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“Cats have a High life”
Review of High Life Hotel

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High Life Hotel
Ranked #1 of 31 Hotels in Kyrenia
Certificate of Excellence
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Cats have a High life”
Reviewed 20 October 2011

We arrived at the High Life on 24 September. Although it was dark when we arrived, if arriving during daylight hours do not be put off by the first impression of the 'front' of the hotel - the hotel is back to front. The hotel consists of two blocks A and B, (we stayed in block B at the 'front' of the hotel), as you head towards the sea from block B you pass the swimming pool, this was always clean, although owner Bepa had concerns that you used the poolside shower to maintain it cleanliness. There is a plentiful supply of sunbeds around the pool, it was mainly always in the sun, but umbrellas gave shade if required and it was never crowded when we were there, despite the hotel being full. You then pass block A and pass through gardens to the reception area. The reception backs onto the bar area and the restaurant, which is the highlight of High Life. The restaurant fronts the sea, albeit some 5 metres above it, but there is a spectacular view along the coast to the new harbour where ferries depart for Turkey's mainland. The restaurant is where breakfast is taken and serves as the restaurant in the evening if you take the half board option - personally we didn't (we never do wherever we stay - apart from Italy). We did eat at the hotel on one evening taking in the lamb Kleftiko. This was all very well, but when all the 'guests' arrived, there was no one to take orders for drinks, (we had to go to the bar and order our own), the meal consisted of a nicely cooked lamb shank, and rice, etc, BUT THAT WAS IT !, there was no offer of starter or dessert. Furthermore it was not particularly cheap, we ate poppadums, starter, main and drinks at a local restaurant The Courtyard for less than we had Bepa's kleftiko (and it must be good, we ate there twice in a week). If Bepa wants to make something of his 'gem' of a hotel, he needs to make a better fist of his restaurant, making it cheap enough to entice people to 'eat in' or improve / extend the menu. Other guests were also not very impressed with the volumes of food at the hotel.

Now by now you may think why have I voted this hotel very good when all I have, is derogatory remarks to make about it.

Well, it has A LOT going for it does the High Life. It is exceptionally quiet, seafront views (all you can hear is the sea lapping at the shore), nice pool area, the rooms are large, it is very clean (special mention to the cleaning girls) good sized balconies, free A/C, and if you like cats (as we do) there are 14 of the beauties. They are looked after by Bepa and the owners daughter Mel who lives in the hotel. They are not the usual type of cats you would get in Cyprus, they are cared for and well fed. Whilst there are so many cats they do not come to you unless you want, and as it is generally so hot, they just sleep in the gardens all day, so if you do not particularly like cats this should not put you off coming here. However, if you are privileged, Tommy the 'Felix' lookalike will do a 'go cat' free running exhibition and visit you on your first floor balcony - and if he doesn't like you, he will take his life in his paws and free run onto your neighbours balcony, sometimes visiting your room (given the chance), before returning back to earth via the outside A/C unit and balcony railings.

The beachfront of High Life could be improved upon greatly with a little investment, maybe a 'man made' beach introduced instead of the 'broken concrete platform' This meant we could not enter the sea, which is a shame because it looked very enticing. Bepa could also introduce a beach bar area on the various levels down to the sea, which would also entice people to stay and spend money at his hotel. Unfortunately, at the moment he is reluctant to spend the money - maybe when he retires, his family will change this.

High Life is approximately 300 metres from the main road, from where you can catch a dolmus into Kyrenia for 2 TL (70p), alternatively it would be a good 45 mins walk into town along a very busy road, in 35C - needless to say it didn't appeal. For a further 3TL we visited 'Escape' beach, it cost 15TL each to go onto the beach, but it was worth it, as 'Escape' has large sunbeds and cushions, with hammocks in the sea, it had a bar area with food at 'beach prices'.

Like many others who visit Kyrenia, we visited Bellapais Abbey during the day, it cost approx. 15TL by taxi, the Abbey is a beautiful setting and a further visit to the fabulous Kybele restaurant one evening was required. The food was excellent, bats accompanied us, and frogs croaked their symphony in the Abbey pond, with a piano and violin recital in the indoor area of the 13C abbey to add to the ambiance. The food was dearer than in town or even the harbour, but it was special, with large portions. 2 courses with wine cost approx. £50, but if taken in the UK, you would have expected to pay double that given the location.

The harbour is a good place to visit and eat in the evening, we recommend Chimera, at the end under the castle walls. We can only recommend one other restaurant in Kyrenia as we only ate there twice. This was Pizza town near the bus station. The Pizza town special pizza was very good, as was my wife's special local lamb dish.

We hope to return to the High Life next May, so it cannot be all that bad.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LesMiserablegit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 October 2011

It is 13 years since our last visit to Kyrenia but the first visit to High Life Hotel. What a surprise!!. It is small, only 20 rooms. which suited us because there was always room around the super pool area, Breakfasts were served either alfresco or inside the pleasant restaurant bar but it was so warm out side we chose to eat outside.Diner menus were varied and good value.We went b&b but ate in 4 nights, food was excellent, wine was excellent service was excellent. The staff are very pleasant and hard working, rooms were large and clean and all have balconies and a/con. It would not suit families, as all of the guests were of mature years.the owner Beha is hands on and always available and pleasant.Our party consisted of 2 couples aaand we definately be back to Kyrenia for the 7th time and the High Life for the 2nd time. Thanks Beha and staff. Great holiday

Room Tip: W e had an upstairs corner room in block A. High ceilings Very comfortable king size bed two easy...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidF322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
glasgow
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2011

My wife and I have just spent a two week stay at the High-life and my wife is allergic to cats
and the hotel is over run with cats they were every were Gardens Reception Kitchen Pool
Dinning areas We had not been told about the cats other wise we would not considered
booking we tried to get an other hotel or a flight home with out success
However there is some good points the staff are excellent nothing to much trouble
Rooms comfortable sea view
Dinning alfresco Breakfast and Dinner down side people kept throwing food from their meal
to the cats.
Have board is not half board as we are use to anywhere else we have stayed as 60% of
the menu had additional charges for half board quests
Hotel is isolated you need the services of a taxi or car heir and the nearest beach was 15 minute drive from the hotel

Room Tip: 1 st floor good view
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank glasgow1235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wakefield
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2011

This could be a great little hotel, but unfortunately it isn't . There are positives , like the staff (excluding Beha) , the view from the balcony , the pool area is excellent and the gardens are great . Unfortunately and overall the negatives pull the Hotel down. One of the 'jewels' should be the view over the sea from the Terrace and it is , if you look beyond the broken bottles and litter on the now 'unavailable' sea terrace. The food is a little over priced for what you get (especially the Kleftico evening , which was basically a very plain lamb shank) . We had a room in Block A , top floor, which was fine , except the very efficient air con was so noisy we were embarassed to leave it on , also the balcony light was broken and despite 3 requests to have it fixed , it never was . The sky tv , was sky but in Turkish apart from CNN , on which the sound was very poor. We had been told that the furniture was of a very high standard , you should make your own mind up about this .The bathroom shower area is mouldy and needs updating .

Also be aware , we booked 7 nights B&B , but you don't get breakfast on day 7 if you leave early as we did . When I requested a breakast , I was told that if we got one, then everyone would want one , surely that is the idea ? or have I got that wrong .

This is a quiet hotel which is great , but it could be a quiet great little hotel , with some effort and money spending .

We flew with Onur Air , which we were dreading , but full marks to them, they were really good !

Would we go to the Highlife again ? Yes if they could prove the issues (minor) had been sorted .

Room Tip: We overlooked the sea and the evening sunset , if you like this type of view , go fo Block A top flo...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WakefieldMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2011

We found High Life on lastminute.com and went with it because of the big price difference between it and the more expensive Bellapais Monastery Hotel. Our experience was generally positive, but a series of near daily irritations meant that a good stay never quite became a great one.

The hotel is small, with a decent sized and well cleaned pool. Couples should note that High Life only offers four double rooms with most rooms being twin, so make sure you specifically request a double if that is an issue for you. Our room, 23, on the ground floor, was spacious enough and cleaned every day to a good standard. However, we had requested a sea view and when we pointed this out to Beha, the proprietor, he insisted we did have one. Well yes, if we looked very hard through the surrounding bushes and trees, we could make out a small sliver of the Mediterranean in the right hand corner, but it hardly counted as a "sea view" in any meaningful sense. Also, the slide door on the bath/shower was faulty - loose and with a nasty mildew problem at the top. The bathroom windows, although small, also did not lock, meaning we kept our valuables on us, as the bathroom was a potential entry point for thieves. On the other hand, the air conditioning was fantastic - remote controlled and very effective at cooling us down from the intense Cyprus heat outside.

We are in our early thirties and were expecting from reading previous reviews that we might be surrounded by senior citizens. Actually, High Life seems to attract a real cross section of tourists, from young(ish) couples like ourselves, to small famiy groups as well as older guests. High Life does not accept children under 12, which helped to keep the tranquility and peaceful ambience nicely intact.

The hotel's major selling point is its terrace, which is right on the sea and a gorgeous spot both for breakfast in the morning sunshine and for dinner at sunset. We loved the terrace - plenty of seating was available and the setting was perfect; romantic and comfortable with no noise but the lapping of the ocean below and the distant calls to prayer from the mosques. An enchanting place to spend a tranquil evening or two after a relaxed meal. A pity then, that the hotel's "beach," a flight of steps down from the terrace, turned out to be a concrete platform, with two litter strewn strips of sand either side of it. The terrace is also the hotel's wi-fi hotspot and is the only part of the hotel where web reception is available.

Service in general was very good. The staff at High Life were very attentive most of the time and only too pleased to be of assistance. They were friendly and welcoming throughout

We stayed B&B at High Life and we felt this was the right choice because it allowed us to explore many of the very good restaurants in and around Kyrenia and the beautiful village of Bellapais. Breakfasts were a little disappointing - only three variations of egg, omelette and continental, with an "English" breakfast costing an extra £3, which we thought was cheeky, especially when, on more than one occasion, some of the components of the breakfast were missing - too often, the hotel ran out of sausage, bacon, beans etc. Evening meals were better (apart from one night when we had to wait two hours for our meals while Beha and his friends enjoyed theirs, oblivious to the disbelief and mounting anger of his guests and the embarrassment of his staff), with the hotel's Kleftico being a real highlight. However, as has been mentioned in previous reviews, the prices are too high for what you actually get. Better value for equally good - or superior food - is available in and around Kyrenia.

There are a lot of cats at High Life and they roam freely, gathering in the evenings around the terrace and waiting for morsels from guests' tables. Not a problem for cat lovers, but those with allergies or non-feline enthusiasts should be wary.

High Life offers a car hire service (car hire is a must if you want to explore North Cyprus) which has its pluses and minuses. The promotional material has pictures of very swish, new versions of various cars. The reality is somewhat different. We hired an Opel Astra for four days at £25 per day, expecting the most current model. Instead, we got one that was about a decade old and with nearly 90,000 miles on the clock. It was fine - got us out and about the country, but again, it felt like an annoyance to have been misled, if only mildly and especially when fierce competition between car hire firms in Kyrenia meant we could have paid less for a better car. Then again, we did have the convenience of being able to arrive back at the hotel very late instead of worrying about dropping it at a car hire office.

Local facilities and services are reasonably good. The hotel is located down a narrow winding road that opens to the main coastal road. There are shops nearby and a supermarket about ten minutes' walk away, but that can seem very long in the powerful Cypriot sun, so make sure you have headgear, shades, sunscreen and water because it can be an arduous walk. Taxis are cheap and plentiful, with a fare from High Life to Kyrenia costing about 10 TL (15-16 TL in the evenings). Look out for the Kombus minibuses as well - these can be flagged down at the roadside.

High Life is a little ragged around the edges and could be a little bit better maintained in parts. There was a real problem with the poolside shower which had not been looked after and had developed a coating of algae on it, which the local wasps found attractive, meaning taking a pre-swim shower meant risking being stung. the main walkways were laid out in a rather tacky green material which had seen better days. The TV in our room was quite ancient and lost BBC World and CNN for three days, before they inexplicably returned. The pool bar was all but abandoned.

To conclude, we felt that it was a shame High Life couldn't seem to push itself to make its guests feel truly welcome and comfortable. This is a very good hotel in many respects and has a great location and tireless staff. However, we were expecting a little better and with the huge range of choice available in this region, at competitive prices, this hotel will need to up its game if it is to prosper.

Room Tip: Check your bathroom window locks properly, as this is a potential weak spot in security.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank owenpd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2011

Having read the various reviews we decided to approached the hotel with an open mind. Yes, there are many cats but they do not bother you in any way and they are exceptionally clean. Also, food can take a little time to arrive but we were in no rush and when it did arrive it was of a high standard and the servings were very generous! Rooms are spacious and are kept very clean by the staff along with the pool and dining area. For us, what made the hotel memerable was the friendly nature of all the staff who were always happy to assist with our requests.

If you are looking for a quiet, friendly and clean environment in which to stay this hotel is a good choice and we feel that it was good value for money.

Thank you to Nurcan and Ziynet for serving the breakfast and keeping our rooms tidy. Also, special thanks to Emre and Acelya for the excellent dinner service and wonderful food.

We look forward to seeing you again!

Room Tip: Ask for a small room as the multi level room get very hot!
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul-Lauren2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 15 August 2011

Lovely situation looking over the sea. bathrooms need updating. Beha the owner is a great fun person and willing to help at all times. Barbeque very good. Breakfast each morning looking over the sea. Rooms quite large with balcony. Parking and great deals on hire car if booked on the web directly with the hotel. Lovely swimming pool. Staff polite and very helpful. Will definitely go again.

Room Tip: Ask for block B or downstairs on block A
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank irenem10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about High Life Hotel

Property: High Life Hotel
Address: Akdeniz Sokak No 25 | Mersin 10, Kyrenia 9000, Cyprus
Phone Number:
Region: Cyprus > Kyrenia District > Kyrenia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Kyrenia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kyrenia
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kyrenia
#4 Family Hotel in Kyrenia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — High Life Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family owned hotel, just a few minutes from the center (old harbor) of Kyrenia in North Cyprus. Situated on the sea, away from noise, well suited for those seeking a quiet environment with friendly and quality service. With only 20 rooms and a restaurant with a spectacular setting, High Life is a place guests come back to year after year. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
High Life Hotel Karakoumi
High Life Hotel Kyrenia
High Life Kyrenia

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