The Londa Hotel
BATD ON Jul 09, 2009 AT 4:10 pm
Arriving in the lobby at The Londa Hotel you instantly focus on the striking blue contrast of the Mediterrean blue sea against the white marble and abstract pieces of driftwood and striking contemporary furniture. This is a destination spot with an instant wow factor, and you can see exactly why it won Leading Med Boutique Hotel in 2008. It is up for that award again this year along with the category it won in 2007 as Cyprus’ Leading Hotel.
The Londa is located on the beach, with a stunning pool area that overlooks the sea. So as you sunbathe sand free on your lounger you can see and hear the waves lapping against the shore, the best of both worlds. I stayed in a suite that was one of those rooms that you wish your bedroom at home looked like, I guess I also want housekeeping and the turndown with freshly baked cookies too. Listing my requirements for a home makeover here would be tedious but I did love the decor throughout the hotel. Neutral shades and just splashes of vibrant colour, like the giant velvet olive shaped cushion on the bed. Other rooms had carrots, pumpkins and chillies, we loved these and all wanted to sneak them home.
Facilities in the room included all the right stuff, wi-fi, tv, hairdryer, Nespresso coffee makers and ample Molton Brown toiletries. There’s also plenty of plugs, great lighting in my two bathrooms and a full length mirror, yes we do want to inspect ourselves fully before we go out and check out the tan lines.
We ate a buffet breakfast and dinner is served in the spacious and stylish Caprice Restaurant and lunch around the pool, all were delicious.
The Caprice restaurant and lounge bar are pretty much the place to be in Cyprus. There was a definite scene there on Thurs and Friday nights, a buzz that made you feel you weren’t missing out on anything by posing on the huge sofas sipping a Raspberry Mojito and watching the tables fill. Equally you would find during the day people come and go for afternoon tea and club sandwiches which gave the place a lively atmosphere. Non residents can use the hotel but not the pool, that is strictly reserved for guests so it doesn’t get overcrowded.
The Caprice restaurant is particularly popular and after eating dinner al fresco on the terrace looking over the lit up turquoise pool and listening to the hypnotic sound of the sea I could eat there evey night. The Swedish chef brings an unusual twist to the usual local foods you expect to find in Cyprus, he uses local and seasonal ingredients to bring an Asian and Italian influence to the menu. We had a fantastic selection of starters including chargrilled squid, smoked salmon with gravad lax. Simple salads with leaves and tomatoes that just taste so much better than any organic produce you find at home. Guinea Fowl with asparagus and Monkfish with spinach were our choices for main course and we all really enjoyed the dishes.
Homemade Carob ice cream was an instant hit with me and it was best I didn’t stay too long or that could have become a bit of a habit, even thinking about it now is making my mouth water.
The details that set the hotel apart from the usual stylish boutique hotel are the very friendly staff and the ratio of guest to staff are almost 1:2, the aim of the management is to make sure you are well looked after and take home some special memories of your stay. This does come across and we did feel instantly relaxed and nothing was too much trouble. A big hit with us too were the uniforms, the girls wore neon pink silk dresses over white cropped linen trousers and stood out against the white marble so you always could spot one just when you were on your last sip of Pina Colada.
The hotel has a good size gym if you want to work off any mezes that you couldn’t resist indulging in the night before and a small spa that had a good size jacuzzi, steam and sauna if you really felt the need for extra heat during a Mediterrean summer! Personally I preferred to get myself a sweaty around the pool area, large cushions and beds, well spaced out and a foot away from just plunging into the pool to cool off.
This hotel is perfect for you if you want to stay somewhere close to a small city, but spend your days relaxing by a pool. The shops and restaurants of Limassol are 5 mins away by taxi and there’s a strip you can walk along outside the hotel for an evening stroll.
Highlights of Limassol:
My favourite area in Limassol was the newly developed area known as the Carob Mill in the old part of the town. It was actually once a working mill and now houses some really smart restaurants, with plenty of tables lining the streets for outside eating. Alfresco dining has to be one of the best parts of the summer, there’s just something special about eating under the stars. I can recommend Artima Bistro serving really sophisticated Italian food, as we had a great lunch there one day. Dinner at Karatello in the same street was my favourite meal of the trip. Traditional Greek Mezes, followed by Kleftiko and grilled meats that were all just delicious. I’m not usually bothered for desserts in Greece (apart from Carob ice cream now) but we had these honey dough balls that were a much tastier version of the Chinese banana fritters with home made creamy vanilla ice cream. Well we had to just loose count of the amount we managed to clear of those. www.carobmillrestaurants.com
Limassol is a great mix of traditional old buildings and a historic castle if you like your ruins and archefacts with a newly built University of Cyprus bang in the middle of the city, and the locals seem to welcome the young crowd and new life that this brings with it.
The weather in Cyprus is practically perfect for 10 months a year, the food is excellent and the service is genuinely friendly. Hotels like The Londa and Columbia Beach Resort are exactly the kind of place you hope to arrive at when you book a 5 star holiday. They both provide that instant shoulder drop when you take a big breath in and look around, then get that little butterfly feeling in your stomach because you’re excited to be there. www.londahotel.com
For information on flights, transfers and packages: Inspired Luxury Escapes www.inspiredluxuryescapes.com