Soon-to-be first-time parents Elysha Krupp and her husband head to Cyprus to suss out what a baby-friendly hotel is really like
When my husband and I decided to try a baby-friendly getaway I was becoming acutely aware – at over seven months pregnant – that my life was about to irrevocably change. It was just the two of us this time but soon we’d be three and our hectic travel routine would change dramatically. I wanted to know how the other half lived before then – were baby-friendly hotels all screaming toddlers and pool pavement sticky from popsicles half-eaten and melting in the sun? Or was there any glam to this brave new world I’d soon find myself in?
Off we went to Cyprus’s Almyra Hotel & Spa, a luxury family friendly hotel on the southwest coast of the island. About a 15-minute drive from Paphos and a four-hour flight from London, it’s a quick trip if you’re after guaranteed autumn/winter sun.
The family checking in next to us had taken advantage of the hotel’s Baby-Go-Lightly service and pre-ordered all their infant essentials before arriving – it’s around a 50% mark-up, but it does conserve precious luggage allowances. The port is only 700m away and just off a popular coastal path, within walking distance of most shops and restaurants and having great views back to the harbour. So if you’re craving the kind of R&R where you literally don’t leave the hotel for three days, no one will judge you (we did just this). But if you want to take a walk to get some ice cream or need a pharmacy close by, you’re covered.
We spotted a few young families but equally young couples and older groups (in cooler months the hotel plays host to triathletes who come to train in the mild climate). With a kids’ club on the premises during high season, we’ve already discussed returning with our little one when he arrives. This time, though, we ventured off to the seafront restaurant, Ouzeri, for a light lunch of Greek dips (hummus, tzatziki, Taramosalata), warm bread and Greek salad. There’s been a new French chef in place since 2015 so you can equally enjoy a tasty souvlaki as you can a homemade pasta with fresh lobster. Watching the sunset from our table I was sure I never wanted to head home.
The next day I went straight to the adults-only AlmyraSpa and pool area. My Mother-To-Be Indulgence treatment (€145 for 90 minutes) completely rejuvenated me, comprising a 60-minute full body massage incorporating lavender- and chamomile-infused oils to induce relaxation, followed by a 30-minute nourishing rose essence facial. The spa personnel (including a personal trainer on call) are extremely professional and properly trained and, after having a look around the sauna, steam room, Vichy showers, yoga deck, mani-pedi station, hair salon, and heated indoor pool, I was convinced I could have been at a luxury spa in central London. I spent the rest of the day by the outdoor infinity pool and had a very un-Greek but delicious lunch at the poolside restaurant, Eauzone: a club sandwich.