There is a new-found interest in the contemporary. Among modern holidaymakers, the desire to experience a purity of accommodation can be an endless journey, a quest often left unfulfilled, a search for the place that will take your breath away. So many hotels offer the contemporary lifestyle by just putting down a wooden floor and bit of Wenge furniture.
A hotel I experienced this summer had the lot. Right from the moment you walk through the door, you know you are in a different sort of hotel.
It is as if upon entering you are stripped of your stress and all of it falls in a crumpled heap at your feet, to be swept away silently by some beautifully attired staff member who glides effortlessly across the white marble floors as the breeze of the Mediterranean flushes through the whole building.
So often in the past had I booked contemporary accommodation only to be left disappointed. The LONDA in Limassol in Cyprus changed all of that. The 68-bedroom hotel is located right on the seafront in the bustling main port of Cyprus, just a 30-minute drive from the airport at Paphos.
The hotel had been in the same location for decades, with thousands of loyal patrons returning year after year to experience the exceptional service and friendliness. But as more and more hotels opened around Limassol, suddenly the owners found that their hotel was no longer that unusual.
About seven or eight years ago, they found that they needed to make themselves even more distinctive from the other hotels. The owner called in the help of a top Italian designer to create a new experience -- so the entire place was ripped apart and a whole new experience was born.
The LONDA re-opened in 2005 following a multi-million pound refurbishment by Italian architectural and furniture design team Caruzzo Rancati Architects using Mauro Fabbro's lamp designs. Its unique style shows influences from the island's heritage and the Mediterranean. There is white marble, dark wood and ambient music from the likes of Enigma and Deep Forest to help you float away. Furnishings follow neutral shades and clean lines, while bedrooms are given vibrant accents of colour and texture. The pool area is divine and the pool-lounger cushions are positively the most comfortable you will ever experience.
The entire place exudes relaxation, so much so that in Limassol, it has become a place to be seen, a place for the cognoscenti to hang out discreetly, in the spacious bars, or around the beautiful pool. Especially popular is the renowned Caprice restaurant where the staff are beautifully attired in pinks, browns and cream linens. The service is unpretentious, the drinks are chilled and the buzz is hot. The minimalist interiors offer a cool airy space in which to eat and it is the perfect setting for Mediterranean cuisine served with a twist. The lobster pasta for instance is something to savour. The rooms are all cool and airy with marble floors and oodles of space. The design theme is consistent here, with influences from the sea, as well as Cypriot lace, antique filigree silver and wood.
Furnishings follow neutral shades and clean lines and bedrooms are given vibrant access of colour and texture. Limassol is easily reachable from Ireland through the many flights to Paphos or Larnaca airports. Ask your travel agent for details.
For more info on the LONDA check out www.LONDAhotel.com