Reasons to Visit Cyprus
19 May 2011
I have never been to Cyprus before, and quite honestly it's never been on my wish list, however after being promoted to the role of Product Manager for Europe and Middle East my first trip was dedicated to this island that many of our clients adore, visiting time and time again. My travel companion on this tour was Vicky Arrowsmith from our Chairman's Club and I can now honestly say I understand this islands allure, its full of exceptional properties, culture, sun and of course its only just over 4 hours from the UK.
Our first night was at the Four Seasons Hotel which is the opposite of a tardis - large from the outside but cosy and welcoming inside. Set off a road full of restaurants and shops this hotel is great for those that want things to do outside the hotel. Greeted by the Executive Director Nicholas Aristou we were taken to our large room then straight for dinner in the Vivaldi restaurant for the nicest dessert I have ever had (chocolate mousse with biscotti and caramelised bananas). A tour of the hotel showed us a beautiful sandy beach leading to Limassol centre, a great kids club open 13 hours a day in peak season and with plenty of activities to keep children of all ages amused, a large spa with many rooms for every kind of treatment imaginable and exceptional service - one night definitely isn't long enough!
Limassol to Polis we stopped off at Columbia Beach Resort where our knowledgeable driver, Panikos, gave a brief history lesson on Limassol port and Pissouri and tried selling us a couple of luxury apartments that were unfortunately out of my price range! The lovely GM Stelios greeted us with a smile and showed us around this village-style resort with its winding pathways (wide enough for wheelchair users) leading from the main building, past the buildings housing the very large and airy suites, and down to the sheltered beach. After our tour we stopped for lunch with the Sales Manager Annie where the catch of the day was red snapper (another first for me) accompanied with a Greek salad, many dips, calamari and octopus. A perfect meal ate whilst staring past the unique chapel towards the sea.
Our day finished at Anassa which was to be our home for the next few nights. I wasn't expecting the resort to be as large as it is and as our buggy took us to our rooms I thought that I would get lost - however one look from the balcony of our Garden Studio and we saw that everything is only a few steps away in the main building which we were separated from by the 3 pools. Our first evening ended in the fine dining Helios restaurant with a delicious 5 course meal and the nicest wild mushroom soup.
After a tour around Anassa's many room categories (there honestly is a room available for all requirements) we then set off to Paphos and the Almyra which is another very different resort. Chic and contemporary, the sea views are given the main focus in each room, to take advantage of these to the full stay in one of the Kyma Suites which come with their own rooftop terrace from which private dining or a cocktail can be enjoyed as the sun sets in the horizon. Our lunch was provided on the deck outside the sister property The Annabelle, with views of Paphos harbour and castle our beach BBQ was a truly Mediterranean fare.
A day to relax around the pool, and swim off some of the calories from the delicious food ate in the last few days. In the evening Thanos hotels ( Anassa, Almyra and Annabelle) held their annual gala dinner for 300 guests where we were entertained by the in house singer and Sophia, Polis and Natasha from Thanos.
Day 5 Our final day and with a sore head today is the perfect day for a day in the Thalassa Spa. A back, shoulder and scalp massage followed by a swim and sauna means that I am well and truly relaxed before my flight home.
After just 4 nights in Cyprus I am already planning my next trip back to this island that has great weather, hotel choices for everyone, busy cities or quiet retreats, 3 golf courses, fantastic snorkelling and water sports and as I have experienced a fantastic gourmet experience!