24-hour room service: Lindos Blu, Rhodes, Greece
Saturday 05 June 2010
Rhodes has never been counted among the more upmarket Greek islands, such as Santorini or Mykonos, but that is starting to change. Last spring, the five-star Lindos Blu hotel opened its doors on the east coast, just outside the ancient hill town of Lindos. Not only does its size – just 70 rooms – set it apart from the rest of the island's accommodation (most hotels here contain 300-400 rooms), but it's also Rhodes' first adults-only resort.
The Blu is the sibling of the four-star Lindos Mare, an enduringly popular family hotel sited next door. The two share a beach, but that's as far as the cross-pollination goes. The Blu was conceived partly to offer the peace and tranquillity of a child-free environment, but also to attract a more sophisticated, discerning traveller to this corner of Rhodes.
And tranquillity is exactly what you'll get as you gaze across the azure waters of Vlycha Bay. No matter where you are in the Lindos Blu – from the reception to the terrace, to the indoor pool and gym – you can always see the sea. The hotel's modern, glass-dominant design exploits the views, and, inside, its uncluttered minimalist style ensures that nothing detracts too much attention away from outside.
The hotel is built, amphitheatre-style, into the cliff high above the bay. To get down to the sandy beach you take either a long walk down a series of steps and sloping paths, or a ride in three separate lifts. If the journey proves too strenuous, there's a small infinity pool a couple of levels down the cliff-side to wallow in.
Looking out over the main pool – and spilling on to a large sun-trap terrace – is the Smeraldo restaurant, which serves breakfast and traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes later in the day. For a real treat, there's the fine dining Five Senses restaurant – all pristine white tablecloths, candles, white chairs and drapes. Outside there's a large terrace where you can dine by candlelight while gazing out at the twinkling lights across the bay.
The hotel sits above Vlycha Bay, five minutes' drive from Lindos on the east coast of Rhodes. Tourists flock to Lindos for its safe, sandy beaches and its ancient charm, which it manages to cling on to despite the fact that many of its whitewashed buildings are now given over to souvenir shops, restaurants and bars. Its pedestrianised streets are narrow and winding and lead ultimately to the acropolis, which sits high above the town and dates back to 300BC. If you can't face the long walk up – and the view is well worth the climb – you can always take a "Lindos taxi": a donkey.
Rhodes airport is 45 minutes' drive away.
All 70 bedrooms, suites and apartments are arranged in outbuildings set into the cliff at different levels. They're all sea-facing, with decent-sized balconies for the standard rooms and the luxury of terraces with private pools and hot tubs for the two villas and maisonettes. A maisonette, which sleeps up to four, will set you back €2,000 in the height of summer, but for that you get not just a pool but also your own gym.
A nicely democratic touch, though, is that all rooms are provided with a complimentary bottle of Champagne on arrival, along with mineral water and enough fresh fruit to feed you for a week. Another common factor is the contemporary design of neutral shades with bold splashes of bright orange, green, red and mauve. Some rooms have parquet floors, some marble, and all come with wonderfully comfortable king-size beds draped in crisp white linen.
Lindos Blu, Lindos, Rhodes, Greece (00 30 22 440 32110; lindosblu.gr)
Doubles start at €180 including breakfast (€420 in peak season); closed 31 Oct-30 Apr
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