There’s finally a chill in the air and it looks as though it may be time to get those jackets out from the back of the cupboard in anticipation of glorious wintry weather. And with the Christmas holidays approaching, there are some fabulous houses for rent, as well as hotels and B&Bs giving you the chance to relax and unwind. With plenty of gorgeous retreats to choose from, My Cyprus Insider has done the legwork for you, and scouted out the best rural escapes to delight you!
1. Ample Places, Lefkara
Fancy a whole house to yourself to enjoy with friends or family? What about a fab rural retreat that boasts all the modern comforts you could wish for with a super stylish interior that may make you want to set up base forever? Then look no further than Ample Places in the picturesque village of Lefkara – famed for its lace and silverware – designed to provide both comfort and aesthetic delight, with a choice of two houses (Monadiko and Polytimo) that provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy rural life at its best as traditional living meets contemporary finesse. With cool furniture, unusual art pieces and antique objects in the mix, there’s much to delight the discerning traveller.
Designed to really feel like a home away from home, raw edged simplicity and subtle luxury are what it’s all about at the two renovated traditional houses that provide plenty of space, with great living room areas for lazing, dining spaces for foodie indulgences and upstairs bedrooms for your night time shut eye. With Polytimo being the most spacious of the two, the choice is yours!
Where? Lefkara village, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 99-613771
2. Our House, Vavla
A small peaceful village on the foothills of the Troodos Mountains in the Larnaca district, Vavla, the tiny community of Vavla is home to the lovely ‘Our House’ B & B, built in the early 1900s and renovated with all traditional features intact. With three private double bedrooms (each with an en suite), there’s a central courtyard and barbeque area, making it ideal for a group of friends or large family to rent.
What makes each room special are all the antique furnishings and little touches that whisk you back in time, like the handmade crochet bedspreads. And don’t worry about feeling the winter chill; there’s underfloor heating to keep you warm! Step outside onto the open air patio and you can enjoy lovely village and mountain views. And when you call it a day, kick back in the traditional living room with the roaring fireplace set to put you to sleep in the most soothing fashion.
Where? Vavla Village, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 97 667198
3. Aristotelio Boutique Hotel, Pedoulas
This is a real gem of a place tucked away in the sleepy village of Pedoulas in the heart of the Marathassa Valley. Once a hotel in the early 1900s until 1940 (opened up by Aristotelis Papoute), the place was a hub of activity until its closure. Spotting its potential years later, a local couple decided to buy the building after their wedding over a decade ago, as they worked hard in the years that followed, renovating and restoring it to its former glory.
Having re-opened its doors last year, the Aristotelio Boutique Hotel oozes French country-chic charm and gorgeous rustic appeal as all things traditional are given a modern flair. With fireplaces in each and every bedroom (8 in total), the restaurant also exudes warmth with a roaring fire setting the atmosphere as you wine and dine. Ask for a room with a jacuzzi and you’ll be lost for words as you heat up on cold winter nights and really let the stress of the day, week and month, totally wash away!
Where? 10 Charalambou Epameinonda St, Pedoulas. Tel: (+357) 22-953334.
4. Arsorama, Arsos
Deep in Limassol’s beautiful winegrowing district, Arsos is actually one of the biggest wine producing villages of the area. And if you want to stay overnight somewhere rustic while you explore one of the most inspiring areas of the island, Arsorama should be right up your street.
A holiday home with four independent fully equipped apartments for two-four people all connected by a large central courtyard, the history of the place is fascinating in itself, with ladies in village once flocking to this courtyard to have a chat as they busied themselves with embroidery. Do take note of the stone oven in the yard, traditionally used for baking bread and flaounes (traditional Easter cheese pies) for Easter. Keep in mind that Arsorama also provides a fully equipped conference room for all types of seminars and conferences.
Where? Arsos, Limassol district. Tel: (+357) 25-817000
5. Lynos Inn, Kakopetria
One of the most popular villages in the Solea Valley, famed for its gorgeous old centre and restaurants dishing up the most divine trout, Linos Inn provides the perfect place to stay amid the stone built splendour and cobbled lanes that make the village so special.
A complex of traditional houses located throughout the old village of Kakopetria which have been beautifully restored and transformed into rustic little Agrotourism apartments for guests to spend the night in, each room is artfully decorated in the traditional old Cypriot village way, with four poster beds, wooden-beamed ceilings, fireplaces and Jacuzzis. The inn also has a wonderful restaurant and bar for guests and visitors, while on chilly winter days, guests can warm up in the hotel’s sauna.
Where? 34 Palea Kakopetria Street, Kakopetria, Troodos district. Tel: (+357) 22-923161
6. Oinoessa, Lofou
Fancy a cosy getaway in one of the prettiest villages on the island? Then make a beeline for Oinoessa Traditional Boutique Guest Houses tucked away in the picturesque village of Lofou. A complex of two luxurious stone built houses with deluxe studio apartments complete with their own kitchen area, a few boast their own fireplace complete with a homey living room area where you’ll certainly keep warm by the flames.
A building that dates back to the middle of the 18th century, all of the studios have been lovingly restored by local artisans alongside the family owners, keeping all original features intact with a great mix of local stone and wood. Large patio doors from the studio living rooms lead out into a tree lined courtyard for moments of relaxation and respite, while you can head out for a walk in the village and put your best foot forward through the maze of cobbled streets that tell tales of a rich winemaking history.
Where? Centre of Lofou village, Limassol district. Tel: (+357) 99-373371.
7. Lyhnos, Askas
A real haven in the very quiet village of Askas, visitors from near and far have descend on this little hotel to put their feet up in cosy but cool traditional style. Lyhnos is as cosy as it is quaint, with a history that dates back two hundred years. A gorgeous village house that was passed down through the generations, new rooms were recently added to what was one of the most well-known mansions in the villages.
Bought over in a state of abandonment while still exuding its past charm, it was restored with heaps of artistry, love and respect for the past, highlighting its architectural splendours. With modern amenities and streamlined contemporary furniture and décor mixing with tradition, you can take your pick from four rooms, three of which have fireplaces and cosy seating areas where you can indulge in moments of pure bliss.
Where? 1 Michael Koutsofta St, Askas, Pitsillia region. Tel: (+357) 22-642641.
8. Palatakia Village Houses, Kato Drys, Larnaca district
A relatively new kid on the block (or more correctly, in the village!) this gorgeous sanctuary oozes the chic kind of charm that will leave you wide eyed, catering to the needs of even the most discerning guest. A boutique agrotourism complex of restored traditional houses in the quaint and beautifully kept Kato Drys village, the four rural houses that make up the Palatakia Village Houses date back 300 years, transformed into rooms and studios.
The attention to detail can hardly go unnoticed at this place, with beautiful lighting around the complex, artwork by local artists adorning the walls of each room, and contemporary furniture adding a really modern touch. As old and new fuses in the most fabulous fashion, traditional stone exteriors give way to streamlined modern and chic interiors, that are both simple and yet still warm and welcoming.
Where? Kato Drys Village, Larnaca. Tel: (+357) 99-934807.
9. Casale Panayiotis, Kalopanayiotis
If the idea of a rural boutique mountain hotel decorated perfectly sounds like your cup of tea, then Casale Panayiotis deep in the Marathassa Valley is the perfect choice. The tasteful elegance and sophisticated rustic charm of this traditional complex of traditional houses transformed into a magnificent boutique hotel, guarantees that visitors will not only leave with a genuine taste of rural Cyprus; but with a luxuriously modern and opulent twist following recent renovations! Some rooms boast fireplaces and even, a Jacuzzi, with spectacular mountain views to leave you awe struck.
With the village of Kalopanayiotis having earned a reputation as one of the most brilliantly revamped villages on the island, there’s plenty of exploring to do and places to see. But if it’s just relaxation that you’re after, you may be tempted to stay in and enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the hotel and the panoramic views while indulging in a treatment at the highly acclaimed Myrianthousa spa. And with ample space for events and a restaurant that will leave the most die-hard foodies drooling, this gorgeous remote retreat is also a unique spot for weddings or conferences.
Where? 80 Markou Drakou St, Kalopanayiotis, Nicosia district. Tel: (+357) 22-952444
10. Apokryfo, Lofou
Hideaways don’t get much better than this. Apokryfo boutique accommodation is made up of a cluster of old stone houses painstakingly and beautifully renovated by a local architect and his interior designer wife, and once you get there, it won’t take you long to realise that it’s a real labour of love. Whether you want to cosy up with your partner in a room with a roaring fireplace, or fancy booking a whole house with friends and family, there’s something for every taste.
Awarded the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller Awards for ‘Best Traditional Hotel of Cyprus’, be sure to indulge in local delicacies at the hotel’s fabulous Agrino restaurant – dishing up a range of fancies that change with the season with an emphasis on delicious local produce. And when you’re ready to unleash the explorer in you, you’ll be pleased to know that the hotel is bang in the middle of the Limassol winegrowing district, surrounded by undulating vine terraces and plenty of boutique wineries and quaint cobblestone villages to explore.
Where? Lofou village, Limassol district. Tel: (357) 25-813777
Cover photo: Ample Places