This year, I was lucky enough to cross another country off of my list when I experienced Cyprus for the very first time in October thanks to On the Beach. After being chosen to work with them on their winter sun holidays, I jetted off to stay at two of their top neighbouring hotels in Paphos. Having never travelled outside of the summer months, I was a tad dubious as to whether Cyrpus would still be as warm as I’ve been used to on other holidays. I needn’t have worried. As soon as we stepped off the plane at the airport, we were greeted with a wonderful blast of heat and a clear sky which held nothing but the suns rays – a tad different to the weather back home in October!
After a half hour taxi ride, we found ourselves gawping at our beautiful accommodation for the first 3 nights – Ayii Anargyri.
Ayii Anargyri Healing Resort & Spa
Carved in a valley of greenery and nestled between various shrubs, trees and plants, the Ayii Anargyri resort proved to be a breathtaking resort as soon as we stepped out of the (very warm!) taxi. After walking past an idyllic seating area we found ourselves entering the beautiful, bright lobby. As I gawped at the beautiful decor, we were swiftly presented with hand towels, a glass of wonderful fresh orange from the hotel’s very own orchard and a simple form that had to be filled out. It took a matter of minutes and we were soon checked in and ready to go.
Before we headed to our room, the lovely receptionist made sure to give us a brief tour of where we’d need to be for all of the necessities of our stay. We were introduced to the restaurant and given an overview of meal times before being shown the way to both the pool and spa. Finally, we were directed in the direction of our room (I say room, but it was much better than that…) and we soon found it with the help of various sign posts.
Settling in a bungalow for the stay
After a short walk up towards the higher part of the resort, we found ourselves looking at a beautiful bungalow complete with it’s own patio and outdoor jacuzzi bath overlooking the fabulous green landscape surrounding the resort. That’s right! We had a whole bungalow to ourselves. And what a beautiful bungalow it was.
As we entered we found ourselves in a living area with a double sofa bed and matching chairs, a mini-fridge, and a good size television. The staff had kindly folded out the sofa bed for us at the ready, but we opted to share the bedroom so that we could have a chit chat and movie before bed each night. There was plenty of room for us to manoeuvre, even with the bed folded out, and so we safely dumped our bags and headed through to the bedroom.
I was immediately impressed with the size of this second room. With a double bed in the centre of one wall, along with bedside cabinets, wardrobes, a desk and another large television, there was still an abundance of space to move around, get changed, and even have a little dance if that’s what you really wanted. The room was bright, clean, and had a warm cosy feel to it, with a magnificent high ceiling of wooden beams.
Finally, the bungalow was finished off with a beautiful marble en suite bathroom which held a large sink, a good sized bath tub with a shower head and all of the essential toiletries you’d need to keep you going through your stay. It was an incredibly clean and spacious room; the only little nitpick I had was that there wasn’t a hook for the shower head and so you had to shower with it in your hands the full time. Being a redhead, this meant I managed to make a pink mess whenever I washed my hair – whoops!
Our particular bungalow (bungalow 46 if you’re wondering!) was situated at pretty much the highest point of the resort, and so walking up to it everyday set our calves burning, but it was totally worth it for the amazing spot in the resort. Besides, when it comes to exercise, every little helps, right? 😉 A short walk from the room found us down at the pool and reception, and so after a little power nap (we couldn’t resist, we’d done an all nighter to catch our flight!) we headed down to explore.
Luxury food and discovering halloumi
Our stay at Ayii Anargyri was on a half board basis and I found myself being introduced to an array of new foods. Dinner each night was a set three course menu with a choice between two mains each night, all preceded with a bread basket and dips. Being a fussy eater, I panicked when I first heard this. What if I didn’t like any of it?! Luckily, I enjoyed my food each night, and although I didn’t always like all three courses, there was always a main course that took my fancy, and the staff were happy to tweak bits and bobs if needs be (“Can I have it without the sauce please?”). With encouragement from Charlotte, I even managed to try some new food. Halloumi was available with pretty much every dish in the resort, and having not had it before, I was soon made to try it. And yum, what a delight!
Breakfast, on the other hand, was a different approach as we were offered a combination of a hot breakfast menu and a cold buffet to accompany it (complete with halloumi, of course). I took advantage of both every morning, usually opting from some classic eggs, bacon and sausage from the hot menu whilst indulging in various meats, cheeses and breads from the cold buffet selection, all of which was presented beautifully with an autumnal display that I adored.
Between breakfast and dinner, a lunch menu was offered in the restaurant (which is situated right next to the pool, by the way!) which boasted a number of various sandwiches, meat dishes and pastas. The cheese toastie was a personal favourite of mine! Despite not using it during our stay, there was also the option to have food brought straight to your room as well.
Relaxing by the pool
Being a calming spa resort which doesn’t allow anyone under the age of 14, the pool area was peaceful and oozed serenity and held the most the comfortable sunbeds I’ve been on at a hotel. With cushioned beds and the calming atmosphere, a cheeky afternoon nap around the pool never proved difficult. It was never overcrowded and so each day we could find a sun lounger with ease, and there was extra seating on a balcony above the pool as well as outside the restaurant for those who wanted to take a seat for some snacks or drinks (which, by the way, there was a great selection of! Cocktails and milkshakes were our personal favourites!).
The pool itself was a tad too cold for my liking (I’m such a wimp!) but Charlotte was sure to take a dip for a quick swim and to take advantage of the jets along one side of the pool for a little jacuzzi experience. Meanwhile, I settled down with a book and my iPod for a hard day of doing nothing.
Indulging in a spa treatment
Since we were staying in a spa resort, we decided it would be an absolute crime to leave without indulging in at least one treatment, and so on our last day we opted for a luxury deep tissue massage, which cost us just €70 for an hour. The spa itself was a thing of beauty. Settled up in the mountains, we were treated to spectacular views of landscapes from outside the building (where, naturally, we stopped to grab some photos!), whilst inside boasted bright decor, a relaxing atmosphere and beautiful staff to show us around.
We were given robes and slippers to get changed into at no extra cost (some places do charge for them!) and were taken straight to a private room with two beds for our massage. Although we were anticipating a back massage alone, it turns out our treatment was a full body massage, and so we were given some disposable underwear and given some privacy to get changed and settle onto our beds before starting our treatment. The massage itself was honestly the stuff of dreams, and to say I would have been happy to stay there all day is an understatement. It would have been a pleasure!
After our treatment we were able to take a dip in the pools or make use of the gym, but we opted to chill out in the relaxation room. It was a large room which boasted huge windows overlooking the lush landscape, and with an option of healthy drinks on hand along with peace and quiet, it was so easy to relax and drift off.
Blissful days on the resort
With the resort being situated out of the way, it was difficult to get anywhere without a car on hand, but it wasn’t a problem at all. Charlotte and I fully immersed ourselves in the relaxation theme and most of our days were spent around the pool or hanging out in our plush room watching movies. Between our lazing around and unwinding, we took the time to explore the beautiful resort and its picturesque surroundings, as well as try out bits and bobs from the restaurant. And being the crazy cat lady I am, I spent a lot of time cooing over the hotel’s very own feline friend. But can you blame me!?
Naturally, we made use of the wifi too, so that we could make everyone on social media jealous of our holiday. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?
Moving to the beach…
My stay at the Ayii Anargyri resort was my first time at a retreat style hotel, and it was perfect for unwinding and taking some time to yourself. I would, however, consider hiring a car if I was to stay there any longer, just so I could head out and about to explore further in the area. After 4 days of absolute bliss, we packed up our bags ready to move down to the beach and on to our next hotel, but you can find out all about that in a future post… 😉
You can book a stay at Ayii Anargyi with On the Beach and prices start at just £56 per adult per night on a half board basis.
Have you been to a retreat style resort before? What do you think of Ayii Anargyri?