My wife and I have just returned from a ten night half board holiday at the Atlantica Golden Beach in Paphos, Cyprus.
I must say at this point that I am honestly surprised at the huge contrast between negative and positive comments with regards this hotel and I must point out also, that my findings are specific to holidaying at "low" season (early March) and that I have no experience of this hotel at any other time of the year. Please bear in mind also, that the TTTT + rating is Thomson's own evaluation of this hotel and their own "pat on the back."
The positives and the negatives.
As I understand, this hotel went through a major re-fit three years ago, all communal areas are contemporary and well appointed. In the main, the waiting staff are friendly and efficient. In particular I would like to particularly mention the two Romanian girls, Nicoletta and Sonia and Alin on reception who, during our stay, were all a total "breath of fresh air."....Nothing was too much trouble for them.
Bedrooms also benefited from the refit and whilst they are the smallest of all we have experienced in 18 years of Cyprus holidays, (comparing them to other Paphos hotels), they are, nevertheless, fitted out to a good standard. (Sadly, in the 10 nights we were there, the same pile of fluff and dust remained, seemingly never swept or mopped once). Room features included, " very comfortable memory foam" twin beds , fridge, flat screen TV with 4/5 UK channels, etc etc. Bathroom is also well fitted, with a decent shower, hair dryer etc., but also, rather on the small side with really no room for a small stool and no convenient clothes hooks to hang any clothes or robe. Bedroom lighting was inadequate - no main centre light, so all a bit dark.
Now the food, but please keep in mind, this hotel caters for 90% Brits.'
Breakfast was pretty much the same every day with a good variety of everything you can think of - really this was the best meal of the day. You couldn't criticise this hotel for not providing a huge choice.
However, when it came to the evening meal, it was a completely different story and I have to say at this point that the hotel provided an amazing salad bar and was the best that we have encountered in Cyprus. Sadly the "hot" buffet (which at best was only warm) was really awful. If there was fish, you could not identify it and it usually sat there that long that it became totally overcooked. Much of the food looked like it had been recycled from the previous day. Some of the meat dishes sat in a thick gloopy sauce and you couldn't really tell what you were scooping up. Once or twice all I scooped up on my plate transpired to be gristle and fat, YUCK !!. Oh and the Minestroni Soup on "Italian Night" (I use the term loosley) was fine if you like the catering version of Cup-a-Soup, made from powder - give it a miss !!!..... I could go on and on. The bottom line was, this "hot" buffet was of a poor quality. THe hotel had few guests and it really looked like corners were being cut to save money at a non-profitable time of the year. None of the "hot" buffet food looked or tasted appetising and really didn't come across as hotel standard (whatever the rating). It certainly didn't come close to the food quality of previous Paphos hotels that we'd experienced over the years, eg., Queens Bay, Cynthiana Beach and the wonderful St.George. To define the cuisine, you could have been anywhere in the world, except in Cyprus, which always boasts an amazing variety of typically Mediterranean dishes.
For the first time, in all these years travelling to this beautiful island, my wife and I struggled with the food and in finding anything to eat that was remotely Cypriot. Surely one visits foreign countries to embrace and enjoy the local cuisine, yet in contrast, we so embraced the food when we ate out for lunch, at the harbour or at the market. I can only assume that many guests would have no concept as to the level of food quality at other hotels, it may have been their first experience of Cyprus, or perhaps it was easier to "play safe" with food that looked familiar.
Fortunately, for this Thomson's Gold hotel it has a guest list which is 90% British. I would say, overall, a comparatively easy audience - there are no kids (who can be often be fussy eaters) and everyone knows we "Brits," whilst we will moan privately, don't really like to complain publicly. Although we broke the rules and did speak up.
The hotel, overall, was a little too quiet for us. At its quietest, it's optimum capacity is around 400 guests, there were actually only 60 - 80 guests whilst we were there, so it doesn't make for a great atmosphere. Also "low season" meant that the pool bar wasn't open, with no option but to carry your own hot drinks down a huge marble flight of steps, as there was no waiter service provided, (is this really a four star plus hotel ?) Not too bad if you're able bodied, like we were, but a lot of the guests were quite shaky, in their seventies and eighties.
Over the 10 nights, the entertainment was pretty good and in fairness, the animation team did their best to work with what they had, which was a very small audience - sometimes as little as 20 in a huge ballroom.
The drinks are very expensive, so if you are a drinker, go for the drinks package otherwise you'll go through Euros faster than you can get them out of your wallet...
As a final note, if you get a chance to catch Steve Welsh's act, he's a combination of a great singer, comedian, dancer, overall a very funny guy, we loved him.........
Would we visit again though ? Sorry I don't think so..................
Choose a pool view or sea view - sadly, the side sea view overlooks waste land.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.