An eco-friendly hotel in the Medieval Town of Rhodes that offers quiet, discreet luxury, history and authenticity, as well as a little outdoor oasis where you can sunbathe and cool off in a whirlpool bath may sound like a bit too much to ask for, but I found in Spirit of the Knights. The hotel belongs to Felicity Marshall, a British mosaic artist, and one of her 17 (birth, adopted and foster) children. They bought the 14th century crusaders’ mansion back in 2004, fully restored it and went on to style it with a fitting collection of local and oriental furniture, objects and touches of art. Beautiful suites have superbly comfortable beds and excellent bathrooms. They are large enough, and there’s more space to sit out in the first-floor reading room and the bar-café which opens onto the gorgeous courtyard garden. Several of her children have now joined Felicity in Rhodes and together they run the hotel in a relaxed and friendly, yet very professional way. Spirit of the Knights stays open all year, and I highly recommend it for a short winter break, as it was for me. Walking through the Old Town on a crisp winter’s day is a wonderful experience; the town looks very different without the summer tourists. The climate is mild and even in December I had my breakfast in the courtyard.
En-suite bathroom (bath and shower)
CD and DVD player
One of the suites has its own Hamman
Sitting room with library
Courtyard garden with outdoor Jacuzzi
Massage on request
Yoga lessons can be arranged
Breakfast is served in the garden of Spirit of the Knights (or inside should it be too chilly to sit out), ‘officially’ from 8 to 11 am, but in practice any time you want. For lunch and dinner, you have a great selection of Greek and Mediterranean restaurants in the Medieval Town of Rhodes. Ask for recommendations, as the choice is overwheming. Many restaurants are too touristy to my taste, but fortunately there are also plenty really excellent places to eat.
Families with children are very welcome at Spirit of the Knights Hotel and several of the suites can accommodate one or two children in extra single beds. If you travel with a baby, you can get a cot/crib (on request) and highchairs are available as well. The Pasha and Rodos Suites are most suitable if you come with a toddler, while the Ottoman and Crusader Suites are great for families with older kids, who will have their own cosy sleeping space on a mezzanine.
I believe that staying in the Medieval City of Rhodes is a great experience for children. They will enjoy roaming through the car-free alleyways of the town, walking on the 14th century city ramparts, visiting the Palace of the Grand Master (just don’t bore them with endless museum visits!) and maybe buying a few silly things at the tourist shops. You can take them to the underground Aquarium, and there’s a beach you can walk to. If you want a fun and exciting way to explore the town with your kids (as long as they are at least eight years old), take sign up for a city biking tour.
But also take your children to discover the rest of the island island. Walk through hills with olive groves, citrus and pine trees and visit an old monastery, traditional villages and the famous butterfly valley. Make an excursion to Lindos with its whitewashed houses and ancient Acropolis. And of course, explore the many other beaches of Rhodes. In the southern part of the island you will find gorgeous virgin beaches, but if you want umbrellas, water-sports and some entertainment, there is even more choice, especially on the west coast of Rhodes Island.
You will find the Spirit of the Knights Hotel in a quiet spot in the Old Town of Rhodes, just inside the 14th century city ramparts. The most bustling parts of town are actually very close, but the hotel is in a ‘forgotten’ little corner of the Medieval City of Rhodes, where it is peaceful and residential.
If you arrive on the island of Rhodes by plane, it is easiest to take a taxi to the Old Town, and ask the driver to drop you off at the D’Amboise Gate. From there you have to continue on foot. After you pass through the gate and enter the Medieval City of Rhodes, turn right and walk down Orfeos Street. At the end of this street, you will see the Muslim Library. If you give a call to the hotel, someone will come and meet you there.
In case you don’t have a phone with you: it is actually not hard to find the hotel. At the Muslim Library, walk a little further bearing left, and take the first street to the right (Ippodamou), and then take the second (narrow lane) right (Xenofondos). Turn left at Alexandrou street, and you will see the hotel a little further down on your right. The walk from the gate should take you about 5-10 minutes. If you have a lot of luggage, you can of course call the hotel for assistance from the gate.
If you arrive by boat, you can enter the Old Town of Rhodes from any gate on the waterfront. Check out the street maps (in the busy parts of town you find them on practically every street corner) and walk all the way to the end of Socratous street, where you will find the Muslim Library. The walk will take about 15 minutes.FIND IT ON THE MAP
Booked for wedding anniversary and surprise new years present. Requested flowers and received beautiful bouquets on arrival. Very comfortable in Pasha Suite and Rodos Suite. A very warm welcome and more family feeling in hotel. Not like large hotels.
Truly excellent – Thank you.
Over the years we have stayed in several family run hotels in Greece. Most of them have been very good, but I can truly say that the Spirit of the Knights is exceptional and definitely our very favourite.
We loved the way you restored/rebuilt the building sympathetically in keeping with the castle and Greek tradition.
Helen and John T.
East Dean, UK