S. Nikolis Hotel & Apartments
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
In the medeival city
"This hotel is in an 800-year old building in the medieval part of Rhodes town. We stayed in the studio around the corner, so I can't comment on the breakfasts. I believe this is a 3-star property, but the experience and convenience of being in the old city and being able to walk to everything can't be beat. The manager is very nice and very helpful. Take her advice and let her arrange for a taxi to meet you if you are coming in by plane --- there are few taxis at the airport and they will tell you they can't drive into the old city (but she knows how to get around that.) We walked in - not too far. The old city is not too big and is fun to stroll in. If you don't like plastic hotel chains, (and don't expect plastic hotel chain amenities) this is a great and reasonably priced place to stay."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of November 2007
"The first time I stayed at S. Nikolis Hotel, it was six
years ago, I booked the honeysuite because I figured there would be more room for myself and best friend. It was a great room, with a loft, antique furniture, modern bathroom. When we arrived late, our flight was delayed, the owner said that another female traveler needed a room for the night and he was completely booked and could she sleep up in the loft that night. We were sorry she hadn't booked a room, but "no" we didn't want a stranger staying in our room. He was angry that we refused to share our room. The next day he said that we couldn't stay in the suite any longer and we would have to take a room in main building. He showed us the small room he had and we informed him that we had booked the honeymoon suite for the three nights. We argued with him and told him "no" and stayed in the room. It was very unpleasant to see him and his wife after this. We had a great time in Rhodes, apart from dealing with the owner and his wife.
Three years ago, I returned to Rhodes with another friend. I had reserved the honeymoon suite again (there are four in a small complex a short walk from the main hotel) I thought it was a nice hotel in the middle of the old town, maybe this time things would be better. Or perhaps, we had bad communications the last time I stayed. So we arrived and are told there is no honeymoon suites available, but about 1/2 a block and around the corner he had an apartment available to us. It was a great disappointment. They were very dreary and very basic. He quoated a price and then when we went to pay - he tried to charge us more. My friend argued with him and finally he gave us the price we had agreed on originally.
So the moral to this story is - don't trust this guy. You have a fifty-fifty chance of getting one of the primo rooms or the ugly rooms off of the property. If you get the primo rooms - you'll really enjoy your stay - and let the owners quirkiness roll off your shoulders.
If I ever go back I'll probably try one of the other hotels in the old town center. I don't ever want to go through the bait and switch again."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of September 2007
A charming, albeit quirky place
"I arrived in Rhodes at 7:00 in the morning without a place to stay. Because it was so early, none of the hotel owners were waiting at the port begging for business. The S. Nikolis was the only hotel listed in my National Geographic Guide within my price range.
First the positives: Staying within the walls of the old city was almost magical. There was something very cool about walking through the gates of a medieval city each day. The old town is about a twenty minute walk from the new town and from the city beach. The rooms were small, but comfortable. I was able to get free WiFi from my laptop right in my room â something I didn't expect.
An older Greek woman did all the cooking and cleaning at the hotel and was very friendly. Breakfast was served on the beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the old city. It consisted of bread with ham and cheese, homemade jam, fruits and vegetables, and yogurt. I was young and traveling alone and each morning the server said to me "kalimera pethimu" (good morning my boy). It was like having my grandmother serving me. She also helped carry down my heavy suitcase on the last day â even though I insisted she didn't because I didn't want her to break her back!
The strange thing though was that when I stayed at the beginning of July, the place was almost empty. There was one other family who I had breakfast with staying in one of the larger suites near the main building. I couldn't help but wonder why the place wasn't more full during the high season. Although the place is charming, it had some quirks and maybe if the place were better run, more people would stay there:
-While the hotel room was charming, the pillows were paper thin and the mattresses could have been softer.
-The owners were friendly, but there were many times during the day when no one was at the desk to answer questions.
-While the hotel advertised accepting credit cards, they insisted I pay cash because I was getting a "special price."
I would reccomend this place to people who want a unique experience and are able to laugh at the quirks rather than expect a Hilton."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of July 2007
"Please read the bad reviews carefully. Sotiris Nikolis is a rare breed of businessman who believes in create a unique offering -- but then gouging and trapping the customer into paying more than they expect for it. His philosophy, I feel fairly certain, is "don't bother creating repeat business - most only pass this way once. Get as much as you can from them while they are here." Once, my first time I booked in here ( in the 90's) I had reserved a room in mid-May and sent a deposit. I had to cancel due to a health scare so I called and he said ( gruffly) "Good. I will keep your deposit." I couldn't really fight him, but it is the only time in decades of travel that I have had that happen. Many years later, when we stayed there, we booked a room at a rate of about $110 a night for 3 nights. He gave us a lovely suite and made a big fuss about how we were getting a much nicer room for the money than the one we booked. Of course, when we checked out, that's when the hammer fell- he had charged us 180 a night! He even yelled at us that he knew very well "what we Americans pay for a room in place like NYC and if we can pay it there, why should we expect to pay less here just because it's Greece!?"
(there's a line the marketing group for the tourist board should write down!) My friend whom I travel with is a kind-hearted agreeable sort and I had never ever heard him yell at anyone like this. Sotiris had us where he wanted us. Our cab had been called and the plane would be leaving soon and he had our credit card number!
I honestly thought Marianne was very nice and until the last moment, thought that my previous bad experience with Sotiris might have just been a misunderstanding. After reading the other reviews here, I see now that this is his way of doing business."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of May 2007
Welcome to Greece !
"The Nikolis is a very special Hotel. It is within the Old Town of Rhodes City, a UN Cultural Heritage site. Sotiris Nikolis, the owner has created something very special there, as rules and regulations on building Hotels there are plenty(Archology rules for example). One needs to keep this in mind when considering where to book in Rhodes City. Sotiris will pick you up at the Airport and both of them(he and Marianne)will do whatever they can for you, but it comes with limits. Taxis are not allowed in the Old Town, so you need to walk. The rooms are designed beautifully, but they are small, as it is the case in all Hotels in the Old Town because of the restrictions there. Soritis has created beautiful rooms under those circumstances and it is really like being in Greece. And it comes with Wireless Internet connection ! Service and breakfast are good and again very personal.
So, if you want to enjoy Greece, book it and you will love it. If you want to park your own car directly at the Hotel, book outside the old Town. If you need spacious rooms, better choose Athens. This explains in my eyes the variety of reviews on this Hotel. If you are aware, that you book a room in an old building with a very personal greek service, you will be happy at the Nikolis Hotel. If you expect what you always expect, you might want to choose a more faceless hotel. If want to be in Greece, go to the Nikolis Hotel, though."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of May 2007
A place not to be missed...
"For a unique experience, there is nothing more charming than Nikolis Hotel located inside the walls of the medieval old town of Rhodes. You have your choice of hotel rooms with access to a lovely roof deck, or studio apartments, all tastefully appointed in an artisan-style in keeping with the old town flavor of Rhodes. What sets this hotel apart from others, is the owner/builder's enthusiastic commitment to resurrecting piles of ruined stones into lovely rooms enhanced by authentic arches, beams, doors, and whatever other historic remnants Sotiris Nikolis has managed to salvage.
Sotiris Nikolis is a self-taught stone-mason, builder, iron-worker and all-around artisan. Together with his wife Marianne, who runs the day-to-day operations, they have created a variety of different rooms, all lovely. Each room reflects S. Nikolis' artistic flair and passion for rebuilding old town, with one eye towards preserving history and the other towards the future. They have been adding new rooms and buildings to their hotel for many years now, so while some of the older rooms may have a more bohemian feel, the newer rooms boast gorgeous wood furnishings, contemporary wall treatments, and jacuzzi bathtubs.
This is a wonderful hotel to come back to again and again as my friend and I have. Situated in a beautiful corner of Rhodes old town, not far from the new town, you feel transported from the 21st century back to medieval times. We stayed 11 nights on our most recent visit and toured all of Rhodes by car. We shopped at the fabulous farmer's market and used the kitchen facilities to cook many of our own meals. We got to know Sotiris and Marianne during our stay, and they were both generous with their time and welcoming with their hospitality. They were always willing to engage in conversation, especially about Rhodes and the old town. We were enchanted by this place and would come back again. It is a truly special place."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of March 2007
Rip Off - Be Warned
"My wife and I spent 9 nights at the S.Nikolis apartments in early September and while we enjoyed the old town of Rhodes very much the S.Nikolis Hotel/Apartments was extremely disappointing and exceptionally poor value for money.
From the description and pictures of the hotel on the website we were really looking forward to our stay and at 150 euro per night for the apartment were expecting accommodation of a reasonably high standard. The reality could not have been further from our expectations. On arrival in Rhodes we were picked up at the main port by the Hotelâs owner, who on meeting us for the first time, was extremely rude and unwelcoming. Not wishing to start of on the wrong foot we just ignored it.
The apartment we were given was small, very dirty(the drawers and wardrobe all needed cleaning before we put our clothes away), the bathroom resembled something you would find on a train it was that small and cramped â complete with very visible plumbing, a window which looked out onto a walkway with no curtain or shutter. The whole thing looked like something from the 1960s â dark wood with cream and orange kitchen fittings. There were handles missing from the chest of drawers and wardrobe, old stuff left in kitchen cupboards, broken coat hangers and dead batteries in the TV remote control. We immediately asked for another room with a bigger bathroom, but were told that we would have to wait until the next day. Although we did get a bigger apartment and bathroom it was still dirty and extremely run down.
The accommodation we stayed in did not lend itself to spending time there â we preferred to stay out for as long as possible. We decided that we wanted to move having seen some other small hotels which offered considerably better value for money 50-60 euro per night, but were told that our credit card would be charged 50% of the total cost of our stay! Less then amused we registered our complaints and were offered free breakfast and a slightly reduced rate of 120 euro per night by the owners wife (although this reduction was to be kept a secret from her husband). Not wishing to spoil our holiday we stayed, but do genuinely feel ripped off and cheated by the less than pleasant owners of the S.Nikolis Hotel. On reflection we should have gone to the Tourist Police to get a view. To top it all my wife discovered a large cockroach in the bathroom one evening - perhaps just lucky, but during all our travels we have never encountered cockroaches before. The evening we left we were offered a lift to the airport by the owner - on arrival at the airport he asked for money but requested that I place it in the boot of the car so the licensed taxi's did not see! The hotel does have a prime location and lots of potential, but it is run down, old and dirty and managed by the most unpleasant people I have ever had the misfortune to meet. My wife and I are genuinely surprised to read positive reviews of this place. Paying around Â£100 per night you should expect to receive good quality accommodation, but in our view S.Nikolis Hotel represents exceptionally poor value for money and is not recommended for anyone who does not want to be ripped off and treated appallingly in the process. Stay away - you have been warned."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of November 2006
Beautiful Gem - great location in Old Town
"The S. Nikolis hotel is a lovely gem of a place with friendly owners who do everything they can to make your stay an enjoyable one. When visiting Rhodes it is best to stay in the OId Town as that way you get to see it when it is peaceful - first thing in the morning, and last thing at night - before the hordes descend. S. Nikolis is near one of the gates and sits close to the massive walls - yet its far enough from the nightlife to be completely peaceful. The hotel has rooms overlooking the courtyard and a wonderful rooftop terrace with views over the town for the highly recommended breakfast. We stayed in the Studio Apartments about 100 yards up from the hotel - and found them to be of good standard, as Greek Hotels go. What lifts this hotel into 'Excellent' are the location and the friendly hosts. Highly recommended."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of September 2006
Felt cheated - watch out!
"We had to stay in Rhodes for one day and one night on our way to a nearby island. For such a short stay the old town seemed to make the most sense as it is right next to the port and ferries. This hotel was written up in numerous guides so I called to make a reservation for the end of May. I explained on the phone that I needed a room with two separate beds as we were two women not wanting to sleep in a double bed together. On that basis I was quoted the price of 80 Euros for one night for the room (ie both of us), as I clarified and which corresponded to what was written up in various current guides. This was to include all taxes, fees as well as breakfast as I also clarified. Upon our arrival at the hotel and during the checking in process we were quizzed by a very chatty owner about our life-stories as we both speak Greek, are of Greek ancestry but living in other countries. We were told our room was not ready so we were prompted to leave our luggage and take a walk around town, which we did. We had lunch and returned in the early afternoon to find the door of the 10-room hotel locked and a sign on it saying that a 3-hour "siesta" was being observed (of which we had not been warned in advance). When we returned at 6pm we were given a choice of rooms but suddenly the price had almost doubled to 170 Euros!! I protested but was told that I hadn't "understood" the agreement even though I am fluent in Greek, well aware of the various re-trading practices of the lower-quality Greek hoteliers and cautious in clarifying whether the quoted rate is on a per person or per room basis. This after all was a hotel rated E category in the Greek rating system (where A is the best), it was still low season and the middle of the week. Having travelled around Greece extensively and having stayed at numerous family-run places even the 80Euros for the room seemed to be on the expensive side. So here I was after a long day of sightseing in hot weather with my pregnant and tired friend accompanying me and a ferry ride to catch the next morning at 7.30 am. The alternative we had was to leave for another hotel without having a reservation, to pay what would probably amount to another 30 Euros in taxis to go there and return the next morning for the ferry and waste a tremendous amount of time. So especially given my friends' pregnancy - we stayed. It was pure thievery and we should have involved the tourism police but were just too exhausted to bother. We chose one of the larger rooms (there was no room being made available at the 80Euro rate). It turned out we were the only guests in the entirety of the hotel! (So why hadn't there been any ready rooms?). The building itself had quite a lot of charm and potential. Parts of it truly were ancient. The rooms themselves had the tiniest bathrooms one has ever seen anywhere. Our room had a small terrace overlooking the internal courtyard. The courtyard had potential as well but was ill kept with rotting fruit trees and a putrid smell. Even though we would have liked to sit ther or on the little terrace it was too uncomfortable to do so. There were what looked like mouse droppings on the terrace and our entire room reeked strongly of cockroach-insecticide which gave me a headache and made it hard for me to sleep. The sheets on the beds as well as everything else in the room did not seem clean. The whole place could be nice if it got a good cleaning up and a change in ownership/management. We left the place the next morning having spent an uncomfortable night which wouldn't have been all that much better even if the owners had not cheated us on the price."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of June 2005
The type of hotel one journals about.
"This is truely a wonderful hotel not to be missed. Of all the places my girlfriends and I stayed in the Greek Islands, this was our favorite hotel. The owners, Marianne and Soltari were so warm and hospitable and helped us to learn about and enjoy their wonderul town and surrounding areas. The rooms were all charming, comfortable and well appointed; however, my favorite was the room I stayed in on the first floor with an 800 year old archway and a spacious veranda overlooking the lovely gardens. The breakfast was bountiful and was enjoyed on the rooftop terrace overlooking the town and the sea. If you want to stay in the old town of Rhodes, this is the place you want to stay. Spend a few extra euros. It is definitely worth it!! Debbie"
- Travel date: Mon 7th of June 2004