I spent the last 2 nights of my two week trip here because I knew for sure that the stay is a guarantee of memorable relaxing holidays as I know it for years. I will not return to Cyprus until the end of September again. For me it is like returning home as there are so many familiar faces around and I believe this is part of the secret of its success. I notice how guests are treated especially with the repeaters. It is a hotel I have strong feelings with and even though this is my 4th stay in the premises I remember the long summers when I would fly to Larnaca how I would always come here at the Palm Beach for swimming. For us, people of Larnaca the Palm Beach was and still is a Gem and it continues to rank first in the preference of thousands of guests who visit it the year round.
The Resort is located in an ideal coast with direct access onto a sandy beach only 6 Kms from the city of Larnaca and 12 Kms from the new Airport. There isn’t a better beach in Larnaca than this lovely coast with the safest shallow lagoon like sea bathing waters. The tropical gardens that surround the premises provide the perfect setting for business and pleasure. The high Palm trees in the beach-front give you the idea that you are having holidays in an exotic destination.
I am staying at a luxury garden studio bungalow on the new wing #535 which is at the very back with much privacy. Families with children have the ground bungalows next to the pool and all of them overlook a large lagoon shape swimming pool. The choice of a bungalow is preferable for families than ordinary rooms on the main building because kids have a kind of private garden to play in and they are next to this amazing swimming pool at the same time.
My bungalow is so beautifully furnished that honestly gives the feeling of a home away from home. There was a pot of flowers in the room but I love making flower arrangements and I created a few which decorated the bungalow the two nights I was there. Very simply they filled the place with colour and positive energy. The beautiful colourful curtains match with the bedspreads and there is a semi divided wooden partition that separates the bedroom from the sitting room area. The interior reminds me of hotels I visited in Asia as it has touches of Indonesian décor. It gives me the privacy I need just ideal for what I was after. The facilities in this specific room are those of a 5* hotel and the sofa in the sitting room area can accommodate two children as it opens to a double bed. Coffee facilities are ample with a variety of different brands of tea/coffee and milk. I had a bottle of champagne brought in the room and a platter of seasonal fruit and cool water upon arrival.
The marble bathroom is spacious with a huge mirror, and the toiletries here are the Geneva Guild brand. The soaps are aromatic leaving the skin soft and silky. There is plenty of hot water and beach towels are provided in the bathroom.
Breakfast was ample with rich variety of different kinds of bread, croissants, cakes, variety of cheeses -even grilled “haloumi” was on offer cooked by Niki who was also in control of the omelettes. There was ham and bacon, lountza, boiled, scrambled eggs and the most amazing on the minute mixed omelette. It was the very best, well cooked and rich in ingredients (cheese,onions, green and red pepper, ham/bacon). The restaurant can get crowded if you get there early in the morning and I noticed this happening the 2nd day when I had to leave the premises early. Maria is the lady I remember from my previous stay, efficient, professional as always and alert to meet the needs of the guests. By all means try the plums in cinnamon/orange syrup. They are yummy! I truly cannot understand some tourists and how they react when they come across food…as if they have been starving for days and they suddenly storm in the restaurant and start piling up their plates!! This reaction made me for years avoid buffet dining.
On Saturday the theme night had to do with Greek/Cypriot cuisine and I happened to be out at the Sea Breeze restaurant much earlier taking photos and waiting for some friends. The palm trees give the whole resort a touch of a tropical scene. The beach-front path is always busy with people who constantly pass by –exercising or having an afternoon stroll. The Mediterranean waters are calm and serene and the sky changes colours as the sun sets. For seconds all this beauty travelled me to an exotic distant destination…while in reality I was in my hometown! The surprise came when I saw the amazing dishes on display that evening and for the first time I can honestly say that I enjoyed an amazing buffet. I thought for a minute to get in the kitchen and congratulate the chef. He would surely be busy that time so I am doing this through this review. The rich variety included the best and most popular Cypriot and Greek dishes. The presentation, quality, and taste could be easily graded with an A+. This menu gave the opportunity to holiday-makers get a good picture of the authentic Greek/Cypriot cuisine and taste. There was more to come later on when a small group of 4 from the popular “Karotseri” dancing band showed up and the evening turned to be a memorable big party with almost everyone participating. Guests seemed to be having a hell of a time.
The Sunday night dinner was indoors at the elegantly decorated Omega Restaurant with live guitar music and singing of international classic pieces just like the international theme night. The buffet was amazing and food varied, and I preferred having sea food this time which was unbeatable. Cyprus is popular for its wines and the cellar of the resort houses some of the finest Cypriot and European wines. I had the opportunity to taste a few. The majority of waiters and supervisors are professionals and they are very polite and helpful and I can name Pambos, Pavlos and Mr. Diplis.
The hotel is very popular with wedding venues and there was one such out at the Gazebo. The couple was from Larnaca and I had the chance to see many familiar faces and friends who came to congratulate the couple. I was even given a “lokoumi” which is the traditional Cypriot delicacy given only at weddings.
Don’t miss visiting the Leisure Club which is amazing. Mr. Christos Papamichael is the manager and the business runs on a separate to the resort basis. I have local friends who urged me to visit because they are members themselves and they know that it is one of the best Clubs and Spas in Larnaca. I came to book an appointment for an hour’s hand massage and I was indeed feeling a different person by the time the massage was over. The skilful and professional hands of Maria Istvanne proved to be miraculous. She knew exactly where to put more pressure on. I had this amazing feeling hours after the massage! For residents the use of the pools, table tennis, aerobic classes are free. For non residents it costs 18 euros.
Residents however pay 10 euros to use the Jacuzzi and Steam Bath. Kids are not allowed in the gym area. The products at the Spa for the body/facial treatments are the “Thalgo” brand.
The Hot Stone Massage (50 min) costs 65 for residents and 70 for non residents and an hour’s Hand Massage costs 65 and 70 euros respectively. A 20 minute massage would cost 30 and 33 respectively but I highly recommend the one I had because that includes a full body and scalp massage. If I were living in Larnaca I would surely be a member.
There is a bus stop just outside the hotel. Bus #430 drives you to the city centre in minutes. The cost is one euro but if you want to use the bus the day long it is preferable to buy the 3 euro ticket. If it is just to go and come back prefer two singles. Bus # 431 goes to Finikoudes, Makenzi, Airport and Perivolia and ends up at Faros. Ayia Napa and Protara are easily accessible by bus if you stand on the opposite side of the road and there are two alternatives. There is the Osea Bus #714 taking you as far as Protara and Ayia Napa for One euro. (More info on the net) It passes through a number of villages to end up in Paralimni. The other alternative is the InterCity Green buses which are faster and the fee is 3 euros.
Wi Fi internet connection is free on the grounds of the main building. In all my stay at the Resort was great. For this reason I highly recommended it and I can’t wait to be back!