We were staying at the Grand Mediterraneo Hotel & Spa, via Thomson. It was the first time I'd gone on a package holiday since the days when I went with my parents, so it was a nice change not having to worry about things like working out how to get to the hotel from the airport. It was also the first time we'd ever gone All Inclusive, and now we've done it I don't think I could go back to just bed & breakfast again! Yes to all of the cocktails, and to the entire dessert selection at the evening buffet.
The hotel is on the side of a mountain, with a funicular lift up the side to take you from the beach at the bottom, up past the various room levels, and to the reception / pool / restaurant / spa etc at the top. It's a quirky old thing which broke down several times during the week (luckily never while we were on it!), but it was better than climbing up the steps, and the views on the way up/down were stunning.
We had booked a room with a private pool (like we had on our honeymoon last year) which had amazing views of the mountain and sea. My favourite thing to do was to anchor myself on the edge of the pool on my lilo and just lie there looking out to sea listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. So peaceful.
Most nights we had dinner at the main buffet restaurant - the food was really good actually, much better than I'd expected. When you hear the words "buffet restaurant" it brings to mind lukewarm, bland, samey food, but this place had a brilliant selection each night. As part of the all inclusive package we also got 1 free meal at the a la carte beach restaurant and at a discount at the other a la carte restaurant which was right at the top of the resort. Both were excellent and it was nice to have a few fancier nights where we could get a bit more dressed up, and enjoy a quieter atmosphere.
It was a pretty chilled out week, with our routine most days being: up at 9am, breakfast, relaxing at our terrace/pool, lunch at the beach bar, quiz at the main pool, afternoon back at our terrace/pool, dinner, cocktails at the bar, netflix then bed. Bliss.
We couldn't go the whole week without fitting in a bit of sightseeing though, so booked ourselves on a Discover Corfu excursion on the Wednesday. This was an all-day coach tour of the North and West areas of the island which was a lot of fun. Highlights were the Monastery (cats everywhere!), watching boats at the bay whilst having lunch, and the views from Bella Vista (although the journey up there on the coach was pretty terrifying - the narrowest roads you ever did see!).
I remember saying to Blair at the end of our first day "This is lovely, but I don't think I could do more than a week, we'd get bored!". Well fast forward 6 days and we were both in agreement that we should have booked a fortnight - it went so faaaaast! We had an amazing time - I'd definitely recommend the hotel, the views are stunning, food was great, and the staff were lovely. I don't like going to the same place twice, but we might have to make an exception here....