We stayed at the Pia Bella for a week and were delighted to see that the same high level of service was there as had been last year. All staff who we encountered were friendly and welcoming. It is pleasing to see that there is always at least one member of the management staff present at breakfast time, greeting guests and checking that all is well. Although this approach may encourage some guests to voice niggles and grumbles, this does at least give the hotel staff the opportunity to address these at the time, rather than guests waiting until they have left their hotel, escalating what may have been a minor issue into a complaint. Our only niggles were that one of our beds squeaked a little (we mentioned it but it wasn't a big issue to us) and the neighbours seemed to be holding a door slamming contest (not something that the staff could have done anything about anyway!)
Our room was lovely - clean, with a pleasant view over the gardens and mountains. It had twin beds (most do) but the cleaner pushed them together for us and remade them with double bedding. There is a full size fridge (with mini bar but room for your own drinks), a safe (20TL to use), a TV (limited channels but it gets BBC World News and BBC Entertainment). There are chairs in the room and on the balcony. Wifi is available in the garden and in the reception area.
The saying that you can't please everybody may be true, but the Pia Bella certainly tries hard to satisfy as many different culinary tastes as possible. The breakfast buffet offers a wide choice of local breakfast dishes (cheeses, meat, olives, salad, fruit), as well as a small selection of popular cereals. There is natural yoghurt, both full fat and diet, fruit salad, dried fruits, nuts. There is also a wide array of little pastries (both sweet and savoury), white and wholemeal bread, and a selection of home made jams and local spreads such as tahini, chocolate halva (tastes a bit like Nutella!) and honey. If that wasn't enough, there is a hot buffet of boiled eggs, local sausages, etc, and a chef will cook eggs to order (fried, scrambled, omelettes, pancakes). There's coffee, tea (including a great selection of herbal and fruit teas) and fruit juices to wash it all down. The weather still being warm and sunny, breakfast could be taken outside on the terrace if desired.
In the evening there was again a good choice of dishes available - in principle you could eat as much as you liked and could have four courses: soup (served at the table) and the other courses to which you helped yourself: meze (lots of lovely local dishes of mixed salads and dips), a choice of three main courses (one usually pasta) with hot vegetables and a table full of salads, followed by a fantastic selection of desserts, all portioned small as so many people like to try a few, as well as fresh local fruit.
There was background music at dinner and some evenings there was live entertainment that started halfway through the evening. The bar area is small, but if it's warm enough there is ample space to sit in the comfy chairs and settees in the garden, or there are a couple of lounges - one off the dining room and one next to reception. In the day the pool areas are lovely places to relax and catch some sun. There's a bar in the garden area and plenty of sun loungers as well as chairs.
Walking into town in quite straightforward and it's interesting to do both day and evening. On a Saturday evening in November there was still a good atmosphere in town, with bars and cafes open. There are plenty of small shops to browse in during the day and plenty of cafes for drinks and lunch.
The weekly market is not in the main town - it's worth going to see what they sell (it's a locals market, not a tourist market) - and you might want to buy nuts and Turkish delight from the stalls there as well. There are many places to visit from Kyrenia and several coach/minibus tours can be booked from the hotel. We hired a car and did our exploring using that, allowing us to deviate from the itinerary. Nicosia isn't too far away and worth a visit - you can do a 2 hour walking tour free - meet at the tourist office at Kyrenia Gate at 10am. Take your passport and you can walk through to the Greek side of Nicosia - it's a real contrast from the North! Definitely go to the Karpaz peninsula if you have the chance - it's beautiful! And the three castles (St Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara) offer wonderful views. St Hilarion has facilities (e.g. cafe) but the other two don't. The Lefke area is also very lovely, with its lush vegetation and date palm trees.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pia Bella Hotel occupies an enviable location in Kyrenia, not in the town centre but just a brief walk from the historic harbour with its wide range of shops, bars and restaurants. Set on a 15,000 square meter site amid spacious, tranquil gardens, the Pia Bella prides itself on its highly professional staff and exceptional standards of service. All 162 guest rooms are comfortable furnished, with all mod cons. Hotel facilities include two sizeable outdoor swimming pools one with pool bar, Cafe Bella, plus indoor and terrace restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pia Bella Hotel
- Pia Bella Kyrenia