The Amathus Beach Hotel on the coast of Rhodes has much to offer

For a quiet getaway with loads of luxurious touches, the Amathus Beach Hotel on the coast of Rhodes has much to recommend it, says Liz Stout.

A warm breeze gently blows across the rooftop terrace of the Amathus Beach Hotel in Ixia, on the northwest coast of Rhodes. It’s a welcome respite from the poker-hot sunshine that beats down onto the island for an average 300 days a year and the reason why so many visitors choose this particular corner of the popular Greek island for their annual summer holiday.

The main body of the Amathus Beach Hotel, built into the rocky hillside of this deceptively long stretch of coastline, offers 355 rooms and a long list of guest facilities, including three outdoor swimming pools, four restaurants, a spa and the Pelican Children’s Club.

Amathus Beach Hotel - Swimming poolThe hotel's three swimming pools overlook the sea
Amathus Beach Hotel

It’s spacious enough that it never feels overcrowded but somehow still manages to retain a sense of intimacy – in fact it’s only at evening buffet time that you realise just how many other people you’re sharing with.

The fact that the hotel corridors have a slight 1970s feel to them is not necessarily a bad thing. They are clean and cool, and the hotel rooms are equipped with everything you would expect from a 5-star facility – clean, spacious and comfortable but otherwise unremarkable.

Do not visit the Amathus expecting the long expanse of sandy white beach that the name may evoke. The only beach area, a mixture of sand and pebbles, is across the road; a small narrow strip furnished with loungers. The sound of cars and bikes buzzing past provides the soundtrack to a coastline that’s paradise for windsurfers. Tranquil beach lovers would be better off hiring a car and travelling to one of the island’s many beautiful sandy beaches, some like Kalithea, only minutes away.

Amathus Beach Hotel - Room with a viewMost rooms have stunning sea views
Amathus Beach Hotel

Tucked away in a separate low-rise block, the 36 Amathus Beach Hotel Elite Suites are a haven of calm from the hustle and bustle of the main building. They even have their own reception area, where mouth-wateringly fresh strawberries and a glass of chilled Champagne await you upon arrival.

No expense has been spared on the Elite Suites and that’s what makes them rather special. A marble-floored living area is opulently furnished with a bed you could very easily loose your partner in, and a palatial bathroom features full-size bath, walk-in shower and double sink unit that’s replenished daily with a sumptuous array of Bulgari products (even a matching mint-green toothbrush).

For a family of four, the sofa area can be conveniently converted into an extra double bed without losing the feeling of space.

We particularly liked the intricate lighting system - especially the set of cool blue lights fixed above the main bed and around the picture frame, which add a boutique feel and cast a soothing blue glow around the room at bedtime.

Of the 36 suites, 31 have their own private infinity swimming pool with Jacuzzi, encased by elegant wooden decking and equipped with table and chairs and two cushioned sun loungers.

Amathus Beach Hotel - Suite poolAsk for a suite with its own private infinity pool
Amathus Beach Hotel

There’s the to-be-expected bowl of fresh fruit, daily newspaper and well-stocked minibar but in addition, all guests to the Elite Suites receive a different local ‘treat’ delivered to their room each day, ranging from a plate of decadently delicious baklava to a mini bottle of traditional Greek tipple, Ouzo, to sip by the pool at sunset, accompanied by little jars of crunchy walnuts drenched in gooey Greek honey.

Official dining options for Elite Suite guests include the main Amathus Hotel Iliades Restaurant - which offers excellent service and one of the best hotel buffets we’d experienced - or the Varkarola Taverna next to the Elite Suites reception area, where lunch and dinner are both offered à la carte.

Service at the Varkarola could be slow - even by relaxed Greek island standards - when the restaurant didn’t seem particularly busy. When our bottle of rosé did arrive, it could have been a bit colder, and the à la carte calamari, though beautifully presented, couldn’t compete with the lightly battered tentacles that literally leapt from the sea to our plates at Melthemi – a delightful local taverna, a short 7km (4-mile) taxi drive away in Rhodes harbour.

Elite Suite guests also have their own exclusive indoor air-conditioned breakfast area at Varkarola which serves a varied breakfast buffet every day – all the usual cereals, fresh fruit, meats, cheeses and pastries are there, as well as an optional à la carte menu serving a selection of freshly cooked options.

Amathus Beach Hotel - Night viewsWatch the sun go down at the rooftop bar
Amathus Beach Hotel

Pre- or after-dinner drinks are best served up at the rooftop bar of the main hotel which overlooks the Ixia coastline. As views go, this one is pretty spectacular and the perfect place to watch the sun go down, fresh strawberry mojito in hand.

In addition to the two main restaurants, there are two pool bars serving drinks and lighter meals at lunchtime – one situated by the sprawling swimming pool that stretches across the front of the Amathus Beach and the other next to the rooftop pool up on the 11th floor.

The Amathus Spa & Wellness Centre is a popular destination for both hotel and Elite Suite guests. A particular highlight is the black-slate swimming pool that never seems to have anyone else swimming in it. The gym area is small but perfectly formed and has most of the standard machines you’ll need to work off that decadent baklava.

The spa itself is beautifully designed. In particular areas, flooring has been painstakingly crafted from hundreds of pebbles, each perfectly placed to create traditional Greek designs. The treatment list is long – with plenty to tempt guests of both sexes - and the therapists themselves all speak perfect English and clearly know their stuff.

All in all, the Amathus Beach Hotel is a good, high-end family hotel destination in Greece with staff that are friendly, warm and welcoming, but if it’s an extra element of luxury you seek, the hotel’s Elite Suites are where it’s at.

Amathus Beach Hotel
100 Iraklidon Avenue, Ixia, Rhodes, Greece
Tel: +30 (0)22410 89900.
Price: Rooms from €110 including breakfast (during summer).

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