The vacations, as always, ended too soon. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the leaves changed color and slowly began to fall from the trees, the weather turned bad, and the sun was displaced by morning mists and all-day cloud cover. Sound depressing? A bit like that, so we decided to look for sun elsewhere.
This year was full of many trips, until it’s a wonder that we had enough leave for everything and still have some left (well, maybe not so much of a surprise, considering the maternity and paternity leave we are entitled to ;-)). So far, the trips have been active, full of sightseeing and moving between cities. We returned from them tired, but only physically, because our heads were full of new memories, experiences, knowledge and further ideas.
However, we longed for a rest. Although a week, when we don’t have to worry about anything, plan every next day, don’t worry about the weather or what and where to eat for lunch. We craved “luxury.” We are not ashamed of it! We needed at least a week where someone else would cook for us, złsome sunshine, złup on books – just the traditional all-inclusive vacation.
For a long time we wondered where we could fly, so that several conditions were met: it should be warm and sunny in October, so that we could still get into the water, the flight should be as short as possible (max. 4 hours) and preferably direct, so that we could see something interesting in the area, and, of course, it must be safe. All these conditions were met just in Cyprus! After all, you need to warm up after visiting the Azores and Faroe Islands;)
This was not our first stay on the island. We were there a few years ago – it was one of our first trips together. Then we rented a car and explored a good part of the island. This time we knew that the plan could not be too ambitious and the schedule tight.
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In search of a family-friendly hotel with children
The most important thing for us was to find a suitable hotel, friendly to families with children, in a good location. This was probably the first time that it was actually crucial for us to have some attractions for children on site. Not that we hadn’t thought about Olive by now, but due to the different nature of our previous trips, we didn’t assume that we would be spending most of our time at the hotel, so what it had to offer during the day was of little importance to us.
This time was different. We applied ourselves diligently to the search for a hotel and proudly marked on Booking.com the option: reviews from families with children to find the one, recommended and praised. Of course, the choice is huge, after all, Cyprus is a popular vacation destination, including for families with children.
Our choice was the Constantinou Bros Athena Beach Hotel(booking link), which is located south of Paphos. It is one of those large hotel complexes that have grown up along the coast and have direct access to the sea.
These small gestures
We arrived at the hotel late at night (after midnight), after an hour-long car ride from Larnaca airport. We were tired, sleepy and hungry, so imagine what a smile appeared on our faces when the gentleman at the front desk announced to us that we could still use the buffet, which is open especially for guests who arrive after 11 pm :)
We were given a large apartment consisting of a bedroom, living room and two bathrooms. Wine, fruit and a letter with all the information about services, meals and three, black, magic cards awaited us in the room…. It was the first time we encountered named cards, similar to payment cards, which we could use on the hotel premises and pay for meals and drinks with them.
This is an interesting patent to replace hotel wristbands. Such a solution, of course, has its pros and cons. Among the former, we should mention the lack of division of guests into “inferior” and “superior” – No one looks at what kind of bracelet you have, nothing gets in the way and snags on your clothes, no tanning of the strap on your wrist. On the other hand, you need to remember the card and take it with you everywhere. Something for something – as always :)
The card was a pass for us to use at will all the restaurants and bars on the hotel grounds. Although there were price lists in the various places, we had most things included in the price of our stay as part of the package (only the most expensive alcohol was charged extra, but this is standard everywhere already, I think).
Eat tasty, fresh, healthy…. and in a pleasant atmosphere
So at our disposal were 4 restaurants and a pool bar. We were able to use them to our heart’s content, although there were sign-ups for some for a specific time (in the case of dinner). We could eat breakfast in the largest restaurant or in a smaller, more exquisite one with a significantly more interesting selection of products, including many interesting exotic fruits.
We were able to enjoy our lunches (or lunches if you prefer) at the buffet Italian restaurant, the poolside restaurant or at the bar serving pizzas and sandwiches (also hot). To our delight, the food was not limited to dishes displayed on heated plates. Scrambled eggs, omelets or pancakes were available for breakfast, while a la carte meals were available at lunch or dinner.
And that’s what we wanted! :) The food was very tasty, nothing was missing. The selection was very large (even huge) and we never had a problem that there was nothing to offer to eat even to Olive. On the contrary! Not knowing what the little star would be in the mood for today, we had a whole range of dishes in store, of which, as a rule, we ended up with boiled vegetables anyway :)
We ourselves did not complain either. The choice of food at each meal was such that even the biggest wimpzłsomething for himself every day ;)
There were always free chairs for children in the restaurants, and the staff was happy to come up and entertain the little ones.
Contrary to our first impression, the hotel has a truly family atmosphere, it is not a typical moloch where you are a “no name” guest. Guests are mainly Brits who come here every year and are very familiar with the place as well as the service. Everyone is on a first-name basis with each other, puzzling, helping each other. This is not a typical British “how are you?”. Many times we have witnessed guests show genuine interest, recall stories from a year ago, from two years ago, and laugh together with the staff. The hotel staff is multinational, and one of the first questions that comes up when you strike up a conversation is the question of nationality, and then the conversation spins off on its own.
In addition, guests are simply very kind and polite to each other (there is not even a race for deck chairs!). Older people and families with children predominate. Olive found her way around perfectly and, despite language barriers, got along with the other guests and the cats living in the hotel grounds ;-)
Boredom at the hotel?
Of course, our hotel had swimming pools (including an indoor one), a children’s playroom (for which Olive was unfortunately too small), a playground, ping pong tables, game machines, billiards and if that wasn’t enough for someone, the staff took care of other entertainment: every day there were various games and activities like aerobics, water ball games, bingo, a darts tournament or themed evenings. The staff is doing their best to make sure no one is bored.
The pools themselves are several, and the hotel also has direct access to the beach with a very large open area where you will find plenty of loungers waiting for you. The area by the pools and above the beach is very well maintained. Relaxation guaranteed! :)
Along the coast runs a path that turns into a sea of strollers in the evenings…. no wonder, because strolling at sunset here has its own charm, which is also appreciated by the many couples who come here for wedding sessions. But not everyone is limited to just photos! Every now and then there are special platforms, decorated with ribbons and balloons, with a dozen or more white chairs, where the young people vow eternal love to each other. Could it be more romantic? :)
The day fortunately does not end with sunset. The hotel prepared various evening activities, such as a Greek evening, during which all tables were set outside, including a buffet and grills where chefs prepared fresh dishes.
The icing on the cake was live music and dancing. During one such evening we came to the conclusion that we were getting old…. we were enjoying simply sitting, listening to the music and admiring the performances. Or maybe we just appreciate it now ;-) ?
Finding a good hotel was crucial to rest and gather strength. Of course, we didn’tzłthat muchzłof our rest, because, however, we don’t like to sit still (we immediately found some ideas for each day ahead), but the thought that when we returned to the hotel a good dinner was waiting for us, spent in a pleasant atmosphere and a nice evening made us want to go back.
If you are going to Cyprus and want to experience a moment of well-deserved peace and quiet, the Constantinou Bros Athena Beach hotel is worth considering. We got what we expected, which was a great all-inclusive hotel, in a sunny and warm place to recharge our batteries for future trips! :)
We also recommend our all-inclusive gallery ;)