Written on: 22/04/2006 by Hayley and Dave (5 reviews written)
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Pioneer Beach Hotel in Paphos in July 2004, and we had a wonderful holiday, which was largely due to the gorgeous hotel. The place is immaculately clean, with good facilities and friendly staff.
We stayed half board, and so had breakfast and evening meal at the Odysseus Restaurant. The food was very good; a choice of nine main meal options every night. Only downside to this is that they were very meat orientated, and I found it difficult to find vegetarian options. Two nights a week they have theme nights and move all the tables and chairs outside by the pool, with little candles everywhere. These nights are definitely a must. The pool lit up this like is gorgeous and everything feels magical.
For breakfast there was just as much choice as there was for evening meals, cake, cereal, fruit, toast, full English, the list goes on.
For lunch we ate at the pool-side restaurant, Regina. The food here is not so good, and mainly consists of chips, burgers and kebabs with a few cold sandwiches. The bread in Cyprus is quite hard, so the sandwiches are not too nice. Due to this we recommend eating in town where the food is excellent and much cheaper.
The pool side bar is a wonderful feature, which is shaded so you can cool off from the sun. Prices here are a little steep at £1.10 for a small coke.
Each day around 3pm is the hotel's strawberry festival, which is simply when the staff make fresh strawberries at £3.20. This is really popular, as they taste great, and you can choose from cream, ice cream, sauces etc.
Breakfast - 7am - 10am
Dinner - 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Lunch at the Regina starts at 12pm.
The pool was a real plus point to the hotel, as it is a nice size and super clean. We didn't have any problems with having to get up early to reserves loungers either. We went out one morning and came back at 1pm, and there were free loungers directly at the pool's edge. This is because the hotel has nice gardens and the loungers here fill up first.
The hotel boasts good facilities, including a poolside darts board and pool table which takes 50cents. If you get any 50cents in your change and like playing pool then save them for it specifically, as the staff seem to be reluctant to give out 50cent pieces in return for £1 notes.
The hotel also has its own games room with a stripes and colours table, arcade games, and an internet point, which is good value, £1 will get you 12 minutes.
There is also a spa at the hotel including steam room, sauna and ice cold indoor pool (which is really refreshing if you start getting too hot outside). They also offer massages, and there's a salon. However, when we tried to use these, the hotel told us that they were understaffed and so no massages etc were on offer, but it meant we were able to use the sauna and steam rooms for free.
The hotel shop is situated on the ground floor and sells absolutely everything, but it is highly priced.
The private beach is beautiful and has a great sea breeze which keeps you cool. At 8pm we recommend going and sitting on the concrete pier thing by the watchman's tower, as the view of the sunset there is breath-taking.
The room itself had a number of facilities including a safe and telephone. These are reasonably priced at £3.50 for the safe for a week. We made a few phone calls to England and were expecting a large bill. However, it turns out five minutes is only £1.20. The hotel only offered twin rooms, no double beds. When we arrived we pushed the two beds together and the daily maids started making the beds as a double which was really helpful.
The town is about 2km away. We walked one day, which isn't too bad, but I don't recommend this if the heat gets to you. The number 11 and 15 buses go past the hotel every 10 minutes, and they are air conditioned. They take you straight into town. If you stay on the number 11 it will take you right up to the harbour where the market is. The market is amazing and should not be missed! Wood carvings, hand painted pots, hand sewn/weaved table clothes, everything! The buses cost just 50cents each, despite where you get off.
If you're a cat lover you'll really enjoy the hotel, as there are a few permanent guests who roam around the gardens getting fuss from everyone. They are very friendly, playful and will often lie under your sun lounger during the hotter hours.
We booked a few excursions through our rep, and we went on the Troodos Mountain Safari and the Catamaran cruise. These both cost £35 each, and they were amazing. We really enjoyed both. Just a note though, make sure your rep informs you of what you will be doing; ours didn't, which meant we missed out on a few things. For instance, on the safari you will visit a waterfall and therefore need a towel, possibly a change of clothing; also, you visit a monastery which requires both men and women to cover both your shoulders and knees to enter (luckily for us there was a man renting sarongs for £1, so we were still able to go in).
The catamaran was a superbly relaxing day out, but take some sea sickness pills. I've never been sea sick before, and although it was very smooth, 25 people were ill on the day we went. 14 were sick so badly that they were taken back to shore.
We booked this holiday with First Choice as a couple's holiday, as the hotel is adults only. However, the hotel is neighbour to its' sister hotel, which does allow children, and we found that some children would come over to use the facilities. Whilst we didn't mind this, some other guests did, and staff were asked to politely get the children to leave.
Overall the holiday was excellent, and the hotel cannot really be faulted. It supplies everything you need for a relaxing poolside break. We finished our A levels 4 days before we went, and so it was the perfect place to wind down.