Driving along the winding road that led through the sprawling landscapes of Aphrodite Hills Resort, flanked by cliffs, grassy expanses and stylish properties, I couldn’t help but feel a bit like I was in a Desperate Housewives episode. The rich-living, clean architecture aesthetic had me fully expecting to find a topless gardener outside our door. Alas, it wasn’t to be…
My usual travel style is pretty much explore, explore, explore. I like to stroll around new cities, soak up some street art, sit in bars with big windows and people watch, and take in a free walking tour or two. It’s usually less a traditional ‘holiday’, and more a regimented mission to do, see and eat as much as humanly possible. So villa holidays in a resort aren’t necessarily what you’d expect me to be writing about.
But surprisingly, on a villa holiday in Cyprus with some of my Bangarang besties, it was actually the villa and resort that I enjoyed most of all.
An early arrival on Thursday meant we got to the villa by early afternoon. Making ourselves at home quickly, we made a beeline for the poolside – even though the sun, sadly, didn’t seem to want to make an appearance. Settling in, drinks were poured, games were played and I felt relaxation soaking its way into my bones.
Our villa was a ten person one – although we did struggle as one room had quite a small double bed. I made it mine, and took full control over the air conditioning and spread my mess all over the floor. I did feel sorry for the housekeeper that visited on Saturday…
Bright and early – okay, at 9.30am, but hey, it’s a holiday – on Friday morning, we made our way down to the resort’s sports centre to partake in a little exercise. Half of us were dressed for the occasion, and the other half…maybe not so much. I personally attired myself in a playsuit and trainers that I’ll refer to as ‘athl-emo’, but thankfully our laid-back tennis and golf demo sessions weren’t exactly akin to a gym workout.
Our sporting sessions were followed by a tour of some of the other accommodation options, from cosy apartments to luxury premium villas with infinity pools and hot tubs. Considering I’m usually bunked up in a hostel or budget hotel, it’s a world away from my usual accommodation – but who wouldn’t be happy staying somewhere as fancy as this?
Perhaps my favourite part of the whole trip, though, was sitting outside on our sun loungers, drinking, chatting and laughing until our stomachs ached. Wrapped in blankets because, yeah, we didn’t luck out with the sun very much. Pulling together a mezze of halloumi, feta salad, meats and pitta, all served up on the dining table and eaten on our laps around the sofa while we sipped Peach Bellinis and played Cards Against Humanity.
Our Cyprus villa holiday may not have made me want to cast aside my backpack, comfy trainers and frantic Googling of what to see next. But it was honestly a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be – and what’s even more surprising was that it was the resort aspect that I liked the most.
This wasn’t a holiday made for exploring, but one made for strengthening friendships, enjoying a slower pace, and sharing experiences. And for that? I can’t fault this short but sweet Cyprus adventure one bit.
Is a villa holiday something you’d consider? Or have you already been on one? Let me know in the comments!
*Our villa stay and resort activities were complimentary – all other travel costs my own.