You’ve heard of adults only hotels – places where children are banned; left at home with gran, we assume. You probably know about the cruises and packages which reverse the roles (granny hands back the kids and sets off for a knee-cracking jaunt on the high seas). And then there are various resorts (cocktails and clubbing and brief encounters) aimed at the young and restless. But this latest venture targets a different demographic altogether – quite a topical one, in fact, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching… Couples.
The first couples-only hotel in Cyprus, the Amavi, is a purpose-built, 5-star resort that’s been three years in the making. Part of the Kanika Group (the Alexander the Great in Paphos, the Elias Beach in Limassol, and the Olympic Lagoon Resort in Ayia Napa), it’s set to launch by the end of March, opening its doors to locals, expats, travellers, holiday-makers, and honeymooners… as long as there are two of you (and you get along!), this could be your ultimate getaway.
Actually, let’s clarify. Despite the ‘couples only’ tagline, the hotel more properly falls under Kanika’s Made For Two brand. Which means that you could, says General Manager Gianluca Cugnetto, whisk your dear old mum away for a luxury break as a timely thank you for looking after the kiddies while you and your lover lived it large while away!
“As long as you’re 18 and over, any two people are welcome!” says this sparklingly dynamic Italian who is, himself, clearly behind the concept. “Bring your mum, bring a friend – the Amavi is all about the togetherness. The love!”
Even the name of the hotel itself bears out the idea of coupledom. Taken from the Latin phrase ‘veni, vidi, amavi’ (which translates as ‘I came, I saw, I loved’), the Amavi is billed as a place of “togetherness in whatever we do. It’s our mindset,” explains Gianluca, “to give our guests a memorable experience which will make them fall in love all over again…”
So what is it exactly that makes a couples’ hotel? After all, there are lots of places on the island which offer 5-star luxury, and a few that even make the distinction of adults only, so it’s clearly not just about the serenity of a Saturday/Sunday sans screaming offspring…
“Everything at the Amavi is designed with two in mind,” Gianluca reveals. “There’s a joyful atmosphere from the moment you arrive: intimate romantic corners, dreamy light-filled spaces, a host of perfect spots to view the sunset. In fact,” he continues, “you couldn’t get more romantic than this location!” Situated on the blue-flagged Poseidonos Beach, overlooking he harbour and the Paphos Mediaeval Castle, the Amavi has been designed so that every room has a sea view. There’s no messing about with ‘mountain’ or ‘inland’ or ‘side-sea’ views here; basically, you couldn’t avoid that glorious Mediterranean sunset if you tried!
The hotel also boasts, Gianluca reveals, what might possibly be the most romantic spot on the island: the Celestial Terrace. Above the rooftop Immenso restaurant, it’s described as “a jewel in the sky. I named it myself, it’s belissimo,” smiles Gianluca, his Italian ardour to the fore. “It’s in the middle of the sky, surrounded by stars. You can share a bottle of wine, eat dinner, even host a wedding: there’s simply no better place to celebrate togetherness!”
Speaking of dining, all four restaurants offer à la carte dining (courtesy of the Michelin-starred chef Theodor Falser) with dishes specially crafted for two. “The menus, the tables, the tasting selection, the whole dining experience – everything is made to be shared,” Gianluca explains. “It’s very intimate. Even our wedding venues” –the Celestial Terrace itself and the Selene Bar, both of which are being rapidly being booked up; take note if your nuptials are imminent! – “are designed to cater to small, intimate gatherings.”
The Spa is also designed with couples in mind. Treatments are designed for two (though you can, if you wish to preserve that air of mystery!) quite happily toddle off for an afternoon of solo beautification while your other half lounges by one of the three on-site pools, heads to the gym, or takes a turn on the tennis court.
“Coming from a background in luxury hotels,” says Gianluca, who has previously worked with the world-renowned Anantara Hotels Resorts and Spas in the Maldives, Buccament Bay in the isles of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the St Regis Hotel Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates, “I knew I wanted to introduce those personal touches that really stand out. Every detail has been crafted to enhance the made for two experience: even our slippers are specially designed! His are warm and cosy, Hers are open-toed in case you’ve just had a pedicure!”
There’s also a Love Box in each room (steer clear if you’re ‘just friends’!), a fanciful compendium of “playful pleasures for two.” And, should you have forgotten your toothbrush, there’s a dedicated service which will happily procure whatever you need – thereby, one imagines, stopping the old “You always forget something!” from developing into a full-blown marital ding dong.
“Everything here is dedicated to couples,” Gianluca concludes. “This is romance personified, and I’m very proud of my team for making it happen. We talk about togetherness for our guests, but it’s the togetherness of the staff that makes the Amavi stand out: everyone from our receptionists to our Master Sommelier has been recruited for their team spirit and the excellent attitude that makes this hotel unique. As a whole, we’ve created a perfect, gorgeous machine designed to create memorable experiences for couples.”
It won’t be open in time for Valentine’s Day this year but the Amavi is clearly the perfect year-round getaway for those in love. And, should you visit with a friend, be prepared for the romance to kick in – a stay here might just be as potent as a love spell. In fact, should romance be the last thing on your mind, you’re probably only safe with your mother!
Alix Norman is a freelance writer and editor based in Cyprus. For more information on her work visit www.alixnorman.com
The couples-only Amavi Hotel, Paphos, opens at the end of March. For more information visit www.amavihotel.com