Kyrenia hotels

By Marc Dubin, your Kyrenia expert

I write for AA Spiral Guides, Berlitz Pocket Guides, DK .... Read more
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expert-rated hotels in Kyrenia
Best for Food -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Sophisticated lodging and dining in the shadow of the medieval abbey

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Accommodation at Kyrenia consists not only of numerous in-town hotels of all grades – some of it basic indeed, aimed at mainland Turkish shoppers and parents of soldiers stationed here – but scores of tourist complexes, both east and west of the city, along the coast or up in the foothills. The resort strip effectively ends, on the west, at Lapta (Lapithos) and to the east at Çatalköy (Ayios Epiktitos), though ribbon development is now sprouting further along in hitherto unexploited territory, spurred by road improvements. To my mind, the inland properties – for example Bellapais Gardens and The Hideaway Club – are superb, and well offset the minus of not being behind a beach.

Boutique hotels, old-house inns and restoration projects are a relatively new concept in northern Cyprus, but are beginning to catch on, specifically in the hills around Kyrenia and out on the Karpas peninsula. Most of these – for example the Karpaz Arch Houses – are excellent value, but can require long advance booking, especially at weekends.

Things to consider when booking:
● Prices in north Cyprus, curiously, are often slightly lower in July and August than in spring and autumn – that’s because summers in and around Kyrenia tend to be extremely humid as well as hot. Conditions are more comfortable during shoulder season (May–June & Sept–Oct). Desirable hotels can suddenly get packed out at any time by anything from wedding parties to Greek Cypriots making a trip up to the Karpas in particular.
● North Cypriot hotels are almost universally overrated by the standards of the wider world – a five-star hotel here would generally rate only four stars elsewhere, a four-star establishment just three (or maybe three-and-a-half). I make happy exceptions to this pattern clear in my recommendations.
● In recent years, north-Cypriot hotel staff are increasingly from the central Asian republics of the ex-USSR, Azerbaijan,Turkey and Pakistan, as well as from EU member-states in central Europe, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Inevitably a few of the foreign staff are grumpy, but most are excellent – and amazingly multilingual.
● Outdoor pools are almost always unheated, which makes them effectively unusable from November to April. The sea is often warmer.
● Breakfast is almost always included in the room price (except in self-catering facilities), and is generally worth taking.
 

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I’ve used my two decades of visiting Cyprus for guidebook research, and my extensive network of contacts there, to keep abreast of hotel trends. One of these are plainly evident – problematic establishments have either gone bust, upgraded themselves to stay competitive or been converted to apartments for sale to overseas second-home buyers.

Beyond the 7 establishments listed here are various others I’m keeping on eye on with the intent to include in the future, if necessary by replacing the current nominees. For the moment, I’ve included a range of places in terms of price, intended clientele (young couples, families with kids, mature travellers) and also facilities.

Aside from that, I have certain other criteria. My picks need to be open all (or at least most of the) year, and to have somebody at the front desk or at least within hailing distance constantly. I’ve excluded all-inclusive-only resorts, because the food is often dire and their existence has killed off numerous independent tavernas in the immediate area. And I’ve given preference, where known, to ethical/green restoration projects with a commitment to sustainability – a pressing issue on an island where all fuel must be imported and droughts are a regular occurrence.
 

Simonseeks has given star ratings out of five for all accommodation recommendations. With hotels, these will tally with the hotel's official star rating where it exists. Where a hotel has no official star rating, and in the case of b & bs and hostels, the experts have made a judgment as to how many stars the accommodation deserves, in terms of comfort, level of facilities and so forth.