F Zeen Retreat
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
2020 has been a year many wish to forget. After a strange summer, and what may be an abnormal Autumn, we all jumped at any chance of a holiday. I was on that band wagon, and I can’t say I was prepared for what I found nestled in a small corner of the Ionian Sea.
Summer 2020 getaways offered our minds escapism to “Somewhere Other” than the four walls of my home. The fact that this specific “Somewhere Other” was to be the very highly acclaimed F Zeen which has been plastered all over CN Traveller was of course a definite plus. I must admit I was not expecting to have my mind blown.
F Zeen roughly translates to “a good life in terms of balance and health”, and the hotel do just that. Staying at F Zeen you are offered an antidote to the modern world- it is an unstructured education where you absorb fresh new perspectives on balance, health and connection. This hotel is the epitome of good living.
Adult only, this boutique hotel offers a place to escape, recenter and recalibrate. With an impressive amount of treatments in the spa, fitness activities, meditation to an extensive drinks list and multiple infinity pools to choose from. You can do anything from drinking ouzo around the clock to sitting on the yoga deck and meditating.
Healthy living devotees with their inner hedonists will rejoice. A morning hike or yoga followed by some serious rest as the hotel’s many pools, spa and open-air cinema are the perfect antidote to activity. If that doesn’t float your boat then simply work your way around the wine list and marinade in a sun lounger- just don’t forget your SPF!
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the waves crashing, the smell of fresh flowers and panoramic sea views? Whoever that is, I don’t want to know them.
Stone walls and floor, paired back and a little peep hole in the shower so you can look out into the ocean. The room was large, luxurious and lacked nothing except the teddy I forgot to bring. The bed was hard and cosy, I’ve subsequently sent my new mattress back for a harder one.
A choice between two for breakfast and lunch, then one for dinner. Tables overlook Lourdes beach, magical in the evening with a the soothing views of the panoramic sun set.
An extensive menu boasts local Greek dishes, along with other pan-European creations. Many of ingredients are produced at the hotel and they caters to each and every diet, including “picky eater” one.The service is incredibly slow and is something I personally feel has room for improvement on.
Breakfast is a continental buffet with a substantial choice of cereals, cold cuts, cheeses, breads and cakes along with the juiciest and plumpest peaches I have ever seen. I am drooling even thinking of them. There is also the option of having something hot which is made at an additional charge.
Inspired by Voya and Biorama, The spa offers a wide range of treatments to help you feel like the best version of you.
The second day was rainy, so naturally the spa was calling. I had a Sea Nymph Facial and a 60 minute Massage which were both done by Kelly. In London I regularly get massages, so now consider myself a massive massage snob and because of this I do set my expectation bar very low. How I was mistaken- words cannot even begin to explain how wonderful the massage was. Kelly works magic with her hands, it’s clear she has great knowledge of anatomy and knew exactly what to do without me giving the usual pointers. This was easily in my top three massages ever (among a random French dude from Urban Massage and one at the Six Senses Douro Valley). Naturally I returned for another massage, which was as good or if not better. Kelly is nurturing, caring- it’s clear how much she loves her job and the people she treats.
F Zeen is perfectly placed for island exploration and is a 20 minute drive from the airport in Argostoli. The island is large so if you want to leave the grounds (you certainly don’t need too!) then a car is recommended. The lovely (but rocky) Lourdas beach is stumbling distance from the hotel.
All of the staff are friendly, kind and embody the infamous Greek hospitality. In particular, Pietros couldn’t do enough for me, I was that annoying customer asking for an extra pillow (to replace my teddy), for directions (even though I have google maps), and just generally bugging him at every moment possible. He was gracious, kind and made the stay even more enjoyable. We all need a Pietros in our lives.
As mentioned above F Zeen roughly translates to “a good life in terms of balance and health”, it is a little slice of paradise which in the midst of 2020 offered the exact destress and escapism that I personally needed. The feeling I had leaving was centred, connected, refreshed helping me reconsider what the last few months of lock down and treatment had taught me.
F Zeen offered an antidote to the modern world. The glow I left with was not only from a healthy tan, but from treating myself well, being kind, relaxing, but mostly I felt grateful. Grateful to be able to travel somewhere I had dreamed of whilst sat in treatment rooms for 12 hours a day. Grateful to be able to travel. Grateful I am healthy enough both mentally and physically to engage in life.
The rest and balance is something I hope not only myself but we all bring forward after lock down. We all needs this “time out” to go to our rooms, and really reconsider how we behave, live and treat both ourselves, our loved ones, greater society and the planet we live on. F Zeen expanded my horizons, helped me treat myself more kindly and really was a little piece of magic in the Ionian Sea.
Address: Lourdata 281 00, Greece
Packing Tips: Athleisure for the active, berocca for the oenophile
Dress Code: Laid back linen chic. not too much white or you’ll look like a staff member!
Local Restaurants: Lorraine’s Magic Hill, Klimatis
*photos are property of the hotel