Hotel review: Royal Apollonia, Limassol in Cyprus
Words by Graeme Culliford
True serenity is not easy to find even in a five star hotel when the world is full of boisterous guests and excited children. But despite being just 15 minutes from Limassol Marina, where cargo-ship-sized yachts are moored and jet-setters sip fine wine by the waterfront, the Royal Apollonia Hotel remains a surprising oasis of calm.
The sound of the waves rolling in from the Mediterranean Sea and the gentle rustling of the palm trees swaying in the wind are the only sounds that might disturb you while relaxing. Perhaps most impressive is the view, a vivid turquoise panorama that fills the floor-to-ceiling windows in the sea-facing rooms each morning.
Limassol, the second largest urban area in Cyprus after Nicosia, is developing at breakneck speed. New hotels and condominiums are constantly springing up, giving the city a Dubai-like vibe that is enhanced by the large number of clubs and bars.
Yet the Royal Apollonia, tucked away in the suburb of Potamos Germasogias – a former village – remains an oasis in the modern world, where cares melt away in year-round sunshine.
The Royal Apollonia towers over the beach promenade like one of the peaks of the Troodos mountains behind it and is by no means a small hotel, which makes its ambience all the more remarkable. The lack of open-air workout classes, pool DJs, or anything that might quicken the pulse or excite the eardrums helps, of course.
A children’s paddling pool with water features is tucked away at the far end of the property, but is separate from the main 523m2 bosom-shaped freshwater option. Scattered on sun loungers, most guests seem content to gaze out at the sea or curl up with a good book.
The soporific effect of the sea is another contributing factor to the all-encompassing calm that pervades. The Mediterranean sparkles like a jewel on sunny days, and the Royal Apollonia encompasses a scenic beach and shallow waters that are just steps from the outdoor lounge and three ground-floor restaurants.
Simplicity and convenience are watchwords here, and drinks can be ordered via the Exclusivi mobile app to save yourself the hassle of stopping someone. For those whose devices are stowed in a drawer, there’s a swim-up bar where you can order draft beers and cocktails the old-fashioned way.
As is typical of the Louis Hotels chain, the Royal Apollonia is immaculate from top to bottom, with neutral tones filling the common areas. Deep-tissue massages are offered at the spa, and there’s also a sauna with a wall of windows to ward off claustrophobia, as well as a decently equipped gym and indoor pool.
The Royal Apollonia has been welcoming guests since 2010 but has recently undergone a major refurbishment giving it a more modern vibe, although traditional crooners perform in the bar area most nights. Guests are currently offered complimentary transfers from the airport in a top of the range Mercedes.
My fourth floor room was incredibly quiet and peaceful during my visit just after the Easter holidays in April. I soon started opening my curtains in the mornings to greet the sea and welcome the sun’s rays. The view was simply stunning and as I slid back the balcony door the sound of the waves filled my ears as if I had slept on the shore.
Most of the 204 rooms, including 13 suites, are an oasis of white, from the crisp linens to the bare walls. Mine was big enough for a desk, a sitting area with trendy furniture, and a balcony where I could sip a drink and let the wind blow in my face.
to eat and drink
Most of the action takes place at the International Aura Dining restaurant, where the abundance of creatively prepared salads, grilled vegetables and fresh fish draw health-conscious diners in droves for lunch and dinner. Breakfast includes a dizzying array of options, from British staples like fried eggs, beans, and bacon to Greek-Cypriot delights like feta cheese pies.
There is a cake and pastry section and a honeycomb block that you can pick yourself to add extra flavor to your fresh fruit and yoghurt. Other dining options include the a la carte Japanese restaurant Akakiko, where sushi lovers flock in droves, and Alati Greek Flavors restaurant, where the slow-cooked lamb comes highly recommended.
The Royal Apollonia is a five star hotel with a prime beachfront location that brings back a cosmopolitan crowd of holidaymakers year after year. Don’t book if you’re expecting pool parties and tequila slamming competitions, but consider this a good option if you’re looking for peace, quiet, and luxury.
BA is offering seven nights accommodation at the luxury five star hotel The Royal Apollonia in Limassol, Cyprus from £898 per person. Price is based on bed and breakfast for two adults sharing a Superior Inland View room and includes return British Airways flights from London Gatwick to Paphos and transfers. Price based on travel on 13th June 2023. To book visit ba.com or call 0344 493 0124.
Address: Georgiou A 68, Str. Potamos Germasogias 4048 Limassol – Cyprus PO Box 52499
Phone: +357 255 088 00