We took our son Harvey, nine months, to The Annabelle – a luxury hotel in Cyprus. Cyprus is a good option for late summer sun and is just a four-and-a-half-hour flight from London, so not too long to endure with a little one in tow. We booked direct with the hotel and our flights with easyJet, but there’s tour operator packages available.
The Annabelle is a 20-minute drive from Paphos Airport. The hotel team was put straight to the test when we arrived at midnight, somewhat dishevelled and with a tetchy baby. A bartender entertained Harvey as they whisked away our suitcases and pressed refreshing drinks into our hands. We soon had the holiday vibe!
Our packing was hugely reduced thanks to the Annabelle's Baby Go Lightly program, where you can pre-order items like nappies, wipes and food so they're ready for you on arrival. There was also a complimentary cot, play gym, toys and books, changing mat and steriliser in our room.
The bedrooms have cool, light interiors with large beds and dark curtains to ensure a good night’s sleep. Ours had a private garden terrace, so while Harvey slept, we could relax with a drink outside, still within hearing distance.
Days were spent lazing by the ginormous swimming pool while Harvey napped in his buggy in the shade. It was a short stagger to the sea to cool off, and after the initial outburst at the lower-than-expected water temperature, Harvey soon got into it.
The hotel food was varied and generally very good. Over the course of the week we tried the hotel’s four restaurants, from gourmet and candlelit to relaxed al fresco by the sea. Fresh purees for Harvey were made on demand and each day he dined on steamed veggies with poached fish or chicken, served in two huge dishes.
As guests of The Annabelle we also had access to the facilities of its sister hotel, the Almyra, which is next door. Here, there’s ramps everywhere making it very buggy-friendly, and I loved the shade pulled over the pool on hot days to keep the kids cool.
The kids’ clubs cater from four months old to teens.
For pampering time out from mummy duties, I headed to the adults-only Almyraspa which has indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and steam, tennis court, yoga deck, and gym. My Age Defying Facial was so good that the therapist had to wake me up.
The Annabelle is a short walk from Paphos town, which is quite tired in places but has a scenic harbour and medieval castle. There’s also lots of sports activities from parascending and jet skiing to bouncing around on one of those big yellow inflatables behind a speedboat.
We loved our time at the Annabelle which has a really homely feel. The decor is quite traditional and targeted at a slightly older audience, but that didn’t detract from our holiday. We’d definitely go back.