Exploring Cyprus – and the Columbia Beach five-star resort – with our children
Leo is sauntering airily through reception like he owns the place.
“He’s the leader here,” says the receptionist.
Leo’s a cat and at Columbia Beach you share your five-star stay with a few furry friends.
We even find one stealing our sun lounger. But you can’t blame the cats – this five-star resort in Cyprus is a fantastic place to be.
And the owner has helped rescue and look after the local feline population since the hotel opened 20 years ago.
Indeed, this is a resort where they look after everything down to the finest detail.
Crafted into the hillside overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea in Pissouri Bay – about halfway between Paphos and Limassol – Columbia Beach is an upmarket family favourite.
There are three main pools, two outdoor ones on either side of the resort and another good size indoor pool.
There are also two toddler pools, a pair of tennis courts, swings and The Den children’s club.
If you don’t fancy a sun lounger by either pool you can get one on a quiet lawn area or on the beach itself that the hotel is set on.
When the tide is high, the warm waters of the Med lap within a few metres as you relax.
(If you’d like more details and pictures of the hotel, read our article: We stay at Columbia Beach Resort – a beautiful five-star hotel in Cyprus).
The stony beach isn’t the most comfortable for children to play on but there is fun to be had skimming stones and walking along it – to the nearby village in one direction or – in the other – to the spectacular Cape Aspro hiking trail.
If you want to travel a little further, the popular Aphrodite’s Rock, reputed as the place where the Goddess emerged from the sea, is just a few miles away.
Or you could enjoy more Cypriot history at Kourion Amphitheatre and Kolossi Castle – both less than 30 minutes’ drive.
A similar journey gets you to the tourist hotspot of Paphos with the Tombs of the Kings archaeological site and the bustling harbour worth a visit.
More active families can enjoy the water park, Luna Park funfair or the zoo.
(For more details of family attractions read The best places to visit around Pafos/Paphos in Cyprus on a family holiday).
But it is hard to leave Columbia Beach Resort, especially in the evening.
We enjoyed all three restaurants on site. Fresh fish at Cape Aspro overlooking the sea, classic Cypriot meals at Apollo Taverna and fine dining at Bacchus.
There is a good children’s menu at all three (main courses around 10 euros) with pasta, pizza and more.
Adults are spoilt for choice – the food is divine. Similarly at breakfast with a large buffet and dishes cooked to order – we enjoyed the fresh pancakes every morning.
Despite its size, Columbia Beach doesn’t feel busy, there are only 169 suites and they are all large and spacious.
Our family suite was huge with two bathrooms, lounge, balcony and separate children’s bedroom. But even the standard rooms are a good size.
We didn’t want to leave. As we enjoyed our final meal in the warm evening air, our table of four became – temporarily – a table for five.
Yes, one of the Columbia Beach cats had come to say goodbye by nudging each of our legs in turn under the table.
No wonder the cats are happy here. Even for just a few days’ stay, we felt like the cats who had got the cream.
Now watch our exclusive video of the hotel here: