Do you ever have those days where all you want to do is search through every home, wedding and foodie page on pinterest and look up enchanting hotels for each and every occasion? Every time you go back to replying to emails and doing what you’re meant to be doing, Pinterest calls for you to come back. “I’m far more interesting” it whispers. I get those days a lot and given I’m a big planner, the kick I get out of making things happen is so good.
Scrolling through “places to travel in under 4 hours from Dubai” I came across a beautiful set of hotels called Thanos hotels, all run by one family, in sunny Cyprus. I feel like a long weekend away somewhere can be just what the doctor ordered and there’s no need to break away for weeks to feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Given it’s handy location being under 4 hours from both Dubai and London, I invited my sister along for the trip. I didn’t actually clock onto the fact it was Eid weekend in Dubai (and I call myself a planner!) so I don’t think J was best pleased that I was jet-setting off to Cyprus whilst he had 5 days off work. I was a little less concerned.
Almyra hotel is a short 20-minute drive from Paphos airport but coming from Dubai I had to fly into Larnaca airport, which is a longer hour and a half journey to the hotel. Not ideal, but the taxi driver I had from Thanos hotel’s partner was fabulous! He had my complete attention for an hour and half telling stories all about ancient Greece, wineries to try and markets to visit. His name was Sid and I highly recommend requesting him if you do the same journey and are after some local knowledge. The sun was shining bright without the humidity of Dubai – relief! Apparently it is beautiful weather until mid-november so Cyprus is an attractive option nearly all-year round.
I arrived alone as my sister Jordy couldn’t get there until the next day and it was twenty four hours of utter bliss!
The room was gorgeous with simply the most remarkable views of the Mediterranean shoreline right on our door-step. We stayed in one of the ‘Kyma Suites’ which means ‘Wave’…very fitting as that’s all you can hear from the balcony. It is so peaceful which is exactly what you need coming for a relaxing break. There are two large sun beds just outside the balcony doors which can be used for some privacy during the day or for watching the sun go down in the evening. I placed my luggage down and headed next door to the adult spa infinity pool to catch the last rays. It’s my favourite time of the day to sunbathe as it’s a little cooler yet still warm enough to enjoy and pick up some colour!
Evening sunsets at their finest…
The next morning I woke up bright and early to a yummy buffet breakfast. Pancakes, fruits, eggs every way you would like them and a huge fresh bread selection! They also have the classic greek yoghurts and lovely pots of homemade local jams, everything you would want from a Cyprian feast. For my health conscious readers, I was pleased to see pots of flax seeds and plenty of nuts to feast on! After a lovely start, I perched myself on the double sun loungers they have at the spa pool, settling in very quickly! It looks out onto the sea with plenty of space to be comfortable.
A few hours in the sunshine and then umbrella up and laptop out (it can’t be all play and no work!). A glass of champagne just to make the whole experience more indulgent! Work definitely doesn’t feel like work in Cyprus #QuoteoftheDay.
Lunch was sensational. One of only things I can miss when away is the ability to have your own food and snacks when you want them. However the pool menu was pleasantly surprising with an extensive choice, so much so that I ordered more than my stomach could manage!
Chicken (which was cooked to perfection) and Tofu burger with a sesame bun and then CruditÃ©s with aubergine dips. Raise a hand if you agree the burger looks mouth-wateringly good!
Jordy arrived that afternoon and after a run along the gorgeous sea front, we had some more tasty food at the spa/pool restaurant and enjoyed the view! I’m wearing the beautiful Brazilian swimwear from Praias.
The food got better and better throughout the weekend and it became very hard to say goodbye to their talented head chef, Gary. Below is our veggie bake, ginger marinated salmon salad and tomato gazpacho with crab and avocado, yum! There’s something for everyone and they’re more than happy to make adaptions for your taste. I have been known to swap ingredients in and out so it was lovely that they were pleased to accomodate.
Things to do
It was a little tricky to fit in plenty of visits and activities over such a short period of time, especially due to fact that my sister lives in the UK and wants to soak up all the sun possible! However, I couldn’t possibly go to Cyprus and not check out the local markets for food and wine as well delicately crafted handmade plates which are so difficult to find in Dubai.
We visited a market called ‘The Place’ (got to love the creativity!) just 5 minutes from the hotel in the local town. It’s packed full of local produce, with everything from herb soaps, to honey, to arts and crafts and the tastiest olive oil I have found in a long time! The owner is lovely and happy to answer any questions about where their items have come from.
The wine is exquisite and really worth leaving some space in your suitcase to take home with you! (The staff at Larnaca airport insisted I had the wine in a wooden box so something to bear in mind when travelling back with bottles. They sell the boxes at the shop incase you’re stuck for some)
The one I’m trying here is my absolute favourite called “Persefoni” from the Kolios Winery and my “birdie” beach dress is from Praias.
That evening there was a wine festival in the port, just 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Everyone there is so happy and excited, it’s pretty infectious! If you don’t fancy eating in the hotel every night then the port is full of local bars and restaurants to try. You can always venture out for an after-dinner drink to soak up the atmosphere too.
I did not try any of this!
We spent our last day soaking up the heavenly sunshine (October really is a great month to go!) and paying a little visit to their spa. It’s the small details that count and everything in the spa and around the hotel is simply beautiful! I’ve never had the combination of fresh basil and water and it’s delicious…one I’ve brought home with me! I would presume it came from their home-grown herb plants they have at every corner on the grounds. For a foodie like me, it’s wonderful to walk around with the smell of fresh rosemary and basil every few steps…such a sweet touch. The treatment I had was their anti-ageing facial which is brought over from Germany and really excellent!
And look at the view from the spa, it’s what postcards are made of!
Fresh Basil and Rosemary plants…
Having spent the summer is Spain, I didn’t expect to fall in love with somewhere else in Europe as much as I did here. The family touch that runs throughout the hotel is truly unique and the small details like being able to use any restaurant in their sister hotel Annabelle (just next door) allows for so many options and experiences. Nothing is too much trouble and the staff are simply exceptional. The sea is completely crystal clear (known as one of the best in the world) and the sunsets make for magnificent evenings.
The stand-out part of Almyra for me is the food, and that’s not just because I love everything about food! The quality, choice and price point is a step above the rest and so even if you’re not staying in the Almyra, I would highly recommend visiting for lunch or dinner to understand the degree of excellence these restaurants present.
It is already on my vacation list for late next summer, I’ll just have to make it a little longer trip!
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!