In a prime spot on one of Cyprus’ favourite beaches, PAUL LAMBIS enjoys a hotel that focuses on customer needs

Building on the popularity of tourism in the area, Protaras has transformed into a large, modern destination with a wide range of hotels, apartments, villas, restaurants and related amenities. Although this bustling region of Cyprus manages to be a little quieter than neighbouring Ayia Napa and has less of a club scene, it is known for catering more to families and local tourism.

The Sunrise Pearl Hotel and Spa has scored an enviable spot on one of the area’s best beaches, meaning guests are only steps from the sand and a short stroll into a cluster of shops, supermarkets, tavernas, and cafés.

Aside from its central locale, the Sunrise Pearl Hotel and Spa ticks all the right boxes for a family or couple looking to stay within the hotel grounds and only explore as far as the Mediterranean.

The hotel really is a world of its own, with winding walkways that lead to manicured gardens, water features, on-site facilities, and countless swimming pools, one of which is for adults only. Although this hotel may initially appear to be enormous, visitors should not feel overwhelmed as a quick stroll around the grounds is all that is needed to get familiar with the surroundings, including the enchanting spa, well-equipped gym, indoor and outdoor recreational activities, multiple children’s facilities, cinema and interactive daytime activities to keep the kids entertained are located.

dom travel2“We have also given special attention to providing gastronomic delights,” hotel manager Panagiotis Triantafillides said. “These, along with the hotel’s contemporary chic accommodation suites, some of which even have access to their own swimming pool, are paramount to the overall guest experience at the hotel.”

The hotel’s culture is unquestionably centred around food, and my weekend visit only served to reinforce this. In addition to having a dinner buffet at the Waterfall Restaurant or in any of their speciality restaurants serving Greek, Italian, Asian, Brazilian and American cuisines, the Sunrise Pearl is renowned for its outstanding Fishbone Seafood Restaurant, which offers al fresco dining next to Protaras’ most idyllic beach.

But what is it about the Sunrise Pearl that makes it a landmark especially among the locals living in the area? According to Triantafillidis, the hotel has seen a lot of locals pass through its doors over the years, whether they were looking for temporary seasonal work or something more long-term.

“It was my dream to work here. Although the hotel has experienced some challenges since it first opened in 2012, at a time when the island was going through an economic recession and experiencing large falls in the tourism sector, it has managed to forge ahead to become a pioneering example in the area,” Triantafillides said.

Similar to the hotel’s persistent past and drive for success, Triantafillides also worked through the ranks beginning in Greece, then relocating to Cyprus where he worked as a waiter in Ayia Napa and Protaras. He then made his way into the bar business, food and beverage, restaurant management, and finally hotel management at the Sunrise Pearl in 2014.

dom travel3“I saw an ideal place in Protaras, as it is a resort of excellence much better than Greece in terms of facilities and organised beaches,” he told the Cyprus Mail. “The hospitality and politeness of Cypriots, particularly in the tourism sector, made me recognise that this would be the ideal environment for my personal growth.”

The Sunrise Pearl Hotel and Spa is one of the five hotels and resorts operated by the Sunrise Hotel Group in Protaras, and recently received the Travelife Gold certification for upholding high standards in environmental management.

“We also aim to promote a circular economy which encourages the reduction, reusage and recycling of products and materials, thereby lowering waste and pollution, and aiding in the regeneration of nature,” Triantafillidies said. “We work together with a variety of organisations in Cyprus that recycle waste from the hospitality sector and use it as fuel, energy, and even animal feed consumption.”

Triantafillides understands that more work needs to be done within the Cyprus hotel business as a whole, even though sustainable practices within the industry are becoming commonplace. However, for the time being, Triantafillides and his staff work to give a service that is second-to-none for guests, as is evident from check-in until the moment of departure.

“Everyone within the hotel has a pivotal role to play, and having started from the bottom and worked my way up, I am aware of what everyone needs to do to deliver on our promise of customer-centricity,” he added.

Exemplifying what genuine Cypriot hospitality is all about, it unmistakably has the aroma of a rich legacy that is not new to what it means to be a pioneer in five-star hospitality.