach. And a beautiful pool which I'd call an 'infinity pool' with a stunning view of the sea. The pool was always clean, and the fantastic thing we found was it was so quiet... We couldn't believe it was the middle of August, the middle of the school Summer holidays and we were sometimes the only people in the pool, and there were always sunbeds available! Usually in the peak season you're lucky if you get somewhere to sit at the pool or beach unless you go and put towels out at 6 o'clock in the morning!
The beach was gorgeous too, and only metres to walk from leaving our apartment... Clean and sandy with free sunbeds and parasols (unlike most other beaches that charged a daily rate..) Also very quiet, not crowded as you might expect in peak season. This beach is one of a very few nesting place for giant turtles. We went to a talk about the conservation going on here, and were told there were eggs hatching while we were there, unfortunately we never saw any, despite getting up at about 5:00 one morning to try and see them...
The sea was warm and calm most days, so lovely and safe for children.
You can take a taxi to Skala, the town and main resort which costs 6 euros each way. There you'll find lots of restaurants of every variety. We particularly liked The Pines on the square, and lots of others who's names I can't remember. Also lots of bars where you can enjoy a cocktail or 3.
We hired a car for 3 days from a company called Greekstones, very reasonable, and nice reliable car. It was wonderful to have the freedom to take a look around the island - particular favourite places were Assos bay/castle, and Fiscardo - the very North of the island, a beautiful harbour where you can just sit and have a meal/drink overlooking the water with millions of £'s worth of yachts coming in - good to dream!
Another place we found was Georgiou Castle, not far from Skala. Up the hill by the castle is The Castle Cafe - we had some delicious food here, sat in the most amazing, cool, comfortable setting, with fantastic views, free jugs of very welcome cold water and the best home-made tiramasu ever!
If you're looking for somewhere with water sports, loud music, lots going on and a kids club for your children to go to - don't go to Marina Bay!
But if you want, like us, a very relaxing holiday with peace and quiet in the most amazing, beautiful location with friendly staff to look after you, then try this place.... I would definitely recommend highly and would love to re-visit some time in the near future....
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