Stayed for 2 nights in December after being dumped here by Thomson when our return flight to Gatwick was cancelled due to the airport closure caused by the heavy snow. We had previously been staying all inclusive at the very nice Riu Cypria Resort (4T) when we were abruptly removed at the end of our stay & then downgraded, as rated by Thomson, to the 3T+ Aloe.
When we learned Gatwick was closed we spoke to our travel advisor who said we would probably be staying at the Riu Cypria but we would definitely be on the same board basis. How untrue this all was.
We had walked past the Aloe previously on a stroll around the resort & were certainly not impressed. Nearly all the hotels in the vicinity appear very charming & neat (Alexander the Great, Iberostar Ledra Beach among others) but the Aloe looks tired & in need of a good paint job. When we checked in the first noticeable problem is the lack of natural light in the lobby. bar area & reception. It is a very dingy area. Just inside the front door, proudly displayed on the wall, are the gold medal awards won by the hotel from Thomson. Maybe first impressions were wrong? Until you look at the date these were given. 1997 & 1998. Clearly, a lot can change in that time.
We were told by Thomson we would be on a half board basis & were given our keycard by the reception. Up we go to the room, which was not even made up, the beds had no linen. Not a good impression. So we went to the reception & got a replacement room, 291.
The room was pleasant & the bed was quite comfortable & the room was fairly clean, which in fairness is all that some people want from a hotel, but we were completely disappointed. The hotel is not on the shore & very few of the rooms appear to have a pleasing view, we got a side street. Other possible views include; the front street, where you may if you're lucky see the sea, a partially obscured view of the pool area or some wasteland to the other side of the hotel. Rooms had a locked empty fridge which was available for hire & a chargeable safe.
The 2 pools are quite nice, one is extremely deep which is a rare find in hotels abroad these days. There doesn't seem to be many sunbeds available but we were here in December so I'm not sure if there may be more in the summer months. We did see a big march of ants taking an insect corpse to their colony, which appeared to be possibly in the pool surroundings as they disappeared in to the grid for the pool filter. There was also a swimming insect making its way through the pool. Not attractive thoughts.
Due to a "miscommunication" by Thomson, we were advised we had been put on half board the day we arrived. Then the next day we were told it was in fact full board. A downgrade in our eyes as we had previously been all inclusive & all inclusive is what we had budgeted for. Luckily we did have some money left over to purchase a few drinks from the supermarket but if we hadn't I have no idea what Thomson would have done. They provided us a soft drink with our meals.
The food at the Aloe can only be described as vile. Breakfast & lunch were served in their cafe & the food was dire. Cheap bacon, corn flakes that tasted like cardboard & omelette that looked like scrambled egg but tasted like powder. Lunch wasn't any better. Sardines, sprouts & salad that wasn't even refrigerated. We saw someone feed their lunch to the resident cats it was that bad. Dinner was no better.
Served in their restaurant, dinner was an array of culinary catastrophes. Again salad in no cool area, just placed on a table covered with a tablecloth, the same for desert, which was completely bland & tasteless. Also this is the first hotel, after my many years of taking holidays abroad, that didn't serve ice cream at dinner for desert. The hot food was dried up & nasty. The 2 nights we spent there we were treated to "Italian night" & "French night". Other nights in the week included "Farmers night", which we sadly weren't around to sample!
Our biggest problem with the hotel was the smell. It is literally in every corridor of the place. I have no idea what it was but when walking back to our room on one occasion I had to put my fingers over my nostrils & breath through my nose as I thought I was going to heave from the stench. It is worst in the corridors & the staircase of our wing, that had the staff entrance to the kitchen at the bottom.
Thomson handled the snow situation well in some ways & very badly in others. They did keep us updated with the status of trying to get us back home but made us personally feel as if we were a burden to them. Others may have had a much better experience with the travel advisors than us. One was rude & very abrupt with us. They told my partner & I that putting us up in the hotel was a "gesture of goodwill" & that they didn't have to. Would they really just leave us at the airport for 2 days then & not feed or accommodate us? If we had no cash left for drinks what would have happened to us? Thomson made us feel we should think ourselves lucky that they put us up.
As told to me by the travel advisor at the Aloe, Tui (Thomson's parent company), is the largest travel company in the world, so obviously they would put us up for the duration, otherwise they would get a lot of bad press. But they made us feel like we should be eternally grateful to them & that we were an inconvience to the company. I thought the reason people book package holidays with "the largest travel company in the world" is that customers expect to be looked after when things go wrong, we shouldn't have to earn their care, it should be a given. This sadly wasn't the case for us.
Overall the Aloe hotel has potential if it was refurbished. First & foremost sack the chef. The pool area is alright but the interior needs a good seeing to. They definitely need to brighten up the place, vax the carpets & buy a whole lot of air freshener.
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- Also Known As:
- Paphos Hotel Aloe
- Aloe Hotel Cyprus
- Hotel Aloe Paphos
- Aloe Hotel Paphos Cyprus