Being the cautious type who never dreams of staying anywhere without first consulting trip advisor's last ten reviews, this holiday was a toss up between the Atlantica Golden Beach in Paphos and this hotel. But as I'd been to Paphos within the last year decided to see what Limassol had going for it. Limassol was described to me as a s+++hole by one work colleague in the week before I left for Cyprus but I think the comment is totally unfair on the area, which appears to be transforming itself into a smart tourist area. A far cry from the sort of place reported to me by my Mother in Law five years ago. The place will never be as nice as Paphos but this hotel will sure brighten up the flat spots you may have to put up with during the change.
Firstly this building's interior exudes old world class. When you examine the solid tasteful statues adorning the lower floors and the reassuringly expensive marble work throughout you soon realise that a hotel of this quality could not be built today without costing a ridiculous amount of money. And that if it was built at all, it would have to be done on the cheap and end up looking tacky. This hotel looks anything but. From the moment I walked in and marvelled at it, I thought "Am I really Staying here?" It's beautiful.
We stayed in room 419. A bog standard twin on the top (4th) floor, overlooking the pool. On arrival at around 2.30 am I was disappointed at not be offered something to eat, or discover a stray sarnie knocking about in my room. Especially as I was all inclusive. I had also heard that the hotel regularly offered deals on upgrades to the more superior rooms with Private Jacuzzis and Pools and was literally frothing at the wallet as I checked in ...only to be offered ....well nothing. Still it was late and God knows I am not Prince Charles, so went to bed still fantasising about thick slices of bread and ham.
Now there is some noise here from the building works across the street and it may have been a nuisance in previous months. But I can report that this work is clearly nearing completion (end of October) and the noise was not at all intrusive. The view over the sea was wonderful and made even better by the discovery of a supply of free tea and coffee hidden away in a cupboard, which I discovered that morning. This is replenished daily and the maids never skip a day either. It is always there. The room had a nice flat screen telly, air con, and an incredibly large bed. The wife actually looked as if she was laying about eight feet away from me, so that was another big plus. The bathroom is a bit dull for shaving but its a minor gripe especially as it looks so nice and the soap and various bottled goodies are supplied.
You don't even have to use your own towel for the beach or pool as these are supplied and replaced whenever you want fresh ones. Ok I really wanted to get to this bit so listen carefully. The food is absolutely wonderful here. The choice is incredible but the big thing that most people forget to mention is that the quality of it beggars belief. It is clear that everything is cooked by a professional. No matter what it is, the pork, the beef, the steak, you name it, it all tastes exactly spot on and I would easily say this is the best food I have ever had in or out of a hotel. We didn't try the complimentary one night ala carte restaurant either, as my wife pointed out, how could the food get any better? And she was right.
They have two pools and an outdoor jacuzzi. None of which are heated at this time of the year. I have heard a few grumbles about this, but to be fair, 80% of the worlds hotels rely on nothing more than the weather to heat their outdoor pools. This is actually a good thing for the punters believe it or not, as a heated pool in a place like Cyprus will rapidly propagate all sorts of nasties, no matter how clean it is. Water borne bacteria is far worse than air borne and something will surely give. And it will probably be a British Stomach!!
The staff here are the friendliest and most hard-working bunch I have ever met. They never stop and simply can't do enough for you. The Atlantica skimps on nothing. You are constantly offered more drinks and you don't have to go hunting for them. Mean as I am, I felt compelled at the end of my stay to give 10 euros to the pool bar guys, another 10 to the maids and another 10 to the beautiful young waitresses walking miles every night just to offer table service to the guests on the terraced area. It's a long tiring day for what are essentially young girls, little older than teenagers. But they always offer a genuine smile that will soon have the hardest heart melting. Why did I do this. Because I had to. The service was so good it would have seemed wrong not to give something back.
One thing I would have liked to see here would have been some sort of cypriot entertainment. I am sure they must have some great local singers here so why not use them instead of making us listen to Liason or the reps murder another perfectly good number night after night. Of course I understand the politics of it all. The hotel may be bowing to pressure from Thomson on this score, but I cannot fathom why they have to fly in another work-shy singer from the UK when we could have a real piece of Cyprus talent and for a lot less money. After all the Phaethon in Paphos get by on one old Cypriot guy on a keyboard several times a week, so why not here? The rep Charlotte is in all fairness a pretty good singer with a nice tonal range. She also has a touch of star quality about her and as long as she dosen't get too big for her boots, she'll get a break at some point. The entertainment which was apparently outside in recent times was always in the ballroom so the noise problems I read about here did not exist for me and besides, who wants to go to bed before 11.45 on a holiday anyway?
Management are also good. If you have a problem they will do their best to sort it. The reception desk staff were simply the best I have ever dealt with. I could not even find one of them that was off hand or rude. They all gave customers their very best attention at all times.
Minor grumbles.....the pillows. Yes I am scraping around now for some bad points but they have some sort of plastic in them and are quite lumpy and hard. Another massive irritation is signing for absolutely everything again and again. No matter what you want, a drink or a meal in the dining room you will be asked for your room number and have to sign a docket. For the first day it makes you feel special, after that it just becomes annoying. Again the Phaethon don't do this. You get your wrist band and you get what you want with no signing and no fuss. Management, please sort this out as I heard a lot of guests moaning about it. If you think it will stop your staff fiddling, think again. It is easy to get round this type of security and I will be more than happy to tell you how.
Ok and now to the scores. There really isn't much more I can say about this hotel. It is good, very good at what it does. By cunningly waiting for Thomson to offer the right price, I paid £473 each for me and the wife for seven days. So thats around seventy pounds a day each. Sound expensive? Think again. Some spirit mixers are six euros and cocktails are five. To eat that well would easily cost you around sixty to seventy euros a day alone and thats before you even think about drinks, accommodation or entertainment. Every week they have a special party. They kit out the ballroom with big circular tables and dress the place up to the nines. Never mind Limassol, this is more like the Riviera and you feel like an absolute star after munching through a starter of the finest prawns, mussells and everything else you can think of eating from half past six onwards. This night alone would easily cost even a modest drinker around a hundred quid back home.
Would I go back? Yes, in an instant.
Apart from a couple of niggles it is simply a great hotel offering tremendous value for money. Go there. You will never be short changed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on a hillside looking out to the sapphire-blue seas of Limassol Bay, the Atlantica Bay is a truly luxurious retreat. The hotel blends superior service with superb facilities, providing guests with memorable experiences. Close to the ancient ruins of Amathus, in a spot that was made for peace and quiet, it really does set a perfect holiday scene. With the local bus stop just opposite the hotel, you can take a short ride into the old historic town approximately 10 km away. The hotel features 201 modern rooms, the main dining area “Leda Restaurant”, “A la Carte Restaurant”, “Olympus Lobby Bar” with a chic outdoor terrace, “Pool Bar”, Hermes Fitness Center, The Bay Spa and 2 outdoor pools (1 pool covered & heated in winter season only). May to October (weather permitting) enjoy the facilities of our Sands Beach Bar & Tavern surrounded by our own private garden area. Free WiFi in all rooms and all public areas. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Atlantica Bay Limassol
- Hotel Atlantica Bay
- Atlantica Bay Hotel Limassol