Review of the Almyra and Annabelle Hotels, Cyprus
Posted By Julie Smith on 10 May 2012
Think contemporary, minimalist design, white and fresh! The Almyra, as one of the oldest hotels in Paphos has the best location (along with its sister hotel the Annabelle, which I will come on to) underwent a major transformation some years ago now from a 3 star traditional style to 5 star trendy style.
It is a fabulous option for families – the crèche from 6 months, kids club, baby-go-lightly system where you can prebook every conceivable baby and toddler item you might need, interconnecting rooms and many little touches. From experience it is these touches that make a family holiday work and they are not necessarily the things you find in the hotel description. For example when I was there sit-on and push toys were out in the garden freely available (looked enough to go round too), the swimming pool had a canopy to provide shade for half of it and the staff were always attentive, friendly and clearly used to young children.
It is not a massive hotel so facilities are less than you might find in more resort style properties but crucially for us parents there is small and friendly spa with some classes, healthy food options and a kid-free zone for those precious moments for when your own are settled happily in the club for a few hours! And you do have sister hotel the Annabelle right next door.
At the Almyra whilst the main hotel gardens and pool look forward and there didn’t appear to be any street noise you do need to be extremely cautious with your room choice. The majority of the inland view rooms face this busy road behind the hotel – I stayed in April and it was not too busy but I have seen comments that during peak season these rooms can be very noisy from the traffic. If your budget will stretch to it upgrade your room and if it won’t, request a low floor – there are barriers low down which at least hides the view.
The rooms are also small – nothing wrong with them but good to manage your expectations and if you are deliberating between all fitting in one or taking the interconnecting room then go for it, it will make a difference.
For such a child friendly hotel there were a couple of things that stuck out for me. Firstly the pool is lined with black marble so if you had a child (as I do) that is already expecting a shark to pop out at any moment then the darkness probably won’t help – upside is, it makes the pool, which is not heated, warm!
Back to room choice – the terrace garden rooms (pictured above) and terrace sea view (terrace sea view room are my favourite as they open out onto the gardens) are great but some of them (although not the ones in the picture) have a step down (I would guess at 75cm) which if you have a crawler or new toddler could be a hazard/nuisance so you should mention this as a request if it would affect you.
Otherwise there are a few hazards that are common, one mum did look a little hassled as there is a big central staircase to the dining room which her little ones were charging up and down and with hard floors and she had to keep a close eye although you would find similar in most hotels and for those few years nothing is fully toddler proof.
Despite all these little worries achieving a balance to perfectly satisfy parents and their children is not easy but in our opinion the Almyra does just that in a friendly yet elegant atmosphere.
The Annabelle has a huge repeat clientele, mostly couples. It is traditional and perhaps old fashioned with wooden panelling but certainly not run-down or uncared for and I actually really loved its classical feel. The repeat clientele are also testament to the superb and long serving staff, good food and consistent quality that this hotel has and still does offer.
If the contemporary ‘Ikea’ look and feel is not for you, or you prefer to enjoy peace and quiet then consider the Annabelle. You still have full use of the facilities including the crèche and kids club at the Almyra - the teenage club is actually located at the Annabelle in July and August - and you will be pampered.
The hotels are situated right on the promenade and you can walk for a long way in either direction. Before visiting I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing as Paphos sounded very touristy but actually it was great. In one direction you have a pretty little fort guarding the harbour entrance, the historic mosaics and it is only 5 minutes’ walk to some pleasant cafes by the waters front. Behind the hotels the road was busy but the upside is you have amenities such as a supermarket and a chemist right on your doorstep.
The promenade does mean there is very little beach although enough on most occasions to enter and paddle into the sea but not for you if your perfect family holiday involves cricket on the beach!
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