- Reviews: 1777
"Cyprus Villages" Apartments in Tochni: It is Actually Living amongst the Villagers!
My Second time in Tochni and thought to try the "Cyprus Villages" this time. The name sounded a bit peculiar and I thought to give it a try.
ACOMMODATION: The concept oddly named “Cyprus Villages” comprises a number of nicely self-sufficient renovated houses or studios of 1 and 2 bedrooms. All of them are well equipped, and a number of them are clustered around a private shared pool in complexes of 4 - 5 units. (I am staying at the main unit where the restaurant and reception are).
My room was #2, clean and spacious with its own outside seating area. Guests have the opportunity to experience this in the village of Kalavasos and Psematismenos also, because the “Cyprus Villages” extend to these two other villages as well.
LOCATION: All 3 Villages mentioned above are centrally located halfway between Larnaca and Limassol and they are close to Governors Beach. They can also function as an ideal base to explore the island’s archaeological sites and amazingly beautiful trails. In Tochni, there is a local minimarket and a couple of tavernas.
RECEPTION: Friendly and professional staff.
BREAKFAST: A well-presented breakfast that had everything, even cartons of fresh juice.
RESTAURANT: The focal point is the Tochni Taverna. During the day you see few guests at breakfast only because sportsmen who stay here are up much earlier while those who want to spend more relaxing holidays wake up much later and have their own private plan. You have the feeling that not many people stay at the Cyprus villages, but for me each night was a different surprise. The last night it was fully booked and I could hardly find a seat. I showed up quite late assured that since there were a few people at breakfast it will be something similar in the evening. How wrong I had been!
Food is typically Cypriot and portions are plentiful. Staff might not be that professional, but service is ok even in times when there is rush you will see them prompt, discreet and polite.
WI FI: Free Wi Fi internet access throughout the Taverna and the garden.
POOL: The pool is just big enough to swim a few strokes yet it can still be a bonus at the end of a hot day. Personally I am not fond of pools but I could have spent a couple of hours out there if I had along my bathing dress this time. I noticed that it is a popular spot and guests can enjoy a cooling dip over a nice refreshing drink or relaxing on the deck chairs around it.
ACTIVITIES: There is a Horse farm close by. Cycling on professional bikes with optional guided tours, or hiking and jogging on specially marked nature trails are a few of the activities a guest can enjoy here. The ladies at the reception are more than helpful to give the right information according to your interests and skills. There is also YOGA for individuals and groups.
WELLNESS SPA: There is a small Wellness Spa at Tochni village with Sauna and Jacuzzi facilities. The professional Beauty Holistic Massage Therapist happens to be a friend of mine, her name is Jacqueline and you can spot her at breakfast time each morning at the taverna. I have known her for years and I totally trust her as she is skillful and a very positive person. If you book a session with her, I am sure you will return for more. I highly recommend the Neck and Back Signature Massage which is what I had for €35 on a 35 minute treatment. It certainly reliefs tension and is done by using essential oils. Another option is the Package of Essence of Beauty or a Relaxation Aromatherapy Massage which is actually a therapeutic relaxing and detoxified massage. Don’t leave without at least trying one of the treatments that she recommends.
WHAT TO HAVE IN MIND:
Guests should bring their own toiletries (shampoo and bath gel) as these are not provided. Cleaners change sheets once a week and change towels every 3 days.
The village is not handicapped friendly, and if you have some problems do ask Mariana at the reception to give you the best alternative of the suitable house.
This place is not for people who are after night clubs, noise, discos, shopping etc. Ideal for sports lovers, hiking, cycling, jogging, fishing and culture.
A car is also recommended especially if you want to see some of the island, unless you come for a couple of days like me. I used the ZHNONAS Buses from Finikoudes central bus stop (bus #401) for just €1.50 and there was a corresponding lorry at Kofinou –and a further 10 minute ride to Tochni. The total trip cost me just €1.50.
IN SHORT: A stay here provides a great alternative from the typical sun and sea holiday. I highly recommend the countryside as it shows the real life of the people in the Cypriot villages, from their warm welcoming, to the cute local tavern or the small museum tucked away in the village. I highly urge tourists not to leave Cyprus without experiencing at least one such stay. So, if you are after authentic places and you wish to enjoy the warm Cypriot hospitality this is the place to be!
- Reviews: 1777
The Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows: Memorable Holidays my Favourite Larnaca Hotel
I spent the last 2 nights of my two week trip here because I knew for sure that the stay is a guarantee of memorable relaxing holidays as I know it for years. I will not return to Cyprus until the end of September again. For me it is like returning home as there are so many familiar faces around and I believe this is part of the secret of its success. I notice how guests are treated especially with the repeaters. It is a hotel I have strong feelings with and even though this is my 4th stay in the premises I remember the long summers when I would fly to Larnaca how I would always come here at the Palm Beach for swimming. For us, people of Larnaca the Palm Beach was and still is a Gem and it continues to rank first in the preference of thousands of guests who visit it the year round.
The Resort is located in an ideal coast with direct access onto a sandy beach only 6 Kms from the city of Larnaca and 12 Kms from the new Airport. There isn’t a better beach in Larnaca than this lovely coast with the safest shallow lagoon like sea bathing waters. The tropical gardens that surround the premises provide the perfect setting for business and pleasure. The high Palm trees in the beach-front give you the idea that you are having holidays in an exotic destination.
I am staying at a luxury garden studio bungalow on the new wing #535 which is at the very back with much privacy. Families with children have the ground bungalows next to the pool and all of them overlook a large lagoon shape swimming pool. The choice of a bungalow is preferable for families than ordinary rooms on the main building because kids have a kind of private garden to play in and they are next to this amazing swimming pool at the same time.
My bungalow is so beautifully furnished that honestly gives the feeling of a home away from home. There was a pot of flowers in the room but I love making flower arrangements and I created a few which decorated the bungalow the two nights I was there. Very simply they filled the place with colour and positive energy. The beautiful colourful curtains match with the bedspreads and there is a semi divided wooden partition that separates the bedroom from the sitting room area. The interior reminds me of hotels I visited in Asia as it has touches of Indonesian décor. It gives me the privacy I need just ideal for what I was after. The facilities in this specific room are those of a 5* hotel and the sofa in the sitting room area can accommodate two children as it opens to a double bed. Coffee facilities are ample with a variety of different brands of tea/coffee and milk. I had a bottle of champagne brought in the room and a platter of seasonal fruit and cool water upon arrival.
The marble bathroom is spacious with a huge mirror, and the toiletries here are the Geneva Guild brand. The soaps are aromatic leaving the skin soft and silky. There is plenty of hot water and beach towels are provided in the bathroom.
Breakfast was ample with rich variety of different kinds of bread, croissants, cakes, variety of cheeses -even grilled “haloumi” was on offer cooked by Niki who was also in control of the omelettes. There was ham and bacon, lountza, boiled, scrambled eggs and the most amazing on the minute mixed omelette. It was the very best, well cooked and rich in ingredients (cheese,onions, green and red pepper, ham/bacon). The restaurant can get crowded if you get there early in the morning and I noticed this happening the 2nd day when I had to leave the premises early. Maria is the lady I remember from my previous stay, efficient, professional as always and alert to meet the needs of the guests. By all means try the plums in cinnamon/orange syrup. They are yummy! I truly cannot understand some tourists and how they react when they come across food…as if they have been starving for days and they suddenly storm in the restaurant and start piling up their plates!! This reaction made me for years avoid buffet dining.
On Saturday the theme night had to do with Greek/Cypriot cuisine and I happened to be out at the Sea Breeze restaurant much earlier taking photos and waiting for some friends. The palm trees give the whole resort a touch of a tropical scene. The beach-front path is always busy with people who constantly pass by –exercising or having an afternoon stroll. The Mediterranean waters are calm and serene and the sky changes colours as the sun sets. For seconds all this beauty travelled me to an exotic distant destination…while in reality I was in my hometown! The surprise came when I saw the amazing dishes on display that evening and for the first time I can honestly say that I enjoyed an amazing buffet. I thought for a minute to get in the kitchen and congratulate the chef. He would surely be busy that time so I am doing this through this review. The rich variety included the best and most popular Cypriot and Greek dishes. The presentation, quality, and taste could be easily graded with an A+. This menu gave the opportunity to holiday-makers get a good picture of the authentic Greek/Cypriot cuisine and taste. There was more to come later on when a small group of 4 from the popular “Karotseri” dancing band showed up and the evening turned to be a memorable big party with almost everyone participating. Guests seemed to be having a hell of a time.
The Sunday night dinner was indoors at the elegantly decorated Omega Restaurant with live guitar music and singing of international classic pieces just like the international theme night. The buffet was amazing and food varied, and I preferred having sea food this time which was unbeatable. Cyprus is popular for its wines and the cellar of the resort houses some of the finest Cypriot and European wines. I had the opportunity to taste a few. The majority of waiters and supervisors are professionals and they are very polite and helpful and I can name Pambos, Pavlos and Mr. Diplis.
The hotel is very popular with wedding venues and there was one such out at the Gazebo. The couple was from Larnaca and I had the chance to see many familiar faces and friends who came to congratulate the couple. I was even given a “lokoumi” which is the traditional Cypriot delicacy given only at weddings.
Don’t miss visiting the Leisure Club which is amazing. Mr. Christos Papamichael is the manager and the business runs on a separate to the resort basis. I have local friends who urged me to visit because they are members themselves and they know that it is one of the best Clubs and Spas in Larnaca. I came to book an appointment for an hour’s hand massage and I was indeed feeling a different person by the time the massage was over. The skilful and professional hands of Maria Istvanne proved to be miraculous. She knew exactly where to put more pressure on. I had this amazing feeling hours after the massage! For residents the use of the pools, table tennis, aerobic classes are free. For non residents it costs 18 euros.
Residents however pay 10 euros to use the Jacuzzi and Steam Bath. Kids are not allowed in the gym area. The products at the Spa for the body/facial treatments are the “Thalgo” brand.
The Hot Stone Massage (50 min) costs 65 for residents and 70 for non residents and an hour’s Hand Massage costs 65 and 70 euros respectively. A 20 minute massage would cost 30 and 33 respectively but I highly recommend the one I had because that includes a full body and scalp massage. If I were living in Larnaca I would surely be a member.
There is a bus stop just outside the hotel. Bus #430 drives you to the city centre in minutes. The cost is one euro but if you want to use the bus the day long it is preferable to buy the 3 euro ticket. If it is just to go and come back prefer two singles. Bus # 431 goes to Finikoudes, Makenzi, Airport and Perivolia and ends up at Faros. Ayia Napa and Protara are easily accessible by bus if you stand on the opposite side of the road and there are two alternatives. There is the Osea Bus #714 taking you as far as Protara and Ayia Napa for One euro. (More info on the net) It passes through a number of villages to end up in Paralimni. The other alternative is the InterCity Green buses which are faster and the fee is 3 euros.
Wi Fi internet connection is free on the grounds of the main building. In all my stay at the Resort was great. For this reason I highly recommended it and I can’t wait to be back!
- Reviews: 1777
The Library Hotel Wellness Retreat: Elegance and Comfort - The Gem of Kalavasos!
Updated after my recent visit
The Luxuriously furnished and Harmonious décor of the rooms, the Friendly staff and excellent cuisine, were some of the reasons I wanted for a year now to go back to this hotel.
I was a bit disappointed this time, new faces, and the place was not exactly like I found it the previous time.
The cuisine compared to my previous visit was totally different and with a new Chef. It was interesting ok, but it did not excite me. In fact I was a bit disappointed because I am after the very best when it comes to food.
The 19th century stone-built mansion is the gem of Kalavassos and it blends harmoniously with the environment. An atmosphere of elegance and comfort is what you get upon entering. On the right there is the unique Library Lounge with its open fireplace ideal for the cold winter nights, and the elegant Italian design furniture features a collection of different books that are available to guests –books that have to do with health, philosophy, nature and literature. I love taking my coffee there with the company of a nice book from the shelves.
Guests seem to enjoy the tranquility of the place. It is a hotel mostly for couples and small groups of friends who come to spend a few relaxing days to unwind and recharge their batteries.
I noticed a number of positive changes and loved the colours of the exterior walls, yellow, navy blue and the color of brick blending harmoniously with the stoned-walls of the courtyard on the ground floor matching with the environment and the round area.
The Spa treatments are now taken on the first floor opposite the suites and next to the new Conference room. The ceremonial mud steam bath and the herbal steam (sweating bath) are free to guests staying in the hotel so with much pleasure I let myself relax and enjoyed the moment.
My suite (Constantinos Cavafis) was elegant and spacious. Each of the 11 unique suites is named after famous poets, thinkers and writers and they are furnished with pieces of art and books related to each room theme. The ceilings are high and are covered in wood with ceiling fans but there is of course air conditioning. Coffee/tea facilities are provided and a mini bar as well.
After a good night’s sleep the next morning I enjoyed a rich Breakfast Buffet with organic ingredients and healthy balanced meals. I appreciated the fresh thick orange juice and the aromatic coffee. I did not sit outside with the rest of the guests but preferred to sit inside the so beautifully decorated Mitos Restaurant where I could enjoy my breakfast better and more relaxed over the soft music that was all around the trendy atmosphere of the place.
Wi Fi Internet connection is free, something that was missing the previous years.
What you have to have in mind is that the hotel is strictly for adults and couples. Children are not allowed in the premises. It is like an oasis here and worths giving it a try.
Check for the Exclusive Packages for weekend getaways if you want to assure an affordable stay here. Highly recommended!
- Reviews: 1777
Vasilopoulos House Traditional Complex -Tochni: A Feeling of Being in Another Era!
I spent 3 unforgettable nights at the House of Vasilopoulos.
After touring the whole village the very first day I consider it to be the best and most beautiful home in Tochni.
The traditional architecture which has been preserved for the past 300 years makes the agrotourism village very unique, but I believe this very house distinguishes from the rest and I have to admit it.
The view from my balcony was the best, as it overlooked the ancient Church of the Saints Constantinos and Eleni, and at the background the sea.
The house is part of an amphitheatrical slope and from the balcony I could not only enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surround area, but also its beautiful garden.
I felt the Real Agrotourism here, and I enjoyed its authentic restoration. It was as if I was visiting my grandmother’s house 70 years back, with a feeling of being in another era. This is what makes it unique here.
I had a small fully equipped kitchen and I loved the idea of the benches under the vine in the garden where I could sit and work.
I loved the human touch of the people of Tochni, and I highly recommend this complex to people who want to relax away from the hectic cities - who want to experience the Real Cypriot Traditional Culture.
I can’t wait to come here again!
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/137ed3/60591/3/#ixzz1HbT9kpb3
- Reviews: 1777
"Gabriel House" in Kato Drys: Interesting and great hospitality!
‘GABRIEL HOUSE’ KATO DRYS
I have only the best to write concerning “Gabriel House” at Kato Drys.
Starting from the unforgettable hospitality of the couple, Mr. Gabriel and Eleni treated me as if I were a member of their family.
Although it is a 200 year old building, it is fully restored, and has both floor heating and air conditioning. The house is centrally located between the two historical churches and the agricultural Museum. The stone-built village itself is very old and full of history.
Mr. Gabriel being a licensed producer of organic nuts and fruit welcomed me to his orchard. Guests can try his products for free.
My apartment had a fantastic atmosphere taking me to another era.
This is the reason I always include such houses on my trips. You have to step in the house itself to feel this, and I believe photos cannot give the whole picture of what you will experience out here.
Of course in the house there was both a Plasma TV, and a DVD player but I could not care less. Who wants to switch on a TV when here. Who wants to listen to music when you can hear the birds singing outside in the beautiful garden of the premises and the rain falling outside depending on the weather conditions! I had a big variety of coffee to make to myself, tea, and all sorts of jams and marmalades from the house.
Everything was perfect.
- Reviews: 10
THE STUDIOS - LARNACA: BEST - ACCOMMODATION -LARNACA
ok, this is a wonderful place in Larnaca, just next to the sea...really good!
So this are studios, with aircoditioning, one bed, a sofa that turns to bed, wc - bathroom, kitchen.. you onlly need to bring your cloths, everything else is inclouted.
They have a pool and the sea is some steps away- very near- just across the road.
All restaurants, supermarkets, car hire place are just a few steps away. The airport is 3 minutes by car and the town is 5 minutes by car.
This studios are in the area of Makenzi, a very well known aeria, really good. This place can be rent from September untill end of May and the rent is -400- euros, you also have to pay for water and electeicity bills - ok, much better than anything else- its ok price- cheap i may say.
I stayed there and i loved it, the studio had a wonderfull ping colour on the walls, was comfortable for one or two persons. Its good really, i enjoyed it, didnt want to go away.... but they dont rent it for the summer time, just for the months i mentioned. For reservations you can fax them -22330749-.
So its a cool place, the owners are ok peoble, no problems- just really good. Was nice to be there. :)
Pool - sea- the studio - the sea view- quiet even just steps out of the building you could find everything that you need. I adored it :0)
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