Quite frankly, Zakynthos is one of the islands that I’ve visited plenty of times in my life. The aura of this place, in combination with its unique sights is what makes it a must-visit destination on the bucket lists of any keen traveller; whether they are from Greece or not. Interestingly, a few years ago I encountered two people who both loved travelling, Roussa and Dionysis. In fact, Roussa – an English teacher and Dionisios – an auto mechanic, have had countless journeys abroad and during one of them they were hit by the craziest idea: to build a villa which would pair luxury with all the kinds of amenities needed for an unforgettable stay.
“While we are away, we prefer to stay somewhere where we feel comfortable and the necessary attention to detail has been paid. We don’t like going and paying for something which didn’t reflect exactly what we had in mind. So, we knew that, if we were to make something of our own, it’d be unique from every aspect.” Roussa said to me, as I vividly recall.
It seems now that their wish has been granted as, in Sarakinado, a calm village next to the Town of the island, on the greenest hill lies a fairytale house. Villa Shangri-La was born by merely the desire to create the most refined experience of hospitability, for the most demanding travellers of the world.
This jewel is hidden in an estate surrounded by vineyards and leyland trees, a serene location ready to offer you its services and for you to dive in its luxurious facilities. The Villa’s two owners are quite knowledgeable when it comes to a traveller’s needs during their holidays. They took a little something that had amazed them from every corner of the world, and then, they put all the pieces of this puzzle together, creating Villa Shangri-La, which is more than willing to help you travel in a dream.
Villa Shangri-La: The essence and story behind its name
The whole idea of Villa Shangri-La came from its owners’ unconditional love for family and hospitality. This legendary shelter was given a name which refers to paradise. “Shangri-La means ‘a heavenly place on Earth’ and it was a flash of inspiration caused by James Hilton’s well-known novel “Lost Horizon” which refers to that in particular. A village – named Shangri La – where people don’t age where time goes by very slowly. When one steps into the Villa – and because we’re already in a village, it’s like they’ve just stepped in another dimension.”
Evidently, Roussa and Dionysis have equally contributed to combining the common definition of chic, with deliberate simplicity, as much as exclusivity and isolation, while these features are established as their own signature to an invitation that reaches discerning travellers, and calls them to indulge in a welcoming shelter, a world where elegance and generous hospitability meet finesse and style.
“Of course we had to ensure a remarkable stay for all of our visitors. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to spend the money needed for every detail to be taken care of, in order to provide world class facilities and a 24 hour concierge service at your disposal, just to help you feel at home when you’re far from home.” Dionysis informed me.
Villa Shangri-La: Services and Amenities
Looking at the photos, even briefly, one could surely realise that Villa Shangri-La can make every wish a command. Entering the Villa’s ground floor, you will come across a majestic dining room, which can host up to 12 visitors. “As soon as you step in, there’s the living room, where a large table for formal dinners can be found.”
The spacious kitchen is fully equipped with 2 ovens, a microwave, an induction cooker and cooking utensils for an unparalleled culinary experience. In the fridge you will find fruit, soft drinks, water and coffee, while if you wish you can have breakfast daily at an extra charge. In the kitchen, you’ll be able to cook whatever it is you like, whereas included in the extra provisions is a chef, who can prepare for you any dish or traditional delicacy. “On the front of the kitchen, there’s a patio that opens . There’s a table, a round table, from where you can see everything outside. There, is also a glass partition.” Roussa told me.
What’s more, exactly next to the kitchen, visitors can enjoy their favourite series on Netflix in a modern sitting room with a comfortable sofa and a 75 inch satelite Samsung Smart TV.
A villa such as this one also owns the corresponding, luxurious master bedroom, which includes a king size bed, His & Hers wardrobes and an additional flawless master bathroom, with both a shower and a bathtub. On the same floor ,there are two standard suite bedrooms, which have king-size beds or four single ones, depending on the visitors’ needs , a shared bathroom and laundry area. Every bedroom has its own balcony, for when visitors are willing to have some quiet time during the day.
On the first floor, there is a mezzanine office, in case one ought to work and use the computer. Moreover, on this floor, there is another king size bedroom, a sofa-bed and a television inside the sitting room, a reading room as well as a library.
The stone bungalow on the grounds of Villa Shangri-La
A guest house of 25 square meters is offered to host four people with whom you’d like to spend your holidays with. “There’s a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, bedroom with a double bed, a sofa with a semi-double bed, definitely suitable for two kids, a bathroom, wardrobes, dining room; it’s got everything. It has its own veranda with a dining table, where guests can have their meals. Above the dining table stands a small pergola.” Roussa mentioned, who had hosted some close friends of mine several days ago.
Opulent outdoor spaces featuring a glass-roofed barbeque and a swimming pool with a firepit!
The barbeque’s area which includes a multifunctional induction hob is truly out of a fairytale. With its roof made of glass, so you can stare at the starry nightsky, it makes you feel as though you’re living in a heavenly place. “Here visitors can enjoy a delicious meal in the aesthetic dining room under the vaulted glass, or try out a ‘mobile tasty feast’ in open-air, as the table (fitting 12 people) can be moved easily and freely.”
Do you want to feel like living closer than ever to absolute luxury? Then enjoy a swim in the tropical pool living room where a firepit is located!
“The pool has a strange shape, so you can sit there at every moment of the day, either on the paeasols while sunbathing, or in its sitting area while drinking a glass of wine or champagne at night, looking at the fire.” All visitors could relish an outdoor alfresco shower before they dive in, or could simply relax in one of the many comfortable sunbeds, or under the huge, shady umbrella of this luxurious accommodation.
Spa and Gym!
Villa Shangri-La provides the services of a 5-star hotel. For this reason, if your wish is to let go and loosen up, you should know that the owners cooperate with the best people in their field, and all that in a natural environment. “Our dreamy surroundings go the extra mile, as they possess an outdoors spa, where good health is combined with enjoyment and the lasting effects call for a distinctive experience. You can also try out the exceptionally invigorating facial treatment and body therapy offered by our expert collaborators at your request.”
Any of you who’d like to exercise and keep fit even during your holidays, can use the treadmill or the spinning bike. We can stay in good shape provided that we exercise, therefore the owners have made plans for a forthcoming pitch on the back side of the Villa (which will be used for multiple kinds of sports) of about 110 square meters. “The amenities’ list is filled with a pitch for all sorts of sports, such as tennis and basketball for instance, where youngsters and adults alike have the chance to play games, and a spacious wooden play-house for little guests – inside which fairytales come true…”
The Sights nearby
Amongst the services provided by Villa Shangri-La, are also the private boat trips to the widely known “Shipwreck”, “Blue Caves” and Marathonisi. “We have close partners for roadtrips, transportation or anything that our guests may desire. The Town, Port, Airport and the Museums are at close proximity to Villa Shangri-La whereas the sea is 5 kilometers away. The choices that you’ll have concerning outside activities are hiking, cycling and various different sports. As for the food, you’ll find great traditional recipes, seafood and meat in the taverns around the area.”
One and a half kilometers away from the Villa, your little friends will go crazy for the waterslides in “Zante Water Village”, and not to mention, wine lovers ought to not skip a visit to the reputable winery “Calinica” where most attention is given to Zakynthos’ wine.
Villa Shangri-La has been brought out of a fairytale…and paired with a magical name! It is indeed an ideal place, where time pauses and where you’re bound to have wonderful holidays with your close ones.
“Never had Shangri-La offered more concentrated loveliness to the eye;
the valley lay imagined over the edge of the cliff, and the image as of a deep unrippled pool that matched the peace of his own thoughts.”
Villa Shangri-La Ζante
+30 697 991 4889
Translation from Greek to English: Stavrina Gouskou