OK, we arrived late and it was over an hour transfer from Lanarka (last drop off and first pick up, I think it must be one of the more remote hotels) so I guess I was a little on the grumpy side but it seemed a little dismal at reception and not much better at the room. However.... I originally wrote this starting with the good but didnt want to end on a bad note so I rearranged, now though, you may stop before you get to the good, please dont... My first impressions were bad, but by the end I had warmed to the place, so I have written this review in the same way and hope it gives you a fair review...
THE BAD... We booked a 1 bed apartment so that if we wanted a late night we would not affect the kids.
On arrival at the apartment it was unbearably hot (even though it was almost midnight) and extremely humid so I immediately went back down to arrange aircon, 50 Euro a week? 100 for 2 weeks? really? and then to add insult to injury it only works in the bedroom (not the living area with the extra bed!) So back down stairs for a fan at 25 euro per week, 50 euro for 2! which still didnt make the room bearable enough to be slept in, so had to drag and squeeze the sofa bed into the bedroom and all sleep in one room!
There is absolutely no way you can leave the bedroom door open and aircon on when you are not in there as you are only given one key with a metal fob that has to be in place on the wall for the electricity to activate, so you just cannot cool the living room and maintain any privacy. So if you are thinking that a one bedroom apartment will give you two different sleeping areas, think again! The living room CANNOT be slept in without leaving the bedroom door open making the aircon MUCH less efficient.
Now on to the WiFi... the wifi in Protaras is great, virtually every pub and restaurant in the resorts of Pernera / Protaras / Ayai Napa offer it free... I am used to having to pay a surcharge to use wifi in your room, so when I priced it 25 euro per week / 50 per 2 weeks I didnt think much of it, seems reasonable enough? Except, there is NO wifi in the rooms, well not Platomare Wifi anyway (I will explain more in a sec) so the 25/50 euro is to access the Platomare Wifi in the communal areas ONLY... AND THEN... only ONE device can be connected at any one time, so either you sit downstairs alone, the rest of the family twiddle their thumbs (or watch Cypriot TV) until you finish refreshing and disconnect, then they have to wait another 10 minutes til the system realises that you have disconnected! Alternative you buy another voucher for the week(s) so another 25/50 per person.... Luckily (well, in our apartment) the Marlita apt wifi had excellent signal and you could get a week for 30 euro. So, just take into account, if you are holidaying with say two teenagers for two weeks, it is going to cost an extra 250 euro to have an apartment you can all sleep in and wifi access for their social networking activities, it may actually be worth paying that extra for a step up in hotel that provides free aircon and free wifi in communal areas!...
Minor negatives (they didnt worry us as we didnt stay in the hotel much) but... no kids club... no entertainment (except Bingo once a week)
My overall verdict, A good budget hotel but feel a little "ripped off" by the "optional extras".. Providing you know before hand you can make an informed decision, if you dont need the aircon or wifi or fan then it is a nice friendly hotel, lovely pool, not too far from basic amenities run by a lovely family with great staff. I really dont mean it to sound so negative, I was just a little disappointed, I dont mind paying, I just dont like feeling ripped off !
With some minor tweaksI would have given a 4/5 rating:
eg, include the aircon in the holiday price, for goodness sake, its 35-40+ degrees, who isnt going to need it? at least in peak season holidays when the temperature is consistently 30+, charging for the fan then doesnt seem so bad, even 30 euros for the fan as this really is an optional extra I suppose. Or at least provide the fan free of charge when a guest is paying 50euro a week for aircon that is only in one room!
Provide two keys so that if a guest pays for the Aircon, they can return to a cool living room / second bedroom, that way it actually becomes "fit for purpose" one double bedroom with a room that can be made into a temporary bedroom for other family members... without this the whole party has to share a room as NO ONE would be able to sleep in the heat of that living room even with a fan!
If the aircon had been on for an hour or so before arrival so the room was bearable would have made me less grumpy too, having been travelling with kids for over 12 hours, to walk into an overpoweringly hot reception, waiting for all passengers to check in to get into the tiniest lift ever whole family and luggage to be hit by that kind of heat when you open your apartment door makes you have a negative attitude straight off... you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
and as for the Wifi, for a couple of Euros for a router WIFI booster access would be available in the apartments... everyone expects to pay for WIFI in their rooms, I would have done this willingly (thats what I actually thought I had done!)
and the ability for the whole family to be online at the same time, I am sure not many people actually buy more than one weekly voucher so you wouldnt be losing much income by allowing more than one connection, even if it means giving more than one password! or if this is really an issue, a reduced rate for extra connections... 30euro a week + 5 euro a week for extra connections, the wifi itself is good quality, fast and stable so this would be totally acceptable for in-apartment access. If its a download issue, cap the download and add an extra charge if you want to exceed it... my lot only wanted to go on facebook and refresh the news app.
I just hate feeling like they scraped every penny they could out me. With the result, we ate and drunk elsewhere all holiday, in pubs and restaurants that had free (but slower and sometimes unstable) wifi just because we felt less "taken for a ride". Again, I do have to point out the wifi at the hotel was excellent, I would have spent far more time at the hotel, taken meals, spent time at the bar, spent the day at the pool with the kids coming in for snacks constantly, adults drinking all day if I didnt feel so ripped off and if everyone could get online at the same time.
OK, enough negativity because it really doesnt deserve to be left so negative...
Check in was nice and easy, We were allocated room A13, which had a great view of the pool and sea and a fair size balcony.
There were two hot plates, a kettle and fridge which for us is plenty as I dont come away to cook and the restaurant served breakfasts, snacks all day and Evening Meal menu (incl a Special of the Day which was always a Cypriot speciality like Kleftiko, Stiffado, Cream Chicken, Moussaka etc)
The room was clean and the maid visited everyday (we didnt usually need her as we have late starts while away, but she insisted we give her the rubbish bags and forced toilet paper upon us! so the essentials were always covered even if you dont want to be disturbed, this was perfect for us). Mid week, she sneaked in when we eventually went out and changed the bedding and towels (bless her for staying late to do this, we really didnt expect it. So 10/10 for the maid service!).
Great welcome meeting, extremely informative and helpful rep (as were all staff! I cannot praise the staff / owners enough on their friendliness & helpfulness, they really are lovely people as are most people in Cyprus).
The Rep arranged a hire car for us and got us 4 days for the price of 3, it was delivered to our hotel at the agreed time and we just left the key with reception the night before it was due back and didnt even get disturbed on collection. Including a tankful of petrol it came to less than 200 euro. You get given the car with a full tank and return it empty, fuel in Cyprus is even more expensive than UK so when they do it this way you dont pay the VAT. We used a little over half a tank in 4 days, so it will last you! if not there is a petrol station if you turn left onto the main road as you head from El Greco restaurant towards Paralimni. The car hire was a blessing and a curse lol... explore at your own pace, continual aircon, they drive on the left like the UK so if you have never driven abroad before its a great start. you will find more beaches and more likely see more of protaras / pernera and ayai napa, however after looking at a map and discovering the Troodos mountains were over 2 hours away and you could not take the car to Famagusta (no insurance to cross into Northern territory) we decided to delay these two places until the car went back. By which time we ran out of opportunity!
Although the hotel wasnt that small, it seemed like all the guests got to know one another almost immediately and everyone sat and chatted with everyone else. This made it feel "safe" I was happy for my 11 yr old to wander the grounds. He left the key in the room one day, once he realised, a simple visit to reception, they immediately gave me the spare, only for me to get to the room to discover I didnt need it as he had left the door wide open, laptop, wallet, ipad etc etc on table in full view. I explained when I returned to the desk that I was astonished that everything was where he left it and she simply said "thats Cyprus"... how wonderful! if only in the uk eh?!
It is extremely friendly .... all the staff from the receptionists to the bar staff, Reps, owner & Family and beyond, it has a real family run feel I see why there are so many good reviews on here.
It is located about a 5 minute walk to some shops, bars and restaurants and a lazy 20-30 min walk into Pernera full of bars, restaurants and shops.
They have milk & water in reception for the same price as the local shop so no need to drag it all back.
There is a lovely little beach 2 minutes walk away that has crystal clear water superb for snorkelling!
The country is lovely and so are the locals, the food is varied and delicious and the whole place (southern Cyprus - cannot comment on the North, didnt venture in.) feels extremely safe, no trouble or intimidation (and I did expect some when visiting Ayai Napa in the evenings!). Our last holiday was in Egypt and has left lasting scars lol, it was a delight to be able to window shop and peruse without pressure selling / begging / intimidation. It still has quite a British feel (right hand drive cars travelling on the left, 3 pin sockets, courtesy, no "you buy, you buy?" etc) but with the quaint, Mediterranean, Greek feel - Blue and whitewash beautiful properties, clean beaches, friendly locals, Cypriot food, almost zero crime rate - from coves and caves, towns full of history to one of the party capitals, Cyprus has the perfect combination really.
- Also Known As:
- Platomare Hotel Protaras