With a place like Paphos, where the temperatures rarely dip below double figures even in winter, there really is only one place to stay – by the beach. On my recent trip to this gorgeous city with icelolly.com, my friend and I stayed at The Alexander The Great beach hotel which has got everything you need for that blissful trip away. Just imagine lazing around on your (reserved) sun lounger, in between dips in one of the many pools or even a plunge into the blue-flag beach, overlooked by a palm-tree lined walkway.
Put simply, The Alexander The Great hotel is a lesson in how to do accommodation right. You could quite easily not leave the hotel’s grounds for the whole duration of your stay, thanks to the luxurious poolside facilities, bars, cosy lounges, restaurants and evening entertainment.
(But check out my post on What to do in Paphos (that doesn’t involve sitting on a beach) for reasons why you should leave the hotel grounds at least once!)
Each room has its own en-suite facilities with an in-built surround-sound feature from the flat-screen TV, plus its own balcony, so you can catch some rays before breakfast if you’re lucky. Our room was fabulous, but I would definitely recommend shelling out a little bit extra for a sea view.
It’s not often hotels have their own ancient tombs on site. But guess what? Yep, Alexander has that too. Found during the building of the hotel, the tombs – dating back to 300BC-300AD – were restored, and discovered artefacts such as pottery, lamps, coins and mirrors were moved on over to the Paphos museum. (See what I mean about not leaving the hotel’s grounds? They even have history on their doorstep too!)
The evening entertainment was a bit hit-and-miss with the odd cheesy singing act, but hey, it’s there. Kids’ll love it.
By far my favourite spot though was by the pool, hidden beneath a sun umbrella. The poolside bar serves a selection of cocktails, with staff even happy enough to personally bring it over to you. For me, May weather was absolutely perfect – warm temperatures in the mid-20s, but not so stifling that it was uncomfortable being outside in the sun.
As well as a communal pool (with obligatory waterfall features, jacuzzi and swim-up bar), there’s also an indoor pool, a kid’s pool, and a section solely for adults to unwind with back massage jets and seated whirlpools. My sources even tell me there is an on-site gym. I wouldn’t know, I never went looking for it.
Breakfast takes the form of a casual buffet, filled with pastries, cereals, meats, cheeses, waffles, potatoes, fruit, toast, juice, bacon – the choices are so endless, you’ll need a couple of trips up each morning to make the most of it. Although there are seats inside, the shaded area outside by the pool is my recommended spot, not least because the resident stray cats will more than likely come pay you a visit (and see what scraps of food they can get hold of!)
Half-boarders have their choice of meal in the evening. They can opt for another buffet in the main restaurant (each night has its own theme, such as Western, Asian or Mexican), or they can make a reservation for a more formal meal in the Italian or Japanese restaurant. Top tip: the latter two open on alternate days, so it’s best to check with staff so you don’t miss out!
From the restaurant staff to those on reception, everyone was just so happy and eager to help – it made the holiday feel even more enjoyable! One receptionist even booked up our Eagle Mountain Ranch horse riding trip for us.
If I could move here, I honestly would. It’s blissfully relaxing, carefree, and just a 5/10 minute walk from the main harbour area along the seafront. Like I said, it would be incredibly easy to plop yourself down in a sun lounger and not move for an entire week – just make sure you do explore your surroundings. The luxury whirl pool and cocktails will still be there when you return. I promise.