Arrival/Check-In: We pulled into the vast main entrance of The Phoenician a little after 8 p.m. The street lamps offered a glimpse of the exquisite landscaping and expansive grounds of the property. At first it felt like a large, gated community with multiple buildings and driveways, a bit overwhelming for a weary traveler. But before I had to choose a route, I was asked to stop at a small gatehouse where staff directed me to the main lobby and called ahead to let them know I had arrived. A valet took my car, and I was in my room within minutes.
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 newly opened James Royal Palm late in the evening following a cross-country flight from Los Angeles. At that late hour, other guests were enjoying cocktails at the James Club, the lobby lounge, as I admired the interior design created by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio. The décor maintained historical touches including the original green glass reception desk, now used as a coffee bar, and porthole windows. Before I could take it all in, I was quickly assisted and directed to my room.