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Independent Minds: Vassilis Dracopoulos, MarBella Nido

In the late 1960s, Vassilis Dracopoulos Senior stumbled across the sleepy fishing village of Benitses, and a five decade love affair with the island of Corfu began. Quickly realising his dream was larger than the tiny house he had purchased to entertain family and friends, the property has been added to over the years to become MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas, named after its beautiful sea views and ‘nestled’ position on the rocky hillside. Today, the third generation of the Dracopoulos family is keeping the “long lost charm of old Corfiot villages” alive in their adults-only hotel.

Left: Vassilis Dracopoulos, a third generation hotelier. Right: The view from one of the MarBella Nido Junior Suites.

What does being ‘Independently Minded’ as an hotel owner mean to you?

Being independently minded means we are able to focus only on the needs and desires of our clients and provide a warm and genuine service with a personal touch. We encourage our guests to discover the local culture and nature, something that many larger chains seem to ignore.

What was the inspiration behind the hotel, and where do you continue to find sources of inspiration?

The colourful Corfiot-style villa suites at MarBella Nido overlook a spectacular infinity pool and the Ionian Sea beyond.

The inspiration came from our desire to revive the long lost charm of old Corfiot villages which were built around the aesthetics of the unique Ionian and Venetian architecture. We are proud to have achieved our goal and MarBella Nido’s architectural design has recently been awarded as one of the Best Greek Design Resorts.

How do you think your hotel stands apart from other boutique hotels?

MarBella Nido stands apart because it is a rare blend of professionalism and personal touch. The hotel is wholly owned and was built by me but is run by highly professional staff. Everyone employed, starting from our incredible manager Amaryllis who has been with us for almost 20 years, down to the every last waiter cares about our guests’ holiday experience as if they owned the place themselves.

If you only had 24 hours to get a taste for your hotel experience, what would you recommend a guest must do?

Dinner at MarBella Nido’s amazing Apaggio à la carte restaurant with its stunning panoramic views is a must. Also a trip to the Old Perithia village in northern Corfu is an experience not to be missed. For a unique encounter with nature, I also recommend a visit to the totally unspoiled Chalikounas Beach with its sand dunes and cedar bushes which frame the Lake Korission where numerous endangered species of birds can be found, including pink flamingos. Last but not least, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Corfu Old Town should be on every guest’s bucket list.

Sample authentic Corfiot dishes served with a modern twist at the heavenly Apaggio Restaurant.

How would you describe your own perfect luxury experience?

Excellent and discreet service in a luxurious yet unpretentious environment.

Do you have a vision for the future of the hotel?

My vision for MarBella Nido is to be able to combine excellent services to our guests with a high level of social responsibility towards our staff and the natural environment of the island of Corfu. My family has been present on the island for more than 50 years, so I feel a high level of personal obligation to develop my business in parallel to the wellbeing of the local society that has been so supportive of us all these years. The adoption of the principles of sustainability and social responsibility in our business model is a necessity for the future of our company that cannot be derailed if we want to maintain our position as a leader in our market once the hospitality industry recovers from the pandemic.

The Grand Terrace Deluxe Suite comes with its own whirlpool.