Sea spa: All-natural rituals at the Anassa hotel, Cyprus
by Simon Ward
Where is it?
Seven kilometres from the northwest tip of Cyprus and a short hop from the Akamas Peninsula National Park, the family-run, family-friendly Anassa Hotel dominates a chunk of pine-scented Med coastline. One of four Thanos-run hotels on the island (the others are in Paphos), its village-style layout incorporates dozens of villas dotted around the main building, a market square area suitable for wedding parties and even an ordained Christian church. Rooms range from studio and garden suites to three-bedroom villas with temperature-controlled terrace pools. And if you’ve got the ankle-biters in tow you’re at the right place: Anassa offers babysitting services, junior spa treatments, piano and tennis lessons and bedtime-friendly family buffets.
Why the hype?
With a promise of eternal youth to all who bathe in its waters, the Baths of Aphrodite are a couple of kilometres down the road, but for more tangible results we recommend a trip to Anassa’s Thalassa spa. Set around a grandiose Roman-style pool, it has 18 treatment rooms, saunas, steam baths, a seawater exercise pool, outdoor spa pool and a fitness area. Anassa recently teamed up with US beauty brand Tata Harper Skincare, whose range of products draw on more than 300 entirely natural ingredients. Tata Harper claims they are so free of nasties you can actually drink them – indeed, Anassa’s therapists like to wipe the creams and oils across clients’ mouths for an extra-sensory treat.
What to have?
Take a stroll through the orange and olive trees, fluttering butterflies and aromas of Mediterranean herbs to the treatment rooms and choose from an exhaustive range of massages, holistic treatments, “Anassa Rituals” and Thalassotherapies. We recommend the Cyprus Body Twist Ritual: a 75-minute indulgence that includes massage using warmed olive oil and heated lemons, exfoliation with carob syrup and raw sugar followed by an affusion shower pumped directly from sea to spa.
Where to refuel
If the spa’s edible ingredients leave you peckish, head to one of Anassa’s four restaurants which specialise in French-Mediterranean fine dining, exquisite seafood and al fresco taverna-style mezze dishes. We recommend Basiliko, a whitewashed crypt-style space that serves gourmet Asian cuisine with local flavours in its candlelit walled courtyard. Order the Brittany lobster with lime ponzu tempura followed by sticky rice dessert with vanilla, coconut and tropical fruit. For sundowners, the Armonia Bar & Terrace has a cellar stocked with Cypriot Chardonnays and Thispi reds, or grab a cocktail created by bar manager Takis Antoniou to complement the pastel-pink, swift-dotted sunset.
Best by boat
Drop anchor and tender in to Anassa’s stretch of Asprokremmos Beach at the end of Polis Bay. Alternatively, Latchi Harbour and Marina, with 350 berths for boats up to 20 metres, is just three kilometres away (a superyacht-friendly marina is currently in development just outside Paphos). For flyers, Paphos International Airport on the southwest coast is an hours’ drive away.