Paradisos Hills, Lysos, Cyprus – Hotel Review
By Richard Jones
While slowly digesting the mountains of meat meze that are arriving at our patio table, a smart Cypriot man approaches. “The parents of the baby girl would be delighted if you join them for a drink and a dance after your dinner.”
Despite not knowing the man from Adam, or even his family’s name, we oblige for a few minutes so our daughters Isla and Evelyn can strut their stuff on the dancefloor and we can congratulate the family on their little girl’s Christening. Far from being gatecrashers at this 250-strong knees up, the four of us feel right at home. This is typical of our week at Paradisos Hills in western Cyprus.
We are guests of co-owner Soulla Charalambous and her family, who built their 15-room (with another 12 on the way) boutique hotel in memory of their father Andreas near Lysos, the home of his wife Theodosia. Paradisos Hills is a kind of retreat, with its breath-taking mountainside location providing stunning views of Chrysochou Bay, Paphos Forest and the Akamas Peninsula all amidst an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Also, thanks to the warm, welcoming nature of Soulla and her clan, it often feels like we are invited as guests to stay over at the luxury home of an extended Cypriot family.
“Green with envy”
Throughout the week, there is a lot going on at the hotel. Different cuisine is served each evening in the restaurant, with Soulla and her sister Niki also running cookery classes demonstrating how to recreate their mouth-watering Cypriot and Mediterranean dishes. In fact, considering Paradisos Hills’ relatively small size and the constant calm at the place, each day there seems slightly different. Hikers and cyclists regularly call by for a bite to eat or glass of wine, with Niki’s Sunday lunch and Friday night Indian buffet particularly popular. There are also regular functions taking place. The entire hotel is available for hire to groups large or small who want a romantic break, family holiday or a wedding in western Cyprus.
Paradisos Hills is fully equipped and licensed to stage wedding ceremonies or receptions should the happy couple opt to tie the knot at one of the many nearby churches instead. If you’re one of those holidaymakers who believes that when you’re abroad you should do as the locals do, then Paradisos Hills ticks that box too. During our days out and about on the island, Cypriots and British ex-pats ask where we are staying, and the mere mention of Paradisos has them green with envy, such is the place’s outstanding reputation.
Another strength of the hotel is its location. Just a 15-minute drive south of Polis and 40 minutes north-west of Paphos. Thid makes it the perfect base for a holiday on the largest island in the Med. Public transport is available in Cyprus. Unfortunately, as with many Mediterranean destinations, it is not the most reliable. Therefore, the best way to get around is by renting a car. We do this through the friendly folks at Petrides Car Rentals in Polis who deliver a people carrier to the airport ready for our arrival. We can then begin our Cypriot adventure as soon as we step off the plane.
Driving around the island is pretty relaxed and straightforward. Most conventions and road markings are exactly the same as the UK’s. So it will seem like a doddle to most British motorists.
Throughout our week, most of our time is spent lapping up the warm sunshine, building sandcastles and swimming in the sparkling blue warm waters at Latchi, Coral Bay and Pomos. We also enjoy days out in the cosmopolitan coastal city of Paphos. Here Romantica is the perfect place for a spot of lunch or early evening meal. Owner Bambos and the Phillipou family serve delicious locally-sourced dishes. And all within a stone’s throw of the municipal beach adjacent to the port’s big hotels.
One of our favourite attractions on the island is the new Aphrodite Waterpark in Paphos. We “follow the frog” and find exhilarating rides such as Kamikazi, Free Fall and Wet Bubble. Plus, there’s a brilliant kids’ play area with a pirate ship for three-year-old Evelyn and a lazy river for us all to float down. As with every part of Cypriot culture, the attractions around the island are completely geared towards families. They can really make the most of the great outdoors and sun-kissed climate.
Nevertheless, the home is very important to people in this part of the world. After a long day at the beach, waterpark or exploring the island, Soulla and her clan are always on hand to welcome us back into their’s at Paradisos Hills. Of course, there aren’t always 250 party goers singing and dancing all night every nigh. But even so, every day seems like another day in paradise.
Richard Jones and his family were guests at the boutique, family-run hotel Paradisos Hills (paradisoshills.com) in Lysos, Western Cyprus. It offers rooms on a bed and breakfast basis from just 60 Euros per night in 2014. Currently the hotel has a special offer whereby guests who stay for one week, will receive one night free. For accommodation, wedding and event enquiries please contact Soulla at [email protected]
Jet2.com offers friendly low fares, great flight times, and a generous 22kg baggage allowance to Paphos Airport from Glasgow Airport. Flights start from £75 one way including taxes. For more information please visit jet2.com
Petrides Rentals in Polis provided car hire for the Akamas region. For enquiries please visit cyprus-rent-a-car.info