“ Address: 34 Palea Kakopetria Str. / P.O. Box 11562 / Kakopetria 2810 / Cyprus „
I think I wanted to write about this place for a long time and was always afraid I won't do justice to it. It is a magical village thrown on the map and once discovered you can't keep yourself from falling in love hard! This village by it's name Kakopetria has still kept its originality and roots by preserving the core of it and some smart people took advantage of its beauty and came up with the idea of Linos Inn, which actually is a project of restoring as many houses as possible with the scope of polishing what was once shining like little gems under the sun and mould as one the past with the present to be shared in the future.
Even though all this is done to make a profit from the investment, I truly believe many other sites gone to ruin would have been better off with such fate as people would have had the opportunity to relax and enjoy a holiday while learning history, bask into tradition, eat the best local food and drink the greatest refreshments each region has to offer.
Linos Inn is in the heart of Kakopetria Village, which is up in the mountains, on your way to Troodos, actually on clear days the high mountain can be seen in its splendour. As a concept Linos is mostly small house scattered about and you can book one according to their accommodation facilities, location and how many people it can host. Or you can simply book a room that's above the main body of this Inn.
Kakopetria is the best place to be during winter, as it is not as freezing, but if you are lucky you can catch the days with flakes making their way to land, and during summer to breathe some fresh air and cool yourself down. And if you are a fan of eating trout, here's the best place to find it, some restaurants and eateries cook it better than others, but for sure they do know what they're doing as the fish tastes just madly good!
It is not as near, or a smooth road, but once you are up here all the rest doesn't matter any more, believe me, I love tradition and history and this place delivers both.
First time I came across their site I could not believe what they were advertising, it looked too good to be true. I mean Kakopetria has many B&Bs and one famous hotel, Mill, which is build on the side of the rocky hills, making you believe it just grew there as the rest of the trees.
In 2010 where not as many rooms as there are right now, and the ones available then where greatly advertised by each small detail, making my choice so much easier. I look for spacious rooms and with lots of light and if possible to be separated by a wall and have a balcony to put my husband on at night when he snores. While roaming on their site I came across one such room, though with no wall to split the space in two. It said it could accommodate 4 persons and that it was a suite.
The price was not something I could afford every weekend, but because this one was special, my husband came to celebrate his birthday I thought what nicer surprise than this. I chose one room and set to call and reserve it. At the time, when talking with the nice guy on the phone I was told that the suite was available for 115 euros a night and that the check out is at 10 AM but they are flexible on off seasons and can stretch it until noon.
I gave my credit card details and booked room number 20 for 2 nights and hoped for it to make a great gift for my other half, though I think I was the one being most eager to explore those narrow streets and examine this Inn.
On their site they advertise the sister location of this Inn, Hani Protopapa, where the guests from Linos have free access to their pool, down side is that it is 2 km away from Kakopetria, but if summer begs for you to bask in the sun rays, then the pool is for sure a plus.
After a long day and a long drive, Friday at 7 PM we arrived in Kakopetria, on the road to the Inn we saw a sign pointing to Linos parking, which is behind an old wall that has on it one huge poster with what Old Kakopetria Village is all about. We turned in, parked on one of the slots and luggage in hand we started towards the old stone paved road.
One thing the site doesn't mention is that to be safe not to get stuck with the car on the narrow roads or scratch it for that matter, it's safest to park outside the old location and you'll have to cover the rest of approx. 500 m distance until the reception, by foot. If you happen to own an original '70 Fiat 500, then you are in luck, because it might fit just fine.
Because of the stoned road, it is greatly advisable to wear flat shoes, otherwise it might prove quite challenging to walk that road and arrive to destination in one piece; lucky I was inspired as I usually wear high heels.
Down the road, the view at night is fantastic, small houses peaking at you from behind the trees at the same time stone and wood buildings climb the hills in all their splendour. As I was taking everything in, I heard water flowing along with us, and was told by my other half that Kakopetria is full of springs and many people come here just to fill their barrels with water to have for drinking instead of buying it from supermarkets. With all these beauties spread before my eyes, I almost missed the sign of Linos Inn to the reception.
Once I stepped inside the interior yard, which looks more like a keep, I think my face mirrored a cartoon character and I believe my tongue flew out like Jim Carrey's in The Mask. Simply gorgeous and you'll just have to trust my words written here until you'll have the chance and be there to see it for yourself. Everything was restored to perfection, every detail in place and the only thing that was missing was the keeper of the place with those large pants and funny shoes to appear and check us in. Stone pavement, wood stairs that were leading to the rooms above the main building, long smoky dark tables with benches covered in traditional carpets, unique and charming. On the right hand as you enter this keep there's a small kiosk looking like reception, made of course of wood and dressed up in red coloured ornaments and rugs and one nice receptionist lady with a genuine smile on her lips welcomed us in.
The check in was a quick deal, once the keys were handed to us we were asked to follow her out again, down the road for about 20 meters to get to our house. We were wished a nice stay and the lady went off. It was dark and the light was not so great, but there are stairs, kind of steep because I almost tripped over 3 of them, and there are only 8 if I remember correctly, though narrow too; these steps lead up to a nice spacious terrace with a table and two chairs and a double wood latched door was the entrance to the room.
Once the creaking door opened and the lights came on, the room welcomed us with its faint smell of smoke from the fireplace, freshness from the linens and pine used for ceilings and furniture. The room looked glamorous in its traditional fashion, the four poster bed dressed in white, the single bed by the window covered with a pleated blanket, the cupboard carved by masterful hands and the 4 chair table all came together as if they came out of a painting. The couch was not exactly from the 1800s, but I guess modern furniture is more practical in front of the hearth, than sitting on a rug on cold days.
The mini-bar was actually a normal fridge, full with all kind of things to eat and drink that were free of charge (it seems suites get this kind of gift). By the sink there was a tray with a kettle on top, cups, and a great selection of coffee, tea, sugar and milk.
Opposite the entrance is the door for the balcony, but it does not fit a person on it properly, to my disappointment that is, but it may be a great way to relax and watch the bees' traffic and swallows passing by. Here the wall feels shorter and it is not a great deal of a distance from the ground up, makes it easy to jump, not that it is advisable, just an observation.
The bathroom was the best surprise of it all, the perfect example of how modern can mesh with tradition. The door is similar to the one at the entrance, the same for the windows without glass only with double barn shutters with a latch and it is best to keep it closed while having a bath and it is winder as you might just freeze or never come out from the tub. Now, the tub is a mini jacuzzi with all the powerful jets and bubble gadgets, makes not get out of it one in, though it is only for one person which makes it kind of impossible to enjoy a bath in two.
I later found out that every perfect thing comes with a trick, and here the trick was the hot water, if you're not careful you might burn yourself or you might get a cold shock while having a shower, I guess the boiler is to blame for it, it does not succeed to heat the water while on shower mode if it is the maximum power jet used.
The only thing I might add is that the bed was fantastic, the crispy white sheets smelled fresh and the pillows where fluffy and made me rest like no other time. I guess the room itself gave me peace and made me totally relax and imagine I was in another time entirely.
Breakfast is included in the price of the room, and of course it is a must up here as most of the things served are locally made and are fresh freshness. That's the only reason I woke up and got out of the bed the next morning, to taste some of the cheeses and sausages that Kakopetria has to offer.
As the sun was up I could see that my terrace view was over the river and on the left side other 2 houses had numbers on, stating they were Linos property, but without neighbours in. Lucky in a way, we had our small corner all to ourselves.
Out on the road, turning up for Linos main entrance a new paradise revealed in front of my eyes, I barely held myself in check not to start exploring before eating! Inside the keep people were already eating, it was a sunny morning, perfect to eat outside, and we noticed no places were available for us to chose the same option. We entered the restaurant, which I might add is split in three: up restaurant, pub corner, low level restaurant. The breakfast buffet could be found in the upper restaurant, a place that looked cute and made you think everyone should step with care not break something. Seriously, this place, small in size, nothing great, had everything arranged in such a way that it made it look a lot bigger. Of course that even here, everything was decorated in dark wood, table cloths in red, floor tiles in red and the famous stone walls made the picture perfect.
Once in front of the buffet, I was amazed with how much food it can be made for guests to have a choice and eat a great breakfast: cheese, feta, sausages, salami, kaskavali, olives, a great selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, coffee, tea, milk, cereals, nuts, muffins and the choice to order English breakfast, pancakes, and/or eggs. The fresh fruits where the best for me, as those were made from local production, what else can you ask when in the country side, than a glass of fresh juice squeezed right then and there from the village's fruits.
I was impressed and I kind of over did it; I for one barely eat in the morning, if ever, but this time I really had enjoyed my breakfast.
Diner time came and we were assaulted by charcoal smell and made the decision to eat inside the inn and not go down into the village like we did lunch time. Once we were ready we went to have our meal. This time I did adventure to put on high heels, and I have to say I'm really glad that from the parking up to the reception I was wearing flats otherwise I know for sure my adventure was to end in crutches.
Again we entered the keep, crossed through the up restaurant, pub/bar area, got out of this building, crossed one narrow road to enter another building. Welcome to the most beautiful room ever! It looks like a cave, a beautified one at that, small and cosy, not with too many tables but strategically arranged not to feel crowded. It was designed like the rest of the Inn and the red table cloth was present here too, though the bar it is smaller than the one in the upper one. One important thing that's advertised about this restaurant is the live music. While the program is on it is hard to hold any kind of conversation, even with the waiters you communicate through signs when the band goes at it.
The menu is not big but not small either. The food is a choice between local meze and international dishes. For me going on a trip it always rules the international cuisine out, local food is the must try thing, no change on this night's schedule. We had local meze, which I thought the dishes will never stop coming, they were good, the halloumi was fantastic, the mushrooms were the best thing I have ever tasted, the village salad is still vividly remembered by my taste buds and that marinated chicken still makes me sigh. When it came to choose something sweet, I just had to pass, otherwise I was to explode right in the middle of the restaurant! One thing I need to say I was impressed with, their local wine was great and cheap and not the usual rip off! So the restaurant is highly recommended.
Sports Bar/Summer Pub
This place I don't know what to say about it, it operates as it fits best for every season. Mostly it is another building, next to the diner restaurant, for people that would like to watch the games and have a glass of alcohol without going deaf by the loud live music.
During summer, the huge terrace at the back is open and the view is exactly the small narrow neighbourhood roads and houses under it, this is something very picturesque and unique; I think I over use some words, but it is just that.
The only complaint for this part of the inn is that if there are not too many customers to be tended to, the staff tends to make itself scarce, and it is not exactly the greatest pleasure to chase after them in all that maze of buildings and rooms to find the right one for the bar for a refill or the check.
What it is nice though is that here too the modern makes a perfect mesh with tradition and comfort is just at home. The couches are really welcoming and after a day of roaming about it feels like they just hug and soothe your aching muscles.
Other Linos Inn attractions
Believe it or not, it has a pottery shop which sometimes hosts pottery classes, I have not been too one as there was not one hosted at the time but I'd have to believe the manager on his word. The shop is loaded of items to choose from: dishes, vases, decanters, ashtrays and so many other strange looking things all reasonably priced. Above the shop of course there are two rooms, the famous jacuzzi ones.
Further down this time after the small and gorgeous church, there's a museum. It has quite a small entrance, I hit my head when I entered and when I exited the place. Inside can be admired all kind of agricultural tools and machines, and wine makers and pots and the stories about the place where these things were found and what they actually are. Several small screens are showing different short clips with Kakopetria village pictures or places to visit about. I was impressed about it and the fact that they thought to do something as this. It is not to be missed as some interesting things are to be learned while the jacuzzi is filling up and waiting for your return.
I've been to Linos 3 times already, twice stayed in the same room, as it was during winter and once in a jacuzzi room, number 15. Here the jacuzzi was a proper one, with lights and everything; it took lots of time to fill up though as the water had no pressure.
Both rooms are almost the same, the decorations, furniture, 4 poster beds and flat screens. One has a fireplace that you can light up a fire if you pay a little bit extra for a sac of logs at the reception and the other one has a huge jacuzzi that you can relax and enjoy your muscles say thank you for thinking of them.
Room service is available, and you can even see it coming on the road towards your room, though not on a push cart as you can imagine, but brought by waiters or room maids which are polite when they want.
I guess the only thing they could improve is training their staff not to shout at each other around houses that have guests in, not to swear in their native language believing no one else can understand them, some electrical things could work better (boiler), but I guess it has to keep up to the authenticity of the place; the water pressure could be improved in the jacuzzi room if the guest is to have a soak in the next 24h.
On the other hand I love the attention to detail over their guests, each time one towel was used it had been replaced while we were out for a stroll, the same goes for the tray of goodies and toiletries. I really do appreciate this, I like when they are doing their job without being told at least once!
All in all this little gem of a Inn should be given a try at least once. The place is not only original it sells tradition and good food at a reasonable price. The air and the views are just a bonus.
Their website is worth giving a go, if only to see their 360 panoramic pictures.
A suite now can be booked at 125 euros/night
Suite with cooker and extra facilities is 135 euros/night
Jacuzzi room 105 euros/night
One standard room is 95 euros/night
I tell you go for the suites and you won't be disappointed and ask for number 20 or 18 and you'll have dream rooms.
That's about it, I know there's more to write about it, but it would spoil the surprise for some and it would become way too much to read for others that's why I hope you enjoyed reading so far and thank you for taking the time in doing so.