“ Address: Gouvia, P.O. Box 374, 491 00 / Tel: 0030 26610 90196 „
LOUIS CORYCRA BEACH HOTEL
I booked a holiday at the Louis Corycra Beach Hotel as a late autumn break; an out of season treat for myself, my husband, our youngest son and youngest daughter, both just about grown, up, and my father who is in his seventies. We felt we needed cheering up at the time and a holiday seemed in order.
We stayed at this four star hotel, part of the well-known Lois group, on an all-inclusive basis for a holiday of one week's duration. Other board options are available. I can't remember the exact price, but I did a lot of searching for a decent price and I believe it came to around the £500 to £600 price per person. I booked two rooms-one for myself, my husband and our daughter, and another to be shared by my son and his grandfather.
We flew with Thomas Cook from London's Gatwick airport (situated in Sussex) to Corfu airport. The flight to Corfu from here takes about three hours or so. It was a night flight.
On arriving and leaving the aeroplane at Corfu airport we were greeted by rain. I wasn't too worried about this as I figure if you holiday in autumn then you have to be prepared for some rain. However if you choose to travel a little further, such as Malta or Cyprus then you will probably be more likely to have dry and hot weather. However the next morning the sun shone for us and we were lucky enough to enjoy good weather for our holiday. Yes, there was sunshine in abundance. It was hot enough to wear summer clothes during the daytime and for the evening a cardigan or light weight jacket needed to be added to one's outfit when the sun went down.
A coach transfer was included and this proved to be a short journey (8km from the airport).
On arriving at the Louis Corcyra we were pleased with our first impressions. We were directed to a smart reception which is manned for twenty four hours. Check in was quick and efficient. We were pointed to the lift and told where our rooms where located.
By now it was the early hours of the morning and we were hungry. Everywhere was closed as this wasn't high season and it was now the early hours of the morning. I had bought water and biscuits from the airport and so we had to make do with this. I think a nice touch to hotels is when a snack has been left in the mini fridge for late arrivals.
The hotel has 370 rooms. In the main building these are served by lifts and the annexe also has a lift. There are bungalows in the grounds. The grounds of the hotel are pretty with much greenery and flowers to be seen.
We were pleased with our hotel rooms, which were close to each other, as requested. The typical hotel bathroom was of an adequate size and was equipped with guest sized toiletries. The shower was of the over bath variety. Nice clean white towels were ready and everything appeared clean.
The room was long in shape slightly narrow. Certainly not too narrow but as it was long it had this appearance. Soft furnishings were blue (my favourite colour) and the beds were comfortable. I found these rooms perfectly acceptable. They were superior to many others I have stayed in in Mediterranean hotels but even so, I see that this hotel has since refurbished so I would expect even better now. Our rooms had air conditioning, a mini fridge, hairdryer, telephone and television.
I believe the maids came in every day of our stay. Rooms were well kept and towels were changed daily. The sheets were changed during our stay but I'm not sure how often.
But what really stole the show was the balcony. This was the largest balcony we had seen. In fact it was room sized and it was nicely furnished. This later made a pleasant spot for my husband to sit and enjoy reading his book while my daughter and I readied ourselves for dinner. On first seeing this we looked out into the black night and, although stars glittered and there were lights twinkling in the distance, as well as the hotels exterior lights, we couldn't make out much of the view apart from it looking as if like lights were reflected on water here and there. We supposed this to be swimming pools but we were wrong. We found out the next morning that it was in fact the sea. The view at this hotel was fantastic. From our balcony we could see the greenery of Corfu; palm trees, grass, mountains with quaint sugar cube houses built into the mountainside, and fishing boats distantly bobbing up and down on the blue sea. I even stirred a couple of times here early enough to see the sunrise over the mountains.
This hotel also has some very inviting looking bungalows set in the grounds but I feel I should mention that this is the hotel where a British family met with tragedy some years ago when the boiler inn their bungalow emitted carbon monoxide fumes leading to the tragic death of the two children. I would expect that this has been fully redressed and something as sad and unnecessary as this will NEVER happen again.
The area this hotel is located in is, as with Corfu generally rather hilly. It could be possible to stay here as there are lifts and ground floor accommodation but it may not be the best choice owing to the hills. There are some steep parts to the hotel as well as in the surrounding resort of Gouvia. I would first check with the hotel itself or the Louis group.
Breakfast and dinner were served in the hotel's dining room. Breakfast was good. Food generally was good and served hot. It was buffet in style, serve yourself. I must add though that we were only here for a week and I often find that I enjoy hotel food for the first week but, if on a fortnight's holiday, I become bored with it during the second weeks stay.
The restaurant requires that men wear long trousers to dinner and do not enter bare chested or with vest tops on.
Lunch was served in a snack bar type restaurant, again self-serve. One could choose from salads, pasta dishes and pizza. There was plenty of choice for children. I don't eat meat but still managed to find plenty of food to suit here. Drinks were on tap including local wines and beer (international brands available but at a charge) and a good variety of soft drinks, and tea or coffee. Hot drinks are available free all day if one is staying as an all-inclusive guest.
The all-inclusive drinks service was available from 10 a.m. until 12.00 p.m.
The food could be consumed at tables near to the smaller (and in use) swimming pool. It was pleasant and warm with the only downside being that there were lots of wasps, which did spoil the lunch time experience somewhat. They were a constant nuisance. I think the wasp problem is probably due to the time of year.
We were informed that if the weather proved poor then lunch was served inside.
Ice cream was available on the all-inclusive tariff, as were afternoon tea and delicious cakes.
A choice of snacks, both hot and cold was available in the evening.
The large freeform outdoor pool was closed at this time of year but looking through the fence we all thought it did look as if it would be truly inviting in the summer. The other outdoor pool was open. This smaller pool was well used by fearless, or foolish (?)children and a few adults. But although the weather was warm enough on several days to sunbathe, I found the pool to be very cold. I'm sure it would be lovely in the high season.
The fairly narrow stretch of beach is man-made. It's for the exclusive use of hotel guests only and is equipped with free sunbeds and parasols.
Pedaloes are free for all inclusive guests to use for a set time. (I think thirty minutes) and there is a good choice of water sports. Although the pool was cold the sea was just about warm enough to swim in.
Corfu has many beaches and small coves to be found, some still unspoilt. It is worth researching if you are particular about the beach. Some beaches on Corfu tend to be shingle but there are several beaches close to the Louis Corcyra which are of sand and shingle. I believe that sandy beaches are more prevalent in the south.
Whether you would find the resort of Gouvia a decent location really depends on whether you like traditional or perhaps an area suitable for the tourist. Myself, well, I enjoy either but don't like places to be too built up or commercialised. I would think that the small yet busy resort of Gouvia is ideal for families who have children or young teenagers.
The shops and bars start right outside the hotel with the centre of Gouvia being only about one hundred metres away. Shops are of the usual variety; gift shops, restaurants and bars. As this was a relatively quiet time we found it quite nice. It is useful to have somewhere to wander around; perhaps to have a pre-dinner drink or a walk to work off some of the extra calories gained on an all-inclusive break.
Bus stops can be found near to the hotel and taxis are easy to find. Taxi drivers will take you to most destinations as Corfu isn't large. It's about 36 miles long, and about 17 miles wide. It has an area of about 230 square miles.
Although only here for one week we managed to get out and about quite a bit both by bus and by taxi. We enjoyed a day in Corfu Town which is about eight kilometres away, some hours at a harbour and visited some other resorts, hotels and beaches. We also had one or two lunches and dinners at restaurants outside the hotel. Corfu offers a good choice. High on the menus is fish, and traditional Greek fare but international foods can be easily found. Of course there are meat choices in abundance but I didn't sample these as I don't eat meat. The carnivores in the family didn't go hungry. My father isn't one for 'foreign food' but he quite enjoyed the food whilst holidaying in Corfu.
Golf and horse riding are both available nearby but we didn't participate in either of these.
I would think the entertainment would have consisted of a fuller programme in the summer period. I feel the daytime animation wasn't great but feel that it was probably scaled down at this time of year. There was a children's club up and running, and some activities for teens and adult guests too, but nothing like what I would expect at the height of the season. But we were out and about a lot during the day outside the hotel. We didn't expect too much entertainment.
Evening entertainment took place indoors around the comfortable bar area. This took the form of acts coming in such as a singer/ keyboard player and a singer. Some were very good and others mediocre. We got about what we expected and were content to chat, play cards or listen to the entertainment while enjoying a relaxing drink.
AS well as the two outdoor pools, Jacuzzi and children's pool this hotel has plenty of other facilities such as:
* Games Room
* Table Tennis
* Tennis Court
* Mini Golf
* Pool Table
* Internet facilities
* Children's Club
We had a very enjoyable holiday in this hotel. We found the hotel well run and clean with facilities which we would expect and require. I would consider staying here again mainly due to the beautiful view from the balcony and the lovely verdant country side to be found in Corfu.
I would agree that the Louis Corcyra is rated correctly as a four star, going by other four star hotels I have stayed in.
For further details please see the Louis group website: