We booked this hotel because we wanted a couples-only holiday and the Athena Royal didn't disappoint.
The hotel is conveniently situated a nice 40min coastal stroll from Pafos harbour and surrounded by bars of varying quality (see our other reviews), and the bus stop is a 3min walk from the hotel door, which can take you to Kato Pafos (611) or the airport (612) for €1.50 or €2.50 after 11pm.
During our stay we took advantage of most of the facilities so will break down our stay.
We had a standard side-view room. We specifically asked for a double but had a twin allocated on arrival which was swiftly rearranged for us. The bed was comfortable and plenty of pillows are available in the room. Rooms come with a fridge for you to use as you see fit, a good sized bathroom with two shower settings, and a tv with BBC News and G.o.l.d amongst others which suited us fine. Aircon gets the rooms lovely and cool or lower, and fast, and there is a key-operated safe. Toiletries are not automatically replaced as you use them, but more can easily be obtained from reception. There is a nespresso machine in the room but you only get two free pods for your whole stay (we very nearly bought cafepod capsules before we left but forgot - these would have worked fine as they don't use authentic nespresso pods either!)
The balcony view was as described and there was plenty of room out there for drying swimsuits etc.
Our room had a plug socket outside it which meant the cleaners hoovered especially enthusiastically at the sight of our 'do not disturb' sign.
We stayed on a B&B basis and felt that the upgrade options available were poor value. You can get unlimited drinks for about €58 per couple per day but have to purchase at least 4 days in a week, and that would be a lot of booze even by our standards! The meal options were uninspiring and more expensive for a three-course than the best meze meals we had at nearby restaurants during our stay. However, breakfast options were plentiful - from fry-up to fresh fruit, with lots of traditional Cypriot items and full continental buffet. Buck's Fizz was a nice treat, made-to-order omelettes were just right, as were poached eggs. There were lots of lunch-style items and we always took a large empty handbag. Just sayin....
Happy hour is between 6 and 7pm and half price cocktails at this time are served with roasted nuts and canapés. We always escaped the evening entertainment, although my partner did win table tennis one day, earning a free half a pint from the poolside bar (subject to Suzanne on reception checking this with the 'animations' staff...)
There is a mini-golf on site which was good fun and usually unused, a floating jetty into the sea which is precarious and certainly not for anyone with mobility or balance issues but bypassed the rocky beach to the sea, where plenty of fish could be spotted with a snorkel and mask.
We used the gym which looks out onto the main pools - so be prepared to be ogled in disbelief for exercising on holiday - and equipment is in good order. It did seem as though they interacted a little, so pausing the treadmill affected the cross trainer, and it can get a little too warm in there despite aircon, which we suspect needed to be adjusted down.
The 'cinema' screen is about 42inch and films are the sort you might catch on a flight. There is a book repository, handy for offloading heavy novels on checkout day, and the games in the games room, such as pool, all require payment. There is no free wifi at all, anywhere in the hotel, they are missing an opportunity to increase footfall in the bar (for example) this way as you only have to go over the road to find a bar with free wifi happy to let you sit there for hours with a diet coke.
POOLS AND BEACH
No worries about getting a pair of sunloungers as there are always plenty - unless you're very particular about location. There are cabanas for the use of premium-rate guests which were empty almost all of the time. To hire them would cost €40 a day, which we thought steep; if the cost was lower they'd definitely get more use. The pool is 'closed' from about 6pm in high summer, a shame as this is perfect time for snow whites to have a safe dip. The indoor pool is a nice alternative, although woe betide anyone who actually uses it to swim in, as this makes the floor wet which very obviously exasperated the mumbling cleaner chasing round the pool while we were in it. We assumed she was just commenting on our swim technique, all in Greek of course!
Staff range from lovely, such as Josh, to the downright mental - no names, you'll just know. They are all ready to help, which is almost a shame as the general feeling is that hotel policy is to be as tight as possible with guests without it slapping you round the face.
The hotel guests, in the main, seem to use the hotel for their very private break spent exclusively slumped on a sunlounger completing the sudoku. Be warned, conversation above muted levels will be frowned upon, laughter in the pool regarded as downright horseplay. We relaxed lots but also explored, and reception staff told us in awe that we were basically dirty stopouts.
We enjoyed our stay, and the hotel was lovely, but it could so easily blow you away, and at the moment it's just shy of the mark.
Thank goodness for wonderful staff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Constantinou Bros Athena Royal Beach Hotel is an adult-focused, four star, waterfront hotel in Kato Paphos. Places of archaeological interest, restaurants, bars and shops are located at a convenient short distance. A few metres away from the hotel entrance is a bus stop and taxis are always available. Parking in the hotel car park is free for guests. The resort is situated 15km away from the Paphos airport and 140 km from Larnaca airport. Two excellent golf courses are within a short driving distance. All the rooms offer large balconies with majestic views of the sea or of the hotel’s extensive gardens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Athena Royal Beach Paphos
- Hotel Athena Royal Beach