Earlier in the year, I decided to go on holiday before it got too hot and before the whole of Europe goes on holiday basically.
The criteria were:
- guaranteed sun
- no longer than 5 hours on a plane
- no jetlag or hardly any
- a kids club that accepts children under 2
- somewhere I had never been
- good local food
This year was my mum’s 60th so I decided to take her along so ideally I was looking for somewhere she would like too. After much researching (I get a bit obsessed with these things), Kuoni came up with The Almyra hotel in Cyprus on a half board package that ticked all the boxes! I have never used a travel agent but it was actually a great experience as they organized transfers with car seat, got us free half board and were there to answer my questions.
So what was great about it and why is it REALLY family friendly ?
The four pictures sum it up pretty well:
A COVERED pool so little ones don’t get burnt, genius idea! There is another smaller pool very close for babies that is very calm and where we spent a lot of time, A’s favourite thing to do was to “empty” the pool, this went on for days…
If they get bored of the pool, there is quite a good playground that is 100% in the shade where we spent a lot of time too.
They are tons of highchairs and they have a children’s tea from 6 to 7pm where the kids can eat and mummy can have an Aperol Spritz! The staff are super friendly and happy to move high chairs around and don’t make you feel bad about the mess!
They have this service called “baby go lightly’, where you can order EVERYTHING you might need before arriving so not only was there a cot ready prepared in the room (the mattress was quite thick, which is not always the case in hotel rooms) but the nappies I had ordered (this is not free) and the puzzles (this was free) and books I had requested were already there. The list of stuff available is very long, they have thought of everything!
Now it isn’t perfect and there are some things that could be improved, for example:
- no children’s cutlery is provided
- some of the high chairs didn’t have harnesses
- you have to go down steep steps to the toilet by the pool
- some of the playground equipment, despite being quite new was showing signs or wear and tear.
- if your child is scared of cats then be prepared because there are quite a few hanging around
A spent 3 mornings and one whole day at the kids club run by Scott Dunn, this was really well organised and the staff were enthusiastic and caring, so whilst she was there , mum and I went to the adults only pool at the spa, utter bliss…
We found a small but clean beach nearby where we rented 2 sunbeds and an umbrella for 7 euros a day and it was a nice change from the pool. As A decided to go to bed early and get up early (not what you want on holiday!), we were often the first on the beach!
And what happens to a toddler, who goes to bed at 9PM but wakes up at 6.30AM? They nap (never for very long but still it was a nice break!):
Post boob nap
One thing that wasn’t so great was the effect the plane and the air conditioning had on A, she coughed like mad the whole time and this kept waking her up 😦
Talking of the plane, what do you do for nearly 5 hours with an 18 month old on a plane?
- Mummy thanks the man who was kind enough to move seats on the way out (on the way back, the person wouldn’t move…) so your toddler has their own seat (made such a difference!)
- You spend a lot of time playing with the children in the row behind us (3 under 3, don’t know how the parents managed!)
- You spend a lot of time cleaning things with wipes
- iPad, iPad, iPad
- Snacks, snacks and more snacks (houmous pot to dip stuff in worked very well)
- you open new toys and get very excited
- read books
- walk around
- don’t sleep
When we got off the plane, she stole a little boy’s Trunki, this entertained her whilst we waited for the bags.
All in all, it was a lovely holiday, the weather was perfect, I got to meet up with my colleague and his family, enjoyed drinks in the sun. I really recommend The Almyra, it’s so family friendly that a couple told my mum at breakfast “We didn’t realise it was half term and we didn’t realise it was that kind of hotel”. They would probably have been better off at the hotel next door where we had a great “traditional Cyprus” evening and where A danced her little heart away:
The food was really good, we really like the little restaurant by the water and Café Pinguino near the harbor.
It was really nice and even made me a bit philosophical (Some End of Holiday Reflexions).
Cyprus we will be back!