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Atlantica Bay Hotel, Cyprus
Atlantica Bay Hotel (Cyprus)
Member Name: k2705
Atlantica Bay Hotel (Cyprus)
Advantages: Fabulous service from the staff and the food is excellent
Disadvantages: Absolutely none
I have recently returned from my honeymoon in Cyprus, we have visited the country once before and stayed in Paphos, however this time we decided to stay in a different location, we chose to stay in the town of Limassol. The hotel we decided on was the Atlantica Bay Hotel, it is situated just outside of the main town which is about a 10 15 minute bus drive away. The main reason we chose this hotel was due to it being an adult only hotel and described as being ideal for honeymoons, the actual holiday we took was part of a the Thompson Couples Holidays, although you do not have to be a couple to stay there, the hotel was also rated as a 4satr plus so we thought it had got to be of an excellent quality. The hotel was perfect and we really enjoyed the relaxed feel to it.
As I have said the Atlantica Bay Hotel it situated in Limassol about 10 to 15 minutes away from the main town where you can find a variety of shops, both small local shops and large department stores, including a Debenhams which I was quite surprised at, there are also bars and clubs if you are looking for that sort of thing, the main street of the town is situated opposite the beach where you can take part in various water sport activities. The area where the Atlantica Bay Hotel is positioned is kind of in the middle of no where, there are no actual shops within walking distance (well we didn't see any) although there are several other hotels in the area, the hotel is positioned along the main road, however it is set well back up a long sloping drive so you cannot hear the traffic going by. On the other side of the road from the hotel is the beach, this is not visible from the road, however the hotel is set at the top of a slope so when in the hotel grounds the sea can be seen, there is an underpass which takes you from the hotel to the beach so you do not have to cross the main road, however we did not use this and simply crossed the road to access the beach. If you do wish to get away from the hotel there is a bus stop directly opposite the hotel where buses run every 15 minutes into the main town, this is where you also catch any buses to take you on pre arranged trips, we used this when we went to the water park for the day, all of the bus drivers speak very good English so communication is not a problem. So although the area where the hotel is positioned is rather quiet with not a lot to do in the area, getting out and about is very easy.
The hotel as I have mentioned is situated up a long sloping drive well away from the main road, the drive takes you directly to the large glass fronted reception, upon entering the cool air of the air conditioning instantly hit you which was a relief considering it was nearly 40 degrees outside, the majority of the hotels communal areas was very well air conditioned at all times, the only areas where there was no air conditioning were the stair wells and also the corridors leading to the rooms, however personally I do not feel these areas need to be air conditioned. The reception was situated in a large lounge area, the reception desk was up one end and was manned 24 hours a day, again all of the staff spoke excellent English, in the same area were large arm chairs and sofas for those who wished to rest inside out of the heat, a variety of newspapers were also available. There were also a selection s of tables and chairs designed for those who wished to have a drink inside during the evening, although these could be used all day, the bar was positioned opposite the reception desk and directly in the middle of the lounge seating and bar seating, this sold a variety of drinks, both soft and alcoholic as well as snacks. Directly in the middle of the lounge/ reception area was a large wrought iron and marble stair case which spiralled down to the ground floor of the hotel, this is where the restaurant, spa, gym and ball room were located, it was also the area that our holiday reps set up should we require them. You could also access the pool area from various doors on this level, with the public toilets being nearby. Located just outside of the reception/ lounge area was the terrace balcony, part of this area was under cover to provide a bit of shade with the rest of it being open, there were a variety of wicker tables and chairs, sofas and arm chairs on the balcony, this over looked the pool as well as the beach in the distance, spiral stair cases lead from the balcony down to the pool area for convenience so you did not have to go back into the hotel to get down to the pool. The hotel was quite ornately decorated with statues set in alcoves in the wall, large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling as well as a variety of water features including a large waterfall type feature on one wall of the reception.
We opted for a regular double room rather than one of the large suits, it was made up of one large room which doubled up as the bedroom and seating area and a large bathroom. The rooms were perfectly decorated in what I call natural colours, the bed was positioned in the middle of the room and was massive if you laid either side of the bed you felt like you were miles away from each other, it was also covered in cushions of all different sizes, although it had a duvet on it there was also sheets and a throw which we decided to use instead of the duvet as it was much cooler. There was a small beside cabinet next to either side of the bed and a large dressing table at the bottom of it with a big mirror on the wall. Just as you came into the room were large built in wardrobes with sliding doors, these contained extra blankets and sheets if you required them, not that we needed extra blankets in that kind of heat. The room also contained a large flat screen plasma TV fixed to the wall at the bottom of the bed, this had a variety of channels including Sky News, there was also a small fridge (useful for me as I have to keep medication in the fridge) as well as tea and coffee making facilities, although we did not use this. One wall of the room was made up of large sliding glass doors which opened out onto the balcony, positioned just in front of these were 2 white wicker chairs and a small table, ours contained a bottle of champagne and fruit as a gift from the hotel as it was our honeymoon. The balcony was not overly large but big enough to contain a table and 2 chairs as well as drying racks for your towels and swim wear, again we did not really use the balcony apart from a couple of nights when we returned to our room. The floor of the room was tiled all the way through which helped to keep it cool although you did have to be careful if you spilt anything on it as it made it slippery. The bathroom was big containing a large bath with a shower over it, obviously a toilet and a large marble worktop with built in sink, the wall above the sink was totally covered in a mirror, the staff supplied shower gel, shampoo and body lotion in a small rack for your use, this was refilled once you had used one bottle of it. The room was air conditioned, this could be altered or turned on and off using a switch and dial on the wall located near the bed, we found this useful as it meant we could have the air conditioning on low during the night (although it did get cold with it on all night) and then turn it up higher after returning from sitting by the pool all day. The room was very comfortable with plenty of storage space, although we did not spend much time in our room it was ideal for what we wanted, there was plenty of room for the 2 of us and it was very well equipped with all the facilities you could need.
The Pool Area
The pool was situated at the front of the hotel but because the hotel was set well back from the main road traffic noise was not a problem at all. The hotel has 2 pools, one smaller which is heated and covered in the winter, although we did not go in this pool, and then there was the main lagoon style pool, this was a large oval shape with an island in the middle and a bridge going over it, this provided a bit of shade in the pool, but you were not allowed to dive off of it into the water. The pool was an ideal size as a couple of times a day there would be a water polo game, or volley ball and in the mornings water aerobics, the large pool meant if you did not want to join in (which we didn't) you could still have a swim and keep well away from the activities. We spent quite a lot of time in the pool cooling down from the heat, however getting into the pool was a bit like getting into the bath, the water was really quite warm. Next to the shallow end of the pool was a large stone Jacuzzi, this had a couple of steps up to it and was situated between the main pool and bar, we used this a few times, however I did find the seat and the floor of the Jacuzzi quite rough, you wouldn't want to slip over in it, you would definitely skin your knees. Before entering the pool and Jacuzzi they did encourage you to clean your feet by stepping into a large stone bowl of disinfectant, however they only had one of these at the shallow end of the pool, if you were at the other end of the pool and got in using the steps at the deep end there was no where to clean your feet at all unless you walked around the whole of the pool to get in. There were out door showers next to the pool if you required them, again we did not use these and preferred to go straight to our room for a shower after swimming, but it was useful to know they were there if you needed them. Both of the pools were surrounded by sun beds and umbrellas, you could not save the sun beds before 8:30 in the morning, although we did go down early to get a couple of beds there were always plenty to go around, we mainly did this to get a good position, there were also small plastic tables which you could use for drinks if you wished. The beds around the smaller pool were on concrete with the majority of the beds around the main pool being on grass, now both of these surfaces had their good and bad points. The concrete was good as it meant you didn't get 'bits' stuck to your feet however it got so hot in the sun once off your bed you had to run to the pool so that you did not burn your feet. On the other hand on the grass surface you didn't get burnt feet going to the pool, but after coming out of the pool walking on grass with wet feet did get a bit messy and meant you had to wipe the grass off them with a towel once you reached your bed, most of the time we got 2 beds on the grass as we preferred to be near the main pool. The pool was exceptionally clean and the whole area around the pool was well maintained as were the beds, umbrellas and tables, none of the equipment was broken despite constant use every day.
There were 2 bars in the hotel, one in the lounge area which I mentioned earlier and one outside by the pools, located between the 2 for easy access. Now 2 bars for the whole of the hotel does not sound very much, however I think in the whole of the time we were there we went to the bar to order a drink twice, where ever you choose to sit in he hotel, in the lounge bar, on the sun beds during the day or at the tables and chairs set out for the evening entertainment there is waiter service, as soon as you sit down a member of staff appears to take a drinks order from you. We were all inclusive so did not have to pay for anything we literally had to give our room number and sign the order sheet, however even if you were half board and paid for drinks you still did not have to move to the bar, everyone was served at their table or sun bed, of course you could go to the bar yourself if you wised. I was very impressed with this service as there were always plenty of staff about to take orders meaning your did not have to wait long to get a drink despite the fact that the hotel was very busy. The bars sold all the drinks you could want including lager, a variety or spirits, wines and cocktails as well as many different soft drinks and bottles of water, if you were all inclusive as we were all drinks were free of charge including the cocktails which I was quite surprised at, other hotels I have stayed in have always charged for cocktails so I was very impressed with this. The lounge bar staff covered the balcony over looking the pool as well and with your drinks you were served a bowl of nuts and popcorn which could be refilled as and when you wanted, we only sat up here one night but took advantage of the free popcorn!!! One thing I did notice with the drinks was how strong they made them, I nearly always drink vodka and diet coke when I go out but here they were so strong I had to have vodka with orange juice as I felt this toned it down a bit and made it drinkable. I cannot comment on whether the drinks were expensive or not as we did not pay for a single drink, however we found that going for the all inclusive option worked best for us as we definitely got our moneys worth, and that was just with bottles of water.
Other facilities in the hotel included a spa with all the latest treatments including Hammam, massages, a sauna and a beauty salon, as well as a variety of other treatments, these were not included in the price of the hotel and all treatments were chargeable. Again I am not sure on the prices as we did not use this facility, however the hotel did have a full price list of all the treatments you could have and informed you of exactly what these included. There was also a gym in the hotel, we did not go in here but did walk past, from what I could see if contained all the regular gym equipment such as bikes, treadmills and a variety of weights, this was fully air conditioned, although I don't think I actually saw anyone using it which I cannot blame them as it was in the late 30's early 40's temperature wise. As well as the gym the hotel also had its own tennis courts, needless to say we did not use them, however we could see these from our balcony and most nights there was someone having a game. There were also computers available and Wifi if you wished to use it, there was a small charge for this, however I am not sure how much this was as we did not use this service.
Apart from the games played throughout the day in the pool, they also had a daily quiz during the afternoon, we did not take part in these much preferring to keep ourselves to ourselves by the pool. In the evenings there was entertainment every night outside by the pool where they had a stage and tables and chairs set out. Every night they had their resident singers on stage for about an hours which I have to say were very good, followed by a guest act, these consisted of comedians and a variety of singers and musicians, we sat outside and watched the entertainment every night and most nights we were very impressed with the acts, obviously some were better than others but there was something for everyone. The entertainment went on until between 12 and 1am although we didn't actually stay until the end. Overall we were very impressed with the hotels entertainment and did not feel the need to go out of the hotel and into the main town for the night.
There were 3 restaurants within the hotel 2 of which you had to pay for, there was the a la carte restaurant which you had to book at the reception and also the Stone Grill restaurant again you had to pay separate for this. The main restaurant you did not have to pay for and this was where you had all of your meals throughout the day whether you were all inclusive like us or half board. The restaurant was a large room with a variety of sized tables and cream leather chairs and large chandlers hanging from the ceiling, there was also an area where you could eat outside which we did most evenings. The tables and chairs were set out around the whole of the room with the food being located in the middle. All of the meals were self serve and you could go up for food as many times as you like helping your self to what ever you wanted. The main courses were positioned in heated trays throughout he middle of the room with deserts, breads and so on, in separate areas nearby. I was particularly impressed as they actually had a separate vegetarian area, usually when I go on holiday abroad I have to make up a meal with whatever I can out of the bits I like, however with there being actual vegetarian foods available I could have a proper meal, the foods ranged from pasta dishes, to curries or vegetable pies and then I would have the potato and vegetables that were available to everyone. All of the food was of an excellent quality and there really was something for everyone, they even had a large area set aside for fresh fruit. I can honestly say there was something for both me and Mark every day, there wasn't a day where we didn't like anything. Again all drinks were served at the table with orders being taken as soon as you sat down, as soon as you had finished the dirty plates were taken away, there was not a single dirty plate on show when you walked into the restaurant
The hotel is located just opposite the beach with an underpass from the hotel to the beach itself, alternatively you can walk down the drive and across the road which is what we did. We didn't actually spend any time on the beach and preferred to stay by the pool, however the beach was always busy, there were plenty of sun beds for everyone as well as umbrellas and tables. There was also a food and drinks bar located along the beach opposite the hotel, this was actually part of the hotel and if you were all inclusive and wanted to go to the beach you could get free food and drinks from here by showing your hotel wrist band however you did have to return to the hotel for your evening meal. I thought this was an excellent idea as it meant you did not have to return to the hotel every time you wanted a drink or snack.
The staff throughout the restaurant were extremely helpful, they were always on hand to help, as soon as we got there we were taken for a drink and a welcome speech whilst all of our luggage was taken up to our room. All of the staff spoke extremely good English so there were no communication problems at all. The staff were very friendly and ready to serve you at all times They were never short staffed and there were always enough to cope with the amount of guests staying in the hotel.
The hotel had its own shop, to start with I thought this was going to be the regular hotel gift shop, however after having a look around we discovered that it was actually very well stocked. They sold the regular gifts although these seemed to be aimed at children which is strange for an adult only hotel. They also sold a variety of pool toys, we actually purchased a pink lilo for me and a large rubber ring for Mark. As well as pool toys you could buy swimming costumes, shorts, sun glasses and hats. But what I was most impressed with was the grocery side of the shop, you could buy a variety of foods and drinks as well as toiletries, if you had forgotten anything you could buy it in the shop. It probably wasn't as cheap as shopping in your local supermarket, however it was not too badly priced although we did find the newspapers a bit on he expensive side but Mark needed to keep up to date with the horse racing!!!! Again the shop staff were very helpful and friendly, the shop was always well stocked and I never saw empty spaces on the shelves. The shop opening times were 10:00 until about 6:00 from what I can remember so it gave you plenty of time to buy anything you required.
I would definitely recommend the Atlantica Bay Hotel, it definitely lives up to its 4 star plus rating that First Choice have given it. The rooms are comfortable and extremely well equipped as is the rest of the hotel and most importantly everywhere is very clean. It really is the perfect hotel for your honeymoon you do not have to do anything yourself and can just sit back and relax. The whole place has a relaxed atmosphere, however it is not so quiet that there is no atmosphere at all. I would highly recommend going all inclusive at this hotel as we really benefited from doing this and certainly got our moneys worth. The food is excellent and there really is something for everyone. The hotel is ideal for couples of all ages, most of the guests whilst we were there were couples, some on honeymoons others were not, however there were a few families there too, obviously where the children are grown up. The staff really do make your stay comfortable. I would definitely consider going back to this hotel if we were to go to this area in the future.
Summary: A first class hotel
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