“Sex and the City Cyprus-style: an achingly hip waterfront hotel on the edge of buzzy Limassol”
The focus is a sleek, sea-facing terrace - white bucket seats, linen-clad staff, angular Brancusi-esque pillars illuminated by 1,000 pinpricks - which comes alive every evening to Ibizan-meets-Brazilian tunes and the buzzy chatter of happy young things. Tablets are de rigueur, kitten heels and flipflops mingle easily. It overlooks an immaculate pool bordered by oleander, palms and 2 tiers of cushion daybeds, each adorned with a perfectly rolled orange towel. The beach - such as it is - is a tiny strip of dark sand, its calm waters glowing lilac at sunset. After cocktails, sample innovative Italian cuisine at the hotel's La Caprice restaurant, before cabbing to a local club. Or retire early to a super-comfy white kingsize bed, in preparation for a day exploring Crusader castles, chalky coves, Greco-Roman ruins or village wineries.
- If you want a one-stop, fly-and-flop holiday with almost year-round sunshine, plenty of pampering and a touch of class, this is your ticket
- Talking of pampering, how could we not mention the excellent Elemis spa; our short but sweet 'pain relief' massage was a godsend after the 5-hour flight, and there's beauty treatments and therapies galore
- Bedrooms are spacious and light-filled, with top-quality furnishings and ingenious touches; some have sea views
- Staff are efficient and smiley; general manager Jochen Niemann runs a tight ship
- If you can stir yourself to leave, Limassol is very well placed - within an hour of Paphos, Larnaca, Nicosia, the Troodos, in fact almost anywhere in Cyprus!
- The neighbourhood is unappealing, a trafficky strip of low-rise hotels and westernised malls; but once you walk through Londa's doors, none of that matters
- In the evening, the lobby is a self-consciously stylish place - not for wallflowers
- Loungers around the pool can get towel-bagged in the busy season
- Limassol is a bustling harbour city: be prepared for some street noise, and distant container ships cleaving the horizon
Best time to go
Our top tips
There's a free walking tour of the old city every Monday at 10am, organised by the Cyprus Tourist Organisation - worth booking ahead if you are interested.
Don't forget that Limassol - the Anglicised name - is known to Cypriots as Lemessos, which is the name used on local transport, local websites etc.”
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Bedrooms and suites - 68 of them, spread over 7 floors - are cool white cocoons with dark-wood furnishings and sliding glass windows to sea-view balconies. It's worth paying extra for the front-facing rooms (but not on the 1st floor, as you'll get noise from the restaurant and bar): you can pool-watch from your balcony, or enjoy warm sunset hues and the twinkling lights of distant ships. All rooms are more than spacious enough for a couple on a short break, but if you want extra square footage (nearly double), the suites come with a sitting room and, in some cases, a second bathroom.
Everything is finished to exacting standards - solid cherry wardrobes, high-thread-count sheets, designer lamps in plastic-fibre egg or hourglass covers. We liked the ingenious partition wall with its rotating TV console, so you can watch from bed or sofa. And we loved the Molton Brown toiletries, not least the ziao jao shampoo, and the super-thick robes and towels. Grey netting curtains and blackout blinds let you block out all light, or just the fiercest rays, as you prefer. A white wavy-corrugated headboard lends texture and, on the bed, a plump carrot- or tomato-shaped cushion adds a welcome touch of humour.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee maker
- Coffee tea making
- Complimentary bottled water
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
Giovanni Caracciolo, the 2012-appointed chef, has transformed the menu into a delicate, Italian-based, food-as-art experience. Each dish is presented like a canvas, with swirling shapes, dots of colour, or perfectly arranged offcuts (crayfish pincers, basil leaves) to remind you what's inside. My aubergine soufflé came as a puck-sized disc, whose crisp skin revealed finely puréed eggplant and molten caprino cheese: smooth and comforting. The house salad of tender octopus chunks, snow-pea strips and cherry tomatoes looked as lovely as it tasted, though we found the diced potato a little overcooked.
There's a wide range of pasta starters - gorgonzola gnocchi, cod-filled tortelli, classic risotti - many of them using superb local fish, tomatoes, raisins and cheeses. Mains include a faultless chicken breast with pine kernels and fresh spinach, or a simpler seabass with chips on a tomato, basil and olive backdrop; and there's steamed salmon fillets for the figure conscious.
Desserts are a sweet and creamy experience, with the odd chocolate sculpture or a Jackson-Pollock-style coloured coulis to add visual clout. The tiramisu was one of the best I've tasted; the "revisited cannolo", with its all-chocolate cone and granular ricotta, too saccharine for my taste. Overall we felt that the chef showed great flair, with inventive menus and carefully sourced ingredients, but one or 2 dishes were not quite there yet. Given Jochen's eagle-eyed management, we expect they will be by the time you read this.
The breakfast buffet is wide ranging and healthy, with some unusual options to start the day. There are petite poached eggs and grilled cherry tomatoes (or cripsy bacon and hashbrowns if you prefer); multigrain bread and nutty parma ham; or an excellent diced peach and apple salad. Hiding behind your shades on the sea-facing terrace, while chilled tunes and white-linen clad staff waft about, it all feels very in keeping with the hotel's urban-Zen style.
- Coffee maker
- Coffee tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Most guests come here just to chill out, oscillating between the hotel's pool, spa and beach, with occasional trips to the bar (though if you wait a while, a nice chap comes round to the daybeds with cold fruit drinks or a complimentary sorbet). Stay 2-3 days, and you could be forgiven for not leaving the hotel...
- But if you stay longer, or are the exploring type, we recommend the big and boxy Crusader castle at Kolossi, which alternately housed Knights Templar, Hospitalier and their reserves of sugar; and the dramatic ancient Greek city of Kourion (Curium), perched above chalky sea cliffs, with Roman mosaics and a perfectly restored theatre for open-air summer performances. Both of these are half an hour's drive west
- To the east are the wind-sculpted coves of Governor's Beach, the adventure centre of Santa Marina (for archery, horse rides, climbing), and the small but friendly golf course at Vikla, 20km away
- You'll find 3 more courses towards Paphos, plus the much-photographed sea rocks where Aphrodite is said to have emerged from the waves; and there are watersports and child-friendly shallows at Lady's Mile beach
- Head inland for sleepy hamlets and sun-drenched wineries in the foothills of the forested Troodos mountains; Vlassides (in Koilani) has great dessert wines, and ties in nicely with the pretty village of Lofou. Or drive further up for Orthodox monasteries, mossy waterfalls and winter skiing
- Finally, Limassol itself: a working harbour city with a palm-lined promenade, a covered market, another medieval castle, a few underwhelming museums and a buzzy nightlife centred around the Carob Mill area (worth a cab ride, as the hotel's immediate vicinity is rather soulless)
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
The hotel accepts children of all ages, and during our stay we did meet a couple of families, both with toddler/infant-aged offspring. But in truth the style is more suited to couples sans kids (or taking a break from them).
Babies (0-1 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Side View Suites can take an extra bed; all rooms can fit a baby cot.
Babysitting is available upon request.