Cyprus is a place of legends and myths. Each corner of the island has a story to tell, either historical or mythical, or a combination of the two. Paphos, the sleepy town on the island’s south west coast, is more than the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite; it has emerged as a top holiday destination, with upscale hotels and resorts such as The Elysium, writes Andrew Forbes.
Paphos is an attractive destination, with its medieval castle, renovated old town, charming port and nearby cultural and nature attractions. Little wonder that the area is home to some of the island’s best accommodation options. The Elysium is no exception and following its recent multi-million euro remodelling the resort is now looking fit for the gods.
It’s less than a half-hour transfer from Paphos International Airport (the second largest on the island) to the hotel; and about 10 minutes taxi into the town centre. The Elysium Hotel is on the coast, with gardens leading down to a small private cove.
Cyprus, thanks to its eastern Mediterranean location has a dry climate, making it a particularly enjoyable destination all-year round.
Despite the size of the resort (there are some 200 rooms), I found that the design of the property, with its multiple courtyards, tropical gardens, and terraces gave the hotel plenty of peaceful corners.
The resort has a touch of fantasy too, built in the style of a medieval fort, complete with drawbridge and portcullis.
At the heart of the gardens is the spectacular outdoor pool, with a hydro massage rotunda at the centre.
Deluxe guest rooms and suites over look the gardens and sea.
Ideal for families, the Cypriot Maisonettes offer extra space, and a mezzanine sleeping area.
The arcaded ‘Megaron’ part of the hotel is home to the Royal Suites; whilst for greater exclusivity and privacy, guests can choose Royal Garden Villas which have their own private garden, plunge pool and daybed.
Both the Royal Suites and Royal Garden Villas have exclusive access to the adults-only sunken Royal Pool, a central feature of the Megaron.
I was impressed at the diverse wellness options. There is a spa of course, the Opium Health Spa, presented in the opulent style of the resort, with huge indoor pool. The spa offering also goes beyond treatments to encompass healthy dining too.
In addition to the fitness studio and swimming pools, there are also tennis courts and an aerobics studio for classes.
Guests will discover sophisticated interior design at The Elysium, reflecting the cultural influences that have shaped Cyprus, including Byzantine, Venetian, Greek, and contemporary Mediterranean.
This is certainly true in the public spaces and restaurants, such as the beautifully appointed lobby, library, and the many eateries.
I was impressed by the design of the Café Occidental.
The Lemonia Piazza is where guests enjoy breakfast – and buffet meals during the day.
The Epicurean Restaurant is for fine dining; whilst for al fresco meals then choose the Mediterraneo Restaurante, with its open kitchen and menu of fresh fish, pasta and salads.
There is also a small chapel, built in a charming, traditional style that is ideally suited to weddings.
Paphos was the magical birthplace of Aphrodite, Ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty, at ‘Petra tou Romiou’, on the coast – it makes for a beautiful excursion.
Right on the doorstep of the hotel are the Tombs of the Kings, a truly impressive archaeological complex, and UNESCO world heritage site.
For more inspiration for travel in Cyprus, read our Eat Do Sleep Cyprus guide here.
I travelled to Cyprus as a guest of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, and stayed at The Elysium, where double rooms start from €205 per night.
The Elysium Hotel
Queen Verenikis Street
Tel: +357 2684 4444
Easyjet operates flights to Paphos Cyprus from London Gatwick and London Luton Airports with fares starting from £26.49 one way. For further information or to book visit Easyjet.
In addition to our Cyprus destination guide you can also visit the Cyprus Tourism Organisation
Cyprus – the third largest island in the Mediterranean – boasts the cleanest bathing waters in Europe, combined with a rich cultural heritage, a variety of agro-tourism projects, a wide choice of special interest activities and luxury hotels.