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The Londa voted Cyprus’ leading hotel October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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The Londa, the new upscale contemporary boutique hotel in Cyprus on the shores of the Mediterranean has been recognised by the World Travel Awards, winning the award for Cyprus’ Leading Hotel.

londa_hotel.jpg  World Travel Awards (WTA) aims to promote excellence in the travel and tourism industry. The Londa will receive the award at the European ceremony in Newcastle this October in the north east of England. The Londa, along with other winners from the four regional awards, will be put forward for their respective global categories, to be announced towards the end of this year. The final event will take place on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We are delighted that the Londa Hotel has been recognised by the WTA”, comments General Manager Mr Jochen Niemann. “The Londa is independently owned and recently benefited from a multi-million pound refurbishment, re-opening in the summer of 2005. This is an acknowledgement of the efforts of all the team here in Cyprus over the past two years. We have built a regular clientele who enjoy our unique mixture of contemporary design, Mediterranean atmosphere and sincere service. The response from both Cyprus and international guests has been exceptional.”

Designed by Italian design team Caruzzo Rancati from Milan, the Londa is a modern and elegant hotel where sleek white marble has been used throughout the entrance and lobby, accented with black wood pathways leading down to the sea. The highly unique style of the Londa shows influences from the heritage of the island and from the Mediterranean including Cypriot lace, antique filigree silver and local wood. The mix of styles and lighting in the lobby are all designed to highlight the view, emphasised by the huge glass panels that maximise light into the building.

This discreet and refined designer hotel is quietly setting a new fashionable standard for Limassol. In the past dismissed as just an expanded bustling fishing port, the changing face of Cyprus’s second city with its exclusive shopping, vibrant nightlife and wealth of culture in an agreeable climate is now attracting tourists from all over Europe and the Middle East.

The Londa is described as a ‘couture’ property to reflect the exceptional design qualities and illustrates a level of service offered at the hotel, meaning bespoke or tailored. The service and experience is customised to each individual, not ‘off the peg’.

The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. With thousands of votes cast by travel professionals from 160,000 travel agencies in over 200 countries across the globe, winning a World Travel Award has become a very desirable endorsement of the success of a travel brand. The Londa is a member of Great Hotels of the World.

For more information, visit www.londahotel.com

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RREEF in Cyprus property deal September 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Cyprus News, Hotels Cyprus.
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RREEF, the property investment arm of Deutsche Bank, said yesterday it had bought Lanitis Development Public Ltd in a debut Cypriot deal which valued the firm at 126 million euros.

RREEF also announced its first foray into the regional UK hotel sector with the acquisition of privately owned Four Pillars Hotel Group, owner of five hotels in central and western England. A source familiar with the matter said RREEF had paid around 120 million pounds for Four Pillars. As well as buying 97.8 percent of the shares in Lanitis Development, whose main asset was the Aphrodite Hills resort, RREEF said it had bought 1.1 million square meters (11.84 million sq ft) of land in Cyprus from the Lanitis Group.

Back to nature at the Natura Beach Hotel & Villas September 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Hotels Cyprus.
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For those who like the quiet life or like to be close to nature, it is hard to beat the Natura Beach Hotel in Latsi.

Latsi and the Akamas nature reserve area had always been a favourite destination for our holidays, so we decided to check out the accommodation available in Polis and nearby Latsi. Once an important Kingdom, the area now offers a unique combination of sandy beaches, stunning countryside and some nightlife. The mild climate guarantees an abundance of wealth in flora and fauna specimens and wildlife. Our chosen destination was Natura Beach Hotel and Villas, on a beautiful bay at the edge of the Akamas.

The hotel’s understated buildings and the fact that the entire complex is hidden in lush vegetation, mainly citrus trees, makes it hard to spot from the road. The row of five villas is only a stone’s throw away from the main building and other facilities the hotel offers. The self contained three-bedroom villa that was going to be our home for the next days had stunning views of the bay and low profile hotel buildings on one side and the orchards on the other.

The bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, were rather spacious. Each villa has a lounge and dining room, well equipped kitchenette, air-conditioning and heating in all rooms, satellite TV and radio, direct-dial telephone, a safe deposit box, and a private car-park. The cherry on the top was the 4x8m private pool. The secluded garden offered privacy.

The row of golden crest that mingled with the banana tree laden with fruit and sky reaching cypress trees provided a natural barrier between the villas. The neighbouring orchard on one side and a strip of olive groves on the other safeguarded the privacy needed to bathers from prying eyes. Huge rosebushes with delicate rosebuds provided the scented material and touch of home as swiftly they were cut and placed in a makeshift vase. Nature lovers will appreciate the early morning calls from roosters and the chirping of lively birds and other sounds not associated with city noises.

The hotel’s policy is based on a water and energy saving concept. All waste water is treated in a sophisticated biological station and then used to water the lawns. Solar panels are used for heating the water in the villas. All lights and air-conditioning in the bedrooms will go off when the key holder is removed from the slot thus avoiding the waste of energy while the guests are away. The air-conditioning will also go off if the balcony glass doors are not well shut.

The hotel’s small room capacity, 60 twin and double bedrooms in the main building and garden wings, reinforces their policy of respecting the environment. Discreet outdoor lighting and hardly any high pitched sounds in terms of hotel animation programmes safeguard the ecosystem. The lawn leading to the beach is higher than sea level and after a gradual descent via the paved path you encounter the protected turtle nests and an abundance of multicoloured pebbles. The long stretch of sandy beach that runs along the hotel’s beachfront has no sign of any umbrellas or beach beds.

Most of the beach is scattered with turtle nests and humans are the intruders here. On our daily, pre-breakfast swim in the sea, we would check up on some of the nests and try to decipher the footprints leading to them. On one such occasion, a bird predator’s footprints were well spotted and if it wasn’t for the metal protection strategically placed over the nest, the future of the turtle eggs would be uncertain. The turtle nests are monitored by a local conservation centre but also by hotel staff.

The garden, lit only by a couple of low lights leading to the beach reinforces the hotel’s policy of providing guests, tourists or otherwise, with relaxing and serene surroundings in complete harmony with nature. For those seeking a more active itinerary there are tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. The hotel’s mini gym is adequately equipped for a workout and for those enjoying a challenge, there are mountain bikes for rental. The hilly landscape is ideal for a strenuous ride or walk. For a gentler walk or jog, the very long stretch of sandy beach that leads to Polis camping site and to Latsi harbour is a good option.

As a holiday retreat, the hotel, and the villas in particular, is an ideal base for nature
lovers and bird watching enthusiasts. The nature trails of Akamas are very near and depending on the season, the hotel organises guided walks to the area. Polis’ open-air cafes and the more active nightlife of Latsi offer a choice of entertainment.

Natura Beach Hotel and Villas, POBox 66162, Polis, Paphos. Tel 26 323111, Fax 26 322822, email natura@cytanet.com.cy 

For more information > http://www.natura.com.cy

Amathus Cyprus gets new website August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Hotels Cyprus, Hotels Greece, Internet & Web, Tourism, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Amathus Public Ltd., the travel and transport arm of the Lanitis Group, has launched a new bilingual website, www.amathus.com, that leans more towards the retail travel sector rather than the activities of the public company quoted on the Cyprus Stock Exchange.

Leading features include links and special offers related to the Group’s hotels, Αmathus Beach Hotel Limassol, Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos and Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes, the travel division, Let’s Go Tours and Let’s Go Plus in Cyprus, Amathus (UK) Ltd and Amathus Russia, as well as the airline and sea cruises divisions Αmathus Aviation & Travel in Cyprus and Amathus Hellas.

Other links include Amathus Tourism and the shipping and logistics subsidiary, Amathus Aegeas.

Although some recent financial announcements have been posted in the Greek section only, a quick link to the xak.com commercial site for further financial data will complement any shortcomings the site may have.

A five-star retreat at the Azia Club and Spa in Paphos July 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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A five-star retreat with expert therapists, kids’ treatments and its own fruit juice > The five-star Azia Club and Spa is a retreat from hectic home life and a refuge from the  crowd a few kilometres from Paphos town centre.

When the Azia was redesigned 18 months ago the Economides family were keen to incorporate nature as much as possible. The bright and airy lobby is built around a palm tree that started life as a baby, then shot up so high that within five years a hole in the glass ceiling had to be made to accommodate it. It’s a fantastic centrepiece surrounded by a central atrium bursting with flowers, plants and hanging vines. My bungalow suite had a large balcony with two sun loungers and a hot tub. All I could hear were birds chirping, cicadas buzzing and waves crashing against the coastline while I looked out onto extensive grounds littered with palms, mango trees and bougainvillea, but most importantly, acres of space to get lost in. Bliss. The spa is equipped with a whirlpool, Jacuzzi, steam and sauna room, gym and beauty and hair salon.

The Asphodel Spa was built at the beginning of 2006 when the Azia had a facelift. In Greek mythology the Asphodel is an immortal flower and the food of the dead, which is probably how many of its stressed out visitors feel when they arrive. That wouldn’t last for long if my therapist Irina had anything to do with it. In Cyprus the weather and pace of life are anything but demanding. Irina’s background was in sports massage so she knew the best way to treat my tense lower back and be mindful at same time. She gave me tips on how to improve my circulation and strengthen my weakened leg muscles. Using Elemis de-stress oil, Irina gave me one of the best full body massages I’ve ever had, which included lymphatic drainage. She seemed to know which areas of my body could withstand hard pressure and which couldn’t and even relaxed the muscles between my ribs.

If the weather had been a little cooler I would have had my treatment under a small gazebo in the grounds. Later though I had a pedicure in a glass conservatory overlooking the indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Full blown pampering sessions are also on offer such as the Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap, a bath in jasmine picked from the Azia’s gardens and a hamman, highly recommended by Irina for detoxification and smooth feeling skin. Children aren’t excluded from pampering rituals either. The Little Girl’s Morning includes a shoulder massage, manicure with flowers, a milkshake, pedicure for mum and a coffee iced frappe.

Predominantly British families and couples with a strong local clientele are using the day spa. Have a chat with Niove who runs the souvenir shop, a delightful lady who will tell you everything you need to know about Paphos and Cyprus in general.

All fruits used at the hotel are grown on the Azia’s Morokambos plantation and a jug of freshly squeezed orange juice awaited me when I arrived. The plantation includes 15,000 Mediterranean and tropical plants and the hotel will organise fruit picking excursions. The Cava Cocktail Bar, a dark, sultry lounge with Arabic interiors is a perfect seduction venue before you head into the à la carte Akamas restaurant. On the night I was there a traditional Cypriot buffet was served outside on the terrace.

Bungalow Suites from CYP 50.50 to CYP 130.00 including bed and breakfast. A 60-minute Elemis Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, CYP 45.00. Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap, CYP 60.00. Exotic Jasmine Flower Bath CYP 25.00. Full Hamman Ritual CYP 80.00. Little Girl’s Morning CYP 55.00. 

Azia Resort and Spa, P.O. Box 62108, 8061 Paphos, Cyprus, tel 26 845100; www.aziaresort.com

Its game, set and match for holidaymakers in Cyprus July 2, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus, Tourism.
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Combat tennis fever in Cyprus at the Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Tennis Academy.

As the second week of Wimbledon is about to get underway, tennis fever continues to sweep over the courts around the country and start to fill with Roger Federer and Venus Williams wannabes.

Whether you are a pro or like to play tennis for fun, the five-star Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus boasts a wonderful tennis academy offering tennis packages and lessons for all ages and all levels. Not only is the resort the perfect escape for a summer break but is also the ideal location post-Wimbledon for those of you wanting to either master your back hand or perfect your serve.

The exclusive and luxurious resort offers four floodlit tennis courts with a professional coaching team and a variety of packages including stroke correction, skill developments and even sessions for the under 9’s are all available.

Specialist tour operator Libra Holidays offers seven nights b/b at the resort from £805 per adult. The price is based on two sharing a garden or pool view room and includes return flights from Gatwick in September, transfers and all taxes and supplements. All tennis packages are booked and paid for locally.

For further information visit > www.libraholidays.co.uk

Palm Beach Hotel picks up Thomas Cook award June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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In the second year of operation for Thomas Cook to Larnaca, the Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows has won the U.K. operator’s “excellence award” for 2006 voted by holidaymakers who stayed at the hotel last year.

General Manager Andreas Christodoulides said, “Thomas Cook has sold our property very well and this award is very special as it is our first. This award will be featured in the operator’s Summer 2008 catalogue, which will greatly enhance our hotel’s image and stature for Thomas Cook clients.”

The hotel underwent a refurbishment programme of a number of the bungalows as well as the suites in May at a cost of GBP 200,000 (CYP 150,000), giving these rooms a new look and upgraded facilities.

Christodoulides added that, “our core market is from the UK and we have had excellent sales from Thomas Cook, the only major operator featuring Larnaca as well as specialist newcomers such as Classic Collection. We are looking to increase our weddings business and feel that the refurbishment of the suites will meet the demands of couples looking for something really special. The bungalows are very popular with families particularly in the school holiday periods.”

Related Links > http://www.palmbeachhotel.com