Surrounded by the manicured greens of one of the world’s finest golf courses, an intoxicating mix of restaurants and activities and with stunning views on every doorstep, the Aphrodite Hills Luxury Villas and Apartments have to be seen to be believed, writes Codelia Mantsebo
With sable-hued hills on one side and the sparkling turquoise sea below us on the other, the drive from Paphos airport, heading south-west, led us through the entrance gates to Aphrodite Hills and into an altogether greener and more polished atmosphere. The size of a small town, the Aphrodite Hills villas and apartments are grouped in neat developments with names like Alexander Heights, Zephyrus Village and Theseus Village, dotted around the 578-acre site. Each village is situated within walking distance from the Village Square – the heart of the resort. However, it can be quite tricky to navigate the villages, but many villas are perfectly set for getting around without a car.
I stayed in one of the Junior Villas, which have options of two or three bedrooms, housing up to six people. Our villa had a private pool, with access to the Aphrodite Hills resort village and a whole range of onsite activities. Each morning, our fridge was stocked with snacks and drinks; we also had a private chef cook a glorious multi-course meal for us in our villa – a service that can be easily arranged for guests.
The resort is characterised by guests in immaculate golf attire or crisp tennis whites enjoying their holiday time. The combination of a tennis academy, championship golf course, riding lessons, spa and beach club is enough to keep guests in the resort throughout their stay.
Of course, the pride of Aphrodite Hills is the golf course. The first ever leisure and golf development of its kind in Cyprus, the Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort is home to an 18-hole championship golf course, designed for golfers of all standards and ages. The golf resort has previously played host to The PGA Europro Tour Championship in 2010.
I wasn’t particularly familiar with golf prior to my visit to Cyprus. I had watched my dad’s clubs collect dust as the concept of golf was all too confusing for me to try to fathom, but the coaches at Aphrodite Hills were so charmingly friendly that I found myself really enjoying a lesson at the driving range. Visually spectacular, the course itself expands through indigenous olive and carob trees, overlooking the site where Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is said to have emerged from the sea. Admittedly, I had as much fun manoeuvring the buggies up and down the dramatic ravine that offered outstanding views over the Mediterranean.
The buggy is included with golf rounds, giving golfers the opportunity to absorb the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area. If you can switch off from all the golf talk, the clubhouse restaurant, with views over the course, is a pleasant spot for lunch.
The tennis academy here is worth giving a try too. The Academy offers a wide selection of coaching services, whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, alongside a wonderful atmosphere. We enjoyed a lesson with Scott Wakefield, who offered outstanding coaching and was great fun.
For a more relaxed time at this sporting resort, visit The Retreat Spa at Aphrodite Hills. Located on an elevated part of the Resort above the Mediterranean Sea, we caught truly spectacular views from the outdoor pool and even the sauna. I enjoyed some herbal tea from the Spa Restaurant and Juice Bar whilst absorbing the relaxing surroundings of the Spa’s sun deck and the fragranced gardens. Should that not be enough to tempt you, The Retreat Spa at Aphrodite Hills was awarded the prestigious “Best Spa & Golf Resort in Europe” award by the Spa Traveller Readers Award 2013 – truly worth the visit.
While everyone took some downtime from all the activities, I went horse riding at the resort. The stables are sited at the furthest extremity of the resort, where the landscape gives way to rolling hills and olive groves. As a relative novice, I was put at complete ease by Pat, who was my coach for the day. We trailed through the stunning herb-scented countryside, with sweeping views across this corner of the island and out to sea. Pat was gentle and patient, and shared her wealth of knowledge of everything that we were seeing on our riding experience. I got the chance to pet and feed the horses, which were obviously well looked after.
Even at 90% capacity, Aphrodite Hills resort weaves a mood of relaxation, intimacy and a private space similar to that of a five star hotel without the hassle of being in one. With so much to do on site, few guests venture out into greater Cyprus; this short burst of culture and activity is enough to keep everyone happy.
Guests should note the Villas and Apartments are not adjacent nor have any operational relation with Aphrodite Hills Hotel or the Sensatori brand.
Address: 2 Aphrodite Avenue, Kouklia 08509, Cyprus
Phone: +357 26 828000
Codelia Mantsebo is Online Writer at Spear’s