If you’re looking for winter sun less than 5 hours away from the UK, The 5 star adult-only hotel The Ivi Mare in Paphos, Cyprus is an excellent choice.
Paphos itself on the South-west coast of Cyprus is a tourist hot spot, but in the quieter months, you can expect a much more relaxed vibe, and in our opinion, it’s the very best time to visit with temperatures on this popular Mediterranean island in the low to mid 20’s.
From the moment you step through the doors at Ivi Mare (which belongs to the Louis Hotels collection with properties throughout Greece and Cyprus), you feel a sense of calm. The welcoming staff present us with cold rose-scented towels as we check in, creating an immediate feeling of luxury and hospitality. The art-deco lobby, adorned with hanging foliage and boasting plush velvet sofas in calming shades of green and blue, sets the tone for a tranquil stay with stunning views out to sea.
This relaxing vibe at The Ivi Mare continues through to the hotel rooms with our third floor bedroom decorated with a colour palette of pale blues, greys, and greens. With a minimalist design throughout accentuated by drop lighting and clean lines, we loved the white marble bathroom, featuring a window (with blind!) for an added sense of space. Our room also benefitted from a balcony out over the front – be sure to ask for a pool and sea view if there’s availability as the view is spectacular! Fresh flowers and a welcome gift were thoughtful touches which made us feel that the hotel was just a little bit more special than the average.
The Ivi Mare is an all inclusive hotel with an excellent set up for ordering food and drinks or reserving restaurants. The Exclusivi app can easily be downloaded onto your phone and we used this all day every day throughout the duration of our stay. We especially loved the table service in the Mirrors Bar at night – selecting from the menu via our phones eradicated the need to wait at the bar. The cocktails in particular were amazing with so much choice and some excellent mixology skills from the bartenders.
With so many different restaurants to experience during our time at Ivi Mare, we enjoyed sampling and embracing several cuisines. The Greek restaurant Alati showcased a 5 course set menu featuring saganaki and veggie moussaka. The saganaki – a combo of crisp pastry feta, with a pomegranate lattice of honey and nuts was divine, while the moussaka was filled with rich tomato sauce and velvety creamy cheese. We loved the open kitchen and the traditional tiles and interiors, and the added bonus was that it was warm enough to dine al fresco while listening to the live singers.
Another of our favourites was the The Fiki Japanese restaurant – a sophisticated dining experience with another set menu -this one offering a diverse selection ranging from chunky fresh fillets of salmon and teriyaki sauce, dumplings, crispy spring rolls and chicken cashew packed with nuts. The service here is incredibly prompt, but if you’re after a more relaxed experience, just ask the waiter.
While all all-inclusive resorts have a main restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (a different theme each evening), I find that the food is never quite five star. Palettes restaurant at Ivi Mare however, is an exception and we loved everything we tried from shakashuka to the meat carvery, mini slider burgers, Greek leek sausages… even the salads hit the spot with a fantastic range of cheeses, meats, sauces and dressings.
Perhaps the stand-out feature at Ivi Mare is the expansive pool area set right by the sea. The luxurious lounger were as thick as our bedroom mattress, proving very hard to vacate once we were comfy! Again the Exclusivi App made it easy to order food and drinks to our loungers, making for a really relaxing experience. There’s also loungers on Ivi Mare’s own beach (just a few steps away) and we were delighted to discover the sea was still warm enough to swim in in November.
Indoors, there’s another pool in the spa area along with fully equipped gym. As soon as the sun set, a refreshing swim in this pool was just the tonic before getting ready for dinner in the evenings. While we didn’t indulge in any treatments during our stay at Ivi Mare, The Aegeo Spa is actually a Winner of the World Luxury Spa Awards, so you know you’re in safe hands!
The hotel’s proximity to the sea allowed for a refreshing swim, adding to the array of leisure activities available to guests. Overall, Ivi Mare offers a luxurious yet serene retreat, characterized by exceptional service, culinary excellence, and a dedication to creating unforgettable experiences. Whether indulging in spa treatments or enjoying the stunning views, this 5-star haven in Paphos, Cyprus, promises a stay that lingers in your memory long after departure.