“Elysium” is an ancient Greek concept of the afterlife, translating loosely to encompass a place or state of perfect happiness. The Elysium hotel in Paphos, Cyprus, certainly lives up to its name.
Offering guests uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea, The Elysium is located in the historic heart of the ancient city of Paphos, right next to the heritage-listed Tomb of the Kings, Elysium provides guests with a sense of serenity hard to find in the bustling Harbour strip of hotels whilst only being 10 minutes away. Paphos airport is only 25 minutes by car.
From the first glance we took of the hotel, we felt as if we had entered a haven of peace, history, and tradition. The hotel has been spectacularly designed in a palatial style which echoes the Byzantine era. The architecture and interior design skilfully combines elements from Greek, Roman, Medieval and Venetian times, reflective of Cyprus’ rich cultural tapestry.
There are a total of 250 rooms and suites available at The Elysium with options appropriate for guests of all ages. The rooms range from deluxe bedrooms with private balconies overlooking either the sea or mountains, to Cyprian Maisonettes, Family suites, royal luxury studios and royal garden villas with private pools. For those wanting something extra exclusive, there are also five luxurious suites.
All guests receive a welcome drink on arrival and a fresh fruit display and mineral water in their rooms. Guests staying in a royal studio, garden villa or luxury suite are provided with private check-in and bottle of house red wine (French champagne in the Royal Suites) as well.
We stayed in a Royal Garden Villa. After our welcome drink and private check-in, we were escorted through the hotel, shown where all amenities and facilities were, and taken to our villa.
The Garden Villas are set slightly apart from the main building and are set around a traditionally styled square lined with citrus trees and featuring its own sunken swimming pool a level below.
Within our villa, we also had a private garden with a plunge pool and sun lounge. The private pool added that extra element of privacy and relaxation, perfect for a quick refreshing dip, or for use when the main pool areas are a little too busy, or after they have closed.
The villa was bright and airy, with a large, comfortable bed, lounge area, and spacious bathroom with double vanity, bathtub and separate shower. The interior was designed and furnished to recreate a traditional, yet sophisticated Cyprian village house, whist offering privacy and tranquility.
The focal facility at The Elysium is the free-form outdoor pool which has been creatively designed on multiple levels around a hydro pool in its epicenter. A swim-up bar is also a nice addition, for swimmers not wanting to leave the water. Staff constantly walk around the pool and sunbathing areas and are always available to take drink orders for bathers.
The multiple levels or the pool mean that the sun beds and swimming areas are spread out and are separated. During our stay, it never felt overly busy.
For those wanting to be a little more active, other activities available at The Elysium include tennis, scuba diving courses, a high-tech gym, aerobics and pilates, all with private instructors.
Live performances are also regularly staged at the Orpheus amphitheater in the center of the hotel’s complex.
Parents travelling with children will also be pleased to know that there is an indoor kids’ club and amusement centre, as well as a shaded children’s outdoor pool, complete with water slide.
The Opium Health spa is also a highlight, offering a range of treatments, packages and products.
Dining is definitely another of The Elysium’s claims to fame. There are a choice of five restaurants for guests, including a buffet wth live entertainment, a Japanese restaurant, and an Italian restaurant.
We decided the try the Japanese restaurant, and were not disappointed. A large variety of sushi, sashimi, and other traditional Japanese dishes were available, along with a range of sake, beer and wine options.
The food was freshly prepared in sight of customers and was absolutely delicious.
The following morning, we made our way to the breakfast buffet where we were greeted with what I can honestly say is the most comprehensive breakfast buffet I have ever experienced.
Forget your usual continental breakfast, The Elysium takes things up a notch. The major stand-out was the complimentary champagne. Dried fruits and nuts, waffles and french toast, pastries, deli meats and cheeses, freshly prepared eggs and omelettes to your preference and Cypriot specialties were just some of the food options available to try. We enjoyed breakfast so much, that come lunch time, we were hardly even hungry.
The Elysium is the most premium hotel in Paphos, but it delivers. The service is delightful and helpful, the location is convenient and the facilities and restaurants are wonderful. The range of accommodation options available mean it would be a perfect place for a relaxing getaway, special family retreat, or romantic break/honeymoon.
Along with relaxing and rejuvenating, we would recommend taking time to explore Paphos’ historic sites, as well as taking a day trip to the Akamas or Troodos Mountains to see more of what Cyprus has to offer.