Set on Paphos' sea-facing promenade, Almyra hotel in Cyprus provides the ultimate family coastal-break package: sun, fun and spa, without compromise on style. It's great for holidays en famille, with bulletproof childcare, and the friendly staff, plenty of activities and a mouthwatering menu of Asian-fusion food make it a great all-rounder.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £214.70 (€252), including tax at 9 per cent.
Rates include a generous international buffet breakfast.
The hotel can arrange personal trainers, on request.
At the hotel
Spa with sauna and steam room, swimming pools, restaurants, bar, crèche, kids club, gym, tennis court, boutique, gardens, DVD library, free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, radio, minibar, slippers, bathrobes, free WiFi, Aniah toiletries. Suites are stocked with Acqua di Parma products; they also have espresso machines, DVD players and mini stereos.
Our favourite rooms
Rooms are simply furnished in cool hues, with minimal extras. Terrace Garden View rooms have a small private terrace overlooking a sloping lawn; interconnecting options are also available in this category. They aren't true suites, but we love the open-plan Kyma Suites, which have private terraces that lead onto a shared lawn overlooking the sea, and private rooftop terraces – perfect for an al fresco meal or romantic candlelit soiree. In the main building there are also one- and two-bedroom suites with separate lounges (some with private balconies), ideal for larger family groups.
Shaded by olive trees and white awnings in high season, and surrounded by club-style double day beds, the black slate-lined pool is a lovely spot to pass the day (especially with a drink in hand). There's a shallow, well-shaded freshwater splash pool for babies and toddlers too. In the spa area, there's an eye-catching outdoor infinity pool with plenty of pairs of sun loungers, as well as an indoor pool; when it's a bit nippy for swimming outdoors (December–March), supervised children are allowed to use this indoor pool from 9am–1pm daily.
The award-winning Almyra Spa is set in a purpose built adults-only complex, with six treatment rooms, three spa suites, a sauna, steam room, Vichy showers, yoga deck, mani-pedi station, hair salon, heated indoor pool and outdoor infinity pool. There's a suitably lengthy spa menu of massages, facials, wraps, scrubs and other beautification rituals, and the therapists are excellent. Couples can book a double spa suite with a long private terrace overlooking the pool, and indulge in a quiet spa snack between Osea marine treatments. Outside the spa, the slickly photogenic grown-ups-only pool area also has a small restaurant (Eauzone) and bar with waiter service.
Stash some stylish yoga gear in your suitcase.
In the summer holidays, everything is in demand, so make sure you book spa treatments in advance.
Almyra is very child-friendly and has lots on offer for kids. Under-12s staying with parents on a half- and full-board basis are free (over-12s pay a daily supplement of €64 for half-board and €120 for full-board).
Terrace Garden View rooms are just about within monitor range of the main restaurant, with a small private terrace overlooking a sloping lawn (meaning you can sit and snooze outside while your little one naps in the room); interconnecting options are also
Almyra provides excellent childcare for all (4 months to 11 years is an impressive span) in its playroom and grounds from 9.30am–5.30am every day except Wednesdays, starting with the Globetrotters Club crèche for under-3s. The full-day fee for babies and toddlers (€60) includes all nappies (and swim nappies), milk, freshly made meals or purées, and snacks. Nannies will follow your home routine as closely as possible, including scheduled naps in the sleep room. Half-days (3.5 hours; €30 excluding lunch) are also available, or you can block-book six days at a reduced price (€300).
Hit the floodlit tennis court (or ping-pong table); play a gentle game of footie on the lawn; or stretch yourself with a one-to-one yoga or personal training session. From Paphos harbour, there are glass-bottom boat trips and vessels for hire – the hotel can also hook you up locally with all manner of activities on your doorstep, including parasailing, windsurfing, waterskiing and kite-surfing.
The main attraction for families is the large, black slate-lined oudoor freshwater swimming pool overlooking the sea. There's a shallow, well-shaded freshwater splash pool for babies and toddlers too.
Children are allowed everywhere at any time, except the adults-only Eauzone spa area. In high season, early sittings for little ones are encouraged to allow parents to enjoy a few child-free hours in the evening. Mosaics has both a buffet and an à la carte menu; staff'll set you up with a highchair anywhere, but outside on the shady terrace or poolside is good if you’re worried about food-throwers. Home-made baby purées, salt-free dishes for infants and all manner of fantastic finger food is made to order, plus the early buffet sittings make family mealtimes a breeze.
Experienced local babysitters can be booked through the hotel with a day's notice, from €16 an hour (maximum three children per sitter).
No need to pack
The hotel doesn't lend out baby monitors (or recommend you use them), but it's worth bringing your own (or using an app) for those with outside space (such as Kyma Suites).
Almyra's innovative Baby Go-Lightly service makes light work of packing: just pre-order all your kids' kit – from nappies and toiletries to pushchairs – ahead of arrival (including items listed above) and it'll be waiting in your room when you get there.
Outside on the main terrace under the olive trees for breakfast; at Eauzone for a quiet lunch; a late sitting at Mosaics in the corner-sofa area.
There are options for all tastes and ages; Almyra's restaurants offer genuinely great food. Mosaics, the attractive main restaurant, pulls off that tricky balance between practical and romantic: it's sleek and white and contemporary, with an earthy-toned Roman-style mosaic that nods to Paphos' history. Tables spill out onto the terrace for alfresco dining by day; by night, linen tablecloths, candles, crystal chandeliers and an Asian-fusion menu add a grown-up vibe (the prawn laksa is to die for). April–November, Japanese fusion Notios grill – by the pool – serves lighter lunch, dinner and 'Zen Meze' in an alfresco setting; and the Ouzeri is a romantic taverna-style restaurant right on the seafront. Eauzone serves spa cuisine and light all-day grazing platters.
In the open-plan lobby, Helios Lounge Bar serves coffees, snacks and a variety of drinks; there's also an extensive wine list showcasing some excellent Cypriot wines, as well as international staples.
Drinks served until the last guest retires. Mosaics serves breakfast 7.30am–10am; lunch, noon–3pm; and dinner, 7pm–10.30pm, with all-day offerings available in between.
A menu of tasty sandwiches, pizza, bento boxes and snacky delights is available 24 hours a day (there's a small delivery charge)
Almyra is set on the seafront promenade of Cypriot resort Paphos, a popular strip of hotels and tourist shops leading up to the little harbour with its fort and Unesco-protected archaeological site.
Paphos airport is only 15km (20 minutes' drive) away, with regular budget flights from the UK. Larnaca airport is a little further (170km – about 90 minutes), but has more frequent scheduled flights from across Europe.
You don't need a car if you're only staying a few days and planning mostly just to flop by the pool, since you can stroll up to Paphos harbour and the archaeological site is within walking distance, too. However, if you are staying for a week or more, or finding a decent beach is important to you, you may want a hire car to explore the island with. There is plenty of free on-site parking at Almyra. From Paphos airport, take the airport road west, following signs to Paphos town. When you get into Paphos, at the first big roundabout take the first exit. Go straight over the second big roundabout (with the football stadium on your right), straight over the set of traffic lights, and take the second exit at the small roundabout. At the end of this road, turn right, and drive on until you reach a zebra crossing. The Almyra is the first on your left, and on-site parking is free.
Worth getting out of bed for
Lounge in the sun or hit the swimming pools; book a treatment or yoga session in the spa; or explore the island's Troodos Mountains, beaches and heritage sites. Hit the floodlit tennis court (or ping-pong table); play a gentle game of footie on the lawn. From Paphos harbour, there are glass-bottom boat trips and vessels for hire – the hotel can also hook you up locally with all manner of activities on your doorstep, including parasailing, windsurfing, waterskiing and kite-surfing. The House of Dionysos (part of the Unesco site that's about a 15-minute stroll away) has some truly remarkable Roman mosaics, created almost 1,800 years ago – it's worth the minimal effort involved to visit the little museum and site itself. A little further afield along the clifftop, the Tombs of the Kings site dates back to around 400BC. Reward your efforts afterwards with a cool drink and an ice-cream from one of the waterfront cafés in Paphos harbour.
Of the plentiful traditional tavernas along the harbour, Theo's (+357 26 932829) is a favourite with locals and visitors: it's laid-back, with affable service and a great Mediterranean menu of fresh fish, grilled meat and tasty salads. Nab a table on the over-sea decking for the best people-watching and boat-spotting.