My friend and I (two girls) just got back from a brilliant one-week break at the Lindos Mare (end July / beginning August). We paid £777 each for flights, transfers, twin room (without sea view) and half board (breakfast and dinner) for seven nights (although really six, as we arrived at 7am on the morning after our first night) with Thomson. We both thought this was excellent value for money, especially in school holidays.
It's really difficult to write a concise review that does the hotel justice, but I'm just going to throw in a few points which really impressed us during the week - although I'm aware that I'll be largely echoing the excellent reviews the hotel has had recently.
Firstly, the staff can't be praised highly enough - they really do go out of their way to make you feel valued as a guest and to give you a great holiday experience. This started even before we flew out there - I had a couple of queries which I raised by email and Christina the reservations manager emailed me well after her working hours (from home) with a full and helpful reply. This set the tone for the whole week. In the restaurant, Alex, Savvas, Giannis and Tsambika deserve special mention for their hard work and "nothing is too much trouble" attitude but also the younger members of staff who worked tirelessly in blistering heat whilst still taking time to show good humour and friendliness - too many to name but we didn't come across anyone who didn't show the same spirit. The lifeguard on the main pool deserves a special mention as she really went above and beyond - we were really impressed with her interaction with all the guests but particularly the children who she went out of her way to get to know. The beach attendants and lifeguard are also very friendly and helpful, and Vangelis and Mariana in the Vergina bar were great fun - Vangelis really knows his stuff and his cocktails have to be experienced!! We even got to know the laundry man who we saw occasionally round the hotel and who was always so friendly. These are just the people we got to know which bearing in mind we were only there for a week is testament to how friendly everyone is.
Partly as a result, the mood amongst fellow guests is also very pleasant and relaxing. We really enjoyed having a mix of guests at the hotel - i.e. not all English, but also (at least) Russian, German, Austrian Spanish, French and Greek, which added to the holiday feel.
We found the location perfect. It's about 3km out of Lindos, which is easily accessible by bus (about once an hour on average - the bus stop is right outside the hotel) or taxi (8 euros there, 6 euros back - yup, makes no sense to me either). You can also get a bus to Rhodes. The hotel is right on the beach - as others have said it is built into the hillside so there are a few steps to get to the beach. If you have very little children, or definitely if mobility is an issue, I wouldn't recommend it. There is a lift system which is totally fine for getting round the hotel but to get right to the beach I don't think you can altogether avoid some steps. If you've got normal mobility you will be absolutely fine. I'm no athlete and it wasn't even a slight issue, even in midday temperatures. Once you get to the beach there really are plenty of loungers and relatively regular beach bar service (i.e. they'll walk up and down and take orders / bring drinks - at no extra charge to the normal hotel prices, which I thought was good).
I believe the majority of rooms have sea views - sadly ours didn't but this was only because we booked with Thomson who didn't really make it clear that we had to specifically opt for that - so watch out for that when booking. Our room itself was lovely but it would have been nice to have a view and in particular it meant we had to close the curtains whenever we wanted to get ready as our room faced an internal courtyard which had pretty frequent footfall. The hotel were really great about this and showed us another non-view option but as they were completely full we couldn't switch to a room with a view - not their fault at all, just not possible. There's a good range of toiletries in the rooms as well as a safe, TV, hairdryer, plenty of coat hangers, tea and coffee making facilities and a good sized fridge. I was really impressed with the latter two given this isn't a self catering place.
Everywhere is spotlessly clean. Your room towels are changed as often as you want, and they also supply beach towels which you can change every three days. I thought this wouldn't be often enough but actually it was fine.
There are two pools - the main one which is the one in the majority of photos, and another smaller one about half way down the steps to the beach. Both have a bar which serves a full range of food and drink. We tended to use the main pool and again there were plenty of loungers (bearing in mind the hotel was full when we were there, we never once had an issue getting two loungers together, at various times of day). There are already a few inflatables in the pool provided by the hotel which I thought was a nice touch. It was a good size and I didn't find pool traffic an issue, especially bearing in mind that the hotel was at full capacity. Ok occasionally I had to dodge the odd lilo or overenthusiastically thrown beach ball but come on, it's a holiday hotel pool not a gym. It was far better than any other hotel pool I've ever used and it does have lanes which really helps.
Mealtimes: ah, where to begin. I've never experienced buffets like it - and for my hips it's a good job. The range and quality of food at both breakfast and dinner was incredible. You will not go hungry. In the evening there is also the option to choose one of three meals from a menu (in addition to the buffet if you prefer something a bit more "formal") at no extra cost, and if you want to level up from that you can also pay a little extra to dine in the a la carte restaurant which is a floor up - we didn't as we were already ecstatic with the standard provision. My friend is pescetarian (i.e. eats fish but not other meat) and was completely happy with the options available. If you are a really strict vegetarian you might be a bit more limited and they're not great at avoiding cross-contamination (e.g. same serving spoons for meat and veggie dishes) so you might want to watch out for that but I don't think that's by any means a problem isolated to this hotel!
There's regular high quality entertainment - during our stay there was a Greek dancing night and an Il Divo tribute act at least (there may have been more but those are the two we caught). I grimaced a little when I saw the posters for both, to be honest, as I thought it would be similar to the type of stuff I've seen at other resort hotels but actually both were really very good. There's not a huge amount to do for kids other than pool, beach, a little playground area and a games room with air hockey, table tennis and pool - so I think you'd need to be prepared to amuse your own children if you're planning on bringing them.
There's a spa and gym although I didn't use these so can't comment, other than to say I did look at the price list for the spa treatments and thought it was very reasonable.
Outside of the hotel we did a few things - it's definitely worth a wander around the little streets of Lindos; the shops sell mainly the usual tourist stuff but it's still interesting to have a poke around. The acropolis is worth the ten minute walk up too - reserve at least half an hour to walk around up there. It costs 6 euros to get in. We also did the VIP boat cruise on the Ostria boat (booked through Thomson but I don't think you have to have booked your hotel stay with Thomson to go on the cruise). This cost 65 euro, but you get picked up at about 10am in St Paul's bay in Lindos and don't come back til about 4, with various swim stops through the day as well as snacks and a fantastic lunch. There's free wine thrown in at lunchtime and free soft drinks and water all day. There's a max of 20 guests and no little children allowed (teenagers are fine although I'm not sure what the cut-off age is). Finally we also went to the waterpark which I think would be fun with kids (although be aware there are quite a few rides with age restrictions) but isn't the best I've been to for adults.
All in all, I have to say this was one of the best holidays I've ever been on in terms of getting exactly what I wanted for that type of trip and in light of the price paid.
One final word - I often worry about hotels that start to get consistent five star reviews, as to some extent (and understandably so) that sets guests' expectations at a very high level. If you're thinking of staying here, you need to understand that it getting five star reviews DOESN'T mean it's a five star resort with all the bells and whistles that you would expect from somewhere that is(and would pay a lot more for), like a Four Seasons or similar. I mean this very much as a compliment rather than a complaint - I'm mentioning it only because I've seen great hotels have meteoric TripAdvisor ratings rises in the past, only to see them get panned by readers who then go expecting too much. For the price tag, this hotel offers fantastic services, in a great location, with (above all) excellent staff. It excels at what it does.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lindos Mare: relaxing, elegant & welcoming Built into hillside terraces with panoramic views over beautiful Vlicha Bay, just 2.5 kilometres from the picturesque village of Lindos. A series of lifts, including a cable car, link the hotel to the beach. Undoubtedly one of Rhodes’ most treasured retreats, the elegant Lindos Mare is a place to unwind to the slow rhythm of island life. Recent renovations to all areas, together with impeccable service and excellent cuisine, create an atmosphere of elegance and tranquillity in which to enjoy the perfect relaxing holiday. It’s no wonder that many guests return year after year. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lindos Mare Hotel Rhodes