Tell us a bit about Columbia Beach Resort, its history and its ethos…
Columbia Beach Resort is an all-suite, five-star property situated on the 2km-long, Blue Flag-honoured Pissouri Bay, between the cities of Limassol and Paphos in Cyprus.
Drawing on its stunning backdrop of green mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Columbia Beach Resort is expressive of an understated luxury, with sincere service, quality, and guest experience prioritised above all else.
The Resort first opened its doors in 2002 and underwent a landmark metamorphosis in 2017. As it stands today, Columbia Beach Resort is home to 169 suites, the multi-award-winning Hébe Spa, a breath-taking 80-metre lagoon pool and dedicated family pool, a collection of refined restaurants serving gourmet Cypriot, Mediterr-Asian fusion and international fare, a children’s club and creche, a cycling centre and tennis courts, and – a unique feature attracting many a couple looking for a sensational wedding setting – our traditional All Saints Chapel.
Can you describe the Resort’s design and concept?
We are invariably proud of our heritage and – being tucked away along the coast of the traditional village of Pissouri – we are in a unique position to give guests the opportunity to experience Cyprus at its most authentic and luxurious.
As such, the low-rise Resort has been carefully sculpted into the landscape (to best assimilate with the natural environment), and draws heavily on the use of stone and wood accents, graceful arches, high ceilings, mosaic details, and warm earthen tones.
Best of all? The Resort cascades down the hillside, with every architectural opportunity taken to celebrate the unobstructed view of the stunning Mediterranean Sea and the distinct white cliffs of Pissouri Bay’s promontory, Cape Aspro.
What makes the Resort so special in your opinion and what makes the Resort stand out against others in Cyprus?
Without a doubt, Columbia Beach Resort’s team members are our biggest credit and distinguish us from other properties across the island.
Yes, our location, architecture, design, and portfolio of facilities are all also completely unique in Cyprus, but it is the vision and verve of our team members, the sincere want to create a lasting relationship with our guests, and the pride they feel in representing Columbia Beach Resort, that makes us stand out.
Can you tell us about your favourite highlights from in and around the Resort?
Where do I start? From hosting intimate weddings or themed dinners under the full moon for our guests, to our team members taking part in charity drives and projects (such as our Columbia Cat Care Project), or staging art exhibitions to celebrate and share the talent of local artists, Columbia Beach Resort has become a hub of the community. For me, this is the most valuable and enduring highlight: that Columbia Beach Resort has become a beacon of remarkable memories and unique experiences for so many people.
The Hébe Spa is award-winning – tell us about its accolade(s), the inspiration behind its name and what makes its offerings superior?
Hébe Spa is named after the Ancient Greek mythological goddess of eternal youth, and this inspiration underpins the experience we want to convey to our guests who visit our spa. It is a soft-lit sanctuary complete with an indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, relaxation areas, collection of treatment rooms (including a couple’s room), fully equipped gym, fitness studio and programme of classes, and squash court. Our spa therapists are highly trained and sensitive to each guests’ need to feel comfortable, and our extensive spa menu has been devised and developed in collaboration with some of the most distinguished brand names in the spa world, inclusive of Elemis and Valmont.
A place of rest and renewal, Hébe Spa allows guests to experience a renaissance of the self, both physically and spiritually, and we are honoured that our hard work in bringing these experiences to fruition has been honoured on so many occasions, most notably by the World Travel Awards and World Spa & Wellness Awards.
What other facilities/amenities/services does the Resort offer? Give us some details on these and what makes them special…
Our Resort is in the distinguished position of offering our guests a host of facilities and services to ensure a memorable stay packed with unique experiences. Whether a couple seeking peace and privacy or a travelling family looking for excitement and the opportunity to try new activities, Columbia Beach Resort is perfectly poised to cater to everyone.
Further to three swimming pools (two outdoor and one heated indoor), we have a children’s club and crèche (The Den Kids Club and Cub Life Crèche), as well as tennis courts and coaching, access to the island’s four world-class golf courses, an in-house bike centre run by former Swiss cycling champion Thomas Wegmüller, watersports, and more.
In terms of service, we are unfailing in our desire to cater to our guests’ wants and needs, and our Front Office Team is always on hand to help, whether that is facilitating car hire, dinner reservations, wine tours, or simply answering questions about the local area.
The Resort is located on the coast, which makes the beach a big drawcard. What other activities and attractions can guests look forward to in and around the Resort?
Columbia Beach Resort is located halfway between Limassol and Paphos. Limassol is a bustling, cosmopolitan hub brimming with restaurants, bars, shops, theatres, and the Fasouri Waterpark, which has the biggest wave pool in Europe. Paphos, meanwhile, is the island’s mythological and archaeological gem, having served as Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2017, with the entire centre of the town being a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its many archaeological monuments.
Of course, for those in search of a little history and culture, some of the island’s most impressive archaeological sites are a stone’s throw away from Columbia Beach Resort, with the nearby Kourion Amphitheatre making for an impressive day out. Theatre and musical productions of international acclaim are regularly hosted there during the summer months: an experience not to be missed!
Tell us more about Cyprus and the village of Pissouri – what makes this destination so unique and why should it be on travellers’ bucket lists?
On the cusp of three continents, Cyprus is a melting pot of cultures with a diverse and interesting history. Besides its near to year-round sunshine, the island was just this year recognised as having the cleanest bathing waters in Europe, and is also consistently ranked as one of the safest destinations worldwide, taking the 5th spot on the 2019 Global Peace List.
With its varied yet compact landscape, travellers could be skiing in the Troodos mountains in the morning and then swimming in the sea in the afternoon.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the island’s food. Cyprus’ cuisine is the culmination of an eclectic mix of influences, is always fresh, and is always plentiful. Our famed meze is as much about sampling different dishes as it is accessing the island’s Mediterranean lifestyle: enjoying good food amongst good company!
Indeed, the people of Cyprus are always warm and welcoming and will go out of their way to ensure that guests of the island are made to feel special.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on everyone’s lives, and is sure to effect the way travellers select their destination and accommodation. What steps has the Resort taken to ensure the utmost safety for guests?
On the advice of its medical advisory team, the Cyprus government acted quickly and decisively in response to the coronavirus crisis, by imposing a stringent lockdown and undertaking mass testing. On an island with a population of approximately 1 million, over 155,000 tests have been completed, with 994 confirmed cases (as of the end of June).
After a gradual lifting of restrictions, Columbia Beach Resort is once again able to welcome guests travelling to Cyprus, and we have spared nothing in ensuring that our guests feel safe and secure, and can feel comfortable to enjoy their holiday to the fullest despite the extraordinary circumstances.
Our in-house Health & Safety Manager has led the way in introducing exhaustive and detailed protocols for every area of the Resort in keeping with government directives pertaining to social distancing and hygiene, and congruent with the Association of Applied Hygiene (VAH). Moreover, all employees have been fully trained regarding COVID-19 symptoms, control measures, and in the use of personal protective equipment.
Full details are available via our website.
Above health and safety measures, what else do you think is the most important to guests when they book accommodation and how do you factor this into the Columbia Beach Resort experience?
I believe that trust is integral. Visiting a foreign country is an exciting experience but it also comes with a lot of unknowns. As a guest, being able to trust the accommodation that will host you – trust that the team will go above and beyond in tending to your needs, trust that your expectations will always be met if not surpassed, and trust that they will help and guide you should you need assistance – is vital to creating a positive experience.
We are immensely proud at Columbia Beach Resort of the relationship we nurture with our guests – some have been visiting us for decades! – and I think that trust is integral to this symbiotic success.
Tell us about the culinary offerings at the Resort. What can guests expect and what are some of the culinary delights?
Columbia Beach Resort’s culinary offerings are spearheaded by our Michelin-star trained Executive Chef, Ioannis Giakoumidis. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, we aspire to introduce guests to the full palate of Mediterranean cuisine.
Further to our Cypriot and Greek-inspired Apollo Tavern – a rustic setting overlooking the gardens and sea – guests are also invited to dine at Cape Aspro, our casual dining terrace with an uninterrupted view of Pissouri Bay, and Bacchus, our exclusive, gourmet Mediterr-Asian eatery.
Breakfasts are rich and plentiful, and celebrate local delights, such as halloumi, whilst we also regularly host themed dinner nights, such as al fresco barbecues.
Do you think it is important to champion local products and craftspeople? How is this reflected in the Resort and its dining offerings?
Absolutely, and – with Columbia Beach Resort being so integrated with the community – we take every opportunity to share the inspiration and produce of local suppliers, from the complimentary in-suite bottle of local wine gifted to each guest, to the locally produced preserves and honey served at breakfast.
Your Resort is family-friendly – tell us more about how the hotel caters for the little ones?
Sprawled across 75,000m² of land, Columbia Beach Resort is a haven for travelling families.
Parents can rest assured that children will be afforded the space to play and create in a safe, inspiring environment, with no shortage of activities to keep them occupied. Further to an array of family activities available (such as hiking and biking), The Den Kids Club and Cub Life Crèche allow parents a little quiet time for rest and relaxation, and children the chance to assert their independence.
Adjoining suites and our BabyEase list – key baby-related items that can be pre-ordered – complete the picture, making family travel at Columbia Beach Resort peaceful and pleasurable.
Any special offers or events coming up that we should know about?
We have a selection of packages and offers available when booking direct via our website, with each one designed around our experiential offerings, such as dining, spa, family breaks, or winter sun.
Visit Columbia Beach Resort Pissouri’s website to find out more and to book.