Written by DLX contributor, Andrea Thompson.
Just a hop, skip and jump from Greece (flight time is a mere 1.5 hours) many American tourists never think to visit Cyprus, an under-the-radar country just 695 miles away. But a luxury trip is not only possible, it is highly recommended.
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is also a major tourist destination in the region and for Europeans. Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2008 and is known for its high-income economy and storied history.
Book a stay at the Grecian Park Hotel, the Anassa resort or the Four Seasons. There are also several other excellent luxury resorts and hotels on the island, and Hard Rock International has just announced that it’s been selected for the first and only casino resort license granted by the government of The Republic of Cyprus.
The Four Seasons Hotel (not tied to the U.S. brand) is located in Limassol and lies on a private part of the city’s sandy beach. It’s 5-star accommodation includes tropical gardens, two free-form pools and two tennis courts. It also features three award-wining restaurants and the exclusive Shiseido Spa.
Grounds of the Four Seasons Resort
The Anassa Resort in Paphos features 166 soundproofed rooms with free WiFi, 24-hour room service, deep soaking tubs and in most rooms, balconies and sitting areas.
Living room of the Adonis suite, Anassa resort
The Grecian Park’s (located in Ayia Napa-Larnaca) rooms are sleek and modern, light and airy. Lounge at the indoor pool or visit the hotel’s Spa and Wellness Centre where you’ll find a variety of treatment therapies including aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, and thalassotherapy as well as a Turkish bath/hammam among many other rooms, treatments and services.
Other highly recommended resorts include Aphrodite Hills near Aphrodites Rock or Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort in Milou. Other popular options: renting a luxury villa especially in Protaras and Ayia Napa or stunning mansions in Pervolia, Paphos and Limassol.
Cyprus dates back to the 10th millennium B.C. and is seen to have a strategic location in the Middle East. That’s led to it being occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, and even Alexander the Great. By the way, if you want to experience some of Cyprus’ ancient and archaeological history, definitely make a visit to the Neolithic village of Khirokitia.
In 1974 Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in a move instigated by the military junta of Greece. Today, 36,2% of the sovereign territory of Cyprus is still under illegal military occupation by Turkey. It’s a source of continuing controversy on the island, and internationally, but one that has not affected Cyprus’ tourism or its incredible luxury market and offerings.
Yacht Club and Marina, Cyprus
George Demetriou, Founder of International Luxury Services VIP (ilsvip.com), a bespoke luxury travel service says, “Cyprus as a luxury destination has it all, great restaurants, stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, excellent service, fantastic facilities, all mixed in with a traditional twist of culture and history to make your visit a memorable one.” His Must Dos include:
- Hire a boat in Limassol Marina on a day when you can have lunch or dinner for your group and head to Paphos, Asia Napa or Protaras
- Hire a luxury sports car and drive the coastal roads
- Hire a 4WD and head into the Troodos mountains
- Take tennis lessons in one of the amazing Tennis Academies here like Herodotou Tennis Academy
- There are many cultural and historical sites like Aphrodites Rock, Baths of Aphrodite, Kykkos Monastery in Troodos Mountains and Tombs of the Kings in Paphos as well as Kolossi Castle
- Visit some of the best beaches in the world like Fig Tree Bay, Makronissos Beach or Coral Bay
Demetrious says nightlife is very vibrant in Cyprus. For the high end traveler he recommends sticking to Limassol where there are many top restaurants, bars and nightclubs like Breeze and Dolce. Nicosia has hotspots like the Patio Bar.
ILSVIP organizes everything and anything for prospective luxury travelers in Cyprus and other destinations around the world.
Planning a trip to Greece? Then add 2-3 days for a visit to Cyprus or make the country your only destination. Emirates, Aeroflot and LOT Airways all have flights to Larnaca, Cyprus from New York with one stop. Your travel agent can provide more details.