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EasyGroup eyes Cyprus hotels sector November 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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EasyGroup, which owns low-cost airline easyJet, plans to branch out on the Mediterranean holiday island of Cyprus with its easyHotels franchise, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

EasyHotels is looking for business partners on the island, which is visited by more than 2.3 million tourists a year. The tourism sector represents about 15 percent of Cyprus’s gross domestic product.

“This is an opportunity to expand the brand,” said Marios Missirlis, a spokesman for the chain in Cyprus. “We are now expanding rapidly. There are two hotels, one in London and one in Switzerland. Another two will open in London by the end of this year and we have signed contracts with a Dubai-based firm to open 38 easyHotels over the next five years in North Africa, the Middle East, India and Pakistan.”

The construction cost of the 38 hotels will be in the region of $400 million (209 million pounds), he said, referring to global hotel expansion plans announced in April. The first easyHotel opened in August 2005 in Kensington, London, with prices starting from 30 sterling a night.

Missirlis said four and five star hotels would not be the type of establishment the easyHotel brand would be interested in. “The hotel brand is a low budget,” Missirlis said, adding however, that part of the criteria included safe and clean locations.

Other than that, the brand would not be focussing on particular geographical areas. “All areas are being considered,” he said, adding that since placing an advert in the local press on Sunday, 17 queries had been made by hotel establishments. Business partners would be required to make the investments to meet the group’s requirements. “EasyHotel will not do any investment. The investment is in our brand,” said Missirlis.

The island’s hoteliers welcomed the move, but said it must be supported by flights by easyJet. Stelios HadjiIoannou, the founder of the group, is of Cypriot descent.

“At the moment its more important for easyJet to fly into Cyprus than for easyHotels to open in Cyprus,” said hoteliers’ association chairman Haris Loizides. “This is how we look at it. We are in desperate need for extra flights.”

Earlier this year local leisure group Louis signed a franchise agreement with easyCruise, another division of the easyGroup specialising in low-cost cruises.

Theanan Seaview Villas, Cyprus October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Hotels Cyprus.
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Complete Holiday Enjoyment

Theanan Seaview Villas > Where you receive value for money when renting a luxury villa which has all the comforts you need.

Everybody wishes they could take a luxury holiday in a foreign land and Cyprus is a first choice for most of them nowadays. Cyprus is first choice because of its great range of holiday villa accommodation, fantastic climate, Cypriot lifestyle and natural beauty.

Theanan Seaview villas are dream destination, when it comes to selecting holiday villas for rent in Cyprus. Theanan Seaview Villas has established a loyal following of returning guests through focusing on excellence in customer service and quality. The company also continues to expand its services for their high-quality, luxury holidays villas.

Theananvillas.com offers selection of holiday villas for rent in Cyprus. There is a selection of luxury villas situated in Coral Bay/Sea Caves of Paphos. You will get best quality villa accommodation with private swimming pools. Theananvillas.com has many special & last minute deals. These deals offer you great discounts and:
(1) Complimentary welcome food hamper supplied on arrival with all bookings of 7 days & over.
(2) Free air conditioning.
(3) Discounted car hire.
(4) Discount vouchers to local business.

On Theananvillas.com you will also find other great types of services like car hire, flights, taxi hires and details of wheel chair facilities.

Have you ever dreamed of getting married in Cyprus? Theanan Seaview Villas can get you in touch with dedicated wedding consultants who can organize a truly memorable wedding for you. Couples who will be getting married during their stay at Theanan Seaview villas will receive a Gift of a congratulatory basket of champagne, chocolates, flowers & other treats.

Theanan Seaview Villas is the dream destination to fulfill your dreams of luxury living in within your holiday budget.

For more information > http://www.theananvillas.com or Call  + 357 99475604.

High on a Cyprus hill August 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Hotels Cyprus.
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So here we are, on a scorched hillside high above the Venetian port-town of Polis, north-western Cyprus, visiting Uncle Yiorgos’s farm. Behind us lies a table under a pergola of vines, spread with roast lamb, tomatoes in olive oil, big white loaves and cold Coca-Cola. But before we can eat, we must be given the tour of Yiorgos’s livestock. 

The smell, however, is not from the goats, but the cheese-shed, a dark, gloomy lean-to where the home-made cheeses are drying out. Each is kept in the leg of a pair of old tights, and hung from the ceiling. The impression is of a cave of rank dairy stalactites, encircled by flies.

This shed is airless and dark, and filled, from corner to corner, with stringy, greasy, bug-eyed chickens, who are attacking each other with poo-stained claws. But of course, Yiorgos doesn’t want free-range chickens. He’s too busy spending every day following his sheep across the hillside, slowly burning to a deep-purple colour in the scorching heat. He looks around 80 although, he is, in fact, 58. 

To be fair, when we eat Yiorgos’s 60-denier cheese, it is lovely. 

A cultural heritage is all fine and well, but I think, like most things, it’s something best discovered from a base camp in a five-star hotel. Hotel Almyra is surely one of the classiest hotels in Cyprus. Sitting on a clear, shingled, swimmable beach in Paphos, it is less Eurotrash than its sister hotel, the Annabelle, and styled in a serene, minimalist, Tyler Brûlé way.

Whereas most of Cyprus is decorated in dark, varnished wood and overpowering florals, the Almyra has Philippe Starck fixtures, waffle linen, floor-to-ceiling windows and Goldfrapp playing serenely in the lobby. Outside, the pool is made of black slate, swimming around it in the early morning, it reflects the sky perfectly. Occasionally, pink hibiscus flowers fall in the water as you scull. The Athenian cocktail waiter makes perfect mojitos, and brings them to the poolside.  (more…)

Pampered in Paphos July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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Life is a bed of roses at the Thalassa.

We’ve come along way from the ‘good old days’ when star-rated hotels trumpeted their idea of luxurious living by offering clients a reception area in salmon and purple tones, industrial strength vinyl flooring and a bank of deeply intimidating receptionists.

In one’s boudoir one would then expect to encounter an unholy battle between swirley carpeting, flowery bed spread, and ‘rouched’ checked curtains – a lethal combination that would bring more sensitive souls out in a rash.

Only if staying at one of the world’s so called ‘Grand Hotels’ could one ever aspire to ownership of the freebie shower cap or miniature bottle of dodgy shampoo. And before you went down to partake in the delights of the set dinner menu, you could always saunter down to the foyer to peruse the contents of the gift shop, where you could choose between heavily retouched postcards of the establishment, china shoe ornaments, hotel branded biro pens, or a really ugly lumpy key ring.

A million light years have passed since those days: we are now firmly in the era of boutique/designer establishments. Trying to cater for a guest’s every need is the name of the game, so they will feel at ease within the confines of the hotel, happily deciding to stay put, at the hotel’s fine dining rooms and cocktail bars.

The Thalassa, located on a small peninsula overlooking Coral Bay in Paphos, is the very latest in sophisticated niche marketing, having launched itself on the select tourist market with the opening of its rather discreet doors to the public this season. (more…)

Luxury living is child’s play July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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The great thing about the Azia Beach Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus is that it’s five-star but not formal. 

So when our taxi finally swept into the forecourt of the Azia Beach Hotel and Spa, after a fairly two-hour flight, the relief was immense. We checked into our room and popped just in time to crack open a couple of ice-cold Keo beers and catch a blistering red sunset over the Mediterranean from the comfort of the hot tub on our balcony.

The great thing about the Azia is that it does five-star without being formal or turgid. Its brochure is emblazoned with that old “barefoot glamour” cliché, but here it really works. This is the kind of place where a noisy baby at the dinner table gets serenaded by a musician rather than banished to its room. Although it’s a fairly average resort set-up, with a pool complex at the centre, a couple of restaurants, gym, tennis courts etc, last year a facelift – the addition of a luxurious Elemis spa along with plenty of muted earthy tones and contemporary styling – shifted it up-market.

There was plenty of time for us to laze by the pool, or, in the evening, catch a taxi into Paphos (a 10-minute drive away), where we indulged in, or rather gorged on, a 30-course fish mezze. The spa facilities were also put to good use – and it’s not just a couple of treatment rooms masquerading as a spa, it really is the full works (voted by Grazia magazine as one of the world’s 10 best new spas). In the adjoining yoga centre I had one of the most vigorous yoga sessions I’ve ever had.

Fifteen years ago, all this was nothing but a patchwork of fields covered mainly with banana trees. Antis Economides, the owner, had the foresight to buy one. Then, when he had raised a bit more money, he bought another, until he had five on which the Azia now stands.

The only drawback, if it is one, is that we were so firmly ensconced in the comfort of the Azia that our sense of wanderlust was completely dampened. The west coast of Cyprus does not have the big sandy beaches of the other side; instead it has rocks and plenty of tiny, sandy coves. One hot morning, feeling unusually energetic, we caught the number 10 bus to Coral Bay. 

The more adventurous could hire a Jeep and head on a little further to Cape Lara, a long sweep of unspoilt sand, and see where the green turtles come in to nest. Or, better still, get off the tourist trail and head inland to the villages at the foot of the magnificent Troodos Mountains.

But, as soon as you venture out, there is the Brits-abroad reality check to contend with. Take the road along the coast either to the east or west and you will come across O’Solomon’s Irish bar, the Zik Zak club, Sid’s pub and any number of other Identikit tourist traps trying to lure you in with offers of beer at knockdown prices. And, as for the number of property companies vying for foreign trade, it will be a wonder if there are any Cypriots left on the island in five years.

Not that any of this bothers Economides. His passion is not so much in the business of running a hotel – he leaves that to his wife and two daughters – but in the workings of his beloved plantation just outside Paphos. There, he cultivates the incredible array of plant-life that covers the Azia’s gardens and also grows around 80 per cent of the fruit used by the hotel – impressive, when you consider there are 250 rooms and 15 bungalows.

So as well as the striking 50ft cerise bougainvillaea that grows up the stark white frontage of the Azia, there are palm trees of a type you will never have seen before and huge bushes of lavender, which gets used in the spa. And it is these luscious gardens, which slope down to the cliff edge, that sets the Azia apart from the rest. Economides really has created a luscious oasis in a hot, rocky corner of Cyprus. 

Azia Hotel Resort & Spa
Akamas Ave., 
P.O. Box 62108, 8061 Paphos, Cyprus
Telephone +(357) 26 845100 Fax +(357) 26 946883
www.aziaresort.com
http://www.aziaresort.com/index.cfm/id/home/lang/english/home

Journey of the senses July 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Cyprus.
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The smells from Le Meridien’s signature treatment are almost as good as the feeling of total relaxation.

When faced with 120 treatments and 1,000 products it is hard to know where to start at Le Spa within Limassol’s Le Meridien; thalassotherapy in the outdoor pools? an algae wrap, facial? Shiatsu, Watsu, or any other of a host of different massages?

Fortunately the spa has come up with its own signature treatment that offers a range of different treatments within 55 minutes. The main aim is to get you to lie back and relax and be indulgently pampered. No problem there then…

What is it supposed to do?
According to Le Spa manager, Andri Ioannou, Journey of the Senses takes you on a journey with the exotic sensual textures of warm milk, honey and essence of frangipani. It was created specially for the hotel by Elemis’ director of product and treatment development and staff at the spa itself. It will leave you relaxed, smooth and fragrant.

What benefits does it claim?
Journey of the Senses
is a deeply relaxing treatment that aims to condition dehydrated skin. However, as with all Elemis treatments, it is aimed at spiritual wellbeing rather than to help relieve any particular medical complaint, although it is excellent if you have indulged in too much sun bathing. It is also a treatment that is very popular with men as well as women.

Is there any science behind it?
There is science behind all of the
small fragments of treatment that the Journey of the Senses includes, although this particular treatment is designed for relaxation and pampering. The hot stones give balance and energy and remove tension by attracting negative energy.

What is it like?
The treatment started with
a foot cleansing ritual using warm, lime-infused mitts, which smelt and felt divine, getting me well on the way to becoming truly relaxed. I was then drenched in (very) warm milk and aromatic frangipani monoi oil, which again smelt fantastic. This mixture was absorbed with the help of a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, which involved gentle, almost caressing movements, along the body. Hot stones to draw out negative energy were then placed along my sternum (on top of a towel so there was no burning sensation), which were bathed in rosewood essential oil.

I was then wrapped in a thin piece of cellophane, towels and what resembled a limp lilo when the bed became a floating chamber. Cocooned in all these layers I felt weightless and extremely comfortable. Despite being almost submerged in water, you don’t get wet. The feeling of relaxation was helped by my eyes and face being cleansed by more milk bath, followed by a neck and shoulder massage. It was also amazing how hard the soft comfortable bed felt when coming out of the float.

After a quick shower, Exotic Island Flower Body Balm was rubbed over my body and Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask applied to my face. I was left feeling smooth and smelling lovely for the rest of the day.

Journey of the Senses is aptly named as throughout the feelings of warmth and touch were complemented by the rich aromas of the products used.

Where and how much?
Le Spa at Le Meridien Limassol Spa and Resort.
£85. The treatment lasts 55 minutes and is recommended every three weeks for best results.

For additional info log into > http://cyprus.lemeridien.com