By invitation only, we felt privileged to have been invited to their first overseas top Agent awards trip to Cyprus. This was in recognition for Ventur Luxury Travel’s sales for 2022 after tripling our turnover against pre-pandemic sales. As we were up against the larger independent agents such as Hays/Millington Travel and then the smaller independents that had several agencies, we didn’t quite bring home a top agent Oscar!
Hosted by CEO of Classic, Andy Freeth and the wonderful Classic Team, they have really grown over the years as a tour operator supporting agents along the way, offering a fantastic worldwide product to our clients. We were also lucky to have the presence of a multi-Gold medal winning Equestrian Paralympian Sir Lee Pearson, who was very much a part of the group, mingling with everyone and giving up his time to relay his very interesting and inspiring life story.
Over the course of 4 days , the full group of 170 delegates were treated to presentation’s, suppliers roadshow, city tour, hotel experiences, the awards dinner itself, whilst allowing us some freedom to soak up our beautiful surroundings. There were many suppliers in attendance for the roadshow, too many to mention (26!) with short presentations of their mostly Med based luxury resorts such as Ikos luxury, Sani luxury and AMResorts to name a few.
Constantinou Bros Hotels – our main hosts for our stay, offering all-inclusive 4/5* properties and all located in Paphos.
- 4* Athena Beach Hotel, 2 nights stay. Large sea front hotel catering for all, 2.5kms leisurely stroll to Paphos Harbour via the flat coastal path. Fabulous grounds and leisure facilities, with kids club, tennis courts, spa, some swim up rooms and some with their own small pool. Quite traditional in style, but service and facilities more than make up for the style.
- 4* Royal Athena Beach, 2 nights. Smaller property, more relaxed vibe as an adults only property, sea front, around 1.5kms to the centre, so shops, restaurants, bars are closer. Although similar in style, little more modern and again has great facilities
- 5* Assimina Suites Hotel – visited. Adults only elegant seafront luxury modern property all rooms are a range of spacious suites, some with their own pool. Set in a quieter location and the furthest out, yet Paphos Harbour can still be reached on foot, approx 25 mins. Renowned for high standards of service.
- 5* The Annabelle ( not part of Constantinou Bros) – visited just the public areas for cocktail evening. Located much closer to the harbour and centre with a range of shops, restaurants close by. You can definitely feel this is one of the higher class 5* properties as soon as you walk in. More contemporary luxury and caters for families, couples with a great kids club/Spa – part of the Thanos properties that include the 5* Alymra and 5* Anassa
- We were all offered a City tour of Paphos and the surroundings areas for several hours. Paphos area is steeped in history so plenty of sights to visit including the famous Roman Mosaics, their Archaeological park, The Tombs of the Kings. We visited the ruins of a rustic 13th century church set near the city centre. We also visited a traditional family house in a sleepy hillside village, with a presentation on Halloumi/Ricotta/Bread making. Visiting or staying in the stunning Troodos mountains is a must, as it is only around an hour from Paphos and feels more like the authentic Cyprus. The old rustic village of Omodos is recommended and visit one of the many family boutique wineries. Segway tours are also a popular fun way to get around.
Paphos is a great base for relaxation and exploring what the area has to offer. It can be a great place in the winter months, if you don’t like it too hot. If the sun is shining it can be a pleasant 21/22c, as it was for us. There are some fabulous hotels for all budgets and some interesting sights to see. Paphos has a rocky coastline with the odd patch of manmade beach, however if a stunning beach is of importance, Paphos is not the place. There is a small promenade close to the harbour connected by the coastal path with a selection of shops, restaurants and bars or more, further into the town. It’s a mismatch of buildings, so it may not be the prettiest town in parts, however it certainly makes up for it in other ways.
All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and very well organised trip by Classic Holidays and their team – a testament to their quality product. Check out their website: www.Classic-collection.co.uk
Senior Travel Advisor
Ventur Luxury Travel