The Annabelle, Paphos, Cyprus
As the guests of the Annabelle, my husband and I had three wonderful days at this five star hotel. It felt like being on a cruise, with (too much?) superb food, exemplary service and friendliness from all the staff and great facilities.
Our room was on the east side of the hotel, looking over the gardens of the Almyra and out to sea. We were in a part of the building that had a small wrought iron balcony furnished with two comfy chairs and a table (although the design meant there was no privacy and our next-door neighbour clearly disliked the proximity enough to run away each time someone else emerged. Perhaps small partitions between balconies could be added.
The double room was large enough for a table and easy chairs and had air-conditioning, large TV, king-sized bed, hairdryer and mini-bar. There was also a good-sized bathroom with an excellent shower over the bath.
Everywhere was clean and beautifully designed. There was a large lobby with shops and different seating areas and it offered a range of discarded airport books to borrow as well as its own coffee/tea bar. The main pool was gorgeous – large with easy-to-use steps and another bar, and the well maintained gardens spread out down steps to a third bar and several swimming areas in among fountains and grottos. There was also a sunbed area down below on the grass overlooking the sea, with a rather stony place to swim from. As with all large hotels, there was a daily discrete rush to place towels on sunbeds, so you needed to arrive reasonably early to find a good spot to sit.
The hotel has the usual fitness and spa facilities (some next door in the Almyra) and three different restaurants on site with the option to go next door to others.
One thing we did notice was that little was organised by the hotel to encourage people to socialize such as dances, guided tours or workshops, and maybe these would have enhanced guests' experience.
The highlights of the day were breakfast and dinner in the Fontana Buffet Restaurant, and I would certainly suggest guests go for this half-board option. There were three stations which, for breakfast offered breads and pastries, cereals, cheese, cold meats, yoghurt and fruit and hot food that could be cooked to your liking. At dinner, these became the starters – a superb range of salads, hot dishes that were themed each night, e.g. Italian, Asian, a carvery or Cypriot, and wonderful sweets both hot and cold, or cheese. Although there were also two a la carte or fixed price restaurants, they could not compete.
From the lemonade and wet towels offered on arrival to the watermelon handed round by the pool in the mornings, waiter service constantly available by the pool, fruit in the room, and smiles and constant enquiries as to how things were, you could not fault the staff in any way. I particularly noticed how well single and frail residents were treated – both courteously and inclusively.
This was superb. The Kato and harbour area of Pathos is the place to be if you want restaurants, bars and boat trips and the Annabelle was a stroll away from all this and right on the seafront. It was also within easy walking distance of the bus terminus as well as Paphos's most famous site – the Roman mosaics.