Jane Dunford discovers there’s a Rhodes hotel right up any client’s street
With 300 days of sunshine each year, Rhodes shows off its hotels to their best advantage by setting them against a clear blue sky.
The long, hot, summer season is just one of the reasons why this Greek island is so popular – holidaymakers are also swayed by its winning combination of glorious beaches, pine-covered valleys, and a good dash of ancient history.
Lying in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea, it’s the largest of the Dodecanese islands and the blend of timeless charm and modern facilities has wide appeal.
The walled medieval old town of Rhodes is a Unesco World Heritage Site, but those in search of buzzing nightlife and active days won’t be disappointed either – conditions are perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Likewise, accommodation suits all-comers – you’ll find everything from simple, traditional B&Bs to five-star luxury with all the trimmings, so whether it’s an action-packed family holiday or a couples break your clients are after, Rhodes has a solution.
According to Olympic Holidays commercial director Photis Lambrianides, Rhodes looks set for a busy summer, partly thanks to hoteliers pegging prices. “The favourable pricing applies to three-star family-run units right up to five-star properties at the top end of the price scale,” he says. “The Greek islands are definitely back on the radar this year. The product is good and confidence has returned, with hotels upgraded and facilities added.”
Here’s a selection to inspire across three price points. Prices are for seven nights in September, including flights.
There’s plenty of choice for holidaymakers on a tighter budget, whether it’s all-inclusive hotels or independent apartment living that appeals.
For great value self-catering, the three-star Achousa Hotel Apartments are brilliantly located, close to the lively Faliraki, but in a quiet corner of the resort. Accommodation is simple and there are lovely gardens and a pool, and the bustling nightlife and shops are close at hand. The beach is a 20-minute walk away, so sell this to groups of friends or couples wanting a comfortable base to retreat to near the fun of Faliraki. Two sharing a studio with kitchenette, flying from Gatwick on September 17, will pay £279 each through Olympic Holidays.
Families will find everything they need at bargain prices at the Blue Sea Beach Resort on the outskirts of Faliraki. Located on a sandy beach, it’s good for all kinds of clients but is well geared up for children, with separate kids’ pools, plus activities from beach volleyball to five-aside football. The family rooms are based on two adults and two children sharing and an all-inclusive option is a favourite with parents who like to know what they’re spending up front.
Adults will enjoy the spa with whirlpool bath, and there’s a good choice of restaurants and bars. Stay all-inclusive with Cosmos from £449.
The charming resort of Pefkos (named after the pine trees that line the lovely golden beach) is a perfect option for those clients looking for somewhere chilled.
The Matina Aparthotel has a selection of studios and apartments for those who like the freedom of self-catering, combined with the facilities a hotel stay offers. With a restaurant and two bars on-site, as well as entertainment, from karaoke to a kids’ club, guests can be as independent or as involved as they like. Two sharing on a self-catering basis will pay from £439, with flights from Manchester on September 19, with Jet2holidays.
For a fun family holiday, Holiday Village Rhodes in Kolymbia is hard to beat. There’s plenty of water-based action to be had with five pools, plus a kids’ pool with water slides and an adventure park.
Activities range from volleyball to an aerial assault course and kids’ clubs guarantee non-stop entertainment. The restaurant choice, with a buffet and three à la carte dining options, will keep the whole family happy. Evenings are lively affairs with shows, cabaret, bingo and theme nights.
First Choice offers all-inclusive from £749 per adult, with the first child from £299 and £345 for the second, based on a family of four sharing, with flights from Stansted on September 10.
For something a little more peaceful, the Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas, in Kalathos Bay on the east coast, is something of an oasis, set in palm gardens with cascading waterfalls, four miles from Lindos.
The architecture blends elements of Greek and Italian design, with courtyards and bridges, and the thalassotherapy spa is a highlight, with sauna, hammam and jet pool and impressive treatment list. There’s the option of detached villas (sleeping two to six) with private pools if clients want to splurge. Olympic Holidays offers half-board stays from £743, with flights from Gatwick on September 24.
The adult-only Atlantica Imperial Resort is perfect for a luxurious couples break at a great price. Flanked by cliffs and right on the seafront at Kolymbia, the location is idyllic, with the huge lagoon-style pool and whirlpool and the sounds of the waves (and no children) adding to the relaxing scene. Restaurants are of good quality, with buffet and à la carte. Half-board stays with Thomson start from £845, including flights from Stansted on September 10.
If your clients want to indulge, there’s no shortage of options in Rhodes, from glitzy resorts to characterful hideaways.
“There’s an excellent choice of upmarket hotels, from the larger ones such as the Sheraton Rhodes Resort with more than 400 rooms to the Elite Suites at the Amathus Beach Hotel with just 36,” says Helen Howard, Product Manager for Sovereign Luxury Travel.
Romantics will love Melenos Lindos, a five-star boutique hotel with just 11 one-bedroom suites. Built into the rocky flank of the ancient Lindos Acropolis in traditional 17th-century style, it feels like a village within a village, with pebbled mosaic paths, bohemian-chic handcrafted stone and elaborate woodwork. Terraces overlook the harbour and the Aegean and drinks and snacks are served in bougainvillea-filled gardens. If you want more privacy there’s a villa moments away that sleeps five. Planet Holidays offers the honeymoon suite on a B&B basis, with flights from Gatwick on September 11, from £1,596.
In Rhodes Town itself, the Rodos Park Suites & Spa (a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World) is just outside the medieval city gates and has an intimate atmosphere, and elegant yet unflashy vibe. Surrounded by lush gardens and parks, there are 59 rooms and suites, exceptional restaurants and a glamorous roof-top bar with sweeping views for a stylish cocktail or two. There’s a spa too for that essential spot of pampering. It’s a 15-minute walk to the Elli beach, and all the history and sites of the old town are on the doorstep. Sunvil offers September B&B stays with flights from Gatwick from £1,039.
The Amathus Elite Suites in Ixia is a top choice too. Set on a beautiful beach, it’s a peaceful sanctuary with spacious suites, many of which have private pools. It has perhaps the best spa on the island and suits couples, as well as appealing to families (the Pelican kids’ club is fantastic). Guests receive sparkling wine and fruit on arrival and farewell gifts too. Seven nights’ B&B cost £1,199 with flights from Gatwick on September 28 and complimentary lounge access, with Sovereign Luxury Travel.
Things to do
SAVE: The Acropolis at Lindos
It’s a steep climb from Lindos village to the Acropolis, but it’s worth it. From the top the views are magnificent, plus you’ll discover ancient monuments, including the Temple of Athena Lindia. If the hike is too daunting you can always jump on a donkey from the main square – it will cost about €5.
SPEND: Underwater Safari Tour, £29 (adults and children) or £45 for divers.
Spend the day swimming, snorkelling or diving on a boat trip from Mandraki Harbour. You’ll discover the delights of the clear, warm waters whatever you choose. Divers need to be 10 years old, snorkellers at least eight. Drinks and meals on board are extra, transfers from hotels included.
SPLURGE: Jeep Safari, £55 (adults and children, six to 12).
Explore the island by 4×4, discovering another side of Rhodes as you venture off-road, taking in amazing views and the occasional historic site. At lunch, enjoy a swim on Fanes beach (a barbecue lunch is extra).
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