The five star Annabelle Hotel is one amazing place. It’s also, let me be completely honest with you here- definitely not normal kind of location for an overnight stay away from home. I’m generally more of an ‘AirBnB/hostel/cottage/I recently stayed at the Yotel Gatwick Airport because it’s basically inside the terminal and looks like a spaceship’ kind of girl. It’s far more likely that you’ll find me in a five star hotel because I’m singing in one or serving a meal in one, truth be told. However. After a lovely few days in an AirBnB apartment in Pafos where one of my good pals was getting married, I was stuck in the awkward situation of needing an extra nights stay in Cyprus but with my AirBnB and all of the nearby hotels (minus the particularly party-looking places), completely full. Enter: The Annabelle. A lot of my fellow wedding attendees were staying either here or at it’s sister hotel next door where the wedding took place- The Almyra- so I’d already had a couple of days of occasionally visiting for wedding-based activities, and could fully confirm for myself that this would be a jolly lovely place to stay, know what I’m saying!? Considering my final night in Cyprus was also my final night of freedom before I started my next six months of solid work (true story), I decided that for one night I might as well just treat myself for goodness sake.
Paphos itself (at least, the part of it where the Annabelle is located), is known as more of a Brits-abroad kind of a location, and so the seafront where the hotel is located is full of other hotels and bars catering to a whole load of (mainly English) customers. And although I’m pretty sure that most people who come to stay at the Annabelle are there just to relax in the surroundings of the hotel (which I don’t entirely blame them for), the town of Paphos is actually a right interesting one once you look past the few touristy strips of pubs and nightclubs. The town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to the massive amount of Ancient Greek ruins that can be found here, especially those to do with the cult of Aphrodite (this is the place that the Greeks decided Aphrodite rose from the sea, so it’s a full on sacred location you see). And all of these can be found just a short walk away from the Annabelle’s glorious confines.
The hotel backs right on to the beach which is just beaut, and therefore a whole load of the rooms have a stunner of a view (or side view) of the sea. Call me old fashioned but who doesn’t love a good sea view, ya know!?
I had a side sea view room with a balcony, which was AWESOME. Also I’ll just add that the five star experience is in my opinion more down to the staff and the small touches than the actual hotel itself. In this case the fact that the nice lass from reception gave me a guided tour after my welcome drink, delivered me to my room where a plate of fruit was waiting and then another guy delivered my luggage to me. I know this is totes the normal for this style of hotel but still. I was a true fan. When I arrived back from dinner to discover that someone had come in to turn down the bed and put a casual poem on the pillow (all part of the service, it wasn’t a creepy thing I promise), I was altogether sold.
The room was beaut, the balcony was beaut. It was all round beaut.
Although I technically could’ve eaten at one of the several a la carte restaurants, I decided to go buffet-style for my evening meal as by that point my pals had left and I would therefore be dining solo. On my tod. Billy-no-mates style. (Not sure why I’m making such a big deal out of it as actually that’s pretty much my normal way of life. I just appreciate the many different ways there are of saying ‘by yourself.’ Anyway.)
THE FOOD DID NOT DISAPPOINT. The selection and quality of that stuff was amazing, and as an added bonus, the waiter gave me a second glass of wine on the house. Good lad.
I ate breakfast the next morning next to the pool and to be honest the food was even better than the stuff I’d eaten the night before, if that’s at all possible. I just bloody love food ok, you guys?
Granted, I didn’t get a chance to make the most of things like the treatments in the spa or the yoga classes available, but I’ll tell you this for free: the facilities the Annabelle has to offer are just downright grand. The several pools outside including a secret-but-not-secret cave pool with swim-up bar, bring the odd James Bond vibe to mind, whilst also making me see why the hotel claims to be synonymous with ‘classic Mediterranean glamour.’ It absolutely is. Highly Classically Mediterraneanly Glamorous. Thanks to its recent refurbishment there is now a rooftop spa area including an indoor pool surrounded with windows showing off the stunning view of the sea complete with palm trees swaying below in the breeze, and a sauna which I made full use of also. Bloody good times. On top of that is the Ouranos rooftop bar which I especially appreciated at night-time and with pals and cocktails for company.
So…will I be converting to a five star lifestyle? Probs not. My budget doesn’t allow for it unfortunately and there are pros and cons to both Airbnbs/hostels and five star hotels. But as a once in a blue moon treat to myself, my very brief stay at The Annabelle was an all round joyous experience. The surroundings were amazing but what really made it worth it for me was the absolute gems of staff members that work there. I left the hotel at the same time as a family with a small boy who was very upset about the cats who hang around the place, in case there was no one looking after them (people totally do, as you regularly walk past piles of dried cat food sitting around Paphos as a whole including the beachfront part of the hotel), and the receptionist assured the small lad that she’d email him to let him know how the cats are getting on once he got home. Now if that’s not service I don’t know what is.
You’re great, Annabelle.
Check out the hotel here: Annabelle