Below, Kathryn and Nigel tell us about their recent holiday in the Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel and the Athena Beach Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus.
We’ve just returned from a real eye-opener of a holiday in Paphos, Cyprus. Cyprus had never really been on our bucket-list although we love to travel. We love Greece and spent time in Crete and Santorini in our Silver Gap Year, back in 2017. For whatever reason though, Cyprus never came up in our conversations. Well things have changed here now and it’s very much on our agenda for future holidays.
And one of the great things about Paphos is that we can fly there directly from Cardiff Wales Airport. Ten minutes door to door in a taxi so no car-parking fees. It’s a small airport so no huge queues for Bag-Drop so all-in-all it’s a win-win. We flew with TUI but booked the hotels directly. The flights were obviously dearer than the London options but taking into account the convenience factor and the complete lack of stress, it was a no-brainer.
Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos
We took off on time, landed early in Paphos and before we knew it were in our first hotel , the splendid adult-only Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel. Check-in with the lovely and super-efficient Miruna was smooth and she even offered us a glass of champagne while we waited.
When we got into our suite, Reception staff had even arranged for some cold-cuts and nibbles as we arrived a little late for the restaurant and neither of us felt up to a full meal. Waking in the morning to the gorgeous sea-view from our balcony was a delight. For me the view I wake up to is almost as important as the actual holiday. There’s something very beautiful and life-affirming about a sea view. I don’t care if it’s a turquoise sea rippling gently or a mad, splashy one full of rampant, white horses. As it happens our beach was the former most of the time.
Breakfast At The Asimina Suites
The Breakfast Buffet at the Estia Restaurant served up a cornucopia of foods to suit most tastes and palates. We tried a few interesting nibbles from ‘Cyprus Corner’, though I’m not entirely sure that fresh Turkish Delight did anything for my already non-existent post-menopausal waistline. In all seriousness though, there was so much choice, it was hard to know where to start. Turned out that fresh fruit and Greek yogurt made for a great starter with the coffee while we were deciding. The staff were exemplary. They were always there when you needed them yet none of that awful ‘constant hovering’ that you get in so many of the higher end places. And even better they brought hot, fresh coffee to the table very quickly. There’s nothing worse for me than sitting down for breakfast and having to wait and wait some more for my coffee!
The Kymata Restaurant
The Kymata Restaurant, set just off the beach, was particularly special. It was the perfect place to see the gorgeous sunset and the meals we ate there were amongst the best we’ve ever had on a beach holiday! The food was delicious, beautifully presented and freshly cooked to order. I had scallops one night and they were so good. In fact I’d never had such good scallops before.
A special mention goes to the sea-bass and the perfectly done steaks we had one night. The T-Bone Steak was huge and impossible for me to eat on my own so Mr 50 Plus helped me out. It’s pretty difficult singling specific meals out though, to be honest, as we didn’t have a bad meal the entire holiday at the Asimina Suites Hotel. (Likewise when we went on to The Athena Beach Hotel!)
Sightseeing in Paphos
Paphos is a town famous for its beauty and rich history from ancient times. It’s worth visiting if you enjoy unspoilt Mediterranean beaches, feasting on Cypriot food, nosing around UNESCO World Heritage sites, Roman ruins and mosaics and exploring ancient tombs. The sunny climate makes it perfect for lounging around the pool or on the beach but equally ideal for sight-seeing if that’s your bag. We like a bit of both so Paphos suited us down to the ground. We booked a guide to show us the sights but disaster struck on the day as my sciatica was off-the scale and I couldn’t walk. Mr 50 Plus, however went on his own with Alexia, the guide and here’s what he had to say …
Nigel’s Day Sightseeing in Paphos
“I was interested to know what Paphos had to offer someone who has an interest in its geography and culture. The history of Paphos goes back a long, long time. It goes back way before the Roman Empire, right back to before the Minoan era. It is an extremely complex history too, with influence from the Byzantine, Ottoman, Roman, Greek, Turkish and, more recently the British. It’s obviously got a lot to do with its strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean.
So, I made some effort to go and see some places of interest. I really had no idea how much there was to see and learn. A visit to the old Basilica, tucked away in a back street of Paphos opened the door to a wealth of points of interest that was to come. Seeing all the different architectural styles and materials spreading back through several centuries made me realise how deep its history was.
From the Basilica, I went to the old castle / fort down at the harbour. The fort is beautifully preserved and lots of the old features, including the dungeons, are visible. The view from the top illustrates why this location was chosen, as it offers a panoramic view of the entire bay and harbour as well as a line of sight to both the ancient and ‘old’ towns.
Close by were the archaeological sites. The first thing that struck me about the ancient ruins and the intricate mosaics was how incredibly well preserved they are. Considering their age, they still glow with bright, vibrant colours and the pictures tell stories of both myths and events, depicting the characters and their encounters. Some of the preserved mosaics are so intricate and colourful they actually look like carpets at first glance. The whole area is now under the auspices of UNESCO and strict protections are in place to ensure that the value of these artefacts is preserved.
The Tombs of the Kings
A short drive away are the Tombs of the Kings. It’s a fascinating area with excavations of intricate burial chambers together with their various ante-chambers and tombs. The name is a bit confusing as it is believed that there aren’t in fact any kings buried there. It was primarily for the wealthy and influential people of the day. It is situated up on a high hill with spectacular views over the sea. Wild rabbits and predatory hawks circled around, which added to the atmosphere of the area.
The Old Town of Paphos
Finally I visited the ‘Old Town’ of Paphos. Over the last couple of decades, the local government has been sponsoring a regeneration of the character of the old town. The winding narrow streets now contain colourful and quirky shops, cafés, restaurants and exhibits, together with beautifully restored hotels and a market built around an old style courtyard. It’s mostly traffic-free, so is ideal for a leisurely stroll, punctuated with refreshment stops in the characterful coffee shops or bars that abound.
I’d like to offer my thanks to the lovely Alexia, who runs Private Tours Cyprus. Her knowledge was encyclopaedic and her company was delightful. I would never have learned as much as I did without her help.”
Fantastic Holiday At The Asimina Suites Hotel
All in all, we had one of the best holidays ever. Within 24 hours of arriving, we were already planning to go back! The Asimina Suites suited us perfectly. There were loads of sun-beds so no sunbed wars. No thumping loud music around the resort to drive me up the wall. The food was great, the service perfect, the room clean and airy and the location was to-die-for.
Now it’s time for us to save up for Paphos ’24!
For More Information, click on The Asimina Suites Hotel