“Our favourite budget option in Cyprus: 6 rustic-chic self-catering suites clustered around a gorgeous pool terrace”
There are 6 suites or apartments, each with a separate sitting/dining room, bedroom and bathroom - apart from Terra Verte, which is a single-space studio for 2. All have a small kitchen (see Eating) and their own entrance. The original 4 are clustered around the pool courtyard; 2 newer suites are in a separate cottage across the lane, which can also be rented in its entirety for a larger family.
Inside ancient walls you'll find stone-flagged floors, pale-plastered walls, patches of exposed masonry, and a pleasing mishmash of furniture old and new. There's white-draped Habitat sofas and hand-painted taverna chairs, Victorian wrought-iron bedsteads and retro glass chandeliers, timeworn marble basins and Art Deco wardrobes salvaged from junk yards. The overall feel is artful but totally unpretentious, like a Parisian vintage-furniture market transplanted to sunny Cyprus.
Our favourite room for couples is actually the smallest and cheapest: first-floor Terra Verte, which looks over the pool, with pale pine floors and pink bougainvillea cascading over a side balcony. If you want more space, or a more rustic look, go for poolside Ochre, with its spacious sitting room, snug bedroom and unfaced stone walls tickled by jasmine fronds and ripening lemons. Grab either room if it is free.
For a couple with 1 child, Red and Lefko come with an extra bed in the sitting room; the former has an unexpected downstairs bathroom with sunken tub in cobbled floors (though we found the vermillion bedroom a little too vivid), the latter has vast living quarters and a cosy downstairs bedroom (slightly gloomy in winter, though).
Ten steps across the lane in a separate cottage, the 2 Loullaki apartments (1 up, 1 down) feel more contemporary, with pastel walls and huge artworks. Each sleeps 2-3; or take them both (they communicate) as a family house on 2 levels, with a small patio garden to boot.
Each apartment has its own kitchenette, with enough to make lunch or a simple dinner: electric 2-ring hob, oven, toaster, kettle, fridge and plenty of pots, pans and assorted implements. There's a dining table with 3 or 4 chairs (or you could take your breakfast outside), and a mini-market in the village for basic supplies. You're best off doing a big shop in Larnaca or Limassol on your way in - or if you're arriving late, ask Christiana for a breakfast hamper (at extra cost). She might leave you one of her fresh-baked orange cakes if you're lucky, as well as a jar of homemade jam as a thankyou for booking through i-escape.
If you're feeling lazy, the lovely Giorgoula can (with a day or two's notice) cook superb Cypriot cuisine for you while you grab the last rays or a sunset dip. Just choose meat- or veg-based, and she rustles up whatever specialties are in season - okra or bourgouri, poules (a local yam-like root) or koupepkia (stuffed vine leaves), maybe afelia (marinated pork with coriander seeds and red wine), followed by ricotta parcels dusted with cinnamon sugar and blossom-water. Mmmmm.
Otherwise it's a 5-minute drive down to the village of Zygi, whose seafront is famously lined with fish restaurants. Koumbaris is a safe bet, though we preferred Xefotos, a block inland, for its superb catch-of-the-day platter (assuming Louis has been out that day), served with local wines and juicy salads at knockdown prices.
Yiannos and Christiana will also share some of their favourite finds: Koursaros, tucked away in the hamlet of Parekklisia, was without doubt our best meal in Cyprus, though you'll need their help finding it.
This is a great option for more adventurous families - except perhaps toddlers, given the many steps, uneven cobbles and unfenced pool. One highchair is available (book it early); other than that you'll have to bring your own toys and baby equipment.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
All the apartments bar Terra Verte can take a cot (supplied, but without bedding) or an extra bed. Red and Lefko have a proper iron single bed in the sitting room, and Lefko has space for a 4th bed if required. Or you can book both Loullaki apartments to sleep 4-6 (2 double rooms, and up to 2 extra beds).
There are some books and games to borrow.
There are lots of steps and only a low parapet around the raised pool terrace.