Arrival/Check-In: I traveled to Atlanta with GT publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher for meetings, and the lobby was abuzz when we arrived. Despite a short line, check-in was quick, even with the front desk attendant looking up my loyalty program information for me and adding it to my reservation. I thought it was a nice touch that she wrote her first name on my keycard holder so I could ask for her by name if I had any questions.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Arrival/Check-In: Landing early at Madeira Airport, an architectural marvel, we picked up our rental car for a little tour of Funchal before heading to the hotel. After taking the cable car to the peak in the village of Monte and the Botanical Gardens, we set our sights on checking in. The hotel lies just west of the center of town and up a high hill, offering spectacular views.