Different people want different things from a holiday and if your ideal vacation is one spent in the middle of a bustling resort centre surrounded by shops, clubs and bars then Malama is not for you. What it does offer are spotlessly clean updated apartments surrounded by gardens, a stunning coastal location with direct access to its own safe beach (technically a public beach but with no road to cross so as good as a private one), a beautiful and well maintained pool area with plenty of sunbeds, and meals that provide enough choice and quality to satisfy all but the fussiest diners. Most of all, there are friendly staff that really make you feel welcome and go the extra mile to make your stay a pleasant one.
Some of the things that most impressed us during our stay were the efficiency of the housekeeping staff (two minor faults with our apartment were fixed within half an hour of reporting them to reception), and the friendliness of the restaurant staff who, even during the busy breakfast or dinner periods, found time to chat with the guests. We must also give a special mention to Vidas the chef who tempted us wickedly with freshly baked and decorated doughnuts, brochettes and waffles at breakfast.
There are a couple of tips that are worth knowing. Firstly, Malama is quite a distance from Larnaca airport so it is worth booking a taxi transfer (about €55 for up to four people), which takes about 40 mins rather than the shuttle bus that travels all round Ayia Napa and Protaras and takes about two hours.
Secondly, the area around Malama, being largely rural with private villas, does not have many restaurants so it is advisable to have at least half board rather than B&B. This is no hardship, though, as the on-site buffet restaurant provides meals of excellent quality and variety. You can have all-inclusive but we found that the enormous breakfasts left no room for lunch and so half board was sufficient for us. (For those not on all-inclusive, house wine was €5.50 a half litre which we thought was quite reasonable compared with other Cyprus hotels we have stayed in.)
Getting out and about is a lot easier than the location might suggest. From the hotel it is about a ten-minute stroll to the bus stop where €1.50 will take you to Protaras, Cape Greco or Ayia Napa. The buses are every 15 minutes, even on Sundays, and journeys take about 15 minutes to Protaras or 40 minutes to Ayia Napa. There is also a coastal path that you can walk along southwards towards Protaras or northwards as far as the Greek Cypriot lookout post guarding the ceasefire “green” line between the Greek and Turkish parts of the island. This is only about 1km away and gives a good view of the “Ghost” town of Varosha in the Turkish half. (If you want to visit the Turkish sector then we would recommend the open top “Red Bus” tours that take you to the ancient town of Famagusta as well as the beach by Varosha.)
Evening entertainment at Malama is family oriented with a children’s disco at the poolside bar followed by something for all ages (e.g. singers, dancers or a magic show). For those who can’t do without their football fix there are nearby bars with huge satellite dishes beaming live Sky sports, but as I said at the beginning, if raving nightlife and oceans of rotgut alcohol are what you are looking for, then Malama is not for you. However, as a holiday destination it suited us so well that we have been back two years running and I’m sure that we will be returning again.
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- Also Known As:
- Malama Holiday Village Protaras
- Malama Holiday Village Hotel Protaras