Almyra Hotel, Poseidonos Ave 12, 26888700, PAPHOS
Mon-Sun lunch & dinner
Food: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Service: [rating:4] 4/5
Ambiance: [rating:4.5] 4.5/5
Tranquil, peaceful and calm are only a few of the feelings one can experience at Almyra Hotel in Paphos. Situated right on the beach with fantastic grounds including two swimming pools, sunbeds under the palm trees and an on-the-beach traditional “Ouzeri”*. For those who want to be part of a luxurious setting yet feel the tradition in a breath-taking setting, the “Ouzeri” is ideal.
The modern and minimalistic décor is evident all around the hotel, with the colours white and blue prevailing, creating a serene vibe enhanced by the fact that it is only meters away from the beach. Before one complains about the full of kids swimming pool area, one should walk further down to find a fantastic lawn with sunbeds under the palm trees and a second swimming pool (by the spa), with a no-children policy.
The “Ouzeri” where we had lunch, is towards the beach, with tables literally on top of the sea on a deck…the sea-view doesn’t get better than this! The number of tables is small, with 3-4 comfortable sofas by the restaurant “base” where it is slightly cooler, and around 10 tables on the deck. Apart from an evening drink or dinner, the “Ouzeri” is also open for lunch if you aren’t too hot to enjoy ouzo and fried calamari
The food is of Greek and Cypriot origin with a selection of small fish and meat dishes. When I say small I am not exaggerating, as the dish size is closer to tapas rather than the taverna dishes we are used to, so I would think 2-3 per person would do (something that I wish I had known when I was ordering). We opted for more fish dishes as it was more appropriate when dining at 2pm with your bathing suit, but didn’t hesitate to try a few of the my favourite Greek dishes like fried zucchini balls. The “choriatiki” (Greek salad) was fresh and tasty although definitely smaller than what we had expected (one every two people is ideal). The “tirokafteri” (spicy fetta dip) was excellent, slightly spicy and flavoursome but only if you like garlic as the taste of it was quite strong. The fried baby calamari was equally good with a crunchy texture on the outside and so were the fried zucchini balls which were served with yoghurt. I was really hoping to have the fried cheese pies as well as I remember they had been really good on our last visit but the restaurant had unfortunately stopped making them, probably because we were the only greedy people who had fried cheesepies in this Cyprus heat. The grilled octopus was surprisingly fresh, while the orzo with seafood, although not bad was my least favorite. I would have preferred it with prawns rather than mussels and calamari. The grilled “halloumi” that the very friendly waiter brought as an extra was melting hot and despite the fact that I wouldn’t think to order it as part of our seafood-oriented lunch, we devoured it in seconds.
The truth is, our order of one of each of the above dishes was not enough for 5 people, hence the soft pitta bread consumption on our table was rather high. Nevertheless, we did enjoy our lunch, and the fact that we didn’t leave stuffed was probably a good thing. I already have returned since my last visit, and will keep returning with the hope that I can soon enjoy the nibbles of the “Ouzeri” at night under the moon…a more romantic experience I would say. The price of 65€ for 5 people (less than 15€ each) that we paid including 3 beers was quite fair, especially for a luxury hotel. Note that we could have had a couple of more dishes but even then the price would have remained at fair levels.
*a type of traditional Greek taverna that serves “ouzo” -amongst other drinks, and nibbles (“meze”)