The lounger in the relaxation room was more confortable than some hotel beds I’ve had the misfortune of sleeping in around Europe. I slid under the covers in the low-lit room for the 5 minutes management insisted I spent here (who am I to argue?) and tried not to doze off. We were at Anassa’s Thalassa Spa in Cyprus and had just experienced a back, neck and scalp massage – my favourite areas to be relieved of tension.
The Thalassa is a Roman-style temple of self-indulgence. The large, indoor heated pool is a pillared affair flooded with natural lighting. The spa uses natural products wherever possible, including The Organic Pharmacy’s 100% natural offering as well as Osea’s marine-based skincare therapy, and guests can book themselves in for a one off treat or 4 to 10 day retreat (yes please!).
The Anassa Hotel is one of the luxury offerings from the Thanos family on the island of Cyprus. Perched on a private strip of the Akamas Peninsula and offering four superb restaurants, the Anassa is a popular choice for Europe’s rich and famous. Princes and oligarchs are rumoured to rock up here in yachts and rent glamorous, French designed villas – although I couldn’t convince the discreet staff to confirm who exactly. Both Philip Green and the Beckhams are said to be fans though and with superb private facilities and hidden entrances they can make the most of the resort without disturbing, or being disturbed, by other guests. The multi-roomed villas that come with plunge pools in the garden and stunning sea vistas are also popular with wedding parties, there is even a picture perfect chapel on site that can host the ceremony.
For a honeymoon away from the rest of the family the happy couple can transfer to Thanos Hotel’s elegant offering in Paphos – the Almyra. Designed by Parisian Joelle Pleot, the Almyra’s modern, white interior offers a chic contrast with the blue Paphos Harbour and Medieval Castle beyond. All rooms make the most of the ocean views, none more so than the Kyma Suites, which feature all white rooftop terraces that are lit by candles and sprinkled with cushions for guests to further enjoy the sunset every evening.
The Almyra spa is a multi-levelled complex with its own private adults-only infinity pool, long enough for laps, and a heated indoor pool for those cooler days. Treatment suites for couples come with bathtubs inside and day beds on the terrace that overlooks the ocean below. Treatments are unique to Almyraspa, using 100% pure ingredients, some of which are grown in the hotel’s garden. The top floor gym means running machines come with a splendid view and the spa also has its own health food restaurant for you to enjoy a light bite and smoothie after a workout.
Offering the only Shiseido Spa on the island is the 5-star Four Seasons Hotel Limassol (not part of the well-known luxury Four Seasons brand but independently owned.) The Four Seasons is a sprawling complex involving 304 rooms, 5 restaurants and 4 pools but staff manage to keep the service exceptional throughout. The spa itself has 13 treatment rooms and an oriental themed relaxation area spread across 2 rooms. We sampled a self-heating mud treatment on our spinal cords and feet. It was a bizarre experience as the strange-smelling broth bubbled and burped on the bed beneath me, but it certainly relieved tension, and eventually I drifted off to a deep sleep.
The Four Seasons also have their own delightful little wooden chapel on the property, as well as a private beach they have cleverly divided between the active and not so much – all the watersports are contained on one side of the pier for those of us that would rather lie very still. Dining at the Four Seasons is a Fine experience; I particularly enjoyed the Italian cuisine at Vivaldi and heard guests praise the ice cream from the Colours Café. The hotel’s Garden Suites are a good choice for swimming fans; a winding river pool passes by the end of their terrace and gathers in a private Jacuzzi section for each room. Even in standard rooms the bathrooms have jacuzzi tubs – just don’t overdo the bubble bath like I did or you’ll have a froth fest on your hands!
As a destination for a wedding, honeymoon or some pure self-indulgence, Cyprus has the sunshine and spas to suit your needs. You’ll just have to pick the base that suits your taste.
Rooms at the Almyra start from €100 per person, on a bed & breakfast basis, the Anassa has rooms from €215 per person, on a bed & breakfast basis and at Four Seasons Limassol the rates are from €250 (on a bed & breakfast basis) per room, per night.
Cyprus Airways operates two daily flights from London Heathrow to Larnaca, with return flights from £220 (inclusive VAT) per person.
Thanks to Cyprus Tourism for hosting my trip.