Hotel Review: Aphrodite Hills Resort, Paphos in Cyprus
Words by Sarah Finley
As we zipped along the outskirts of the golf course we got a good idea of how big the resort was, and is planning to be. We were in their nifty golf buggies meandering our way down to tee 8, I’d been given the controls and I wasn’t entirely sure this was a good idea. But my driving skills are obviously better than I’d realised, as we made it down in one piece.
Aphrodite Hills is based on 578 acres of land, just a ten-minute drive from Paphos airport, it’s close to the famous Aphrodite’s rocks and is a haven for golf lovers. They started building the villas in 2000 and have plans to build around 20 more before the summer of 2018 – meaning they’re able to host 100’s of people at any given time. Bought by private owners most are rented out over the course of the year, with the team looking after everything from the cleaning of them to making sure you have food for when you arrive.
We’d arrived the night before and settled into our three bed villas, equipped with all of the amenities they were perfect for families or groups. For the environmentally conscious all of the villas on the property are fitted with solar panels on the roofs – with the year-round sunshine in Cyprus it’s a clever way to supply electricity throughout the villas.
Breakfast was at the Fig and Olive in the hotel, which is based just past the resort village. With numerous choices from eggs and bacon, to fruit and pancakes on the menu – it’s a good set up for the day ahead. For dinner, if you were looking for something a little bit more authentic, head to the Pithari Taverna (part of the Village Square Restaurants by Atlantica) for some great meze. We thought we’d eaten all of the courses, then they bought more meat, more potatoes – then dessert. Other options are pizza and Indian restaurants. And if you miss home they even have a Costa Coffee shop in the village.
And if cooking while you’re on holiday seems a little too much hard work, for 50 euros per head you can get someone else to cook for you – all in the comfort of your own villa. A chef will come to your house, fire up the barbie and feed you with even more Greek courses. While we sipped on wine, chatted among ourselves we ate an amazing menu of fish, meat, salad, bread and delicious sauces.
The Retreat Spa by Atlantica was a highlight, changing into our robes and comfy slippers we chilled out in the relaxation area with herbal teas until our treatments. With numerous treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms and extra rooms for specialised treatments you could find yourself falling asleep in no time. My signature massage was particularly relaxing and afterwards you could take yourself out and lie by the infinity pool admiring the blue skies and views.
With 4 clay tennis courts and the others being plexi-cushion courts Aphrodite Hills is one of the most popular places to play tennis in Paphos, especially in October and November when the temperatures are mild but still nice. They cater for numerous tennis clubs who come to play tournaments, but also for beginners who want to hit a few balls or have a quick match with friends.
My only memory of tennis is at school where I never even seemed to hit the ball – much to my embarrassment. But they always say the teacher is key – Scott was so patient, taking us through the paces of how to actually hit the ball successfully, in the right direction and with power. So much so that when I finished our hours long class I was upset that it was over – I surprisingly even got some good shots in.
Aphrodite Hills also has one of the most ambitious golf courses, once we toured the 18-hole course, we looked in awe at where one of the tee’s was located – right on the cliff side, you had to hit it over 500m to make it to the other side and into the hole. As that wasn’t going to happen for me I stuck to the driving range, where 50m hits were applauded.
If you’re a bit rusty on your golf game, then they have lessons available, but if you just fancy practising you can grab your clubs, some balls and spend an afternoon perfecting your golf. Another Scott, who just happened to be a pro golfing legend, was on hand to give us tips on how to position your body for the right swing. Once you’d hit one good one you could stay there all day perfecting it.
Watching the sun go down from your villa is a perfect way to spend an evening. But watching it go down while doing yoga is an even better way to do it. Arriving in our golf buggies we settled under the canopy which looked out to sea. While we moved our bodies gently, perfecting the downward dog, our warriors and tree pose – the sun fell to the sea, creating a pink and orange glow and capturing Paphos in a wonderful light.
With the weather being up in the high 20’s until mid-November it’s the perfect place to while a few days, sit by your private villa pool, top up your tan, learn a new sport and relax, forgetting about the reality of work and responsibilities.
Villas at Aphrodite Hills start from 700 euros a week to rent. To buy they start at 850,000 euros and go up to 2 million for their luxury 5 bed villas. For more information visit aphroditehills.com.
And if a villa isn’t for you – there is also a hotel on site, Aphrodite Hills Hotel by Atlantica Hotels. It houses various restaurants, a communal pool and lots of beautiful grounds to get lost in.
Address: 2 Aphrodite Avenue, Kouklia 08509, Cyprus
Phone: +357 26 828000