Anassa

Neo Chorio, Cyprus Book from Book from £398 per night

An ultra-luxe 5* beachside spa resort, which is also truly family-friendly: a place which - if you can afford it - warrants the trip alone
This is the best position on the island: a secluded (and protected) hillside spilling down to the blue waters of Latchi bay, with the unspoilt Akamas peninsula on your doorstep, and barely a building in sight. Lush flowering gardens leap up around you; every whitewashed balcony is draped in bougainvillea, every olive-shaded dinner table is lit with flickering candles.

As you'd expect in a resort of this size, there's a wealth of facilities, from an all-ages kids' club to an award-winning 'Thalassotherapy' spa, not to mention 3 pools, 4 restaurants and a purpose-built Orthodox chapel for private weddings. Best of all, the service is genuinely 5*, with a 1:1 staff-guest ratio, and concierges who can magic up a speedboat or an elusive medicine at a moment's notice. If you can stir yourself, there are cruises to turtle beaches, jeep tours to cedar-shaded monasteries, catamarans to sail, wines to taste, waters to ski, even floodlit tennis courts. But chances are you'll do as we did: laze on the beach, pop a mask on to spot swarms of silvery fish, stir yourself for grilled sea bream at lunch, and again for raspberry cocktails at sunset, before tucking into exquisite French cuisine, or Cypriot mezes.

Highs

  • Seven days of this and you'll be truly decompressed; 14, and the real world may as well cease to exist
  • Bedrooms and suites are big and airy, with pampering marbled bathrooms and (in some cases) lofty sea views, plunge pools or both
  • You need feel no guilt at leaving your children in the kids club: besides an Aladdin's cave of toys, there's beach walks, stone painting, watersports and much more
  • The beach, just a few paces away, is long, safe and private, with warm clear waters and all manner of sailing craft (though the sand is rather coarse - definitely not sandcastle material!)
  • We loved all the little touches on our 2017 revisit: child slippers at turndown, copious beach towels, a box of floats and toys by the Mosaics pool, an ice cream cart, the excellent drinks service

Lows

  • There's no getting away from it: it's expensive, especially the meals and extras - but sometimes the best is simply worth paying for
  • At 169 rooms and villas it's far bigger than most i-escape places, but it is cleverly spread around the hillside so you only see a slice of it at any time
  • Cyprus is extremely hot in summer: come at Easter, May half-term or October if you can (there are lots of shady areas to escape to)
  • Couples in search of a quiet romantic break should try and avoid school holidays; even with a separate pool and family restaurant, it feels really busy with families
  • At busy times, beach sunloungers are in high demand

Best time to go

We recommend visiting in spring or autumn if you can. April-May and Sept-Oct are our favourite months: nicely warm but not too hot, with wild flowers in spring or warmer seas in autumn. July and August can be very hot indeed (high 30's celsius, occasionally touching 40), but there's A/C in the rooms, parasols on the beach, and lots to do, especially for families. The sea is comfortably warm for swimming from May through to Nov, and fine for a shorter dip in April too. Plunge pools (in the suites) are heated all season. The hotel closes from early November - March.

Our top tips

  • Families should look out for occasional "Rooms for Children" offers, which lower the price of your holiday
  • Keen cyclists and runners should ask about their Active Holidays, usually in April, for "fitness fanatics who don't want to rough it". Split between Anassa and sister-hotel Almyra, the week includes scenic runs (up to 10km), outdoor swimming clinics (up to 3km) and guided cycle rides (up to 70km). Parents need not worry: there's excellent childcare throughout (creche, babysitting, kids club) - and a spa treatment to reward you for your exertions!
  • Couples might want to come in late September/early October, when it's very quiet, with pleasantly warm weather and sometimes good deals at the spa
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Family
    Spa
    Foodie
    Great Outdoors
    • Luxury Resort
    • 169 rooms, suites and villas
    • 4 restaurants (some seasonal) + bars
    • All ages welcome
    • Closed: 12 Nov 2018 - 31 Mar 2019
    • Pools
    • Spa
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Concierge Service
    • Tennis Court
    • Bicycles Available
    • Gardens, lawns and guest lounges
    • Powerboats + sailboats
    • Squash court
    Room:

    Rooms

    In accommodation as in everything, Anassa offers choice: tranquil Garden-View Rooms (the only ones without sea views), Junior Suites (where we stayed on our 2017 revisit), Studio Suites with private plunge pool, 2-bedroom family Suites, opulent 1-bedroom Suites with stunning views from Jacuzzi balconies and four-poster beds. Residences come with private pools, original art and antiques, for larger parties (and deep pockets).

    Rooms are found in the main 3-storey hotel building, some smaller annexes, and a ‘village’ of 1- and 2-storey residences spread across the 85,000 sq.m. campus, linked by paved lanes (wide enough for the golf cart to deliver your bags). All are well screened by rampant foliage: vivid bougainvillea, yellow-and-purple latana bushes, silvery olive trees. Eastward buildings enjoy the most seclusion (as well as morning sun); westward rooms are closest to the pools and beach (better for families).

    All share the same classic Med-meets-colonial elegance: parquet or marble floors, cream-timbered ceilings (with fan), louvred shutters, voile curtains wafting in the breeze. Some have a marble fireplace, vast mirror or hand-painted dowry chest, with high quality materials and generosity of space, especially in the marble-lined bathrooms (all with a tub and separate walk-in shower).

    In the main building, we liked the higher Studio Suites for couples; while in the Residences, the One-Bedroom Suite 73/74 has panoramic views from its plunge pool and dining terrace, and room for 1 or 2 children in its sitting room. If money is no object, Presidential Suite Adonis wowed us with great ocean views from its balcony Jacuzzi and indoor bathtub! Aphrodite is similar but faces the sunset instead of the sunrise.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • DVD player
    • Extra beds
    • Fan
    • Fruit on arrival
    • Hairdryer
    • Internet access
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Safe box
    • Satellite TV
    • Slippers
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    From Cypriot mezes to French haute cuisine, by way of Mediterranean seafood grills, beach BBQs and a swim-up cocktail bar, Anassa has its dining options covered.

    Amphora is the family-friendly option, where sumptuous buffet breakfasts are served. Sit at marble tables on a sea-facing patio fringed by geraniums, with silvery olive trees overhead and plaintive cats at your feet. Banquet tables are piled with plump fruits, thick yoghurts with syrupy figs and nuts, cold cuts, squeaky halloumi and leaky brie. There are pots of jam, real honeycomb and all manner of breads and pastries, and a sideboard of hot items, from pancakes with maple honey to omelettes cooked to order.

    If you’re around for lunch, grab a table at taverna-style Pelagos for fresh fish straight from the lava stone grill: sea bream or bass perhaps, topped up with salads and mezes, washed down with white xynisteri. Or enjoy light snacks at Meltemi bar beside the main pool.

    Admire the sunset from the Amorosa Lounge and Terrace with a cocktail before heading to dinner. Either opt for the lavish Amphora buffet - themed each night (we enjoyed the seafood buffet on our 2017 stay) - or book a table at Helios for more upscale French Riviera cuisine. Expect exciting flavours (John Dory with barley fennel ratatouille, poached pineapple carpaccio with lychee and pepper sorbet) among Gallic flagships (duck breast, foie gras, bouillabaisse, shellfish risotto). But if you want to woo someone in style adults-only Basiliko offers world-class Asian-Med fusion in a gorgeous candlelit vault, with just 12 tables and a wine list to make your eyes water.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children's meals
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Vegetarian menu
    Eating: Amphora
    Activity:

    Activities

    • The pools and clear sea are the twin focuses of attention. Youngsters splash and make friends in the kids' pool, while grown-ups cool off in a 2-tier affair linked by spouting waterfalls. Down at the coarse-sand/fine-shingled beach, sunloungers, swims and snorkelling are the order of the day
    • The watersports centre (run by an outside company), offers kayaks, lasers, catamarans, windsurfers, banana rides and water-skiing lessons/RYA courses. 300hp speedboats can whisk you in 10 mins to the astonishing translucent waters of the Blue Lagoon, or to drop-offs and reefs for PADI-5* diving sessions
    • The stupendous Thalassa Spa has a large indoor pool, plus gym, sauna, steam room, half-moon-shaped jet pool, a hair salon, and offers signature thalassotherapy treatments and massages in rooms which pleasingly have natural daylight. Entry and many classes are free
    • Hiking trails criss-cross the rugged, juniper-dotted Akamas peninsula, passing a ruined Byzantine monastery; falcons wheel over sea-washed rocks, lizards scamper through prickly undergrowth, and goats stare down from crags
    • There are 2 tennis courts (coaching and racquets are available) and 2 squash courts
    • Staff can arrange bespoke experiences, golf, jeep safaris into the Troodos Mountains, wine-tasting tours and anything else humanly possible on Cyprus; but, as the owner told us wistfully, hardly anyone does. Frankly, we can’t really blame them

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Kayaking
    • Mountain biking
    • Private guided tours
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Tennis coaching
    • Water-skiing
    • Well being
    • Windsurfing
    • Wine tasting
    • Yacht cruises

    Kids


    i-escape's Best for Kids Awards 2013
    Winner: Kids' Facilities category

    Children are actively welcomed. They have a dedicated, heated Mosaics pool and the kids' club offers superlative child care from 4 months up to 11 years, divided into 4 age groups. Staff - all English speaking, all NVQ level 3 qualified - are kind and confidence-inspiring, with a ratio of 1:2 (infants) to 1:12 (older children). Charges are reasonable, but you must pre-book and pre-pay; please request on enquiry. Note that during school holidays it can become a little busy in the buffet restaurant.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    All the Studio Suites can take one extra bed or cot (free for under 12s). Otherwise Junior Suites, where we stayed on our 2017 can take an extra bed, while pricier Two-bedroom Suites give you separate bedrooms and an extra bathroom to play with - plus some have a private plunge pool. Some interconnect for extended families

    Babysitting:

    Babysitting with English-speaking staff is available day and night - though additional charges may apply after 10pm, or for 2 or more children

    Baby equipment:

    • High chairs
    • Baby cots
    • Baby Go Lightly service allows parents to pre-book potties, buggies, car seats, bottles/teats, sterilisers, baby walkers, baby bathtubs, nappies/swimming nappies, swimming aids, wipes, crayons, colouring books and DVDs in various languages

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Creche/Kid's Club:

    Kids Club is divided into 4 age groups, from 4 months up to 11 years. The "Globetrotters" creche has a proper sleeping room, as well as all manner of books, toys, Brio train tracks, big Lego, dolls' houses and play kitchens. For older children, the "Adventurers", "Voyagers" and "Pioneers" clubs have a daily changing schedule of activities such as beach walks, stone painting, monkey football, water polo, origami, and shell and sand pictures. There's also a small playground, with its swings, slide and climbing frame

    Children's meals:

    There are kids' menus and themed buffet evenings at the family restaurant (Amphora , which offers early sittings, and a lavish breakfast buffet with options for all). Poolside snacks are available at Pelagos during the day. And there's a beach barbecue every week in season. Room service is available 24 hours.

    Look out for "Free Half Board" offers whereby, if you book half board (or full board) for yourselves, your children will get upgraded to the same meal plan at no extra cost

    Kids Activities on site:

    • All manner of watersports: banana boat rides, stand up paddle-boarding, waterski lessons, sailing/windsurfing lessons, boat trips
    • Heated Mosaics pool with box of pool toys and floats
    • Ping pong tables beside the Kids Club
    • Full-size tennis courts (with tuition if required), 2 squash courts
    • 14 acres grounds to explore
    • During school holidays a bouncy castle is placed in the conference room next to Amphora so kids can let off steam during dinner
    • Junior Treats - children's spa treatments

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • 4WD safari day out at Akamas National Park
    • Visit Latchi fishing village for beaches, watersports and seafood tavernas

    Families Should Know:

    • It can get very hot (up to 40 celsius) in midsummer
    • Kids' clubs are closed on Wednesdays
    • Children receiving spa treatments are expected to preserve the tranquil atmosphere
    • Parents must supervise children at the Mosaics pool at all times

    Distances:

    • Airport: 1 hour
    • Hospital: 10 minutes
    • Shops: 5 minutes' drive
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Anassa is on the northwest coast of Cyprus (officially the Republic of Cyprus, or Greek-speaking Cyprus), near the town of Polis and the Akamas peninsula.

    By Air:
    Both Paphos (Pafos) and Larnaca (Larnaka) have scheduled and charter flights from UK and Europe. Pafos is nearer, Larnaca has a slightly wider range of flights. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

    From the Airport:
    You can take a taxi, book a transfer, or hire a car - see our car rental recommendations.

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

    More on getting to Cyprus and getting around

    Airports:

    • Paphos 50.0 km PFO
    • Larnaca 170.0 km LCA

    Other:

    • Beach 0.1 km
    • Shops 0.2 km
    • Restaurant 0.5 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    9/10
    Room
    9/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    8/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    The setting is wonderful and peaceful, watching the sunset from our balcony with a G&T was magical. (Ask for the third floor as its not overlooked, and for a quieter stay, facing away from the swimming pools as there can be a lot of noise from children splashing). Also book the restaurants and double check that your name is down as errors do occur. The food in Basiliko was amazing and the ambiance too. In the french restaurant, eat outside under the candle lit trees as inside lacks intimacy but again the food was a real gourmet delight. Cypriot wine here is also delicious. The hotel is listed as expensive and it really is! A bottle of water and ice delivered to you room is €10 so be prepared! Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and the facilities are top notch. Just expect it to come with a large price tag!

    9/10,

    The location is beautiful, the sea is wonderful to swim in, and late May / June is a great time to go in terms of weather. But I'm not sure I would stay there again. A salad is €22, a bottle of water is €5 (and you can't drink the tap water), and a glass of wine is €15. There are no cheaper options for food. The kids menu was good, but the adult food was average. The staff at the Kids Club were wonderful and our children had a great week, but we didn't feel the high cost was justified. One tip I would have for parents is if their children can't sleep in a light room take a black out blind, as the curtains are see through linen with shutters so the room gets light very early.

    9/10,

    On the whole we were extremely happy with our stay at Anassa - the setting, service, and facilities were second to none. However, there were a few small problems with our room which we wouldn't have expected when paying such high prices; the bedside light and USB port on one side of our bed did not work on arrival. The shower leaked and the toiletries were not good quality. All relatively minor, and might have gone unnoticed if we weren't paying such high prices.

    8/10,

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