My new husband and I both agreed as we left to go home - the Atlantica Imperial is the best hotel we have ever stayed in. I was a bit anxious when we first set about booking our honeymoon - I wanted it to be so special and there are so many resorts and locations to choose from. This hotel stood out though in the brochure and after reading some of the other reviews on Tripadvisor we went ahead and booked it - and we're so glad we did.
The whole hotel experience was flawless - we had a fantastic reception on arrival, with a calm, efficient check-in. The reception staff were smiling and friendly and couldn't do enough to help us and answer our questions. And no kids. Not that I have got anything against children, but being adults only did give the check-in, and indeed the whole holiday, a much more laid-back vibe.
The room was BEAUTIFUL - we had booked a superior room with sea view, and were pleasantly surprised by how spacious, stylish and spotless it was. As we were a honeymooning couple there was a personal message with a bottle of iced sparkling wine and a platter of fruit waiting in the room for us, a really nice touch that made us feel very special. There was a massive four-poster bed with voile drapes, a lounge area with a sofa and TV, and a balcony with a table and chairs which looked out onto the crystal waters of Kolimbia beach. The room was also fully air conditioned - a necessity in the 35 degree plus heat - and had a spacious, and again spotless, en suite bathroom.
The facilities in the hotel were great - a little touristy shop, a hairdressers, a spa, a gym, and a relaxing cool pool with sunloungers and umbrellas all around - despite the 400+ guests this never felt crowded and we could usually get a pair of sunloungers under an umbrella or a tree. There are watersports available right on the beach, a couple of which are included for an hour in the all inclusive package.
The food was astounding - different buffets of delicious foods every night which were of a very high quality. I have a garlic allergy and I am vegetarian and every meal time the head chef or sous chef would go round the whole buffet and tell me what I could eat. If there was a limited choice that day they would offer to make me something different, but every day there was a choice of several things I could have anyway. The pool bar was great - with drinks, snacks and ice-creams available all day, and just a few steps from your sunlounger. Although not included in the All Inclusive after from one meal per stay, the A La Carte restaurant was out of this world - the most mouth-watering food we have ever had. On our last night we also had a meal in the 'secret lounges' on the beach. It was a set menu for 'his and hers' but was just outstanding food and service - highly recommended for any romantic couple wanting a special night.
I would recommend taking the All-Inclusive option here - this includes all buffet food, drinks, local alcoholic drinks, ice-creams, snacks - as we were drinking bottled water and soft drinks pretty much constantly throughout the day, which would have been very expensive had we not been all-inclusive. Also if you are All-Inclusive the restaurant will make you a packed lunch of your choice when you go out on an excursion, which we did a few times, and this saves you money in some of the touristy spots where food and drink can be expensive. The All-Inclusive even lasts until midnight on the day you check out, so if you have a late flight, like we did, you can still have meals, snacks and drinks until you leave without incurring an additional expense.
I cannot go any further without talking about the staff. Every member of staff - from management down to service staff - were unfailingly polite, happy and helpful. They could not do enough to make our stay relaxing and flawless. The restaurant manager and restaurant staff were particularly helpful and friendly - even to the point that the head chef recognised me at a day-time Greek cooking class (out of 400+ guests remember) and deliberately omitted garlic from two of the three recipes we would be preparing. Also, the restaurant manager helped my husband to arrange the surprise of the secret lounge dinner, and one of the waiters, Stephanos, waited on us all night with a real enthusiasm for his job, for the food and for us as guests. Amazing, just astonishing.
The entertainment had two sides: the day-time activities had some real high points - Greek cooking I have mentioned, there was also a wine tasting session we went to, as well as lots of other things on offer like a scuba diving taster, jewellry making, taster of spa treatments, and lots more. There were also daily wellness activities, quizzes, sports activities and music performances by the pool, most of which were fun and / or relaxing. The entertainment staff weren't too pushy to get you involved either, you could if you wanted to or just do your own thing. The evening entertainment however was... well, let's just say my husband and I felt 40 years too young, and the hotel 2 stars to high, for the type of entertainment on offer. The Thomson team were very enthusiastic and very talented, but the programme was all a little bit Butlinsesque. It also took place right by the pool, outside, so you couldn't really escape it unless you went to the inside part of the Lobby Bar, which is a shame if you want to enjoy the balmy evenings and the sounds of the sea. Upstairs in the lobby bar, on the terrace, drowned it out quite a lot though. It wasn't awful awful, just not to our taste I guess. Some of the UK cultural acts were good, and a little bit more quality in the content, but I would have preferred a really good pianist or string player in the background rather than some of the 'party cabaret' and 'gameshows'.
All in all though the hotel was simply outstanding, and we would definitely go back. If you are erring, just do it. You won't regret it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Adults only resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atlantica Imperial Hotel Kolimbia
- Atlantica Imperial Resort Rhodes
- Hotel Atlantica Imperial
- Atlantica Imperial Rhodes
- Atlantica Imperial Resort & Spa Rhodes, Greece