There’s something undeniably magical about spending a summer break in the Greek Islands and TLE has found a one-of-a-kind hotel; a unique, tranquil place on the island of Rhodes – a perennial favourite with visitors.
Built over a 14 year period, the beautiful Melenos Lindos Hotel is the creation of Rhodian local Michalis Melenos with whom I was lucky enough to share dinner, learning about the island and hearing his stories of travel and adventure.
What to Expect
Lindos is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque villages on Rhodes, found on the island’s east coast, about 50 km south of the UNESCO Old Town of Rhodes.
It is a quintessential Dodecanese fishing village, built on a stone outcrop, dominated by the striking ruins of a Greek acropolis, a prominent lookout point since ancient times offering panoramic views.
The Melenos Lindos Hotel has been built into this iconic hill, as a series of terraces, affording guests exceptional, uninterrupted views of the Aegean, as well as creating plenty of quiet, open spaces where guests can enjoy the Greek Mediterranean sun with a genuine sense of privacy and tranquillity.
The style of the property is of a timeless Rhodian village, with the courtyards, terraces and guests suites found in a mix of white washed and sandstone buildings.
Thanks to its elevated, secluded setting, guests escape the holiday crowds that descend upon picturesque Lindos in high season.
There is exquisite, original artistic detailing everywhere by interior designer Donald Green who was inspired by the early 17th century Lindian Mansions found in the town.
Expect charming black and white ‘kochlaki’ pebble stone mosaic terraces, hand-painted ceramic decorations, fresco ceilings, carved woodwork; and an eclectic collection of Greek and international antiques personally curated by Michalis Melenos.
The terraces of the property offer views out over the Aegean and are punctuated by vintage tiled fountains, and terracotta pots filled with flowering plants.
Check In and Welcome
My arrival at the hotel was undoubtedly one of the most memorable in a long time. I had hired a car for the less than an hour drive from Rhodes town to Lindos. Following the instructions from the hotel I left the car in one of the town’s free carparks, both successfully dodging the wondering donkeys as well as finding a shady spot under a fig tree.
Reception sent Jesus, the hotel’s driver with a mini-van to collect my luggage and transfer it to my suite, whilst I was offered the chance to enjoy the meandering, cobbled streets up to the hotel (cars are not allowed and in fact can’t fit through the ancient lanes). But I was feeling lazy, so I opted to take a lift with Jesus, who navigated the alleyways of Lindos with expert precision in the tiny van. We climbed up through the town, past whitewashed town houses and little churches to the Melenos Lindos Hotel.
Upon arrival in reception, a beautiful sandstone building with carved and painting ceiling, I was offered a drink and led through to the peaceful guest garden. This is an area of shaded tables and cushion-filled benches below a grape-vine covered pergola, offering views our across the bay – it just felt so relaxing!
One of 12 suites, my beautiful corner room had a creative, almost bohemian feel, full of individual detailing, from the stone floor, the carved woodwork, and the artisan and antique decorations.
The room was really spacious, with a high beamed ceiling.
The bed, made with soft Frette linens, was like a very large futon, sitting on an elevated carved wooden platform in the room. The super-comfy, natural mattress was by COCO-MAT, as were the remarkably comfortable slippers.
There was also a day-bed area, surrounded by carved woodwork, and furnished with oriental rugs and a large futon sofa covered in pillows. It was lovely area just to chill and relax upon arrival.
Also, discreetly hidden in the cabinet was a TV, DVD and CD player. Despite the architecture and location of the room, Wi-Fi was available.
Within the built-in, ornately carved wardrobe was found the safety box, beach towels, a beach bag, and bathrobes. There is also an ingenuously designed pull down table were the tea and coffee making facilities are, as well as a minibar
The bathroom had a lovely Mediterranean feel. Baskets below the wash-hand basin were filled with towels wrapped with ribbons. The bath amenities were by Korres.
Like the other rooms I managed to get a glimpse of, my suite was filled with interesting antiques, and objects from Michalis’ international travels; a diverse mix that reflects the fascinating multi-cultural history of the island.
Atop the writing desk was my welcome gift.
A bowl of fruit decorated with flowers stood beside a vintage wine cooler, chilling a bottle of organic white wine. Before dinner I relaxed on the vintage bench on my suite’s outside terrace, with a glass of wine, soaking up the expansive vista before me.
Rest of the Hotel
Melenos Lindos is full of personality – it has a remarkable atmosphere, one feels as if lost within a tiny Greek hamlet. Each suite steps out onto a furnished terrace of beautiful Greek pebble mosaics. The property is a maze of small courtyards, dining terraces, walkways and steps. Large vintage terracotta pots, and earthenware dishes fill spaces and decorate windowsills. The evening air is scented with jasmine – it just feels enchanting,
I am later told my Michalis Melenos that understandably Lindos is a protected village, and to be able to build close to the acropolis the architects and Michalis had to create something that was not only sympathetic to the area and its history but also contributed to the rich artistic fabric of Lindos. The resulting hotel is just that, and when one visits, it becomes understandable that this project took 14 years to complete – such is the craftsmanship ad attention to detail.
Watching a sunset is what Mediterranean holidays are all about, and at Melenos Lindos sundowners can easily lead into dinner, as I discovered. The hotel has a destination restaurant, and during summer it’s alfresco.
A large roof terrace with a pebble mosaic floor is the open air restaurant. Shaded from the sun and sheeted from the breeze, elegantly set tables are below period style tents, creating a magical atmosphere.
Food was presented in a contemporary style, yet the menu reflected some classics. So I started with a light aubergine tart, followed by a robust and flavoursome Moussaka presented with flair.
Michalis Melenos joined me for dinner, telling me tales of travel around the world and his love of collecting. Originally from Lindos, Michalis is without doubt one of the town’s great characters, and his property reflects his love of art, creativity and hospitality. He mentioned the trials and tribulations of such a complex building project, and his desire to incorporate original artistic detail throughout the property, from mosaics to carvings.
Breakfast, including a la carte menu, is served in the suites or on the roof terrace. Out of season meals are served in the Fouli restaurant, an indoor space with impressive architecture.
Prices start at around 145 GB Pounds including breakfast; and the welcome amenity of wine and fruit.
Address: Rhodes Island, 85107 Lindos, Greece
Tel: +30 22440 32222
Review carried out by Andrew Forbes