Pia Bella Hotel Review - 17 of 148 Reviews

Pia Bella Hotel Kyrenia North Cyprus

This is a hotel review for Pia Bella Hotel in Kyrenia, North Cyprus

“Bella Pia Bella”

Firstly I would like to thank the people of Kyrenia for their warm welcome, they were invariably helpful, polite and hospitable all of which contributed to a fantastic holiday.

The Journey

Flight to Larnaca (southern Cyprus)…uneventful and on time. Book the extra leg rooms seats if you can. Food… typical airplane rubbish, I don't know why they don't just serve fresh sandwiches.

I had arranged a transfer to Kyrenia privately with the Pia Bella at a cost of £45 …no taxi turned up. Having asked several local (Greek Cypriot) taxi drivers the cost for transfer from Larnaca to Kyrenia, 100 euro was the going rate (seems a bit more than the £45 the Turkish side were charging but that's the euro for you!!). Left with no option I had to pay the 100 euro. The moral of the story is if you book transfers directly with the Pia Bella make sure you have email confirmation in case it goes wrong (fortunately I did) and avoid countries with the euro.

The transfer was uneventful and about seventy five minutes.

The Hotel

Having done my homework and by choice being very keen to stay at the Pia Bella, I must say first impressions lived up to expectation. I spoke to reception about the transfer fiasco and was immediately offered breakfast whilst the duty manager was summoned and a discussion duly took place.

Having emailled my request a month earlier for a large pool view room I was a little disappointed to be shown into a well decorated, light, airy but small room in the annexe. Upon going to reception to organise my luggage I met Sarah ( this woman is at the heart of what makes the Pia Bella an excellent hotel, she is the one to see if things are not quite right) I mentioned I was disappointed with the room. Owing to the hotel messing up the taxi transfer Sarah immediately offered me several rooms as compensation including a King Suite which to be fair was excellent. Room 2109, this is definitely the block to be in for the better rooms. A big room with a large plasma TV, beautiful décor, double shower with steam room. Luxury.

The rooms have a hair drier and kettle.

The hotel has free internet and there are many internet cafes around.

Each morning at breakfast Sarah personally visits each table to ask if everything is ok and if she can be of help, most unusual for a hotel but most welcome. In fact almost all the staff were happy, smiling and helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them. I congratulate whoever is responsible for staff development and training. Moreover, there was always a high profile visible presence of the management, who likewise seemed to care that everything was as it should be. The owner visits the hotel every morning to see everything is ok.

The pools and surrounding areas are spotless and well maintained by low profile staff, the gardens are beautiful and very relaxing. The clientelle when we were there was almost exclusively English and of a more mature age…hardly any kids ..but it was term time so I don't know if this would change during school holidays.

The entertainment, well there was entertainment at the hotel most nights, singers etc (Sunday night is film night) but we prefer to explore and mix with the locals.

The hotel does have more Premiere football on than we get in England, though the TV channels in the room did not reflect the high proportion of English guests with only BBC World News and Prime being in English.

Breakfast was plentiful and varied, with an egg chef cooking eggs, pancakes, omlettes etc to order. We deliberately chose bed and breakfast in order to explore our surroundings and restaurants in the area, however we did have an evening meal at the hotel twice as it was recommended by so many people. On those two occasions the food was not as good as we expected, with vegetables being luke warm and the soup being extremely bland. It was however, very reasonably priced.

All in all the hotel is an excellent place to be and about a 15 minute walk to the harbour, the service and attention to guests needs are clearly at the heart of the hotel, everything was handled efficiently and the staff are a credit.The décor is beautiful and wherever you go there is a feeling of space and a calmness.

I would recommend the hotel to any and everyone…if you can get in….as it is still booked up as we reach the end of October which tells its own story.

Tips

Plugs are three pin like English plugs.

Buy a phone card and use in the phones on the way to town (out the hotel front..turn left..about 600m on the left) I bought a card for 15tl it had 400 credits and lasted till the end of the week…when I was ringing mobiles in England to use the credits up. These are the only public phones I found, however loads of internet cafes do cheap phone calls, 20 cents (8p) a minute to land lines.

Don't buy a pre paid sim card for your phone unless you are sure its unlocked, most UK phones are locked.

Ask the price of a taxi before getting in or ask them to use the meter..taxis are generally cheap, about 6tl to town from the hotel.

Domusses are a cheap way of travelling, they are white mini busses that pip as they pass, a few tl will get you a long way. Flag one down they will stop anywhere.

Car hire is cheap, you may be able to hire a car (they drive on our side of the road) for as little as £8-9 a day. The hotel can arrange.

It is very safe to walk around at night.

Eating and Drinking

Beer varies in price, a large beer may be as little as 3tl (£1.20) or as much as 7tl. Bars I can recommend are Molly's …go out of the bar of the hotel through the car park and turn right, 50m down the road is Molly's, if you like a game of pool or watching the footi in a different place this is where to be. Try some of the lesser known bars round the harbour back streets.Surprisingly beer prices do not seem to vary much even round the harbour. The hotel price is reasonable, a large beer is 5tl. Marti's bar on the harbour is ok as it is right on the quayside. The local beer is Efes..a bit like Stella.

We tried a number of recommended restaurants, undoubtedly head and shoulders above them all was Niasi's traditional Turkish food, I cannot fault any aspect of this place. Drinks, full menu etc will cost you about 70tl (£28) for two. You need to book..the hotel will do it for you, it is located opposite the Dome Hotel.

The Ambience restaurant is also excellent but is it a taxi ride away (10tl).

Several harbour restaurants we tried are good, the pick being Hrabour Delights.

The Blue Rose at the back of the hotel is English owned and provides excellent food though a little more expensive.

For a romantic meal get the hotel to book the Kybella at Bellapais, this is a village up in the mountains which has fantastic views over Kyrenia. Ask the hotel to book table 41 or 42 as these have the best position.The restaurant will come and pick you up and bring you back but beware…..they will only bring you back when THEY are ready…after waiting an hour I wished we had booked a taxi ourselves. I must also say that whilst the food was very good here (apart from the bland synthetic desserts) the service was poor unless you like staring at your finished plates for twenty minutes or so. It was reasonably priced.

Try a kebab in from one of the many kebab shops in the back streets, 5tl will get you a beautiful chicken kebab wrap with chillies and a yoghurt drink. The standards of hygiene are certainly comparable or better than ours!!

Trips

The half day round Nicosia (Lefkosa) is ok if you are a culture vulture, you can cross into the Greek side through the checkpoint…that is if you fancy a McDonalds or a beer at 6 euro a glass!!!

There are several boat trips available, we went on Sabrina II it was excellent, lovely food, relaxed atmosphere and a chance to sample the crystal clear Med.

Didn't do the Jeep trip so can't comment.

As with all holidays, we find it is the people who make them special and certainly the people we met in bars and restaurants were so friendly and genuine time spent with them added greatly to our enjoyment, so thanks to Hassan, Joe and Ahmet at Molly's Bar and to Gordon and Mickey for their company during our excellent holiday.

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Read Next Review: “fantastic hotel very relaxing

Read Previous Review: “Perfect location excellent food beautiful hotel lovely gardens and pool area,.

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Reviewer Details

  • Name: 1Englishman
  • Location: England
  • Review Date: Oct 25, 2009
  • Date of Stay: October 2009
  • Travelled With: Spouse

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