Casa Cook Rhodes converts the island's famed package breaks to boxfresh stays with a luxe bohemian look (all woven throws and pillows, rattan furnishings, polished concrete and beds on daises). Each suite here has access to a shared or private pool and a lounger-topped terrace; and dedicated mellow-out spaces are soundtracked by DJs. Days pass in a hammock-swinging haze; the cocktail list is long enough to see you through to check-out; and island excursions include hikes to mountaintop temples and bathing in healing springs. This new ‘move to your own beat’ attitude – plus an adults-only rule – all equates to a sophisticated sense of fun.
111, including 18 suites, some with a private pool.
12 noon, but flexible until 4pm, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £108.01 (€123), including tax at 13 per cent.
Rates usually include a buffet breakfast with fresh fruit, hot and cold dishes such as quinoa and coconut-milk porridge, pancakes and eggs any-way, plus high-quality coffee; and bike hire. A tourist tax of €4 a room, each night must be paid on arrival.
The goods on sale at the hotel’s concept store are a touch more sophisticated than buckets and spades. Here you’ll find smart separates, leather goods, hammam towels, yoga shorts, small-batch olive oil and other high-end Rhodes goodies.
The hotel closes for the winter season from the end of October till beginning of April.
At the hotel
Spa with Jacuzzi, yoga deck, open-air terraces, lobby lounge with swing chairs, boutique, bikes to hire (€12 a person, each day), laundry and free WiFi. In rooms: Access to a shared pool, furnished private terrace, Satellite TV, workspace, minibar, air-conditioning and Apivita bath products. Some suites have a private pool.
Our favourite rooms
Brilliant bohemian design is democratically bestowed on rooms here; each has woven throws, pillows and pouffes, concrete walls, tactile linens and a sunlounger-topped terrace – the sort of set dressing that makes anyone look Insta-glam. Really, it all comes down to how secluded you like your swimming space. Most pools here are shared between four suites, but if you don’t want someone paddling into your lane choose a room on the end of the row which enjoys a little more splash space. Or book the Suite with a Private Pool to ensure no stray doggie-paddlers.
The large main pool is a sort of watering hole for hipsters with sunloungers to be seen on and a bar to stage right. Spirits flow freely and DJs keep the choons coming all day, and the wild natural views neatly offset the space’s polish. For a quieter swim, hop into the shared or private pool outside your suite.
In the spa, the soothing and revitalising powers of Ayurvedic intuition are given a boost with Grecian herbs, oils, flowers and salts, which are invariably rubbed and scrubbed onto you – or drizzled on your forehead in the case of shirodhara. We’re taken with the rhassoul wrap and riotously fragrant ‘aromavedic’ massage (a bouquet of lily, rose, ylang-ylang, violet and camellia), but most indulgent is a session in the private suite for two, where you can bubble in the Jacuzzi and enjoy wine and fresh fruit after your treatments. And, get ready to refine your prana and asanas on the hotel’s open-air yoga deck. You needn’t be able to wear your leg like a scarf to partake – the Vinyasa flow might go hard, but sunrise and sunset sessions, meditation to quiet the ‘monkey mind’, pranayama breathing exercises and yoga nidra (essentially sleeping with style) cater for the leggings wearer who loafs.
It’s likely you’ll leave with more than you came with – the hotel boutique has some highly covetable homewares and wearables (hey, you’ll find space for that handwoven hammock somewhere). Luckily light packing is all that’s required (think bikinis, kaftans, flip-flops) so that’ll leave plenty of room for new acquisitions.
The hotel isn't accessible for guests with mobility issues.
It’s adults-only here, so leave the ankle-biters with a babysitter.
The hotel follows government guidelines to reduce their energy consumption and plastic and water usage. Ingredients in the restaurant are largely locally grown and sourced from Rhodian farmers.
Add to the lulling of your afternoon hammock-nap in the hotel’s sun-kissed open-air ‘happiness hub’ with a cocktail or three – just watch how you disembark.
Make yourself at home.
In a window-walled room – dubbed the Kitchen Club – that follows the hotel’s earthy bohemian aesthetic (with a creature-roamed jungly mural creeping over one wall) dining borrows from either side of Greece’s borders, with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. But, that’s not to say the chef hasn’t done his due diligence – alongside ‘can’t leave off the menu’ favourites like gyros, prawns saganaki, moussaka and dips and flatbreads for days, there are picks that delve into the island’s culinary tradition: yiaprakia wrapped in vine leaves from the hotel garden, trahanoto risotto with anthotyro cheese, pies from Tsampika filled with manouri and honey. Beyond mezze there are meats straight from the grill and fish so fresh it needs little embellishment beyond a drizzle of olive oil and dash of lemon. Salads toss up the unexpected (say, spinach and avocado with blue cheese, almonds and strawberry vinaigrette; or leaves with shrimp, oranges, grapes and a lime and tequila sauce); and there’s a range of sandwiches, burgers and pizza for lunch. Sharing as you would at a large Greek family gathering is encouraged, and not just picking at small plates – the Heraclean butcher’s tray (with gyros, local sausages, chicken, beef and lamb chops) and deep-filled bowl of lobster linguini may elicit Lady and the Tramp-style tussles. Don’t skimp on dessert, either. The hotel has an impressive ice-cream list: try refreshing watermelon or something a little more Rhodian, say, yoghurt and honey or an ice flavoured with mastika liqueur.
Beware, what the hotel terms ‘midday refreshments’ may well turn into ‘gone-midnight refreshments’ with cocktails that range from the toothache sweet (the Watermelon Sensation with maraschino-cherry liqueur and vanilla syrup) to the delightfully dry (a Greek Martini with gin, olive brine and rosemary). Share a carafe of Pathos (a sort of local sangria with Metaxa brandy); dive headfirst into the classic and signature drinks (The Greek Spirit with mastiha tsipouro, honey, cinnamon and yoghurt; Caribbean Mama with rum, blackberry purée and apple sours; El Loco with tequila, lime, mango and Tabasco); swim in the gin selection; then steady yourself with a ‘mocktail’. Alternatively, the wine list has an extensive selection from the islands and mainland.
You can breakfast from 7am to 11am and lunch from 12 noon to 5pm; dinner service runs from 7pm to 10.30pm. The bar runs dry at 12.30am.
Casa Cook Rhodes is in the artsy village of Kolymbia on the island’s eastern coast, around a 30-minute drive from Rhodes Old Town.
Rhodes Airport sits in the capital at the northern tip of the island; direct flights arrive here from all over Europe and it’s just a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Flights from further afield will need to stopover.
Taxi-hopping can get pricey, so you may want to hire a car for trips to the capital, the beach at Tsampika or into the leafy interior; although you can rely on the hotel’s range of tours and put your energy into swimming and hammock-swinging if you don’t want designated driver duties. Cars can be hired at the airport.
Various ferry routes connect the Dodecanese with the Cyclades, Aegeans and other Grecian isles, and in summer there’s a route to Fethiye in Turkey (just a 30-minute sail). Ferries arrive from Piraeus port in Athens too, but make sure your phone is charged – the trip can take up to 20 hours.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Grecian goddess Rhodos (who embodies this picturesque isle) was a sea nymph and the missus of Helios the sun god – a match made in heaven for island living, where sea and sun play a huge part in passing the time. At the casa, you’ll frolic in one of several pools (or book a private Jacuzzi-wallowing session in the spa), salute Helios during a one-on-one class on the yoga deck, or simply get a bronze glow in the hotel’s ‘happiness hub’ an open-to-the-elements white-walled cube with a bar, squishy pillows to flop onto and god-tier views. The casa’s skippers Thanos and Nasos will take you on an aquatic adventure through the Aegean on their sailboat. You’ll leave from Mandraki harbour, swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters of Anthony Quinn Bay and bathe in the healing thermal springs at Kallithea. Another watery wonder is Epta Piges (AKA the Seven Springs), which the hotel will arrange a hike to via Archangelos Village and olive and citrus groves, so you can bathe under a small waterfall and discover a hidden lake down a long tunnel. More vertiginous, but no less rewarding is a trek up Tsambika Mountain to see Panagia Tsambika monastery; there are 312 steps to conquer, but the view from the top encompasses Kolymbia and Tsambika’s sparkling bays and beaches, and the guide will regale you with the island’s ancient history along the way. A guided wander through Rhodes Old Town will reveal the Unesco World Heritage site and oldest inhabited city in Europe’s often turbulent past, through Hellenistic greatness to Gothic crusades, Ottoman and Italian rule and evolution into the cosmopolitan spot it is now. You’ll weave through monasteries, mosques, synagogues and Greek Orthodox churches; the grand buildings of the Knights of St John Hospitallers; baths, palaces and forts. Then you’re free to browse the convivial cafés and restaurants that draw in tourists today. There might not be a beach on your doorstep, but just a 10-minute drive away are the golden sands (a rarity on the island) of Afandou Beach. Surrounding Kolymbia may be a small village with an easy mien to it, but it has an intriguing creative streak. Stop by the large gallery at the Artistic Village Contemporary Art to scope out Rhodes’ modern makers; or track how styles have changed over the years with a trip to the artefact-packed Rodos Nature Folklore Museum.
The hotel has taken note of what the locals eat and have peppered the menu with Grecian favourites, but it can’t quite match the authenticity of some of the local tavernas – say Taverna Michel, just down the road, a stone dining room laced with bougainvillea and dotted with blue chairs where you’ll dine finely on grilled fish, pork gyros, handmade sausages and tender kebabs. And you’ve several elegant eateries to pick from in the Old Town. Koukas Greek Restaurant has wood beams and a prettily patterned floor – the octopus and crispy feta with honey are the must-tries here, and they have their own bakery onsite for carb-fiends. In Faliraki, Rattan fans out around a gilded central bar overhung with chandeliers and diners are equally glamorous. Steaks are their star turn, but their hefty pasta dishes slip easily into second place, and cocktails are of the ‘emerging from dry ice’, ‘served in nothing so average as a glass’ sort. For beachside dining in Archangelos village, O Gialos has fishy ephemera on its rugged stone walls, a trad blue and white colour scheme and hand-me-down dishes such as yiaprakia (stuffed cabbage leaves), lopia (beans with goat meat) and pitaroudia (chickpea fritters), alongside fresh catches.
For further examples of Rhodes’ breezy freewheeling style, roll up to beach bar Ronda to recline on a latte-hued lounger under a crocheted parasol and sip on champagne in between tokes on a shisha pipe. Santa Marina – just outside the capital – is another vision of hippie contentedness with an alluring cocktail list – while sister drinkery the Soho Bar in the capital is a sultry date-night space.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this grown-up Grecian resort in coast-hugging village Kolymbia and unpacked their bottle of small-batch olive oil and island-made yoga shorts, a full account of their new-generation break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Casa Cook Rhodes…
Casa Cook Rhodes: a resort of sleek white cuboids against a backdrop of ruggedly brawny limestone hills and wildflower-strewn stretches punctuated by dazzling blue from several pools and, of course, the clear cerulean sky above. The crack team behind this sensory ‘Mother Earth à la mode’ look includes Berlin-based design agency Lambs & Lions, interior designer Annabell Kutucu and architect Vana Pernari. Natural linens, live-edge wood, straw pouffes and raw concrete make strokably serene spaces and all suites have their own furnished terrace and access to a shared pool (for more ‘me time’, one suite category has a private pool). And the design sets the tone for the way of life here: mostly claiming one of the cushioned poolside loungers or a hammock by the bar and letting the minutes slip away as the DJ spins beats that relax rather than rouse. Or, perhaps a hike to a local waterfall or temple, or a jaunt to the beach 10 minutes away – there’s no corralling guests onto a coach en masse here, or timetables to be met.