As you might have noticed, Sam and I love to travel. In fact, travelling is a major priority for us. So, when Jet2 very kindly contacted me to collaborate them, it was an easy decision! We chose St Raphael Resort in Cyprus for a host of reasons, but let me tell you about getting there first. In the meantime, see Jet 2 Flights to Cyprus for some great deals!
We’ve never flown with Jet2 before but it was a marvellous experience as soon as we arrived at the Airport. (see Flights from Bristol Airport.) I genuinely mean that; without being biased. The staff were warm and friendly (even at 6am!), it felt like the holiday had started early. Because let’s face it, the airport can be stressful. Sam will tell you; he’s had some holiday horrors in the past! But none here, cheers Jet2. You big, red beauty!
Collecting our boarding passes and checking our bags was a breeze and the nearly 5-hour flight went by smoothly with more lovely, welcoming staff on board and a nice lady who sat to me called Patricia, who was scared of flying but we kept her company. Honestly, it was the most pleasant journey we’ve ever had (again, I’m not obliged to say this. It’s the truth!). A speedy, private taxi transfer later, we arrived at the resort by late afternoon. And Trish, I hope you enjoyed your Grandson’s wedding! By the way, you can see more Paphos Hotels here.
I’ll be totally frank with you – my jaw nearly hit the immaculately glossy floor when we got to St Raphael’s Resort. There’s an air of sophistication as soon as you walk into the foyer. It’s grand, bright and airy with a gorgeous spa-like scent wafting through. A huge vase of beautiful flowers makes a lavish impression as does the six-story atrium ceiling with an enormous conical chandelier. It gave a serious WOW factor before we even checked in! Look at that magnificent, multi-coloured art too!
Glass elevators with wood details let guests look down on colourful planters and greenery below while the lounge area on one side looks like it came straight out of Architectural Digest. Spacious, luxurious and filled with elegant furnishings. Those stunning light fittings! Convinced? Just take a look at Package Holidays to Cyprus with Jet2holidays!
Outside, the manicured gardens are decorated with sculptures, ancient trees and loungers all the way to the beach. The modern resort looks out over the chic marina, while the glitzy yachts bob on the water. An attractive location, St Raphael’s is also by one of the largest Blue Flag accredited beaches and walking distance to shops, bars and restaurants. I needed a Pharmacy at one point and it took a mere five minutes to get there. Relief! We didn’t venture to the Limassol city centre but it’s only a 15-minute drive away. But if you can’t wait to shop, there are a few boutiques in the hotel lobby selling clothes, fine jewellery and souvenirs.
There are 272 guestrooms in the hotel and most of them have superb views over the Mediterranean Sea with a private balcony. Our room was large, clean and unpretentious combined with wood flooring and big windows with blackout curtains. There was a little vase of flowers and a plate of apples on arrival (nice touch!) with mod-cons such as tea, coffee, air-con, a flatscreen TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. The hairdryer was also decent (long-haired holidaymakers will understand) and there was plenty of wardrobe space, a roomy desk and a handy seating area, which held my suitcase and numerous pairs of shoes. The bathroom was great with a sink, shower/bath and even, bathrobes ready for the spa facilities. Great attention to detail!
The hotel offers so many amenities, I don’t know where to start! It is a very family-friendly hotel but as we went just after the Easter holidays, we had missed most of the half-term rush. However, the children who were there were very well-behaved! There is a Kid’s Club and a Games Room and a shaded baby pool.
There are two lagoon-like outdoor pools, surrounded by palm trees. One has a waterslide, leading into the kids section and the other has a swim-up bar, complete with a resident flamingo inflatable. Additionally, there’s a heated swimming pool under a glass conservatory, ideal for those wanting a more tranquil swim.
No need to worry about sunloungers either. There are PLENTY on the resort with parasols and there’s even a dedicated quiet area to sunbathe in peace. I’ve never seen that before and thought it was a brilliant idea. You can even head to the beach but to be honest, we were happy to stay at the Resort. Fresh towels are complementary as well!
For the active guests, there’s a timetable of activities to keep you going from volleyball to aerobics. Sam and I enjoyed a few rounds of table tennis in the arcade room after dinner. So much fun! The gym is worth noting. Most hotel gyms feel like an afterthought but this one is a great size, well-ventilated and has a variety of modern equipment, weights and cardio machines. As a keen gymgoer, I was thrilled with the high standard of St Raphael’s gym.
Now for award-winning Serenity Spa. A real asset! If you like chill out time, you will LOVE the spa. T offers a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and host of treatments with highly-trained, knowledgeable staff using organic and vegan products. There’s also a drinks area with a range of herbal teas and water to keep you hydrated. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a Unisex hair salon within the spa, offering everything from cuts to colouring.
You won’t need to go far at mealtimes at the Resort. With eight (that’s right, eight!) restaurants. They cover everything from authentic Greek dishes to authentic Thai and there is a raft of options for those with more specific dietary requirements or allergies.
The Captain’s Bar is perfect for light bites and drinks (I don’t drink but the cocktails looked nice!). We ate here when we arrived at the hotel – I had a platter and Sam had a burger. It hit the spot!
We had breakfast at the Octagon Restaurant and it was the best offering I’ve seen at any hotel I’ve ever been to. The choices were phenomenal from cereals to cold meats and cheeses to English breakfasts foods t pastries. I’d be in awe if it didn’t satisfy ANY appetite! I was in my element with the healthy options, I enjoyed oat milk porridge, chia pudding, fresh local fruit and turmeric tea or detox tea every day! How fab is the décor too? Love the accent teal and the wind-chimes! We ate both inside and on the terrace for al-fresco dining in the sunshine!
Sam’s favourite food is Thai so you can imagine his delight to discover the hotel has an amazing Thai restaurant. The Golden Monkey combines traditional Thai cuisine with sophisticated Thai architecture and artwork. The dishes were full of flavour, colour and textures and it was such an amazing experience that we went twice during our stay! I highly recommend the dumplings!
Sailor’s Rest is the resort’s flagship restaurant and it was probably my favourite. With wraparound windows, it has the most gorgeous view over the marina. It was so romantic and memorable eating our dinner as the sun set. The décor was very me with the pink chairs and greenery and the food was fantastic. I’d describe it as upmarket but not pretentious – think oysters, lobster and quality meats. We went here twice too, once for dinner and once for lunch.
The Palladium is the hotel’s buffet restaurant, with a theme every night. When we went it was Mexican night and I ate my weight in tacos. Yum! The restaurant has high-ceilings, crisp white tablecloths and hand-painted with Ancient Greek Gods making it another pleasant dining option.
There’s also Restaurant Dolce Vita for you Italian-seeking foodies, the open-air Alakati restaurant, which is open from mid-May as well as the Splash pool-side restaurant by the pool (great for snacks!) and Seashells, the beachside tavern. It’s all about healthy living at Seashells so expect salads, plant-based meals and juices. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open when we were there but I can imagine it’ll be open in the busy summer months.
Overall, I could write about this St Raphael Resort forever, as there’s so much to it. The beautiful setting bordering the marina, the swish rooms, the breath-taking views, the stunning décor, the unbelievable selection of dining options, the impressive spa and gym – I really could go on! The welcoming and friendly staff couldn’t do enough for you. They gave us a little seahorse decoration on departure and when left my glasses behind, I contacted them and they arrived within 4 days of being home!
Everything single aspect of the hotel is exceptional and, in my opinion, it sets a precedent for other resorts. Despite its size, it has a personal feel and we never felt a need to leave and explore elsewhere because there was more than enough to keep us there.
A class act from the front door, I urge everyone to go. Thank you ever so much Jet2 and St Raphael Resort!