Why did you pick Cyprus?
I’m actually a seasoned explorer of this beautiful island – an old high school friend moved out there so I spent many a summer holiday visiting and even worked out in a beach bar for a season. Cyprus is a fantastic holiday spot for many reasons: the weather is glorious, the beaches beautiful, the cuisine hearty and the locals warm and friendly. I have such fond memories of spending days lazing on the beach and evenings tucking into endless courses of seafood mezze, with the sound of chatter and music floating softly on the breeze. Seeing as I hadn’t been back for a few years, a return visit to this gorgeous isle was well overdue.
Why did you pick the Almyra?
Almyra has a wonderful vibe to it – it manages to be relaxed and friendly whilst remaining ultra chic. This inviting atmosphere comes hand in hand with lovely, spacious bedrooms and phenomenal food served up in the restaurants. However, the most striking thing about the hotel is its breathtaking surroundings – located right on the waterfront, you wake in the morning to the sound of gently lapping waves and a soothing sea breeze. On your way to breakfast you can wander through the lovely tropical gardens, scattered with exotic flowers and fragrant herbs. You can spend the day relaxing on a sunbed, overlooking the sparkling ocean and enjoy spotting the pelicans flying past. For lunch or dinner you can either dine right down next to the sea or else overlook the ocean from one of the restaurants set higher up on the bank. The Almyra is within walking distance from the town yet still manages to be enveloped by nature and tranquility – you absolutely have the best of both worlds here.
What was your favourite place in Almyra?
It’s very hard to pick but, if I absolutely have to, it would be the peaceful adult-only pool (sorry, kids) near the spa. The sun beds are big and super comfy and the infinity pool is so inviting. It’s the perfect spot to relax and top up your tan. There’s also a bar right next to it which serves some divine cocktails (the rose mojito is particularly good) – I found my own little slice of paradise right here
What is the one thing you can’t travel without (apart from your passport)?
SUNCREAM would have to be my answer after this sun-soaked trip. The weather in Paphos was lovely and the sun not too strong – I’d really recommend April/May as a fantastic time to visit Cyprus – but even so I’d have been burnt to a crisp without my trusty spf 50.
What was your favourite part of the trip?
There were so many highlights to it, it’s really hard to say. I think my favourite moment was visiting AlmyraSpa for a spot of indulgence. This was an absolutely heavenly experience – the staff were so lovely and friendly and the atmosphere was completely tranquil. I had a fusion massage, which was performed by an expert masseuse, and floated out of the spa on a cloud of relaxation.
What was the best discovery you made?
Phillippe the resident parrot was a particular highlight – having been warned the day before I was not surprised to encounter a bright green bird at the breakfast table. It was a lovely, laughable moment and everyone reached for their cameras. He particularly enjoys orange juice, and after kindly finishing up mine for me he went on his way (probably in pursuit of someone else’s breakfast elsewhere…).
What was your favourite meal on the trip?
This is a really difficult one – the trip was packed full of phenomenal meals, one after another. From having a private breakfast next to the spa, to the gorgeous seafront lunch we had at Ouzeri – every morsel of food we ate on this trip was absolutely delicious. We had the freshest of seafood and washed it down with lovely Cypriot and international wines. If I had to pick one meal, I’d say the dinner we had on the second night at the Amarosa restaurant in Annabelle – sister hotel to Almyra – was probably my favourite. From start to end, the meal was absolutely superb – we enjoyed seabass sashimi, lobster soup and fillet of duck, all washed down with expertly paired wines, of course. We spent the evening in the company of Georgio, the food and beverages manager at Annabelle, who is also one of Cyprus’ top sommeliers and who designed the sumptuous menu and expertly paired a wine with each of the dishes.
What souvenir will you be bringing home with you?
Phillippe the parrot or a local cat – whichever is easier to fit into my suitcase…
Where are you headed to next?
I’m just in the midst of booking my holiday to picture-perfect, sun-kissed Puglia. I’m so looking forward to plenty of beach time, sparkling blue seas and restaurants full of local produce – you’ll hear all about it when I’m back.
Find out more about Natasha Michaelides, the owner behind Almyra here.
Fancy a trip to sun-kissed Cyprus? Check rates and availability for Almyra here.