A venerable Cyprus institution, Annabelle is a grande dame who’s ruled the waves around here for decades. She’s just had millions thrown at her and has never looked better, with a shiny new rooftop spa, elaborate eating options and regular ocean views delivered through high-gloss, floor-to-ceiling windows. Paphos’ port and marvellous mosaics are a short stroll away, but you won’t want to be gone for long – acres of tropical gardens, swim-up pool bars, sea-facing sundowners and colonial-era elegance await back at basecamp.
Double rooms from £148.73 (€162), including tax at 9 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates usually include breakfast.
This may be a resort hotel, but there's a whole lot happening outside of it: scuba-diving, sailing, golf, wine-tasting, bread-making and 4x4 trips are all on offer.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, gym, tennis and squash courts, library, boutique. In rooms: minibar, air-conditioning, free bottled water, tea and coffee, TV, DVD player and Anyah bath products. Certain suites have a Lavazza coffee machine and bath products by the White Company.
Our favourite rooms
For proximity to the spa (and the best views), ask for a room on the top floor. If decadent anytime dips are a must, book a Studio Suite with a Pool. And if you like your petite pools to come with balmy bubbles, blow the budget on Artemis, where a Med-facing hot tub is the highlight of your terrace.
The rooftop spa has a sea-facing pool, and there are two more outside for families: one lagoon-style spot and one with a bar you can swim to.
The newly installed spa spans the top floor of the hotel, with a sauna, gym and treatment rooms for hi-tech rejuvenating facials, mani-pedis and holistic massages. Nutritionists and personal trainers are on hand for enthusiastic guests.
The seafront setting and magic Mediterranean weather mean one thing: rotating swimwear, with some cover-ups for not looking as well-roasted as your compatriots in the island’s more tourist-favoured parts.
The main areas are all accessible via lifts and ramps, but there are no specially adapted rooms for wheelchair users.
All ages welcome, but over-11s will have to pay an extra-adult supplement. Extra beds and cots can be added to some rooms, and connecting rooms are available. Babysitting is available for €16 an hour, plus an extra charge after midnight.
Babies and up.
Connecting rooms are available. Extra beds and cots can be added to most rooms. Over-12s pay a supplement.
Nannies can be arranged for under-threes, and kids of all ages are entertained with the various kids’ clubs next-door at sister hotel Almyra.
Swimming lessons, tennis, workshops, DVDs to borrow.
Two of the pools are family friendly; littles must be supervised by a parent at all times.
Most of the restaurants have dedicated menus, colouring books and highchairs, and staff are happy to heat up baby food. Ouranos doesn’t have a kids’ menu but Little Smiths are welcome. Amorosa only permits children who do not need a highchair.
Can be arranged with a day’s notice for €16 an hour, plus an extra charge after midnight.
No need to pack
The hotel has a whole host of helpful things that you can book before you arrive, including buggies, via its Baby Go Lightly service.
Make sure you’ve changed out of your flip-flops and beachwear in time for dinner at Amorosa, Fontana or Asteras.
There are five eateries to try within the resort, including ocean-facing Ouranos for cocktails and pretty plates up by the spa (the restaurant can also deliver post-pampering refreshments along to wherever you’re slumped). Close to the seafront, Mediterraneo is a lively, local affair, serving a contemporary take on classic Cypriot mezze, with theme nights held regularly during the summer. Elegant Amorosa is the fanciest of the bunch – younger Smiths are allowed, but only if they’ve outgrown the highchair. And for intimate, candlelit suppers on certain summer nights, Asteras is for you. Buffets and breakfast are held in Fontana.
There are four in total, including the cosy, classic (and adults-only) Byz; a copper-accented edition at Ouranos, which has an impressive gin count; the swim-up Grotto Bar by one of the pools; and the snack-supplying pool bar. Byz and Ouranos call time at 1am.
Fontana is open from 7am to 10pm (breakfast til 10am). Mediterraneo and Amorosa serve lunch from 12.30pm until 3.30pm and dinner from 7pm to midnight (6.30pm to10pm in winter). Ouranos is open for lunch from 12.30pm to 5pm; dinner is 6pm to midnight.
Full menus are available in-room as long as the restaurants are still serving.
The hotel is on a south-western seafront, overlooking Paphos’ harbour.
Paphos airport is a 20-minute drive away. Hotel transfers start from €28, depending on size, vehicle spec and time. Larnaca airport is two hours away; transfers start from €105 each way.
The centre of Paphos is a 10-minute drive from Annabelle. You’ll be kept amused within the resort and Paphos is easily reached on foot, but if you want to see more of the island, hire a car at the airport.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you want to spend the entire time horizontal by the pool, no one’s going to judge you (the spa is also available). When you’re ready to expend a little more energy, don’t miss a a wander around Paphos’ Old Town and harbour, or nab a lounger at busy-but-beautiful Coral Bay beach. Head into the Troodos Mountains, the biggest range in Cyprus, to marvel at painted churches and monasteries that date from the Byzantine Empire. Commandeer a 4x4 and make the trip to Lara Beach on the north-west coast, where your fellow bathers are more likely to be loggerhead turtles than other humans. Aphrodite’s rock – thought to be the goddess of love’s birthplace – is on the road to Limassol.
The proximity to Paphos harbour increases the odds of super-fresh seafood – for a meal overlooking Coral Bay, try Saint George Fish Tavern, where a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon are about all the daily catch needs to make it delicious. In the heart of the harbour, Theo’s Seafood Restaurant serves fresh fish; don’t miss the calamari. To up the romance levels, book in at Ouzeri at the neighbouring Almyra hotel for a traditional Cypriot experience (washed down with ouzo and a soundtrack strummed by live guitarists) in a seafront setting.
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 seaside hotel in Cyprus and unpacked their boat shoes and board shorts, a full account of their beach-in-reach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Annabelle in Paphos…
This grande dame of the Cyprus seafront has just had a €11-million facelift, and it shows. The hallowed hotel has been welcoming guests for decades, but now they'll be met with a high-gloss makeover and an impressive new top-floor, sea-facing spa. Luckily, glamour levels have remained intact, as have the acres of tropical gardens that offer an alternative to the sandy shores and pretty harbour on your doorstep. It's a short walk to check out Paphos’ famed mosaics and the Old Town, where you can stop by a traditional taverna for some fresh seafood. That's if you're willing to forgo a chance to sample the cuisine back at the ranch, of course: options include lively themed nights at Mediterraneo (fingers crossed for some plate smashing), candlelit suppers at Asteras and cocktails with a view at Ouranos. Well-heeled travellers have been checking in for more than 30 years: – perhaps it’s time you join them?