After a drive through wild countryside and coastal roads in the northwest of mainland Greece, you'll reach Elix, part of Mar-Bella Collection. This spectacular hotel in Parga is perched atop a hillside and overlooks the stunning Karavostasi Beach and Ionian Sea. Somehow, despite the hotel's strikingly modern façade, there is an air of Greek mythology about the place.
The Mar-Bella Collection, a family-owned Greek hospitality brand, offers luxurious accommodation at the properties within its portfolio. As well as Elix on the mainland, the collection also includes MarBella and Nido, both located on the island of Corfu.
Why come here?
When walking around Elix, which boasts 146 rooms and suites, you begin to get a sense of how vast this resort really is. Family-friendly and arranged over multiple floors, there's everything from restaurants and a mini-market to a high-end boutique, which is great for picking up last-minute outfits or some holiday souvenirs to take home.
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However, the undoubted highlight here is the stunning beach, which is hidden away among pine trees. To get to the golden sands you can take a walk down via a winding tree-lined path, or it's accessible via a funicular railway – ideal for families with young children or for guests with mobility issues.
Rooms and suites
The accommodation options at Elix are spacious and beautifully decorated. In particular I loved the furniture and the fact that I was given not one but two adjoining rooms. The main room was for sleeping, and next door functioned as the perfect dressing room for getting ready. I was staying at Elix alone but these two rooms would be an ideal set-up for small families.
Eating and drinking
If you want an abundance of food and drink options, Elix is definitely an all-inclusive resort worth considering. You will be well fed and catered for everywhere you decide to dine, from poolside cafe Indigo, perfectly located in the shade, to Azure beach restaurant and bar which is relaxed yet chic in an Ibiza-esque way. In the evenings, elegant multi-course events, some organised in conjunction with celebrated Greek chefs, take place at the hotel's ocean-facing restaurant Pearl. To attend these events, you have to pay extra.
Activities and things to do
Karavostasi Beach's gentle waves and crystal-clear waters make it the perfect place for a swim any time of the day, and it's the most beautiful spot to try out paddleboarding. Plus, when using the Mar-Bella Collection app you can sign up for everything from hiking, mountain biking, use of the tennis courts, relaxed sunrise yoga classes among the forested landscape, or treat yourself to the ultimate relaxation by heading to the hotel's spa. As well as the beach, there's also two swimming pools, including a freshwater infinity pool with spectacular views across the Ionian Sea.
The hotel app informs guests of everything that is going on here, including how to book spa treatments or exercise classes (most take place Monday to Friday). Another top highlight was going on the hotel's catamaran tour to Paxos. Along the way you'll stop off in beautiful coves to sightsee and swim, before spending a few hours in this well-known yet uniquely quaint island town. Explore the beautiful marina, pick up some holiday souvenirs and stop for a bite to eat at one of the harbour-side tavernas.
If you're seeking a wholesome all-inclusive-style stay with breath-taking ocean views, glorious sunsets and family-focused luxury, this is the place to be. Elix promises moments of pure relaxation, but there's plenty of thrill-seeking adventures, too.
Kaye O'Doherty was a guest of Elix, part of Mar-Bella Collection. Seven nights start from £785 ($953) per person as part of a package through Olympic Holidays based on two people travelling in summer 2024. This includes half-board accommodation in a standard room with a sea view and flights from London Gatwick airport. See more at marbella.gr and olympicholidays.com
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