Nestled within the grassy hilltops of Latchi, Anassa Hotel stands as a beacon of Cypriot charm and tranquillity. A Mediterranean oasis designed in the style of a whitewashed Byzantine village, it’s easy to see how this five-star residence has been named as one of the best hotels in the world.
Family is very much at the heart of Anassa. Owned and run by the second generation of the Michaelides family, the hotel is famed for its idyllic setting, crystal-clear waters, vast gardens of olive groves and ultra-chic design.
As we began our journey towards Anassa, we were asked if we would prefer to take the quicker course or the more scenic route. Of course, we opted for the latter, of which took us on a beautiful voyage through the surrounding hills and mountains, abundant with the fruits of the land and offering breath-taking panoramic views. As we drew nearer to our destination, the sheer magnificence of the hotel came into focus.
After navigating the winding driveway, we were warmly welcomed from our car into the reception area. Our luggage was promptly whisked away as we were shown out onto the Amorosa terrace for some light refreshment. The beauty of the cascading, flower-filled gardens that surrounded us paired with the stunning views out across the Mediterranean Sea and beyond, were, by definition, sheer paradise.
If the Caprese and Greek salads brought to our table were anything to go by, it was evident that the food experience at Anassa was going to be sensational. The ingredients used at the hotel takes the concept of fresh food to a whole new level; rare Cypriot delicacies and cheeses are made on-site, herbs are grown within the grounds, and local honey is infused with flowers grown in the gardens.
I dragged myself away from the sun-soaked terrace in order to visit my room. Being guided through the hotel, I was able to truly appreciate the architecture and interiors that add to the serenity created at Anassa. Tiled floors, arched corridors and a neutral colour palette promote restfulness and relaxation, while flourishing courtyards with decorative fountains cultivate a sense tranquillity, lessening the divide between outside and indoors.
I would be residing in a studio suite with sea view during my stay. I stepped into the bright and airy space, welcomed by the sunlight streaming through from two French doors opposite me. A large double bed and two striped loungers sat facing the direction of the sea, while marbled floors and subtle Mediterranean-style decoration enhanced the laid-back feeling of the room. The marbled bathroom boasted a walk-in shower, large bath and plenty of Aqua di Parma toiletries for maximum pampering. The pièce de résistance was the step-out balcony – my own little slice of paradise with the most beautiful of sea views that stretched far beyond the lush green surroundings. Pure bliss.
The hotel itself has 166 low-rise rooms, suites and residences, all of which offer a relaxing, Mediterranean feel, as well as Joëlle Pléot designed furnishings handmade by local artisans. A choice of beautiful terraces, large plunge pools and exquisite views await – or there’s the option to treat yourself to one of four luxury villas, each providing a secluded utopia that verges on fantasy.
Anassa is world-renowned for its emphasis on wellbeing. The award-winning Thalassa Spa (from the Greek word for sea) takes inspiration from the restorative and healing qualities of the maritime climate, seawater, and marine derivatives. The spa itself is a haven of calm, with special facilities such as a saltwater exercise pool, squash court, steam baths and a Roman-style indoor pool.
To my excitement, I was told that I would be treated to a 90-minute signature facial with singing bowls. Having recently partnered with natural skincare brand, Tata Harper, I was one of the first people to try the treatment. Using 100% natural, organic and cruelty-free products, I was transported to what felt like another dimension through the expert skills of my therapist. A particular highlight was when warm, organic honey was layered onto my face, and as it touched my lips I was encouraged to enjoy the sweet-tasting nectar, fully utilising its numerous benefits.
During our stay we were treated to brunch with Kai Laus, the Director of Spa at Tata Harper, who’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the brand was infectious. As we sat on the Sunset Terrace overlooking the crystal blue sea, we were able to chat further about the philosophy behind the name, all whilst devouring plate after plate of healthy treats.
Each Tata Harper product has been lovingly made to a Complex Formula – this means packing the most ingredients at the highest levels of concentration to deliver maximum results, all without the use of synthetic chemicals. The emphasis on quality is extremely high; the brand only uses the very best organic ingredients from around the world on a seasonal basis. Talking to Kai, it was easy to see how Anassa was the obvious fit for a skincare brand such as Tata Harper, both championing maximum quality without compromise.
There are four main restaurants at Anassa; Pelagos – a shaded al fresco taverna specialising in Mediterranean flavours; Amphora – a chic dining room and sea-view terrace that serves local and international buffet breakfasts and à la carte selections; Helios – a stylish fine-dining restaurant serving contemporary French-Mediterranean dishes, and Basiliko – the romantic candlelit cavern specialising in gourmet Asian cuisine with a hint of the Mediterranean. We were lucky enough to dine at all four of these restaurants, with each one boasting its own selection of fresh produce, unique style and top-level cooking from renowned chefs.
A wine-tasting session with the hotel’s knowledgeable mixologist was a great introduction to Cypriot wine in all its forms, allowing us to learn more about the history of the land while exposing us to the very best that the island had to offer. A highly-recommended experience if you’re looking to expand your palette beyond the old favourites from France and Italy.
If the private beach, multiple pools and beautiful views aren’t enough to keep you entertained, the hotel also has its own luxury boutiques, stocking only the most coveted designer labels. An extensive watersports menu is provided in each room, offering everything from paddle-boarding and pedalo hire, to water-skiing and parasailing for the more adventurous guests. A boat trip to the sublime Blue Lagoon is a must if an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling and beautiful views is your cup of tea. An injection of culture can be obtained from the nearby city of Paphos, where you can discover ancient ruins of tombs, fortresses, theatres and villas at Paphos Archaeological Park.
By all accounts, Anassa is a sanctuary for the senses; the true taste of the Mediterranean, the breath-taking panoramic views that encircle the hotel, the sounds of birds chirping and of clear waters lashing against the beach, the smell of the surrounding garden in full bloom, and the feeling of the warm Cypriot sun beaming down from above. The final sense is the feeling that you have been wholly welcomed into the heart of Anassa, free to relax, recharge and bask in the joy of total serenity.