As a former travel writer, I always pay attention. I look more closely, listen more clearly, and taste more carefully these days. Could be a sign I’m getting older too that I continually reflect on what I’m experiencing.
Having stayed at countless hotels in Rhodes and beyond over the years, I thought I knew the quality I could expect from the Atrium Prestige. However, what our family received during our recent visit was far superior to anything we had ever experienced on the island.
A tranquil arrival
On arrival, it was almost as if someone had flicked a switch. It was so quiet and calm that I felt as if we were spending a night on a remote island where no one was supposed to be. There were no tavernas, no discotheques, no pleasure boats at anchor. Nor were there windmills, goatherds, or even the chirp of a cricket!
We had chosen the Prestige based on the recommendations of other Trip Advisor reviewers, who had raved about its operations manager, Katerina, the neatly manicured gardens, and top-quality food. At midnight, we entered the gleaming marble reception area to be warmly welcomed by the night manager with a glass of bubbly. Despite opting for an All-Inclusive Premium deal, there were no tacky wristbands to have to wear for the duration. This was five-star, after all. The icy bubbly washed down remarkably well after our hourlong drive from Rhodes airport. Champers in hand, we were quickly checked in and escorted by buggy to our hotel room, which was in the beautifully maintained garden area of the hotel.
A room for every taste
With 19 different room types across the accommodation, we knew we were in for a treat. Our young son spotted a stag and its offspring en route to our accommodation, which was a beautiful sight. There was such a vast selection of bungalow-style rooms. Once inside, our son made a beeline for the indulgent whirlpool bath. My husband and I made straight for the complimentary bottle of red wine and cold platter that had been lovingly left for us free of charge. The free mini-bar was also stocked with all kinds of beverages: Coca-Cola, lemonade, orangeade, soda water, sparkling water, still water, red wine, white wine, Pringles, and protein bars. There was something for everyone.
A warm family atmosphere
Streaming sunlight awakened our little family on our first day as I forgot to close the curtains, so we hit the gymnasium. As we walked there, we were warmly greeted with ‘kalimera’ from the groundsman, the cleaners, the porters. Whether they were mopping the path, emptying the rubbish, or just starting work, there was a real family feel to this hotel. Something special. Something that made us feel special.
The Prestige’s neat rows of white and blue bungalows cascade down the hillside and make for stunning surroundings. Despite the hotel being 14 years old, everywhere feels new and freshly painted. As we worked out with our son in tow, he was fussed over by the cleaning team, given fresh orange juice and water every morning – much to his delight! The gym equipment was decent, and there was always a plentiful supply of fresh towels too. Alongside free weights, there were treadmills, bikes, weights machines, and also decent space for stretching and warming up.
Delights at breakfast
Breakfast was no exception as we were warmly greeted and asked where we would like to sit. There was no strict regime. In fact, there was a very relaxed atmosphere, and the staff went above and beyond when it came to my son’s drinks. They brought him his own little bowl of ice every day for his glass of water, which impressed him immensely. It’s the simple things sometimes. The breakfast selection included fresh salmon and bubbly every day, which was sheer indulgence. I opted for spinach and eggs most days, but the choice was endless and everything was really fresh. We noticed bowls were kept small on the buffet – so there was less food waste – a great touch in this day and age. As we left, each waiter wished us ‘kalimera’ again, whether or not they’d been serving us. Such politeness! Although we observed that some guests could learn a thing or two from this very patient team of people.
A beachside paradise
The winding path from the main hotel takes you down to an uncrowded, rocky beach with an adults-only area alongside a family-oriented sandy stretch. Our first stop. As we sat on the rocks, cocktail in hand, with waves lapping over our feet, nothing seemed to move but the sunlight, shimmering and glinting off the rocks. It was as if time stood still at the Prestige. Beach showers were really good quality and high pressure, and there was a hot tap too! I am usually bitten by mosquitoes by this point, but for some reason, I didn’t get one bite on this holiday. There weren’t the usual creepy crawlies either, and thankfully, no wasps.
Inside the main hotel, pretty mosaics with metallic tiles adorned the floors and glass lifts. There were terracotta pots and planters neatly lining walkways and each open area flowed seamlessly into the next. We discovered an open-air theatre used for weddings and a good selection of treatments on offer at the spa. The gym sessions also stopped us feeling guilty about all the culinary delights and evening bottle of Cair Knights Cellar – our absolute favorite tipple which we were delighted to see was part of the all-inclusive deal we were on. There was a pool bar and terrace with brightly colored orange and green chairs and elegant pergolas with chiffon sky blue curtains and cream silk cushions. Attention to decor and detail was everywhere.
Gardens and wildlife
The heat hung in the air, smothering the palms and planted areas during the day, but the gardener was always on hand to ensure everything was well watered. This was a man truly passionate about his work and the planet. He spent hours, pruning, trimming, and planting. Occasionally, we’d spot frogs and a dusty brown lizard in the garden area late at night that would scuttle from one shadow to another. This was an absolute delight for our seven-year-old son.
One of our highlights was time spent in the main à la carte restaurant thanks to Jani and the team who looked after us so very well. The team of waiters moved from kitchen to terrace like men who never waited, never worried about time, wiping off the tables, bringing wine, then calamari, fried potatoes, and salad. They all talked animatedly with us about life in Rhodes, children, family, and their background which was lovely. It’s good to build relations and learn new cultures to prevent you feeling like you’re ‘just’ another tourist. Beyond the terrace, we looked out to the poolside, in the light and heat, it seemed like another world. A quaint little white-washed chapel lies on an island surrounded by a smaller, second swimming pool in the midst of an olive grove. This was the quieter of the two pools and more relaxing for those without young children.
Outside the hotel’s exterior, the setting sun cast the walkways in orange-pink light, and on an evening, the gardens seemed to take on a strange life of their own. It was an intense timelessness with flowers of every shape and color to admire en route back to our room. A figure appeared as we walked down the hill from the main hotel, and we exchanged smiles. She was excitedly chatting to guests in all languages, swapping from one to the other so naturally. This was Katerina. We knew it was her without even checking out her name badge! After this point, she made it her mission to look after us as much as she could talking of Ouzo, meze, and inviting us on a tour of the more luxurious rooms. As we had a night flight, she surprised our son with a room and his own private pool for our last day – this was an absolute joy for him. A lovely heartfelt touch. He was elated and lapped up every minute.
Culinary delights continue
During our stay, we feasted on fish, lamb, steak, rice, tomatoes, and cucumbers across all four of the hotel’s fabulous restaurants. Everything was just perfect. Special mention to Jessie in the main restaurant and bar and Voula and Petros in the pool bar. The poolside team was so attentive to our needs – they never stopped, and nothing was too much trouble. Despite its vast scale, the Prestige has not lost its family feel. Everyone working long hours – but always with a smile on their face. They all know each other or are related, and that is worth its weight in gold for such a big hotel.
Entertainment and activities
If you do get wanderlust, there is a bus stop outside the hotel with a coach to take you to Lindos, Rhodes town, or Prasonisi beach for surfing. We opted to travel to Lindos, which is around a 45-min one-way trip on an air-conditioned coach, which was quiet. After walking to the Acropolis and trailing back down via its selection of winding white-washed shops, we left Lindos at 2.10 pm and were back by the pool at around 4 pm. It was a good day out – recommended by the hotel’s reception team.
If you need to entertain small children at the hotel, there is a playground, kids’ club, indoor kids’ pool, two outdoor swimming pools, mini-golf, table tennis, tennis courts, basketball, and a large garden-sized chess set, which proved fun for us! There was also mini-discos each night in the main bar, but our son was not having any of that. For the adults, daytime offered a variety of sports, including beach volleyball and circuit training which we didn’t have time to try. By night, the resident rock band was a real treat – happy to do requests too! Great guys. The Greek Night was also fantastic fun – really uplifting entertainment in a light, airy venue.
A heartfelt farewell
We can’t thank the team at The Prestige enough for their passion, commitment, and energy – catering for anything we asked for, at any time. Our cleaning lady, whose son worked in the beach bar, was a delight. She always left our son a little floral surprise on his bed each day.
A paradise that’s hard to leave
My final thoughts about the Prestige are simply to beware as staying here too long, you won’t want to leave. I think I now need to ask for directions back to real life! We will definitely be back next year.
Date of stay: August 2023
Tip: Don’t take taxis to Lindos as the bus service is quiet, air-conditioned, and you’ll be one of the first stops to be picked up!