123 Main Street, New York, NY 10001

Built in 1340
Hotel, Medieval Town, Rhodes

Adults Only, Totally Smoke-Free

La Juderia, the Jewish Quarter

Among the thousands of tourists visiting Rhodes every year, some are not drawn only by the beauties and the archeological sites of the island.

For them it is a homecoming, a pilgrimage to the Juderia, where the Jews of Rhodes lived until they were sent to Auschwitz in 1944.
There has always been a special bond between the “Rhodeslis”.  Wherever they went, they stayed together. Their communities are found in Africa, South America and the US.

Whatever it is that unites them, also drives them to return every year to the island for family functions, events, and memorial services that mark their deportation, or just to be together for a few days.

It is accepted that a Jewish community existed on Rhodes since the first century BCE. They are also mentioned around 650 CE, when the Arabs sold the remains of the Colossus to a Jew (90 camel loads of precious bronze).

In 1170, Benjamin of Tudela on his journey from the Iberian Peninsula to the Holy Land, reports he found a community of 500 Jews in Rhodes. 

See more photos further below.

A number of Jews having to go into exile from Aragon during the 1280 persecutions went to Rhodes, still under Arab rule.

The Knights of the Order of St. John, driven away from the Holy Land landed in Rhodes in 1309.

During the first major Ottoman attack in 1480, the Juderia, the Jewish quarter of the walled city, being near the harbor, was heavily bombarded by the Turks.

The attackers broke through the wall, destroyed most of the Jews’ homes, but were eventually driven by the Knights back to Anatolia.
This was thought to be a miracle.
The Knights therefore built a church in the area and reconstructed the Synagogue, which had been destroyed by the Turks.

Again in 1492, a number of Jews arrived in Rhodes, after their expulsion from Spain .
In 1502, the same Grand Master who had rebuilt the Great Synagogue, ordered all Jews to leave Rhodes in 40 days, unless they converted to Christianity. Most left and settled in Genoa and Salonica.
Rhodes suffered the second Ottoman attack in 1522. This time the Turks, under Suleiman the Magnificent, expelled the Knights and conquered the island. 

The number of Jews in the walled city had grown by the slaves brought here by the knights (almost 1.000) and the Sephardim that arrived from Constantinople and Salonika because of the sultan’s incentives. The Ladino language and the Sephardic customs arrived with them and were used until 1944.

Greeks were forced by the Turks to abandon their homes in the walled city, while Jews were allowed to remain in the Juderia, have their own schools and court of justice.

However, most Jewish families were poor, with only few being well off.
Around 1890 some desperate and daring ones started leaving to continents and countries promising a better future for themselves and their families.
One or more men from a family would leave first. Women and children would follow.
In 1912 Rhodes was occupied by the Italians, as a result of a war with Turkey and the Treaty of Lausanne.
For a while, everything was fine for the 4.500 Jews of Rhodes. Their number was actually increased by Jews who moved here from Italy.

Things changed in 1936, when Cesare Maria De Vecchi (Conte di Val Cismon, as he liked to be addressed) became Governor. Jews, Orthodox and Muslims were stripped from whatever rights they had.
The Jewish cemetery was moved from where it had been for hundreds of years and 100 marble tombstones were taken by the fascist Count to be used for the building of his mansion in Italy. 
He prohibited kosher slaughtering, closed the rabbinical seminary founded in 1928, he even forced Jewish shopkeepers to keep their shops open on Saturdays and holy days.
He also ordered all Jews who had obtained Italian citizenship after 1919 to leave Rhodes within six months.
Those who left didn’t know they were actually escaping death.
Towards the end of World War Two, because of the racial laws and poverty, most young men had gone. It was mostly women, children and the elderly that were still here.
The Italians surrendered in 1943 and Rhodes was taken over by the Germans. Early in 1944, 34 Jews were killed in bombings by the Royal Air Force.
 
On July 19 of the same year, the German authorities ordered all Jewish males older than 16 to report for work. Women and children were “allowed” to join them the next day, bringing with them their jewels and money.
They were all kept in the building of the Italian Air Force Headquarters (now Tourist School) until July 23.

On that day, 1.600 men, women and children were taken to the harbor and put into three barely afloat cargo boats.
They had been told they were being taken to a “nearby island”.
The Turkish consul Selahattin Ülkümen heroically saved 40 of them.
Threatening with a diplomatic episode, he demanded by the German commanding officer General Kleeman not to deport those who had Turkish documents and their families.
  Ülkümen’s arrogance was not left unpunished by the Germans: soon after, his house was bombed and his pregnant wife was killed in the ruins. The news caused her mother’s suicide.
Ülkümen was taken to Greece, where he was kept by the Nazis until the end of the war.
 
The 2.000-year old community had come to its end.
When, after 8 days, the boats reached Piraeus, their “cargo” was loaded onto trains. After 13 terrible days, the ones still alive were in Auschwitz.
One thousand two hundred of them were gassed immediately.

 A total of 30 men and 120 women lived to be freed at the end of the war. They went to relatives in Europe, Africa and America. Some went to Palestine.

The community in Rhodes was never restored.
After the unification of Rhodes with Greece in 1948, some Jews came from the mainland. Approximately 30 of them have settled and live here now. 

The main square of the Juderia was named by the local Greek authorities “Square of the Jewish Martyrs”.

The Kahal Kadosh Shalom synagogue was built in 1577 and is the only remaining one. The names of those lost in the Holocaust can be seen on a plaque near its entrance.
The synagogue and the museum next to it are open during the Summer months every day (except Saturdays).

Specialized researchers and guides help visitors better understand the community’s turbulant past, and descendants locate their families’ homes and graves.

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ORHAN’s Useful Details

Please contact us about anything you with to ask or have clarified.

ORHAN is 52 sq.m. (560 sq.f.) and can accommodate up to 4 guests.

It is on the ground floor of the hotel and has two levels (only one step leading to the bathroom).

ACCESSIBILITY. The suite can be used be guests with mobility issues. The floor of the shower cabin is an extension of the bathroom floor. The one step leading to the bathroom is turned into a ramp and handrails are installed when necessary.

Two individually regulated A/C units (hot & cold) are in the bedroom and the sitting room.

ORHAN has a total of 6 windows. In addition to its main door it also has two doors leading to the garden.
They are all thermally insulated, soundproof and have shutters to block sunlight. 

Celling height

(sitting room):320 cm (126 in)
(bedroom):320 cm (126 in)
(bathroom):240 cm  (95 in)

BEDDING

  • King Double Bed (bedroom):  180×200×28 cm (71×79×11 in).

  • Twin Single Beds:   90×200×28 cm (35,5×79×11 in).
    The king size bed can be converted to twin single beds.
    They have separate mattresses and linen. However there is no distance between them, as they share the same King bed base.
  • Single Bed: 90×200×28 cm (35,5×79×11 in).
    The couch in the sitting room can be converted to a Single Bed with the above dimentions.

 – Bottom & top matresses: orthosomatic Coco-Mat.

 – Pillows: Coco-Mat “all natural” (see out Pillow Menu further below).

 – Bed linen: Frette, pure cotton.

Realizing our direct impact on the environment and our community, our choice is to work for a “Good for All” presence.

We therefore:

  • Employ, purchase, donate and invest locally
  • Finance and otherwise undertake the preservation of historical buildings
  • Volunteer repairs, maintenance and cleaning of parks and public areas
  • Promote local history, culture, products and cuisine
  • Highlight “hidden gems”, lesser known attractions, alternative activities
  • Do our best to raise the quality of tourism and relevant services in the region
  • Recommend worthy restaurants, shops, artisans and businesses
    Point out the ones to be avoided because of poor quality and business practices
  • Infuse a sense of pride, participation and partnership into people we work with
    Happily exchange knowledge and experience with everyone interested
    Find second homes for our replaced items (e.g. bed linen, towels, furniture, appliances, computers)

Our own solar systems cover 45% of our energy needs

They provide hot water and generate electric power for storage

Stored energy is used forlighting in public areas, water purification and in power cuts

LED light bulbs are installed in all indoor and outdoor lights

Energy efficient equipment is used to the extent possible

Sensors and timers regulate lighting and air conditioning in public areas

  • Air conditioners and most lights are automatically switched off when guests are not in rooms
  • Walls, roofs, floors and hot water tubing are thermally insulated
  • All windows and glass doors are double glazed and have wooden shutters
    Bicycles are exclusively used for carrying persons, goods and luggage in the Old Town Eco-friendly cars cover our transportation needs outside the walled city

Transport millage is reduced by purchasing from local suppliers

  • Water for housekeeping and for use in the suites is decalcified, after being filtered in 4 stages
  • A constantly replenished amount is hygienically stored for the event of a shortage
  • Drinking and cooking water is used immediately after being multi-filtered and UV purified
  • Waste is minimized:
    • Part of the used tap water is filtered, purified and reused for irrigation & outdoors’ washing
    • Aerators, auto-timed drip irrigation and fountain recirculation pumps are used
  •  

Our approach is to actively manage and reduce ourwaste by:

  • Usingless, reusing, repurposing, refilling and recycling to the extent possible
  • Salvaging and giving a second life to all kinds of items and materials
  • Purchasing recycled, recyclable, natural, biodegradable and compostable materials to the extent possible
  • Having a system for filling reusable containers with purified drinking water:
    • Sanitized glass bottles are filled for use in the hotel and
    • New, unused aluminum canisters are offered gratis to guests for when not in the hotel
  • Distributing excess food daily to those who need it

It has been said that, when it comes to food, “we have an appetite forgiving”.

However, our approach includes much more:

  • Local, fresh and (when possible) organic products are bought daily
  • Our sources are producers and suppliers we personally know and often visit
  • They all practice sustainable and responsible production and business practices
  • We grow our own herbs, herbal teas, aromatic plants and a small part of the fruit we use
    Everything we serve is lovingly prepared in our kitchen “No Wasted Food” is a key part of our ecological and social behavior
    Everything is purchased, stored and prepared wisely
    Excess food is put to good use: it is daily distributed to those who need it
    The rest is composted and used in fertilizing our gardens

In our efforts to drastically reduce the use of plastic

  • Refillable dispensers are in our suites’ bathrooms for soap, shampoo and hair products
  • Detergents and cleaning liquids are bought in bulk containers
  • Drinking water is purified and offered in glass, refillable, sanitized bottles
  • Brand-new aluminum water canisters are complimentary for guests to take with them
  • Natural, sustainable materials are used instead of plastic, whenever possible Biodegradable, reusable and recyclable plastics are chosen when necessary
  • Nylon bags brought with our supplies are reused and eventually recycled

We keep our gardens and terraces simple, natural and sustainable. In their limited space, we are proud to

  • Grow native herbal teas, aromatic plants, spices and flowers
    Look after our 300-year-old mulberry tree, our olive, bitter orange and othertrees
    Encourage the presence of bees and butterflies
    Choose plants that need little or no watering
  • Use compost, naturalfertilizers and invasive insect repellants
  • Avoid chemicals and pesticides
  • Reuse filtered tap water for our auto-timed drip irrigation system
  • Have cisterns and recirculation pumps for our fountains

When building, restoring, furnishing and decorating we are driven by our

  • Respect for our building’s past of 700 years
    Sense of responsibility towards local architecture, history and culture,
    Awareness of our Greek and multicultural heritage
  • Ecologically and socially caring approach
  • Defiance of all kinds of decoration clichés and “styles”
  • Admiration for time-proven, traditional techniques
  • Extensive use of “old school” materials such as lime, pumice, bees wax, linseed oil
  • Appreciation of modern, innovative ones
  • Reuse of salvaged timber, steel, stones, marble and other materials,
  • Repurposing of old furniture, architectural elements, lights, odd items
  • “Fix it, don’tthrow it” attitude
  • Continuous learning and share everything we know
    Dedication in making our impact as positive as possible

DRIVE A RENTAL CAR

We encourage all our guests to rent cars as the best and easiest way to enjoy more of what Rhodes has to offer.

BUT, we also let them know that:
    • Picking a car up at the port or the airport and driving to the hotel is unnecessary and can be frustrating.
    • However, dropping a car off at the airport at the end of your stay may be a very good idea.

Some of the reasons are:
    • Almost none of our guests use a car on their first (or even second) day in Rhodes. They prefer to explore the Medieval Town before visiting other places of the island.
    • When you firstly arrive, driving to the Old Town and finding the right Gate may be challenging. Everything is much easier and familiar the second day.
    • Driving your car into the Medieval Town is not allowed. All rented cars need to be parked outside, near St. John’s Gate.
    • We are not allowed to offer luggage or persons’ transfer from any of the Gates to the Hotel. 
    • If your departure is in the afternoon or evening, you can put your luggage in the car after checking out, go to places you have saved for the last day, and drop the car off at the port or airport. Your last day will be much more interesting and you will save the cost of a taxi transfer to the airport.

As soon as you decide that it is time to rent a car, we can ask a company of your choice to bring one at St. John’s gate, where you can also drop it off.

IMPORTANT: See our MAP about where NOT TO PARK every Wednesday night.
On Thursdays there is a Farmers’ Market in the little square near the Gate.

 

PRE-BOOKED PICKUP

A taxi licensed to drive in the Old Town is the best way for your arrival transfer:
An English-speaking driver will be waiting at the Arrivals Area with your name on a sign.
In 30 minutes from the airport, or 7 min from the port, you and your luggage will be brought to our doorstep (instead of being dropped off or having to park outside the walled city).
 
NOTE: This kind of transfer can also be from or to any other location on Rhodes Island.
 

The error-free way to arrange your transfer:

  • CONTACT CHRISTOS DIRECTLY between now and 36 hours before your arrival.

Information, details, last-minute changes will be accurately & immediately communicated.

He is a taxi owner-driver who leads a group of excellent colleagues.

Email: christosefs@gmail.com      Mobile: +30 6946103929
 
Information he needs from you:
  • Name (as per your reservation with us)
  • Mobile phone number
  • Flight number (or name of ferry)
  • Origin
  • Estimated time of arrival
  • Number of passengers
Your cost€42 per taxi (from the airport) or €17 (from the port).
For locations other than the Airport or Port, please ask Christos for cost.
 
NOTE: Taxis are Mercedes sedans.
They can take up to four adult passengers and a reasonable volume of luggage.

If one taxi is not enough for your party, you may need to book two taxis or a minibus. Christos will let you know.

ALTERNATIVESCLICK HERE & HERE for details, directions, and PROS & CONS you should know.
  • TAXIS from the airport’s or port’s taxi rank (not licensed to drive in the Medieval Town)
  • DRIVING a rented car to St. John’s Gate (120 m from the Hotel)..

ANY TAXI

SECOND BEST WAY:  A TAXI found at the airport’s or port’s taxi rank.

They charge much less than the pre-booked taxis with a Medieval Town license:
€29 (from the airport) or €12 (from the port), paid in cash to the driver.

However:
       • You will be dropped off outside the Old Town (approx. 120m from the hotel).
       • Queuing and/or waiting may be required (depending on the day and time).

KATINA’s Useful Details

Please contact us about anything you with to ask or have clarified.

KATINA is 52 sq.m. (560 sq.f.) and can accommodate up to 3 guests.

It is on the first floor (18 steps with handrail, no elevator) and has two levels (2 steps with a handrail).
The suite’s bathroom is on the lower level.

Its open-plan sleeping and sitting areas are separated by a decorative, thick curtain.
A glass door leads from the bedroom to the bathroom.

The suite has  a total of 7 windows. They are thermally insulated, soundproof and have shutters to block sunlight.

Two individually regulated A/C units (hot & cold) are in the bedroom and the sitting room.

Celling height

(sitting room):320 cm (126 in)
(bedroom):320 cm (126 in)
(bathroom):300 cm (118 in)

BEDDING

  • King Double Bed (bedroom):  180×200×28 cm (71×79×11 in).

     

  • Twin Single Beds:   90×200×28 cm (35,5×79×11 in).
    The king size bed can be converted to twin single beds.
    They have separate mattresses and linen. However there is no distance between them, as they share the same King bed base.
  • Single Bed: 90×200×28 cm (35,5×79×11 in).
    The couch in the sitting room can be converted to a Single Bed with the above dimentions.

 – Bottom & top matresses: orthosomatic Coco-Mat.

 – Pillows: Coco-Mat “all natural” (see out Pillow Menu further below).

 – Bed linen: Frette, pure cotton.

MICHALIS’ Useful Details

Please contact us about anything you with to ask or have clarified.

MICHALIS is 37 sq.m. (121 sq.f.) and has a garden of 47 sq.m. (155 sq.f.). It can accommodate 2 guests.

It is on the ground floor of the hotel.
Its garden has two levels, with two steps leading to the upper level.
Using the plunge pool requires ascending and descending a total of five steps with handrail.

MICHALIS has one room, with a glass door separating it from the bathroom.

The suite has one window, one skylight, one glass door leading to the garden and one wooden door leading to the hotel’s ground floor.
They are thermally insulated and sound-proof.

The skylight has a shutter. The window and the door to the garden have sunblocking curtains.

MICHALIS features a central airconditioning system.

Celling height

  
(bedroom):350 cm (138 in)
(bathroom):270 cm (106 in)

BEDDING

  • King Double Bed :  180×200×28 cm (71×79×11 in).

  • Twin Single Beds:   90×200×28 cm (35,5×79×11 in).
    The king size bed can be converted to twin single beds.
    They have separate mattresses and linen. However there is no distance between them, as they share the same King bed base.


 – Bottom & top matresses: orthosomatic Coco-Mat.

 – Pillows: Coco-Mat “all natural” (see out Pillow Menu further below).

 – Bed linen: Frette, pure cotton.

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