I think if you were only staying here for two or three nights, you would find the Onar acceptable, more than that you would find the food boring, repetitive and at times borderline intolerable.
I stayed at the Onar as a base for a tour of North Cyprus for nine days. The hotel offers plenty of facilities, a remarkable number of which are not available.
The positives: Our rooms were spacious with good air-conditioning. We had a side view looking towards the mountains and that was fine. Beds were comfy; big bathroom with bath and overhead shower with plenty of hot water.
The biggest asset of the Onar is its staff. Without exception they were courteous, attentive, kind and obliging. 5 out of 5 for that.
The outdoor pool area was large with comfortable loungers. Pool towels are available. Note the water is cold, very cold.
The negatives: I wanted to use the advertised “Relaxation Center with Massage and therapeutic services by appointment”, but they don’t do that anymore. Note to Onar: If you don’t offer that facility, don’t advertise it. That was a disappointment so you lose for that.
The indoor pool: Not available
Jacuzzi Not available
Sauna: Not available
Turkish Bath: Not available
Gym: Not available
Solarium: Never found it
Location: Great views but not good if you want to walk into town, unless you are happy to cross a very busy dual carriageway, the main road between Kyrenia and Nicosia, with no crossing point. The hotel does run a bus into town – once a day, and comes back - once a day. It is better than nothing, but only just.
Food: Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Disaster zone alert! During our stay they brought in a new manager to improve the overall quality of the food and its presentation, so the management are aware of its low quality. Good luck to him.
Breakfast is Groundhog Day. A very tired selection of second-rate cornflakes, yogurt with a variety of jams, sliced tomato and cucumber. Two types of cheese, one tasteless the other rubber; meat is the same every day comprising a very unappetising liver sausage and that’s it. No ham, or salami or any other type of meat, no croissants, no pastries. The hotplate had two items; always egg of some description and something that looked suspiciously like last night’s leftovers, usually refried potatoes. Bread was OK, although the toaster was on its last legs and the coffee machine broke down on our 3rd day, so coffee was a get-it-yourself instant. As this claims to be an international hotel it does serve alternative breakfasts, like boiled eggs or full English - at an extra charge. I gave in and bought a breakfast one morning at 20TL. This food would be available on the hotplate self-service anywhere else.
Dinner: According to the hotel’s website: “Our chefs prepare a delectable array of traditional Turkish appetizers and local specialties; succulent charcoal-grilled shish kebabs, or the distinctively flavoured tender lamb baked in a Village clay oven.” Crickey, I must have missed that cos I never saw it!
Soup was OK, but there was the same cold mezes every day, and two hot dishes: perm any two from three, meatballs, chicken, or fish. No imagination and not much taste. Cyprus, an island covered in fruit, but not at the Onar dinner table where only melon and watermelon were available. (Stop Press: One night there were slices of orange). Where were the Dolma – the stuffed varieties of meze like vine leaves, peppers, courgette flowers or the Molehiya or Mucver or Chakistes (yes we had olives but not prepared.) Where was the acili ezme (hot pepper paste often with walnuts). Nowhere to be seen. Bland, bland bland is what we had.
You may be asking: “If it is so bad why not go out and eat?” (We did once). Well it will cost you a taxi each way to start with and I paid for half-board no matter how awful.
In summery: That customers are virtual prisoners at the Onar because of its location is no excuse for poor quality food. As I have said, the management have clearly taken this on-board, but they really must do something fast and stop trying to do everything on the cheap.
Would I stay here again? Because of the food and location, no chance.
- Also Known As:
- Onar Holiday Village Hotel
- Onar Holiday Village Kyrenia
- Onar Holiday Village Cyprus/Kyrenia
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Onar Village...more than just a place to stay...Hotel Rooms and Villas available in this wonderful hillside resort.Indoor Pool,Sauna,Turkish Bath, Jacuzzi. ... more less
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