Travel Tips: Cyprus, Romantic Breaks and Where to Stay In Glasgow

Eduardo Souza 7 years ago 0



Why go? Don't let the images of binge-drinking Brits in Ayia Napa put you off Cyprus. In the far west of the island, the Akamas peninsula is a protected area of juniper and pine forests, rocky gorges and wild beaches where you're more likely to spot a loggerhead turtle than a Union Jack beach towel.


What to do The peninsula is criss-crossed by hiking and biking trails. Popular walks include the signposted Adonis and Aphrodite trails and the Avakas gorge where, if you're lucky, you'll see wild goats. Take a boat trip from Latchi harbour to snorkel in the crystalline waters of the Blue Lagoon. Look out for sea turtles on Lara Beach, a remote and untamed stretch of golden sand.


Where to stay The Aphrodite Beach Hotel is an unpretentious family-run hotel with sea-view rooms and its own taverna on a lovely beach. Tour operator Sunvil offers a week at the hotel with flights and car hire from £556pp


Where to eat Arsinoe Fish Tavern in Polis is the place to go for fresh seafood – the owner's father is a fisherman (3 Griva Digeni Street). For traditional Cypriot home cooking, the Sunday lunch buffet at the Paradisos Hills Hotel in Lysos is something of a local institution


Insider tip Sunvil rep Angela Richardson recommends a visit to Heaven on Earth Herbals in the beautiful village of Pano Akourdhalia: "It was set up by herbalist Caroline Evans to supply organic health products," she says. "You can relax in the herb gardens, visit the apothecary and enjoy a cup of herbal tea and slice of chilli and chocolate cake in the café. There's a monthly farmer's market and activities for children, too."


Dangerous liaisons: do we really want bed-and bondage romance breaks?

It's February and my inbox is under siege from the usual barrage of cloying Valentine's Day hotel offers. Normally these consist of hotels inviting us to "rekindle the romance" by stumping up for champagne and chocolates. But this year the ante has been upped with the arrival of the bed-and-bondage break. We're not talking Soho knocking-shops here, but respectable boutique hotels, such as the South Place Hotel in London, which has devised a Valentine's package consisting of champagne, truffles and a Love Box, complete with vibrator, PVC bondage tape and teasing feather "for torturous play"

A similarly alarming box of tricks is on offer for guests checking in at myhotel properties in Chelsea, Bloomsbury and Brighton between 7 and 17 February. The sex toys will be accompanied by a list of 25 "saucy assignments" should you run out of inspiration.


Last but not least, (and proving that Fifty Shades of Grey really does have a lot to answer for) couples can arrange for a discreet suitcase of "accessories" to be delivered to a handpicked selection of hotels ahead of their stay via "erotic gifting service" Box of Grey. Which is all well and good if you believe that passion is something that can be pre-booked – like a round of golf or a spa treatment. In reality, the things that make a "romantic weekend" memorable are very unlikely to be found on a room-service menu.


If you're a sports fan, head for... Glasgow, host of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup


easyHotel Having shut down last year after a shaky start, this city-centre hotel has been taken over by easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou (it was run by a franchise before) and reopens this weekend. The Ritz it ain't, but at these prices who's complaining? The usual no-frills price structure applies: you pay extra for housekeeping and breakfast, and the earlier you book, the cheaper the room.


citizenM hotel The futuristic "pod-style" bedrooms at this sleek, budget hotel err on the side of functional, but the public areas pack a real design punch. A red spiral staircase leads from the entrance to a first-floor "living room", which is kitted out in a bold palette of black, red and white, and features designer furniture by Vitra, Eames and Panton.


15 Glasgow Glasgow's desirable West End, this boutique b&b is a class act. The five spacious bedrooms in this handsome Victorian townhouse combine the best of traditional and modern: original fireplaces, cornicing and oak panelling sit alongside plasma screens, monsoon showers and divinely comfortable beds.


Blythswood Square Hotel This grand Georgian building was once home to the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, but has since been tastefully converted into one of the city's best five-star boltholes. What sets it apart from other luxury digs is its seriously cosseting spa, which offers an impressive treatment list using mostly Scottish products.


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