The Aquamare Hotel in Paphos is a hotel that my family and I have been visiting since 2007. It opened in the summer of 2006 on the prominent Poseidonos Avenue, a long stretch of road dotted with many of Paphos’ 5* deluxe hotels. My brother, on holiday at the time decided to visit this glossy, brand-new hotel one evening for drinks and he was very impressed. I knew it’s where we would book to stay for our summer holiday in 2007 and we’ve been going back ever since. The hotel is within close proximity to Paphos Harbour, 3 km to the city centre and just 15km from Paphos Airport, half an hour at the most.
The Aquamare is a 4* hotel which has recently undergone refurbishment adding another two floors as well as other subtle updates. When the hotel first opened, the pool which wasn’t very big use to be upstairs just out of the lobby area and I always wondered why it wasn’t downstairs in among the palm trees and other amenities. It had a very welcome jacuzzi-like enclosure which my son and daughter then 7 and 5 loved playing in because they liked the frothy feel of the bubbles. I would spend countless hours sitting on the edge of that jacuzzi making sure my two little ones were safe while the hot Cypriot sun was beating on my back, very happy memories.
The pool the way it used to look when the hotel first opened. It was situated right outside the lobby. Photo courtesy of the hotel.
In 2011 the hotel quite wisely moved the pool downstairs, made it larger and closed off the area upstairs developing it into a pretty garden terrace with large parasols, it’s a relaxing space to enjoy evening drinks. I say wisely because downstairs is where the fantasy toddler pool is plus the beach and snack bars. Before the pool relocation, in order to get a bite to eat or a drink, one would have to navigate a very slippery sweeping staircase and this was quite dangerous especially for young children and the elderly so when we stayed at the hotel in 2011, it was a relief to see the pools’ relocation.
This pretty terrace has replaced where the pool once was. Photo courtesy of the hotel.
Along with the beautiful flower arrangement, the wrought iron chandelier is definitely the focul point of the lobby.
The lobby of the hotel is an expanse of shiny cool marble, so welcome in the blistering Mediterranean heat but it’s also so warm and welcoming with comfy plush sofa’s, huge plants and a gorgeous flower arrangement in the centre. The large reception desk is flanked with at least 2 receptionists ready and waiting to welcome and assist you and attend to your every need both during the day and at night.
The lobby of the Aquamare Hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel.
The lobby of the hotel has beautiful flower displays which is changed frequently.
The rooms at the Aquamare Hotel are in keeping with those of a beachside property, large, a total of 147. Of those, there are 126 standard twin/double rooms, 19 family suites and 2 Royal Executive Suites. Each room is equipped with bath and shower, bathroom toiletries which are changed daily, hairdryer, tea & coffee making facilities, electronic safety box, air-conditioning, satellite TV & radio, a mini bar (filled on request) and a little balcony with table and chairs. Some of the standard rooms are inter-connecting which is the option we always choose as there are six of us. The suites have the luxury addition of bathrobes and slippers. The hotel also has specially adapted rooms for disabled guests which is a real advantage.
Photo courtesy of the hotel.
The Aquamare Hotel has one of the finest spa’s in Paphos – L’Aqua Spa where guests can enjoy a host of luxury treatments including therapeutic and de-stressing massages and hydrotherapy treatments, a hammam, hair and beauty treatments using Elemis and Payot products as well as access to the indoor pool which is open to all guests.
Other facilities that the hotel boasts are a fully equipped fitness area/gym, business facilities with conference room, Dolphin Kids Club and two restaurants and bars.
Ambrosia restaurant is the hotel’s main dining area offering a rich and sumptuous buffet with a different theme every evening. The hotel is one of the few hotels in Paphos that can proudly say their head chef has been with them since the start and I for one am very happy about this. So often in family hotels, the food is of poor quality but not at the Aquamare. Head Chef is a perfectionist and it clearly shows in the quality and variety of the buffet.
While there isn’t any entertainment as such, the hotel has an accomplished singer who performs most nights. I remember when we stayed at the hotel in the early years, the hotel would have a Greek Night which was a big weekly event with not just an authentic buffet but the whole evening would be centred around dancing, good food, fun and laughter with Greek dancers and music and an opportunity for guests to join in. Greek Night now consists of the buffet alone, I think it would be a real plus point if the hotel offered Greek Night with dancing again as I know many guests would enjoy it and it would be very profitable with guests enjoying more than a drink or two whilst letting their hair down and joining in the dancing. The hotel does however have singers that come most nights to entertain guests at the outside Tavernaki Bar and at Ambrosia.
Kirke Restaurant is where breakfast and lunch are served and looks out to the Mediterranean Sea, although it’s very busy as you would expect in the high season, there is a relaxing ambience. Just to sit here and enjoy your morning coffee or tea is just so good for the soul, a bit like meditation, come as soon as breakfast opens at 7am to take full advantage of the serene and calm atmosphere.
You can also sit inside to eat breakfast or lunch if you want to escape the mid-day sun.
The restaurant takes its name from the Greek Goddess Kirke who apparently used to seduce sailors!! There may not be any sailors to seduce now but it will certainly have you seduced with its seductive breakfasts and lunches. Breakfast is extensive, there are all manner of cereals, compote’s and dried fruits, bowls of unctuous chocolate and caramel and fragrant Greek honey to spread on your toast or bread of which there is a rich choice. There are croissants and other breakfast pastries as well as typical Greek pastries filled with cheese, spinach and halloumi.
There is a cooked breakfast buffet with beans, scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon and the queue that forms every morning is testament to the quality of the on-the-spot freshly made omelettes, poached and fried eggs. The staff work tirelessly every day making sure they deliver breakfast and lunch of the highest quality and you’re always greeted with a genuine warm smile and Cypriot hospitality, everyone is proficient in English as well as Russian, German and Greek of course.
Lunch is something my family and I always look forward to and is served between 1:00pm and 2:30pm so even if our older boys who also joined us this summer missed breakfast, they didn’t have to wait too long for lunch. Everything is cleared after a busy morning and another sumptuous display of several salads, grilled meats, fish, pasta and for the kids, pizza, fries and chicken nuggets made at the hotel from real chicken! I know this for sure because I had a little tour of the kitchen. Lunch is never the same, there is a slight change every day whether it’s the addition of calamari, pasticcio, Greek meatballs or kebabs and of course, there are desserts a plenty even at lunch time, no wonder I had gained a few pounds!!Every lunch time and evening I would always have a chilled glass of wine with my lunch and dinner.
Mahalebi, a popular Cypriot dessert made with cornflour, rosewater cordial and essence. It’s refreshing and light and so delicious, I looked for this every day at lunch.
The hotel now has three bars, Nektar Bar located inside the hotel has the feel of a Gentleman’s Club with glossy wood and sumptuous sofas, a large TV where guests can enjoy the sports channels – that’s where you’d usually find my boys and my husband especially when their football teams were playing, not forgetting the most important thing, a variety of sprits and cocktails. If you have chosen the all-inclusive option which the hotel does offer and is very cost effective especially with a big family, bear in mind that there is a supplement for some drinks and ice creams.
As well as the hotel’s main beach bar Tavernaki which is open until 1am, the hotel benefits from a more exclusive elegant bar upstairs where all drinks have an additional supplement if you’ve chosen the half-board or all-inclusive option. It overlooks the pool and is truly magical at night. With deep comfy cream sofas and gentle music in the background, it’s a very romantic place to enjoy a drink while gazing at the stars.
The garden terrace is transformed in the evening and takes on a really romantic ambience. An Italian themed evening some nights is enjoyed beyond the terrace in the background.
Tavernaki Bar serves all manner of drinks both soft and alcoholic, light lunches, ice creams and other snacks. Its where we would come to escape the blistering mid-day sun to quench our thirst with various mocktails, cocktails, milkshakes,beer and wine. You can also take your drink to the beach which is just a few steps away, sit on the sun lounger shielded by the canopy above and listen to the waves gently lapping the sea, so soothing and relaxing.
It’s pretty cool to enjoy drinks right by the beach with the waves lapping the coastline, it’s beautifully romantic.
The hotel’s pool is now much larger than it used to be and much better positioned downstairs where the bar and the children’s pool is. My family and I were always flummoxed why it was upstairs just outside the lobby, it was an accident waiting to happen with slippery feet running up and down the stairs to go to and from the beach bar. There is an expanse of green space with many sun loungers but to be honest, in my opinion there aren’t enough. So often I would need to wake up early and go downstairs with my towels just to secure 2-3 beds for later. Although I don’t agree with it, it’s what everyone did and just put added pressure and stress on when the the whole idea of a holiday is to de-stress. I believe there should be at least two beds per family of 4 and the hotel really ought to sort this issue out.
The stunning view from our room, sea view rooms look out to the pool or to the sea.
Missing this view!
The hotel does supply beach towels which you collect in the morning from the spa with a specially allocated token which you collect at the end of the day. Towels can be changed several times during the day. As well as the vast sunbathing area with its many palm trees offering welcome shade from the sun, the sun loungers also have their own umbrellas and further on a few feet away is the beach where there are several sun loungers with canopies which are rather exotic to look at. It almost feels like you’re in a dessert, the heat certainly reminds me of that with temperatures in the very high 30’s in July and August. There are also a couple of showers to get rid of the nuisance sand, a pet hate of mine which I why I rarely sunbathe by the beach but it’s what I loved doing most of all as kid on holiday in Cyprus. I still like walking along the beach and dipping my feet in the sea which is lovely and warm in Cyprus.
Missing this view!
The Aquamare Hotel really is one my favourites in Paphos and I don’t think you can go wrong in choosing it for your next holiday to Cyprus. Its friendly, warm and welcoming with fabulous food and great facilities within walking distance to bars and restaurants. The bus stop just outside takes you to the harbour in less than 15 minutes. If you fancy a change, walk the 5 minutes it takes to get to the glamorous Athena Beach Hotel for cocktails in the evening as I did so often during my holiday.
My family and I have many fond memories of unforgettable holidays here at the Aquamare Hotel in the town of Paphos where my father was born. For us, it’s the perfect location as it’s only a 10 minute journey from the village of Yeroskipou where my Aunt, Uncle and cousins live. It really does feel like I am coming home every time my feet enter the cool lobby of the Aquamare and it will forever have a very special place in my heart.