Social media, eh? It can be a right pain. In my case it’s the facilitator and the overseer; whilst it sometimes presents me with incredible opportunities to see the world, it also makes me feel like I must absorb every ounce of culture possible on a 7am-midnight daily stint, otherwise, God forbid, I’m basically just a tourist *le gasp*. Have I even holidayed though?
Beach holidays have never really been my thing. When friends and family would exhale a deep sigh, lean back in their chair and relay stories of how many days they spent snoozing by the pool, I would nod my head in appreciation but all the while be thinking: “God, how were they not bored?!”
That’s why I’ve always opted for city breaks. From Paris and Berlin to Budapest and Rome, give me a good city, and I’m a happy girl. The procedure is always the same: get up, eat breakfast (or brunch, let’s be real), do some sightseeing and cultural wandering, pause for an afternoon nap, get ready and go out for dinner and dranks. I like to feel like I’m seeing things and experiencing things and becoming a part of the city, even if I am falling into the stereotypical millennial cliche and just traipsing around the same old hipster area as everybody else.
This is why, when Hannah and I were invited along to the beautiful MarBella Hotel in Corfu, I was slightly terrified by the prospect of not really doing a lot. What if one afternoon in, I got restless just sitting by the pool? What if I wanted to wander into the main town but it was too far and Hannah didn’t want to come along? What the bloody hell would I even have to post on Instagram?
This, my friends, is resort guilt. This is panicking that you won’t have ventured into the location’s best kept secrets, won’t have snapped the shot that shows you really experienced the place, won’t have done enough to say that you were really there at all – “you can sit by a pool anywhere, why would you want to waste all of that time?!” (FYI that annoying person is usually me.)
My fears were very quickly assuaged within about 30 seconds of arriving at the hotel. MarBella Corfu were kind enough to put on a transfer service for us and picked us up directly from the airport doors, taking us through the main town and along the beautiful coastline to the resort. As soon as we arrived our bags were taken from us and we were greeted with fresh OJ and prosecco (holla), and following a quick intro to what the hotel grounds had to offer, we headed up to our suite.
YES, THAT’S RIGHT, SUITE. The room was spacious, extremely clean and well-equipped, with towels for both the bathroom and the beach and more tea and coffee options than even the most Yorkshire of Brits could hope for. Not only that, the huge glass doors also opened out onto our private balcony, complete with deck chairs and jacuzzi (the likes of which we naturally made the most of on our first evening, filling it to the brim and gossiping about God knows what).
We stayed on a half-board basis which meant that we only had to spend on our drinks, lunches and any other little snacks we desired. A huge breakfast and dinner spread was put on every morning and evening in the main restaurant, which also featured an “outside” enclosed balcony area with all glass windows and a view looking out over the sea. The buffet offerings changed each day so there was no risk of getting bored, and as a veggie, there was a huge range of choice and I wasn’t stuck with a veggie burger or stuffed pepper.
The cherry on the top, however? The spa. Oh, was that a pointless, uninvited fact about me that you just asked for? Your wish has been granted. I LOVE having my head and feet touched. I can pass on a back massage any day (if I have knots Sandra JUST LEAVE THEM, it’s too painful), but a scalp massage? I’m sold. On the second day Hannah and I headed to the spa to indulge in a little treat, myself of course opting for the scalp and face massage, and Hannah going for the full body. It was by far the best massage I’ve ever had, and so if you are thinking of heading to the MarBella Corfu, make sure you save a little extra spending money for some self-care.
All in all, I’m glad, for once, to be saying goodbye to resort guilt, because hot diggity did it prove to be a welcome break. The whole atmosphere of the hotel was quiet and relaxed, and whilst the sun, sea and spa were all incredible, the best part of all was time. This is definitely a hotel that gives you time, whether that be to hang out with friends, to sleep or just to decompress, and who doesn’t need that from time to time?