It has been 18 years since my last visit to Cyprus so when I got the chance to visit two of the leading hotels on the island in the month after my busy-booking spell it was a no-brainer!
March is a cracking time to visit this Eastern Mediterranean island, still divided since 1977, the north being occupied by Turkey, the south Greek- speaking. Don’t get me on the politics but I only visited parts in the south. It’s a pleasant temperature this time of year, I had a week of early 20oC sunshine and just half an afternoon of light rain.
The two hotels I stayed in are next-door to one another in the Amathus area of Limassol. Both 5* yet both very different, both are beachfront with wide sea views. Amathus Beach Hotel was my first stay for 3 nights, it’s set in beautifully kept, extensive gardens the outside of the hotel does not do the inside justice. It’s a 1970's ‘block’ style hotel yet once inside the modern interiors are sparklingly modern and ooze elegance. In the winter the choice of restaurants is limited as the outdoor ones open only in summer, but this doesn’t affect the choice of food as menus are changed daily with themed buffets and an excellent A La Carte option. I loved the spa here too, themed on the fire, water, earth signs it felt like I was entering a serene Balinese space with flowing waterfalls and twinkling lights… zen like! If the weather is a bit changeable you can always head to the indoor pool, gym, spa, lounge areas, bars and shops within the hotel until the clouds pass. We did!
Moving next-door-but-one to The Four Seasons, you are at once greeted by huge cascading chandeliers over fountains and the most beautiful flower arrangements that add sophistication. I instantly felt like I should be on my best behaviour compared to the relaxed feel at Amathus Beach Hotel! Again, beautifully kept gardens leading down to the beach, free form pools, an excellent spa and more restaurant choices including the islands BEST Oriental restaurant on the island apparently (you MUST pre-book as very popular with non-residents too) I can concur it was blooming good!!
For me what stood out at both properties was the attention to detail and the most excellent customer service levels. There’s no surprise repeat guests are a huge proportion of business at both hotels. There also seemed to be staff everywhere – all stopped what they were doing and acknowledged you as you past. I felt very special!
In the winter I would recommend both hotels to the more mature client not only because it’s quieter, but the cooler months may suit more. In the summer months, many families and couples will visit for the excellent standards and beach life. Both hotels provide well for children; with child pools, kids clubs, early dinners, large family rooms, play areas, and entertainment. Some rooms even have their own private pools!
The hotels are located 8kms to Limassol town centre. Use bus number 30 which runs frequently from the Park Lane hotel to Limassol town centre all day every day for 1.50 Euro each way. An absolute bargain, and the bus stops right out these hotels!
Explore the Old Town streets of Limassol. We found historic squares and churches to visit, authentic meze restaurants, cute little bars, boutiques and galleries. A short taxi ride out of Limassol we found a great Cypriot meze restaurant with live music and Greek dancing called Forsos Tavern – I’d highly recommend it – great prices and tonnes of food (book in advance)
Alternatively, if you prefer a more modern feel, visit the new multi-million Euro Limassol marina area. With amazing waterfront villas and apartments currently being finished, with expensive yachts neighbouring old fishing vessels, it’s a great place to wander and people watch. The restaurants and bars around here are more renown names, bustling with local life.
If you plan to visit Cyprus in the winter, head for one for the bigger resorts like Paphos or Limassol for a wide range of accommodation where amenities are fully open and where ‘town’ life complements tourist-life.
We happened to visit the island in Carnival Week which culminated in a big street carnival, Rio-like, with floats, music, fancy dress and dancers galore! It was a fantastic parade with a buzzing atmosphere full of locals of all ages having great fun! A great end to our Cypriot week away!