6 reasons you need to add Rhodes to your 2019 travel list…

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  • Featuring more pools than the length of Michael Phelps’s career…

    Words Hannah Berry George

    When you hear the word ‘Rhodes’ it might conjure up nightmares of Club-18-to-30-style holidays in clubbing hotspot Faliraki but, like all Mediterranean islands, there’s always a calmer, better, nicer, cooler side. Cast past associations aside and head south on this Greek island to the latest 5-star eco hotel – Gennadi Grand Resort – where you’ll be in for a more-than-pleasant surprise.

    Why go?

    Love water? How about your very own private infinity pool? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 161 rooms of a 288 total have their own private single or double pool. I’m no good at maths but I’d say that’s a pretty good ratio. Perhaps a world first. Not to mention three very good sized public pools. Plus a little known thing called the Aegean sea is a stone’s throw from your room. It’s a water baby’s dream.

    Other stuff

    If water is not your thing, there’s plenty of other things to enjoy – like being doused in oil and kneaded with the correct level of firmness during an aromatherapy massage, or making use of their steam room which is one of the hottest and best I’ve been in, plus fun times doing downward dog on the roof taking in the sea and the sunrise, or getting tangles up in silks for aerial yoga, or setting sail to private bays that are only accessible by boat. Anchors away!

    The digs

    These rooms are an architects dream. These box-like rooms have lines sexier than the curve of a Blahnik and are more modern than the Tate. I enjoyed a Double Garden View room with its open-plan layout, double sink and mirror, living room area, and private pool with deck and patio. If London made flats like these I wouldn’t be able to afford one but, boy, would I want one. AND they had products that actually do what they say on the tin – conditioner that conditions and moisturiser that moisturises, as opposed to just smelling good and somehow making my skin more dry. With all this, plus room service, there’s really little need to leave the room, so perfect for romantic breaks or keeping the kids away from dive bomb-splashing nearby sunbathers.

    The area

    A mixture of arid and green, there’s one thing you’re not short of: hills. There’s something almost California about the backdrop here which remains unspoilt thanks to the low-level of the hotel. If you really want to explore you can go off on a casual 10k hike with Rhodes Roads. Note to self: don’t do this on a hangover. Or, for something more chill, there are a number of cute local towns to meander the white-house-, pink-flower-lined roads, like Lindos, Gennadi or Prasonisi.

    Don’t miss

    Included as part of your stay if you’re in a suite, otherwise just €15 per person, I highly recommend treating yourself to the Exclusive Breakfast up on level two. This is an insane spread of fruit, pastries, bread, cheese, charcuterie, plus OJ and a killer smoothie. Oh, and a cake stand full of more baked goodies. Anything off the á la carte menu is extra but, honestly, if you have room for à la carte after all that you deserve it. Just remember to book at least one day in advance.

    Good to know…

    I don’t know how up on your Greek mythology you are, but the story goes that Zeus split his fortune between his children but, on forgetting his son – Helios, he said an island would rise from the sea and this would be his. Lucky for us Helios was the God of Sun, and Rhodes gets around a whopping 300 days of sunshine in a year. And temperatures are not bad to boot – I was there at the end of October and using factor 50. Also, as Gennadi is an eco-minded hotel, you can holiday without a guilty conscience, knowing they’re doing everything they can to keep it lean and green.

    The season at Gennadi Grand Resort runs from May to November. Rooms start from €250 per night, with breakfast. Half-board and ultra-all-inclusive options are also an option. Visit www.gennadigrandresort.com to book now or check out their Instagram here. The nearest airport is Rhodes.

    Hannah Berry George is a writer and director. Find more from here: hannahberrygeorge.com

    Or follow her on Instagram @veryberrygeorge.

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