The Elysium Hotel, Paphos, Cyprus
Date of visit : September 2019
Our friends recently flew out to Cyprus to attend a family wedding, and decided to extend their stay in Paphos. They asked us to join them for the second week to eat some wonderful Greek food, and swim in the warm waters of the Med, so naturally we jumped at the chance! We don’t need asking twice…
Flying via Bergamo (see separate blog) we touched down in Paphos, where we were met by our friends in their hire car and whisked the short journey to The Elysium. We had a few reservations to be honest, as we prefer smaller properties not huge resort hotels, and first impressions confirmed our suspicions. The Elysium occupies a fairly large plot of land in the Tomb of the Kings area of Paphos, and is beachfront. It boasts 250 rooms and suites, and six restaurants. On arrival it did have an air of 5* luxury about it, and the approach and reception area were all very grand, although a bit Las Vegas if we’re honest.
After checking in we were shown to our rooms, which were sea facing, and once again it was as expected with a long trek to get there and miles of corridors. The rooms were very comfortable though, carpeted, with plush bathrooms complete with Molton Brown products, and they weren’t mean in restocking either! Great beds & pillows which afforded a good night’s sleep. The rooms boasted a decent sized balcony with chairs and a small table, minibar, tea and coffee facilities, and television with English channels etc.
When we made the reservation for the hotel they were generous enough to include a free half board offer in the package, which entitled us to a buffet dinner each evening. We were planning on eating out most evenings though, as buffet is definitely not our thing, preferring waiter service instead. However, there were a selection of other restaurants in the property including an Asian restaurant, a Greek Taverna, and an Italian option. You were entitled to a 15 Euro credit per person towards a meal in these other locations if you didn’t choose the buffet. We did try them all, and they were good, although not what we would call amazing. The buffet itself was extensive, but very hit and miss, and the chef’s serving the food seemed not to enjoy their jobs too much, we were scowled at on more than one occasion! The waiting staff however were very friendly and eager to please.
The hotel itself is situated on a small cove beach, not a very nice spot in our opinion. It was fairly rough most of the time, with debris floating in on the waves and the water wasn’t clear. Walking in to the sea was fairly difficult with sand and small rocks, and as you progressed the rocks got larger and you had to be careful not to hit your toes. There are also a handful of sunbeds on the beach for hotel guests, in cabana like tented gazebos. The hotel have built a jetty with steps down, so you can avoid the rocks and go straight into deeper water. Not a great beach at all. Having been to Paphos before though we’ve always been disappointed with the beaches in the area.
There was a large free form swimming pool with a swim up bar. It was always quite busy, not really our scene, so we decided to sit on the grass in the shade of the trees between the pools and the beach. I must say the staff were very attentive, and would run over and assist you if you needed to adjust your sunbed, order a drink etc, the service was befitting of a 5* establishment. The area was all very relaxing and peaceful, and very few children too due to the time of year. Drinks were fairly pricey, they offered fresh Thai coconuts at 12 euros each, gasp, I suppose as we visit Thailand each year where they are 2 euros each it comes as a bit of a bitter pill to swallow!!
One thing that did grate on us, and was definitely not 5*, was the fact that you had to go to the spa each day to swap a towel card for a beach towel. This became very annoying, and really is something a 4* hotel or below usually instigates as policy. This did make the hotel feel like mainstream resort, rather than exclusive retreat. Usually in 5* establishments there are heaps of towels on hand for you to swap at your leisure. No luxury towels rolled up waiting for you on sunbeds here!
Each evening there was entertainment of some description, including acoustic guitar, singers, Greek dancing. It was pretty good to be honest, and we enjoyed sitting out with our drinks on the warm summer nights.
There is a high repeat client ratio at the property, and it was full when we were there too. We uncannily bumped into some people who our friends had met on a Seabourn cruise in the past, and they love the hotel and what it has to offer. I guess it’s personal preference at the end of the day. Would we go back, no I don’t think we would. I think we prefer a smaller more intimate hotel, a better beach, and not such a commercialised area.
Further Information :
Transfer from Paphos airport approximately 20 minutes
Transfer from Larnaca airport approximately 1 hour & 30 minutes
There are a selection of shops and restaurants a couple of minutes walk from the hotel
We took the car over the mountain to Latchi a couple of times, approximately 1 hour’s drive, and it was far less commercialised with some great fish tavernas, and crystal clear waters.
Currency : Euro
Time zone : GMT +2
Places to visit :
Various boat trips including to Aphrodite’s rock
The villages of Latchi and Polis