We visited the Sunrise Pearl from the 12 - 19 August 2012 for a family holiday. The holiday was booked half board and as a package with Thomson Holidays. We were aware of some issues with the hotel not being ready to accept guests in the early part of the season, however by the time we decided to book, the hotel had officially opened.
The transfer time from Larnaca airport is about 50 minutes by taxi, we arrived late in the evening at 23:40. If you are travelling by coach then the journey time will be longer, but probably more enjoyable and safer. The taxi driver was not safe.
On arrival we were greeted by a very pleasant member of the reception team who completed our check in process very efficiently. We were then shown to our rooms by an equally pleasant porter. We had booked 2 twin rooms with balcony and full sea view. I had e-mailed the hotel at the time of booking requesting adjacent rooms and was assured they would do their best to accommodate our request, which they did.
The hotel is located on the beach front in Protaras and is accessed off a busy road (particularly evenings) which forms part of the main entertainment strip in Protaras. The hotel is brand new for 2012 and has been built next to its sister hotel the Sunrise Beach on one side and the Vrissiana Hotel on the other. The beach is accessed directly from the hotel grounds and is sandy with very little tidal flow. The further out you go there are some rocks/reefs which provide some interesting snorkelling to see the fish. There is a water sports provider between the Vrissiana and the Sunrise Pearl with all the usual activities available. If you look on Google Earth the hotel has been built on the spare ground by the Vrissiana hotel. There are plenty of places to eat on the strip from the cheap and cheerful to the more expensive. There is a mini supermarket directly across the road for any essentials. There is a pleasant evening walk on a boardwalk that runs along the beach for some distance which is generally level with few steps.
The rooms we had were very comfortable and elegantly furnished. They were spacious with plenty of storage. Our rooms (822 and 823) were at the rear of the hotel overlooking the adult pool and beach. The view was superb. Not all rooms have a sea view and some have a very limited view. There were rooms behind us that looked at our room door and not a lot else. It would also appear that rooms with private pool do not have the sea views. There are also swim up rooms available. The shared pools for these are not large but if swim up rooms are your thing then they are ideal. We did try and book a swim up room, but as our daughter was only 14 we could not book one, the age is 16 years and older. After seeing the swim up rooms when we arrived it was not a big disappointment that we did not have one. When we arrived on a Sunday evening the main strip in Protaras was very busy and very noisy with very loud music coming from the many clubs and pubs. This was clearly audible throughout the outside areas of the hotel. However the rooms are well soundproofed and when our door was closed we could hear nothing. I have to say we were accommodated furthest away from the street and although I do not know, I am not so sure that rooms towards the front of the hotel would be as quiet. Housekeeping was generally good, however the evening turndown service did not happen every night and the shower gels and soaps were not replenished on two or three days. Some of the finishing touches in the rooms appear to have been rushed. Overall the accommodation is very good and the points raised are only minor. I would certainly recommend booking a sea view room, however if views are not your thing then you can save a little bit by opting for a room without the sea view.
The hotel has 3 restaurants, The Waterfall (breakfast and dinner), The Mistral (lunch), and the Fishbone (lunch and dinner). In addition guests on full or half board can also use the American Reef Grill in the Sunrise Beach hotel next door or a traditional Greek restaurant situated on the main street about 100 metres from the hotel. We experienced the Waterfall, Mistral and the American Grill. Without exception the food was excellent each time. Breakfast in the Waterfall catered for all tastes from salads, continentals to a full cooked breakfast, all fresh and very well presented. Dinner in the Waterfall was equally well presented with a varied and imaginative menu each evening. Chefs were always on hand to advise and where required freshly prepare and cook your choices. The Waterfall is the main restaurant for dinner if you are half or full board, and is mainly outdoors with a small indoor area. You have the option to eat at the Fishbone, the American Grill or the Greek if you wish to, but you are limited to 2 visits to these during your stay, at all other times you eat at the Waterfall. The waterfall has an evening dress code of smart casual (no shorts or sleeveless shirts) all the others are casual. This dress code was not applied consistently to all guests, with some being turned away to change, while others allowed to dine. This does need to be addressed by the hotel to ensure consistency and eliminate any potential for bad feeling. Another factor is that smoking is allowed during meal times and if you arrive for a meal and are sat next to someone who has just finished, you may well have to endure their after dinner cigarette with you meal. This may not be a problem for some, but coming from the UK and being Non-smokers it did detract from enjoying the meal. There is a smaller indoor dinning area where I presume smoking is not allowed but I do not know as we did not use it. The Mistral serves a typical lunch menu and is located by the pools. The American Grill as the name suggests has an American theme by name, but that is where the theme ends, it is essentially a sports bar with little atmosphere, you could be in any bar in the world there is nothing to distinguish it as an “American” bar. The food though is again excellent. Drinks with your meal are a little on the expensive side, but no more so than any other hotel. All drinks and meals can be charged to your room as you would expect, you sign the receipt and it is added to your bill. However you do not get a copy of the receipt so it is not easy to keep track of what you have spent, on two occasions we had been charged for drinks we had not had. So when we came to check out we queried a couple of items and in fairness the staff were very quick to address these issues, however if like other hotels you get a copy of your receipt it makes it a lot easier. Aside from the points mentioned above, dining at the Sunrise Pearl is superb and is only surpassed by the restaurant staff who cannot do enough for you and deserve special mention.
The hotel has its own spa offering a wide range of treatments which are at additional cost. We cannot comment on these as we did not make use of them.
The hotel has 5 pools. A children’s pool with a splash fountain, a main pool for all to use, a smaller pool which is adjacent to some elaborate sunbeds (look like four poster beds). Another pool with a swim up bar by the Mistral restaurant and an adults only pool. In addition the swim up rooms have their own shared pools which are not connected to the others. The pools are not large, but they never got really full. This may be down to the fact the beach is so close and people went there instead. A point I really liked was that you are allocated a sunbed by the pool staff on your arrival and it is yours for the duration of your stay, so there is no need to rush around in the mornings trying to claim one. There are no poor areas for the sun beds, they all get sun and all have parasols. Some are around the pools, some on a grassed area and those closer to the beach are on sand. There are more sunbeds than guests so there is always the option to change around if you feel the need to move, just speak with the pool staff. One downside may be if you are a large party you may not be able to get all your sunbeds next to each other. During the day the bar staff circulate around all the sunbeds to offer drinks and food which is then brought to you, there is also a delivery of fresh fruit and frozen towels which is a nice touch. There is a small shop selling papers, sun cream etc by the towel bar.
There is free Wireless Internet throughout the hotel, and it works well. There is a connecting path between the Sunrise Pearl and the Sunrise Beach, this does allow free passage between the 2 hotels and there is some evidence of Sunrise Beach guests using the newer pool facilities of the Sunrise Pearl. In addition there is also still a small problem with locals entering the hotel from the beach and using the facilities. This is not as bad as it has been in the past and the hotel is proactive in policing this. The Vrissiana hotel appears to have some form of mid afternoon disco or DJ resident in their grounds a couple of days a week. They use a not insignificant sound system which is clearly audible from the Sunrise Pearl and the music is a repetitive beat which lasts all afternoon, it is not overpowering, just annoying, unless of course you like that sort music.
On your day of checkout you can opt to extend your stay in your room from 12:00 until 18:00 provided it is not booked, and even if it is they will do their best to re-arrange bookings to accommodate you. If you wish to do this let them know early. There is a charge of 50 Euros for this. There is however an alternative, at no cost. There is small shower and changing room complex under the Mistral restaurant. It has fresh towels, lockers, showers and toilets. Leave your luggage in reception and use this complex during the day, as you are also allowed to keep your sunbeds until 19:00 on the day of your departure. As we had a 21:30 transfer to the airport this was ideal.
The Sunrise Pearl is a lovely hotel and is rated at 5 Star. A number of reviews have questioned its 5 Star status saying it is not quite there. I would disagree and say it is worthy of 5 stars but there are areas that would benefit from further improvement or a review of how they currently operate, to confirm its 5 star standing. It is new and there are inevitably going to be teething problems as the staff get to grips with a new building and working together. Given the positive and willing attitude of the staff I have no doubt that as time progresses these issues will disappear.
The positives for the hotel are its staff, food and beachfront location.
Areas for improvement (and these are only minor) would be more consistency with housekeeping. A review of smoking during mealtimes, or allocate a separate area. Ensure that the dress code for the Waterfall restaurant is applied with consistency. The issue of a customer copy of all receipts for drinks etc.
I would have no hesitation in staying at the Sunrise Pearl again; it was value for money and an enjoyable stay, I would however book a sea view room.
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