We stayed at the Apollonion Resort & Spa Hotel in May 2014, comprising two adults and two children (aged 14 and 12 yrs) staying in a family duplex room.
Hotel description: The hotel is situated in a very quiet countryside location. The Apollonion seemed relatively unaffected by the earthquakes which hit in February 2014 whereas the neighbouring Cephalonia Palace was having a severe remodelling and patching up with new balconies and roof. We felt two earth tremors whilst in the hotel, one at night which woke us up as the mirror wardrobe doors started to rattle and the other whilst we were walking near the pool which felt like a London tube train running underneath you. The hotel is very clean and modern and ALL the staff were very friendly and made you feel welcome and your stay very comfortable. Facilities (further detailed below) include spa (payable extra), pool, outdoor cinema, tennis court of good quality, games room, and poolside taverna. The beach is a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The hotel grounds had well -kept gardens with flowering plants and shrubs including lots of powerful scented Jasmine.
Rooms: Various room types but ours was a family duplex room, twins beds pushed together downstairs to make the master bed and two single beds in the bedroom on a mezzanine floor accessed via nice dark wood stairs with brushed steel decorative bannister. The room was of a good size and beds very comfortable with nice linens. The room was cleaned daily to a high standard. A small fridge but sadly no tea/coffee making facilities so take a travel kettle for a late night cuppa. Also included is a laptop safe, good air conditioning, hairdryer and lovely soft bathroom towels. TV has one UK news channel. Yellow pool towels can be obtained from reception free of charge. Room Tip: I couldn’t really see the advantage of the rooms with private pools as the pools are actually joined to all the other private pools so in effect, you have a smaller communal pool away from the main pool. Rooms in the Aphrodite block are over the bar area and therefore experience some music until midnight although not that loud when you have doors closed, plus nice to sit on the enclosed balcony and have music to listen to. Garden rooms are away from the main socialising area and so very quiet.
Restaurants: The main restaurant serves buffet breakfast from 0730 – 1000hrs and had pastries, bread, cakes, fruit, cereals, hot food of bacon, eggs, sausages, beans and omelettes made to order. Dinner is served from 1900 – 2100 hrs. The white house wine was nice at 12 Euro’s per bottle. I didn’t like the red at all. Bottled water was 2.25 Euros. All drinks can be signed for and charged to your room to avoid handling cash.
The open air Pagoda restaurant is adjacent to the pool and server lunch time meals (payable).
Art gallery: Attached to hotel and the only art gallery on the island. It offers free entry and is open from 2000-2200hrs and worth a visit.
Outdoor cinema: A great idea with seating for about 30 watching a selection of good quality films including Captain Correlli’s Mandolin (filmed in Kefalonia). Watching films under the stairs very appealing and blankets available from reception if the nights are chilly.
Entertainment: Keyboard player / DJ playing mix of genres over three nights a week. No organised activities for children as such although there were two small playgrounds (suitable for under 7’s) and a basement arcade with pool, air hockey, internet (all chargeable extras). Free wi-fi is advertised but in reality, we found it very hit and miss with regular disconnection. There is a LAN point in all rooms so may well be worth taking a cable to hook up laptops but as for wifi devices, don’t count on uninterrupted connection.
Bar: Comfortable seating with evening entertainment in the form of either DJ playing various genres, keyboard player. Happy hour is between 4pm and 6pm with half price alcoholic drinks and cocktails. Normal prices for cocktails were 8 Euros each and beer 5 Euros so budget carefully or go out to the tavernas where they are half the price.
Pool: Main pool is a reasonable size and has a depth of 1.5 m shallowing to 1m with a small kids pool adjacent. Enough sun loungers whilst we were there but it was starting to fill up as we left. Not sure if any other sunbeds were being held in reserve. Free pool towels from reception and books could be borrowed from the small library in the basement.
Spa/ small gym: My wife had a pedicure for 34 Euro’s (which she said was equivalent to UK) and the spa offered other treatments ranging from 30 – 80 Euros.
Resort location: Overall, Xi Beach is a VERY quiet location, hardly a village and has Xi Beach (pronounced Zee) just a five minute stroll away from the hotel but was nothing special. No bars or clubs and one beach taverna and another opposite the Kefalonia Palace Hotel which is called Antonio’s and is owned by a very friendly, polite and chatty English woman and her Greek husband. Good food and good prices. Another taverna on the beach also serves good snacks at a reasonable price but is open during the day only. Some fifty yards from this taverna is a small shop selling snacks, beer and water which is ideal especially as the 1 ½ litre bottles of water are only 60 cents compared with 2.25 Euros in the hotel. Car hire is available next to hotel but there is NO BUS SERVICE so have to get taxi’s to main ports. Taxis into Lixouri were 10 Euro each way and they took you to the main square and ferry port. We had an evening in Lixouri but to be honest, not really worthy of the cost of the taxi as we found of interest apart from the large central square with bars.
Ferry to Argostolli: Leaves Lixouri on the hour up until about 10pm and costs 2.50 Euros per person each way and takes about 20 mins to cross the water. Tickets purchased on board but again, not a lot to see in Argostolli. I also share the view of others that the hotel should consider providing a shuttle service into Lixouri for a small charge at various times of the day and evening, maybe teaming up with the car hire company next door to provide the service. No cashpoint in hotel or resort but you are able to sign all expenditure to your room and pay in one go on departure.
The price we paid booking through Thomson was just £1440 for seven nights half board with daytime flights and transfers for two adults and two children.
Although classed as a 5 star hotel, compared with the UK standard it would be a 4 star. I would also suggest it is aimed at couple or families with older children. I think that if your children were a little roudy, they would stand out.
In summary …. A lovely hotel but in a remote location on the far side of the island to all the sights and excursions. Perfect for those seeking a relaxing hotel with good food and guests happy to stay locally in resort with little to do. A 7-10 day stay would be plenty.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Apollonion Resort & Spa is a newly built 5* hotel. It is located in Lixouri of Kefalonia, in the region Xi, well known for its long golden sand beach. The excellent range of facilities at our Luxury Hotel is complemented by the high standard services from the professionally trained friendly staff. The unique architecture, the stylish lounge with genuine pieces of contemporary art, reflect the glamor of this Luxury Kefalonian resort. The Art Gallery hosts unique painting exhibitions throughout the Summer season. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Apollonion Hotel Lixouri
- Apollonion Resort And Spa
- Apollonion Resort & Spa Lixouri, Cephalonia