Price From $126
Talk about underselling your appeal; paliokaliva means "old hut" in Greek. But that's far from what you'll find at Paliokaliva Village, a collection of 18 stone cottages that Anastasia Tembonera built in the center of her family's olive grove on the island of Zákinthos, just south of Cephalonia. "I wanted something more traditional and closer to nature," Tembonera says of her decision to leave her job at a pharmacy in 2002 to open the resort, where bougainvillea climbs the stone walls of the cottages and jasmine twines through trees hung with lanterns. By all accounts, the hotel is sleepy: It's located about half a mile up a winding road from the somewhat tacky tourist town of Tsilivi, and the only sounds heard on the grounds are the laughter of kids splashing in the swimming pool and the calls of the occasional vegetable peddler driving through town in his open-bed truck, touting his wares on a loudspeaker. Excitement comes in the form of day trips—to Gerakas, on the island's southeastern tip, where loggerhead sea turtles nest, or to Cape Skinari, to the northwest, to see Shipwreck Beach and swim in the Blue Caves. Each of the cottages has different details, but most have gently distressed furniture (think wooden chairs with artfully peeling paint), lace-curtained dine-in kitchenettes, and desks stocked with handmade pencils designed to look like twigs. Small weather vanes with painted-metal motifs are posted near the doors, so guests can remember they belong in the building with the smiling duck or the little church, rather than something so prosaic as a room number. Still, it's worth noting cottage numbers when making a reservation, and ask for the highest one. Tembonera explains, "As we built each one, we improved on the one we'd done before."
Credit Cards Accepted MC, Visa.
Details Doubles from $126, breakfast not included.