Infinity looks pretty good from where we’re standing at Amara hotel in Cyprus, a majestic marble palace along the Limassol coast. Named for the ancient Greek word for everlasting, the beachfront bolthole has an endless expanse of horizon to be admired from every sea-facing suite. Also never-ending are the masterful meals that keep on coming, thanks to famous chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Giorgio Locatelli setting up shop on Cypriot shores. The spa is more in line with the Romans than the Greeks, but we’re not complaining – and nor will your limbs be after a tour around the soothing thermal circuit.
Get this when you book through us:
One 30-minute head and shoulder massage each; GoldSmiths also get one dinner for two (excluding drinks) at Matsuhisa, Locatelli or Armyra
Noon, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm, also flexible if your room’s ready.
Double rooms from £247.96 (€280), including tax at 9 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast.
Fitness fans, take note: there’s a public beach as part of the grounds, for early morning jogs, and personal trainers and yoga classes are also on offer.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, gym, beach, tennis court, valet parking. In rooms: TV, air-conditioning, tea and coffee.
Our favourite rooms
Each and every room has a view of the Med, so there’s no deliberating on that front. Couples will love the secluded Rooftop Duplex Suites, which have a private pool, sunloungers and dining area up on the roof. For families, there are multi-roomed options, such as the Seafront Bungalows. Every room is also equipped with a Smart TV, so you can keep on streaming those box sets straight from your phone.
There are three pools, including one that’s heated and indoors and the adults-only, sea-facing, saltwater pool at the spa. The main, mosaic-lined infinity pool overlooks the gardens and sea, with a separate children’s section.
The Romans would love Amara’s spa, which has several treatment rooms for Carita and the Organic Pharmacy rituals, as well as a laconium, caldarium, tepidarium and frigidarium. It also has a hair salon, barbershop and juice bar.
Bring billowy, breezy clothing to take the edge off the scorching Cyprus heat, stacks of sunscreen and ancient-ruin-friendly footwear.
The communal areas are accessible for wheelchair users and there are specially adapted rooms.
All ages are welcome. Extra beds and baby cots can be added to all rooms (for 50 per cent of the room rate for the first child, 25 per cent for the second). Babysitting is available with a day’s notice (minimum: three hours).
Babies and up
Extra beds and cots can be added to all rooms, and there are multi-room options available for families, including the Seafront Bungalows, Deluxe Suite and Amara Suite.
There’s a kids’ club for every age all the way up to harder-to-please teens.
There’s a playground – and the beach is right in front of you.
The hotel has a family-friendly pool.
Highchairs are available at the restaurants.
Babysitting is available with a day’s notice; minimum three hours a booking.
No need to pack
Equipment such as baby bath tubs, bottle warmers, car seats and even extra nappies can be pre-ordered.
The hotel limits its plastic use where possible, and buys as much of its meat, fruit and veg locally as it can.
In Locatelli, ask for a table next to the glass balustrade out on the terrace for the best look at the coast, or if there’s a group of you, go for the 10-seater private dining room. In Matsuhisa, sit up at the sushi bar to watch the wizardry.
Matsuhisa is the smartest, but feel free to bust out the glad rags at Locatelli, too.
There are four restaurants at the hotel by some big-name chefs, including Locatelli from Giorgio Locatelli and Matsuhisa from Nobu Matsuhisa. The former, unsurprisingly, is unashamedly all-Italian (even down to the Carrara marble), with dishes such as cooked-for-48-hours goat ragu and deconstructed tiramisu, along with a lovingly patriotic wine list and, less explicably, a jellyfish tank at the entrance. At Matsuhisa, the decor is reassuringly dark, with flecks of gold and black marble bars for the mixology and sushi show. The chef’s cherished Nobu classics are present and correct (miso black cod, rock shrimp tempura), and there are elaborate tasting-menu options for the uninitiated. An award-winning namesake chef mans the ovens at Armyra by Papaioannou down by the beach, where you can book out a banquette and tuck into prawn souvlaki or the catch of the day. And, in the Dining Room fish and meat are finely grilled and there's a range of light lunches and some decadent Italian dishes: the lobster risotto comes with caviar and gold flakes. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room.
This isn’t somewhere you’re going to go thirsty: the main bar is next to Locatelli, with a terrace overlooking the pool, as well as indoor seating – and there’s also the open-air lobby bar and a rooftop bar coming soon.
Breakfast is served between 7am and 10.30am.
There’s an all-day room-service menu of sandwiches and salads. Breakfast can also be served in-room.
You’ll find Amara on Cyprus’ southern coast, a short drive east out of Limassol.
Larnaca airport is closest; the 60-kilometre trip should take about an hour. Hotel transfers start from €60. It’s a 75-minute drive to Paphos airport; transfers to and from this option start at €65.
The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the centre of Limassol. Limassol’s restaurants and bars are a quick cab ride away, but if you want to see more of Cyprus, it’s worth renting a car. There’s free valet parking when you arrive.
Worth getting out of bed for
There’s plenty to keep you active at Amara, whether you fancy brushing up your backhand on the clay tennis court, joining a yoga class, paragliding, windsurfing or waterskiing. Or you can do the exact opposite and stay motionless at the spa or on the beach.Fans of antiquity should head to the ruins of the kingdom Kourion, the highlight of which is the 2nd-century amphitheatre. It’s a bit of a trek to get there, but that just makes Zapalo Bay all the more wild and worthwhile: the drive from the hotel takes half an hour and then it’s a 20-minute walk from where you can park your car, but this beautiful bay, backed by steep cliffs, is totally unspoilt (which means no beach bars, so come prepared). Don’t miss the 2,000-metre-high Troodos Mountains just outside of Limassol, where you can find the famous Painted Churches: a World Heritage Site of decorated Byzantine churches and monasteries.
Bountiful weekend brunches take place at Sir Paul in Limassol every Saturday and Sunday morning; a seat beneath an olive tree in the atrium is the perfect place to read the papers. Plus Sea on Amathus Avenue is Limassol’s finest local-favoured, sea-facing seafood spot, so be sure to book ahead; sunloungers are available for a snooze after lunch. Locals also love Treis Ki Exinta on Saripolou Street, a traditional taverna on a lively pedestrianised square where you can mainline souvlakis, skewers and dolmades. And if you just can’t get enough of the small-plates revolution, head to Ta Piatakia, where award-winning chef Roddy Damalis cooks up dishes inspired by his travels in sharing form – the decor even features actual little plates from around the world.
Work your way through the gin and whisky menu out on the terrace at the Library Bar on Themidos Street in Limassol, but don’t be alarmed if it’s quiet – Cypriots are a nocturnal bunch and it won’t get busy until 10pm at the earliest.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Cyprus and unpacked their swimsuits and sarongs, a full account of their beachfront break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Amara in Limassol…
In these mythical lands, the ancient bit runs deep. When they were building the Amara spa, they unearthed artefacts from the kingdom city of Amathus that had to be preserved and built around. Almost everything else is shiny and new at this luxe Limassol stay, with gleaming mounds of marble, huge glass windows framing the sea and triple-height, natural-light-harnessing ceilings. The name was derived from the Ancient Greek word for ‘everlasting’ (‘amarantos’), and the eternity in this case has to do with the endless expanse of horizon stretching out from every sea-facing suite. The gods these days are in the kitchen, where a trio of restaurants will allow some serious foodie box-ticking to take place: Nobu Matsuhisa has brought his globally loved Japanese-Peruvian cuisine to these shores; Giorgio Locatelli keeps the pasta perfection coming at his latest locanda; and George Papaioannou mans the ovens at Armyra. Antiquity’s great and all, but at Amara the future’s just as bright.