After flying out from Manchester on Friday 23rd February, an afternoon flight, we enjoyed our 4 ½ hour flight with Easy Jet which landed at Paphos airport just after 9:00pm, local time. We were met at the airport by our Cito representatives and Business Development Manager for Constantinou Bros Hotels, David Townend. The hotel was a short journey from the airport, approximately 20 minutes transfer and upon arrival we were shown straight through to the restaurant to enjoy an evening meal, buffet style and oh what a choice of food there was!
The hotel we stayed at was the 4 star Athena Royal Beach Hotel and after settling in to our superior spacious room with balcony we enjoyed a night cap in the Dionysos Bar before we eventually took to our bed.
The Athena Royal Beach hotel is an adult focused, four star waterfront hotel located in Kato, Paphos. The hotel staff were very welcoming & friendly and the hotel itself was very clean looking with a lovely décor throughout. Our room was a Superior Room which was spacious, clean and tidy. The facilities in our room consisted of superking bed, fridge, coffee machine, kettle & tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, safety deposit box, iron & ironing board, dressing gowns, slippers, plenty of drawer & wardrobe space with plenty of hangers! There was also a large TV, small sofa, chair & coffee table for which to relax. The balcony was of a good size with a small table & 2 chairs to sit at. The bathroom consisted of a bath with shower over, toilet and sink – the bathroom towels & facecloths, provided by the hotel, were replenished daily and there was a lovely selection of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body moisturiser all supplied. There was even a small shaving kit, vanity kit, dental kit, shower cap and comb supplied by the hotel, a nice touch if you’d forgotten anything. There was a turn-down service each evening when the maid came in to turn down the quilt and left a biscuit on each pillow and replenished the bottles of complimentary water. Beach towels are also provided in the room. There is live entertainment in Dionysos Bar each evening.
Leisure facilities at the hotel include: hairdressers; elixir spa; gym; 3 freshwater swimming pools (indoor & outdoor); sauna; steam room; jacuzzi; mini-market; flood-lit tennis court; 24-rink green bowls court.
The hotel offers bowls and dancing lessons – so is ideal for people who like to dabble!
There are four restaurants: Oasis Restaurant; Pygmalion Restaurant; Aphrodite Restaurant and The Olive Tree Restaurant. The Pygmalion Restaurant is where we had breakfast and evening meal which is buffet style and the choice of food was amazing from fresh fruit and salads to roasts, curries and local dishes, cheeses & breads galore and desserts to die for! The Olive Tree Restaurant is ideal to get a snack for lunch.
The hotel gardens lead down to the beach area and the promenade where you can walk to Paphos Marina (approximately 20/30 minute gentle walk). Here you will find plenty of cafes and restaurants, a Medieval Fort and Kato Pafos Archaeological Park which is well worth a visit to see the marvellous mosaic floors.
The entire town of Paphos is listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the capital of Cyprus for a long period of time in antiquity. Today it is a charming town with numerous archaeological sites which can be seen from the centre of the modern town down to the picturesque harbour. It is out of the seas of Paphos that Aphrodite, Greek Olympian goddess of love and beauty is said to have risen and it was in Paphos that the worship of the goddess flourished.
We enjoyed a full day excursion which took us to Curium, where we took time to visit the Greco-Roman Theatre which was built in the 2nd century BC and extended in the 2nd century AD. Today the theatre has been completely restored and is used for musical and theatrical performances. Also, at Curium you can find the “House of Eustolios”, the “House of Achilles” and the “House of the Gladiators”.
From here we continued to Limassol where we took time to visit the Medieval Castle – built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle near to the old harbour. We then enjoyed a wine tasting session en-route to the pretty wine producing village of Omodhos, built on the Troodos hillsides with narrow cobbled streets and a majestic monastery in the village square. It was in Omodhos where we had a most enjoyable Mezze Lunch, where the food just kept on coming and coming from salads, dips, olives, fish,chicken, halloumi to chicken kebabs and grilled pork – it really was very tasty. Following our lunch we started to head back to the hotel making a stop at Aphrodites Rock.
We had chance to view the other hotels owned by the Constantinou Brothers which are the 4 Star Athena Beach and the 5 Star Asimina Suites Hotel. However, after viewing these hotels which were very nice I felt that the hotel we stayed in, The Athena Royal Beach Hotel, just had that edge and would be ideal for a group stay.
It was most enjoyable and the weather was kind to us with temperatures ranging from 18 – 22 degrees and sunny and on the plus side we missed ‘the beast from the east’!
So watch this space! We are hoping to include a holiday to Cyprus by Air staying at The Athena Royal Beach Hotel in 2019.
(Tours Manager, Ellen Smith Tours)
6th March 2018