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With its temperate climate, Mediterranean coastlines and rich history, Cyprus has something for everyone. This goes for accommodation too. From quirky yurts to old stone cottages, we reveal some of the island’s most unusual places to stay.
For a more holistic escape, relax with a soak in the healing natural sulphur spring waters that fill the three treatment pools at the Ayii Anargyri Spa Resort. The hotel offers more than 100 spa treatments, including those designed to ease conditions such as arthritis and joint pain. Tucked away in a forested valley in the village of Miliou, the Ayil Anargyri, which has 56 rooms, feels more like a Balinese resort than a Mediterranean hotel.
The formidable palace-like Roman Boutique Hotel is right in the heart of Paphos, but stepping inside it is like walking into a museum. Centuries of Greek history and mythology come to life as the walls are adorned with unique murals and statues. The hotel itself was built on the grounds where three well-preserved tombs from the Hellenistic period were found. There’s also a freshwater swimming pool, an aromatherapy bath and a sauna.
More of a village than a hotel, the Casale Panayiotis offers numerous suites set in seven old stone cottages throughout the mountainous spa village of Kalopanayiotis. There’s a luxurious spa with a hydrotherapy pool, a sauna, ice mist, a steam room, snow and mud cabins and private whirlpools. And when you can’t take any more pampering, you can learn to harvest honey, make your own baskets and craft cheeses or enjoy wine tastings with local experts.
This unique house in Kalavasos is named after a renowned teacher, Stratos, born in 1865, who used the place to entertain and educate his friends. Still in the family, the house is now a hotel with four individually decorated apartments, but the open-to-all vibe remains, so expect to be treated with homemade sweets and snacks and local wine. Guests love the gourmet breakfast, which is a coffee-lovers dream, offering 12 different espressos as well as Cyprus coffee, cappuccinos and frappes.
With its focus on traditional Cypriot culture, the Linos Inn is a complex of old houses in the mountain village of Kakopetria. The houses have been renovated to offer double rooms, studios and suites, and most of them have their own jacuzzi, balcony or veranda. Mount Olympus is a 15km (9mi) drive from the inn, or you can explore the surrounding forests with their giant old oak trees. Afterwards, make sure you try out the meze in the Linos Inn Tavern.
For a truly unique holiday, stay at Yurts in Cyprus, located in a valley in Simou village, Paphos. The three yurts (traditional tents) will make you forget you’re on a Mediterranean island, as all the rooms are built in authentic Mongolian style. They all feature hammocks and outdoor seating areas. Running since 2013, the site is open all year round and is also a bed and breakfast and a concert venue, with a focus on permaculture and sustainability. They’ve built water management systems and produce their own electricity, as well as using composting toilets. The site is suitable for all seasons: you can enjoy the yurts in the summer under the starry sky, or in the winter as you curl up in front of the fireplace. Yurts are also good places to bring pets, and there are many outdoor activities on offer, from biking and horse riding to hiking in the valley’s hills.
Stepping into Euphoria Art Land is like entering a dreamland, as you’re surrounded by brightly coloured mosaics and lively vegetation. There are three houses, which all blend multicultural design characteristics and recycled architecture to fit the climate. The houses embody cultural features from around the world: the Earth House incorporates Ethiopian designs and natural wood; the Colour House pays tribute to Colombia’s vibrant palette and includes Mayan designs from Mexico; and the Blue House includes peacock-inspired turquoise tones and mosaics influenced by Morocco and India. Surrounding them is a lush green garden with ponds, water lilies and eucalyptus trees, which set the relaxing mood for a massage in the Balinese-style gazebo. Breakfast is only served on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and it’s best to order it a day in advance.
Bookworms rejoice – this hotel, in a stone-built 19th-century mansion, is a literary haven. As its name suggests, the Library Hotel & Wellness Resort is dedicated to the book world, with suites named after important poets, writers and thinkers. If staying in the Oscar Wilde room doesn’t get you inspired, head down to the library lounge – the hotel’s main attraction – and browse the vast collection of books. Most of them have an emphasis on history, philosophy, culture and civilisation. Step outside into the courtyard for a panoramic view of Kalavasos village, or enjoy a mud steam bath and a massage in the wellness baths. All of the rooms in the Library Hotel & Wellness Resort are equipped with mosaic floors, a jacuzzi, a private balcony and underfloor heating.
If you like camping but want something more luxurious than a yurt, Cyprus Glamping Park offers just that. Glamorous camping has taken off in Cyprus thanks to this park just outside Larnaca, which offers five cottages decked out with kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and air conditioning. The park is owned by seven siblings, and they have embedded elements of each of their lives in the park by naming each cottage after a city important to them. Despite the luxurious atmosphere, the park encourages visitors to connect with nature through its eco garden; guests are encouraged to pick their vegetables and cook them on the barbecue. You can also order homemade breakfasts or early dinners.
Eleni Philippou contributed additional reporting to this article.