Last year we went on a family holiday to Cyprus. In fact my wife and I went with my son, his partner and the grandchildren. We stayed in a four star hotel in Protaras which was very nice but not so spectacular, and probably only worth a review when I have nothing else to do. During the holiday we visited some other hotels to check them out as my son wants to get married in Cyprus next year. (I was born there, so it's a kind of respectful gesture for me). One of them is called The Elysium and it's located in the Paphos area. No sooner had we arrived than the decision was made. This was the one, and who could blame them. This hotel is magnificent, and I confidently say this despite only spending one day there. It is recently built but looks very traditional, a bit like an enormous converted monastery that has been there for decades if not centuries. It's a 5 star hotel overlooking the sea with a world class spa, 6 restaurants, enormous outdoor pools and a variety of guest rooms ranging from deluxe bedrooms with balconies, to luxury studios, full suites, maisonettes and villas. All are very tastefully designed and stylishly furnished with traditional Cypriot furniture. We viewed several of the rooms during a guided tour and they were all fantastic. We had lunch in one of the restaurants and we were more than happy with the quality of the food and the service. Due to the six restaurants, the options are vast. Locally grown fresh herbs and vegetables from the farm next door are used throughout the year. The extensive outdoor pool is the focal point of the hotel. For the more energetic there are two floodlit tennis courts, and there is a PADI - 5 star diving school. The indoor facilities include a jacuzzi, sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There is also an aerobics studio, pilates with qualified instructors and the hotel offers daily aerobic and aqua-aerobic classes. Most importantly for us, there is an on site chapel, and the hotel employs professional wedding arrangers to take care of everything. The wedding is now booked for next summer (it was originally booked for May but my daughter is having a baby which is due in April, so my son and his partner have delayed their wedding for three months to enable her to travel). I will write a more detailed review after the Wedding but from what I have seen so far, this hotel looks to be in the 5 star plus category.
Petrou bros hotel apartments, Larnaka, Cyprus. This establishment is a hidden gem situated on one of the busiest roads in Larnaka. For the holiday we had booked a 2 bedroom apartment for 4 adults at the end of April. For 4 people a night it came in at around £30 a night (£7.50 each) which I will say now was an absolute bargain for how nice it was and where it is located. Getting to the hotel from the airport was unbelievably easy! All we did was go to the taxi rank outside the airport and asked them to take us to Petrou bros. The taxi cost around 10 Euros. From the road on approach to the hotel I must admit I had reservations to how nice it was going to be but once in reception my mind was quickly changed! The reception looked really posh ( far better than the web site photo's) very clean, tidy, 2 seating areas and a very welcoming receptionist. Once we had the key to our apartment we was directed through to another lovely seating area where the 2 lifts and stairs were. The lifts are tiny, with the suite cases we could only manage to squeeze two of us in it! Even without the suite cases we could just sqeeze the 4 of us in it with no room to spare! If anyone is scared of lifts I would say take the stairs as they do feel very rickety and on a few occasions I did wonder if we was going to get stuck, but they was fine! :-) Our apartment was on the 3rd floor. The coridoor to the room was impressive, it is triangler shape with an open gallery so you can see all the way down to the ground floor. Inside the apartment was basic but clean and nice ( more than we expected for £7.50 pppn!) Most fixtures and fittings were white with a wooden table and chairs. Bedroom one was spacious with a double bed, bed side tables, wardrobe, dressing tale, mirror, seating area with table and chairs, television, aircon, clean crisp linen, towels and a small balcony which had its own plastic table & chairs. Bedroom two was 2 single beds pushed together. It also very spacious with everything that bedroom one had apart from the television but had an extra bonus of the safe. ( the safe was a refundable 12Euro to hire ) Be warned, the beds are quite hard however we found them adequate. The bathroom had two seperate compartments, one containing a sink and the other seperated by a door contained a shower and toilet. The bathroom (like the rest of the apartment) was very clean and crisp white with fresh towels, toilet paper etc. The shower had quite low pressure but from what I understand it's a common thing in Cyprus. The kitchen was clean with a kettle, fridge, hob, crockery, cutlery, pans etc It was very basic but worked well for us as we didn't want to cook that much as we like to mostly eat out. There was a maid service everyday who made the beds, brought fresh linen, washed the pots and just made sure the apartment was spotless. The maid service was to a high standard. On top of the hotel was a communial terrace area which wasn't that impressive but we didn't go to cyprus to sit on a terrace when the beach is only 2 minutes away! Location of these apartments was perfect for us as it was near shops, 2 minute walk away from the beach, car hire, bars and restaurants however because it is situated on a busy road it might not be everyones cup of tea. Petrou Bros has a car park but it is rather small and we did get our hire car blocked in once but just be careful how you park and you'l be fine. On the whole for a budget self catering holiday when your not after luxury or a hotel to lounge around in, I would definately recommend Petrou Bros as it is really good value for your hard earned cash. If i visited Cyprus again I would definately return to Petrou Bros. The website address is http://www.petrou.com.cy/index.html Have a lovely holiday
PERNERA BEACH HOTEL - Fur mal was anderes ich gebe Ihnen die Tatsache. Sorry about that, I thought I was back at the hotel for a moment. My goodness there were a lot of Germans staying there. Oh yes, and a few French, Dutch and Scandinavian, a real mix - which was actually quite nice, especially with us all supposedly being good little Europeans now. It's interesting how the hotel built in different countries characteristics into their rules, 'designed to ensure that all our guests enjoy a comfortable and pleasant stay'. Like: 'We do not allow reserving of hotel sun beds ... towels may be removed by Hotel staff' - that's for our German friends. And for the British? The restaurant dress code: 'Sports shirts or athletic shorts are not allowed'. Tell me, why on earth do some English blokes, usually with big tummies, want to wear replica football shirts while on holiday? Anyway, here we go with the facts (Tatsache), as promised, about the Pernera Beach Hotel situated in Protaras, Cyprus. Position, as they say, is everything. The hotel is right on the coast, overlooking the clear blue sea and slap bang next to a small, sandy beach. What could be better? Absolutely nothing if you look out to sea or walk along the coast in a westward direction - you'll come across even better beaches, However, walk the other way and you may well stumble over a few building sites, as more development takes place, and hear the clunking of cranes, lorries and machinery. This doesn't effect you while in the hotel but just remember, when facing the sea, to turn right and not left if you fancy a romantic, or any kind of a walk. The hotel is in a reasonably quiet spot (I wasn't aware of any building work while actually in the hotel or grounds). There are a selection of shops, restaurants and bars within about ten minutes walk. It's a couple of miles from, what the tour operators call, Prot aras town and two and a half miles from Fig Tree Bay, which has a fantastic beach and beautiful clear water. As you will have guessed all of this is to the west of the hotel. Lanarca airport is a 40 mile drive. As I cover different apsects of the hotel I'll give a mark out of ten, so ... Position 7/10 The hotel has a lovely reception area, with marble like floors and walkways and looks very smart. When we booked in (that's my boyfriend and I) the receptionist spoke excellent English and was very helpful and informative about the hotel and area. We found the reception staff to be first class and efficient throughout our holiday. Reception 9/10 There are 191 double rooms, some with sea views, and they are pretty typical of what you would expect to find at a holiday hotel. Ours had a double bed, armchair, small table, dressing table with a super big mirror, wardrobe and so on. There was also air-conditioning (a necessity in Cyprus), television, radio, hairdryer and a phone. The balcony was of a good size and had plastic chairs and table. When I book a hotel room I usually request one that is on the top floor (4th in this case), and this is what we got. I do this partly for the view and because it is generally less noisy. Also, if at the top, the balcony is not normally over-looked - well, you know, sunshine, wine - oh just use your imagination! Needless to say there was a seperate bathroom with the usual facitlities, though the shower was often more of a trickle than a full blast of water, but it was all okay. Everywhere was clean and spotless. Maids (I hate that word) came in six days a week and bed linen and towels were changed regularly. I have no complaints about the rooms. Rooms 7/10 The hotels facilities include - deep breath - a supermarket, souvenir shop, hairdresser, squash court, sauna, gymnasium, whirlpool, massage room (heaven!), tennis courts, table-tenn is, French bowles, TV lounge, games room with pool tables, darts and games machines, indoor and outdoor swimming pools. There are two bars and also two restaurants. It's all there if you want to use it. We personally preferred to walk along the coast and spend our time on the beach or in the sea. The outside swimming pool is of a reasonable size and there is a shallow part for children. Around the pool are lots of sunbeds and a terrace where drinks and snacks are served. It's all very civilised except for when the hotel has organised events like aqua aerobics or water polo games for the kids - loud music then takes over. Depends what you like. If it's peace you want, this can be quite disturbing but if you are the all singing, joining in sort of person you'll no doubt love this. Personally I'm always surprised that some people like to spend a holiday sitting round a concrete pool. I prefer to get out and about. The hotel bars are more expensive than the nearby tavernas. A pint of beer or a short will cost you C£1.60 whereas you can get these down the road, in one of the outside bars, for around C£1 each. (UK£ = C£1.10 approx) Facilities 8/10 In the bars, or on the outside terrace, there is usually some sort of evening entertainment. The nights that we saw any of this it ranged from the almost embarrasingly awful to some that were worthy of the word 'entertainment'. Perhaps it all depends on how much alcohol you have consumed. We saw a magician who was excellent, a girl singer who again was pretty good and 'very attractive and sexy' according to my boyfriend. But then there was an overweight guy with a guitar, tight trousers and a silky shirt who unfortunately had the handicap of being unable to sing. He also made me cringe when he knelt and tried to sing a song to me - still it made my boyfriend laugh. Evening Entertainment 6/10 We stayed at the hotel on a half board basis i.e. breakfast and evening meal. Breakfast was buffet style and was served from 7 -10 a.m. I thought it was very yummy, with a good choice. There was a range of cooked stuff (English style): bacon, eggs, sausages, beans and so on. For those who have more of a Continental taste there was cheese, cold meats, tomatoes with rolls and various types of breads.. There was also Greek yoghurts, melon, grapes, cereals, toast, jams and marmalade. Of course, you could eat as much as you wanted, of whatever you wanted, and there were lashings of tea, coffee and juices to help it down. I couldn't fault this at all and made a right pig of myself most mornings. Breakfast 9/10 The evening meal was in their restaurant that overlooked the sea, a perfect setting, especially if you could get the right table. This was served between 7 and 10 p.m. and again was a help yourself buffet. Being a veggie hotel meals abroad can sometimes be a problem but I managed to find something to suit me most evenings. There was a good selection of starters and salads and various choices for the main course. Desserts or puddings were mainly fruit, sickly gateaux and cakes. We made the mistake of going to eat one evening dead on seven, as we hadn't bothered to eat since breakfast. They were queuing up ready to go in - the Germans that is. It was all a bit hectic, with pushing and limited free tables. We didn't risk this a second time and found the meals then to be relaxing and nice to linger over, with a glass (or more) of plonk, while watching the sunset - romantic or what! Evening Meal For Veggies 5/10 Evening Meal For Meat Eaters 7/10 There wasn't a lot of night life nearby other than the bars, restaurants and other hotels - many of which had some sort of music. Again, it depends on what you want from a particular holiday. There are night clubs in Protaras town, which is accesible by bus or taxi, and the re is generally more going on there. Night Life 5/10 The service at the hotel from the staff was good, though not excellent. There were a mixture of nationalities working at the Pernera Beach. We got talking quite a lot to a Romanian girl and a guy from Sri Lanka, who were both waiters Both said that they were looking forward to the end of the season and didn't enjoy their time at the hotel. They wouldn't be returning next year as 'the owners expected too much'. In saying this, staff were mostly friendly and helpful - though our maid/cleaner had a bad B.O. problem! The Cypriots themselves were all lovely people. Service 7/10 When my boyfriend and I booked the holiday we had a late deal so I thought that we recieved reasonable value for our money (we booked through Golden Sun Holidays). We paid £380 each, for 14 days half board, and this included the airfare. Brochure prices range from £499 to £699 per person, depending on the time of year. The hotel receptionist quoted me C£94 a night as their normal rate for half board for two people. This seemed excessive to me as it works out at C£658 per person, for the same period - and this is without the airfare. I have based my value rating on what we paid. Value For Money 8/10 There was wheelchair access for the disabled in the hotel with slopes and so on - though the main entrance looked steep. We saw only one holidaymaker in a chair and she appeared to be able to get round the inside of the hotel okay. The grounds didn't look so wheelchair friendly and the roads, shops, restaurants and bars nearby could cause problems. Wheelchair use in hotel 7/10 Wheelchair use in grounds 5/10 Wheelchair use in local area 2/10 To sum I would say that the hotel is suitable for those who want to be away from the main town but within walking distance of a few shops, bars and restaurants. Probably best for couples or families. I f you want night life go eleswhere. The surrounding area, other than the coast, isn't anything special in my opinion. (Dooyoo has a section for opinions on Protaras in General). It's not the real Cyprus. The hotel is family owned and not part of a chain. It has an official rating of three star. If you simply want sun, beaches, clear sea, relaxation and to simply flop out, then the Pernera Beach Hotel may just suit you. My Overall Rating 7/10 - Kay
we have just returned from a lovely holiday in cyprus. why did we like it. we have an 18 month old baby and we have been to this resort before. it has a calm beach at the doorstep, a playground, large pools, entertainment on premises. restarants very close, water sport on beach. all rooms are sea view with a balcony and it was lovely. its called the karpasiana beach hotel and it is just outside larnaka. go you will love it i promise.