Finding a relaxing, family holiday destination can be a matter of pot luck. Researching can reduce the element of unknown, but you never quite know if it is going to suit you until you get there. For that reason, I thought I would share with you a little about the holiday we have recently returned from.
It is not the first time we have been to The King Jason hotel in Cyprus. We went during October half term last year too. We're far from the only return visitors. Most of the people you chat to around the pool have been at least once before. 2014 is it's 20th year of being open. Some people have clocked up over 60 visits over that time. Quite impressive hey!
What makes people return year after year? The welcome food and drink? I think in the case of The King Jason, it is the people. Andreas has been managing the hotel for all of it's 20 years and there isn't one day of the week where he doesn't pop in. Most of his senior staff have been working in the hotel since it's formation too - and they do not forget a face or room number!
The King Jason is ideal if you want a relaxing, sunny holiday where you can spend quality time as a family. There isn't a kids club or entertainment - but it is a welcome change. The staff love children which makes meal times much easier. There are so many different dishes to choose from and there is always something to suit fussy eaters.
The toddlers pool is brilliant for little ones. In fact, it's where I spent most of my holiday. It's a little chilly to get into, but the little ones don't seem to mind. There are 4 other pools. The main pool is close to the toddler pool. There is a hydrotherapy pool with exercise machines, hydrotherapy loungers and a large area to swim.
An inside pool and the new addition this year was the adults only elegance pool - as you can imagine, I didn't get to use it. There are plenty of sunbeds around all of the pools.
Below is a picture of the adults lounge area that leads onto the pool - relaxing haven!
The temperature in late October is perfect for little ones. It stayed at around 25c on the sunny days. We unfortunately had a fair amount of rain this year - but it had been a very hot and dry summer, so the locals were very glad to see it. The sun sets quite early in Cyprus. We like to walk into town at around 4pm to watch the sun set over the harbour.
Kato Paphos (where the harbour is) is very pretty, with lots of places to eat and drink. You can take boat trips from the harbour too. A few years back we brought the girls to Paphos in August. We went on a day boat trip - WOW was that hot!
Cyprus is a country with a long history. We decided to take a day away from the pool and visit some of the historical places. Our day trip took us to Aphrodite's rock,
Erimi Wine Museum, Curium Amphitheatre,
lunch in a tiny little tavern only accessible by foot,
a coffee shop located down a tiny lane and a beautiful little village called Omodos. We were able to taste and see the traditional Cypriot life. I wasn't sure if taking a 2 & 14 year old on a trip would be such a great idea, but they both loved it.
On the afternoon the rain wouldn't let up, we decided to take a walk to the new shopping centre, 5 minutes walk from the hotel. It was very much like any other shopping centre in the world with a KFC, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero, TGI Friday etc. The cinema was showing films in Greek and English - although I didn't feel the need to go to the cinema on holiday - but Little J loved McQueen!
The King Jason is ever changing. Andreas spoke about a new gym, a spa, the main pool is going to be changed and a pool bar installed over the winter months. I do worry that it is turning into an adults only destination, but after speaking to Maria, I feel more assured that when we return next October, we will still all be welcome. Family time is so precious, knowing we will be going to a place where we can maximise the time we have together, is so important to me.
We booked all-inclusive through First Choice. A lot of people book directly with the hotel. We are going to look at both ways for next year - although I do like the hassle free package holiday.