I’m not talking about Symi businesses, though I expect many have already turned their minds to the summer season. I am talking about people asking for advice because they are heading this way later in the year. Recently, I’ve seen questions about where to stay, how to get here, what to expect, where’s good to eat, and other pre-visit questions asked, I’m guessing, out of a mixture of excitement and wanting to plan the best use of time. Some visitors are only coming for a couple of days, others for longer, some only for a day trip. It’s all very understandable, and good to see, and such questions, when asked on social media, bring up so many answers that are useful to others. One I saw recently was about where to stay in Rhodes if/when caught there for an overnight.
Naturally, anyone who has done it and had a pleasant experience will have their favoured hotel, or vice versa if it was an unpleasant experience, so, you’re going to get a myriad of replies and ideas. Other variables include your personal taste, budget, whether you need to be close to the harbours or not, and so on, and there is no one definite answer. If, though, you’re asking for personal insight (and nobody was asking for mine, but you’re going to get it), then I’ve a couple of places you might want to explore via one of the online booking sites. These are places I have used and enjoyed, or used and not been so happy with.
It’s long been an unspoken tradition that Symi folk use the Best Western Plaza, and for a while, we used it for overnights too. These days, due to budget restrictions, we tend to use its bar and dining room as the prices are reasonable, but stay elsewhere, because it’s cheaper for the room, depending on the time of year. The Lydia is one we’ve used and enjoyed. They once gave me and my older godson a two-bedroom suite on the top floor as opposed to two single rooms, at no extra charge, which was a nice gesture the night before his spoken English exam. Then, we have used the Savoy, though on one occasion I couldn’t get into my room and on another, Neil couldn’t get out of his. These three are in the New Town. The Hermes, down by Mandraki, has been popular for its closeness to the harbour, as it’s only a short walk to Kolonoa for the Dodekanisos boats. I stayed there once as an emergency, and for €50.00, got to use a room only minutes before vacated by a courting couple, who had just had a wild time and showers. It was three in the morning, I was knackered, and should have walked out, but at that time of night… to where?
Recently, we have discovered the Castellum Suites behind the Old Town. This is an all-inclusive with massive rooms, and great if, like us, you’re on a budget. All-inclusive? I know, I know… but, for convenience and for saving money, it’s one idea. Then, there’s the Mediterranean opposite the Aquarium. I stayed there only one night last year with the other godson before his English exam, and it was excellent. (HP sauce in bottles at breakfast. Can’t beat it.) Once, I rented an apartment at The Perfect Spot in ‘Bar Street’ in Mandraki, another great place to stay and central, though not a hotel.
All of these places are near enough to the ports for either a walk or in the further away cases, a short taxi ride. There are, of course, loads of other hotels also worthy, respectable, clean, safe and not too costly, I’m only giving you my experience and then, only those places I can remember. I have stayed in the Old Town, but that place has now gone or changed hands, so I can’t comment. If you do opt for the Old Town, though, remember, it’s not easy for taxis to get in and out, and some may even have to leave you at a gate, and you’ll have to find your own way.
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