Poseidonos Avenue, 8042 Paphos, Cyprus
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Mature travellers, Sporty types, Great views / scenery, Relaxation, Special occasions
Best for Families - Expert review of Athena Beach
One of the bigger local hotels with almost 500 units, the Athena Beach may not impress on the landward approach, but once inside its main advantage is revealed – an excellent setting behind gardens fronting one of the better local patches of beach. Despite its star rating this is a mass-market, package-orientated hotel that has to be many things to many different nationalities, but manages the task well.
About 2.5km southeast of Paphos port, walkable along the coastal path (or bus from outside).
432 rooms, more than half facing seaward, of which 61 are superior grade; all had a “soft” renovation in early 2011. Standard doubles have new wallpaper and blue carpets, dimmer lights in the baths (a first for me), magnifying mirrors, marble sink counters, scales, and rain showers; nice extra touches include complimentary bathrobes, slippers and ironing material. Superior sea view units are little different in appointment but have huge terraces, free WiFi, espresso machines, welcome fruit-packs and late checkout (6pm) or use of a courtesy room. Eight upper-floor one-bedroom suites, set at the rear of very long terraces for privacy, are much in demand by VIPs – they were full at my last visit.
These are a bit jollier than at its next-door stable-mate the Athena Royal, with maroon and lavender splashes in the lobby, which gives onto conference rooms and dance studios – and dauntingly long corridors in blue and tan livery. Next to the main Atrium buffet restaurant, the Zephyr diner is exclusively for suite and superior-room customers, with late breakfast, better a la carte service at dinner and better decor taste. There’s a wedding gazebo out on the lawn beyond the numerous sunbeds, overlooking the sea.
Buffet breakfasts and suppers both get good marks, though fare is somewhat repetitive. The poolside grill-bar has fairly normal prices for the hotel category.
There’s animation for the kids, with monitors on duty, an outdoor children’s pool with slide, and an indoor pool that was full of kids in early spring – too cold for them in either of the large outdoor pools. The spa and gym are a bit clinical, except for the sauna and hamam (free for higher-grade rooms). Uniquely in Cyprus, there’s a huge outdoor bowling green (plus another indoors); ballroom dancing classes are well-attended during off-season.
Excellent, from largely central European staff, though waiting personnel can be a bit too overeager with clearing diners’ plates.
Couples and families (many repeaters) from the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Germany; special interest groups (bowling, bridge); wedding parties and some business travellers.
Count on 150 euros for full sea view standard in May, 200 euros for a superior room or 400 euros for an executive suite; prices rise sharply (and availability diminishes) at mid-summer, but rates dip back to spring levels by late September. In winter rates drop into two figures at times.
More information on Athena Beach:
- Poseidonos Avenue, 8042 Paphos, Cyprus
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool