Family holidays in Cyprus, reviewing hotels visited and places on the island in general.
by lak11 on October 27, 2010
I have spent my last three holidays on the lovely island of Cyprus and have been tempted back again this year for the fourth time. I have now visited several places around the Mediterranean and like them all but, for a family holiday with mixed ages, I find Cyprusis a great place to go. Of course, It really depends upon what you require from a holiday but Cyprus resorts are quite varied. If you are a twenty something then you might like Ayia Napa with it's many clubs and very upbeat atmosphere. Paphos on the west of the island is lovely but the beaches are better in Protaras. You could try Limassol or Nissi Bay- really on this large island you're spoilt for choice. Before going to Cyprus the first time I did my research. It takes a lot of saving to afford a holiday for four so I always look into countries, resorts and hotels and try to read between the lines. In our party were two adults (myself and my husband) and my youngest children who were fifteen and seventeen at the time. I was looking for somewhere lively but without lager louts, and somewhere that felt safe for my teenagers. I also wanted there to be some British around so that they might find it easier to make friends quickly. And, very importantly for me, I wanted to be near a beach. The resort of Protaras seemed to tick most boxes. The Protaras coastline extends for about 5km. It is on the east of the island and is around 5 miles from Ayia Napa. Buses are really easy to travel on in Cyprus and they're cheap. Taxis are reasonable too but I would suggest you agree a price with the driver first as they do tend to try it on with tourists. So, from Protaras you can easily visit other parts of the island. The water park in Ayia Napa is fantastic. Bear in mind though that this is a large island and, realistically you would not be able to travel around most of it in two weeks. Protaras became a popular tourist resort in the 1980s. It isn't residential but has numerous hotels, many offering all inclusive board, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. It has a MacDonalds but I don't find this a selling point although my daughter visited a couple of times.The long main road runs parallel to the beach and many smaller roads run off of this and lead down to the beaches. The night life is busy and friendly. Full of atmosphere We visited quite a few bars. It isn't particularly cheap but they are competitive and offer many deals such as two drinks (large!) for one and happy hours. This resort has only two or three nightclubs, one of which (Boogies) my son visited. This suited us as we wanted things to do in a family resort which wasn't overrun with clubs. We didn't witness any lager louts, any drunks rolling around, and no fights. I felt the area was safe. The restaurant, shop and bar owners are generally friendly. Many will have relatives living in Britain and will have visited the U.k. themselves. English is understood and spoken by most Cypriots. I found this the most Brit friendly place I've visited. The beaches are mainly of golden sand. At some you will require beach shoes as it may be rocky or stony to enter the sea but, once in it's beautiful. Water sports abound. My two sampled many of these. It is worth bargaining to get a better deal. Also, you can often go on the speedboat for free as a spectator, which myself and my husband did when my two went para sailing. This is great if you have a camcorder. From the beaches you can join the various boat trips. You can go scuba diving as there are great caves to explore along the coast. Many boat trips will take you to see the town of Varosha (from a distance-you look through binoculars) which is like a ghost town. This place was deserted in 1974 following the Turkish invasion and has stayed as it was, suspended in time when the inhabitants beat a hasty retreat leaving possessions as they were. Tablecloths and crockery on tables in restaurants.Probably most popular out of the beaches is the picturesque Fig Tree Bay which can get quite crowded in the summer season. Green Bay is not as commercialised and great for swimming. Konnos Beach is worth a visit. If you prefer facilities and lifeguards then I would recommend Protaras Bay, which is where we mostly went. It's a blue flag beach and although fairly crowded we always found a spot. It consists of a long strip of yellow sand. The sea is glorious! This beach has easy access. Pernera Beach also has facilities and lifeguards. Cyprus has minimal rainfall and if you visit during July or August you would be unlikely to see a raindrop. Many Cypriots complained about the weather, saying they would love rain and also, would love to see snow! Well, I wouldn't want to work in the unrelenting heat, and most of them appear to work VERY hard so that we enjoy our holiday. The temperature in August will soar above 30o C. In fact we have been there twice during a heatwave and it is extremely hot. Although it's lovely for us British to have one or two weeks of continuous sunshine I did find it too hot to do much in the way of sight seeing. If you want to trot from pool to sun bed to sea then you'll love it. It's wonderful for a 'chill out' holiday. So to summarise the resort of Protaras: For me it has everything for my family. I love the friendliness of the people. I think the Cypriots have got the holiday business down to a fine art. I particularly like the safe feeling I got here. My children both made friends from the start of the holiday and were able to walk around the town of Protaras with their friends without any hassles at all. We all adored our holiday and didn't want to leave. This is a great resort for a family holiday.
by lak11 on October 25, 2010
The tickets have arrived. I can't wait. Two weeks all inclusive on the lovely Mediterranean island of Cyprus where one is practically guaranteed sunshine in the summer months. Five of us are going. Myself, my husband and our daughter, our twenty year old son and his girlfriend. Most of us lead busy lives and need a holiday to relax or to do things we normally wouldn’t be able to. And some cope better than others with busy times but I find that I become stressed and need a little time to ponder, to plan and think ahead. I get quite stressed when too much is going on BUT, then again, I always need something to look forward to or I tend to become a bit depressed. I take as much time as I can spare to plan and research my holiday. To me, having a holiday to look forward to keeps me going. I love the planning and the holiday shopping. My daughter wants to be a West End singer in musicals and she is busy entering competitions and shows. Of course that keeps us busy as we have to drive her around and we like to watch the shows. Then her stage school's vocal group, 'Step Up choir' made it to the live finals of channel 5's, 'Don't Stop Believing' and we discovered that if they made it to the final it would mean her missing the start of our holiday and having to fly out to Cyprus alone. Or I would have to miss the first few days of my holiday and travel with her, cutting short my holiday and incurring extra expense. Anyway, to cut a long story a little shorter, they didn't get through to the final, although critics seem to think they should have. I am relieved and know the experience was good but...yippee!..My holiday plans can now go ahead! However for most of the year things get extremely busy and so it’s great when things quieten down for a few weeks and we can fit in a holiday. A few years ago we used to have another weeks holiday in October, when we would explore more of the country we visited, as it's not so hot then, and also we would have a couple of weekends away in this country. Nothing costly, but a welcome break. Now though, along with much of the country, we can't afford this and it could be the only holiday we have this year. Because of this I plan to make the most of it! So the promise of two weeks of sunshine and laziness looms ahead. I booked with Direct Holidays, which is Thomas Cooke's discounted holiday store. The flight is due to take off at seven a.m. so hopefully, we'll arrive in the afternoon, at The Sentido Pafian Sun, with time to unpack and have a swim and a look around. This will be our fourth trip to Cyprus but we haven't stayed at this hotel/complex before. I chose this one as it offered studios and apartments at a reasonable price. We have an apartment booked with a bedroom and an extra bed in the lounge/kitchen area for my daughter. My son and his girlfriend have a studio with lounge/kitchenette. I don't think we'll be particularly adventurous as it's extremely hot in Cyprus in August. I expect this to be very much a, 'chill out' holiday. I am anticipating lazy days by the pool, watching the more energetic type play their water polo and volleyball. While they do this I'll sip cold drinks of pineapple or orange juice. I might play a game or two of table tennis and French Boules if I get bored. Or I’ll attempt to read a novel.When we went on holiday last year we were awaiting my daughter's GCSE results on our return. She was, being that type, very worried about not getting the results she needed. She got great results and was shocked, but this year she will get her A/S level results before we go so hopefully she can have a stress free holiday and celebrate. I have faith in her even, if she doesn't. And my son and his girlfriend have found this year at university hard going, financially and with the weeks of placements near to their Kent University and further weeks of placement in Cornwall. They enjoyed Cornwall but arranging it and budgeting for fares and accommodation wasn’t easy. I think they are very much looking forward to their two weeks in the sun.I consider my children to be good friends and very supportive of each other, but am hoping they manage to remember this for the two weeks duration of our holiday and their, now unusual close proximity, as one has moved out to attend university. I want stress free not hassle! And when, in the late afternoon, early evening, the pool begins to empty and things quieten down, I'll have a cocktail, maybe a Tequilla Sunrise, while we giggle over the names from the menu, such as, probably the most mentioned cocktail, 'sex on the beach' and I'll sip as I watch the sun begin to set. We'll probably have a day at the ‘Aphrodite Water Park’ in Paphos. I expect the others to get the most out of this, as I think for me it will be a case of a few rides on the lazy river and a bob in the wave machine. I'll buy a large rubber ring for the pool at the hotel, Not large because I’m that large, but I want to be comfortable! And I'll float around the pool in that and will probably try it out in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea. I'm hoping that we will find it cool enough on some evenings to visit the harbour at Paphos, travelling by local bus. The bus service is good in Cyprus and the fare is 1.50 Euros wherever you go. Last year we had a couple of lovely meals sitting by the harbour, watching the lights from the boats reflected in the inky blue, night time, Mediterranean Sea. I remember, last year, talking to a Cypriot proprietress of a restaurant who wanted to visit England and see snow! I think by reading this you can tell how much my holiday means to me.
LEDRA BEACH HOTEL, PAPHOS, CYPRUSHotel Iberostar Ledra Beach is a wonderful four star hotel located on the beach front in Paphos, CyprusRECEPTION/LOUNGE AREA My husband, I and our sixteen year old daughter arrived here one August afternoon. On arrival at the 24 hour reception we were served with an ice cold soft drink as we checked in. This was welcome, as we were travel weary and thirsty. The check in service was speedy and efficient. We were informed that our room would be ready in about ten minutes so to take a seat in the air conditioned reception area/bar. The porter/bellboy took the luggage to our rooms.Gazing around and I was astounded by the spectacular view from here. Through the glass frontage palm trees and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea spread out on the horizon.ROOMOur room was soon ready, a sea view with two large single beds and a smaller single bed and tea/coffee making facilities, television, safe at an extra charge, mini bar/fridge. This was stocked, free of charge to A/I guests. Throughout our stay it was replenished every other day with soft drinks and water.White towelling bathrobes were supplied and towels, folded swan designs. Two large single beds, pushed together were comfortable but the single bed wasn't as good. This room for two would have been lovely but for three it was a bit cramped. Storage wasn't great. Although the room was adequate a little refurbishment would mean this hotel would be near to reaching perfect status. Rooms were as good as any I have stayed in in Cyprus but the rest of the hotel was of a higher standard than the rooms. BATHROOMThe shower wasn't powerful but provided a decent shower. A hair-dryer was fixed to the wall, which worked well. Toiletries were provided-tissues, shower gel, hand wash, shampoo and tissues. The room was kept clean, sheets being changed every few days and towels daily. The air conditioning worked efficiently. We requested extra clothes hangers and pillows and these arrived quickly. Throughout the stay if we needed anything in the room, this was seen to speedily. POOL AREAWe changed into swimming gear and found our way to the poolside. As it was late afternoon we managed to find a sunbeds. Usually you would have to get up early to secure these; about seven a.m. Beds can be found after this on the grassy area leading to the beach or on the beach. Sunbeds were comfortable and parasols were available. The pool looked inviting and on entering we found it as warm as a bath. The main pool is lovely. It’s quite large and deep. Children use this pool but tend to stay around the large stepped area if not competent swimmers. Games took place around, and in, this pool during the daytime. There’s a small adults pool, children's pool and an indoor pool. Snacks/ DrinksAfter a quick dip we had a snack. The choice of meals/snacks is good. Help yourself to jacket potatoes with various fillings e.g. cheese, tuna chilli con carne, various delicious pizzas, salads, daily choices of things such as mini pasties, chicken, fish, burgers etc. you could choose to go inside to the restaurant, if decently attired, for lunch, and help yourself to a three/four course meal. From about ten o'clock a.m. snacks are available. One could choose to have a snack and eat by the pool using paper plates. Then a leisurely drink at the beach bar. This is glorious. Sea breeze, friendly bar staff and good choice of cocktails, spirits/soft drinks. You can serve yourself from the drinks dispenser with soft drinks. The A/I lager was the local Keo and Holsten. BEACHThe beach is quite small and sandy but, be warned, you'll want beach shoes on when getting into the sea. There are beaches and coves all along this area where you can choose a better spot. Some of these bays (within walking distance) were almost empty. The sea is warm, as Cyprus in August is extremely hot. A good choice of water sports is available. It's always worth haggling for a good price. My daughter and husband participated in a water sports and I went as a passenger in the speedboat. This provides a great opportunity to take photos and is enormous fun. MAIN RESTAURANT I wouldn't say it’s particularly 'posh' at this hotel with attire ranging from casual to ‘dressy’, but men are required to wear long trousers for dinner, and to cover up bare chests whilst eating in the restaurants at lunch time. I think this makes for a better ambience.On entering the restaurant you can find your own table but if you hesitate, a waiter or waitress will soon find, or prepare one for you. Wines aren't great but adequate. One serves oneself from dispensers and there’s a good choice of soft drinks. These are of good quality.Soups are lovely and usually suitable for vegetarians. There’s a good salad selection, and vegetarian corner, carvery and show cooking. The main buffet has a fish, meats and vegetables. Desserts are varied; delicious Cypriot cakes, jellies, fruit, cheese and biscuitsI would say the food was good as was the choice. Better than other places I've been to but I always find all inclusive gets a bit 'samey' during the second week. ENTERTAINMENTEvening entertainment takes place in an outdoor theatre. I would have preferred tables and chairs rather than stone benches. It was awkward not having a table for drinks. A minute from here is the beach bar where drinks are available in plastic glasses to take to the theatre, if you wish. (Inside the hotel drinks are served in proper glasses. The evening starts with the kid’s club disco, followed by bingo, which is hilarious. Then the show which, if it’s the animators, is also very funny. They’re an incredibly talented crew. Sometimes the entertainment consists of an outside act. Entertainment ends around 11.30 p.m. when people drift to the beach bar or upstairs to the cocktail lounge. A/I drinks continues until midnight. The animators, led by Danny, Are the best I've come across, being funny, friendly, hardworking, professional, and careful to act properly around teenagers. I often find animators/reps 'act up' and sometimes encourage flirty behaviour from youngsters, but here they’ve got it just right. I was very impressed. They invite everyone to join in with games, such as beach volleyball, pool games etc but always take no for an answer. They mingle with all guest not just large groups.FACILITIESIt has a hairdressing/ beauty salon, small gym, games area, children's pool, indoor pool, small adults’ pool, main pool. Various bars, all A/I. Facilities are excellent and I could go on remembering more but hope in this review that I've conveyed what a lovely place this is and that it really is worth a visit. DISABLED GUESTSBefore booking I would suggest checking with the hotel and travel company, but I believe this hotel wouldn't be too bad for those with mobility difficulties. It has lifts and most of the grounds are paved. Some of the street area on the front of the hotel is uneven but much of the rear of the hotel, and along the beach is a pathway that was being extended. Please check first to ensure this is a good choice if you have any special needs or requirements. ALL INCLUSIVEThe A/I option at this hotel is excellent. Drinks and food were of good quality. There was no need to queue.LOCATIONThis hotel is in a lovely location on the beach and has a few shops and bars nearby. Not in the liveliest location. If you want action best go nearer to the bustling harbour area. An evening out is best spent at Paphos harbour. This is a long walk for me in the August heat but hubby managed the walk twice, or a short bus, or taxi ride. Buses and taxis are easy to get. Discuss price of a taxi ride before you get in. Harbour side restaurants are exquisite. They vie for your custom, offering discounts or free wine.The Aphrodite water park is near to the hotel and worth visiting.Transfer times from the airport at Paphos will be from around thirty minutes to one hour depending on other drop offs/pick-ups.HOLIDAY OVERALLI can't stress enough how lovely this hotel is. Although the rooms were a little jaded this hotel still has a luxurious feel to, owing to the fabulous standard of service and politeness of staff. This was true throughout the hotel from cleaning/maintenance staff, animators, waiters/waitresses and reception clerks. Service was the best that I’ve come across in a Mediterranean hotel. It’s a good hotel for weddings, couples, families with children, or young teenagers. It's fun but never rowdy, or not during our stay. I got the impression that if anyone was likely to cause trouble the hotel staff would quickly deal with this.
I have holidayed twice at the Odessa, but the second time I didn’t find it twice as nice! We were here, both occasions, for two weeks on an All-inclusive basis. Our party was made up of, me, my husband and our two teenagers aged fourteen and seventeen.I chose the Odessa hotel after much research. Cyprus generally seems a good place for British holiday makers.If travelling to Protaras area, you are best served by Larnaka AirportTRANSFER TO HOTELAbout an hour and a half was spent on the coach from the airport but it was comfortably air conditioned, and we sat back enjoying our first taste of this island.CHECK IN/RECEPTIONThe reception area is well manned and efficient. We were fitted with all-inclusive wrist bands and given instructions as to dining times etc. Our cases were taken to our rooms by a porter. The rooms were on the second floor and could be reached by lift.DISABLED GUESTSThe hotel has three lifts but there probably are easier hotels for those in wheelchairs. Access to the beach would not be the best, or to the main strip as there is an incline which might prove difficult to push a chair up, especially in the heat. Some hotels in this location are built on more level ground with easier access to the beach. I would advise seeking expert advice.ROOMSThe wardrobe was quite large but why don’t they give more drawers, shelving, or even hooks? The rooms were carpeted. Bathroom and balcony floors are mopped every day and beds made, towels and sheets regularly changed, surfaces wiped, in a fashion but, the maids seem to ignore the dusting! However, I will say that the maids here worked exceptionally hard, were friendly and a, ‘kalimera’ was always forthcoming. We had two beds, large singles, pushed together. These were fairly comfortable. When a third bed is in these rooms it is often a camp bed, not comfortable and space is limited. On the first occasion we had side sea -view rooms, which gave a good view of the sea when actually out on the balcony. The following year I requested a full sea view room and this was marvellous. The room had a small table and chairs but I would rather have the extra space. Bedside lamps, one large wardrobe, drawer space, television, fridge, safe, tea making facilities were in this room. Bottled water could be got at the hotels bars (free for all A/I) and kept in the fridge. The air conditioning worked well. BathroomThe Bathroom was a good size with over bath shower. The basin was set in a work surface, providing plenty of storage space. Toiletries and a welcome pack were provided. Maid service was good. Towels were changed when required. A hairdryer was supplied.POOL AREAThis area needed some maintenance as tiles missing from the pool and the grilling around it was broken in places. The shaped pool was warm but too small for the amount of guests. SUNBEDSThese weren’t in good enough supply and one had to get up early to secure, before seven a.m. There were some beds available around the grassed areas. The pool bar supplied Carlsberg, Keo, spirits, cocktails (international spirits could be paid for). The service in all bars was efficient. Drinks were served at your table in the evening or you could queue at the bar. Drinks in outside areas were served in rigid plastic cups.Around the bar was an area with tables, chairs, parasols, providing a cooler area. RESTAURANTNear to the pool area was the lunchtime restaurant where you could lunch and help yourself to a three/four course meal. No swimwear permitted inside.Alternatively one could remain outside and be waited upon either before or after lunch, seated at tables with overhead ceiling fans. The food was quite good, offering snacks such as toasted sandwiches, jacket potatoes with fillings, omelettes, salad, chips or spaghetti Napolitano, or Bolognese. The menu was very good. MAIN RESTAURANTThis was uncomfortably hot. Your order for drinks was taken and you were free to serve yourself to food. For meat eaters the selection of meats was good. They should have more options for vegetarians. The fish was good, often serving sea bass, swordfish and fried battered fish. FACILITIESTennis court. An average gym and massage room was availableTable tennis table.Small video games area but the machines were not in a good state of repair.Internet is available by purchasing a card from reception.This hotel advertises a souvenir shop but it wasn’t in use on our visits. It was there, empty and closed. Many of the hotels here are owned by the Tsokkos group, and some share facilities. The Odessa would compete against nearby Tskokos hotels in some activities.A pub style bar, The Victoria Bar, is available for use of hotel guests, but not included in A/I. There are two good quality pool tables in here. The bar stays open until about one a.m. ENTERTAINMENTI felt this hotel was good value for money and had some good points, but our second visit, and that of other guests, was spoiled by the entertainment staff. On the first visit we found two of the team, working for Premiere animation, friendly to all guests but they had left by the time of our second visit. The team leader was there, along with two new members. We found on the first occasion that the leader, Johnny, had good staff to help out. We found him a little amusing at first, until realising he was very personal, getting his laughs at guests’ expense, and making careful friendships with certain guests, mainly those returning repeatedly, but, when he wasn’t actually entertaining we found him unprofessional. On our second visit he was entertainments co-ordinator for Premiere, and spent large amounts of time talking on his mobile. This left only three staff to entertain guests, when one had their day off, only two. These three ran the kids club so entertainment staffing was far from adequate. Pool games took place during the morning and afternoon. The amount of time given to activities wasn’t anything like as good as at The Ledra Beach ( Paphos, Cyprus). Table tennis was often abandoned because they didn’t have ping pong balls. Water polo was played with our ball-theirs was lost!Darts was postponed for four days due to misplacing their darts.When the darts turned up, Killer darts seemed to be run by the holiday makers, my son often taking scores as Johnny was, of course, busy.The evening entertainment started with kids club which seemed prolonged, followed by prize bingo and then, a show performed by Premiere staff. Much of it was mimed but the dancing was quite good. Occasionally an outside act was brought in but was usually of a poor standard. A tribute act, performing parrots, or magician.We entered a quiz one evening. The same quiz took place each week! We won but were told we couldn’t win as we took part the week before and knew the answers! The prize was a cocktail from the bar, which we, along with most guests could get free from the bar, being A/I. Much of the entertainment was repeated the next week. LOCATIONThe location is excellent, being a few minutes from the beach, although dusty and gravelly, along the way. The beach has water sports and bars, but isn’t too crowded. The sea’s a little rocky on entry but is clear enough to pick your way I, keeping to the sandy parts. I used pool shoes. Once in, it’s gorgeous.A short walk away and boat trips go to places of interest. Glass bottomed boats are popular. as is an interesting trip, sailing past Famagusta the ghost town, left as it was when the Turkish invaded in 1974.Going away from the beach and uphill is the main strip of Protatras with its gift shops, bars, mini- marts, restaurants and karaoke bars. It’s lively. We felt that our teenagers were safe going out with their friends to the main Protaras strip.Buses stopped conveniently close to the hotel and take you to many places, one being the water park at Ayia Napa. Taxis can be ordered by reception and there is a nearby taxi rank. The area is very family friendly, ideal for children through to teenagers. It’s also good for couples but, fortunately, we didn’t see any groups of lager louts!HOLIDAY OVERALLIt’s a shame about the entertainment side, as, although, I wouldn’t call this hotel perfect, it still had plenty to offer and at a cheaper price than many comparable hotels in the Protaras region. Nevertheless, we did have a great holiday at The Odessa, and made many friends. I’ve never seen so many teenagers make friends as at this hotel, including everyone, like an Odessa friendship club. They seemed pretty harmonious too and many kept in contact.
by lak11 on October 22, 2010
This year I spent my summer holidays on the lovely island of Cyprus. My husband and I took along our seventeen year old daughter, twenty year old son and his girlfriend, both hard up students. This meant we had to consider costs. We decided to choose somewhere offering studios or apartments at a reasonable co, on an all-inclusive basis. Although there are downsides to A/I it works out good value and helps with budgeting when there. After research we decided on the Sentido Pafian Sun Village. The main reason being we could book a studio and apartment for less than we paid the previous year for three people. I looked at review sites and felt this hotel was probably the best we’d find for the price we could pay. It came to around £4,400.00 for five adults with Direct Holidays. We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon. Previous hotels we had stayed in in Cyprus had also been four star but were superior to this one. At the Ledra Beach one was given a cold drink at reception on arrival and cases were taken to rooms by porter. Not here. We waited fifteen minutes to check in and were told that one room was ready but the other one wasn’t. We were told that both were apartments. We weren't given information just handed literature and a map. With heavy suitcases and a searing 35 degree heat it wasn't easy to reach the apartments. When we did the maids were finishing cleaning the first and we had to wait for the second. ACCOMMODATION Our apartments were close to each other in a small block. The exteriors were very ethnic, in pretty pastel shades with tiled terracotta roofs. Air conditioning in the bedroom and lounge was adequate. The lounge contained a sofa bed. Comfortable enough, and better than the usual camp bed. Storage was sparse. The television had one news channel in English. The balcony had a good view of the pool and sea. The kitchen area wasn't well equipped. There wasn't enough crockery. The kitchen had toaster, sink, kettle, two hobs, and fridge. Nothing was supplied as often there’s a small supply of tea bags and sugar. The main bedroom lacked storage space and we had to use a suitcase to keep clothes in. A one drawer dressing table contained a hair dryer fitted into it. The hair dryer was decent in power but smelt as if it was melting when in use. The double bed was fairly comfortable. Either side of the bed was a reading lamp. Mine had a broken and shabby shade. The room was of a good size. A pay safe was in the bottom of the wardrobe. The bathroom was small but alright. The over bath shower was powerful enough. Clean towels were supplied every three or four days, but could be requested from reception. Lavatory paper was left in good supply. Hand wash was supplied but the shower gel dispenser was empty. No other toiletries were supplied. The apartment had stone floor tiles throughout. We saw ants marching across the sofa bed in neat formation. We reported this. We asked for extra pillows and clothes hangers. It took three attempts to get the extras but we had to buy our own ant spray. There seemed to be an abundance of ants throughout but we weren't really troubled by them after the initial visit. SWIMMING POOLS I couldn’t fault the swimming pools. The main freeform pool was easy to enter by steps or pool ladders. This pool was where the daytime entertainment took place. It was warm. There was another smaller pool with a bar next to it, staffed until six in the evening. There were a few empty sun beds available.The indoor pool, when not claimed by teenagers, was good for serious swimmers. A Jacuzzi and well equipped gym was here. A sauna was available but wasn't included in the A/I tariff.SUNBEDS Hubby and our son alternated at acquiring sunbeds, at around seven in the morning. Plenty were available. I had read reviews claiming one had to get up at five a.m. to procure a sunbed so was pleasantly surprised. RESTAURANT The restaurant was too hot. On entering a waiter, or waitress, would show you to a table. We were shown, on two occasions to a table with cloths heavily stained. Staff were reluctant to supply clean cloths. The standard of cleanliness of chairs, tables and cutlery was poor. I have never come across this before on Mediterranean holidays. I was surprised by the staff's lack of friendliness. They weren't rude or anything but, on previous visits to Cyprus we have always shared a joke or two with staff and smiles have not been lacking. I felt that the staff here weren’t as friendly as one usually finds at Cypriot hotels. Long trousers were required when dining in the restaurant and in the day time no swimwear. Once shown to your table you would be offered drinks (wine, beer or soft drinks) that would be brought to your table. As for the food, my husband and son liked it, but they eat meat. Three of us don't and the choice was limited in the way of a vegetarian option, and on the few times that there was it wasn't worth the wait. I usually eat fish on holiday but found it not well cooked. BARS The main poolside bar was open during the day and served drinks in the evening. Drinks were served in flimsy plastic cups. The selection of drinks was okay. A further pool bar was only opened one evening when German guests requested it. INTERNET An inside area housed three computers, with coin slot, often out of order. There was a queue for the few games machines. GAMES EQUIPMENT The hotel had a pool table and outdoor table tennis able. Tennis, including floodlit tennis was availableENTERTAINMENT The entertainment team were resident Thomas Cook. They were nice enough but seemed to lack leadership. This is the only place I have been to where all entertainers (four) sat at one table with the same party of holiday makers for the whole holiday. This was remarked upon frequently among guests. There was much complaining about the lack of effort shown by these entertainers. These type of entertainers generally work hard and are popular with guests, but I feel that here they didn't match up to others I've seen. When a table tennis tournament took place, with about twelve competitors taking part, all four staff sat watching.We still joined in activities and had a good time but I have been to enough places by now to know when the standard is good or not. Evening entertainment was mainly carried out by the resident team and became 'samey' We were usually able to get a table fairly easily to be around the entertainment area. LOCATION I knew it was a little out of the way yet it was better placed than expected. It’s really on the outskirts of Paphos (about 8km) However there’s a choice of two local buses, stopping outside the hotel. Buses are reasonable and comfortably air- conditioned. Taxis are easy to get but you should agree the price first. Paphos is a lovely place to visit, with its welcoming harbour bustling with restaurants. There are historical sights to see too.We chose to go on a half hour speedboat trip with Cypriot driver. We paid about twenty Euros. This was one of our holiday highlights. There is some English fast food outlets in this area which I don't consider an advantage but, if you have a fussy child, they may come in handy. One of the buses that stop outside the hotel continues past the harbour to Aphrodite Water Park. I would recommend this. From the hotel, the bus going in the other direction gets to Coral Bay in about ten minutes. Coral Bay is reputed to be one of the best beaches in Cyprus. We’d heard that it tended to become extremely crowded but, although we visited on a Saturday (weekends are usually busy) wouldn’t have said it was packed. This beach is ideal for families as one can walk out in the sea for a long way. Close to the hotel are a couple of small coves but they aren't easy to access and aren't that inviting. Opposite the hotel is a bar/restaurant/ snooker hall, 'The Crazy Spoon.' A few more bars and shops are within walking distance.OVERALL I wasn’t impressed with this as a four star. There were things that I DID like, one being the pools and layout. Some facilities were good but many weren't utilised well. It was much as expected and don’t think for the price we paid we would have got much better. This hotel exceeded my expectations in the friendliness of its guests, mainly British family groups and a few couples. I never heard bad language or behaviour.
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