AMATHUS ISSUE 48
J U LY 2 0 1 2
A M AT H US HOTELS GO MOBILE! A look at the new app for mobile devices A ROYAL GARDEN Treasures and treats across the Amathus gardens GO L F ING HI T S OF PAPHOS Special features of the golf courses in the district CITADELS IN T HE SUN Tour the castles of Rhodes
Christy Turlington wears Haute Couture Collection
Message from the Chief Executive Officer of the Amathus Hotels Division
Variations on a most refreshing theme
ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
A M AT H U S H O T E L S G O M O B I L E Find out all about Amathus Hotels new app for mobile devices
H O S P I TA L I T Y W I T H C A R E Enjoy OSMÈ Organic personal care products in your room
T H E A M AT H U S B E A C H H O T E L L I M A S S O L What’s happening and who’s HEAD OFFICE
P.O.Box 50513, 3606 Limassol, Cyprus
2012 The title and all material are protected by copyright and all rights are reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s permission. Although the greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this magazine at the time of going to press, neither the publisher nor Amathus Hotels can accept responsibility for omissions or errors.
T E E T I M E I N PA P H O S Highlighting the special features of the most popular golf courses in the district
STEERING EUROPE THROUGH T U R M O I L Cyprus prepares for Presidency of the European Union
T H E A M AT H U S B E A C H H O T E L R H O D E S What’s happening and who’s who at the Amathus in Rhodes
who at the Amathus in Limassol
H U M A N C A P I TA L I N V E S T M E N T
Published on behalf of Amathus Hotels by:T & E Polydorou Design Ltd P.O. Box 40353, CY-6303, Larnaca, Cyprus Tel: + 357 2465 4898, Fax: + 357 2465 8866 E-mail: email@example.com www.polydoroudesign.com
CASTLES IN THE SUN
Succession planning at Amathus Hotels
Tour the castles of Rhodes and relive the island’s fascinating past
Treasures and treats across the beautiful Amathus gardens
Theme nights contribute to a memorable holiday at the Amathus in Rhodes
New treatments and trends at the Amathus Spa & Wellness Centres
How Cyprus can channel gas discovery into real economic growth
A R O YA L G A R D E N
M A S T E R P I E C E S PA S
ENERGISING THE ECONOMY
T H E A M AT H U S B E A C H H O T E L P A P H O S What’s happening and who’s who at the Amathus in Paphos
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The Amathus Hotels philosophy in Spa, with the delivery of a differentiated spa experience, has helped us to set apart our hotels as an exclusive pampering destination in Cyprus and Rhodes. This season, we have created a unique collection of treatments to exceed the expectations of the most discerning wellness guest. We look forward to welcoming you back to any of the three Amathus Hotels and we promise to make your stay a memorable experience. փ
Indicators of Excellence
Amathus Hotels are proud to announce that three
In their announcement, TripAdvisor wrote:
establishments were awarded the coveted TripAdvisor
“Our travellers consistently commend your property with
2012 Certificate of Excellence. From a maximum of
the highest praise, and we recognise your 4.5 rating as an
5 points, the individual hotels in Cyprus and Rhodes
exceptional achievement. Only the very best in the business
were rated as follows:
are awarded a Certificate of Excellence.”
Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes: 4.5
TripAdvisor is the leading travel site, with over 40 million
Elite Suites by Amathus Beach: 4.5
visitors a month sharing candid reviews. Sincere thanks
Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol: 4.5
to our guests for their positive comments.
LENIA VASILOPOULOU Sales & Marketing Manager
KATERINA YENNARI Business Development Manager
ANTONIO CASSERA Marketing Manager
M A R I N O S S H A X I AT E S Sales & Marketing Manager
Cyprus Office P.O. Box 50513, CY-3606, Limassol Tel: +357 2583 2000, Fax: +357 2583 2530 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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GERMANY AUSTRIA SWITZERLAND
CORALIE DE CUYPER
M A R I N A B A R I N O VA
Sales & Marketing Manager
Sales & Marketing Manager
Sales & Marketing Manager
Tel: +49 1763 1232356 E-mail: klouda@ amathushotel.com
Mob (Belgium): +32 474 295320 Mob (Rhodes): +30 69 78511554 Office Tel: +32 925 60385 E-mail: c.decuyper@ amathus-hotels.be
Mob: +7 903 672 57 31 E-mail: mbarinova@ amathushotel.com
LIVING ON THE SEA A unique way of life in unrivalled surroundings is just months away. Choose between exclusive villas with their own private berths or luxury apartments with uninterrupted views of the sparkling Mediterranean. Explore the developmentâ€™s array of stylish restaurants and shops or stroll into the heart of Limassol, the most cosmopolitan city in Cyprus. Limassol Marina will be fully operational by the end of 2012.
Cyprus +357 25 820 511 Moscow +7 495 643 1901 UK +44 (0)20 8371 9700 limassolmarina.com
Developed by Limassol Marina Ltd. Managed by Cybarco Ltd. Marina operated by F&S Marinas in partnership with Camper & Nicholsons Marinas. Constructed by Joannou & Paraskevaides Ltd, J&P Avax S.A, Athena S.A and Cybarco Ltd.
T E X T B Y:
Ma r i nos H a d j i p e t r i s
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ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD IN THE ONLINE WORLD, AMATHUS HOTELS HAVE JUST RELEASED AN iPHONE APPLICATION, MAKING IT THE FIRST CYPRUS HOTEL CHAIN IN THE APPLE APP STORE! NOW THE EVER INCREASING NUMBER OF TECHNOLOGY FANS THAT ARE INSEPARABLE FROM THEIR MOBILE DEVICES CAN KEEP IN TOUCH WITH AMATHUS HOTELS WHILE ON THE GO.
ith an already strong presence across the online and social media arena, Amathus Hotels have now ventured on a journey in the applications arena – today’s hottest mobile trend. Launched in May 2012, the new iPhone app features all three locations of the hotel chain, Limassol, Paphos and Rhodes. Indeed, the launch was perfectly timed to help you plan your summer stay at one of the luxurious Amathus gems. All you have to do is reach for your iPhone or iPad and all that the Amathus Hotels have to offer is only a few swipes and taps away. Anything you could do from your PC, you can now do from the comfort of your… palm! LET’S TAKE A WALKTHROUGH
Download the iPhone app, launch it and let the interactive fun begin. Pick the Amathus Hotel of your choice, whether in Limassol, Paphos or Rhodes. Having chosen your favourite location, a plethora of options unfolds at your fingertips in this pleasant-tothe-eye, fast and user-friendly application. Go right in, swipe through the rooms and suites and view photo and video galleries of the hotel and its various areas. A section dedicated to the restaurants will whet your appetite for more.You can even sneak into the spa area and discover what makes Amathus Spas the preferred destination for ultimate relaxation. Of course, Amathus wouldn’t “tease you and leave you”, so the application offers a real-time online reservation functionality that allows you to quickly book the room of your choice at the best available rates – there and then, from your phone. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Technology is great, but a personal touch is better. Whether it’s called application, website or any other means of connecting with the visitor, the Amathus Hotels will never lose the personal touch that they have worked so hard to build and maintain over the years. This personal approach is one of the hotels’ top priorities and one that they will not jeopardize, not even for the sake of modern technology. On the contrary, } AMATHUS m a g a z in e
The interactive iPhone application also functions as a communication gateway to the hotel reception, concierge or management.
T H E E A S I E S T W AY to download the new Amathus app is to scan this QR code with an iPhone. Isn't technology amazing?
the iPhone application also functions as a communication gateway to the hotel reception, concierge or management. “This is not just a faceless application… we want to interact with our guests.We want their first impression of the application to be as good as, if not better than, their last impression after their stay at one of our hotels,” said Marinos Shaxiates, Sales & Marketing Manager. LET’S SOCIALISE, INTEGRATE & KEEP IN TOUCH
Are you following @Amathus_Hotels on Twitter? Do you like the facebook.com/amathushotels page? Or are you keeping an eye on the videos at youtube.com/amathusconcierge ? If your answer to any of the above is ‘yes’, then you’ll find it all within the new iPhone application.Today’s online media are all about integration and this app lives up to this expectation to its fullest. Amathus Hotels already have a very active “social life” and are working around the clock to stay in touch with their followers, answer any queries, handle any concerns and take care of their online visitors throughout the entire process… from ‘checking the hotel out’ to ‘checking out of the hotel’. It’s not a surprise then that the app is fully integrated with social media and provides a live communication channel between the user and the hotel. “Today’s mobile users live on social media and they can’t go a minute without checking out the latest updates,” says Marinos, while looking at his iPhone with a grin on his face. With a 24-hr live support service on Twitter and a 24hr response time on email enquiries, the Amathus Hotels’ social media team is redefining the way hotels do business. And to make it even better, the iPhone app also supports ‘push notifications’, so great news, events, offers and exclusive
AMATHU S ma g a z i n e
information about the hotels are all delivered right on your device and you’re always among the first to find out. “WE NEVER STOP WORKING FOR YOU”
The iPhone app might already be here and waiting for you to download for free, but “we never stop working for those on the other side of the mobile phone camp,” Marinos concludes. An Android application is in the pipeline and will soon be released to serve the other significant portion of smartphone users out there. A mobile version of the website will also go live very soon and give users of all sorts of devices true mobile access to all three Amathus Hotels. That said, one can rightfully claim that “Amathus Hotels Have Gone Mobile!” փ Get it now… download the free iPhone application from the Apple Store at www.amathus-hotels.com/mobile, get the latest news, events, updates and make your reservations on the go. D O W N L O A D T H E F R E E I P H O N E A P P and enter the prize draw for a one-week stay in an Elite Suite with Private Pool at Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes! Valid for any users who download the app until 31 October 2012.
Hospitality with Care AT THE AMATHUS HOTELS YOU WILL FIND LUXURY HIDDEN IN EVERY CORNER – EVEN IN THE BATHROOM. IN PAPHOS AND IN LIMASSOL, A NEW RANGE OF TOILETRIES ENSURES THAT EVEN YOUR SHOWER HAS A DIMENSION OF PLEASURE.
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SMÈ Organic is the name that promises not merely basic hygiene, but also soft and healthy skin and hair – and it was chosen for a good reason. Apart from the range’s simple yet attractive packaging, OSMÈ products have been clinically tested to ensure that they are suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. The collection in your private bathroom looks as silky as it feels: Moisturizing Body Wash, Daily Balancing Shampoo and Hair Conditioner, Antioxidant Moisturizing Body Cream and an attractive Vegetabule Soap bar. The accompanying Amenities Set fills small gaps in your holiday packing list with a shoeshine sponge, a mini nail file and some cotton buds. If you are among the growing number of consumers that favour organic products, you will be happy to hear that the OSMÈ range was approved by Ecocert. In compliance with Ecocert’s stringent controls, OSMÈ Organic products are paraben-free and formaldehyde-free. A minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients come from organic farming products. They contain no colourants and just a touch of essential oils to give them a subtle perfume that will not interfere with your favourite scent. փ
Lounge Chair & Ottoman Design: Charles & Ray Eames The Eames Lounge Chair, classic icon of style and comfort, available in a palette of light wood, polished aluminium and white leather.
87 – 91, imassol avenue, 2121 nicosia, t +357 22 314332 e 22 454742 , f +357 22 429379, email@example.com 49, promachon eleftherias street, 4103 limassol, t +357 25 430026, f +357 25 430028 Vitra is the authorised manufacturer of all Eames furniture designs for Europe and the Middle East. Lounge Chair & Ottoman: © Vitra
News from the Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol
Message from the Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol, Cyprus
Accommodation meets Sophistication At Amathus, regular renovations are part of life. In the latest round, all guest rooms on the 2nd floor of the main building were upgraded and now welcome you with a new look and that special feeling that parquet flooring is known to radiate. Guests who prefer the privileges of the Junior Suites will enjoy the new dĂŠcor featuring a subtle designerâ€™s touch, as well as an extension of the private pool area for the ground floor suites. For those in search of the best, two new Amathunta Suites have just been unveiled and have emerged as the epitome of sophisticated luxury. Located on the 2nd and 4th floor with magnificent views, the 50m2 Amathunta Suites can accommodate 2 guests, with the option to connect to the adjacent superior sea view room. VA S S O S K I L A N I S
Marble floors, contemporary Cassina furniture, Elite mattresses,
H otel M a na g er Am a th us B ea c h Ho t e l L i m a s s o l
flat screen TVs in the bedroom and the living room, Bvlgari toiletries and iPod docking system are only some of many deluxe extras for ultimate comfort. Keep them in mind for your next special occasion!
ike the town itself, the Amathus in Limassol is where different cultures converge, multiple languages echo around the premises, and business
and pleasure meet. Apart from attracting upmarket tourism from abroad, we are delighted to rank as the preferred hotel in Limassol among Cypriots visiting from other parts of the island. Indeed, our hotel has become a hot spot for afternoon tea, a gathering of friends for drinks, as well as for business luncheons or simply for a relaxing shisha. Such popularity among local and international guests is not coincidental. It is the result of our attention to your feedback and suggestions. Thank you for your support and please feel free to contact me personally or any member of our team if there is any way we can make your stay more enjoyable.
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Quality Awards Once again, tour operators from east and west have acknowledged the value and superiority of Amathus Hotels. Sovereign Luxury Travel, a leading UK tour operator, honoured the Amathus Hotels in Limassol and Paphos with their ‘Award of Excellence 2011’, which is granted for exceptional quality and service. Independently,
Amathus Chefs regularly participate in international culinary competitions. In April 2012, our Amathus Hotels Executive Chef Iasonas Yiasoumi together with Kitchen Supervisor of Amathus Limassol, Sergios Hadjikyriakou, rose to the challenge of the First International Competition of Mediterranean Cuisine. Organized by the Mediterranean Diet Foundation in Italy in cooperation with partners in the hospitality industry, the competition was open to chefs from all countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Chef Yiasoumi entered the competition with fillet of sea bass in vine leaves served with puree of artichokes, beans, spinach and Mediterranean sauce. Clearly, an original all-Mediterranean creation!
Compliments to the Chefs!
The annual Gastronomia Exhibition in Nicosia is the feast of the Cyprus food industry. Open to the trade as well as the public, it incorporates the ‘Mediterranean Culinary Challenge’, a series of live culinary competitions organized by the Cyprus Chefs Association. During this year’s exhibition in early March, the kitchen brigade of the Amathus in Limassol was proud to earn four silver medals and one bronze. The team excelled in everything from starters and ﬁnger foods to Cypriot menus, meat & seafood main courses, as well as desserts. Congratulations to the Amathus chefs!
Biblio-Globus, a major Russian tour operator that is associated with all three Amathus Hotels in Limassol, Paphos and Rhodes, conducted their own client survey. The result was very rewarding, as Biblio-Globus travellers voted Amathus Hotels ‘The Best Cyprus Hotel 2011’. Sincere thanks to all our guests for their positive feedback.
Limassol Marathon GSO 2012
For the second consecutive year, our Chief Executive Officer, Achilleas Dorotheou, who completed the half marathon, led an enthusiastic team of twenty runners from our personnel and the Amathus Spa and Wellness Centre. All runners enjoyed a magnificent route by the beach and the challenge and excitement of this unique journey. In line with the marathon’s slogan, ‘Run along the waves’, the route was mapped out along the beautiful coastline. Some of our members ran for the full marathon, a half-marathon, and a health race, a corporate race, a student race and a charity run/walk. For anyone interested in fitness and fun, join the Amathus team for next year! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep an eye on www.limassolmarathon.com.
Pictured above (left to right): Pambos Charalambous, Sarantis Demetrakakis, Natasha Timveos, Mohammed Redzuan and Sergios Hadjikyriakou (seated).
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 13
VIP Visitors Over the past year, the Amathus in Limassol was proud to welcome a long list of celebrities from various parts of the world. Singers came to perform on the island, actors, TV presenters and athletes came for holidays, and all enjoyed the well-known Amathus hospitality. Among them were Greek pop stars Elena Paparizou, Michalis Hadjiyiannis and Cypriot-born singer Anna Vissi, actress Jill Halfpenny and singer Danny Oâ€™Donoghue from the UK, Lebanese TV presenter Magui Farah, and the British sprinting champion Linford Christie. We look forward to welcoming them again, very soon.
Pictured here: Danny O'Donoghue in between Hotel Manager Vassos Kilanis and Angelina Koftoun (top), Michalis Hadjiyiannis (lower left) and Linford Christie (lower right).
News from the Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol
NUbar & NUlounge news A good menu is one that regularly reinvents itself in keeping with new trends, different products and changing expectations. Our NUbar menu has recently been enriched with innovative and exciting cocktails and special coffees that complement long-standing favourites. Live music and DJ music in the evenings are a bonus! The NUlounge, on the other hand, has introduced an all-new food and snack menu. It includes something for every appetite, from sandwiches to full meals, platters to share, quick bites and sushi. For those who enjoy the full shisha ritual, a visit to the Shisha Lounge is a must. New premium quality silverstudded leather sheath nargilehs from Egypt and the use of lemon tree charcoal offer you a richer experience of your favourite aroma. Responding to the global trend, the Amathus in Limassol employed a specialised company to oversee the operation of the hotel’s Nargileh terrace. The relaxing – almost meditative – pleasure derived from the nargileh is, however, not easily achieved. The size and structure of the nargileh, the quality of its consumable elements, the temperature, timing, tobacco and flavours must all be expertly balanced for best results. As Albert Gubaydullin, Managing Director of Hegir Catering Services, insists: “The most important thing is… the shisha boy.” With nargileh attendant Mohammed at your service at the Amathus, choose one of 50 different aromas and prepare yourself for a full and fragrant experience.
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Boutique Update In addition to the regular designer labels, several new brands have enriched the shopping experience at the Amathus boutique. New arrivals include Versace Ladies Collection alongside Versace Jeans for men and women. For a trendy look around the pool or on the beach, check out the liu-jo collection for ladies and Bikkembergs for men. And ladies, while you’re there, don’t miss the accessories and latest wardrobe ideas from Missoni and Relish. For men, the ISAIA range has been expanded. To complement the classic suits, ISAIA Sportswear features a more casual collection of jackets, trousers and shirts to mix and match according to taste. And here’s a special tip: for the coming winter, a selection of genuine furs from France is likely to tempt you. The boutique is known to welcome new collections from Milan and Paris long before they hit other outlets in town. What’s more, you will find that designer style and attractive prices go hand in hand. Visit the boutique and see for yourself!
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 17
IASONAS YIASOUMI Executive Chef, Amathus Hotels
GEORGE GEORGIOU Food & Beverage Manager
SERGIOS HADJIKYRIAKOU Kitchen Supervisor
STELIOS PILLOURIS Front Office Manager
MARIA IERODIAKONOU Assistant Front Office Manager
V A S S O S A L AY I O T E S Bars Supervisor
ELENI TZORTZI Executive Housekeeper
XENIOS ORPHANIDES Spa & Wellness Centre Manager
POPI KOUZI-SOUGLI Revenue Manager
ANDREAS PHILIPPOU Chief Accountant
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M A R I A PAV L I D O U Human Resources Manager
SOTIRIS IOANNOU Chief Engineer
ANDROS PA PA D O P O U L O S Chief Financial Officer â€“ Amathus Hotels
Akamas Bay Villas
Delivery of Phase 1: December 2011
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Delivery of Phase 1 & 2: October 2012
Opening November 2012
Unique beachfront, marina and golf properties. Spectacular locations, award-winning architecture, exclusive lifestyles. From the leading luxury property developer in Cyprus.
For further information or to arrange a bespoke viewing, contact us on freephone 8000 50 30 Cybarco offices: Cyprus / Athens / London / Moscow / St. Petersburg / Ekaterinburg / Kiev Developing homes since 1945
News from the Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol
Human capital investment
EVERY YOUNG ADULT EMBARKING ON A CAREER SOON FINDS OUT THAT YOU CANNOT START AT THE TOP. BUT WHEN YOU JOIN A PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED ORGANIZATION, LIKE AMATHUS HOTELS, YOU ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY AND THE SUPPORT TO PROVE YOURSELF AND ADVANCE. MEET SOME OF THE TEAM MEMBERS WHO HAVE DONE JUST THAT.
mathus Hotels have a policy of promoting ‘from within’, wherever possible. In other words, they recruit individuals with potential and train them as necessary in order to prime them for the next step up. As Eugenios Savva, Director of Human Capital & Development, explains: “It’s not just a case of waiting for a vacancy to arise, then looking around for the most suitable individual. It’s part of very deliberate ‘succession planning’.”Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing existing personnel to prepare them for key leadership positions. In practice, this process achieves far more. It assures individuals that their efforts will be recognized. It nurtures ambition. And ultimately it is a prime motivator. So what does Eugenios look out for when recruiting? And what makes a person a likely candidate for the next round of promotions? “Managerial skills are partly taken for granted, while a lot can be acquired through the right training,” says Eugenios. In the hospitality industry, a serviceoriented, guest-focused attitude and a desire to learn are paramount. Join the Amathus in congratulating some of the team members who have recently earned their promotions: Stelios Pillouris Stelios Pillouris joined the Amathus in Limassol as a trainee waiter before he was employed as Receptionist A’ in the Front Office Department. Given his personality and performance, it was clear that he would not stop there. Soon after he was promoted to Assistant Front Office Manager and recently further promoted to the position of Front Office Manager. Stelios Demetriou Stelios Demetriou was also employed at the Amathus in Limassol as a waiter. Eager to advance, he left this position and enrolled in the Hotel Institute of Montreux in Switzerland. Now he has returned with management skills and assumed his new role as Assistant Restaurant Manager.
S U C C E S S I O N P L A N N I N G prepares existing personnel for key leadership positions.
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Theofilos Lakkas Theofilos Lakkas joined the Amathus in Limassol as Management Trainee in the Food and Beverage Department. In 2001, Theofilos was promoted to the position of Quality Supervisor of Bars. He steadily advanced and is now the Hotel Manager at the Amathus in Rhodes. His commitment, enthusiasm and can-do attitude are an inspiration to his team. փ
TOP EYEWEAR BRANDS
34, Anexartisias Street, Limassol | Telephone +357 25761061
T E X T B Y:
A ndr i a nne P h i l i p p o u
A royal garden MANY FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO THE 5-STAR CLASSIFICATION OF THE AMATHUS IN LIMASSOL AND ITS MEMBERSHIP OF ‘THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD’. ONE VALUABLE ASSET, HOWEVER, THAT ALWAYS IMPRESSES BOTH THE ASSOCIATION’S INSPECTORS AS WELL AS AMATHUS GUESTS IS THE AMAZING LANDSCAPED GARDEN THAT SURROUNDS THE PROPERTY.
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 23
F R O M A R A R E T W I N - C A P P E D araucaria to timeless olive trees and aromatic herbs, the Amathus garden has it all.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
nyone with access to the original drafts for the development of the Amathus Beach Hotel in Limassol is bound to think, “Someone has made a serious mistake here”; today’s building is not where it was supposed to be! Strange, but true… and certainly not by mistake. NATURAL HISTORY
Ask an Amathus insider and you will hear the heart-warming story about what actually happened. In 1970, while breaking ground for the construction of the hotel, an unexpected ‘problem’ presented itself in the form of an age-old olive tree. Indeed, many a property owner might have sacrificed the tree at the alter of development or reluctantly uprooted and transplanted it. Not the late, revered Evagoras Lanitis, patriarchal founder of the Amathus Beach Hotel. As a passionate naturalist, he practiced what he preached. The architects were called in, designs were redrafted and the building relocated – to where it stands today. And the olive tree? It still stands by the pool, unaware of its game-changing role. According to Sotiris Ioannou, the hotel’s Chief Engineer, this elegant tree of undefined age is believed to be “certainly hundreds of years old”. It is just one of 36 ‘aged’ olive trees that stand proudly in the almost 5,000 square metres of landscaped gardens that grace this landmark hotel. Many others, including pine trees, palms and eucalyptus trees, were planted by the Lanitis family to mark the hotel’s official opening. In more than four decades since the Amathus accommodated its first guests in 1973, its unique gardens have matured dramatically;
the early exotic and eclectic plantings have evolved to become an evergreen oasis of tranquility. The harmonious blend of colour, scents, flowers and foliage provide a landscape that offers cool shade, pretty views and a striking backdrop to the clear blue sea it embraces. ANCIENT TREASURE, CULINARY TREATS
Apart from offering welcome shade and silvery greenery, the ageing olive trees are generous providers. Their fruits are carefully harvested and sent to the kitchens to be converted into the garlic and brine-soaked ‘Elies Tsakistes’ (green cracked olives), a local speciality that adorns many a meze table. Joining the trees in the hotel’s front garden is an even more striking landmark. An ancient burial tomb dating back to the 7th century BC Cypro-Archaic period was unearthed during original building excavations when the hotel foundations were being laid. The existence of this rare find is still one of Limassol’s best kept secrets, not widely known among the local residents. Its significance has been honoured by the creation of a fine herb garden and rockery. A specially transplanted, carefully positioned 500 year-old olive tree in the rockery’s centre takes pride of place as it ‘guards’ the tomb entrance. This secluded but accessible garden space is enhanced with the aromatic scents of rosemary, oregano, sage, lavender and thyme, }
C O N S TA N T P R O F E S S I O N A L C A R E ensures that every plant, bush and flower can grow and thrive, creating an idyllic environment.
whose delicate flowers add a burst of vibrant colour to the muted shades of green and the pale stonework of the tomb site. Here as elsewhere, herbs are prolific in the Amathus gardens. They are used daily by the chefs and bar team to dress, flavour and marinate dishes and drinks, with many a poolside Mojito garnished with a sprig of mint, freshly picked, there and then. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT
Take a closer look around the beautifully landscaped and carefully tended lawns, and you will spot some rather unusual sights. Among the typically Mediterranean fruit trees such as Mespila and the hardy coast-loving Oleander, you will find cacti and rarely seen African specimens that have been imported over the years. One in particular stands out: the striking Papoua stands approximately 10m tall with its thick bark covered with thousands of hard, fin-like thorns making the tree impossible to climb. But the hotel gardens boast something even more unique – a twin-capped araucaria tree. When the tree was struck by lightning in 1980, its tip was split in two. Amazingly, the tree not only survived this violent attack but is thriving, and it is believed to be the only known double-tipped araucaria tree in the world today.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
To maintain these wonders of nature regardless of adverse climate conditions, the ‘grand renovations’ of the Amathus, which took place during 2008-09, incorporated the installation of the hotel’s environment-friendly desalination plant. This now delivers the necessary water supply; but watering is just the beginning… Such an abundant variety of flora requires dedicated and diligent maintenance, with professional skills and resources to nurture, propagate and handle seedlings and plants on a huge scale. Thus the Amathus has tasked Green Forest Nurseries to manage the hotel’s grounds and gardens. Amvrosios Prodromou, Marketing Manager at the Nursery says, “We’re the largest chain of Nurseries in Cyprus; the company produces the majority of our plants in our own 140.000 m² production area under ideal conditions.We employ over 110 qualified and experienced staff, and apart from plant production and sales, we also focus on garden landscaping and maintenance.” The company recently received the prestigious Cyprus Innovation Award and has also been nominated for Green Dot and European Business awards. It seems the Amathus Beach Hotel gardens are in the very best ‘green fingers’.’ փ
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T E X T B Y:
Spa facilities and treatments combine luxury and well-being for him and her.
A ndr i a nne P h i l i p p o u
IN LIMASSOL, PAPHOS AND RHODES, AMATHUS HOTELS’ SPA & WELLNESS
CENTRES ARE RESPONDING TO CONTEMPORARY TRENDS WITH FACILITIES AND NEW TREATMENTS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO COUNTERACT THE PRESSURES OF OUR FAST-PACED EVERYDAY LIFE.
here was a time when spa treatments were regarded purely as a luxury; but times have changed. Instead, Amathus Hotels’ Spa & Wellness Centres in Limassol, Paphos and Rhodes offer visitors an experience that is designed to help them cope with life’s daily stresses and anxieties. As Anna Pawlowska, Amathus Hotels Spa Trainer, observes: “In all the Amathus Spas we have seen a definite increase in spa holidays; weekly packages are being pre-booked with the focus on combination treatments to detox, tone and help weight loss, as well as rejuvenate and de-stress. The need to look after our own well-being in a more holistic way is clearly growing.” Anna believes the success and appeal of the spa experience is simple: “One of the most satisfying elements of our work is seeing the long-term benefits for clients following their individual treatment. Sometimes these positive results can last up to a month. Clients are delighted. It’s a real boost, almost a medical benefit.” UNIQUE WITH A COMMON IDENTITY
All three Amathus Hotels surpass guest expectations. In Rhodes, the sheer expanse of luxurious space surrounded by spectacular scenery ensures a sense of privacy and exclusion that sets this particular spa experience apart. “Rhodes is a total retreat in every sense of the word. With its opulent hamam, a wonderfully spacious sauna and jacuzzi, and the fact that it is situated quite apart from the main hotel building, the holistic approach is totally indulgent and quite private,” Anna explains. Meanwhile, the Spa in Paphos creates the perfect ambience to complement the therapies and treatments on offer. Subtle diffused lighting enhances relaxation, creating a haven for healing.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
Despite their individuality, all three Spas implement the same underlying philosophy: exquisite care for every guest.
In Limassol, the Spa’s unique style reflects the disposition of its regular clientele. An abundance of delicate and soothing water features accent heavily within the luxurious, recently remodelled facilities. Superlative treatments using the fine-tuned techniques of professional Thai therapists are favoured by local, European and Russian guests alike. Despite their individuality, all three Spas implement the same underlying philosophy: exquisite care for every guest. Naturally, all the essential and favourite therapies for invigorating the mind, body and spirit are available. Depending on where you are, you will also find more unusual options, such as Asian Suites for Thai massage, romantic bath treatments for couples (or just friends), or the more masculine style ‘Men’s World’ treatment areas. Amathus Spas clearly have their contemporary ‘on-trend’ finger firmly on the pulse… with benefits that men are discovering in ever increasing numbers. HIS AND HERS
“Among men, the most popular treatments are the deep-tissue massages or the ‘Skin Fit’ Men’s facials. The ladies tend to prefer packages offering hydrating }
AMATHUS m a g a z in e
facials, with the deep relaxation benefits of hot stone massages and body wraps,” says Anna. By developing and introducing new treatments, the resorts maintain their competitive edge. Most recently, both the Amathus in Limassol and Paphos have responded to a ‘new’ demand arising from their proximity to several award-winning championship golf courses. They introduced the unique Golfer’s Delight Treatment offering a customized full-body massage that focuses on the physical needs of keen golfers. Treatments are designed to improve balance and flexibility and to relieve stiff muscles used during the golf swing. Not surprisingly, the new treatment is emerging as one of the most popular choices. In addition, two new Carita facials – Beauty Diamond and Supreme Wrinkle Solution – have also been introduced to enrich the beauty and skin care treatment range in both Spas. TRAINING FOR SUCCESS
To ensure that guests get the full benefit of all new treatments and products, Amathus spa therapists regularly attend specialized, hands-on training sessions.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
In February 2012, Pevonia’s Medical Spa Trainer, Dr Christian Jurist, shared some of the latest ‘secrets’ with the therapists from Limassol, Paphos and Rhodes: ideal treatment of sun-damaged skin, the importance of detoxification, and further training in the new Lumafirm treatment. This was followed by another session by Pevonia’s Trainer Tino Lerma, who focused on the application of new ampoules, deep tissue massage and skin analysis. On a different level, Anna travelled to Poland last year to participate in an independent workshop on ‘Successful Spa Management’, with emphasis on efficient operation as a whole. With superior facilities, products and expertise, the Amathus Spas continued their success story with a shower of further awards. Two prestigious awards – ‘Pevonia Destination Spa of the Year 2010’ and ‘Pevonia Best Newcomer of the Year 2010’ – were presented to the Amathus in Limassol by Paul Mason, Pevonia UK Managing Director, in recognition of “the Spa’s mission to exceed financial targets, its innovative marketing and PR strategy and exemplary standards of service”. Not bad for a Spa that was launched less than three years ago.
‘ P E V O N I A D E S T I N AT I O N S PA O F T H E Y E A R 2 0 1 0 ’ was awarded to the Amathus in Limassol in recognition of its exemplary performance.
Thanks to its high standards, the Amathus in Limassol has been welcomed into the exclusive association of ‘The Leading Spas of the World’.
This “exemplary performance” was recently rewarded with the Limassol Spa’s membership of the exclusive ‘Leading Spas of the World’ association. According to Anna, more clients than ever are being drawn to the Amathus Spas thanks to these recent awards. Details of spa packages and the unique treatment menus available at all three Amathus Hotels can be viewed and even booked online, either through the website or the new Amathus app. For visitors from overseas, reserving treatments ahead of arrival ensures that the Spas’ therapists will be expecting you as soon you have checked in. So, book your Amathus accommodation – and your favourite treatments – and look forward to a holiday your body will thank you for. փ
AMATHUS m a g a z in e
News from the Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos
Message from the Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos, Cyprus
Wedding Dreams Come True
Paphos as a destination is inseparable from Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of beauty and love; and the Amathus in Paphos has absorbed this legendary dimension of romance. As a result, our hotel ranks as a prime beachfront venue for overseas weddings. TA S S O S H A D J I K O U M I S H otel Ma na g er Am a th us B ea c h Ho t e l Pa p h o s
Every year we host some 60-70 couples coming from across the seas to celebrate their wedding and honeymoon at our hotel. Whether you are planning well in advance or have made a last minute decision, whether you prefer to consult your local tour operator or liaise with us directly, you will find venue and menu
t is both a challenge and a pleasure to be welcomed
options to match your dreams. Best of all, you will enjoy the full support of Marios Dionysiou, our Assistant F&B Manager whose
into the Amathus family as the new Hotel Manager
enthusiasm and experience make him the perfect wedding
in Paphos. Over the past 20 years, the hotel industry
coordinator. He will advise you on every detail, help with the
in Cyprus and Greece has taught me many things.
necessary paperwork, recommend the right champagne, and
The importance of getting to know hotel guests
present a step-by-step plan of the big day â€“ prepared by a person
personally is one of them, which is why I look forward
who truly cares.
to the opportunity to meet you and introduce myself.
For package details and complimentary extras,
At the same time, my goal is to reinforce communication
visit our website at www.amathus-hotels.com.
between the personnel and the management in order to discuss and find ways to serve you better and take our hotel even further. So, if there is anything we can do to make your stay even more pleasant, or if you would like to share any thoughts or comments with me, please feel free to do so. Above all, enjoy your stay!
32 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
Certified Quality TÜV Hellas, a member of the TÜV Nord Group, a major third party certification and inspection group, has recognized and acknowledged the quality standards of the Amathus in Paphos.
The Asiachi Restaurant in Paphos has welcomed new chefs to the team. In addition to their experience, they will be adding fresh ideas to a revised menu. However, the Asiachi favourites will maintain their rightful place in the kitchens and on your table. Apart from the set menu which offers a balance of dishes and flavours, repeat orders have shown that the following three items are among the winners:
Following the most recent site inspection, the hotel was approved in terms of health and safety at work, as well as general food safety. This not only reflects our personnel’s conscientious performance, but reassures our guests that they are in good hands.
King Prawns in Wasabi Mayonnaise with Tobico Caviar (left), Sizzling Chicken Green Curry with Exotic Fruit (centre), and Stir-Fried Black Pepper Angus Beef Tenderloin (right). Try them!
Especially for Golfers
European Capital of Culture 2017 Everyone loves Paphos. Its charm
To accommodate the needs of golfers visiting the island
is obvious and the fact that
to enjoy a Mediterranean golf experience, Amathus
UNESCO has listed it – as a
Hotels in Paphos and Limassol introduced the Golf
whole – as a World Heritage site
Massage in Autumn 2011. Like all other kinds of sports
confirms its historical wealth. Its
massage, this treatment is recommended before the
bid for the title of European Capital of Culture 2017
game, but is also beneﬁcial afterwards. To counter
is the town’s current challenge. Having entered the
the effects of long hours of standing in the same position during the game, the
second round of the competition, the municipality is
55-minute deep tissue massage – equally suitable for men and women – focuses
working hard to reach the finish line. Among other
on warming up and then boosting blood circulation in the shoulders, back and
things, it will have to demonstrate the unique and
legs. The result? you will feel lighter and ﬁtter, play better and recover faster.
Please contact our Spa Centre at ext. 34 for more information or to book a treatment.
innovative aspects of the town’s culture and heritage, and how they fit in the European context. Whether Paphos achieves its goal or not, its rank as
This year, the Paphos opera will be presenting Otello by Giuseppe
a favourite holiday destination in Cyprus remains unchallenged. Discover Paphos, and enjoy it!
Verdi. The Slovak National Theater will perform on 7, 8 and 9 September at the usual starlit outdoor venue of the Medieval Castle Square. To allow you to combine the musical extravaganza with a brief but exclusive holiday, the Amathus in Paphos is once again offering special packages that include hotel accommodation and opera tickets. For full details, please contact our Reservations Department.
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 33
ANDREAS IOANNOU Food & Beverage Manager
M A R I E T TA CHARALAMBIDES Manager - Public Relations & Spa Services
DEMETRIS GEORGIOU Head Barman
S TA M AT I S THEMISTOCLEOUS Front Office Manager
SOULLA A G AT H O K L E O U S Executive Housekeeper
C O S TA S C O N S TA N T I N O U Chief Engineer
MARIOS DIONYSIOU Assistant Food & Beverage Manager
IASONAS YIASOUMI Executive Chef, Amathus Hotels
TA K I S D E M E T R I O U Personnel Manager
34 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
NIKOS DEMETRIOU Maitre d’Hotel
ANDROS PA PA D O P O U L O S Chief Financial Officer – Amathus Hotels
STELIOS H A D J I PA N T E L I Chef de Cuisine
MAKIS CHRYSOSTOMOU Deputy Chief Accountant/ I.T. Manager
! n o i t i d a r t f o e t s a t the authentic Shop 1: St. Andrews Str. 99, Limassol, Cyprus | Shop 2: St. Andrews Str. 141A, Limassol, Cyprus T. +357 25 108676, E. email@example.com
Nuts N Nu Nut utss & D Dry ry F Fruits Frruit Fru uits itss - Cyprus C Cyypr Cyp yp pru rus rus us Delights D Deelig Del eligh ghtss - Nuts ghts Nuts Nu utss Brittle B Brritt Brit ttle tle Oils & Spices - Wines & Spirits Gift Boxes
News from the Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos
Mojito Magic It is arguably one of the most popular rum-based cocktails. It is considered Cuba’s national drink. It is the mojito, and it is available in three variations at the Amathus in Paphos. Ask Head Barman Demetris or his assistants for your favourite flavour of this fresh and punchy, ice-loaded delight. An ideal summer drink – or one which will at least make you feel warm inside.
R A S P B E R R Y (right) Add fresh, lightly squeezed raspberries to the ‘famous five’, and the mojito will blush with surprise. The berry twist makes your drink more colourful and its taste slightly more complex.
C L A S S I C (above) In the classic mojito, five simple ingredients are balanced and blended to perfection: white rum, brown sugar, fresh lime, fresh mint, and sparkling water. Every sip conjures up images of the Caribbean.
P E A C H (left) The peach variation using fresh fruit segments adds a subtle sweetness that chimes with the basic zesty character. A delicate deviation from the classic that could easily become your favourite.
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 37
T E X T B Y:
S a c h a A pp l e t o n
Tee Time in Paphos PAPHOS, THE CENTRE OF GOLF IN CYPRUS, INVITES LOCALS AND TOURISTS ALIKE TO ENJOY ITS FOUR MAIN GOLF COURSES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. ALTHOUGH A NUMBER OF NEW COURSES ARE IN THE PIPELINE, THE VARIETY AND CHALLENGES AVAILABLE TODAY WILL SATISFY THE MOST DEMANDING GOLFER.
Aphrodite Hills 38 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
he sound of a golf club hitting the ball correctly is music to every golfer’s ears. Like the champagne cork popping out of the bottle, it evokes memories of past achievements – or signals a good shot worth remembering. These moments are often relived in the company of other golfers at the 19th hole, or at the clubhouse, with a relaxing drink in hand. In Cyprus, and thanks to mild winters, you can play golf all year round. The only question is, which course to play, or whether to rotate between them all. In most cases, members are passionate about their course, playing two to three times a week. But how do Paphos clubs compare with others? And why are seasoned players who are familiar with top courses in the world attracted to them? ELEGANT ELEA
Elea Estate is the new kid on the block. Designed by Sir Nick Faldo, the course features his trademark bunkers and big, multilevel greens. At 6195m in length and par 71, it has wide fairways. Knut Borgen, a Norwegian national, has been playing for 34 years and has a handicap of 12.5. His verdict: Elea suits players with low and high handicaps. There is a carry over the rough on all the tees, some quite long, but doable for most golfers. Hole 15 is demanding, as the second shot requires hitting upwards to a narrow oval green that is easy to over-run. Hole 9 involves a stream, bunkers and a lake. As Knut put it, you will have to decide whether to go for broke on your second shot and aim straight for the green – at the risk of failing, and failing badly. Apart from the extremely good practice facilities and a beautiful clubhouse, Elea’s staff is trained to provide impeccable service. The last words come from Knut: “The food is first-rate, including the bacon butties at the halfway house. After a game of golf, you can admire the sea views and simply enjoy the friendly atmosphere. In my opinion, and having played golf all over the world, Elea is a world-class golf course!” MONASTIC MINTHIS
Set in the hills above Paphos where the climate is slightly cooler, Minthis Hills was the first golf course in Cyprus. It has recently been revamped by Mackenzie & Ebert to form the core of a larger resort. Here, modern and ancient worlds come face to face: a 12th century monastery adorns the course and a striking new clubhouse is softened by traditional stone features. Sandra Pope, a member for many years, has an 18.6 handicap and has been playing golf for 18 years. She believes the course is now at its best, with first-class greens and fairways, a water hole on the 13th (unlucky for some!), the flagship clubhouse, a well stocked pro shop and the new landscaping coming into its own. At 5828m and par 71, Minthis is an eminently walkable course and according to Sandra, “It has just the right degree of challenge so that every time you play, it’s different. My favourite hole is probably the 12th, where you tee off over a daunting ravine, but it’s not so hard, just demanding careful placement of the ball.” Sandra is also a fan of the clubhouse } AMATHUS m a g a z in e 39
Elea Estates - Golf Club
with its excellent and reasonably priced food and service. As she says, “Minthis should not be missed!” THE SECRET VALLEY
Just outside Paphos, near Aphrodite’s legendary birthplace, is Secret Valley. True to its name, it is hidden from view, and golfers can only see the hole they are playing. Colourful landscaping, lines of trees along the fairways and natural contours conceal everything else from view, punishing anyone who hits too far off the line. Usually a walkable 5882m par 72 course, Secret Valley will play with 36 holes once the new Tony Jacklin golf course is completed. As a result, only 9 holes will be open throughout 2012, which can be played twice. Tom Bestford has a handicap of 9.5 and has been playing golf for over 30 years. He believes Secret Valley is not too difficult, and yet, “Pros who have played here have shown it a lot of respect.” Underestimate it, and it could easily defeat you. In Tom’s opinion, the most testing hole is the 13th, which looks innocuous until you try to putt. Beyond the actual course, you will thoroughly enjoy the surroundings – and after
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
the game, the clubhouse. As Tom says, “I’ve never been anywhere that has such a relaxed, friendly atmosphere; I wouldn’t change a thing. At the same time, I’m looking forward to the new course which promises to be spectacular.” A IS FOR APHRODITE
Next door to Secret Valley lies Aphrodite Hills, built on two plateaux to create a course that is best known for its 3rd hole, from which the pro tees are hit across a 200m ravine for a par 5. Designed by Cabell Robinson, the whole course is a par 70/71 and measures 6299m, requiring a buggy especially for the front 9. Paris Panayides is a Canadian Cypriot with a handicap of 11.6. He believes the best hole is the 18th: “It’s a risk/reward hole.The second shot is over the lake and not many amateurs will get to the green in 2!” The course has held a highly successful PGA tournament and will host the biggest European Pro Am in 2012. At the same time, it is suitable for beginners, with a strong academy featuring 3 practice holes. As the focal point of a 5-star resort, it is surrounded by various fa-
PA R I S PA N AY I D E S receiving his trophy as winner of the men's division of the Etihad Airways Open Golf Cup at Aphrodite Hills.
In Cyprus you can play golf all year round. The only question is, which course to play or whether to rotate between them all. Minthis Hill
cilities, from the clubhouse, to the bars and restaurants of the village square and an award-winning spa. For Paris, the holes on the upper plateau are the course’s crowning glory: “The views of the sea while you are playing are breathtaking…” SPOILT FOR CHOICE
Guests at the Amathus in Paphos are ideally positioned to play at any of these courses. According to Stamatis Themistocleous, the hotel’s Front Office Manager: “We aim to be the home for golfers in Paphos. Some like to play a variety of courses, but many prefer the special single-course package we have negotiated. It’s up to the individual players… they might have to test them all out to find the one that suits them best!” փ
Golf at the Amathus The Amathus is dedicated to providing everything a golfer needs to enjoy golf in Paphos to the full. This includes: • Attractive packages for 1, 2, 3 or 4 golf courses, some including accommodation and transfer to the courses • Use of the hotel’s own golf club cleaning facilities and lockers • A specially created golfing gift • Complimentary use of the hamam, sauna, and fitness centre • Massages designed specifically for golfers
AMATHUS m a g a z in e
T E X T B Y:
As a member of the European Union, Cyprus will assume the rotating Presidency from 1 July to 31 December 2012.
G i na C ole m a n
Steering Europe through turmoil WHEN THE PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION MOVES TO CYPRUS ON 1 JULY 2012, EU MINISTERS, DELEGATES AND OFFICIALS WILL BE CALLED UPON TO TACKLE A TOUGH AGENDA UNDER CHALLENGING CIRCUMSTANCES.
or Cyprus, this role comes at a critical time: Europe and the Eurozone face tough, ongoing and potentially divisive economic problems which the World Bank sees as a threat to the global economy. However, economics are not the only bone of contention: apart from steering the bloc through the controversial 2014-2020 ‘EU multi-year financial considerations’, migration and unemployment problems, the presidency will face a real challenge getting nations to renew their commitment to sustainable development. MEETING THE MEMBERS HALFWAY
Cyprus is the 3rd presidency in the 2011-2012 trio, which began with Poland in July 2011, then passed to Denmark. It will be both the furthest south and east that the EU's decision-making and administrative centre has ever been located. Despite the fact that Cyprus has decided that its EU presidency should be Brussels-based to limit the time and cost of having all delegates travel to Cyprus for every meeting, the budget is still over €60 million. Cyprus will chair over 90% of the meetings in Brussels, including 60+ ministerial meetings, at least two meetings at the level of presidents/prime ministers, and over 1,500 working groups. Around 16 ministerial meetings will be held in Cyprus with about 45,000 presidency-related visitors expected, including those attending interrelated cultural events held by NGOs and associations. Cyprus Airways has added additional direct Brussels-Larnaca flights to its schedule and other airlines are following suit. SUPPORTING ‘A BETTER EUROPE’
Challenging though it may be, Cyprus is determined to establish its role as an honest and impartial broker. Among other things, its goal is to further EU ideals and enhance the profile of the Union internationally. Indeed, it is strongly committed to acting fairly and ensuring outcomes that conform to the spirit of cooperation in which the EU was conceived.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
President Demetris Christofias says: “....we hope to facilitate the planning and implementation of policies that will benefit ordinary EU citizens.The recent global financial crisis taught us all that continuous awareness, regulatory monitoring and protection of susceptible economies is required, especially as regards the interests of ordinary European citizens.” Deputy Minister for EU Affairs, Andreas Mavroyiannis, describes the journey to come as “a turning point” in Cyprus’s modern history and an opportunity for the island to consolidate its position in Europe. Another important issue is the role that Cyprus can play in terms of the EU’s relationship with the Middle East,“based on its geographical proximity and its excellent relations with those countries.” Echoing ‘A better Europe’, the main slogan adopted for the presidency, the logo is a ship ‘heading into the heart of Europe’, but with an unusual twist. The hull is the body of a dove of peace and the sails are its wings.The logo will appear on all Presidency-related material and commemorative gifts as well as on public transport in the Cypriot capital and on the EU buildings in Brussels. BENEFITS OF HOLDING THE EU PRESIDENCY
The Government believes a successful EU Presidency will boost Cyprus’s standing in Europe and globally. The Cyprus Tourism Organisation says it should also bolster the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) market. Cypriots, meanwhile, feel a number of scheduled infrastructural and beautification projects have been speeded up because of the presidency. Undoubtedly, the key to Cyprus’s success is cooperation: between the Government and the House of Representatives; between Cyprus and European Union nations and institutions; and between state entities and civil society which has been invited to put forward ideas for discussion. }
AMATHUS m a g a z in e
Challenging though it may be, Cyprus is determined to establish its role as an honest and impartial broker.
T H E E U P R E S I D E N C Y L O G O , which will be unveiled when Cyprus’s term begins, is closely related to the island’s shipping and seafaring history. Links with the sea since ancient times are evidenced by numerous archaeological finds from across the island with representations of ships and sailors. The clay vessel pictured above is one example and dates back to the Middle Bronze Age I period (1,850-1,800BC). It now belongs to the collection of the Musee du Louvre in Paris.
PREPARING FOR THE PRESIDENCY
LIMASSOL DURING THE PRESIDENCY
Cyprus set up 13 Working Groups, high level meetings and preparatory seminars to identify major targets and challenges, formulate and implement appropriate programmes. They cover everything from requirements of EU committees and Presidency Programme priorities to infrastructure, transport, safety and security, interpretation and translation, accommodation, commemorative gifts, formal and informal events, legal and institutional issues, budgetary concerns, human resources, education and training.
Limassol is expected to host around 28 presidencyrelated events between July and December. On the sidelines, two organized walks around Limassol will acquaint delegates, officials and the media with the city. Related events include – among others – the Maritime Festival which will be organised around the Medieval Castle in co-operation with the Evagoras Lanitis Foundation; the EuroMed conference on the protection, restoration and e-documentaion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the European and Mediterranean region; and the EuroMediterranean Youth Music Expo that hopes to attract over 200 young musicians from Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean countries.
The International Conference Centre in Nicosia and part of the adjacent Filoxenia hotel are designated as the main locations for most Presidency meetings. They were revamped, re-named ‘Cypress Media Centre’, and will host around 350 media representatives during the presidency. A new hall and associated facilities at the Presidential Palace can accommodate up to 300 delegates for banquets or 500 with theatre-style seating. Events will also be held in Larnaca, Paphos and Limassol; only the Ammochostos area chose to stick to leisure tourism. The inauguration of the parliamentary dimension of the Presidency begins with the meeting of the Chairpersons of European Affairs Committees of European Parliaments, (COSAC) at Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol on 8-9 July. Invitations were sent out by Averof Neofytou, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs in the House of Representatives andYiannakis Omirou, House President. A subsequent Inter-parliamentary Conference in early September, attended by the NATO Secretary General, will deal with foreign affairs, security and defence.
44 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
CELEBRATIONS FOR EVERYONE
Understandably, formal EU conferences, seminars, meetings and discussions are open only to those with official passes; but a number of cultural events are open to the general public. Marking International Exhibition Day and the EU Presidency, a new exhibit entitled ‘Anthropos: Faces of Cyprus’ opened at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia in May. Within the official cultural programme of Cyprus’s EUpresidency, the Berlin-based street-theatre group ‘Grotest Maru’ will perform on Ledra Street in Nicosia on 6-7 October from 6pm. Other open events will be publicised soon. It’s an exciting time for Cyprus… be a part of it! փ
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News from the Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes
Message from the Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes
New Look, More Luxury After the successful launch of the Elite Suites and the new Spa & Wellness Centre at the Amathus in Rhodes, the management turned its attention back to the Main Building. Indeed, a generous budget was allocated to the all-round refurbishment of all guest rooms, while service and quality standards were carefully reassessed. The results are bound to be warmly welcomed by our repeat visitors. Guests staying in the main building will enjoy the visible and tangible benefits of the upgrading measures: new furniture, ultracomfortable bedding, flat-screen TV and brand new flooring. At the same time, strict service procedures have been implemented under the watchful eye of our Service Quality Supervisors. Their duty is to ensure that your accommodation is impeccably clean, properly supplied and well maintained. Experienced travellers have long noted that Amathus in Rhodes is the hospitality jewel of the island; and the Amathus management is IOANNIS MISTHOS Genera l Ma na g er – D i r e c t o r o f F i n a n c e Am a th us B ea c h Ho t e l Rh o d e s
he Amathus in Rhodes, like all Amathus Hotels, is determined to live up to its excellent reputation; and this reputation is built by our
visitors. Your feedback defines the direction of our policy to regularly upgrade our facilities and services. Against all odds, and despite the current market conditions, we have implemented several changes across the premises. The main building is one area where repeat visitors will notice the new look of our guest rooms. Cross the street and you will be pleasantly surprised by the new sandy beach that has proved to be the highlight of Ixia Bay. In fact, it has already been the venue of our first – and very successful – beachfront wedding. We are sure that you will appreciate these changes and wish you a wonderful holiday here in Rhodes.
46 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
determined to maintain this reputation. Visit Rhodes, and enjoy the Amathus!
Dining with a Difference
Zoover Approval Similar to TripAdvisor, Zoover is an interactive online portal that allows travellers to post their comments and reviews regarding their holiday experiences in destinations around the world. Their motto is: “For travellers, by travellers”, indicating the voluntary and unbiased nature of the website. Every year, Zoover analyzes the feedback
The Iliades Restaurant is the gastronomic heart of the Amathus in Rhodes and the
they receive and issues recommendations and
breakfast room of the main building. To make the first meal of the day even more
awards. This year, Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes
enjoyable, the Iliades Restaurant has been extended in terms of space and delicious
was proud to be listed as ‘Zoover Recommended’,
offerings. The veranda with its enchanting view can now seat a much larger number of
thanks to positive input from travellers visiting the
guests, while new live cooking stations have been added to the buffet.The Pool Deck Restaurant combines new buffets and appetizing live cooking stations with its rooftop setting on the 11th floor. On Sundays, Greek Night takes over – a must for every visitor.
Beauty and the Beach
hotel. We would like to thank all who contributed to this recognition of our efforts.
Elite Occasions The launch of the Elite Suites three years ago added a new dimension of luxury and sophistication to the Amathus in Rhodes. In fact, booking records have revealed a number of reasons for the Elite Suites’ growing popularity. Some guests seek, as a rule, the privileges of
To help you enjoy the beach across the road, accessible via pedestrian subway, the Amathus has taken several measures that make all the difference.
exclusive accommodation. Others come to celebrate a special occasion or to enjoy a total
The originally pebbled sunbathing area with sun loungers for all Amathus guests
escape from the ordinary.
has been covered with smooth sands. The beach area reserved for Elite Suite
In addition, the Spa itself, which is located in the
guests has been upgraded with new sun beds where guests will also enjoy
same building, has tempted those who appreciate
fresh fruits and cold towels, as a special complimentary service.
the treatments it offers and the tranquillity that
Thanks to these improvements, the beach is now fully compliant with Blue Flag
surrounds the whole new wing.
requirements and is expected to be awarded the title in 2013.
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 47
THEOFILOS LAKKAS Hotel Manager
MICHALIS XEZONAKIS Rooms Division Manager
EUDOKIA PA PA N I C O L A O U Executive Housekeeper
M A R G A R I TA B O N I AT I Front Office Manager
N I K O S M AT S I K A S Quality Service Manager
FILIP DEDAIN Guest Relations Officer
VOULA SAVENA Assistant to the General Manager
LEONIDAS DROGARIS Quality Service Manager
S T E FA N O S KOUMOUTSIDIS Quality Service Manager
N I K I TA S PA R A S K E VA S Human Resources Manager
VA S S I L I S S A K E L L A R I S Food & Beverage Manager
DIONISIS KARAKONTOPOULOS Executive Chef
TA M A R A YA S T R E B O VA Guest Relations Officer
P A N AY I O T E S SAKELLARIS Chief Engineer
MANOLIS PEROS Quality Service Manager
S TA V R O S V L A C H O S Incoming Controller
48 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
T E X T B Y:
Jona th a n L e a c h
St Catherine's Gate 50
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
Visit the Castles of Rhodes and you will catch a glimpse of the island's illustrious past.
Castles Sun the
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THE VISITOR TO RHODES NOTICES IS ITS CASTLES. THEIR SIZE ALONE IS BREATHTAKING. BUT FIND OUT WHO BUILT THESE IMPOSING FORTIFICATIONS, AND WHY, AND – WITH A BIT OF IMAGINATION – YOU CAN RELIVE THE FASCINATING PAST OF THIS SMALL BUT PROUD ISLAND.
astles have existed in Rhodes since time immemorial – ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Genoese all fortified this charming isle. But the edifices we see today were mostly shaped by a crusading order of fighting monks: The Knights of St John. The order was founded in Palestine during the crusades to care for sick pilgrims and to protect them. When the Saracens drove the crusaders out of the Holy Land, the Knights eventually landed in Rhodes, where they captured the city. (It is said they tricked their way in disguised as sheep). Gradually they established themselves throughout the Dodecanese where they became a thorn in the side of the nascent Ottoman empire, forming a bulwark for Christendom and preying on infidel shipping. The ‘Grandmaster’ was the head of the Order that was divided into seven nationalities, or ‘tongues’: France, Italy, England, Germany, Provence, Auvergne and Spain. And although the Knights took vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, the temptations of this enchanting island were often stronger than their will-power. THE OLD TOWN
The Knights’ greatest legacy is Rhodes Old Town. Colossal walls and a landscaped moat encircle one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. At its heart is the Palace of the Grandmasters, a fortress within a fortress which was the Knights’ last line of defence. The palace was actually destroyed when lightning sparked a gunpowder explosion in the 19th century, and rebuilt by the Italians. Today it houses mosaics from Kos, classical statues and exhibitions about medieval and ancient life in Rhodes. After visiting the palace, you can stroll down the Street of the Knights, where the various nationalities comprising the order had their headquarters, or ’Inns’. And you can admire the cool, gracefully Gothic Knights’ hospital, now the archaeological museum. But the real joy of the old town lies in wandering the labyrinthine streets under the flying arches which protected against earthquakes. Knights’ coats-of-arms and Arabic inscriptions decorate the walls, and hidden gardens contain tinkling Ottoman fountains.
AMATHUS m a g a z in e
D’Amboise Gate, Old Town
Street of the Knights in the Old Town
Palace of the Grandmasters
When you are tired, you can rest at cafés in shady pebblemosaic squares, sipping frappes under canopies of vines. The walls themselves are an engineering marvel, 4km long and up to 12m thick – built just as artillery was rendering such defences redundant. From the top you can see the rooftops, minarets, and gardens of the old town, with the blue sea and purple-tinged mountains of Turkey beyond. For those of a more leisurely disposition, a wander around the moat is just as rewarding. Here swifts and martins dip and swerve amongst date palms and oleander, and lizards dart around the sun-bleached sandstone walls. In spring it is awash with crimson poppies. LINDOS
The Old Town may have been the Knights’ base and masterpiece, but they left their footprints all over the island. After Rhodes Town, most visitors head for the picture-perfect village of Lindos: Two sandy beaches, a hillside sprinkled with sugar-cube houses, and a limestone massif topped off with castle walls and an ancient temple of Athene. The Knights built on older Byzantine foundations, and their Grandmaster De Villaret took refuge here after being condemned for living more like an oriental despot than a monk. The castle is best visited in early morning or late afternoon. The path winds up past cypress trees and sea-
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
Castle of Kastellos
captains’ houses with ornate stone doorways.You pass the carved rock-relief of an ancient galley and climb the steps through a monumental gateway. Once inside you realize the castle is largely an empty shell. But the views more than compensate, as you gaze down past cliffs and caverns into ultramarine depths. FAR-FLUNG FASTNESSES
Lindos is undeniably beautiful, but the most spectacularly situated castle in Rhodes is Monolithos in the wild, mountainous south-west. This bulwark is perched on a rugged outcrop (its name means ‘single rock’), crowned by the white chapel of Agios Panteleimon. From the summit there is a vertiginous drop to the pine forests beneath. The rooftop of a second, ruined chapel provides the perfect spot to watch the rosy-fingered Rhodian sunset, the peaceful silence broken only by goats’ bells ringing in the valleys below. Kastellos on the west coast guards the village of Kritinia which spills down the hillside opposite under the shadow of Mount Atavyros. Originally built on three levels, Kastellos too is now a crumbling ruin inhabited only by cicadas and prehistoric-looking lizards. But there are breathtaking views west of Cape Akramitis and the outlying islets, with the brooding mass of Halki pale in the background. Aromas of wild sage and thyme infuse
Venetian castle of Monolithos
The seemingly indestructible castles are resilient reminders of the crusading order of The Knights of St John.
the air, and the surrounding countryside is rich with emerald vineyards and fruit-laden orchards. In spring, cherry trees are covered in pink blossom, and delicate red poppies nestle among the rugged stones. Another castle at Feraklos overlooks the pretty horseshoe bay of Haraki with its wide promenade and seafood tavernas. Feraklos was originally a pirate stronghold. Later used as a prison by the Knights, it was the last to fall to the Turks. Even if you don’t stop off here, you may see it illuminated at night from the main road, rising like some alien spaceship above its surroundings. For real explorers there are further castles at Asklepio and Archangelos. In former times there was yet another castle at Fileremos; little remains today, but the site is definitely worth visiting to see the lovely monastery with its vaulted arcades and florid bougainvillea. ECHOES AND MEMORIES
After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Knights’ days in Rhodes were numbered. They survived an epic siege by the Ottomans in 1480, but in 1522 Suleiman the Magnificent assembled another invasion fleet. The Knights held out for six months against all odds, but were betrayed by their own Grand Chancellor. (The full story can be heard at the Sound and Light performance in the palace gardens). Suleiman proved merciful in victory, and on
New Year’s Day 1523, the Knights were allowed to depart. They eventually ended up in Malta, where they remained for a further 250 years, eventually to be reorganized as the St John’s Ambulance Brigade we know today. The old town now is as bustling and cosmopolitan as it was in the Knights’ era. Portrait painters ply their trade under plane trees beneath the walls of the Palace, which is now visited by thousands who stroll under its elegant marble colonnades. Children play on the great stone balls that litter the moat and are a relic of the sieges. The approach to Lindos castle is thronged with tourists making the trek on foot or by donkey. And if you’re lucky enough to visit Rhodes when the Medieval Rose organization is holding its annual festival, there will be medieval feasts, fire-eaters and swordplay. Outside the Old Town and Lindos, however, the citadels are ruined secret places, home only to lizards, birds and wildflowers which grow amongst the blocked wells and mossy masonry. The sounds, warmth and light which originally filled these buildings and made them the centre of their communities has vanished. Only the murmur of cicadas remains, along with ghosts, echoes and memories. փ
AMATHUS m a g a z in e
T E X T B Y:
Theme Nights and live entertainment enhance your dining experience at the Amathus in Rhodes.
Jona th a n L e a c h
SUNNY DAYS AND STARRY NIGHTS… THAT IS THE ESSENCE OF A HOLIDAY IN RHODES. AND TO MAKE SURE EVERY EVENING IS SPECIAL, AMATHUS BEACH HOTEL RHODES OFFERS YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY A SERIES OF THEME NIGHTS AND LIVE ENTERTAINMENT DURING YOUR STAY. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE WEEKLY PROGRAMME!
ne of the most beautiful times when you’re on holiday is early evening, and this is doubly true in Rhodes.You’ve had a lovely day exploring the cobbled streets of the old town, browsing for bargains in the shops, kite surfing in Ixia bay, or just lounging by the pool. But gradually the sky will turn first orange, then increasingly purple. The evening stretches out in front of you, and the main decision is where to have dinner. So what’s on offer at the Amathus? The main restaurant, Iliades, offers a wonderful dining experience. But that is just the beginning. Aiming to combine dining and entertainment, the Amathus team came up with a few great ideas, and… the Amathus theme nights in Rhodes were born. Over time their popularity grew, and now they are a permanent feature at the hotel. Indeed, the first thing many returning guests do is check the theme night schedule and make a booking. The theme nights take place at the Varkarola restaurant that is set in the lush, verdant Amathus gardens amidst palms and bougainvillea. It overlooks the turquoise pools, where sparkling light plays on the ripples. Dinner is usually taken outside, where the cool breeze provides relief from any summer heat, and jasmine flowers blossom on the sandstone columns. LOBSTER NIGHT
The Lobster Night every Friday is extremely popular – a culinary experience you don’t want to miss. It starts with an effervescent glass of champagne and an assortment of smoked fish in an elaborate shell arrangement. This is followed by a lobster bisque flavoured not with the usual cognac, but with malt whiskey – a fascinating combination juxtaposing tastes of the Northern highlands with the sun-kissed Mediterranean. Next is a scallop shell worthy of Aphrodite herself, containing shrimps, mussels and langoustines, all lightly baked in a golden gratin. A summery shrimp salad prepares the way for the main attraction, a succulent lobster thermidor grilled to perfection. Save some room for dessert: a delectable warm chocolate soufflé. The meal is accompanied by a dazzling, Moulin Rouge-style cabaret performance, with intricate choreography, beautiful dancers and frequent costume changes. This romantic extravaganza of sound and light evokes a bohemian, belle-epoque Paris, when alluring ladies wore feathers, boas and sequins, and elegantly attired men sipped martinis at the bar.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
If the emphasis of Lobster Night is on extravagance and Parisian-style elegance and romance, Fish Night is a return to time-tested Aegean island basics. Just as it has been for centuries at family dinners and seaside tavernas, the centrepiece of the dining table is the catch of the day. Whatever Poseidon has generously provided the Rhodos fishermen on Monday morning becomes the star attraction for the evening meal at Varkarola. It might be fleshy sea bass, sparkling silver bream, fat porgie or bright red snapper, but rest assured it couldn’t be any fresher unless you caught it yourself and grilled it on the deck. The Fish Night feast begins in classic taverna style with a mini fish meze of briny taramasalata (fish roe dip), melintzanosalata (aubergine dip), tender kalamari, chewy and succulent barbecued octopus, just-right baby shrimp and, to really open the appetite, tiny afirina, or whitebait. Profusely doused in fresh lemon juice, afirina is one of the tastiest and most satisfying dishes in the Mediterranean seafood repertoire. And what would you expect to drink with such traditional island fare? Ouzo, of course— the anise-flavoured liquor synonymous with the Greek spirit! Now take a breather, enjoy a dance or two to the sounds of the Varkarola’s resident musicians playing a medley of Greek and the best-loved international tunes, and prepare yourself for the main course. Accompanied by a villagestyle salad of rocket lettuce and garden-fresh tomatoes, your catch of the day—perfectly grilled with olive oil, lemon and local herbs—will arrive fully deboned and ready for you to savour every morsel. BARBECUE NIGHTS
For a more relaxed, casual ambience, try the Greek Barbecue nights every Wednesday. Here the main stage is given over to two great barbecues, and the intoxicating aroma of charcoal grilled meat pervades the air and tantalizes the senses. But first is a feast of traditional starters: warm pita bread straight from the oven; cool and minty tzatziki; locally sourced shrimp and mussel ‘saganaki’; fresh ‘horiatiki’ salad. This is a simple cuisine, but one which is entirely of a piece with the classical Greek landscape (why is it that Greek food always tastes better in Greece?). Next come prime cuts of sizzling veal, pork, lamb, chicken and grilled vegetables, seasoned with oregano and rosemary. The dessert is } AMATHUS m a g a z in e
The Lobster Night every Friday is a culinary experience you don’t want to miss.
‘kaitaifi’, the shredded honeyed pastry that resembles a bird’s nest, accompanied by smooth Greek yoghurt. You may want to wash this down with an appropriately summery Greek wine. Greek wines have recently done exceptionally well at the world’s biggest wine competition, with over 70% of those entered winning awards. A light, crisp white perhaps, redolent of wildflowers in spring and languorous evenings under the starry Aegean sky. Or a deep, rich red, imbued with dark berry flavours and with beaded bubbles winking at the brim. GREEK NIGHT
While Varkarola theme nights are certainly memorable, each with its own subtly different mood, Greek Night on the Pool Deck Bar on the 11th Floor on Sunday nights is equally appetizing. Here the early evening comes with breathtaking panoramic views across the horizon. The main attraction is the music and dance, as the band plays a variety of Greek music, while Paraskevas and Katerina show off their dancing skills. There is the slow zeibekiko, where the dancer, seemingly lost in the moment, takes exaggeratedly careful steps, his friends kneeling around and clapping time. Experience the lilting sirtaki, inseparable from Zorba’s theme. Best of all are the island dances, where the whirling dancers abandon themselves in ever-increasing tempos, a spell-binding clarinet leading the way. It was music like this, one imagines, that led woodland Greek nymphs of classical myth to seduce young mortals.
A MATHU S ma g a z i n e
Some of these dances have steps so intricate that a visitor cannot hope to learn them; you have to grow up with them. The zeibekiko has no fixed steps at all – ask a Greek and they will simply say that you need to feel it inside. Other dances though can be learnt fairly quickly, and it won’t be long before you’re encouraged to join in and are swept up in the circle of laughter and merriment. LIVE MUSIC
If you’ve had your fill of Greek music, head up to the Pool Deck Bar on Fridays when local band Vintage plays rock standards from the 60s right up to the present day, from the Beatles and Stones, through U2 and the Police, to modern indie icons like Radiohead and Oasis. Lead guitarist Alexis originally learned the bouzouki before switching to electric guitar, and is astonishingly knowledgeable about both instruments. Like a character in Sultans of Swing, he has a demanding daytime job, but comes to life here, making his guitar cry and sing. As the night draws on, the bar wraps you in a warm cocoon of sound, light and laughter. When the live entertainment ends, you can continue the party until the small hours when the drowsiness finally envelops you. But don’t leave it too late. After all, tomorrow is another day… followed by another wonderful evening at the Amathus Beach Hotel in Rhodes. փ
For more information please contact our ofﬁces: NICOSIA: T: +357 22 209 000 E: email@example.com
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©2012 KPMG Limited, a Cyprus limited liability company and member of the KPMG network of independent member ﬁrms afﬁliated with KPMG International Cooperative (”KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
Let our experts ﬁnd the solution
T E X T B Y:
E mma M a c k e n z i e
Hopes are high that the natural gas reserves in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus will give the island's economy a substantial boost.
Energising the economy
DESPITE TAKING SEVERAL KNOCKS FROM AN UNRELENTING GLOBAL RECESSION, CYPRUS STILL SEEMS RESISTANT TO ECONOMIC TURMOIL ON A SCALE OF GREECE. INDEED, 2012 WILL LIKELY TRANSPIRE AS AN INSTRUMENTAL YEAR FOR RE-ESTABLISHING THE ISLAND AS A LEADING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CENTER, THANKS TO THE DISCOVERY OF NATURAL GAS RESERVES. THE QUESTION IS: HOW CAN CYPRUS CHANNEL THIS DISCOVERY INTO REAL ECONOMIC GROWTH?
58 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
he finding of natural gas resources by US-based Nobel Energy in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone has led to heightened expectations for the future prosperity of Cyprus.Valued at an estimated €32 billion, the gas resources will inevitably influence investment opportunities and potentially lead to long-term partnerships between Cyprus and other rich economies. The gas was located in Block 12 – 115 miles south of Cyprus in Israeli-Cypriot waters – and is thought to hold up to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas. With strategic administration of the gas, the supply would allow Cyprus to become self-sufficient and a major competitor in oil and gas exports.
the lowest in Europe – which bolsters Israeli companies’ interest in establishing a presence in Cyprus. Additionally, the establishment of Israeli companies in Cyprus that are keen to explore the remaining blocks for gas would dramatically increase the number of job opportunities available. At present, the unemployment rate is rife, reportedly soaring to 9.6% at the beginning of this year (Eurostat data January 2012). Fortunately, the expected demand for geologists, engineers, environmental specialists, risk managers, construction workers, accountants, lawyers and finance specialists over the next 5-10 years will help reduce the overall unemployment rate.
CYPRUS’S CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE
Cyprus is under pressure to cope with the aftermath of the fatal munitions explosion in July 2011, which destroyed its primary power plant and caused damage estimated at €2 bn – setting the country back several steps in its efforts to reduce public debt. According to Ernst & Young, Cyprus experienced a mere 0.2% growth in 2011 and the forecast for 2012 is a decline by 0.5%. Combined with the ongoing recession and the crisis in Greece, the existing economic climate is not as favourable as it once was.
It may take up to 10 years before gas revenues can be achieved.The next 2-5 years, however, will be instrumental in establishing the foundation for the island to carry out such an extravagant project. Cyprus will see much activity in terms of new business setups. Israel energy company Delek Group has already established subsidiaries: Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling LP, while Opportunity Energy Resources (Israeli energy company) have expressed their desire to form a subsidiary to explore the remaining gas blocks. Interest will also stem from companies who intend to provide secondary services. Gas exploration is only the first stage in the process; there will be a demand for research, engineering, and corporate services companies to help support the gas extraction and export activities. The rise in new Cyprus company formations over the next few years is expected to be a crucial factor in stabilising the local economy until gas revenues materialise.
ISRAEL AND CYPRUS – A PROFITABLE PARTNERSHIP
The close proximity of Block 12 to Israel’s existing gas fields has provided an unexpected opportunity for a mutual investment partnership between the two countries. Israel has shown great interest in developing a long-term relationship with Cyprus to sell their combined natural gas resources to European and Asian markets. There are many benefits to developing a working relationship with Israel. The two countries could contribute extensively to oil and gas export markets, of which Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa trading routes are easily accessed due to Cyprus’s geographic location. The expansion of Cyprus’s exports, combined with the elimination of the country’s current expenditure on oil and gas imports, would significantly contribute to economic stability. The joint energy projects between Cyprus and Israel may allow for further collaboration in terms of a Double Tax Treaty, which would benefit both countries considerably. Cyprus boasts a very hospitable 10% corporate tax rate –
SURVIVAL OF THE BANKING SECTOR
Analysing how Cyprus’s natural gas prospects could contribute to economic growth is difficult without including the current banking crisis in the equation. The growing geopolitical significance of the island is overshadowed by the exposure of Cyprus’s three main banking institutions to the defaulted Greek market. The Council of Ministers granted financial aid to Cyprus Popular Bank after it lost around €2 billion in Greek bonds, and with the promise of more financial support, the government has effectively put the island at risk of severe economic decline.Although the government could support their financial commitments with the }
AMATHUS m a g a z in e 59
The gas resources are considered vast enough to project Cyprus as a leading exporter in gas which could see the island as the ‘Qatar’ of the Mediterranean.
estimated €1 billion in yearly gas revenues, this income will not be generated for the next 5 years, leaving the short-term financial stability of Cyprus uncertain. However, the banking sector itself stands to benefit from the natural gas discovery. New investors will inject liquidity into the economy, while the demand for banking in Cyprus from new companies participating in the gas projects will be amplified. Offshore investment, along with lending from Cypriot banks to aid the gas construction projects and trade business, will further cement the future of the Cypriot banking system. STRATEGIC DECISIONS
The shift in investor confidence in Cyprus is more apparent than ever. Financial stability effectively rests on Greece’s ability to restructure and stabilise, and with the monetisation of gas not expected for 5-10 years, the need for immediate revenue is crucial.The government must therefore take appropriate measures to boost the island’s services, corporate and banking sectors to promote offshore investment. To capitalise on the natural gas the government must harness the necessary technical expertise to assist in putting plans and risk management policies in place.
FOLLOWING QATAR’S EXAMPLE
Cyprus must initiate a proactive, prudent and profitable action plan for the overall administration of its gas resources to secure the foundation of its business centre. The services sector has fallen in demand by 22% and with the banking crisis still current, the government must seek longterm gain over short-term rewards. The gas resources are considered vast enough to project Cyprus as a leading exporter in gas which, with the right direction and management from the government, could see the island as the ‘Qatar’ of the Mediterranean. The most economically viable option for Cyprus is to keep enough gas for domestic consumption and set aside reserves for commercial export. Should the country follow Qatar’s oil management strategy, it could see an influx of skilled foreign labour, heightened investor confidence, and self-reliance. Like Qatar and the UAE, Cyprus could attain a prominent position in international markets. փ
Several factors indicate that the future of Cyprus will be bright: • Economic activity from natural gas exploitation will boost the corporate sector considerably, leading to invested interest from rich countries. • The real-estate sector will profit from increased foreign demand over the next 5-10 years. • New job opportunities will emerge for exploring and extracting the gas. • Non-reliance on oil imports will see a positive trade balance and reduced government deficit.
60 AM ATHU S ma g a z i n e
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