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At a glance

  • You'll love

    Dining with a view

    Two-bed family suites

    Elemis treatments

  • Kids will love

    Pools and playground

    Pebbly beach nearby

    Open-air cinema

  • Don’t expect

    Kids’ club/crèche

    Pram-friendly grounds

    A children’s menu


At Emelisse hotel in Kefalonia, sleek, nature-hued suites – many two-bedroomed – offer family-friendly coastal living with the option to self-cater. This restful resort has something to please Smiths of all ages, including a choice of pools, restaurants, a playground and an Elemis spa. The not-far-from-Fiskardo location is ideal for exploring this idyllic, archetypal Greek island.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Emelisse Hotel with us:

A bottle of champagne in your room, and 10 per cent off a massage treatment at the Elemis Spa (when the spa is closed in low season, dinner for two will be offered instead)


‘Throughout our stay, Baby Smith is treated like a rock star – cooed over by waitresses, spoiled with off-menu titbits from the chef and generally made to feel like the shore’s most significant arrival since Captain Corelli’

Emily Kerrigan


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Emelisse hotel – Kefalonia and Ithaca – Greece

Need To Know


63, including 27 suites and family apartments.


12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from £160.92 (€180), including tax at 13 per cent.

More details

Rates include Continental breakfast. Children Baby cots (free) and extra beds for under-13s (20 per cent of the room rate) can be added to Junior Suites. The Maisonette Apartment, Executive Suite and Presidential Suite each have a sofa bed where one child under 12 can sleep for free.

Hotel closed

Annually from November to mid-April.

At the hotel

Restaurants, bar, landscaped grounds with swimming pools and tennis court, Elemis spa, gym, open-air cinema, library of books and DVDs, bikes to borrow, pool table, private chapel, free WiFi throughout.

In your room

Flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, Korres toiletries, bathrobes, minibar. Apartments have kitchenettes.

Our favourite rooms

Five of the hotel’s seven room categories offer two bedrooms, meaning there’s plenty of choice for families. Guests stay in one of several two-storey villas, each of which contains only a handful of rooms, some with shared private pools. The family apartments are sleek, two-bedroom layouts with kitchenettes, a sitting and dining area; these suites are great for younger children as they're all on one level and right by the playground. For families with older children, Maisonettes are slightly bigger, and spread over two floors, with two ensuite double bedrooms with showers, and two convertible day beds in the sitting room.


A small pool by reception and a dedicated children’s pool are among Emelisse’s swim hotspots, but it’s the infinity pool beside Votsalo restaurant that steals the show – with soothing sea views, slick decking and wooden loungers, plus rustic stone walls that soak up the heat of the day. Emelisse’s pools are lifeguard-free, but supervised children are welcome in all areas; it’s the tot-friendly shallow children’s pool, however, that’s best suited to little ones. Some suites and apartments have access to further pools.


The modest spa at Emelisse has two treatment rooms where you can indulge in a little pampering, courtesy of Elemis. The hotel recommends giving 48 hours’ notice to book treatments.


The nearby beach is pebbly, so you might want to pack some little-piggy-protecting jelly shoes, Crocs or wetsuit boots (they'll come in handy for watersports, too).

Book ahead

Allow 48 hours to organise spa treatments, and give a week's notice for babysitting.


Well-behaved pets are permitted to stay free at Emelisse, in selected rooms; enquire when booking.

Food and drink

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Emelisse hotel – Kefalonia and Ithaca – Greece


Hit the teak decking at the Kinema lounge bar, an all-day dining destination with slick lighting, day-beds for decadent Roman-style feasting, film screenings by night and a great view over the infinity pool to Emblissi Bay. By night, reserve a candlelit table for the Mediterranean à la carte menu at smarter, open-air restaurant Votsalo.

Family fare

Kinema’s informal mezze menu, served poolside all day, best lends itself to children’s small appetites and earlier eating hours. Highchairs and booster seats are available at both restaurants. Staff will heat baby food or milk on request, and are happy to adapt dishes to suit little ones, which more than compenates for the lack of an actual children’s menu.

Hotel Bar

Poolside Kinema is the place to enjoy sunset cocktails or a glass of Robola wine. There is also a low-key lobby bar for indoor aperitifs. Children are welcome at both.

Last orders

Breakfast is served 8am–11am; lunch, 1pm–4pm; dinner, 8pm–11.30pm. The pool bar is open from 11am until midnight; drinks are served at any time, by request, in the lobby bar.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    Poolside for a laid-back family lunch at Kinema; for dinner à deux, head to romantic Votsalo. Curl up on one of Kinema’s comfy terrace sofas for pizza and a movie.

  • Room service

    You can order snacks and drinks to your room 24 hours a day – choose from a selection of restaurant dishes during kitchen hours, and a range of appetite-sating snacks at other times.


    The kitchenettes in Emelisse’s family apartments and maisonettes include blenders and microwaves, giving you the option to whip up a baby purée, snack or children’s tea at any time. There are several local shops and cafés nearby.


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Emelisse hotel – Kefalonia and Ithaca – Greece

Parent approved

‘Throughout our stay, Baby Smith is treated like a rock star – cooed over by waitresses, spoiled with off-menu titbits from the chef and generally made to feel like the shore’s most significant arrival since Captain Corelli’

Emily Kerrigan


The hotel can arrange childcare, subject to availability, for €20 an hour. Emelisse recommends booking a week ahead if possible, especially if you want an English-speaking babysitter (request this when you make your booking). Please note: the hotel can't offer babysitting out of season.


No service is provided, so take your own baby monitors; they won't work across the whole hotel, though.

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Travel cot • Cot bedlinen • Baby bath

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Cot beds • Cot bedlinen • Stair gates • U-rated DVDs • Playground

For older children

• Extra beds • DVD library • Mountain bikes to borrow • Pool table • Tennis courts


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Emelisse hotel – Kefalonia and Ithaca – Greece

Things to do

Emelisse enjoys a coast-side setting with the pebbly beach of Emblissi Bay only a five-minute walk away. A spa, gym, pools, tennis court and playground – even an open-air cinema – mean there is, however, plenty to entertain within the hotel grounds.

Sunny days

Emelisse is a hotel where the wealth of alfresco activities reflects the summery months of opening. Limber up for a set or two on the hotel’s tennis court; borrow some bikes and free-wheel along the coast; enjoy a serene dip in the sea-facing infinity pool, or splash about with the kids in the children’s pool. Adventurous swimmers can dip into the sea straight off the volcanic rocks in front of the hotel (there's a step ladder); or potter down to the pebbly beach at Emblissi Bay for a change of scene (it's also more toddler-friendly). Handily positioned near the family apartments, the hotel also has a small play area, best suited to under-6s. In the evening, catch a movie at the hotel's outdoor cinema while you gobble up pizza.

Rainy days

You're extremely unlikely to get any rain during your stay, but if you want to dip out of the sun for a bit, or fancy a loll around, a library of books and DVDs is at your disposal for chilling out indoors. The indoor gym is parents' weatherproof fitness option; and weather will be the last thing on your mind if you at the stress-easing Elemis spa.

And there's more…

Emelisse has its own luxury speedboat, the Fortuna, which you can charter for beach-hopping BBQ trips or seafaring and snorkelling excursions; ask at reception for details.

Local Guide

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Emelisse hotel – Kefalonia and Ithaca – Greece
Don't miss…

snorkelling with a qualified marine biologist: take to the sea in a traditional Greek boat with Jamie Stirling. Children are welcome (reduced fee for under-12s, free for under-3s), but they'll need stamina for the 9am–4pm trip (

Kefalonia is an island made for family-friendly outdoor living, with clean, serene beaches, wooded countryside and clear waters. Away from the capital Argostoli, Emelisse is the perfect base from which to explore the rugged north coast. Nearby Fiskardo, a pretty port and fishing village, is only a few minutes from the hotel and is packed with cool cafés, arty boutiques and artisan bakeries; with older kids, a day spent pottering among its alleyways is a day well spent. Stroll along the waterside and grab a table at the first seafront restaurant that catches your eye, or explore the winding side streets and find a traditional taverna tucked away from higher-frequency tourist traffic.

Kefalonia’s pin-up, Myrtos Beach in the north-west of the island is a mile-wide stretch of fine white shingle, backed by dramatic limestone cliffs (it starred in the film adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin). It's Kefalonia’s most popular bathing spot, but has few facilities, with a temporary snack kiosk or two; take an umbrella and a picnic if you plan to stay long.

+ Enlarge
Emelisse Hotel
Emblissi Bay, Kefalonia, Fiskardo, Kefalonia, 28084
Hotel setting

Elegant northern coast

Getting There

Emelisse Hotel is a five-minute drive from Fiskardo, a pretty, coastal village in the north of Kefalonia, not far from the port of Sami.


The nearest airport is Kefalonia Argostoli (, an hour and 15 minutes away by car.


If you’re intent on exploring the island to the full, hiring a car is your easiest means of getting around, and the airport offers the best place to pick up some wheels – try Avis (


Strintzis Lines runs daily ferries from Patras in the Peloponnese to the port of Sami in Kefalonia; the journey is three hours long ( From Astakos in western Greece, a daily ferry crosses to Sami in two hours 30 minutes (+30 (0)26460 38020).

Parent travel tip

Book direct flights to Kefalonia wherever possible: the logistics of changing planes in Athens or travelling to one of the far-flung mainland ports which serves Sami is only for the most adventurous of parents.


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Emelisse hotel – Kefalonia and Ithaca – Greece

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Emelisse Hotel – has been selected and approved by parents.

There comes a time in every parent’s life when you realise your desires for indie hideaway boutique hotels must in some way bend to accommodate a few child-friendly features. Consider Kefalonia’s north-coast Emelisse hotel your perfect starting point.

First impressions are that this escape is purely for grown-ups: clean-lined, terracotta-topped modern blocks perched on the rocks of the quietly rugged north coast, with sleek, softly coloured suites. Take a closer look and this family-friendly Kefalonian retreat compromises in all the right places: its two-bedroom suites are an obvious boon for parents; there is a choice of swimming pools, and stylish yet child-friendly restaurants serving moreish Mediterranean fare magically cater to Smiths of all ages. For you, there’s an Elemis spa – for your children, a playground; for everyone, the pebbly beach and cobalt Ionian waters of Emblissi Bay are only a five-minute walk away.

Smith & Family

It’s springtime, and greenery and buds are dotted everywhere along the coast road that leads to the Emelisse Hotel – a carpet of starry daisies drops down to beaches licked by piercing blue sea. There’s no two ways about it, Kefalonia is stunning. Perched above the little port of Fiskardo at the island’s most northerly tip, Emelisse is the kind of establishment where things just tick along like clockwork. We’re transported from carpark to reception by chauffeur-driven buggy and, while porters handle our bags, Mr Smith is handed a cold beer.

This is 10-month-old Baby Smith’s his first foray into luxury hotelville and – ahem – he is capable of making a bit of a racket. But we needn’t have worried: throughout our stay, Baby Smith is treated like a rock star – cooed over by waitresses, spoiled with off-menu tidbits from the chef and generally made to feel like the shore’s most significant arrival since Captain Corelli. With 64 rooms, the Emelisse has all the facilities we’d expect of a larger hotel, but despite its size, it feels thoughtful and intimate, with four-posters draped in silky Italian cotton and roomy sofas. But really our room is all about what’s outside: the panoramic sea views from our balcony elicit a squeal of delight from Baby Smith so shrill that across seas somewhere in Corfu glasses smash. ‘Looook!’ he yells excitedly, and I agree: it’s breathtaking – the views stretch for miles past the hotel’s olive trees and scented lavenders down to the sparkling shore.

Grabbing our attention most? The infinity pool. Spilling over to the open sea, it’s irresistible for a cooling flop, elbows propped over the edge watching sailboats ease by. There’s also a separate kids’ paddling area underneath the main infinity number which means any over-excitable yelping (Baby Smith again) is basically drowned out by cascading water. So should you have the good fortune to negotiate some alone-time on an adjacent lounger, you’ll barely hear the bambino. (Hooray.) And breakfast is a treat. We eat on the terrace overlooking Emblissi beach and it’s divine: figs, honey-drizzled yoghurt and the kitchen’s never-ending spread of home-made cakes – pistachio, apple, almond… This corner of the Ionian Sea sure is pretty. 

Anonymously reviewed by Emily Kerrigan, Freelance food and travel writer

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith & Family hotel, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what real-life family guests had to say about Emelisse Hotel in the Guestbook below.


Stayed on

We loved

We loved it! It ticked all the boxes we were looking for in a holiday this summer. It was child-friendly for our two young children but still with the style and sophistication suited to adults so you didn't feel you were at a kids camp. The views were gorgeous. The pools were great and the views around them spectacular. The food at the hotel was fresh, local and delicious. Breakfast was great, especially with the view. We would highly recommend going out on the hotel's boat. The day was magnificaent, the boat is lovely, the driver was fantastic. The staff were briliant in everyway. Nothing was too much trouble. Couldn't fault our stay and although we don't usually go back to places twice, we would definitely come back to the Emelisse. Thank you

Don’t expect

A rainy day!

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Free transfers to Fiskardo centre.

Don’t expect

Super slick service. Service at pool seemed slow and food not great.

Rating: 8/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

The views of the Ionian. The food at the restaurant.

Don’t expect

Great rooms - they're a little tired, in my opinion. Value for money - to me it seemed expensive for what you get.

Rating: 6/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Food, hospitality were great and the setting and its location you can't beat !

Don’t expect

Their staff were good but found they were stretched a bit so sometime the customer service lacked.

Rating: 8/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

The hotel and it's style and look. The setting and area is a wonderful part of Keffalonia. The staff on the whole were fantastic - Patti (Patricia)in the bar/restaurant and John the guy that drove folk around and picked guests up form Fiscardo.

Don’t expect

Too much peace and quite at the hotel as contrary to what we thought, the main pool was often full of screaming kids. Children have every right to enjoy themselves, but the parents should be more considerate to other guests.

Rating: 8/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Sunsets, candlelit nights and days out exploring islands on the hotel's boat

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet during school holidays, or being able to get a sunbed after 11am as everyone reserves them before breakfast

Rating: 8/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Very comfortable, attentive but unobtrusive service from delightful and helpful staff. Excellent restaurant too. The golf carts for giving lifts around the estate.

Don’t expect

Roaring nightlife.

Rating: 10/10 stars