May 04, 2009

Aphrodite is said to have emerged off the shore near Paphos, on Cyprus's west coast. Now that bay has given birth to another goddess, the Almyra, formerly the historic Paphos Beach Hotel. Renamed after a $10 million makeover by the owners of nearby Anassa, the 190-room resort fuses a Le Corbusier aesthetic with the whitewashed lines of Santorini. But its main inspiration is the water. The lobby has panoramic views of the bay; guest room terraces overlook the sea; and the 20 open-plan Kyma (Greek for "Wave") suites stand right beside the surf. If you indulge at the hotel's Mosaics restaurant, compensate by strolling to two of the most revered archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, the 13th-century Castle of Paphos and the intricately tiled House of Dionysus, home to the mythical goddess of love's consort. The Almyra, Poseidonos Ave., Paphos, Cyprus; 800/337-4685 or 357-26/933-091; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $117.
—Eleni N. Gage

Almyra

Cyprus, a four-hour flight from London, has long been a favorite vacation spot of sun-seeking Europeans. And since the Greek part of the island joined the European Union, a flurry of stylish new hotels have opened. Among them is the recently revamped Almyra. Located in the western port town of Paphos and within walking distance of two of the most revered archaeological sites in the Mediterranean (the 13th-century Castle of Paphos and the intricately tiled House of Dionysus), the 158-room property has a minimalist décor, a slate-lined freshwater swimming pool, and a Mediterranean-Japanese fusion restaurant run by chef Rob Shipman, who was nabbed from London’s Nobu. It’s also a great place for families, proffering bedtime milk and cookies, children’s books in four languages, a dedicated children’s club and swimming pool, and even a selection of organic baby food.

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