Like drenched cats, with wet suitcases and a wicked wind blowing, we huddle under a canopy, looking blankly at each other, not knowing where to find our hotel in the tangle of car-free streets – and wondering how on earth to get to it.
We’ve just flown into the Greek island of Rhodes from Athens. A transfer bus has taken us to the village of Lindos and deposited us at the “reception,” a small covered waiting area above it.
There are no taxis, no people, no phones. And it’s pouring! The weather gods seem to have no idea that this is to be the “beach” part of our Greece trip.
We’re NOT happy…
Enter Giorgios – an older gent, with a crinkled face and a dripping cap perched precariously on his head, who suddenly materializes out of nowhere in the downpour.
“You pay me 5 Euros and I take you on my motorbike,” he gruffly commands.
He has a rigged-together contraption with a wooden cart for luggage on the back. We toss our suitcases onto it and watch him rumble off around a corner down a hill. We chase after him, sandals slipping on the wet cobblestones.
And as luck would have it, he leads us right to our hotel.
Moral of the story?
Perhaps know in advance precisely how to get from A to B, especially when traveling with loads of luggage. Or not. Serendipity sometimes rescues you – in our case, in the form of Giorgios.
So started our early October visit to this Greek island, where (freak wet welcome notwithstanding) we enjoyed these three top boutique hotels in Rhodes:
1) Filoxenia Cozy
Picture-perfect Lindos is made up of white-washed houses and car-free cobblestone lanes.
A medieval hilltop fortress, home to a 4th century BC Greek temple, towers above the town. On the walk up to the town’s Acropolis, you have to manoeuvre alongside donkeys (“Lindos taxis”), carrying visitors. They remind us a little of Santorini’s donkeys – the Lindos donkeys, that is, not the visitors :-). And there are great views from up top!
Some of the best beaches on Rhodes (some long sandy curves, others rocky coves with umbrellas, showers, funky eateries and boats bobbing on the water) are also found in Lindos – and the sun did eventually shine for us so we could bask on some of them.
Lindos’ maze of narrow alleys is crammed full of attractions for visitors streaming along in the daytime and lively with dance spots and music at night.
Tucked away in a quiet pocket of the town is delightful Filoxenia Cozy, with eight individually-decorated rooms and suites.
The largest and best rooms? The Lindian Grand suite and the Dovecote.
2) S. Nikolis Hotel and Apartments
Much larger than Lindos, the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Rhodes is the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe.
The main reason many people throng to Rhodes island is to wander the Old Town’s warren of streets and enjoy its many historical sites. They want to see the Street of Knights and the Palace of the Grand Masters, built by the Knights of St. John in the 14th and 15th centuries.
To really feel like you’ve stepped back in history, stay in a centuries-old building inside the Old Town – like S. Nikolis Suites and Apartments.
Built within stone walls dating back over 800 years, it’s slightly faded, but very charming.
Even the seven football-sized turtles roaming its interior courtyard are old (they’ve been looked after here for over 35 years).
Recommended room picks? Numbers 12 and 14.
3) Amathus Elite Suites
The last of the three boutique hotels in Rhodes that we checked out is found on the cooler, breezy side of the island.
Amathus Luxury Suites is a short taxi ride from the Old Town.
Set high on a hill outside of town, this adults-only boutique hotel unit was added on to the full-service, 317-room Amathus Rhodes hotel in 2010. Most of its 37 sea-view suites have private plunge pools overlooking Ixia Bay.
To get to the hotel’s pebble beach, you walk through a tunnel underneath the road separating the hotel from the beach.