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Our score: 4.1/5.0

Anassa

Cyprus

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Grant Holmes Avatar for Grant Holmes

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  • Detailed Review +
  • Facts & Amenities +
Baring All
  • The ultra-glam Kult Boutique, designed by Paolo Giachi (responsible for the Louis Vuitton and Fendi stores in Florence), stocks an array of designer clothes 

  • Getting hitched? There’s a sweet little Byzantine church on a beautiful courtyard in the hotel grounds

  • Once a week, there’s a Cypriot style buffet for hotel guests with live music and folk dancing 

  • There’s a variety of rooms and suites to choose from—some have private whirlpools or plunge pools; some not so private, mind you

Arrival experience

After a harrowing flight on Jet2.com aboard what must be the oldest B757 still flying, I landed in Cyprus on a rather grey and rainy afternoon. The hotel car was waiting, and I headed off on a 45-minute (not overly scenic) ride to the Anassa. Friendly staff greeted me, checked me in, and explained the layout of the resort and the restaurant options. They reserved me a spot at the beach BBQ that evening. We hopped into a golf buggy, and I was driven to my room.

Although it was raining, the hotel grounds were delightful to see. Large trees and gardens bursting with flowers, meandering walkways, and ocean views transported me instantly into vacation mode.

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Rooms and suites

Rooms and suites are grouped in different buildings, with garden or ocean views. My Ocean Junior Suite was on the upper level of a two-level building which housed four suites. Bold and contemporary, interiors are a blend of silks and linens in nautical blue and crisp white atop gleaming marble floors. Drawing on the island’s heritage, the bed frames in painted metal and the wooden chests are all locally sourced. A mix of studio rooms, suites (one and two-bedroom), residences and four huge villas, are available. Some have pools.

At 53m² (570ft²), my suite was spacious, a perfect size for two adults and a child with plenty of room to spread out. Upon entering, there was a hallway leading to a large, open-plan room with a living area and an L-shaped couch and a large coffee table. There was also a cabinet housing a television and a DVD player. Better yet, there was no desk.

With the exception of the TV being located way across the other side of the room coupled with an un-cooperative remote control, these layouts are good, especially if you are travelling with a child or another adult who may be sleeping on the sofa bed. There’s space to spread out—important if you are staying more than a few nights.

And getting the right room is important too, as it will make or break your stay. Avoid the Garden View Rooms and Studio Suites; not that they’re unpleasant, but they are overcrowded with furniture and cramped.

For the ultimate in space and luxury, consider one of the villas where you won’t go wrong. Most villas comfortably accommodate up to six guests with acres of space along with fantastic sea views.

In-room technology here does not score highly. Given the size of my suite, the TV was far too small and old compared to what’s out there today. The choice of channels was less than exciting, and reception was fuzzy. On the plus side, the hotel’s WiFi and internet speeds were good.

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The bathroom

Anassa’s bathrooms are large and lavishly decorated in cream marble from top to bottom. Featuring a large double vanity with twin basins, a lit shaving mirror and a hairdryer, everything is within easy reach. There is a large soaking tub, a walk-in shower and a separate WC.

One slightly odd thing, however, was what appeared to be the rationing of fluffy, white towels. Perhaps because I was staying on my own, housekeeping felt I didn’t need them. They were generous with the toiletries, though, from Miller Harris.

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Dining

There’s a variety of cuisines on offer, with a total of eight restaurants and bars. Breakfast at Amphora Restaurant is a feast in itself, with a huge buffet, an egg station and a variety of goodies and a selection of local honey, even one infused with herbs from the garden.

For dinner, the gourmet options are Basiliko, which fuses Asia and the Mediterranean in its dishes, such as wagyu beef cannelloni with teriyaki mushrooms, or Helios, with its classically Mediterranean dishes, such as red mullet pan-fried with saffron, garlic and tomato.

Pelagos, taverna-like in style, overlooks the pool and the sea. It serves delicious mezze, salads, pasta and seafood (open for lunch and dinner). There is also a weekly barbeque on the beach. For sundowners, Armonia Bar is the place to go, but nothing tops the rose petal mojito cocktail at Meltemi, the swim-up bar in the infinity pool.

I have to say that it was rather a mixed bag when it came to the quality of food and service. At the excellent end of the scale was the beach BBQ and the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Helios. I generally shudder at the thought of a beach BBQ—all that plodding through the sand only to find a selection of charred offerings that all, more or less, taste the same. Not so here, where a menu awaits you on the table outlining an excellent selection of dishes, all of which are served course by course, family style. The food, service and ambience were all good.

Helios is another dining highlight. This delightful room with its well-spaced tables is the perfect spot for foodies. I started with the roasted lobster and scallop ravioli, followed by the grilled fillet of beef. Excellent fare, I could have eaten a double-helping of the ravioli it was so tasty.

The restaurant has a good wine list, although the service staff didn’t know much about the wines on offer—something I noticed in all the hotel’s restaurants. Service overall was very pleasant and well-paced.

Basiliko is the hotel’s much-lauded restaurant. It’s an intimate, romantic spot and one of the few places in the resort that is a child-free zone. The food and service, however, are underwhelming. I started with the tuna sashimi which was pleasant enough, followed by the spicy prawn curry. It was hands down the worse prawn curry I have ever eaten: bland, overcooked prawns served with lukewarm, undercooked rice. Worse than the food, however, was the attitude I received from my waiter when I explained why I had left most of the dish; I was given a scornful look while the bowl was whisked away without an apology.

When it comes to breakfast, I have one single piece of advice: stay in and order room service. The Amphora restaurant itself is fine, but at peak times, it’s a zoo. You will likely have to wait for a table, and when you do get one, you’ll be surrounded by crying babies and screaming toddlers. The message I give to all hotels is a simple one: not everyone has children so make an area available for those without—it’s so easy really. And while staff most certainly did their best to deliver good service, the general mayhem along with the rush of guests at certain times made it a real challenge to eat my meal.

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Spa and wellness

The neoclassical spa is a vast, quiet space; exactly what you want when you are seeking some inner peace. Everything is here: Thalassotherapy, massages, organic facials, olive oil scrubs—all executed with a caring touch.

The Thalassa Spa at Anassa ranks as one of the best I have seen in a long time. I chose the 90-minute deep tissue massage, and it was excellent. My therapist, with fingers of steel, managed to cajole every muscle into an unknotted and relaxed state for which I was enormously grateful. As I sat, post massage, gently poaching in one of the Thalasso pools, I noticed that for the first time in a long time, I had no aches anywhere.

The list of treatments is extensive and impressive. I would encourage anyone staying here to experience the spa as it is one of the best I have been to anywhere in the world.

Personal training sessions are available in the gym as are tennis coaching and yoga sessions.

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Pool and beach

Anassa has two main pools, the indoor exercise pool and the large outdoor pool. I particularly liked the setup of the outdoor one with its tiered design, offering various levels attracting a variety of guests. Those without children tend to gravitate to the top levels, while families head to the lower levels and the large grassy area in front of the main pool.

A swim-up bar is located next to the pool which serves excellent cocktails along with a bar menu. Overlooking the pool is the Pelagos restaurant that serves salads and freshly caught grilled fish (among other pool-side staples) for lunch.

Like on many Mediterranean islands, Anassa’s beach is made up of small pebbles which can give one’s feet a good workout so this is the only time it’s acceptable to appear in public wearing Crocs. Thankfully, however, there are wooden walkways that lead to sun-loungers and on down to the crystal-clear water’s edge.

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Kids/teens facilities

The offering of activities for children is extensive. Moreover, there are completely different programmes for all age groups. Although chargeable, days will be fun-filled from start to finish.

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Staff and service

Service, for the most part, is extremely polished and the friendly staff go out of their way to make you feel at home. However, I did feel I was on a rollercoaster that ranged from exceptionally good to rather indifferent in terms of service. That, of course, excludes the whole breakfast experience for which staff deserve a gold medal for just surviving the ordeal every day.

A fundamental ingredient of any luxury hotel offering is its service, something which Anassa needs to work on a little harder.

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Guest profile

My fellow guests were overwhelming British with a sprinkling of Europeans and Russians. Families with small children and babies were the order of the day.

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Departure experience

The hotel was kind enough to let me retain my room until my early evening departure. Check-out was smooth and I was on my way to the airport within ten minutes.

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General information

  • icon-briefcase
    How to get there

    45 minutes by road transfer from Paphos Airport

  • icon-bed
    Accommodation

    166 Rooms & Suites

Amenities

  • Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi

  • Swimming pool

    Swimming pool

  • Spa

    Spa

  • Gym

    Gym

  • Restaurants

    Restaurants

  • Water sports

    Water sports

  • Beach

    Beach

[{"address":"E713, Neo Chorio, Cyprus","lat":"35.04355978528049","lng":"32.37045407295227"}]
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