Often brushed aside as being just another cheap-and-cheerful package destination, Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands, has an alter ego. For history, Rhodes Town is (quite literally) the Holy Grail – the Knights Hospitaller polished the cobblestones of its citadel in the 14th century. Dip into the Unesco World Heritage Old Town today for places to stay that are big on medieval charm, with heavy doors pushing open into courtyards paved with sea pebbles and perfumed with frangipani.
We’ve combed the rest of the island too to bring you a carefully edited selection of Rhodes hotels, from boutique bolt-holes in the shadow of Lindos’ acropolis to seriously stylish sea-facing spa resorts. Read on for our favourites.
Best hotels in Rhodes
Sidling up to the imposing medieval fortifications of Rhodes Town, this boutique hotel is in a class of its own. Owners Nikos and Angela have injected love and labour into revamping a ruined townhouse, keeping its history intact – from the creaking floorboards, antique furnishings and exposed stone walls to the ancient mulberry tree shading the garden. Naturally, they go the extra mile to make guests welcome, with above-par touches like free minibars in the six guest suites, homegrown herbs pepping up clean, bright Mediterranean dishes, and sumptuous Greek breakfasts.
Blue is the colour of sea and sky on repeat at this adults-only hotel in what is arguably the prettiest whitewashed town in Rhodes, topped off by a whopping great acropolis. Staggering down a hill to the Aegean, this Zen-style retreat adheres to a minimalist aesthetic, with glass-fronted, light-drenched rooms that play up the elements and chilled-out vibe. It merits its five-star ranking, with luxuries from a private beach and infinity pool to gourmet breakfasts (meze, pancakes, the works…) and a spa that uses handpicked Greek herbs in its treatments.
This sleek, chic, five-star boutique hotel is like a breath of fresh Mediterranean air, with its glass-fronted, wood-floored interiors, tucked-away pools and dress-circle views of the bright-blue sea. It stands above the broad sweep of Ixia Bay in northwestern Rhodes. Come for the spa, with detoxifying treatments like thalassotherapy, Vichy showers and algae wraps, intimate dinners under the stars, and the lush gardens peppered with pops of hot-pink bougainvillea. One for honeymooners or anyone seeking a hit of contemporary romance by the coast.
On an eyrie-like perch above the Aegean near Lindos’ mighty acropolis, Melenos is something else. It’s no fluke that this boutique haven regularly tops best lists. Low-slung sandstone walls give way to interiors that are an ode to Byzantine, Arabic and Ottoman craftsmanship, with intricately hand-carved cedar, painted ceilings, lanterns, mosaics, and fountains splashing in gardens fragrant with jasmine and frangipani. The hospitality is impeccable, the sea view sublime and the terrace one of the island’s most romantic for sampling Asian-inspired dishes cooked with homegrown produce.
With uplifting views of the minarets and palms of Rhodes Old Town, this secluded 15th-century Pasha’s palace has a dash of magic about it. Owners Efi and Spiros have created a unique hideaway here made up of seven stylishly rustic, high-ceilinged rooms and suites with Moroccan overtones, lime-washed walls, rustic beams, patterned fabrics and rich colours. Some up the romance with a four-poster bed. Seasonal Greek cuisine and super-fresh seafood is dished up in the garden restaurant, and it’s hard not to love the boho vibe and location, a five-minute walk from the sea.
Overlooking Kiotari beach, this design-minded, adults-only boutique hotel keeps the look and feel slick and contemporary. Rooms emphasise pared-back luxury, with sea-view balconies, muted colours and marble bathrooms; splurging on a suite gets you a private pool. Cocktails by the pool are a great prelude to imaginative Greek and Med-style dishes in the à la carte restaurant. Besides a Jacuzzi, hammam and heated pool, the aptly named Bliss Spa offers signature treatments from Cretan massage to cryo-time freeze facials.
Tucked down a side street in Rhodes Old Town, this revamped 14th-century townhouse has historic flair, with pebble mosaics, thick stone walls and an inner courtyard. Book ahead to snag one of the four rustically elegant rooms, with oak flooring, antique furnishings, pops of bright colour and (hurrah!) free minibars. Attention to detail shines in fabulous breakfasts which include locally made preserves and homemade Greek yoghurt drizzled with local honey. It’s a romantic pick, with kind owners and a cracking location – just five minutes’ stroll from the Archaeological Museum.
On the island’s north-east coast, this sleek spa resort reclines in a prime spot on Kolymbia’s lovely arc of golden sand. Keeping watch over the bay is hilltop Panagia Tsambika monastery, an hour’s walk away. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the garden-rimmed pools looking out across the true-blue Aegean, the Imperial Spa, and the sundown cocktails on the Sky Bar terrace. Sea-view rooms are worth the upgrade, but the ultimate splurge has to be a swim-up suite with private loungers.
Shoehorned into Rhodes Old Town’s tangle of medieval lanes, this boutique hotel lodges in a 14th-century knight’s house below the ramparts. Local craftsmen were enlisted to preserve the building’s one-of-a-kind history and character, with pebble mosaics and stone arches segueing into rooms with timber beams, stained glass, antique furnishings and lustrous fabrics. Bougainvillea drapes the hidden courtyard, with a hot tub for a post-sightseeing bubble. And whether you want yoga, aromatherapy massage or a guided walk, just say the word.
At the height of their careers, fashion designers Nikos and Takis dressed the likes of Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor. Now they’ve turned their hand to this historic Italian building in Rhodes Town, just steps from the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights. It brims with hidden nooks, Arabian Nights-style eccentricities and rooms revealing a razor-sharp eye for detail in their flouncy silks and embroidered fabrics, burnt-orange walls and arched doorways. Tzami King Suite has added romance with its four-poster.