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Marfin buys Cyprus Hilton May 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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Marfin Investment Group (MIG) said on yesterday it had completed the acquisition of a 64.3 percent holding in the Cyprus Hilton Hotel for 58.5 million euros.

MIG said its subsidiary, MIG Leisure Ltd, was paying 30.47 euros per share in the Cyprus Tourism Development Company which operates the Cyprus Hilton, located in the capital Nicosia. MIG acquired the bulk of the Cyprus Tourism Development shares from Louis Group, the island’s largest leisure group.

Funny Women tour at Londa Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus May 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus, Stage & Theater.
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Comedienne Sally-Anne Hayward is the second performer to appear at the Londa Hotel in Limassol Cyprus as part of the Funny Women tour 2007.

Sponsored by GB Airways, this is a series of events featuring top British female comedy talent from leading promoters of female comedy, Funny Women, all taking place at the Londa Hotel this year. Sally-Anne will appear on Saturday 30 June. Two more dates are to be announced in September and November.

Described as a charming and popular performer, Sally-Anne has a winning brand of autobiographical humour. Singled out as an artist with great star potential, this comedienne has developed a sharp, incisive style, making her a delight to watch. Last year the Londa hosted their first comedy evening when Suzy Bennett, winner of the Funny Women Awards 2006, performed to an enthusiastic crowd in the autumn. This success prompted the development of this exclusive tour in Cyprus.

The sponsorship by GB Airways highlights their GB Privilege exclusive email service. This new service offers exclusive news and offers to expats and second-home owners who register online at www.Gbairways.com/gbprivilege.

Jochen Niemann, General Manager of the Londa explains: “We were so impressed by the response to our first comedy evening last year that we agreed to host a series of events featuring Funny Women artistes in 2007. Our designer boutique hotel with its lively outlets has become the place to be seen for the cognoscenti of Cyprus. So hosting a Funny Women tour is a perfect way to develop our unique offer for guests, both for locals and the tourist market.”

Isabelle Baret from the GB Airways communications department comments: “We are extremely proud to sponsor the Funny Women tour at the exclusive Londa in Cyprus. As the event coincides with the launch of GB Privilege, our exclusive email service offering fantastic deals to expats and second home owners, and the proceeds go to charity, there really is no excuse to miss out on such a fantastic night out.”

Funny Women runs the UK’s only dedicated awards for new female comedy talent and is now in its 5th year. The awards have become a platform for launching the careers of a great number of artistes. The Londa became a partner in the Awards for the first time last year, providing a prize of a week’s luxury holiday for two at this new 5 star boutique hotel in Limassol. Flights were provided courtesy of British Airways Club Europe.

The show starts at 8.30 pm in the Alpha Omega Ballroom. Kindly note that there is a limited number of seats. A cover charge of £5.00 will apply and all proceeds will be donated to the Cyprus Anticancer Society, www.Anticancersociety.org.cy. All Funny Women events aim to raise money and awareness for causes that affect women.

Fore more information visit www.funnywomen.com and www.londahotel.com

Cooperation between Greek, Cypriot hoteliers February 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus, Hotels Greece.
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Joint action and cooperation on further utilising the strategic advantages that Greece and Cyprus have in the tourism sector, as well as resolving basic problems facing the tourist products of the two countries, were decided by the boards of the Hotels Chamber of Greece and the Cypriot Hoteliers Federation, in a joint meeting held in Cyprus attended by Cypriot Trade,Tourism and Industry Minister Antonis Michailides.

It was an initiative by the board of the Hotels Chamber of Greece in the framework of a series of acts scheduled by the Chamber’s board to boost the extroversion of the Greek hotel sector and, consequently, of Greek tourism.

The representatives of the two agencies reached the conclusion that Greece and Cyprus are tourist destinations having considerable prospects, particular characteristics and competitive advantages.

Cyprus the land of milk and honey February 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Limassol, Hotels Cyprus.
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Cyprus is the land of milk and honey, that is, milk-and-honey spa treatments.

Start with a body peel of marine salts, honey and olive oil followed by a rich milk-and-honey mask at the Columbia Beachotel, Pissouri, Limassol, Cyprus.

For more information call 00 357 25 833333; www.columbia-hotels.com 

Fancy just chilling out in Cyprus? December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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AND IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE ACTIVE > 

Fancy just chilling out? Here’s our picks five top-notch hideaways where you can enjoy everything from a relaxing sauna to a round of golf..

The seriously-sylish ANASSA is considered by many to be the cream of the crop of Cyprus’s spectacular hotels. This five-star hotel is situated on the edge of Latchi, on a picturesque and tranquil beachfront, and serves top class cuisine and has a sensuous spa to swoon in. Take a four-wheel-drive and explore the wild Akamas National Park or uncover hidden coves along the coastline. An elegant range of accommodation includes a number of suites boasting their very own plunge pools on the terrace.

Golfing fanatics should head for the INTERCONTINENTAL APHRODITE HILLS RESORT, near Paphos. With a championship golf course on site there’s plenty of opportunity to perfect your swing. Set in one the most scenic locations in Cyprus it overlooks the spot where legend has it Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, arose from the Mediterranean. Golfing widows can retire to the resort’s private beach, practise their forehand in the tennis academy or indulge in some soothing treatments in the Retreat Spa. This sleek resort attracts celebrity clientele like Gillian Taylforth and Pop Idol’s Nikki Chapman. 

Tipped to be one of Limassol’s top hot spots on the social scene, Cyprus’s cognoscenti are flocking to the LONDA HOTEL, in the heart of Potamos Yermasoyias, but set well back from the main road. The island’s couture hotel combines Mediterranean vibrant colour with clean minimalist lines for a contemporary luxurious look, and the hotel’s ultra-hip restaurant and bar are THE places to be seen in. Shopaholics will love its closeness to the town centre where you can visit a shoemaker who can copy Jimmy Choos at a third of the price. Book on www.londahotel.com

The glass-panelled AQUAMARINE VILLA on the outskirts of Pomos is so new that even the celebs haven’t discovered it… yet. Luxury reaches opulent new heights in this three-bedroom property which comes with flat screen TV, mini-gym, sauna, jacuzzi and infinity pool. If you prefer to keep out of the kitchen you can hire a local catering company to come in and do the cooking. Steps lead down to the beach below for a spot of snorkelling or even some skinny dipping. 

You’ll find the four-star DOME BEACH HOTEL is 6km west of Ayia Napa but might as well be a million miles away from the thumping nightclubs and concrete. It is set between two stunning sandy bays with crystal clear water that could give any Caribbean hideaway a run for its money. The hotel has five floodlit tennis courts not to mention archery, mountain bikes, basketball flat green bowls and a diving centre. Shops and tavernas are just a short stroll away. 

EasyHotels set their sights on Cyprus November 24, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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Recently knighted easyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is planning to introduce his latest concept, easyHotel, the hotel that offers tiny, windowless rooms stripped of all but the most basic of amenities, to Cyprus.

The concept claims that it could double the capacity of hotels, significantly lower running costs, a 60 room hotel can apparently be run by four full time staff members, increasing profits in the process.

The cabin-like rooms are basic to say the least; sporting distinctive ‘easy’ orange walls; measuring just six-metres-square with beds only feet from the toilet and providing just enough floor space to stand.

The budget hotels are already operating in London and Basel, with plans to open in Dubai, Qatar, Cairo and Saudi Arabia in the near future.

Lawrence Alexander, CEO of easyHotel, said that there was a real need for budget hotels in Cyprus, saying, “there are lots of great four and five star hotels, but the market just isn’t there for them. “The bottom end of the market is not currently being provided for.”

However, the audience of industry specialists questioned whether such a concept was right for Cyprus, pointing out that Cypriot law stipulates a minimum room size (easyHotel rooms do not currently meet such requirements), and that the strength of the unions may make minimal staff operation difficult.

The fact that the average stay in an easyHotel is two nights whereas the average stay in Cyprus is over 10 days could also pose potential problems.

Despite these reservations the concept received a huge response from Cypriot hoteliers looking to take on the franchise, as over 50 industry representatives squeezed into a Limassol conference room to witness the introductory presentation. One impressed audience member was heard to exclaim that Cyprus’ Hoteliers Association AGM would be jealous of such a turnout.

Cyprus’ tourist industry has suffered over the last few years partly due to the lack of a low-cost airline offering flights to the island and the rising popularity of new destinations. The economy relies heavily on the tourist sector, with tourism and related industries contributing up to 20 per cent of GDP.

With the recent demise of Helios/ajet, there has been talk of easyJet moving in to take up the routes. Although Alexander couldn’t confirm such reports, he agreed that Cyprus needed a low-cost airline. “I think that there will be a low cost airline flying into Cyprus, but I can’t say if it will be easyJet.”

Haji-Ioannou, whose parents are both Greek-Cypriot, launched easyGroup in the mid 90s, with real success coming from the ultra-low cost airline easyJet. The group now operates in a number of markets, from internet cafes to car rentals, although none have experienced the same level of success as the airline. There was even talk of launching a company providing cheap funerals; however the concept was quickly dropped after the first few meetings.

Stelios wants to open first Cyprus easyHotel by 2007 November 18, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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Cyprus hoteliers keen to ‘go orange’

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the serial Greek-Cypriot entrepreneur and easyGroup Chairman, has set his sights on opening his first low-cost easyHotel franchise property in Cyprus some time next year and is sending the company’s chief executive to sign up potential partners on Monday.

Three such hotels are presently operational in London and one in Switzerland’s Basel while the next opening will be in the Hungarian capital. Stelios hopes to develop a regional master franchise that will see 38 easyHotels popping up in India, the Middle East and North Africa over the next five years at a cost of USD 400 mln.

In Cyprus, some 30 property owners have already shown interest and just as many more are expected be there to hear what Lawrence Alexander, CEO of easyHotel.com will have to say at the presentation in Limassol.

“Ideally, the brand suits locations where there is demand through the year and is town centre, rather than resort location,” Alexander said. His presentation will be simple, just like the easyGroup concept. “I will be on my own. I will go through the background to easyHotel, its current status and development plans. In terms of opening, that depends if we can find a hotelier who believes the brand is right for him,” Alexander said.

“We are looking for hoteliers or property owners who have a hotel/property of at least 20-plus rooms who are prepared to invest to convert them to easyHotel standards. Typically these will be 1-star or 2-star properties in an urban or suburban location with potential demand outside of the standard tourist season.” “Standard beachside properties will not benefit greatly from the concept,” he said.

As regards the franchise fee, this is calculated on a percentage of rooms’ revenue. Alexander said that between hotels or hotel apartments, they “would look at either as a conversion opportunity.” As regards the basic room-rate, he said: “I cannot give you this information at present as I do not have a good enough knowledge yet of typical room rates in Cyprus.”

The standard contract would be for 20 years and each contract will be considered differently, while sales will be exclusively online, just as all the other easyGroup ventures. As regards the hotel’s facia, when Lawrence Alexander asked if this would include the group’s identifying orange in its colour scheme: “There are certain brand standards, which include a certain amount of orange,” he said.

At a press conference in Budapest on Monday, Stelios announced that easyHotel would be opening in the Hungarian capital during the Spring of 2007. Rooms will be available from 29 euros per night.

As with all easyHotel premises, easyHotel Budapest will be centrally located and will have 57 bedrooms with en-suite facilities. The rooms will be small but easyHotel Budapest will concentrate on providing great value accommodation and will not have food and beverage outlets on the site.

The easyHotel in London in Lexham Gardens W8, which is owned and operated by the easyGroup, has en-suite rooms which start at GBP 30 a night. These rooms are between 60 and 80 square feet in size and all are air conditioned with a double bed and ‘pay as you go’ television. Some of the rooms have windows and these rooms tend to sell at a GBP 10 premium over the windowless rooms.

In less than a year since launch, easyHotel has proved successful with very high occupancy rates. As a result the company has proved attractive to franchisees and recruited a CEO to take over the day to day running of the business from Stelios.

Lawrence Alexander took up his new challenge in July. He has over 25 years experience in senior management positions within the hotel industry including Ladbroke Hotels, Merit Hotels (part of ILG) and Penguin Hotels prior to joining Jarvis Hotels in 1990. As CEO he plans to establish a strong management team to guarantee the growth of the company leading to a stock market listing in the next 3 to 5 years. Stelios will remain as Chairman of easyHotel for the foreseeable future.

“I am delighted to welcome Lawrence on board,” said Stelios, the serial entrepreneur and easyGroup Chairman. “An experienced chief executive is just what easyHotel needs just now as the company is going to grow fast and globally. I am looking forward to overseeing this growth as well, but having Lawrence on board will give me time to help manage the other 14 easyGroup businesses which are also growing,” he continued.