Sunday 13 November 2011

Filoxenia Hotel - Paradisi (Tholos), Rhodes

The  Filoxenia Hotel is a family run resort conveniently located on the main coastal highway of Rhodes, and right in the middle of the famous Valley of  Butterflies.  It consists of apartments catering for a variety of travellers and tourists, with single  and double bed apartments. Should you wish to visit the island with kids and kin in tow, Filoxenia has special family rooms available.  It is only a couple of miles away from Rhodes Airport and six or seven miles from Rhodes town which easy to get to by bus or taxi.

It was difficult to get a proper first impression of the room as we had arrived at 11.30 at night, tired from the flight and very cranky. Although it very much challenged our notions of what we normally expect from hotel accommodation, we noticed immediately it was clean and the bed was comfortable. With refreshed eyes and clearer heads we were able to render a much fairer judgement of the room.

The room was bright , spacious and airy and although basic it was above all very clean and functional. Rooms come equipped with a kitchen sink, cooker hob, and a small fridge freezer. There is also a dressing table, and dining furniture both inside, and out on the balcony. The floor is tiled and so can be a little slippery when stepping out of the shower, but on the whole turned out to be more comfortable than any rug or carpet underfoot which given the hot climate was a blessed relief. The bathroom facilities are basic but again clean and functional with hot water available whenever needed. In all it was comfortable and, unlike other forms of basic accommodation the room was always a treat to come back to at the end of the day.

Filoxenia comes equipped with two swimming pools, a children's play area, as well as crazy golf course and giant chess board, to pass away any spare time before venturing out to see the island. The hotel grounds are well maintained and picturesque surrounded by luscious olive trees and flowers. It is the perfect place to relax, soak up some sun, read and generally unwind and forget any woes.

Perhaps the highlight of our stay was Filoxenia's bar and restaurant where we enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast and mouth watering meals. I mentioned earlier that Filoxenia is a family run establishment and when it comes to meal times the owner/operators Nicos, Evangelia and their sons welcome you as one of the family. Breakfast can be anything you want it to be from toast with preserves or  cereal, to a full English fry up. You can also enjoy a big plate of fresh locally grown watermelon or a big tall glass of Greek Yoghurt with honey, both refreshing on a hot day.

Luchtime and evening Meals, which are all home cooked, are very reasonably priced, consist of an assortment of dishes, both traditional Greek as well as a global cuisine. The menu is packed with an assortment of starters, main and dessert courses, accompaniments as well as a good variety of soft and alcohol beverages and cocktails. Rhodes even brews it's own beer and at 2.50 euros for a pint, it is exceptionally good value and has a smooth refreshing flavour. Every Sunday Nicos and Evangelia host their famous Filoxenia barbecue, an event so popular that even if you are staying at the hotel, it is recommended that you reserve a place in advance. This is an amazing dining experience in its own right and details will be featured in a separate post.

In choosing your meal if you should order a helping of bread you will be presented with various condiments and sauces including a dispenser filled with olive oil, made from olives freshly picked from the surrounding trees and cold pressed on site. There is nothing better than the taste of freshly pressed olive oil especially if you are only used to sourcing it from your local supermarket on the other side of the planet.  The meals are always delicious and filling with the home made moussaka, lasgne, as well as the catch of the day coming highly recommended. An average two course meal for two including beers cost us around 30 to 35 euros, sometimes less which is excellent value.

On the whole our experience at Filoxenia was fantastic, from the accommodation with its comfortable bed and basic but very clean and functional amenities, to the fabulous dining experience and warm hospitality of our hosts. Nicos, Evangelia and their family made us feel very welcome, taking time to talk, suggest the best places on the island to visit, and even help me learn some basic Greek.  A return trip to Rhodes is likely as is the prospect of once again visiting and enjoying the hospitality of Flioxenia, which according to Evangelia means hospitality or "love of foreigners".

For more information visit Filoxenia's website or you can find them on Facebook.

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