“ Protaras, Cyprus. Tel:TEL: (03) 832097. FAX: (03) 831423 „
Unfortunately I am back from a lovely week break in Cyprus with my family and friends. Luckily the weather was nice and sunny for a couple of days on my arrival back to this country which helped lift my spirits a little. If you have never visited Cyprus I would highly recommend it. ** Larnaka Airport ** After a rather turbulent free plane journey lasting four and half-hours, we arrived at Larnaka Airport at 4.30pm; the warm sun hit us immediately we ventured out of the plane. Heaven, we had left England in the pouring rain, so this was a lovely welcome. It was hot, although not humid there was a lovely breeze, which was refreshing. The only disappointment so far was the “Arrivals” section of the airport. It was tiny; just one main room which had a strong smell of smoke and the toilets were of a poor standard and very lacking in numbers. We found we were in a queue for so long that our husbands had managed to collect the baggage first. Once out in the fresh air again, we were greeted by a very friendly First Choice representative called Helen, she showed us to our coach. The transfer time to Protaras where we were staying is approximately an hour. The journey was quite pleasant and we arrived in no time at all. ** Papantonia Apartments ** First impression was that the hotel seemed large but well spread out. It appeared nice and clean with white walls and blue coloured balconies. The reception area was huge with a nice beige marble flooring and well-lit area. The receptionist was very competent and spoke extremely good English. We were all issued with a band to wear all the time, as this was to show members of staff that we were all-inclusive guests. We were given rooms on the first floor and luckily the lifts were in a good working order. The room was huge with a big double room and the dining/kitchen area was also of a good size. The balcony area had a view of the neighbouring hotel , but you cannot have it all. I was especially pleased to see that they had safety in mind and the balcony had a strong plastic covering placed across the balcony bars. This was very children friendly. ** Snacks ** The snack bar was open from 10.30am – Midnight. The menu offered plenty of choice, pasta dishes, pizzas, omelettes, chips, burgers, salads, jacket potatoes, and kebabs. The menu also catered for children by offering smaller portions. As we were all-inclusive we tried most things on the menu and found them to be hot on arrival and plenty on the plate. The waiting time for the food was roughly ten minutes. The drinks on offer were wine, beer, spirits, water and soft drinks. In addition to all this was the unlimited icecreams available. All the children had to do was show their wristband and they could help their self. This made our life so much easier. ** Evening Meals ** These too were of a good standard with plenty of choice available. They usually offered four hot meals, e.g. fish, beef, pork or a vegetarian option. They also had a cold salad bar if you preferred. One evening they did a theme night which was all Greek food. The puddings were out of this world. Breakfast times usually offered a fried breakfast or a choice of breakfast cereals, yoghurts, toast and even cakes for the children. The only trouble was due to the amount of continuous food around you the temptation was to over eat. ** Kids Club ** There were three different groups available, Toon Tots 15-35 months, with this group you had to pay a price of £40 for six sessions or £60 for twelve. Tunes Squad 3-6 years and lastly Freeriders 7-11 years. My son who is four went a couple of times but to be honest he found it a little too much like his playschool. On the two occasions he went the activities taking place were colouring and painting, really he just wanted to play outside in the sun. Once en rolled they were given a brightly coloured t-shirt and hat. When you leave your children in their care you have to sign them in and out and state where you would be, if they needed to contact you. ** Sports ** There were regular sporting activities if you wished to join in. My husband had a go at volleyball and water polo and really enjoyed himself. I was far too lazy and stayed on my sun lounger soaking up the rays. The other activities on offer were Tennis, Aerobics, French Bowls, Pool Table, Darts and after all that activity you could get a massage. (Payable locally). ** Evening Entertainment ** This consisted of a bingo night, which was a bit chaotic as the Swedish entertainer was not that good with her numbers, but that added to the fun. Karaoke section, you could find me under the table trying not to be noticed. I don’t mind a good old singsong in the bath but that is as far as it goes with me. Although I wish my husband was the same. His singing ability is very poor and he usually gives the audience a right giggle and they all rush up after he has finished as no-one could be as bad as he is. One night there was a Greek dance group; to be honest I found this boring and went on a bit too long. The children’s entertainment was from 8.30-9.00pm whereby they sang songs such as “Remember you’re a womble”, “Swimming in the pool” and unfortunately the parents had to get up for the last song which was “Star Trekking”. They also played a couple of games the only disappointment there was the prizes were drinks. When you are all-inclusive this is not really much of a prize. The brochure did state that they do barbecues, although we never had one, but this could be in the busy periods. ** Prices ** For a weeks stay it cost approximately £1,300.00 for two adults and a child of four and one of one and a half years. This price included insurance, t ransfers and the all-inclusive package. ** Overall ** I have never tried the all-inclusive option on holidays before until now. I feel that this took a lot of the stress away, especially with children and their constant demands for drinks, ice creams, they did however eat a lot of junk food, but you have to let your hair down once in a while. Although the initial outlay of money was a lot in the end I feel that we did get value for money and the food was of a good standard. So to finish off if you are looking for a nice family holiday abroad, do give this one a try I guarantee you will not want to come home. I stayed at the Papantonia Apartments in Protaras; the resort was an hour transfer time from Larnaka airport.