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Villa 1870, Corfu’s newest entry into the luxury villa market is very old indeed. Although this grand mansion was built in 1870, it has just emerged from a total facelift in 2018 and is now open to guests. The villa’s makeover still shows great respect for its past, but now offers discerning guests the finest comforts of the modern era.

Year-round heated pool courtesy of Villa 1870

This European-style villa was originally designed in 1870 by an English architect to serve as a large home for a wealthy merchant’s family. Nancy Siomou and Dimitrious Kyiakis, the excessively hospitable new owners, purchased the villa in 2017 (where even though it was almost completely dilapidated, they fell in love with its unique architecture and “big cheekbones”). They worked 24/7 for over a year, thoughtfully and meticulously renovating it. Their plan, which they completed, was to provide all the modern conveniences, such as air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and a 50-inch flat-screen TV, while retaining the richness of Corfu’s historic architectural details, including a spectacular 19th-century wooden door. The attention to detail is evident as, while each room is unique, they all feature hand-selected antiques, gleaming crystal chandeliers, Venetian blinds and impressive artwork.

DIY kitchen -Villa 1870

Tip: If you’re like me, you’ll be even happier to know that there’s also a separate professional kitchen where the very talented chef Themes Iliabis is on hand and will gladly prepare all your meals, starting with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a perfect cappuccino to start my breakfast.

Dimitrious Kyiakis and Chef Themes with my Easter lamb, JRN

I was lucky enough to stay here at Easter, as the family kindly invited me to join them for what they call “a traditional Easter meal” prepared by Chef Themes, which I describe as “probably one of the best Greek meals I have ever experienced”.

The antique-filled rooms are all unique-Villa 1870

The five bedrooms and bathrooms occupy the next two floors, each more exquisite than the last. I had a soft spot for my master bedroom, with a gorgeous carved marble fireplace and private bathroom, equipped with a rain shower and double sinks. All share the same view of the Ionian Sea.

Who doesn’t like to dine outdoors with such a view? -Villa 1870

And then there’s the private grounds, consisting of two acres of lushly landscaped gardens, filled with stone walkways, shade trees and vibrant flowers, surrounding a huge saltwater pool, heated year-round – a rarity in Corfu. Whether you swim a few laps, take a nap on the deck chair, fire up the Barbie (or ask the chef to do it for you), or watch the sunset while sipping wine you confiscated from the wine cellar, you’ll have great memories.

Incredible care

They had me from the moment I met my private executive chef, but that’s not all, there’s also a housekeeper who takes care of the house every day, and Villa 1870 Corfu’s 9-seater minivan that is available to guests, with a driver for airport/airport transfers or island tours. In addition, please feel free to ask any of the staff members to make reservations or suggestions for outings.

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