Arrival/Check-in: When I arrived at Hotel Palomar, it was a beautiful spring afternoon in Philadelphia. The staff immediately assisted me with my luggage and welcomed me to the property. I was intrigued by the unique design of the hotel. Adorned with vibrant portraits of Thomas Jefferson and colorful sculptures of Benjamin Franklin, the boutique property had a contemporary twist on American history. After taking a moment to enjoy the atmosphere, I approached the front desk where check-in was fast, easy and friendly. (30/30)
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: I arrived at the Elysian after a traffic-filled drive from Chicago O’Hare Airport to find a courtyard reminiscent of Paris, with a water fountain that immediately soothed this weary traveler’s nerves. The doorman warmly welcomed me and escorted me to the reception desk. Check-in was fast and efficient and before I knew it, I was being escorted to my Gold Coast Suite. My escort showed me around the large suite, which felt more like a private apartment than a hotel room. As he was leaving, he said the Elysian is a tip-free hotel, which, I must admit, is a first for me. (30/30)