You’ve seen it on our liqueur menu or listed as an ingredient in a specialty cocktail: It is masthiha, an alcoholic drink popular throughout the Mediterranean world. Mastiha is made from the resin of the mastic tree, a leafy evergreen that thrives in the summer-dry climate of the region—including on the scrubby hills of Cyprus. Cut the branch of a mastic bush and tear-shaped secretions of resin will form. The secretions harden, forming a pliant substance with a variety of medicinal uses (from ancient times it has been used as a chewing gum) and culinary applications (try mastic-flavoured ice cream!). The climate and soil conditions on the north-eastern Aegean island of Chios best support the commercial cultivation of mastic. After harvesting in June and July, Chians clean and sort the hardened resin. Distillers mix the mastic resin with high-quality alcohol and place it in a bronze alembic tank, where it is heated over a wood fire until it yields an aromatic extract. Then the extract is blended with sugar, mineral water, and more alcohol to create a balanced spirit. Chill a bottle and serve it on ice or as shots, before or after dinner. The taste of mastiha is complex, with slightly bitter notes of anise combining with sweet notes of mint; the aroma is reminiscent of a hike through the evergreens of the Akamas forest. This complexity explains why so many mixologists are experimenting with the liqueur today.
Most visitors to Cyprus come from a cooler climate—one where they have less exposure to the sun. Sun worshippers may enjoy its warmth and the prospect of a nice tan, but they rightly worry about sunburn and long-term damage to the skin. At Annabelle, the Ouranos Wellbeing Spa can help you nourish and protect your skin during your stay. Upon arrival, start your regimen with a full-body treatment: The Divine Duo Scrub and Massage removes dead skin, increases circulation, eliminates toxins, and evens out the skin’s texture. For ongoing protection from aging, add a daily application of a body lotion from the Ila, Osea, or QMS lines of skincare products. Next, ask your therapist for an analysis of your facial skin. Perhaps a light scrub with a combination of ground blackcurrant, Damask rose, and sandalwood is in order. Alternatively, a cleanse with jujoba beads and fig extract followed by application of a black algae mask will exfoliate your face and decongest pores. Or maybe you need a facial peel: Applying a solution of fruit acids and enzymes, we will dissolve dead skin cells and accelerate cellular regeneration, giving your face the maximum potential to absorb revitalizing serums and collagens. When you head out to the sea or pool, don’t forget to protect your skin with sunscreen! We carry Hampton Sun’s continuous mist sunscreen in a range of 4 to 50 SPF. We want you to return from your holiday with a healthy glow.
Did you ever wish you had instantaneous, 24/7 access to information about restaurant seating availability? Annabelle now offers this service through chatbot technology. A chatbot is an artificial intelligence programme that simulates human interaction. Text your query to the chatbot, and the programme will analyse it and answer you in a text message. The chatbot can advise on booking availability, answer customer service questions, book a table for you, or confirm or change a booked reservation. To initiate a booking, just type ‘BOOK’ in the restaurant’s chatbot and the process will begin. Annabelle hosts chatbots for seaside taverna Mediterraneo  and rooftop lounge and bar Ouranos . You can also review menus and find additional information about a restaurant through its chatbot. Of course, the chatbot will refer you to a live agent if it cannot answer your question—and we continue to take reservations over the telephone and in person. But with the prevalence of smartphone and online technology today, the chatbot offers a speedy and convenient alternative to making your dining plans. Thanos Hotels, Annabelle’s corporate parent, is the first hotel group in Cyprus to offer chatbot technology for restaurant reservations. Send us a text and see how it works!
Looking across its harbour, you might not think that Pafos is a good place for a golf vacation—but there are four excellent 18-hole courses within a 22 km radius. The closest is Elea Estate Golf Club. Just 7 kms away from Annabelle, this par 71 course was designed by Sir Nick Faldo and offers a challenging experience along with striking Mediterranean Sea views. Perched above Pafos some 14 kms away, Minthis Hills Golf Club affords panoramic views of the mountains and sea and a par 69 course following the undulating terrain of its site. The course at Secret Valley Golf Resort, 18 kms away, is par 72 and features hilltop tees and a floodlit three-hole loop for evening play. Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort has a golf academy as well as a par 71 course suitable for players at all skill levels. Given the wealth of golfing options nearby, Annabelle offers golf packages that include discounted room rates, green fees, and your choice among the four courses. After a round of golf, enjoy complimentary access to Annabelle’s Ouranos, where you can book a massage to relieve any muscle strain. Or simply head to the Byz bar for a classic cocktail and a friendly chat with your mates. You can find more information about our golf packages here.
Contact us for a custom rate quote and reservations at +357 26 885 090 or annabelle@thanoshotels.com.
Whilst you enjoy your sun-filled holiday by the sea, consider a visit to the Troodos Mountains—they provide a delightful contrast and can be sampled in a day trip by car. Rising some 2000 metres above sea level, the forested range is dotted with picturesque villages along with churches and monasteries from the Byzantine era. Begin your drive from Pafos on the southern coastal highway, then climb up through the Diarizos River Valley. The valley’s vineyards grow eighteen varieties of grape, with mavro predominant; you can sample the local wine at the Nelion Winery in Praitori. Your next stop might be Platres, the mountain resort town developed by the British in the nineteenth century and known for its hiking trails and colonial era architecture. Then you might head to a monastery. The largest and best known, Kykkos, affords panoramic views of the mountain range. A lovely alternative, though, sits in Kalopanagiotis village. Its Church of Agios Ioannis Lambaditis is nestled in a valley next to a rushing stream. Examine the intricate frescoes of the eleventh-century monastery and explore the adjacent Byzantine museum. Then take a stroll on the cobblestone streets of the neighbouring village, stopping for a bite to eat. Every season reveals something new in the Troodos Mountains—spring wildflowers, summer breezes, fall colours, and winter snow (and yes, it is possible to ski there). Whatever your destination, be sure to take a deep breath and take in the scenery around you.
A day spent lounging by the pool or sunning on the beach can easily include activities that require wearing more than a swimsuit, so it is important to plan how you will dress up your look. Start by checking out your swimwear, advises stylist Christos Christou of Kult boutiques: ‘If it is monochrome, choose a patterned top; if it is patterned, go with monochrome.’ In a cohesive style, the colour of the monochrome piece is present in the patterned one. Women should think about length and fabric when choosing a kaftan: a long, silk one creates a formal look appropriate for an evening cocktail, while a short, cotton cover is the right style for a casual lunch. A simple brown belt gives a loose kaftan a chic silhouette. Women’s shoes can range from casual flip flops to sophisticated leather sandals. For men, Christou’s advice is to ‘keep it simple’: Combine swimming trunks with a linen shirt and sandals or a polo shirt and espadrilles. Men’s swimming briefs should be covered with linen shorts or pants. Kult, which recently reopened its Annabelle shop after a complete remodel, stocks everything you need to style your swimwear—including sunglasses, bags, and hats. It includes Cypriot designer Lila Eugenie’s collection of women’s kaftans cut from a white Italian silk-cotton blend and embellished with traditional Cypriot lace. The shop carries a full complement of swimwear and accessories from top designer labels. Stop by and put together the perfect look for your day in the sun!