Golden Arches Hotel

, Limassol, Cyprus
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Golden Arches Hotel

, Limassol
3 star

Rooms: 110

116, Amathous Ave. (9 km east of Limassol) ees P.O.Box 54104 - Limassol - 2093721 - Cyprus | 25322433
112 Traveller

Reviews - Golden Arches Hotel

4/10
A Budget Christmas
Submitted by: Steve in 31/12/05
  • Age Group:
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Retired
The following review entitled ‘A basic Christmas – All Inclusive' was written by a punter following their stay there over Christmas 2004. We read quite a few trying to suss out what we were heading for and felt that this one was by far the most extensive and objective of the bunch.
Our stay over this Christmas confirmed this as a good and fair report and did not justify writing a new review since nothing much has changed that could not be dealt with by a few amendments here and there. Suffice to say I remain grateful to the Author of last years review for sparing me the need to duplicate such excellent work. We booked through Travel Shop for an all-inclusive deal that gave the Hotel and Flights (with in-flight meals £12.50 each) travelling Wednesday to Wednesday 21 to 28 December from Stansted to Paphos. Why an all-inclusive deal didn't include transfers eludes me so we hired a car (a brand new Ford Focus) that ended up making all the difference. The total came to £450 each. The one thing missing from the otherwise excellent review below is the LIFTS so we'll cover that here. The lifts (2) are fierce. You have a sharp second to get in there before they catch you in their mechanical jaws. They do however have a motion sensor on the door about 1/3 of the way up, cover it with your hand and you shouldn't get caught. Otherwise it's difficult to describe the sensation but the following should hopefully equip you for surviving them :o) Apart from them being about the size of a small microwave and about as comfortable to stand up in, the doors are vicious. From the time of the 'ding' when they finally showed up it seemed like forever before the doors opened, then you had less than a nanosecond to cross the threshold before the doors slammed shut and jammed you in a pincer like grip. Also brace yourself for impact. When the lifts stop, they can make your knees buckle..!!
Anyway, read on; amendments/comments are bracketed.

BOOKING
Having decided to leave behind the bitter weather in the Midlands, we booked separate hotel and flights via globallatedeals.co.uk for our festive holiday in Cyprus. We paid £460 for the holiday including flights and hotel. This was to stay on an all-inclusive basis. The hotel doesn't advertise its all inclusive rates at the hotel, just the Half Board rates which in the middle of summer will cost you £48 per double room per night assuming 2 adults are staying.

WHAT THE HOTEL PROMISES
The travel agent's website linked us though to the hotel's website. Well, take a look for yourself…doesn't look to bad does it?

http://www.goldenarcheshotel.com/pages/facilities.htm

Situated in Amathus, 8 kilometres from Limassol, The Golden Arches Hotel looks just like the photos on its website. I've checked since we visited and I don't think the photos are at all misleading (many hotels employ a wee bit of airbrushing on their sites don't they! The only difference is that in the winter, the sea is greener and darker, and there is far less sun. Oh, and the pool isn't quite so crystal clear and squeaky clean (it was this year although no-one was using it!). Where the site mentions recently refurbished, this was in 1998 and some of the hotel has seen some wear and tear since then – it has been around five years! The other thing about winter bookings is that it's worth noting that not all services listed on the website will be available such a being served drinks poolside. The weather can be quite choppy but fairly mild however I wouldn't say you end up using the pool much at Christmas time anyway. So let's get down to specifics:

THE HOTEL SITE

The hotel is on the road rather than miles up a hill, nevertheless, if you don't like steep slopes you may find the driveway a bit of a nightmare. It is a good way of getting exercise but be careful with your hire car as you could easily catch the sump on its contours. The hotel doesn't have a big car park (there was additional space on a vacant next door lot this year although it wasn't necessary). You can get around 15 cars in it and this is something to remember. We were ok because it was a quiet time of year. I imagine it's a nightmare in the summer.

The hotel is not on the beach but you can get to it within minutes on foot. Here's a hint: The quickest way is to take a left turn out of the hotel, cross the road and look out for a watersports and beach sign at the left hand side of the Amathus Beach Hotel. The hotel has a swimming pool which was not clean when we arrived but a cleaner was spotted cleaning the filters on the last day of our stay. As I said this doesn't really ruin your stay. It is not a heated pool that is used all year by all accounts. Watch out as well if you have long hair – yes even you boys, you will not be allowed in the pool without a swimming cap (wasn't warm enough this year for the pool although we had some 20 deg. Days).

The swimming pool is surrounded by a tidy, well maintained pool area with plants in raised beds and patio furniture. There are also a lot of sunloungers. Another feature of this area is the collection of stray cats. They fuss around you and are very affectionate. It is best not to feed them even though they look very thin. They spend a lot of time sticking their paws into the bins hunting for food – or a it turned out for me, hunting through your handbag.

THE RECEPTION
Don't worry about immediately trying out your Cypriot talents, unless you are very keen, as the reception staff speak English. Hand over your booking documents and await being ‘Tagged' if you are all inclusive. A member of staff will attach a blue plastic strap around your wrist. This band is one of those that you get in hospital that you basically would have to break in order to take off. You will not be served inclusive food and drinks without it. They will charge you a Cypriot pound if you do lose or break it and you want a replacement. I kept mine on all holiday and it only became a pain when I had a shower as I kept catching myself on it! Also, take notice of any white pieces of paper they give you. They will give you a guide to how the all-inclusive package works and a note from the travel rep about the welcome meeting. We were given the Med Hotels rep. More on that later! The reception and lobby have spotless shiny floors and at Christmas, pretty lights decorate the glass entrance automatic sliding doors. The décor otherwise in the foyer is of late seventies early eighties brown colour schemes with lots of marbled and sculpted columns.

THE ROOMS
Don't be fooled by the scruffy corridors. I had a little panic until I opened my room door. This is no easy task in itself as the lock was a bit rattly and loose. Once you're in – another hint – put your key fob in the hole in the wall and all the lights will then work. That had us amused for a while. If you find the room is not warm enough you will need to pay to use the air conditioning unit at the reception (not so this year). We had twin beds. The bedding had obviously been well used over years and was a little tired but clean. The bed mattresses were a bit worn but perfectly comfortable (looks like they've invested in some new ones!). You don't get duvets, you get sheets and one pillow each. The telly had one English channel BBC World (and Eurosport). Other than that you can watch Russian, French and Cypriot TV and be confused by it all! The room was a good size with comfy chairs to sit on with a coffee table and a dressing table. The balcony was in the shade as the hotel is side on to the sun (don't know if that's just in winter!!). You look out onto the pool or out to the coast depending on which side you're on.

The en-suite bathroom was small but clean. The bathroom was not big enough for my partner really a he is six foot tall. Luckily for me I'm 5 foot 3 I could enjoy a bath. There seemed to be plenty of hot water until an influx of guests on Christmas eve who all obviously wanted baths after their flights. You have to get used to the foreign tap system of lifting the tap to increase power then turning it from left to right to adjust the temperature – it takes me ages to work it out everytime. Freebies wise you get two bars of soap (very small). I ended up buying some nice radox shower gel from the shop next door. Towels are provided and if you leave them in the ink the cleaners replace them everyday. The cleaners made our beds everyday and cleaned the bathroom. The wardrobe is spacious and there are load of drawers in the rooms. All the plugs are like UK ones so don't worry about adaptors.

In the room look out for the hotel guide and a directory for visitors which has a discount pass on the front. It is well worth reading all the stuff about the hotel a they have some odd ways of operating that you can overcome if you are aware of them! The Cypriots don't always realise that you might want to plan ahead so often you are left to assume what's going on!

FOOD
Breakfasts:
You have to get up early after your all-inclusive binge to enjoy this although it is a belter and a great hang over cure! Not particularly Greek but you get continental style or cooked on a hot buffet, toast and unlimited tea and coffee. The fried bread is superb. It's all finished by 10.00am.
(We didn't find the breakfasts that inspiring).
Snack menu (you have to go to the bar and request the menu to get these):
For those of you who get completely out of sync and need elevenses you get a hot junk food choice:
Hot dogs, Salads, Spaghetti Bolognese, jacket potatoes burgers, cold sandwiches. My partner didn't enjoy his burger but I had a hot dog on the last day there and it was lovely.

Lunches:
The snack menu expands at 12 to include pizza, toasted sarnies, grilled chicken or pork, and omelettes. I only had the jacket potato off this menu as or most of the holiday we had our lunch as a pack up which the hotel will prepare for you if you request it the night before you need it.

Pack ups:
You get a carrier bag with foil wrapped cold foods. Usually we had 3 rounds of sandwiches, one each of ham, cheese and spicy sausage, a piece of chicken, a hard-boiled egg, and a mini cucumber. We also used to ask for bottled water from the bar to take with us.

Evening Meals:
To find out what's for dinner each night look out for signs in the lifts, outside the restaurant or ask at reception. These menus aren't always accurate. The soup was very rarely anything other than minestrone! These are served on the hot buffet. You get pretty much the same every night only they put a different sauce with the meat. This is despite the fact that what is advertised is ‘Italian night' or ‘Greek night'. You find a table and the staff take your room number then you can serve yourself. The soup is usually nice. (The soup was the best part of the evening meal this time, good and various!) You get a nice salad too. The main course was quite repetitive after a few days. Roast potatoes, chips, moussaka, pasta and sauce, meat, sauce. The puddings were school dinnerish. Luminous trifle, angel delight sort of stuff, tinned fruit and pineapple upside down cake. The good thing is you can have as many plates full as you like (that's a GOOD thing?). Watch out for the overly keen waiters who swipe away your plates without you noticing when you've cleared it! (Didn't happen to us). Tip - just get another one from the plate warmer or insist that they get you one!!!

Having said that the meals are a bit repetitive, it is important to stress that all of the food was well cooked and there were no nasty surprises like uncooked meats or dodgy stomach bugs at the hotel. Food outside the hotel in the numerous local tavernas is cheap and more authentic and I'd think twice about going all-inclusive again in Cyprus. You can get a lovely 20 dish mixed meze for £13.00 Cypriot pounds at Kissos taverna just a short walk from the hotel. Also nearby are Greek, Italian and Chinese restaurants. You wouldn't be able to fit them all into one holiday. However, we needed to have a budget holiday and at least we didn't have to worry how much the food or drink was costing each day. If you ate out you were wasting your all-inclusive deal.

You do save a bit if you're a drinker and you are organised. The all-inclusive drinks finish at just before 11pm. The bar staff are very strict on this. They serve you smaller glasses of beer up until this point and charge quite random price after this because I suppose they imagine you're drunk. Drinks are cheap in the nearby pubs. Many have signs outside saying Beer, Espresso, Brandy Sours 50cents (50p in Cypriot pounds). There are pint pots for you to put your tips in for the staff. Some of them are a bit miserable because the say the hotel is understaffed and they are over worked. The drinks are local versions of the standard spirits such as vodka, Bacardi, Jack Daniels. You also get Carlsberg or Keo, which is a local beer that my partner quite liked. All spirits seem stronger than you might be used to and are served in generous measures so you get plastered! They often taste a little more like nail polish remover than I'd like. The bar closes at 1am. This can be disappointing so take a wonder over the other hotels for late drinks or tuck into your duty free back in your room!

CHRISTMAS GALA DINNER
This was held on Christmas eve. The hotel was full of locals and extra tables had been laid out. This time the Waiters were serving us…very slowly. They really didn't have enough staff or crockery for the crowd that had turned up. There were crackers on the tables so that helped to pass the ridiculous time between course. In addition we'd spotted a couple who looked astoundingly like Cliff Richard and Yoko Ono and we were coming up with sneaky ways to catch a photo of them without them noticing. So it was mushroom soup to start with. This was of the usual good soup standard. Next was Mushroom vol-u-vents with, guess what? What appeared to be Mushroom Soup inside. The Main course was pretty much what we'd come to expect. The usual roast potatoes, a piece of turkey, carrots and runner beans. No sprouts, (sprouts were on this year :o)) no stuffing, no gravy. We asked for gravy but got a gravy boat filled with guess what? More mushroom soup!!! The menu promised Cranberry Sauce (We thought this was a type of Cranberry sauce but have since discovered it is a mixed berry sauce) The taste test said it all. I turned to my partner and said “Oh my god, it's strawberry jam!!”. It was too late, they'd served it on top of the turkey. I got used to it. By the time we were served this main course it was 11pm and many guests at the back of the room had begun to be served their dessert. Dessert was a nice slice of Christmas cake with custard. This was followed by Baked Alaska where again they achieved the texture and taste only usually made possible only by dinner ladies. Luckily we'd had so much to drink while we were waiting for our meal that we didn't really care. By the end or the night my partner and his friends had jumped into the freezing pool at midnight and all the lads had drunk wine out of my shoes. Bizarre evening!!
(The Hotel was only 40% booked this year (it looked and felt more like 20%!) so crowding wasn't a problem, or service really).

WE DID GET SPROUTS
On Christmas Day and Boxing Day the hotel excelled itself and served us carvery of pork, turkey or beef, and, to our amazement gravy was on offer and sprouts!! I was over the moon!!
(Christmas Day just didn't feel like it; all the Hotel had on was an International Buffet starting 6.30 that turned out to be more of the same described above). We splashed out on a lobster lunch in Paphos.

CLIENTELE
At this time of year, a group of people affectionately known as ‘Saga Louts' take refuge from the cold, the stress and the boredom of the British winter. They range from very frail and quiet to very energetic and badly behaved (none of the latter this year!). We decided to spend our evenings getting wrecked with the latter! There were only a few couples of around our age but they weren't all inclusive and so weren't around at the hotel much. There were two couple with their babies and they were able to socialise together. Many of the couples however were 40+. You wouldn't think it important but at this time of year when on holiday it is nice to join with a group of people to share those british Christmas rituals with. We met a really nice retired couple who were ex-pats in Poros in Greece. They were up for all the drinking and mad behaviour we were. One of our favourite residents, Alan would get up and dance like a loon every night and really get everyone laughing with his shouting and rock and roll gestures – Come on!!! Many of the residents regularly spent their Christmases in Cyprus, and some came to the same hotel. I'd probably go to different resorts each time – even though I'd consider staying at this hotel again without the All Inclusive if I wasn't the kind of person who likes somewhere new each time. I think many folk as they get older prefer to find somewhere that suits them and stick with it. Some of the residents were in Cyprus to buy villas. The hotel is used by locals for functions. This can make the hotel very crowded. Will we were there, ex-refugees from Famagusta were having a reunion in the ballroom. All hotel guests were asked to take their dinner early and seating was sparse during the evening in the bar. (It was VERY quiet this year (the Hotel and the Amathus area generally), we travelled out every day and long lunches in different places became our saviour from what would have been mind boggling boredom). The main roads are excellent.

ENTERTAINMENT
The reps are available in the lobby at 9am. They obviously serve the older residents because us young uns' were never up that early. Well, in fact we caught our rep Dave once and it was really useful. He gave us maps and ideas for days off. You could also arrange car hire through him.

The hotel offers entertainment each evening in the bar. To see what's on look at the signs in the lifts or the sign near the main door. While were there they offered the following entertainment:
Bingo and Karaoke.
This was a well run night and far more fun than I thought it would be. The couple running it seemed to do a lot at the hotel including a book sale where I risked having to pay excess on the amount I bought! The couple in gongs while they wait for budding volunteers. I've included a blurred photo of me doing ‘Teardrops' after having enough dodgy vodka to have the courage! (not included here).
Bouzouki Greek Night.
This was my favourite night. A Cypriot man performed a few dodgy versions of song in the style of Margherita Pragatan – and yes he did do ‘Haaallow…izzit me yer lucckin' faur!”, that Lionel Richie classic but in a greek accent. After this he got out his Bouzouki Guitar and started playing Greek classic Zorba's dance and similar sounding songs. We all clapped along. He then encouraged a few women to stand up and he taught us a Greek dance. We made our way round the lobby doing a kind of Greek line dance round which got quicker and quicker as the musician sped up. It was great and I was ashamed to say that the older ladies faired much better fitness wise – I was completely out of breath.
Saxophone Night. (wasn't there this year (fortunately!))
A moody guy with his moody girlfriend perform songs from round the world. He was a good sax player but didn't speak or smile all night. She was very sexy tall, wore fab frocks but did tell us to be quiet as we were being very merry. Hmm. That's a good move when you're an entertainer. She took herself far too seriously! We kind of had a good time inspite of her!!

OTHER FACILITIES
You can use the internet on a PC in the lobby. You just put 50p (Cypriot) coins in the slot. You get 10 min for 50p.

There is a pool table, air hockey table and several arcade game in a sheltered area near the pool outside. The machines are covered in winter but if you ask at the bar they will uncover them and switch them on. (No-one out there this year).

OVERALL COMMENTS
It's a good hotel if you want somewhere clean and relaxing to stay that's well located for the beach. I would choose the B&B option with the occasional pack lunch if you're going places without facilities but generally Cyprus is full of fab little cafés – they're everywhere! You'll find the staff a little stand offish but the hotel is of a good standard. If you have a lot more of a budget I'd choose the Amathus Beach Hotel which is very swanky, does excellent food and is on the beach – it's around £200 a night!!! So you can see that the Golden Arches offers good value and entertainment. This leave you extra cash to spend in the brilliant range of local restaurants. In the summer this hotel is likely to be busy which will have a number of impacts – the lift will be busier, the staff may be crankier, there'll be very little hot water and there'll be no space in the car park! This hotel is has a bit of work to do before it can be classed as an excellent hotel e.g. Getting new beds, hiring more staff and developing it's cuisine to a higher standard with more variety. It wasn't an unpleasant stay at all but it's a hotel which you'd need to read reviews like mine to ensure you make the most of it and have the right expectations before choosing it. Also be warned we didn't hear great things about the hotel's self-catering apartments nearby which people referred to a the ‘chicken coup'. We weren't sure why. All in all, it served our basic purposes on our budget holiday.

Top Local Tips for Limassol

disabled hire a mobility scooter from freedom mobility,but be carefull where you try to cross the roads the pavements are for parking on

November Fairly decent weather for sunbathing round pool if you get up early enough as by 2pm things are particularly chilly and by 4pm, completely dark.

Transport Buses very regular and cheap

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Other names for Golden Arches Hotel

  • hotel golden arches
  • golden arches limassol
  • cyprus golden arches
  • Address: 116, Amathous Ave. (9 km east of Limassol) ees P.O.Box 54104 - Limassol - 2093721 - Cyprus
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