So it’s almost Christmas time and someone is already thinking of New Year’s resolutions. Usually among them the word “travel” appears very often! If you are thinking about a summer holiday in Europe, why not considering Cyprus? It’s the perfect blend of relax, fun, culture and landscape. This sounds like *perfection* to me!
Now if you are looking for beach hotels, here are two suggestions I have for you. These two hotels have completely different features and locations: Natura Beach Hotel is in Polis and Alexander the Great Beach Hotel is in Pafos. On my Cyprus road trip I stayed at both. Here is why I recommend them!
Natura Beach Hotel, Polis
Polis is the ideal place in Cyprus if you are looking for beautiful sea, a lot of nature, but not too much nightlife (totally my style!). Nearby attractions are the Baths of Aphrodite and the Akamas peninsula, to explore with a 4×4!
In Polis, I had the chance of staying at Natura Beach Hotel, which is managed like a farm following biological ethics… shouldn’t every place on Earth do the same?
On a pleasant talk with the director, Mr Christos Georgiades, I found out many interesting facts about this hotel that I am sure you will find awesome too.
First of all, this part of the western coast of Cyprus is where the sea turtles (including the rare green ones) still go back every year and leave their eggs in the sand. Every year about 4000 little turtles are born on this beach. In order not to disturb them, security measures are adopted by the hotel staff. Every new nest is protected with an aluminum cage that prevents guests to step on the eggs, and other animals to eat them.
Also, when at Natura Beach Hotel you will notice there are no beach chairs nor lights on the foreshore itself, and there’s a reason for this: protecting the nests, and avoiding little turtles from crawling towards the wrong direction when the eggs hatch. In fact, if there’s too much light, they will rather follow it than looking for the sea, and consequently die, maybe smashed by cars. And we don’t want that!
Everything at Natura Beach Hotel is done with respect towards nature, with an holistic, sustainable, eco-friendly approach, thanks to the use of natural resources: solar panels, recycling, organic farms where no chemicals are used.
Thanks to solar panels, Natura Beach Hotel doesn’t need diesel for the whole season, causing no pollution.
The food served at the restaurant comes from the hotel’s farms: olives, eggs, cheese and milk from the organically fed goats, honey from beehives, and all the delicious things you can imagine. I remember eating a ridiculous amount of eggplant salad one night, while watching the sunset. Divine.
The hotel has all kinds of comforts, including and especially very important ones such as privacy and silence. Staff is friendly, good-mannered but not pretentious. Rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable and come with a private terrace with a sea view. What else do you need exactly?
The clientele is mainly composed by educated Europeans that are aware of their contribution to pollution and deteriorating of the environment caused by the carbon dioxide of their flights, and decide to compensate, give back to the planet, keeping their stay in Cyprus as sustainable as possible.
It’s definitely a place for relaxing, contemplating, resting. This hotel has the highest percentage of returning guests in Cyprus… no wonder why.
Alexander the Great Beach Hotel, Pafos
Pafos is maybe the most famous place in Cyprus for tourists. Not only it offers archeological sites, mosaics and of course beaches, but also some of the best nightlife in Cyprus. So here you have a completely different option!
I’m not gonna lie, when I first checked in at the Alexander the Great Beach Hotel, I was not impressed. Why? Because this looked like a “typical” grand hotel to me. Big spaces, many rooms, lots of guests… a bit impersonal maybe? For now let me just disclose that I was wrong!
I ended up enjoying my stay much more than I expected, thanks to the hospitality of the Director, Mr Costas Stavrou, who made sure I tried all the restaurants (sushi included! Yum) and introduced me to his wife and collaborators so that I had some company to walk around Pafos. The hotel is located on a beautiful promenade right on the sea side, where people go jogging or walking all the way to the Pafos castle.
Concerning the hotel itself, what I enjoyed most were the indoor pool (mostly neglected by tan lovers, but perfect for me) and the spa (get an Indian head massage, you won’t regret it! I still dream about it…), together with the cozy comforts of my room, which was huge and full of light.
If this wasn’t awesome enough already, the hotel is now undergoing a total renovation, so on summer 2013 there will be a brand new infinity pool (coolest thing ever) and a modern, sleek style for the interiors.
The Alexander the Great Beach Hotel belongs to a chain called “Kanika Hotels Cyprus” that has hotels in all the main locations of Cyprus. This is a 100% Cypriot company and I especially like this concept: unlike the internationally owned resorts and tour operators, this chain contributes to the island’s economy in a greater way, which is very important.
So these are my suggestions for summer 2013 in Cyprus! I hope you have the chance of visiting both places. In fact, I suggest you to move around the island rather than spending the whole holiday in one place. I know some of you will be booking last minute holidays, but it’s good to start planning… and daydreaming ahead!
Disclosure: my stay at the hotels above was kindly offered by the Cyprus Tourism Board. They gave me a suggested itinerary for my road trip but never requested hotel reviews or posts on anything in particular. All opinions are my own.