All Roads lead to Rhodes in Greece
If you are wondering why, you should absolutely visit Rhodes? Well, wonder no more as I wondered into the beautiful island of Rhodes and had a taste of history, philosophy, luxury and great food. Perfect combination for anyone who is a fan of travelling, discovering and exploring.
How blissful it is to land in a sunny country whilst leaving the cold and rainy city of London at the tail end of September! After landing through a rather smooth passport control, a staff member and chauffeur from Elissa Luxury and Lifestyle resort were ready to whisk me into the awaiting car enroute to the resort. Rhodes town is located 14 km from the main airport. Elissa is a 5* adults’ focused property and the perfect place to relax and recharge. The resort’s vibe is casual, cool and laid-back. This eco-chic property has tranquil verandas, 15 freshwater swimming pools, a beach club and pool bars for us to enjoy, before sampling delightful Mediterranean cuisine in one of the fiver restaurants. The road leading to the resort was surprisingly well maintained which made me well and truly excited about getting stuck into the local Old Town and Lindos during my stay. Once we reached the Resort, the first thing I noticed was the attention to detail, there was a welcoming fragrance in the air perfectly poised to celebrate the resorts character and identity. I was offered some refreshments and snacks at the Siana Lobby bar Balcony. What a beautiful way to start my stay, checking in facing this limitless sea, and sipping a cocktail! A very hard life, but someone’s got to do it!!
The resort’s vibe is casual, cool and laid-back. This eco-chic property has tranquil verandas, 15 freshwater swimming pools, a beach club and pool bars for us to enjoy, before sampling delightful Mediterranean cuisine in one of the fiver restaurants. With 332 uber-chic rooms, suites, and waterfront bungalows with private pools, offering sea or pool views, Elissa has something for everyone. My Superior Deluxe room with a pool view was complimented by the beautiful turquoise water which led to my very own private veranda. This set the tone for what was to become my unique Greek experience. The beige colors, quality Greek luxurious furniture, two TV screen as if one wasn’t enough, the Nespresso machine, the mini bar, nothing was missing. Everything you need and beyond to assure you a quality stay was present. I almost didn’t want to leave my room, except when I opened the curtains and saw from my private terrace the sunny pools and comfy sun bed screaming my name, I had to respond with yes, yes and another yes! After a quick shower, I decided to lay by the pool, as you do and indulge in a book that i have been longing to read but the settings haven’t quite matched the timing. So, as I sat, relaxed, sipping my cocktail from the Rodini pool bar……I was tempted to ask the Resort manager whether a permanent stay could be an option.
One of the amazing unique selling points about this Resort is that they have made sure you are self-contained. All you need is right there, there is no need for anything else outside the resort. Well, except you want a break from the amazing Seagulls literally putting you a choir show worthy of a standing ovation. As, we rolled into the evening. I was left thinking whether, my experience could be topped? Enter, Fourni Grill Restaurant. I am a foodie and I am very clinical about enjoying the minute details in food. From quality ingredients to a menu that can open the culinary mind. The resort did not disappoint, we dinned by the Sea eating the freshest catch of the day. The menu offers multiple options of Greek dishes, Angus beef, Fish, and even vegetarian/vegan options upon demand. I had some fried shrimp as a starter and a whole sea bass (fish of the day, fished the same day) with asparagus; It was absolutely delightful. To complete my dinner, I had some tea and incredible mango profiteroles, that satisfied my sweet tooth. Offering five restaurants influenced by its Mediterranean surroundings, the menus take inspiration both from land and sea, meaning guests are able to immerse themselves in Greek gastronomy without leaving the resort. The main restaurant specialises in Greek and Rhodian cuisine, along with three signature restaurants. The restaurants specialise in seafood and Greek meze, Greek and Mediterranean grill and Pan-Asian cuisine.
The subsequent day, I awoke and headed to Fanes Restaurant for a buffet style breakfast including eggs, fresh fruits, pancakes, or Greek dishes? All of it was present at the table and even more! Again, it turned from breakfast to natural bliss as the backdrop of the ocean added to the ambience. Most of the restaurants on the resorts face the ocean which gives rise to the perfect opportunity for a swim. I located the resorts very own private beach which was a glance away from my room combined with amazing scenery and crystal clean sea views. Now, I have visited several different islands in Greece, and many of the seashores I had been too were unfortunately rocky, not this one. From the softness of the sand beneath my feet to the first rate time spent swimming and tanning. Only one thing could serve as a balance between it all, and that one thing was Kavos Seafood Restaurant who welcome me for a spot of lunch. It is positioned in close proximity to Fourni Grill but both menus are different . My menu consisted of grilled lobster and vegetables.
I now headed back to the reception for an exploration of The Old Town! The ride to the Old Town was short and pleasant; it was approximately 8 minutes away from the resort. Behind this medieval town of Rhodes is a splendid heritage which is indeed rich and well-preserved. Not forgetting, its medieval character mixed with an oriental touch is absolutely unique. It is also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I was immediately transported into the Medieval atmosphere. Walking through the alleys I came across Hippocrates Square, with its beautiful fountain placed right in the center, and cafes, souvenir shops, and restaurants surrounding it. The small alleys and local traders just brightened up my visit!
The great thing about Greece, is the historical aspect. Each island has its own history, and culture and since Rhodes is located right next to Turkey, in the middle of the Aegean Sea, you can feel all the different cultural prints. After this wonderful exploration, I went back in the direction the Monte Smith to get a chance to admire the wonderful sunset. It was so special to actually look at it from the top, slowly disappearing into the sea. I stood there completely transfixed and amazed by the beauty of the moment.
All the amazement and walking about meant I was already fully ready for dinner. I fancied some Sushi’s, and you guessed it, there is a Japanese restaurant right in the center of the Resort. What a life! After changing, I headed to Masari restaurant. I loved the fact that the Sushi bar was placed right in the middle of the main room, so basically, you’re seeing the Sushi chef preparing your rolls from your table and the menu is very minimalist, you get straight to the point somehow! Also, they have very interesting cocktails, and you can actually order them from any bar or restaurant in the resort, even from your room. I tried “Don’t touch my Bikini” and ordered salmon sashimi and avocado/salmon rolls. I told you, Fresh fish was my weakness during this whole trip!
On the third day, after a restful night, the resort had arranged a culinary experience at a vineyard located a few kilometers away. Jason, the owner of the place welcomed me and took the time to present his family grapes heritage. Of course, I had to try the wine, who can resist a wine tasting experience surrounded by grapes and sun? I was delighted by the fruity tastes of both white and red wines. Also, it widened my appetite. On the menu, we had tzatziki, eggplant moussaka, and Dolmades. So exciting! I’ve always wished to learn how to make them and I learned that we could prepare them vegan-friendly (meatless, vegan cheese) as well. The class was very playful, and non-judgmental which was a big plus knowing my cooking skills can be improved! Basically, all the ingredients were already prepared, all I had to do was assemble them together to create the magic of the very famous Greek dishes! After, I was patiently sitting, drank more wine waited for them to cook, and then enjoyed my masterpiece! 😉 Chef Gordon Ramsey would have been proud of the outcome. It felt just so great and satisfying to appreciate what I had just made! Once I finished eating, we ready for more exploring of the magnificent Lindos. It is located further to the hotel (44 km away), to be honest, I was so glad I could just rest my eyes after this wine-testing and eating experience before tackling the rest of the afternoon. A guide was waiting for us, to widen my knowledge of this historical place.
Lindos was founded according to tradition by the Dorians in the 11th century BC. J.-C. The rock of the Acropolis, located 116 m high, has been over the centuries the main landmark and the center of worship of Lindos. The few sporadic finds testify to the human occupation of the site already in the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age (4th millennium BC to 2nd millennium BC). Above the modern town rises the acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel that was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John, and the Ottomans. Lindos is one of three ancient sites on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is also today the second tourist destination. Well Named. Because as if emerging from a picture book, Lindos corresponds to the Greece of the collective imagination.
Lindos has forged an identity that has made it prosperous as an ancient commercial city. Its acropolis overlooking the bay is still stormed today. This time by tourists who climb there on foot under a blazing sun following the main street, it is most definitely worth it. At the top are its beautiful Acropolis and Athena’s temple. It used to be a place worshipped by Gods that was then destroyed in the advent of Christianity. If you controlled the acropolis, you controlled the city. Actually, before reaching the top, I was amazed by all the beautiful touristic shops, restaurants, handcrafted shops, and of course the beautiful church that is a landmark; if you get lost you just have to look up for it then you’re found.
After this wonderful time of discoveries and wonders, I headed back to the hotel and to Fanes restaurant, where I dined on have a buffet-style menu. I love having multiple options when it comes to food either Western, Greek, vegetarian, fish, or meat. The atmosphere of the restaurant was again very relaxing thanks to the nice ambient lounge playlist. The weather was so pleasing at this time of the year, I couldn’t help but eat outside, like the rest of the resort’s residents.
Finally, my last day at the resort came rather too fast. I already started feeling nostalgic and couldn’t believe in a few hours we were to leave this place. :’( I don’t know about you, but after all these adventures, I always feel the need for a spa/relaxing time. The resort booked me a two-hour spa experience. It started from the moment they picked me up with their golf cart from my room to the spa. The first hour, I decided to swim in the indoor pool, followed by a steam, sauna/cold room then the rain shower. It felt so amazing, especially the shower experience which I recommend as it featured four different modes, giving you the full adventure vibe. I can’t describe in words, so I will leave you the pleasure to feel of imagining yourself. My masseuse came to pick me up from the waiting room and my whole body was ready for it! I had the essential oils massage that instantly put me to sleep. I always say that you know you are getting a good massage when it puts you to sleep! After slowly emerging, I was ready for my last lunch at Tsouka, Greek Meze Restaurant at Helea Family Beach Resort. Facing a magnificent pool and the beach, I ordered a bit of everything on the menu. I had the chance to end my trip with delightful Greek dishes. Again everything on the menu is fresh, vegan options are available, and simply delicious. The resort arranged a taxi to the airport. I got to the airport, with hand on heart the most priceless memories. Why? Because I had just spent 4 incredible days in a place that calls for elegance, relaxation, and leisure. If you have any doubts on why Rhodes should be on the list of destinations for you to visit. Then doubt no more, simply book your stay at Elissa 5* Luxury and Lifestyle Resorts and mark my words. You won’t regret it!