More about Aquamare Hotel and Spa
Nice hotel!! But some Problems!!!
My husband and I have just returned from a 2-week holiday staying at the Aquamare Hotel in Paphos.
This was our first visit to Cyprus and it certainly wont be the last. We were very impressive with Cyprus on a whole, its Englishness, its people, its food (though very pricey for tourists) and the beautiful scenery and Troudos mountains. We took advantage of hiring a car (a soft-top Suzuki Vitara) to look around the sites and soaked up some of the Cypriot atmosphere.
On arrival at the hotel, it looked very impressive hotel - though they always do after a long flight! Our flight had dropped off tourists in Larnica first!
We learnt that this was a new hotel, only opened last year, and all the reviews gave nothing but praise. So we decided to plunge with initial reactions, and book the Aquamare.
For a start, we thought there were a number of restaurants / bars in the hotel - but alas this was not the case. The restaurants were not restaurants as such - but the breakfast room, lunch restaurant or the dining room! A bit misleading. There was also a poorly designed bar, hidden away, in the lobby area, and 2 pool side bars - though the one near the main swimming pool wasn't opened daily - probably due to staffing issues. The lovely, friendly barman in the other outside bar would often given away cocktails to late night drinkers - but wasn't very popular with his manager and sometimes you felt really ackward sitting there when this other guy was lurking.
We also can't fault how clean the hotel was - though again the staff appeared to work long hours! Cleaning the downstairs area first before starting on the bedrooms.
However, we did experience a number of problems as did other visitors to this hotels.
There was a distinct lack of snacks available and not even a shop in the hotel selling the basics (papers, crisps, ice-creams, etc). If you wanted a snack at lunch, you either had to go to the restaurant and encounter poor, slow and sloppy service or walk 10 mins down the road to the nearby new holiday village (in the heat of the day) and get a snack in the coffee shop or from the supermarket.
Many people even bought snacks etc to the hotel and from what we heard from a fellow hotel guest, they actually got told off by the Funny Chinese Bar-Man for eating snacks brought onto the hotel premises .
There was also a big problem with the air-con in the hotel lobby and in the corridors outside the bedrooms. I reported this on one occasion to the manager and he told me they usually just keep the doors open to let the wind blow through the hotel! Well having just returned from heatwave, of excessive temperatures in Cyprus - there wasn't much wind blowing!! On some days we'd have an early breakfast (to go out on trips before the heat of the day really set in) and found hot air blowing instead of cold.
We also found that the staff worked long hours - daily from breakfast till dinner time and were not the most of cheerful or friendliest of staff. They'd often pounce on you to take your plates away at breakfast time just as you put down your fork! The Breakfast Selection was good and was replenished several times during the course of our time at Breakfast but needed a bit more variety! After 2 weeks of eating the same Breakfast, you do get a bit bored!
Although we meant to, we didn't have dinner in the hotel "restauarant" once. Though from what we heard from those guests on half-board they had a mixed reaction to being fed-up with the food to it being OK. Each night, they ran a different Food Theme (Greek, International, Asian etc) and post the menu outside the dining room later in the day. There was usually some form of entertainment - a singer or band too!
We took advantage of the lovely spa facilities - though costly but when I had my nails done, and sat there for over 1 1/2 hrs, I wasn't even offered a drink. We were also regular users of the gym which was quite well-equipped as far as hotel gyms go by. Although, there was a desk set up for someone to monitor the gym and sauna use, there never appeared anyone there. You were meant to fill out your name and room number on the paper provided on the desk every time you used the facilities - we only realised that after a week!
Whatever you do - please be aware of the Holiday Village Promoters lurking down the middle of the road outside the hotel - often on foot, in hired cars or scooters. They give the same story out - that they are doing a promotion and it is not Time-Share! They ask you to rub off some squares on a promo card and say they have never seen that combination before and need to speak to their manager. You then get taken across the road to the new complex and get asked questions by a marketing person before someone tries and sells you membership. They only wanted 1hr of our time but before long we were dragged into over 2 hours... The guy was getting a bit nasty towards the end, he kept saying you promised us your time in return for a prize. As we were not interested in the promotion, however many questions we asked him, he wouldn't give us the price of the membership. Just kept saying how much you spend on holidays each year and how much you can save with us etc... We were so stressed out by the time we got back to our hotel, that we felt our day had bee ruined. We had set out to take the bus upto the old town and visit the Market. They promised to take us to any destination in Paphos in a taxi that morning for giving up our time. In the end. when we were wise to the fact, we just left - empty handed.
The main part of Paphos is around a 30 - 45 min walk way - depending on the time and heat of the day - and there is a regular bus service - about a 5 min walk from the hotel to varies parts of Paphos. There is lots of restaurants in the nearby area too and some tourists shops. You need transport to take you up to the Old Town or further ahead.
What we liked most about the hotel was how quiet it was and out of the tourist trap! It was so relaxing to sit by the lovely garden area - though you did need to be out early to mark your place. There was fresh towels available every day from the hotel spa too. There was no loud music or animination and as it was off main season not many kids around. There was cobbled path connecting all the hotels, along the beach-stretch and it was nice to walk along there some times into town. However, the nearby hotels often had animination programmes and were so noisy or were full-inclusive hotels where everyone was tagged. The path did say a Private Path for Hotel Guests only - but all people staying in these hotels used these paths - there wasn't anyone there to say you could use the path to the hotel next door.
We will go back to Cyprus - maybe Paphos - in the near future - but we can't say we'll be staying at this hotel again. Being a new hotel, we'rem sure they still have to iron out a few teething problems - sort out the staffing issues, the air-con problem and perhaps even try to up-date the hotel furnishing which was something out the 80's. We also thought that the bar area should be more open rather than hidden away in its dark woody corner. Other hotels in the area, were more inviting and lots of people hung around the air-conditioned lobby-bars!
Overall nice hotel but needs improving! Also occasionally disturbance from in-coming and out-coming airplanes but not enough to ruin your hotel or stay in the hotel.
good but with reservations
Stayed at the Aquamare from the 24th june to 1st july and this is my first report on a hotel on trip advisor. Id read the reviews over the last year and watched with interest at the aquamare's rise up the rankings to its current position of number 4. What impressed me during that time was that it had overtaken the Athena Beach where we have stayed 3 times since 2004 and we love the Athena Beach!
So you can imagine that we were really looking forward to the aquamare. First impressions are important so it wasnt a good start when we arrived and the receptionist looked at us and said "but there's 3 of you". Fortunately I had my booking confirmation showing 2 adults and 1 child aged 7. The duty manager was there but was useless as he was throughout that day when we tried to sort this problem out on at least 3 occasions. At first they said they would put an extra bed in the room. This hadnt been done by the time we went out at 7pm so we mentioned it again. My sons face was a picture when we returned at 10.30pm to find a baby cot in the room! Back to reception and it was eventually sorted by 11.30pm. This is not a huge problem but it did reflect very poorly on the manager who's name was something like estevides. He was so unhelpful and to be honest totally disinterested. fortunately the housekeeping staff are all lovely friendly ladies who did all they could throughout the holiday.
The disinterest of the reception staff and the manager in particular reflects badly on the hotel.
The hotel itself is very nice indeed and I would go along with most of the positive points of other contributors. I would however have one or two points that I think are very important and should be considered if you are thinking of booking here and you have children.
The kids pool is very poor. It looks great in the brochures and on web sites but they are very deceptive. The water hardly fills half of the "blue" area and it is so shallow it would only really suit very young children. I thought with the slides off the ship etc it may be fun for slightly older kids but it is simply not deep enough.
This leaves the main pool and the massive problem with this is that it is one depth throughout. that depth is 1.34m or in good old feet and inches, just short of 4 and a half feet. My son is tall for a 7 year old and he can swim but he couldnt put his feet down at all without being completely submerged. I think this is a most important point for families looking to make a decision whether or not to holiday at the aquamare. Most children almost live in the pool on holidays and there are no pools at the aquamare that are suitable fo children between about 2 years and 10 years old. That is a fact and I know having read the previous reviews that most did not mention children. I have to mention this negative to redress the balance.
To be honest overall there is no way even if i did not have any children that this hotel is a patch on the Athena Beach. the grounds, the pools and the general feel of the hotel does not come anywhere near the superb Athena Beach.
There are also still lots of teething problems at breakfast which were mentioned a long time previously in reports. By all accounts the hotel was fuller than it has ever been and this was their excuse for failing to keep up their standards. Not really a good enough excuse is it. One day there would be no orange juice, the next the coffee machine wasnt working. There were long queues for certain freshly cooked items such as omelettes etc and the design of that area is not made for queues! Many items of food had run out and were not replaced.The tables were not ready at the busier times around 9.15 to 9.30 and the whole experience needs attention but nobody seems to care.There is just a shrug of the shoulders and a "manana "attitude.
In conclusion I apologise for the long report but I can imagine at quieter times if you were a couple without kids that the hotel would be excellent so I can totally understand the very good reviews. To balance them however , it needs to still brush up on customer service matters and it is wholly unsuitable for most families with kids who like the pool. The Athena Beach is more expensive but i can assure you it deserves to be above the Aquamare in the rankings (fortunately we spent 3 days at the Athena pool and spent our money there at lunch and on drinks.)The Athena is really everything the Aquamare should try to attain but its design faults and poor staff attitude means we will not return to the Aquamare again.
We stayed in the Aquamare for a week in July 2007. It was a last minute holiday for us and after much deliberation over a place to stay we picked this one. We wanted a peaceful location within easy reach of all local ammeneties in a nice 4/5* hotel and we got it. We payed extra for a sea view room and we weren't disappointed. The view was fabulous overlooking the pool and gardens and the sea beyond. The rooms were very comfortable, if not a bit on the small side, and extremely clean. The maid came everyday to change the sheets and towels etc. The food in the hotel was fine, just what you expect from a buffet stlye. It was certainly one of the nicest half board restarants I have been to. There was plenty of fresh salads and main dishes to choose from, which were changed regularly so you didn't end up wth dried up mush! Even if we were late into the restaurant the food was just as good as if you had gone in early. There was plenty of choice for breakfast in a lovely restaurant which lead out onto a terrace so you could sit outside and watch the world go by. The hotel is new and of course this does bring teething problems. The staff were attentive when they noticed you! But in 34 degrees heat I wouldn't rush either! I am sure that this is something that they will improve on as the seasons progress.
The location is good. There is a bus stop about 5 minutes walk away which is regualr and takes you to the harbour and into the town for about 80p. A taxi would be about £5. There are some nice nars and restaurants within a 5 minute walk and the town about another 20 mins walk away. I am glad that we stayed at the Aquamare as it is out of the way of the english bars and pubs that creep up on you as you walk towards the harbour.
I would recommed this hotel to anyone who wanted a peaceful week in a quiet location.
Haven Of Peace And Relaxation
Stayed at the Aquamare from 25 July to 1 August. Overall an extremely positive experience.Hotel was spotless throughout. Catering highly commendable with loads on
offer, great choice, variety from night to night , superb presentation - only one night proved disappointing in selection and quality of cooking.Main gripe for me was no wine selection available,just red white or rose-no wine list or display cabinet to choose from - and bottled water which was not even slightly chilled. Service prompt and efficient if lacking somewhat in finesse.
Plenty of space in garden/pool area with ample sunbed provision,though if lounger by pool important to you ,you need to be quick off the mark as guests insisted on laying claim to these facilites depite hotel rules expressly forbidding such action.
childrens's facilities a little limited for older chilren,but this was an added attraction to those who prefer a child free environment,as such children as were resident tended to be more toddler/infant age.
Not suitable for those seeking lively,boisterous accomodation characterised by organised activities and redcoat style entertainment.
Clean,Good Food,No serious issues, lacks proper beach.
Stayed 1 wk on h/board, returned 19/7/7, generally very pleased in terms of value for money and overall quality of service.
Am sure other hotels offered more but at this price (£410 inc flights & seaview h/board, it's worth at least another 10-15% more) most will struggle to match this hotel. Had a brief visit at the Pioneer next door but one (looked comparativly warn), RUI looked comparatively average both were charging more for the same week and am glad i didn't end up at either of those.
watch out for budget car hire at the airport , cars are generally run down apx 20%-25% more expensive than Kings Road (Venus beach hotel area). Taxi from Airport to Aquamare is £20 one way.
Aquamare Rooms - Clean, modern style. Seaview across the pool and garden area was great and worth paying the extra.
Breakfast offers plenty of choice and freshly cooked eggs/ommlets (peppers, chilles, oniions, ham, cheese etc etc, if it doesn't exist, Eves the head chef will find it for you!).
Evening meal - well presented, not usual dried out crap, plenty of choice, but after a while eating in the same place gets boring at any hotel.
Childrens facilities, plenty to choose from, child pool is for infants as it comes up to ankle depth. Infinity pool at top has consistent depth of 1.34m which might not suit all kids. Beach a little pebbly and seem to be a problem for most hotels.
Hotel is a little out of town (but then,quite a few are in this area)which provides for a more tranquil environment. There is a bus stop just outside the hotel and a cheap sandwich bar across the road - bannana shack (pretty good too). Plenty of bars and eating places within 10 mins stroll.
Eating in the resort area is pricey however, eating just outside resort offers better quality and large quantity of food - try the fish Meze £9 at Nicos Tirymnos near the big church town end of Kings Road apx £5 by taxi from hotel one way (5 min by car). Reccomended by locals and popular, far too much food.
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Aquamare from 31 July to 7 August having booked last minute. We kept checking reviews of the Aquamare on a regular basis and were a little concerned about some of the later reviews, however we can honestly say that this is the best hotel we have ever stayed at.
We arrived at the hotel and check in was really quick, there was also a glass of cold orange juice for each of us, this may not sound like a lot but when the temperature outside is a scorching 37 degrees it goes a long way!
Our room was fantastic, we decided last minute to upgrade to a sidesea view and were glad we paid the extra. The room was spotlessly clean and of a really good size with plenty of wardorbe space, the bathroom was also really clean and again a good size (fab shower also)
The pool was perfect - some reviews said it wasn't as big as it looked in the pictures (is it ever) however we thought it was perfect to relax in, the kids pool was perfect for todlers to paddle in and there was also a small indoor pool if you just wanted to go for a proper swim. We went peak season and never struggled to find a sunbed either by the pool or on the garden which overlooked the sea (yes the german guests did tend to reserve the beds but it's tradtional isn't it?!) it never really posed a problem for us.
The food was great, lots of choice - my boyfriend was particularly impressed with the "egg chef" who prepared eggs just how you liked them!. Some people have mentioned there was no where to get snacks at lunch, i have to disagree, the breakfast restaurant converted to a lunch resturant and the food served was of good quality and value for money, we never went anywhere else (as for the banana shack across the road that so many other people have talked about, we never went there as it was quite litterally a shack, or shed it was really hard to tell!) stick to the hotel. Evening meals also offered plenty of choice, hot dishes were replenished frequentley so the food never looked dried out - also fab puddings! one minor issue was not getting a drink included with your evening meal but it wasn't a big problem.
The pool bar was also great, the bar staff would frequently give free drinks and shots to the regulars who went every night, there was some entertainment - singers and dancing which encouraged more people to stay round the pool so the atmosphere was good about £1.50 (cypriot) for a large glass of wine and £1.80 for local beer.
The staff were brilliant, some people have said they had a "don't care not interested attitude" i disagree entirely, the staff were really friendly, some reviews say that they took your plate away as soon as you put your knife and fork down - not quite, they were simply efficent, and anyway who wants to stare at a plate of leftover food? Dimos and Marios (bar staff at the pool bar) provided lots of entertainment by winding each other up and taking time to speak to all hotel guests. I have to say the only rudness we encountered was from one german guest who told us in no uncertain terms that the loungers we wanted to sit on were "not free"! i never encountered any rudness from any staff - maybe some of those who have moaned should try saying please and thank you themselves - it goes along way and means the staff will try even harder.
If you want a bit of pampering go to the spa and have a facial or massage - it is defintley worth the money.
Maybe we didn't have such high expectations as some other people who have reviewed this hotel - we went with open minds, not wishing to get our hopes us, i can honetley say we could not have had a better holiday - yes the weather was fantastic but the hotel played a big part in out overall enjoyment. Paphos harbour is great for a day/evening out (my boyfriend would recommend the extreme boat ride on the tiger boat!) lots of great eating places and bars.
One thing i would say about Cyprus - although we didn't see that much of it because we loved just being round the hotel, is that it is really clean.
We loved the aquamare and are planning to go back next year!
Have just returned from the aquamare and chose it having read some glowing reviews ont his site. However, I have to say that I agree more with the later reviews. The staff are among the most unhelpful and unfriendly I have ever come across. The front desk in particular the duty managers havea real "don't want to know" attitude, and that by even talking to you they are doing you a favour. Another couple had paid for a seaview and were given a roadside room and when they asked to change rooms they were just ignored. Yes if you dare bring a bottle of water to the pool you are told off in front of the other guests and reported to the manager. Funnily enough though some eastern european guests managed water, crisps and sandwiches without being chastised.the staff do try and whip your plates away if you put your fork down for a minute even if you clearly haven't finished your meal. There is nowhere to buy snacks during the day in the hotel. The coffee and juices are out of a machine and are disgusting and due to the hotel being pretty full, this means lengthy queues each morning to get a drink. In the evening three nights out of the week we were there, no one asked us if we wanted to order a drink with our meal. And the seafood dish was mainly crabsticks! The rooms and good, the spa is excellent and the hotel is very clean but thats about it really. The pool is much smaller than it looks and the glam pics of the hotel are very deceiving. I am sure there are better places to stay in Paphos and this certainly didn't feel 4 star. This hotel has been open a year now which is long enough to have sorted out these problems
Just returned from this new hotel 23 June. The hotel itself is situated at the far end of Pafos nearer to the airport side. Lovley gardens leading down to a small shingle beach. There is a path that runs all the way down the front of the hotels-good walk to see what the other hotels look like.No bars as such around the outside, except for the Banana Shack opposite on main road-limited food and drink. A short walk will bring you to the Beer Garden a very pleasant bar set in trees-lovley at night all lit up. Beautiful hotel with impressive decor throughout-even on the landings of the bedroom floors Good size rooms with excellant air-con (much needed as temps got to 90+c!) The food is very good although because it is only a small hotel the selection of food is limited- and no ice cream!!
Now the down side!!!
The pool is situated on the upper floor-you have to go up and down the new shiny marble steps to reach it. I slipped coming down the steps and knocked myself unconscious-pandemonuim erupted!
Eventually landed in hospital for 24hours on observation-still not regained my smell or taste back yet! I was one of many who had slipped that week-so please please be very caredful!
A big thank you to Victoria from the spa who was wonderfull during my accident.
This is an excellent hotel and i would recommend to anyone going to Paphos to stay here.
The hotel has only been opened for a few months and it is immaculate throughout.
The rooms are modern and very comfortable with a good bathroom.
There are 2 pools - one for children and ALWAYS plenty of sunloungers. Both have a bar next to them.
The food was excellent we went half board and having experienced other hotels evening meals in the past i was wary, however there was no need. The food is varied and every night is themed, there is a large selection to suit all tastes. Although it is a self service buffet style the food is always fresh and tasty.
The staff were helpful and very friendly.
The spa is amazing - plenty of treatments to choose from and at a reasonable price.
The hotel has a 4 star rating and it certainly lives up to that.
Although you are a 20 minute walk from the main harbour you are surrounded by bars and shops and a supermarket. The walk into the harbour is a great way to see all of these on they way there, alternativly the bus stop is literally a minutes walk from reception.
It is well worth going to this hotel, i hope to return soon.
This hotel has an AMAZING marketing department!
We recently had a 2 week stay at this hotel and wouldn't go back again! The hotel is clean, the Spa is excellent and the gym is also very good but..........
The service from all the staff is poor, the side sea view rooms are a complete con as you can't see the sea from them. The pools are too small for the size of the hotel and are totally impractical for children unless they are babies (one is too deep with no shallow end, and one has hardly any water in), the sun beds are the most uncomfortable I have ever laid on.
The food in the hotel, (which incidently describes itself as a 5* hotel with 4* prices) was a buffet every night which hardly changed. The restaurant lacked any atmosphere at all and to describe this hotel as having 4 restaurants is a complete joke. The breakfast was very poor indeed, especially the fruit juice and coffee!
Now to the most dangerous thing....the steps! The main pool is on the top floor and to get to the lunch restaurant, the bar, or the sea you have to walk down a number of very shiny and slippy marble steps. Both my husband and I walked very carefully down these but my husband still fell down them none the less and hurt himself quite badly. We spoke to the manager about it who seemed completely uninterested and told us that we must be careful in future!!!
If you went on this holiday expecting 3* you would probably be quite happy. If you go expecting it to be a good 4* hotel, you will, like everyone we met be bitterly dissapointed.