Last month (July 2023), I enjoyed a lovely holiday in Zakynthos Island (Greece) where I stayed at two five-star resorts managed by the Lesante Collection: family-friendly Lesante Cape Resort & Villas and adults-only Lesante Blue.
- Review: Lesante Cape Resort & Villas (today)
- Review: Lesante Blu
Today: Review of Lesante Cape Resort & Villas, Zakynthos (Greece)
Lesante Cape Resort & Villas is a modern island oasis that honors Zakynthian culture. Located in Akrotiri village, a place of great historic value that previously housed manors of the island’s noblemen, the new property is perfectly positioned on a secluded beach with extraordinary Ionian Sea views. Guests are welcomed into a traditional Greek village as soon as they step foot on the property. A center square was purposefully created for socializing and festivities and includes a café, taverna, shops, folklore museum and church. Traditional Zakynthian architecture is displayed throughout the property, and a range of villas and suites offer contemporary amenities and ample privacy. Guests can reenergize the mind and body at the Armonia Wellness & Spa, and savor local Mediterranean cuisine at the property’s three dining venues.
Lesante Cape Resort & Villas features in my top 10 list of the best hotels & resorts in Zakynthos.
Have you ever stayed at Lesante Cape Resort & Villas ? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my YouTube video):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas is one of the best 5-star resorts on Zakynthos, which ranks among the most popular and most beautiful islands of Greece. The Venetians, who ruled Zakynthos from 1484 to 1797, called the island “Fioro di Levante” (flower of the East) as there are over 7,000 species of flowers on Zakynthos. The third largest island of the Ionian Sea, after Corfu and Kefalonia, Zakynthos is internationally known as “Zante”. The verdant island is endowed with fertile valleys and a temperate climate. Its landscape diversity has resulted in different types of beaches: there are sandy beaches, secluded coves and an interesting underwater world (which includes the endangered sea turtle species Caretta Caretta) on Zante’s eastern coast, while the western part features rugged limestone cliffs and spectacular beaches, such as world-famous Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach.
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas is located on Zakynthos’ southeastern coast, around 2 km (1.5 mi) from Zakynthos’ main town and a 20 min drive from the island’s international airport. The property is conveniently close to everything (for example, the lively resort town of Tsilivi Beach is a 15 min walk or a 5 min taxi drive away) yet as secluded as you wish it to be. The resort is built on top of a cliff, with the hotel structures and pavilions gently tumbling down the hillside from the lobby (on the hilltop) towards the pool (on the cliff’s edge) through an oasis of tranquil gardens and flower fields. Due to its location on a sloping site, the property boasts magnificent views of the emerald blue Ionian Sea and the impressive island silhouette of Kefalonia on the horizon. With those spectacular views in front and hundreds of olive trees in the back, you can truly feel the Mediterranean island vibe and it will be a challenge to drag yourself out of the resort.
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas’ understated design – which is the work of Dedalo Progetti / Volineos LTD – honors Greek authenticity and Zakynthian architecture. Tall archways, large white stones and earthly tones are combined with wooden furniture and straw-made interiors, giving the spaces a sense of comfort, austerity and luxury while embracing the traditional design of the Ionian islands at the same time. The elegant lobby is a high-ceilinged, light-flooded atrium, where sofas and wooden seats are centered around a beautiful, ancient olive tree. Down the hill, near the pool area, you’ll find a traditional Greek village, with a square at its center – where all the socializing and events take place – with a café, a taverna, a few small shops all around it, a folklore museum and its own church, making Lesante Cape a modern resort that offers its guests a very vivid trip to the past.
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas has 65 spacious accommodations, all enjoying sea or garden views and most of them featuring good sized terraces or balconies with either a pool or Jacuzzi. Housed in several rows of sandstone pavilions that cascade down the hill, the accommodations come in 11 different categories, ranging from deluxe suites (on the hilltop) all the way up to 3-bedroom villas (on the cliff’s edge). During my visit, I stayed in a signature suite with sea view and a private pool. With room for up to 3 guests, the suite featured a kingsize bed, sitting area, bathroom (equipped with double vanity, walk-in shower and bathtub) and secluded terrace with a private plunge pool. A feeling of contemporary luxury flowed throughout the space, as authentic island deign details were seamlessly integrated with blond wood furnishings in a chic, bright and modern interior.
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas features several excellent restaurants, which serve select artisanal cuisine from around the region:
- Right next to the lobby is Elea Restaurant, whose terrace offers garden views and a glimpse of Kefalonia island on the horizon. Each morning, a sumptuous breakfast buffet is offered at Elea; there’s also an à la carte menu with traditional Greek dishes and international classics. For dinner, guests can discover a medley of Mediterranean gastronomy in a rotating 5-course menu (when you’re booked on halfboard, this is where you’ll have your dinners).
- Located right next to the pool area, with stunning sea and sunset views, is Novita All Day Restaurant & Bar, which is open for lunch and dinner. A love letter to Ionian gastronomic tradition, Novita serves provincial dishes, locally-sourced farm products and freshly-caught seafood in a serene al fresco ambience.
- The hotel’s signature restaurant is Fiore Fine Dining, which is located on a poolside terrace right on the cliff’s edge. The idyllic venue offers refined gastronomy (with a choice between à la carte dishes and a tasting menu) framed by panoramic views of the surrounding seascape.
- Bostani Farm to Table is a traditional Greek eatery set in the resort’s garden, where guests can discover the authentic culinary culture of Zakynthos (from the garden straight to the table).
- On selected nights, a Greek themed buffet dinner is offered at Taverna, an authentic recreation of a traditional village restaurant. A showcase of Greek taverna classics, guests can enjoy freshly-caught seafood, high-grade meat and fresh flavors.
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas features a stunning swimming pool, which ranks among the most beautiful pools of Greece, if not Europe. The pool area is comprised of three separate swimming pools which are built in terraced layers one next to another right on the cliff’s edge, affording spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and Kefalonia Island. The upper pool is an adults-only enclave and features some swinging hammocks from where to enjoy the fabulous views. The middle pool is open to all guests and comes with a swim-up bar. The lower pool is a family-friendly pool, and allows younger children to play and splash as much as they want without disturbing other guests. Right under the pool area is a private beach, which can only be reached by dozens of stairs (due to the hillside location) with a lovely bar along the way. The narrow pebble beach features several sun loungers (some of them located on an overwater pier).
- Since antiquity, wellness practices and therapies have been a cornerstone of Greek culture. Drawing from the land, native herbs were transformed into nourishing elixirs as nature formed the basis of health and balance. At Lesante Cape, this history of traditional healing is honored at its spa, a sanctuary for peace, pause and purificatio located one floor below the lobby. With design inspired by local island architecture, the intimate wellness center – called the Armonia Wellness & Spa – offers a wide variety of treatments, from full-body massages to beauty treatments. Facilities at the spa include four massage treatment rooms (including a couples’ room), an indoor/outdoor pool (with loungers), a hamam, a sauna, and a nail & hair salon. The spa is also home to a large art gym which features state-of-the-art equipment.
- Just like its sister resort Lesante Blu, Lesante Cape Resort & Villas is counted among the portfolio of the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW). The latter is an exclusive collection of more than 400 luxury hotels and resorts in over 80 countries. LHW does not own hotels; it rather offers a reservation service for independent hotels and supports sales and marketing, advertising and public relations, financial services, quality control, and hotel inspections for its member properties. LHW has many iconic properties in its portfolio, such as such as the 12 Apostles Hotel in Cape Town, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia, Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, Le Sirenuse in Positano (Italy), Il Sereno Lake Como (Italy), and the Gstaad Palace in Switzerland. LHW also has its own loyalty program, which allows you to collect points at LHW properties and spend them for free nights at LHW hotels & resorts.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- Lesante Cape Resort & Villas is a magnificent cliffside resort with phenomenal views but it’s not a real beach resort. The property does have a private beach, but the beach can only be reached by a long staircase, and it’s a rather narrow pebble beach, which is in the shade by mid-afternoon due to its topography (as it is surrounded by high cliffs). If a private sandy beach and swimming in the sea is a must, you should consider staying at Lesante Cape’s sister resort, Lesante Blu. That said, the secluded beach cove at Lesante Cape also has a pier with several sun loungers and it was a pure delight relaxing there with only the sounds of lapping waves in the background (and I preferred much this tranquil beach over Zante’s often overcrowded public beaches).
- Fiore Fine Dining, the resort’s signature restaurant, is probably one of the most romantic restaurants in the world with a breathtaking view of the sea, Kefalonia and the sunset. But although the food was great and the service impeccable, I felt the portions were a bit on the small side (as a matter of fact, I was still a bit hungry after my meal since the tasting menu featured only 4 small courses at the time of my visit). To the best of my knowledge, this was the first season of Fiore Fine Dining, so I am sure that they will work out the kinks (if they have not done it already) and deliver a Michelin-star worthy gastronomic experience by next season.
- The half-board meal plan entitles you to have your dinners at only one restaurant (Elea Restaurant). Elea’s fixed menu changes every night, but they repeat after a week and there’s no possibility to order à la carte (so if you are staying longer than one week on half-board, this might be a bit of a disappointment). Of course, you can also have dinner at one of the resort’s other restaurants, in which case you will get a credit of 20 euros.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: 10/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 8/10
- Service: 9/10
- Wow factor: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: excellent 8,8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Lesante Cape Resort & Spa (and/or receive many free perks).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
June and September are the best months to visit Zakynthos: the weather is warm and sunny and touristy sites are less crowded. July and August are high season and you will pay premium prices at hotels and also meet many other tourists; the weather is hot (too hot for some) but you can always cool off with a boat trip. April, May and October are low season months: the weather is mostly sunny, but in April-May the sea is still quite cool for swimming and occasional rainy days may occur. Many hotels, restaurants and bars are closed from November to April.
HOW TO GET THERE
Lesante Cape Resort & Villas is a 20 min drive from Zakynthos Island’s international airport. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Zakynthos.
Below is a selection of my photos of Lesante Cape Resort & Villas in Zakynthos, Greece. To view more hotel photos (including dinners & breakfast), click here.