Melenos Lindos

Lindos, Rhodes, Greece Book from Eur240

Reviewed by Tom Bell
An exquisite boutique hotel on the quiet side of medieval Lindos with succulent views over the bay
The tiny town of Lindos hugs the hill; mansions built by the Knights of St John bask beyond stone walls (catch a glimpse though open doors), while the bluest of seas shimmers down in the bay (St Paul came ashore 2,000 years ago). A magical place – timeless, untouched. No cars, just donkeys that ferry tourists up to the Acropolis. Follow them up to the mellow stone walls of Melenos, where they stop to drink from a water trough at the front door.

Twelve years in the making and built over 4 terraces with the sea below and the Acropolis above, you arrive to find staggering beauty at every turn. The outside space is magical - the air is perfumed with jasmine and lavender as you explore a jumble of terraces, stairs and courtyards. An open-air bar is lit by paper lanterns at night; the restaurant is shaded by Moorish tents to keep the sun at bay. Enormous bedrooms defy superlatives, with wooden platform beds that hold the comfiest mattresses in Greece. All rooms open onto private terraces; some have padded stone benches, one has a huge sofa, another has views that tumble down to the beach.

Highs

  • Lovely hilltop setting tucked away from the hustle and bustle and very soothing architecture - soft yellow stone and pots of colour
  • The rooftop restaurant has some of the best food on Rhodes, as well as gorgeous watery views
  • Gracious welcoming staff, led by the ever-smiling, English-speaking Maria
  • Lindos itself, an ancient, largely unspoilt village. It's a warren of ancient alleyways, so bring a ball of string
  • Gorgeous suites and a 2-bedroom villa for those wanting added space and privacy

Lows

  • Not an ideal place for toddlers as there are some high drops on the property
  • No pool, although the beach is a 5-minute walk away
  • Ultra-cool hotels come with ultra-high prices
  • Lindos can get pretty busy in high season

Best time to go

The island is one of the loveliest in the Mediterranean and if you avoid high season (mid-July to the end of August) when Lindos heaves and the weather can be exceptionally hot, you’ll have it mostly to yourself. May is probably the best month to come; you can swim in the sea from then until early October.

Our top tips

If you want to escape the crowds, take a day trip to the satellite island of Halki (1 hour by boat from Kamiros Skala) where you'll find beautifully clear waters, a lovely village and an end-of-the-world atmosphere. You might even combine it with a visit to ancient Kamiros, our favourite archaeological site on Rhodes.

Great for...

Beach
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant + bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2015 - 14 Apr 2016...
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

Spread over 3 terraces, delightful mosaic pebbled pathways lead to stone steps that drop down to the rooms. Terracotta pots spill with colour, views look out over the bay. Some rooms are bigger than others, but the same exquisite style runs throughout - design from the 21st-century, inspiration from the 15th. You get ornate latticed woodwork in the Moorish style, huge cushioned sofas to sink into, bowls of fruit, Frette linen bathrobes to pad about in.

Wooden steps lead up to extremely pretty pankas - traditional island platform beds (the mattresses of which gave us our comfiest night in Greece by a country mile - though the less agile may find it a bit awkward climbing in).

We stayed in Superior Suite 3, and loved the breezy bohemian décor. The huge open-plan bedroom included a kingsize platform bed, a comfy cushioned day-bed area and magnificent views over Lindos Bay. Superior Suites also have very generous terraces and allow for more space and privacy than many other suites, although all are charming.

Sensational bathrooms come with cymbal-sized shower heads, Korres smellies (the very best) and hand-painted tiles. If you want luxury and nothing but, you’ll have your fill here.

Nearby, 2-bedroom Villa Melenos has some of the best views in town. Lovely hohlakia (pebble motifs) run from the terrace and indoors to the lounge. Rooms are simpler than those in the hotel and the kitchen is rather basic, but they're traditional and cosy, with wood panelling and pretty fabrics.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The rooftop restaurant is one of the best on the island - locals come up for the view and to savour the creative cuisine, so book a table in advance. Once the sun sets, Turkish lanterns are brought out and candles flicker within. You get fillet of beef, grilled chicken, whatever’s fresh from the sea - you won’t go hungry. Staff are well-informed about their comprehensive wine list and the unique Greek wine culture. For added romance, request a table on the alfresco precipice to dine under starry skies with uninterrupted views of the bay.

Breakfast is taken on wooden tables and cushioned benches shaded by a covered pergola. The setting is so lovely that we spent a good hour or more sipping coffees and fresh juices over beautiful bowls of fresh fruit, honey and nuts, plates of freshly baked Greek pastries, and a selection of eggs and meats. They’ll also bring breakfast to the terrace outside your room if you prefer.

Lunch is served into the afternoon – pastas, salads, sandwiches, that sort of thing.

If you want to walk into town, try Mavrikos. Alternatively head down to St Paul's Bay, and dine with your feet in the sand at Tambakio (fresh seafood dishes and sublime pasta).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Follow the path down to the sandy beach (2 minutes down, 5 minutes up); you can hire sun loungers and a parasol. Or walk to the end of the small jetty and plunge into clear blue water; a very Mediterranean spot, with echoes of the Cote d’Azur, circa 1965
  • Take a boat out for the day, or go diving, kayaking, snorkelling, waterskiing and fishing in Lindos Bay
  • Hike up to the 10th-century Acropolis above the hotel - go before breakfast if you want to beat the heat. This stunning citadel was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans
  • Don't miss Rhodes old town, a stunningly preserved Crusader fortress 50 mins' drive away, with magnificent medieval architecture in the lanes around
  • If you've done that, explore the interior (Epano Kalamonas has literally thousands of butterflies in May-June; Sianna has locally-buzzed honey) or the south (at Prasonissi, two seas - and lots of windsurfers - meet, while Monolithos has sublime views of the west coast)
  • Get in a round of golf at Afantou, about 30km from Lindos
  • Back at the hotel, sign up for a cooking course - prepare traditonal Greek cuisine and then sit down for dinner together (lessons in English & Greek, in groups of 8)
  • Surrender to luscious spa treatments with fragrant herbs and oils in special rejuvenation area.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Melenos Lindos is not an ideal place for very small kids as there are some high drops on the property. That said, children under 2 years old stay for free.

Family friendly accommodation:

Two-bedroom Villa Melenos is a good option for families thanks to the kitchen, added lounge space and large terrace. There's also a sofabed so it can sleep up to 5 people. Most suites can hold 3 guests plus a baby cot.

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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