When we booked online for our holiday in Cyprus from 12th – 19th November 2008, we misread the ratings for this holiday village and believed the apartments to be 4 star, when in reality it’s the SITE which is rated 4 SUNS. The site rating reflects the quality and quantity of the food outlets, general cleanliness, quality of the swimming pools etc and does not reflect the quality of the individual apartments. Subsequently, when we were shown to our basic apartment (kitchen / bedroom / lounge all in one room) we were very disappointed. I would personally rate the basic rooms as 2 star.
The apartment (room) was a lot smaller than we expected, bare wires hung out from a light fitting (this was rectified after a complaint to the management) and the shower was coming away from the wall (again, this was fixed within the hour).
There was no lock for the toilet door. This didn’t bother us but some people may wish for more privacy.
There were complimentary soaps and lots of toilet rolls. Clean white towels appeared frequently, due to the efficiency of the on-site cleaners.
The beds were very hard, but we found that if you take the big blankets out of the wardrobe and fold them in half, you can use them underneath you for some light relief. The stone floors however mean that even small amounts of movement will send the beds sliding across the room. The novelty of getting out of bed to put it back against the wall wears thin after the 4th or 5th time.
The wardrobe was big enough for the two of us, and a few wooden coat hangers were provided.
The small, portable tv had a good selection of channels, but the remote control was awkward to use.
The sofabed looked like it had been dragged out of a skip! It was stained and wobbly, with bits of foam hanging out of it. I would not have wanted to have to sleep on it!
After complaining to our rep, she showed us the deluxe apartments in the fishing village. Although they looked quite nice it didn’t justify the extra £20 a night, which would’ve taken an extra £140 out of our spending money simply to get the quality of room we had been hoping for before we arrived.
The manager put a basket of fruit and a bottle of wine in our room by way of an apology, which was a nice touch.
We actually found that the staff were efficient and friendly.
On arrival we discovered that there was a welcome plate in the fridge, with tea, coffee, sugar, milk, crackers and jam. This was another nice touch.
The kitchen was adequately equipped, and clean. I was impressed with the microwave/grill. A cleaning cloth and scouring pad were provided, which was useful. Thankfully, the fridge was not a noisy one (a blessing when you sleep in your kitchen/lounge).
There was a storm during our first night and water poured in under the door. Luckily, I’d put a towel down but some of our things still got wet.
The next day we started getting overrun with ants, but once the cleaning staff had sprayed in there the problem was solved. (Tip: if you want to buy your own ant spray, buy the stuff in the green can from the supermarket).
It was my partner’s birthday during our stay, and hotel staff put balloons and a birthday card in our room, which was a nice gesture. (Tip: If you are going to be having a special occasion during your stay, just mention it when filling out your registration form on arrival).
The balcony was relatively large, and the view was pleasant. We had room 413, on the 3rd floor overlooking a pool, close to the main reception.
The pools on site are fabulous to look at, but were far too cold to swim in unfortunately. There were a few brave souls in there midday, but generally they remained unused (there is apparently an indoor pool on site but we did not bother looking for it). There are plenty of sun loungers around the pools, and it was warm enough to get a tan in mid-November.
The food outlets were good. We were self-catering but for just 5 euros per plate you can help yourself from the Lighthouse buffet (Tip: pile the plates high). We did not use the main food hall which the all-inclusive people use, but I took a small peep inside and it looked really lovely.
The Aliathon Village has many, many cats (this seems to be the case all over Cyprus). They tend to pester you whenever you sit outside to eat, which is off-putting. If you have issues with cats, maybe Cyprus isn’t the best choice for you.
As for the entertainment…..well…..they did their best!
The music in the evening is very loud. If you are hoping for a quiet night in, you’ll be out of luck. Even with the tv up high we could still hear the singing until about 11pm.
The actual site is quite stunning, with many different kinds of trees and flowers. It was wonderful to wander around the gardens, seeing fruit trees, grapevines and an abundance of blossoms.
Local buses run regularly to the Harbour and are cheap (1 euro 30 cents), but be warned. After 7pm you’ll be very lucky to see any buses at all. We waited for about 40 minutes one evening until a nice couple informed us that bus inspectors go home at 7pm and drivers ‘do their own thing’ after that! (They’d spent the previous evening waiting for a bus). It cost us 10 euros for a taxi back to the Aliathon. (Tip: you might want to ensure you catch a return bus before 7pm unless you fancy a walk or are prepared to pay for a cab).
We booked 3 excursions via our First Choice rep. We were allegedly the last group of the season to walk on the seabed under the water and feed the fish (fantastic!). The half-day cruise to Coral Bay was superb value for money. The day trip through the mountains was lovely but we were not informed beforehand that we should wear long trousers when we visited Kykkos monastery (luckily they supplied robes for us to cover our legs, or we would have missed the highlight of the day).
Paphos airport has a brand new terminal (opened this week). It is clean and efficient, but there are very few shops in departures (you can buy duty-free and food but I couldn’t see anywhere to buy postcards).
Overall, this was a reasonably good holiday but it could’ve been better if the accommodation was nicer.
Here are more photos of our trip: