We have been visiting Rhodes most years since we first went there on honeymoon in 1988, but have always stayed in hotels of varying size and standards around the north of the island. This year, to celebrate my 50th birthday, we wanted to do things a little differently and so chose to stay in a villa with a few close family and friends.
A quick search for something suitable came up with Villa Sutherlea and, at first, we discounted it as being too big for us (party of 7), but we kept coming back to it so decided to try and book.
With all the stories about villa scams, e.g. people paying for holidays and turning up to find the property doesn’t exist, I was a bit apprehensive about booking and paying so much money direct into someones bank account for a property I had never seen. However, a few emails backwards and forwards with the owners, Lorna and Tsam, convinced me everything was genuine and my fears were allayed.
Unfortunately we couldn’t get it for the full 2 weeks so we settled for 10 nights which gave us the chance to spend the first 4 nights of our holiday in Rhodes Town. As it turned out, this was a good decision for us - we love Rhodes Town and these first 4 nights gave us our ‘fix” but, once installed in the villa, we didn’t go back there again until our last day.
Change over day was a bit of a trial as, as is normal, we had to check out of our hotel by noon, but, with departing guests, the villa would not be ready until around 4pm. However, Lorna and Tsam were very accommodating and let us drop our bags off at noon and then go explore Koskinou. Thus, our first impression of the villa was its driveway which offered tantalizing views of the pool and gardens but not a lot more. The next 4 hours were spent killing time wandering the deserted streets of Koskinou in sweltering heat - the village is quite “sleepy” at the busiest times but this was Sunday afternoon with just the tumbleweed for company - to say we got a little overheated would be an understatement! On return to the villa we were warmly greeted by Lorna who proceeded to show us around the villa and grounds.
The actual villa accommodation is made up of 4 distinct areas, 3 of which are accessed via the main entrance and have views towards the pool and grounds. The 4th area of the villa is a self contained apartment on the other side of the building. In addition, there is also a self contained apartment in the basement but this is used by the owners for storage and is not part of the rental. However, it was made available to us on our last day for storage of bags and showers before heading off to the airport for later flights.
Area 1: Double air conditioned room with balcony overlooking pool. Twin room with balcony to side. Single room with balcony to side. Lounge area with seating and TV. Full bathroom. There is a single air con unit in the lounge which, whilst sufficient for the area, meant keeping all of the door in the area open, thus, especially in high summer, I would say this area is best suited to families who don’t mind sharing a bathroom and/or having bedroom doors open all night.
Area 2: Large air conditioned double room with 4 poster bed, kitchenette, bed settee and dining table. Shower room. Balcony/terrace overlooking pool. Area would suit a family of 4 with smaller children.
Area 3 (upstairs): Large double room with double bed, bed settee, kitchenette, table and chairs. Large bathroom. Roof terrace to side (no furniture) and balcony overlooking pool. Area would be suitable for a family of 4 with smaller children.
Area 4 (rear of property): Self contained apartment with double bed, bed settee, kitchenette, washing machine and bathroom. Terrace looking towards drive/road. This would suit a family of 4 with smaller children. Same quality as the rest of the areas but “away from the action” of the pool, etc.. Consequently, may suit, say, elder members of the party and/or those wishing a bit more solitude from the party. We chose not to use this area.
All areas of the villa were immaculate on our arrival and exuded quality. Beds, all with memory foam (or similar) toppers, were some of the most comfortable we’ve experienced in Greece.
Outside, the gardens are stunning and immaculately maintained. The centre piece is a large pool (we’ve stayed in hotels with smaller pools!) with diving board. One end is shallow and suitable for non swimming small children and/or laying with a book with the other end deep for the diving board. The pool was spotlessly clean throughout our stay.
The outdoor kitchen was fantastic and was very well used during our stay. It included everything required, i.e. large display style fridge, freezer for ice creams, dishwasher, kettle, coffee machine, 2 burner hotplate, microwave, etc. etc.. Behind the kitchen is a large wood oven and BBQ which was also well used during our stay.
The owners, Lorna and Tsam, are fantastic hosts. They live on the same site but in a separate house away from the villa and keep out of the way - most of the time we only knew if they were on site based on whether their cars were there or not. They checked in with us most days to ensure everything was OK and occasionally stopped for a chat and/or to drop off some freshly picked fruit from the garden, other than that we only saw them when they came to feed and/or walk the dogs. That said, we always felt that, had we of needed them for anything, they would have been available and more than willing to help.
I would recommend anyone staying at the villa to rent a car as the villa is located about 1 KM from the village centre (uphill on the way back!) with Koskinou itself being a few KM from Rhodes Town, Kalithea, Faliraki, etc.. Also, there are supermarkets in the village but for larger shops you may want to venture a bit further.
There is a selection of inexpensive restaurants in the village, our favorite being Gianni’s.
For us, as a party of 7, Villa Sutherlea was fantastic with each couple/family having our own private space to rattle around in if/as required but the villa would easily accommodate double that number, especially if some of the party was made up of families that didn’t mind sharing.
All in, we had a fantastic, relaxing time staying at Villa Sutherlea and would recommend to families and/or groups of friends looking to stay in their own bit of paradise.
This was our first experience of a villa holiday on Rhodes but other members of the party had done before. My only fear is that the benchmark has now been set very high and, looking around the other properties available, we will struggle to find anything else on Rhodes that comes close.
We stayed here last July for a 50th birthday, 9 in the party in total. Villa, pool surroundings are faultless and Sam and Lorna are excellent hosts, nothing was too much trouble for them. The dogs enjoyed our company and were very good at sharing their grounds with us. Rooms were spacious and clean. You need a car to explore the island, but some great local restaurants are within walking distance. This holiday was a total treat for us and quite luxurious. Thoroughly recommend anyone to stay here, and you do need to like dogs!
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