Well, what can I say? It was love at first sight! The Kanali is everything we’d hoped for and more.
When our transfer bus dropped us off at The Kanali, after an hour and a half journey from the airport, we were met by a very polite young chap with a truck, who took our cases along the short track for us in order to save wear and tear on our baggage (and our arms!) This service is also repeated when you leave at the end of your stay, which is a nice touch.
In reception we were warmly welcomed by Nikos, who greeted us like old friends even though we’d only just met. We later discovered that Jeni is no longer the manageress at The Kanali due to her other commitments (Jeni’s café and the dog rescue centre), however, she’s still involved with the bookings and emails. The reception area was beautifully clean and Nikos explained we could have a free safety deposit box whenever we wanted. There’s a bookcase full of holiday reading material, free to use as & when, and the First Choice notice boards are located on the wall with all the flight info and schedule for when the rep would be on site.
Nikos then took one of our cases, mine as it happens, and led us up two flights of stairs to our apartment – 304. He helpfully explained a few things about the electricity supply, the user name and password for the on-site wi-fi (we’d taken a laptop with us) and showed us the folder full of useful information which was on the kitchen table.
As soon as Nikos left we turned around and saw what a stunning view we’d been given. It was utterly breathtaking. The apartment was absolutely brilliant – everything we needed for a great stay. We’d been allocated an apartment with two bedrooms, enough for 4 people, even though there was just the two of us!
Both bedrooms overlooked the sea. There was a twin room, with two single beds linked together, while the main bedroom had a double bed. Both bedrooms had a phone, tv bedside lights and cupboard space along with a mirror and dressing table. Both bedrooms also had their own sliding doors leading onto the balcony.
As we were on the top floor, directly below the roof, the ceilings were slanted and wooden, with a gloriously rustic feel. The balcony was large, with a table and 4 chairs and a line for hanging out the washing. House martins and sparrows (in May) were chirping and swooping around making nests under the roof tiles, which was a joy to watch.
The bathroom was equipped with shower and plenty of freshly washed towels (as well as a couple of essential toilet rolls!) There was enough shelf space for toiletries and a very useful hairdryer.
The kitchen was basic but more than adequate for our needs, with a kettle, fridge, 2-ring stove & oven, dining table & 4 chairs, and enough cutlery and cooking utensils for 4 people. Tip: the smoke alarm can be a bit sensitive, so if you’re making toast it might be a good idea to open the kitchen window.
The main wardrobe was in the hallway, with easy access from both bedrooms and had plenty of hangers as well as two drawers at the bottom, and in there we found more pillows and clean towels. Bins are provided I the kitchen and bathroom. Tip: remember not to put toilet paper down the loo!
There’s no lounge in the apartment but there’s actually no need for one. It’s sheer bliss to watch tv from your bed and there’s always the balcony for sitting and chatting or having a bite to eat.
On the topic of food, we were travel-weary on arrival so headed to The Aquarius Bar & Restaurant next to The Kanali as it was the easiest option. Spiros and the team were the most fantastic hosts anyone could ever hope for, and to be frankly honest we were spoilt rotten. The food was sublime (strawberry cheesecake to die for), and nothing was too much trouble. The entertainment on Saturday night was the delightful Nikos and his band, playing a range of cover tunes in the upstairs bar. Needless to say, that’s where we ate most meal times as it soon became addictive.
Five Minutes walk away is the much advertised Canal D’Amour, with breathtaking scenery. In the heat of the day, small lizards scuttle about on the pavements and into the dense shrubbery.
Sidari town is just a 10 – 15 minute stroll down the road (depending on how distracted you get en route). Half way there we felt we just HAD to pop into Jeni’s café and say ‘hello’. We were made extremely welcome by Jeni and we even made a fuss of Bella, a rescue dog who chooses to pop by every now and again. Jeni’s cheesecake is an absolute must!
As you stand on the balcony of the apartment you can see a swimming pool just below you, but that one belongs to the apartment block next door. The Kanali pool is to the left as you look out on the sea – between the apartment block and the Aquarius Restaurant. Plenty of poolside sun loungers for everyone.
Cleaners seemed to pop round on an almost daily basis, ensuring clean towels never ran out and bins were emptied before getting too full. The entire site was spotlessly clean.
We didn’t bother with the welcome meeting, but Alison (First Choice Rep) made sure we had all the information we needed about excursions and departure times by pushing notes and leaflets under our door during our stay. When we wanted to book an excursion, we simply spoke to Nikos on reception and he immediately arranged for us to meet her in the bar for a chat later on. It couldn’t have been simpler.
We chose to book an excursion on the Wednesday called “Simply Corfu” but after 11 hours on a hot bus (little or no air con) I was far too tired to attend the fabulous Greek Night at The Aquarius, which I’d been looking forward to all week. Hindsight is a wonderful thing….
Mosquitoes WILL be an issue for many people, however, by sensibly using an insect repellent spray and covering up in the evenings, and by using plug-ins in the apartment at night, most of the discomfort can be avoided and it really isn’t much hassle. Most of the shops nearby are fully stocked with mosquito coils (for burning on balconies), citronella candles etc etc…You may find that using a product such as ‘after-bite’ as soon as you spot a nibble will prevent any itching and potential swelling.
We happened to arrive just prior to a storm, and the wind can really blow hard on Corfu. It really howls at times, and this can keep you awake if you’re a light sleeper. Also, when it rains it’s a full-on downpour, however, it soon eases off and if you find yourself out when it rains just nip into the nearest shop to keep dry. The shopkeepers won’t mind at all.
We were VERY unlucky with the weather as it happens, it was very windy and quite chilly during most of our trip, and it poured with rain most of the week, but that’s just the luck of the draw. We’d have loved to have gone in the sea but it really was too rough most days. On our last day the rain was so torrential that the apartment began to flood under the front door! Luckily we threw our towels down and managed to stop it reaching the bedroom. Later on, after we’d braved a dash to the Aquarius Restaurant, we discovered that some kind person had put a thick towel down on our doorstep to prevent any more water getting in under our door. Tip: if it does rain during your stay, be careful where you walk as pot-holes in the roads quickly become mini-ponds.
We would dearly love to return to Corfu, and wouldn’t want to stay anywhere other than The Kanali – however, we won’t be doing so in May again as the weather is too unpredictable.
Corfu is a smoker-friendly island, and non-smokers may find it irritating in bars and restaurants when others light up, especially after being used to the UK being a non-smoking zone in public buildings.
Video footage of the view from the balcony:
Kanali on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kanaliappartmenthotel.corfu
Here are more photos of our trip: