Christmas is over and we are all settling into the New Year. Back to work, and analyzing the credit card account to promise ourselves that we will pay a large chunk off at the end of January and the rest in February and March!!!!! Well we are trying to do the right thing, are we not? Maybe this year we will stick to our resolutions. My husband and I did something totally selfish for Christmas………….we bought the family presents, delivered them three days before Christmas Eve and informed all that we would not be cooking the normal Christmas dinner this year. (This is the Christmas dinner that we slave to cook for our large brood every year then listen to them all arguing over who is going to wash up etc etc ) We booked a last minute deal to Paphos in Cyprus staying at the Azia Beach Hotel. For seven nights over the Christmas period, half board in this five star hotel with a sea view we thought that we had got our selves a bargain. We even had the Christmas Eve Gala dinner in with the price so it sounded really good. On arrival at about eight thirty in the evening the flunky came out to the taxi and took our cases, we were whisked to reception and within five minutes were in our room. I was very impressed I must admit. I have had many a holiday where I have had to fight my way to the reception to check in so this was quite a treat. First thing we did was open the verandah doors (As you do!!!!) and take in the sea view. It was dark by then but the sound of the sea and warm air is enough to put anybody in a holiday mood especially when it was snowing at Manchester Airport five hours before. My Hubby and I suddenly looked at each other because we had sunk a good three inches into wet cement, didn’t do my shoes much good, luckily they were my old tatty comfy ones for traveling. We plodded back into the room with its plush carpet and looked for the phone to contact reception. In fact we pl
odded our mucky shoes all around that room at least four laps each! You have guessed it no doubt, No telephone, telephone socket in the bathroom and one by the bed but no apparatus attached to either. Management definitely did not want guests of this room to have the facility to ring down and complain about incomplete verandah. Management probably thought Guests would be too embarrassed to trail wet cement shoes all the way down to reception. Oh! They were so wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As we were trying to explain our problem to a receptionist that thought it would be safer to pretend that she did not understand our English another couple arrived at the desk, I remember them being on the same flight as us and they also had cement all over their shoes. She was fuming; mind you I did notice that her shoes were definitely expensive jobbies, not your 9.99 court shoes from the market! Duty Manager arrives and introduces himself as ‘Adonis’ guides us all to a table in the lounge area away from the reception incase other Guests over heard our plight obviously and starts to explain his problems with workmen not doing the job right etc etc. We told him bluntly that we had paid for a sea view with a verandah and would like a room with a verandah that we could actually step onto without sinking into the cement. He was not coming forth with any solutions he claimed that he only had two other rooms available and they overlooked the kitchens so we were not very happy at all. Finally my hubby and I agreed to stay in the original room for that night on the condition that he moved us to another room the following morning. We found a bottle of very nice wine in the room when we went back up so cracked it open and thought we would make the most of it for the night after all we were on holiday. Five minutes later ‘Adonis’ the Duty Manager knocked on the door, he had magically found us a nice room and it w
as a very nice room with a gorgeous view, so we moved into that after having our supper. Another bottle of complimentary wine was left on the coffee table in an ice bucket so a good night was had by all! A bit of a bad start to the holiday but the hotel was all right, certainly not five star, maybe it was ten years ago but it was a little bit drab and the service was extremely slow. Food was great for the first couple of days over the actual Christmas period but after Boxing Day it went down hill rapidly, for the last two nights of our holiday we went out to eat because we were going down to cold food and on one night they actually ran out of food before everybody had been fed. I would not recommend this hotel as a five star and I would not stay there again, but I did find the staff courteous and helpful. Oh I forget to mention, the other couple were given a room on the ground floor directly behind the lifts they did not get a lot of sleep for seven days and couldn’t wait to go home, so maybe we were lucky.
I recently spent seven days at the Kissos Hotel, in Paphos and I was fascinated by their chef's ability to recyle food until there was hardly any waste (more about this later)! The Kissos was originally built in 1984 and the main hotel still has the original 'period' furnishings. The paint is peeling on the balconies and the carpets and drapery look as though they have seen better days. The new block is 'superior' (as the brochure says) and has new furnishings and pristine glossy paint work. You have to pay a supplement for this though. There are three swimming pools but the new lagoon-style pool is for residents in the 'superior rooms' only. The old pool isn't heated so it was far too cold to swim in it during the Cyprus winter, even though we had plenty of sun. The inside pool is so small that you can really get a god swim in it.A few strokes and you reached the end. This was part of the health club which consisted of rowing machine ans a couple of cycles. This all sounds quite reasonable so far and given that the Kissos is only a 3* I thought it sounded pretty good. The first problem with this hotel is that they have increased the number of rooms they have but failed to upgrade the facilities. So, it was virtually impossible to get a sunbed by the pool as their just weren't enough. Service at the bar was very slow as they don't have enough staff or enough seats. Now, back to my title! I have never before been served the same dish of carrots disguised in so many different ways. Day one brought carrots served in the traditional way. Day two they were served mixed with peas, then in a white sauce, a vegetable casserole, in a vegetable terrine and finally in Spanish omelettes. It wasn't just the carrots that made repeat appearances either. Roast beef was served three days running, disguised as beef wellington and 'Wyatt Earp's Fire Roast'
; (what ever that is!) Whatever was left over was served up the next day, and the next, in a different way. I got to the point where I wasn't keen to eat my meals unless I could find something freshly cooked. It's a wonder no one came down with food poisoning. On the plus side, the room and bathroom were spotlessly clean and the staff were friendly and helpful. All the rooms have a sea view. I would say that this hotel would be fine for bed and breakfast which is only £12 (Cyprus) per night in low season but it isn't worth staying half board. Far better to eat out in one of the many cafes and tavernas just round the corner.