Casa Cook Rhodes opened a year ago as the first Greek hotel by Thomas Cook, a tour operator based in Britain. With the rugged Tsambika Mountain as its backdrop, the 95-room bohemian resort for adults only has a minimalist, contemporary style. A garden with bright flowers, fruits and vegetables is outside of the guest rooms. We were greeted with glasses of lemonade when we arrived.
The hotel is in the low-profile resort area of Kolymbia in the southern part of Rhodes, about a 30-minute car ride from Rhodes International Airport, on a quiet road with little tourist traffic. Kolymbia Beach is a 15-minute walk from the hotel.
We were pleasantly surprised with an unexpected upgrade: the top-tier, split-level suite with a veranda, which we were taken to by golf cart. The suite was a five-minute walk from the lobby, a bit of a hike even for this native New Yorker. It was furnished in earth tones with a large gray couch, hammocks, wicker lamp shades and wooden stools. We were advised in a note that the poncholike towels hanging on the walls were purely decorative. (Much of the furniture was available for purchase at a showroom in the lobby area.) The suite, with its cool-to-the-touch stone walls and recessed ceiling lights in the living room area, had the feel of a tastefully decorated cave. The suite’s back door opened to a private terrace and a large shallow pool that is shared among the suites.
The abundance of natural beauty was a compelling reason to spend time outdoors, made even more so by the poor TV reception of mostly German channels.
There was no door separating the bedroom from this spacious area. Glass doors did open to both the toilet and rain shower areas, which were on opposite sides of the space. Toiletries from Korres and Savil were supplied, as were charcoal gray towels and cotton slippers. Oddly, tissue boxes were absent.
Waiting in our suite was a small complimentary bottle of tsipouro (a Greek brandy), along with bar snacks including dates and nuts. However, the bottled water came with a fee. The resort lends vintagelike Electra white bikes to guests. In addition to the pool by the suites, there is a communal pool outside the restaurant and bar. Near this pool is a well-equipped, 24-hour fitness center with a separate room for yoga classes.
The hotel’s upscale restaurant, the Kitchen Club, serves contemporary cuisine and features an updated menu with more traditional Greek dishes. I found dinner a bit uneven. The bread, typically a warm and soft staple in Greek meals, was cold, stiff and dripping in oil. The steak was cooked to our liking, though, with generous portions. The octopus was well seasoned and served with lemon and fennel. The complimentary buffet-style breakfast was less fancy but tasty. Options included an omelet station, fresh and dried fruits, and cheeses and bacon. There was also Greek yogurt and scrumptious cold quinoa porridge with coconut milk.