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A MAGAZINE FOR THE GUESTS OF THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LIMASSOL

ENDURING EXCELLENCE The Four Seasons’ path to Culinary Excellence COMMANDARIA REDUX The comeback of our island’s iconic wine FEATHERED TREASURES Discover Cyprus birdlife

brilliance IN AND AROUND THE FOUR SEASONS


Made to Measure is the Art of Personal Elegance

Su Misura NICOSIA 28 Stasikratous Street T. 22675952 LIMASSOL Maximos Plaza T. 25582254 | zegNA.COM


W E L C O M E m e ssa g e

Change at the Four Seasons is never for the sake of it. It is our way of demonstrating that we listen to our guests and always strive to offer them an even more enjoyable experience.

Change and challenges The Four Seasons is known to be a hotel that pursues change as a matter of policy; but the challenge is to identify real opportunities to offer our guests extraordinary hospitality. Our inspiration comes from the latest trends in the hotel industry, high international hospitality standards, and above all from you, our guests. The timing of such changes is equally important to ensure they are implemented within the shortest possible time and with minimum disruption or inconvenience to our guests. In January this year, we closed the hotel in order to work full steam on our latest renovations. Within three intensive weeks we completed the latest upgrades to our facilities: the installation of new elevators and a complete remodelling of CafÊ Tropical’s outdoor area. Our signature dining environment for the last 22 years with its pergolas around the Koi Lagoon has given way to a brand new, more inspiring and enchanting venue that will continue to be the vibrant heart of our resort hotel. None of these developments would have been possible without the cooperation of our management and staff, and the loyalty of our guests who have made our hotel their second home. Thank you for choosing the Four Seasons, and enjoy your stay!

cmouskis@muskitahotels.com.cy

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Christos Mouskis EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

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IMPERIALE

J E W E L L E R Y AT E L I E R 104 Amathountos Avenue, Seasons Plaza B-C, Ayios Tychonas (opposite Four Seasons Hotel) 4532 Limassol, Cyprus Tel.: 25 313302, Fax: 25 314734, Mobile: 99 652263, e-mail: jewelleryatelier@cytanet.com.cy


PUBLISHER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tasos Polydorou

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Eleni Polydorou eleni@polydoroudesign.com

SENIOR DESIGNER Maria Nicolaou

ADVERTISING SALES Katerina Kyprianou katerina@polydoroudesign.com

Inside

CONTRIBUTORS Vasiliki Anastasi Al Davidian Mario Hajiloizis Yiota Mallas Paula Manoli Dina Mylordou Matthew Stowell

PHOTOGRAPHY Louca Studios Christos Papantoniou

PRINT PRODUCTION Laser Graphics Ltd

THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL P.O.Box 57222, CY-3313 Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 2585 8000, Fax: +357 2531 0887 E-mail: inquiries@fourseasons.com.cy www.fourseasons.com.cy

Published on behalf of the Four Seasons Hotel by: T&E Polydorou Design Ltd P.O.BOX 40353, 6303 Larnaca, Cyprus www.polydoroudesign.com

The title and all material are protected by copyright and all rights

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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 The Four Seasons Hotel can accept responsibility for omissions or errors.

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CHANGE AND CHALLENGES Message from the Executive Chairman WELCOME TO OUR COMMUNITY Welcome message from the Executive Director FOUR SEASONS NEWS News, Events and Special Occasions LIMASSOL DIARY Don’t miss the main highlights of Limassol’s cultural scene AT YOUR SERVICE Meet the Four Seasons Management Team LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS Christos Mouskis shares his thoughts on leadership a feel for FASHION Mary Chrysostomou presents the new Spring/Summer 2015 collections for the Four Seasons and Amathus Hotel boutiques BAR SECRETS REVEALED Cocktail premieres at the Vista Bar HAUTE COUVERTURE The tempting revelations of Chocolate Week 2014 ENDURING EXCELLENCE The Four Seasons’ path to TimeOut’s Culinary Excellence Award


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49 62 66 70 72 82 88 96 100

VICTORIOUS VIVALDI Key ingredients of Vivaldi’s award-winning Italian cuisine

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TASTE OF CHINA Explore the distinctive culinary traditions of China’s provinces DINEAROUND A gourmet excursion exclusively for Four Seasons guests COMMANDARIA REDUX Who’s behind the comeback of our island’s iconic wine? SCENIC CYCLING The charms and challenges of a new cycling route from Limassol to the Troodos Mountains

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FEATHERED TREASURES Discover the who, what, where and when of Cyprus birdlife RUSSIAN DE-OFFSHORISATION Facts and implications of the new law in Russia INSIDE STORY Four Seasons Sous Chef Evros Charalambous

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DONNA KARAN NEW YORK

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Total look Versace Collection and Chanel bag


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W E L C O M E m e ssa g e

At the Four Seasons, we realise that every facility is only as good as the service that accompanies it. That’s why we invest in our people as much as we invest in the hotel; and the positive results are evident.

WELCOME to our community Welcome to the 24th edition of Portrait magazine. As you read the following pages you will notice that the Four Seasons has recently added several new awards to its growing collection. These include awards from leading tour operators, established and new culinary awards, and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s inaugural Business Leader awards, which honoured our Executive Chairman, Christos Mouskis, for his achievements. It is worth noting that these accolades are not merely a measure of quality, but in fact ‘people awards’. They are based mainly on individual feedback from people – our guests – and reflect the service of people – the Four Seasons team; a team that is equipped to make the most of our facilities and employs personal skills, experience and technology to ensure that you feel relaxed and comfortable while you are here. In addition to serving you, this team is also involved in various charitable initiatives for the benefit of less fortunate segments of our society. Indeed, the hotel’s management and staff, guests, local partners and friends have evolved into a community in itself. A community that works for the greater good of our society and our country, and operates under an umbrella of caring for one and all. Our hope is that you too feel

Nick Aristou EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Four Seasons Portrait

that sense of homely familiarity whenever you stay at the Four Seasons.

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HOTEL EVENTS & HAPPENINGS

A World of Awards

Given the diversity of holidaymakers and business travellers who visit the Four Seasons, it is safe to say that within the context of the travel market, the world is watching every move and corner of the hotel; and judging by a recent set of awards, hotel guests are more than satisfied. The latest honours awarded to the Four Seasons include TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice award for 2014 as the best luxury hotel in Cyprus and a Certificate of Excellence 2014 for the hotel restaurants. TripAdvisor sites in 45 countries have attracted more than 200 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. Booking.com, with its tagline ‘Planet Earth’s #1 Accommodation site’, registers over 750,000 room night reservations every day. This platform ranked the Four Seasons as ‘Booking’s Best’, in the Resorts category. HolidayCheck websites, which feature a total of 980,000 hotel reviews, ranked the Four Seasons among their recommended hotels in 2014, with a score of 5.6 / 6. Yet another award, the Quality Award 2013, came from Jet2holidays, the provider of ‘Package holidays you can trust’. Sincere thanks to all our guests who have contributed to this success.

Next question?

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In the age of information and touch screens, the Four Seasons is all set to put the two together to offer guests instant answers to many common questions via five interactive information hot spots across the hotel. Coming soon are two large 42” touch screens in the upper and lower lobby, and three smaller screens just outside the restaurants. These sources of information will serve as 24/7 concierge assistants, ready to flash the hotel’s daily schedule of functions and weekly entertainment programme, as well as weather forecasts, flight arrival and departure times, and sightseeing tips. You will also be able to view the menus of all Four Seasons restaurants and book your table on the spot. For the convenience of all guests, the new system will operate in English, Greek and Russian.

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Culinary

Champions

LIMASSOL on the Rise

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Every four years Luxembourg hosts the Culinary World Cup, which attracts chefs from around the world, all with the skills, the drive and ambition to compete on an international scale. The most recent CWC took place in November 2014, with the participation of 43 National Teams from Canada to New Zealand, and 6 Junior National Teams. The 13-member Cyprus National Team, which includes six Four Seasons staff members, went well prepared for the Presentation competition – a buffet display of starters, main course, desserts and chocolate showpiece, which are judged by the eye rather than the palate. The ultimate challenge, however, was the Live Cooking event, where six chefs were given a kitchen, their ingredients and 6 hours to prepare a 3-course meal for 110 persons – from scratch. Having successfully served typical Cypriot flavours from Halloumi to Kolokasi, the Cyprus National Team returned home proudly with silver medals achieved in both challenges. But it was the Junior National Team that stole the show. Although participating in the CWC for the first time, the 6-member team (with 3 from the Four Seasons) won overall Gold, ranking as the top team in their category. Congratulations to all!

Limassol residents and friends will not be surprised to hear that our town has been included in TripAdvisors’ 10 ‘Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise’. These most recent destination awards highlight spots around the world that have received the greatest increase in positive feedback and interest from TripAdvisor members, year over year. In fact, Limassol ranked third among the Top 10, after Da Nang in Vietnam and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. CNN journalist Katia Hetter is reported to have said: “These may soon be 10 of the most popular destinations in the world. Our advice: Visit them before everyone else does.” Given the popularity of Limassol, CNN is just discovering what so many others already know…


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Marketing

à la Marinos

When it comes to staff promotions, the Four Seasons has always advocated a policy of selecting ‘from within’, wherever possible. And now that the next-door Amathus Hotel is under the same management as the Four Seasons, the available talent pool has expanded. At the same time, several positions have evolved in order to align the needs of both hotels. Marinos Shaxiates is a case in point. Previously the Group Marketing Manager for Amathus Hotels, Marinos has recently been welcomed to the Four Seasons management team in the capacity of Sales & Marketing Manager responsible for both the Four Seasons and Amathus Hotel, reporting to Executive Director Nick Aristou. Marinos holds the Swiss Diploma in Hospitality Management from the Hotel Institute of Montreux and the diploma of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, as well as a Masters in Business Administration with focus on Marketing and Strategy from the CIIM in Cyprus. With 14 years of work experience in top-tier hotels in Cyprus and with Google training under his belt, Marinos is well equipped to design and implement sales and marketing plans that will support the continued success of both the Four Seasons and the Amathus Hotel in today’s online and personal marketplace.

Junior Glam

On Christmas Day, one of our most regular junior guests, Ksenia Astashova, was spotted in the hotel lobby sporting the latest in children’s fashion couture and her very own Rudolph! We hope she enjoyed the holiday and look forward to welcoming her and her parents again very soon.

Winning Sommelier

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Next time you visit the Four Seasons Mavrommatis restaurant, make sure to congratulate Head Waiter Marios Constantinides, who was recently named ‘Best Young Sommelier’. Marios earned this title on 11 December 2014, during a competition that was organised by the Cyprus Sommeliers Association in collaboration with the Photos Photiades Company and held at the Kyperounda Winery. As a member of the Four Seasons’ team of sommeliers, Marios is now even more excited to share his knowledge with his guests. He realises that sharing a passion for wine always doubles the pleasure – and he wants you to enjoy your meal at Mavrommatis to the full.


F o u r S e a so n s n e w s

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What’s new

at the Four Seasons?

To the outside world, the Four Seasons was closed from 9-29 January; but on the inside, activity reached a peak, making sure that a number of new features would be completed in time for the hotel’s re-opening.

Elevating news For regular guests, the new elevator cabins will be the first difference they will notice upon arrival; it’s a change that proves that not all elevators were created equal. In addition to the smart exterior and slick doors, and the marble and glass panelled interiors, the elevators’ functionality has also been upgraded. Transportation to your room is now faster, quieter and smoother than ever!

The great outdoors As the focal point of food, Café Tropical is an almost fluid dining area, with waves of guests moving indoors or outdoors, depending on the season, time of day and ambient temperatures. In preparation for the summer and an exciting programme of theme nights and outdoor entertainment, Café Tropical’s outdoor area has been entirely reinvented. Step outside – onto new floors – and you will instantly notice that high ceilings have replaced the pergola to create a shaded yet light and breezy setting. Wood, glass and steel elements might trigger a déjà vu: yes, they deliberately echo the style of the hotel’s seafood bar on the Vista terrace. The new look did not bypass the pool bar, an essential player in the outdoor life of leisure at the Four Seasons!

Seaside Service

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By April/May, as the first bold guests start enjoying a dip in the Mediterranean, new facilities and services will be available on the beach. New changing cabins will make it easy to slip into a dry swimsuit without returning to the main building. And for refreshments or snacks from the beach bar, you won’t have to leave your sunbed: the installation of wifi operated call buttons on your umbrella allow you to signal that you’re ready to be served. Yet another way the Four Seasons employs technology to offer guests subtle and sophisticated 5-star service…


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F o u r S e a so n s n e w s

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Spa for Two

Shiseido solutions

Both men and women are increasingly enjoying the benefits of spa treatments and massages, especially while on holiday. To add another dimension to their spa experience, the Shiseido Spa at the Four Seasons has introduced a treatment room for couples, which will be available from February 2015. Equipped with twin massage beds side by side, the new facility is primarily reserved for Shiseido body treatments. Spa Manager Elpi says: “Couples can book different treatments, but for practical reasons, our guests are likely to choose treatments of the same duration. The most popular treatments will probably be the 60-minute massages – and there are many options to choose from.” As this room has been eagerly anticipated, it is bound to be in high demand. To avoid disappointment, plan and book your twin treatments in the couples room well in advance.

Face value After 20 years of research, Shiseido has unveiled Ultimune, ‘one of the most innovative forces in skincare’. The new serum makes your skin more resistant to the effects of various internal and external factors, from hormonal changes to fatigue or stress, travel and jetlag. All you need is two fragrant drops, morning and evening, and the first results will be visible in two weeks’ time. Take advantage of the Four Seasons Introductory Offer: Book a 75min Hydroperfect Facial with Ultimune and enjoy 20% off both the treatment and the product price.

Book Bazaar

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For the second year, the Four Seasons staff organised its charity book sale under the banner of ‘Books in Circulation’. The idea originated in the hotel’s Accounting Department and was welcomed and supported by the entire staff, the hotel’s welfare fund, the training and development centre, and of course the management. The event took place on 15 November in the Four Seasons Summit Room, where hundreds of unwanted books and encyclopedias that staff members had collected throughout the year were displayed and sold for a nominal price. Visitors could browse and shop while they enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee and cake, courtesy of the hotel. The sale raised over €2.000 for local families in need, as well as for the acquisition of specific materials for schools and a children’s institution. Several books were donated directly to schools and pre-schools for their libraries.


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Chaîne of events

The President of the Cyprus chapter, Victor Papadopoulos, enthrones Natalia Piven as Dame de la Chaîne (lower right), before all the newly enthroned Cyprus members pose with the Committee for a

}

commemorative photo (lower left).

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The Cyprus Chapter of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs held its annual gala dinner at the Four Seasons on 6 December 2014. Known as the “global community whose focus is brotherhood, friendship, camaraderie, and sharing a passion for the culinary arts”, this international gastronomic association continues to gain momentum in Cyprus. During this year’s annual event for the ‘enthronisation’ of new members, 25 new members were welcomed into the Cyprus fold as ‘Chevalier de la Chaîne’ or ‘Dame de la Chaîne’, while four current Chevaliers were promoted to ‘Officier’ and one Officier was pronounced ‘Grand Officier’. The black-tie dinner was attended by 146 members, spouses and guests who mixed and mingled during a Henri Mandois Champagne reception before proceeding to the Ballroom for an eclectic 6-course dinner. The menu started with poached langoustine and lobster, followed by a halibut spectacle, which gave way to slow-cooked Beef Wellington and veal confit with duck foie gras. The palate then paused with Gorgonzola and Pecorino cheese before indulging in an exquisite filled meringue dessert, coffee and petits fours. As always, wines and spirits changed with each course to underline each flavour constellation, making this truly the fine dining event it is by definition. In addition to the annual dinner at the Four Seasons, the Chaîne organises 9-10 other events in different venues across Cyprus that are run by members of the Chaîne and meet the association’s criteria. The association has a presence in 88 countries around the world with a total of over 350.000 professional (chefs or sommeliers) and non-professional members. It is worth noting that the Cyprus chapter has attracted 149 members so far – the highest number in the world in relation to the country’s population – with members from Cyprus, France, Russia, Belarus, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium Lebanon and Kuwait.


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D I A R Y l i ma s s o l eve n t s

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diary

2015

The region of Limassol is blessed with a rich and fascinating history and deeply rooted traditions that are the basis for a whole host of exciting cultural events, as well as contemporary offerings. Whether you enjoy world-class musical performances, exhibitions, festivals or the great outdoors, you are sure to find something new and interesting to see and do in Limassol - all within these diary pages.

February 12 Concert: Cyprus Symphony O rchestra The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert of various works by Cypriot composers at Rialto Theatre. Founded in 1987, the orchestra regularly collaborates with Cypriot composers and commissions and presents premieres of their works both locally and abroad. 20:30, Rialto Theatre Tel: 7777 7745 (box office) /

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February – April

2534 3902

G erm asogeia Wal ks

(information)

The Municipality of Germasogeia organises two walks for visitors, titled ‘Discover the Natural Environment of Germasogeia’ and ‘A Village Blessed by Water’. The first walk passes through the countryside, taking in the indigenous flora and fauna of the area, while the second showcases the historical architecture of Germasogeia and its famous dam. The walks start and finish at the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) office, and a qualified and licensed tour guide accompanies you all the way. An e-leaflet detailing the walks in English can be found on the municipality’s website. 10:00-13:00, CTO Office, Dasoudi www.yermasoyia.org


K I D S

C O L L E C T I O N

E X C L U S I V E L Y

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Planète 2 8 t h O c t o b e r Av e . , O l y m p i c R e s i d e n c e , L i m a s s o l , T. 2 5 1 0 5 2 7 4 , E : b o u t i q u e s @ t h o m a i d e s . c o m


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6-8

FEBRUARY GREEN MONDAY

MARCH Cyprus Contemporary Dance Platform 2015

12 - 22

26 - 8

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MARCH LIMASSOL MARATHON

FEBRUARY - MARCH CYPRUS SUNSHINE CUP

FEBRUARY LIMASSOL CARNIVAL

February 12-22

Limassol Carnival Limassol is the epicentre of the isand’s annual carnival celebrations, which kick off with the entrance of the Carnival King. Throughout the carnival period, the town features street decoration, colourful parades and parties, and much festivity in costume. The culmination of the celebrations is a final Grand Carnival Parade with floats and characters from various organisations and groups. The full programme can be found on the carnival page of the municipality website nearer the time. www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy/carnival

February 23 Green Monday Green Monday follows the festivities of the carnival period to mark the beginning of Lent, and it is customary for people to take to the fields and mountains for a Lenten picnic with the family. The picnic includes only fasting foods such as sesame seed bread, a sweet made from tahini and known as ‘Halvas’, fruit, vegetables and seafood that does not bleed, such as octopus and squid. Kite-flying is also a popular activity on Green Monday, as well as various ball games.

February 26 - March 8 Cyprus Sunshine Cup A major part of the UCI Mountainbike Series calendar, the Cyprus Sunshine Cup returns in 2015 in two stages. The Afxentia Stage Race (a registered SHC category) will take place over four days on February 26 - March 1, followed by the second stage, which will take place between the picturesque ruins of

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Ancient Amathus a week later on March 8. Over 100 elite riders from over 30 countries take part in the annual event. Further information and start times available on the official Cyprus cycling website. www.cyclingcy.com


March 6-8 Cyprus Contem porary Dance Platfor m 2015 This annual festival first took place in 2001 and has since become a popular showcase of the best dance on the island. Dance groups and choreographers of Cyprus are invited to perform during the three days, with the best finally being selected to perform at the European Dance Festival, which is held in June on an international scale. There are also parallel events, performances and discussions. 20:30, Rialto Theatre Tel: 7777 7745 (box office) / 2534 3902 (information) www.cyprusdanceplatform.com

March 29 Limassol Marathon G SO Fully accredited by AIMS, the Limassol Marathon is the island’s official marathon, which covers a flat course of 42km along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline. The races include a Marathon, Half-Marathon, Health Race (10km), Corporate Race (5km), City Race (5km) and Student Race (1km), all under the slogan ‘run with a smile’. Thanks to the terrain’s flat surface, the races are ideal for runners of all levels. All information can be found on the official website. www.limassolmarathon.com


D I A R Y l i ma s s o l eve n t s

17 –26

APRIL Cyprus Film Days – 13th International Film Festival

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1-6 MAY Portobello Antiques Exhibition

APRIL EASTER SUNDAY

April 12

Easter Sunday Easter is the most important religious celebration on the Greek Orthodox calendar and is celebrated with a series of church services, traditional food and treats, family gatherings and even a bonfire where an effigy of the traitor Judas is burned. The traditional Easter treats include ‘tsoureki’ (a sweet bread) and ‘flaounes’ (cheese, raison and mint scones). On Easter Sunday, Cypriots traditionally enjoy a meal of young lamb on the barbecue, and visitors are welcome to observe the church services. The hotel also marks Easter in its own inimitable way, so look out for more information nearer the time.

April 17-26 Cyprus F il m Days – 13 th I nternational F il m F estival The official international film festival of the island consists of two main programmes; an international

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May 1-6 Portobello A nti q ues E xhibition Held by Portobello Antiques – who specialise in timeless culture and

competitive part, ‘Glocal Images’, and a non-

beauty, and have a permanent display next to the Four Seasons boutique

competitive part titled ‘Viewfinder’, which features

– this exhibition and sale of antiques celebrates over 30 years in business.

films that have been screened and awarded at

Portobello Antiques bring authentic antiques including silver, porcelain,

major festivals over the past year. Alongside the

furniture, paintings, maps, jewellery, bronzes, clocks and other decorative

screenings, special tributes, parallel screenings,

items to Cyprus, principally from the UK, China, Russia and other European

master classes, workshops and musical events

countries. All antiques are certified for their authenticity, and services such as

also take place. All the information and a list of

gift-wrapping, local delivery and worldwide transportation

screenings will be available nearer the time on the official website. Rialto Theatre & Nicosia Tel: 7777 7745 (box office) / 2534 3902 (information) www.cyprusfilmdays.org

(including to Moscow) can be arranged. 9:30-20:30, Four Seasons Hotel, Summit Room Evi Agrotis: 2536 9598 / 9964 5777 www.kiprinform.com/portobello-antiques/


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D I A R Y l i ma s s o l eve n t s

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9 -10

JUNE FESTIVAL OF THE FLOOD (KATAKLYSMOS)

may Germasogeia Flower Festival (Anthestiria)

3

10 -11& 16 -17

6 -7

JUNE CYPRUS RUSSIAN FESTIVAL

MAY ROSE FESTIVAL

may street life FESTIVAL

May 3

Street Life Festival From music and street theatre to graffiti and handicrafts, the annual Street Life Festival is a hip urban celebration with entertainment, activities and food and drink. Organised by Gifts and Gadgets, the full day and evening event takes place along the old town streets of Saripolou and Athenon, and draws large crowds, with local and European participation. Full details of the event will be posted nearer the time on the official Facebook page. Saripolou and Athenon Street, Tel: 2535 3573, Facebook page: Street Life Festival

May 9-10 Germasogeia Flower Festival (Anthestiria) Limassol celebrates the season of spring and the colourful and fragrant flowers it brings with a two-day flower festival known as ‘anthestiria’. During the festival there are flower markets, shows, exhibitions and a final parade of beautiful flower floats. The tradition of holding a flower festival dates back to ancient times. The full programme will be available nearer the date. Tel: 2587 9898 www.yermasoyia.org

May 10-11 & 16-17 Rose Festival The Troodos mountain village of Agros celebrates its fragrant roses with a festival held on two consecutive weekends. During the daytime and evening programme, visitors can visit the local rose workshops, observe the rose oil distillation process, and enjoy exhibitions, seminars and folk entertainment. There is also an open-air

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market with various stalls, including traditional food and drink. The sights of this picturesque village also remain open for visitors to explore. Agros Village, Troodos www.mytroodos.com


June 1 F e st i val of the Flood (Kata klys m os )

Kataklysmos is held 50 days after Easter and is a water-focused festival that has its roots in the biblical flood of Noah’s Ark and pagan waterfront festivals that were held in honour of the goddess Aphrodite in ancient times. The festival is celebrated in Limassol with boat trips, games, a programme of music and dance, and a traditional ‘panayiri’ fair with various stalls. The full programme is available nearer the time on the municipality’s website. Molos Seafront www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy

June 6-7 Cyprus Russian Festival The annual Cyprus Russian Festival marks its tenth anniversary this year and is a celebration of the unique friendship between Cyprus and Russia. Organised by the Russian newspaper ‘Vestnik Kipra’ under the auspices of the President of Cyprus and with the support of the Russian Embassy in Cyprus and Limassol Municipality, the festival attracts over 10.000 visitors. There is a programme of entertainment, a Traditional Russian Village, open chess games and a gala concert and fireworks display to round off the festivities, among other activities. 15:00-23:00 Limassol Zoo Garden Facebook page: Cyprus Russian Festival


D I A R Y l i ma s s o l eve n t s

26-28 june Shakespeare at Curium

June

European Contemporary Dance Festival This festival first took place in 1998 and now attracts many renowned dance troupes from Cyprus and Europe, who share the stage in a celebration of their shared appreciation of dance. Three groups from each participating country apply for the festival, with the final programme decided by a selection committee. The festival is organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture and Rialto Theatre, in collaboration with the embassies and the cultural centres of the participating countries. For the final date and more information nearer the time, visit Rialto’s website. Rialto Theatre, Tel: 7777 7745 (box office) / 2534 3902 (information), www.rialto.com.cy

June 26, 27 & 28 Shakespeare at Curiu m – The Merry W ives of W indsor

June Ballet Festival Since 2000, the annual ballet festival has wowed ballet lovers with a different

The committee for The Performing Arts for

world-class performance brought to the stage of the Limassol Municipal

Cyprus Charities puts on a Shakespeare

Garden Theatre in June of every year. Last year’s performance was Pierre

play each year at the ancient open-air

Beaumarchais’s ‘Figaro’, performed by the National Ballet of Kremlin. Past

amphitheatre of Curium, with proceeds going

performances included Eifman’s ‘Red Giselle’ and ‘Swan Lake’. Final dates,

to various charities on the island. This year’s

confirmation of the 2015 ballet title and further information can be found

production is The Merry Wives of Windsor –

nearer the time on the Ballet Festival page of Limassol Municipality’s website.

directed by St John Coombes. The comedy

www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy/ballet

was first published in 1602, though it is

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believed to have been written prior to 1597. 20:00

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Although all events have been confirmed and

Curium Amphitheatre

were correct at the time of going to press, we recommend contacting the organisers closer to the date of each event, in case of any short notice cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.

Tel: 9999 0535 www.shakespeareatcurium.com


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F O U R S E A S O N S t e a mw o r k

YOUR at

service As the number of local and international awards that the Four Seasons has received continues to grow, it becomes ever more evident how much the long-standing management team and their staff contribute to the hotel’s achievements. After all, such awards are all based on guest feedback, which in turn is the result of the attention our guests receive. Meet some key members of the team and talk to them. Remember, they’re always there to serve you.

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Foundations of Hospitality

YIANNIS

ANDREAS

COSTAS

ANGELOS

IOANNOU

LOIZOU

NICOLAOU

ILLAMBAS

Assistant Hotel Manager

HR & Quality Director

Financial Controller

Group Chief Engineer

DEMETRIS

ANDREAS

Charis

NICOLAOU

ALKIVIADES

HADJINEOPHYTOU

Duty Manager

Reception Manager

Duty Manager

COSTAS NICOLAOU

YIANNOS

Krystyna Tatsyy

Food & Beverage

Food & Beverage

GREGORIOU

Quality & Public Relations

Adm. & Sales Manager

Service Manager

Food & Beverage

Manager

Manager

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LEONIDAS LEONIDOU

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F O U R S E A S O N S t e a mw o r k

Smooth Operation

MARIOS

LAMBROS

NEARCHOS

EVA

STELIOS

GEORGIOU

LAMBROU

EVANGELOU

KOFTEROU

PAPAGEORGIOU

Purchasing Manager

Assistant Chief Engineer

Back of House Manager

Executive Housekeeper

Reservations Supervisor

Culinary Arts

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KENNY KEUNG

PANICOS

PANAYIOTIS

DEMETRIS

Seasons Oriental

HADJITOFIS

CHARALAMBOUS

HADJIYIANNIS

Head Chef

Executive Chef

Executive Sous Chef

Head Pastry Chef


F O U R S E A S O N S t e a mw o r k

Gastronomy

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LENIA DEMOSTHENOUS

SIFIS NICOLAOU

DAVID WALKER

Assist. Maitre d’Hotel

Restaurants Manager

Assist. Maitre d’Hotel

MARIOS DEMOSTHENOUS

GEORGE MICHAEL

Bars Manager

Bars Manager

STALO ARABANTZI

Savvas Papathomas

Kyriacos Theodotou

Restaurant Supervisor -

Restaurant Supervisor -

Restaurant Supervisor -

Seasons Oriental

Mavrommatis

Vivaldi


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w w w. a s k a n i s. co m


F O U R S E A S O N S t e a mw o r k

Developing the Business

MARINOS SHAXIATES

MARINA STAVROU

LARYSA BORGARDT

CHRISTINA SOLOMOU

Sales & Marketing Manager

Corporate Sales Manager

Sales Executive

Conference & Incentive Coordinator

Fashion and Leisure

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ELPIS

MARY

Kindergarten & Moments

PAPAGEORGIOU

CHRYSOSTOMOU

to Enjoy Supervisor

Shiseido Spa Manager

Fashion Director

CONSTANTINOS

HEIKE IOANNOU

MICHAEL Le Club Actif Sports Manager


Leadership Insights

In 2014, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI), the IMH, and the magazines InBusiness and Gold organised the Four Seasons Portrait

42

first ever Business Leader Awards. The aim of these awards is to acknowledge the vision, leadership and achievements of key players in different sectors of the Cyprus economy.


L E A D E R S H I P interview

During the awards ceremony which was held on 31 October, Four Seasons / Muskita Hotels Executive Chairman, Christos Mouskis, proudly received the Business Leader Award in the Tourism category. In an interview with GOLD magazine’s chief editor, John Vickers, Christos shares his thoughts and practical advice on leadership.

Do you agree with the saying “Great leaders are born,

Is it important for a good leader to be popular with his

not made”?

employees?

I would say it’s a combination. You are born with the personality of a leader and the desire to be a leader; but the vital skills and knowledge must then be acquired by observing, gaining experience, studying and learning continuously from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, in order to constantly improve your leadership skills.

‘Popular’ is not the correct word. Employees must be able to trust their leader’s judgement. A good business leader will always recognize his employees’ efforts and let them know and feel that he is fair, approachable, and that they can count on him in difficult times. Fairness and objective feedback to employees are also essential.

What 3 qualities would you describe as essential for some-

Not every good manager becomes a good leader. Why do

one wishing to be an excellent business leader?

you think this is?

First, you must have the ability to see change coming – before others do. Second, you need the patience to understand and deal with the people around you – especially your employees and your clients. Third, you need the skills to be able to analyze a situation, to clearly identify the root of any given problem, to assess the options, and also recognize an opportunity when it arises.

Managing a department is very different from leading an organization. Managerial skills are focused, whereas a leader, especially in small markets like Cyprus, has to be able to see everything from the very small detail to the big picture. Broad and general knowledge is not enough. That’s why an excellent field manager might not succeed as a leader.

How difficult was it for you to reach the stage where you

Is there an international business leader that you admire?

felt that you knew what good leadership is all about?

I admire people who have changed the world in a meaningful way, or have influenced the way the world sees certain things. Take Steve Jobs for example. He was the brain behind extraordinary breakthroughs and technological innovation that have changed the way we communicate, the way we work, even the way we live. Judging by his products, that is good leadership.

I was fortunate to have grown up with a father who was a very good leader. I learned certain leadership skills intuitively from him. The rest I acquired gradually with experience and by analyzing past decisions and how they affected my business. Leadership skills and qualities must be seen in context. What works in one generation will probably not be valid in the next generation. You have to constantly observe what works and what doesn’t, learn and adjust to the situation. It’s an ongoing process.

Is there a specific leadership style that everyone should aspire to or do individual leaders create their own success-

Did you make lots of mistakes on the way? Is this inevitable?

ful style?

Of course I made mistakes; fortunately not many, and not dramatic mistakes. That is because I recognize when I need to discuss an issue with my team, to make a collective decision in order to avoid mistakes. Are mistakes inevitable? You are more likely to make mistakes when decisions have to be made quickly and under pressure. But as a leader, major mistakes are a luxury you cannot afford.

It’s not about style. It’s about mobilizing your people towards a common vision, and positively energizing your organization. To that end, I adapt to circumstances, situations, and the people I am dealing with. There are times when I am democratic, and other times when I demand immediate compliance. On different occasions I act as a coach, or a motivator, or a pace-setter. At all times, I set high standards for myself, for others to follow. However, my values as a person always remain the same. In that sense I am predictable.

Did you have a good role model on which you based your own leadership style or did you react against a poor one?

How does it feel to have been selected as the winner of the KEBE Business Leader Award in your particular sector?

I’m proud and honoured to be chosen for this first award, among so many other capable leaders in our industry. Beyond that, it’s business as usual, working day by day to learn and improve the business.

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Rather than observing great leaders, I prefer to follow what successful companies do – in the hospitality and other industries – to learn from their actions. Besides, of course, hotel companies, I observe the long-term strategies of successful retail and airline companies. If you look carefully at companies and brands that seem invincible even across generations and despite intense competition, you will identify common denominators, despite operating in different industries. We can learn a lot by watching the ‘winners’, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

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a feel for

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Fashion p h o t o g ra p hy LOU C A S TUDIO S


m

FA S H I O N trendsettin g d e sig n e rs

Mary Chrysostomou is both the heart of the

Four Seasons boutique and the brain behind it.

After managing the boutique since 2007, she has now spread her wings to serve as the Fashion Director

of both the Four Seasons and the Amathus in-house boutiques. Her tasks include sourcing new collections and coordinating them, as well as managing

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promotional and marketing activities.

Mary Chrysostomou combines her detail-oriented sense of style with an understanding of her clients’ tastes and preferences.

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In this new role, Mary applies her sense of style and high ‘fashion IQ’, as she is conversant with the vast scope of fabrics, styles, colours and cuts. She is also fully aware of the old, the current and the evolving fashion trends. By keeping up with the evolutions and revolutions in the glamorous world of fashion for many years, Mary has developed her very own eye for ‘the next big thing’ – promising designers who are destined for success. At the same time, she has her feet firmly on the parquet of the Four Seasons boutique, never losing sight of her customers, their individual preferences and personal style. She says: “My role is not to design clothing, but to design concepts, to mix and match items and accessorise tastefully – in a way that underlines a person’s individual style.” With that in mind, Mary always makes sure that both boutiques are well stocked with established high-end brands, but also up-and-coming designers who have not yet penetrated the main European markets. By identifying these budding talents, she is able to offer her clientele extraordinary couture creations that they would otherwise not be able to enjoy. She says: “My job is to bridge the gap from runway to consumer, and my goal is to choose collections that I know my clients will appreciate.” Mary ensures that the two boutiques are not identical twins, but more like two sisters who complement each other, to provide you with everything from the most exclusive haute couture and accessories to affordable luxury – without sacrificing exquisite style. Have a look at the new labels she has lined up alongside the established designers for the spring/summer 2015 offerings of both boutiques. They are the next generation of trendsetters, whose every piece is bound to hold a sentimental place in your wardrobe.

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WOMEN’S ready-to-wear

I n L i m a ss o l , t h e s e l a b e ls a r e f o u n d e xc lu s i v e ly at t h e F o u r S e a s o n s H ot e l a n d t h e A m at h u s B e ac h H ot e l .

Created and owned by Miami-based designer Ema Koja, these designs are wearable pieces of art. The signature silicone material delivers body-hugging designs without compromising comfort. Intended for special occasions, each item has that special something that gives you a visible air of confidence. Designer Andrea Constantin believes “the beauty of a dress lies in the happiness it brings to the one who wears it!” Her brand DNA is a feminine silhouette, custom handmade embroideries and geometric draping. The youthful brand of this Brazilian designer captures a cool and sexy spirit for the modern and independent woman. Featuring rich embroideries and prints, the Summer 2015 collection evokes Africa and transports us to a world full of exotic elements. Famous for his bandage dresses, this Parisian Couturier has launched a line that focuses on dresses with precise cutting and great décolletés – a timeless look that sculpts the body. Inspired by nature, the Mediterranean coast, the purity of white lace and the hippy seventies, this label stands for boho-chic and sexy elegance. Natural fabrics, cotton voile, brocades and lace are the essence of Charo Ruiz designs.

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Natalia Jaroszewska

This Cyprus-based designer is dedicated to the modern woman on the go. Her signature long gowns in soft delicate jersey are both feminine and comfortable. Her effortless boho-chic style is perfect for day or night. A must-have for every wardrobe.

Looking for an accessible luxury collection designed and produced in France? Edward Achour will oblige, offering women a sophisticated, modern and fun look. The typical juxtaposition of black and white creates a look that suits those in pursuit of elegance and sophistication.

swimwear COLLECTION Save the Queen Sun is an exotic and fun-loving swimwear collection in vibrant colours and luxurious fabrics. This collection takes its mood and philosophy from the clothing line – an authentic, exuberant collection that is known to interpret stylistic elements of different cultures into a contemporary style. Emamo has established itself as the goto for glamorous swimwear and chic poolside pieces. The signature styles of this high-end label include appliqued bikinis, coordinating kaftans of quality linen and lace, and embellished maxi dresses. Often featured in magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire and only found in exclusive resorts around the world.  Launched in 2010 by Anna Paola Papaconstantinou, this UK-based company has already become an international ‘must-have’ luxury brand. Paolita is a fusion of sensuality and edgy style. Its characteristic eyecatching designs and exclusive prints reflect the designer’s cross-cultural Greek-Mexican upbringing. Her distinctive and carefully positioned cuts flatter the female silhouette.


MEN’S

Available at

Four Seasons Boutique

ready-to-wear Most people are baffled when they first hear that Porsche designs menswear; and the immediate question that follows is: “But what does it look like?” Well, the answer is obvious: sleek and expensive. This season, Creative Director Thomas Steinbrueck dubbed his show “Zentec” – Japanese minimalism with a hearty dose of the futuristic element. He has teamed up cargo jackets with techy richness, collarless white shirts, baggy shorts and handsome ribbed knits. The collection on the whole is full of winning and elegant propositions. This world-renowned designer of luxury accessories and readyto-wear specialises in cheerful American classics with a touch of luxury. A fashion minimalist working within a sportswear tradition, he draws attention to the figure, without departing from his focus on casual luxury. Unaffected by short-lived trends, he creates pieces that can be mixed and matched: day with night, summer with winter, big and bulky with silky and slim, but always in style and in favour. His customer base ranges from 20-something to much more mature. Extensive research and trials with various qualities of flax and many washing and dyeing tests led to the creation of a new type of linen with an enhanced and improved identity. This gave birth to 120% lino, a brand of linen garments with a high fashion look, designed for you to enjoy summer with freedom of movement, softness, freshness and elegance. The company produces a total look for men.

swimwear COLLECTION 2767 C

1788 C

Vilebrequin

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St Barth is widely known as the jet set’s famous playground, a small jewel in the Caribbean Sea where nature’s beauty fuses with manmade luxury. Inspired by this setting, this Italian brand offers beachwear of the highest quality, perfectly designed for a cool and chic image. Whether you are a relaxed vacationer or fashionista, you’ll find Vilebrequin swim shorts irresistible. Practical, comfortable shorts in elegant and bright colours, their unique quick-drying quality makes them a must-have item for the beach – for every man on holiday.

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БЕСПЛАТНЫЙ ТРАНСФЕР

Queen Furs Cyprus | 6 Onisilou Str., Melekkis Center, Paralimni 5280 Ammochostos | Tel: +357 96205259

www.queenfurs.gr


B A R signatu re cock ta ils

text

p h o t o g r a p hy

YIOTA MALLA S

LOU C A S TUDIO S

Bar Secrets revealed

Mixologists speak in code through their creations, for every sip unlocks a hidden message. And at the Vista, rumour has it that exclusive cocktails are in the making, waiting to be unravelled. In this sneak preview, the bar team reveals a few tricks up their sleeve.

Volcano The ultimate ice-breaker –

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literally – by Marios Evripidou, as a frozen sphere releases aged rum at breaking point. A lava of Chambord and coconut liqueur together with forest fruits and apple juice chases the spirit down a mountain of ice. Smoked vanilla sparks the taste explosion by intensifying the flavours, making you rather hot under the collar.

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c

B A R s i g n a t ur e c o ckt a ils

‘Cocktail’ is a loosely used term that evokes images of sugary, neon-coloured concoctions, casually mixed together. At the Vista however, mixologists take pride in understanding their ingredients and blending them to create drinks that may be traditional or seasonal, but are always carefully assembled. In fact, every work of cocktail art tells a story, as bartenders use colour, technique and ingredients to communicate with their guests. April is set to be the month in which the staff behind the Vista bar will be

Red Velvet

With its rich and warm texture,

cognac itself is a welcoming spirit,

yet largely absent from the world’s cocktail renaissance. Marios Demosthenous’s

additions of black raspberry liqueur,

pomegranate, strawberry and lime juice

muddled with mint accentuate the sweet aged brandy, setting the scene for its

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worthy comeback.

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hosting their own premiere: a new collection of signature cocktails designed to tempt the discerning clientele away from the familiar high-volume classics served on the rocks. In the meantime, to mix some fun into their experiments, the team has organised its own mixology contest: Every month, the bartenders compete for the ultimate cocktail. The winning tipple is then featured on the Vista menu, until the

Euphoria An apricot and mango espuma acts as the

next winner is ready to wow waiting lips. These cocktail ‘trial runs’ promise innovative treats in which the liquor is enhanced rather than concealed in new, fresh combinations. Take a peek at some of the creations making their debut; whether you’re clutching the base or holding the stem, you will be raising your glass to the swankier side of Limassol.

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forbidden fruit luring you closer; the popping candy at the rim teases the palate. Stalo Arabantzi then guides the taste buds into a wilderness of green apple, lemongrass and lime encircling green-tea-infused gin, creating a whirlwind of flavours. This magical potion can accompany any seafood story, notably oysters, along the path to gustatory bliss.

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F O U R S E A S O N S E V E N T S ch ocola te we e k

Haute

Couverture At the Four Seasons, November is synonymous with Chocolate Week, which celebrates the finest in chocolate creations that the pastry team has to offer. Fortunately, this cocoa-themed indulgence lasts well into the New Year. p h o t o g r a p hy LOU C A S TUDIO S

For the Chocolate Week gala dinner, the pastry team combined skills, innovation, taste and presentation to dazzle guests with their ‘Chocolate Paradise’.

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text YIOTA MALLA S

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F O U R S E A S O N S E V E N T S chocolate week

The annual Chocolate Week event at Colors Café seems to get sweeter every year, as the Four Seasons pastry team conjures up a new and bespoke menu dedicated to the world’s favourite cocoa creation. As in the past, a gala dinner for a party of nearly 100 distinguished guests with sharpened palates once again initiated Chocolate Week 2014. After an opening champagne reception, a delectable menu designed by Panicos Hadjitofis blossomed in the ambience of Vivaldi restaurant. However, this prelude to the themed event was an extra special occasion this year. Four Seasons’ Executive Director Nick Aristou says: “The fact that we were hosting the 10th annual Chocolate Week at the hotel made it an even greater incentive to surpass all expectations. The pastry team traditionally served the chocolate creations at each table; but this time they decided to demonstrate their creativity beyond the plate.” To that end, guests were escorted to a post-dinner ‘Chocolate Paradise’ party in the Summit Room, where they marvelled at the wonder of chocolate manifested in a series of show-stopping displays. Pastry chefs at their workstations interacted with the guests while sculpting intricate, personalised desserts to satisfy every chocolate aficionado. Assistant Pastry Chef Stelios Tsiarkezos explains: “We baked dark and white chocolate mousse and carried out the setting and presentation as well as finishing touches – such as fresh forest fruits and caramelised apples – on the spot.” Flattering both the eyes and the palate was the hotel’s new dual chocolate fountain, with cascading flows of dark and white chocolate complementing

Paris Brest

Choco Coconut

Chocolate Mayonnaise

An interpretation of a classic French

Milk chocolate cream envelops the

No traces of the household French

pastry, pistachio cream oozes from

coconut panna cotta and both then

sauce here, for the term refers to the

the choux pastry, and the chocolate

descend into the fluffy almond

spiralling cocoa-filled cream that

base completes the sensory experience

dacquoise. A trio of textures hidden

embellishes the sponge cake. An

with its deep cocoa flavour and

under the crisp surface.

irresistible invitation to savour the

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subtle flavour notes of Boa Sentenca.

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aroma.


F O U R S E A S O N S E V E N T S chocolate week

brownies, strawberries and other sweet bites. Such was the success of this deluxe party accessory that it is now available for private events at the hotel. The showpiece of this heavenly exhibition was the cluster of signature creations marking Chocolate Week. Stelios says: “The whole team spent two months brainstorming and experimenting with our ingredients before choosing the final eight desserts. What sets our work apart is that each separate layer or feature of these desserts is a new creation with its own unique recipe.” The underlying concept of the 2014 collection was the art of combination – in the form of chocolate infused with herbs and flowers, and the addition of fruit and nut flavours to enrich traditional recipes. This theme was also reflected in the new ice cream combinations of praline-infused chocolate with pistachio and high-cocoa chocolate with hints of caramel and cereals as well as the truffle selection. These bite-sized indulgences each formed a distinct union of flavours, such as French rose and raspberry, violet and blackcurrant, and jasmine with popping almond. This diversity of flavours coincided with the use of Boa Sentenca for all the dark chocolate creations. This 68% cocoa dark couverture is a unique blend of chocolate from Brazil, known for its vanilla aroma and peppery taste. In Cyprus, it is only available at the Four Seasons, thanks to F&B Manager Yiannos Gregoriou. As a member of the Barry Callebaut, the Chocolate Ambassadors’ Club of 150 distinguished chefs, pastry chefs and confectioners, he enjoy exclusive access to this gastronomic treasure. Until the next Chocolate Week, a cocoa-fest at Colors Café will satisfy any inklings of desire for the ultimate chocolate privilege.

Opera A Four Seasons invention and a twist on a French patisserie favourite. Fruity layers of cream replace

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the usual coffee filling, creating a refreshing note to

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the almond cake and dark chocolate ganache.

Almond Macaroon Four Seasons Portrait

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a pedestal for the macaroons in which the raspberry cream breaks the bitterness of the smooth chocolate mousse.

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The sweet, crumbly pistachio biscuit acts as

Glamour This showstopper may be blush-red, but its true glamour lies within the hazelnut brownie, thanks to the sophisticated combination of almond praline mousse and blackberry gelée.


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G A S T R O N O M Y award-win n in g cu isin e

text AL DAVIDIAN

Enduring

excellence True quality holds a magnetic dimension. It can’t be faked or work, professionalism and passion. It possesses an appeal that goes beyond the mere senses – only to attract more quality to it.

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imitated, but can only ever be achieved through unstinting hard

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G A S T R O N O M Y a wa r d -win n ing cuisine

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The 2014 TimeOut Cyprus Eating Awards honoured the Four Seasons with the Culinary Excellence prize – the gastronomic equivalent of an honorary Oscar. This inaugural award was driven by TimeOut’s desire to recognise the star quality cultivated through years of dedication, talent and outstanding service. As Executive Chef Panicos Hadjitofis explains: “Specifically, it is an award celebrating the excellence of the Four Seasons’ cuisine, taking into consideration all aspects of the hotel’s five-star culinary hospitality. It is the outcome of the fact that none of us ever sleep, because we are always thinking about how to make things better for tomorrow!” Given that TimeOut Eating Awards are the island’s gold standard when it comes to local dining preferences, the accolade comes as a wellearned tribute to the hotel’s achievements.

SOURCE OF PRIDE While it is true that the Four Seasons brand ensures a multi-faceted encounter with luxury in general, the range of options for the visiting epicure is staggering. Whether you crave fine or casual dining, a delicious room service meal or are attending a corporate function, wedding reception or gala dinner, your expectations are sure to be surpassed. This is thanks to the dedicated teams – among them, chefs, pastry masters, sommeliers and waiting staff – who employ both traditional and cutting-edge techniques to craft a feast for the senses. Sample creative Greek cooking with a French twist at the Mavrommatis restaurant (which enjoys an enduring collaboration with its famous namesake restaurant in Paris), enjoy contemporary Italian gastronomy at the Vivaldi or savour authentic Chinese cuisine at the renowned Seasons Oriental. Wherever you go, a variety of gourmet menus are waiting to tempt you. “Service, price and quality all play an important role in winning the loyalty of our clients,” explains Food and Beverage Manager Yiannos Gregoriou. “For this reason, the hotel always strives to craft balanced menus, from starters to desserts, prepared with specialised ingredients that are intended to please our guests on every level.”


CULINARY SEDUCTION

wine producers like E. Guigal, Louis Jadot, Masi and Casa Lapostolle, it is clear that quality is the Four Seasons’ signature attribute.

YOUR PREFERENCES PARAMOUNT Of course, sustaining such quality depends on a deep understanding of guests’ evolving tastes. Yiannos notes, “50 percent of every new menu reflects our clients’ preferences, while the other 50 percent is made up of new items. It’s significant also that our chefs have been with us for several years, so there is consistency in our kitchens’ approach.” Restaurant supervisors and chefs receive their guests’ feedback by personally interacting with them on a nightly basis, says Panicos. In parallel, on-site and overseas trainings are planned for key kitchen staff throughout the year, to integrate the latest dining trends into the hotel’s culinary offerings. “For corporate receptions, hot, cold and dessert finger foods are particularly popular at the moment,” Panicos continues, adding that the hotel also offers a broad range of options to customise clients’ preferences for private events. Ultimately, at the Four Seasons, “service, food quality and ambience combine to create a superb dining experience,” says Executive Director Nick Aristou. In a playful nod to the world of showbiz, Yiannos and Panicos pick George Clooney as the Hollywood star who best personifies the gastronomic quality of the hotel. Who could blame them? The actor is known for combining talent, professionalism and hard work with an irresistible sense of style. And that, above all, is the hallmark of the Four Seasons’ enduring culinary excellence.

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At the Mavrommatis, Chef George Constantinou’s kitchen draws on authentic Greek products such as feta cheese and olive oil to offer stylish reinterpretations of traditional recipes. At the Vivaldi, Chef Andreas Andreou’s culinary team speak, in part, through their famous homemade egg and semolina pasta, while Chef Kenny Keung’s Seasons Oriental talent expertly employs Chinese cooking techniques to create exquisite plates of vegetables, meat, fish and dim sum. And let’s not forget the lavish à la carte menu and buffet service at Café Tropical, which add up to a many-pronged seduction of the palate. Amid a serene, visually appealing environment, which includes the famous Koi lagoon, there are stations of eye-catching salads, antipasti, hot and cold main courses, fruits and desserts to meet your every craving. On Sundays, Café Tropical’s popular Marco Polo buffet lunch features culinary accents from the continents visited by the famous explorer and is justifiably an enduring favourite with guests. Blessed as it is with such a dramatic sea view, the hotel’s Vista Terrace now features the chic Seafood Bar, where a dedicated five-man team serve you a delectable array of oysters, luxury appetisers and fresh sushi, accompanied by champagnes, fine wines and cocktails provided by the Vista Bar’s mixologists. And it goes without saying that any culinary tour of the Four Seasons must acknowledge the impressive array of original gelati and sophisticated desserts of Colors Café, created under the direction of Pastry Chef Demetris Hadjiyiannis and his assistants. Considering the popularity of the hotel’s annual Ice cream and Chocolate weeks, its Christmas and New Year gala dinners and traditional Easter culinary events, and the fact that it has been selected as a tasting venue for world-class

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Victorious

VIVALDI Crowned ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ by the 2014 TimeOut Cyprus Eating Awards for an impressive 6th year, Vivaldi’s culinary team, helmed by Chef Andreas Andreou, have clearly identified the key ingredients of superior Italian cuisine – and serve them, both on and off the table.

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Though proud of their achievements, the Vivaldi team knows that the real challenge is not to get to the top, but to stay there.

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For a record 6th time, Vivaldi received TimeOut’s ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ award, based on votes submitted by the public at large.


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They say that in a small Italian village in the region of Emilia-Romagna, a crumbling old fountain is inscribed with the now barely-legible insight: “He who would taste the waters of excellence, must honour, first, the principle of time.” The fountain may be the stuff of legend, but it remains true that those who cater to the caprice of the human palate must be both masters and devotees. So it is for the team behind the Four Seasons’ rightfully celebrated Vivaldi restaurant which, for an impressive record 6th time, was crowned the island’s best hotel restaurant in the December 2014 TimeOut Cyprus Eating Awards. The annual ceremony, now in its 10th instalment, holds a unique position in reflecting the tastes of the local dining scene, and the calibre of nominees is uniformly stellar. Unsurprisingly, given the unfaltering quality it represents, the Four Seasons Hotel had two other of its gourmet restaurants – the Mavrommatis and Seasons Oriental – also vying for the top prize in the same category.

TARGETTING EVER GREATER QUALITY

A glance at some of the highlights from the most recent menu reveals options designed to wow you, whether you’re a regular guest or simply the latest conquest of Vivaldi’s winning formula. There are signature dishes like the classical Milanese main – porcini and morel mushroom risotto laced with truffles, parmesan cheese and white truffle oil – as well as a reinvented Caesar’s salad with delicious marine accents consisting of grilled prawns, lobster and squid. But there are also pushes into more imaginative territory, with offerings such as earthy artichoke carpaccio, accompanied by a rich parmesan flan and truffles seasoned with olive oil; a deconstructed spaghetti carbonara where the cooking process was timed to be finished by you, the dinner guest; and a voluptuous pairing of burrata cheese with pesto, grilled vegetable terrine and mozzarella anointed with extra virgin olive oil. A product of Italy’s Apulia region, the use of buratta or ‘buttery’ cheese proved particularly popular this past season, according to Chef Andreas, “as it is creamier than ordinary mozzarella” and, when its thin external curd shell is pierced, it oozes with a heavenly melange of rich, velvety panna.

CRESCENDO IN QUALITY Thus, like their namesake Italian composer, the Vivaldi team continue to fine-tune their repertoire of gustatory seduction, with an eye always to upping the ante, achieving an ever-building crescendo to the service they provide. “The Four Seasons’ Vivaldi concept was never intended to be a reprise of the traditional Italian dining experience,” assures Food & Beverage Manager Yiannos Gregoriou. “It was always positioned to bring contemporary boldness to established recipes. “Our fixed-price two-course option is the only one of its kind at this level, and has proved particularly popular with dinner guests.” As demonstrated by its most recent TimeOut award, it appears such culinary audacity, paired with dedication and diverse dining options, is what rakes in the accolades, year after year. Meanwhile the devotion to quality also continues, with annual training taking place under luminaries of Italian cuisine, who either come personally to the hotel to conduct master classes, or who train and mentor members of the Vivaldi culinary team abroad. And in the lull between one dining season and the next, the team’s imagination is in full swing, with rigorous tasting sessions of the new menu held over January and February. By March, both the restaurant’s first-time and returning guests will enjoy a revised menu that once again honours the robust flavours of traditional Italian gastronomy and reimagines a cornucopia of mouth-watering appetisers, homemade pastas and mains via a 21st century alchemy. Indeed, Vivaldi is a perfect example of a virtuous circle, as every new milestone in quality merely inspires the team to commit anew to drinking from the waters of excellence.

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For the maestri behind this most modern of Italian fine dining experiences, however, the laurels, while appreciated and respected, have only redoubled their commitment to their original mission: ensuring you are lavished with superior service at every level; enjoying an immaculate meal amid the wood and marble environment of the dining room. Asked how the restaurant’s latest accolade will impact his team, Vivaldi Chef Andreas Andreou replies without hesitation: “We’ll keep striving to remain on top, with our focus always on how to satisfy our customers.” And more than satisfy they do as, in the words of one impressed dinner guest who reviewed the Vivaldi on TripAdvisor in September: “This fabulous restaurant never ceases to amaze me… the only problem I have is deciding what to choose from the mouth-watering menu.”

SIGNATURE DISHES, REINVENTED CLASSICS

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taste of

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China

Chinese cuisine is as vast and varied as the country itself; but its scope is largely unknown to Western taste buds. Recent additions to the Seasons Oriental menu bridge the knowledge gap, as Kenny Keung and his team unveil the distinctive culinary traditions of the provinces.


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Call it custom or habit

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, Cantonese recipes have shaped our perceptions of Chinese food. For the past twenty years, however, Kenny Keung has served as a culinary ambassador of all the regions of China. By importing his experience in Hong Kong to the Seasons Oriental, his mission statement is to introduce unfamiliar yet intriguing dishes to the non-Asian palate. The restaurant’s menu now features an exclusive medley of the Chef’s recommendations that celebrate the broad spectrum of flavours representing Chinese cooking. Each signature dish creates a different culinary portrayal of the Orient, and traditional ingredients are enhanced by the subtle touches of fruit, exotic spices and condiments that characterise Kenny’s inventions. The possibilities are endless, which is why the line-up recommended under the title of the ‘Taste of China’ hosts a new set of recipes for you to explore – and enjoy.

A beloved staple of Hong Kong dining, these succulent spare ribs are aptly labelled ‘Jing Du’ – meaning ‘The Capital’ and signifying the region as the food fair of Asia. The tanginess of sun-dried mandarin rind balances the sweet orange sauce, and the star anise with its liquorice taste adds to the complexity of flavour.

Kenny’s tribute to Shanghai is strictly seafood, for the city’s name

is transformed into a tempura masterpiece, with the boldness of ginger and aged black rice vinegar bursting within every bite.

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translates to ‘Upon the Sea’. Mediterranean sea bass fillet

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The northwest region of Xinjiang is a melting pot of culinary influences from neighbouring Central Asia. Lamb shanks make a guest appearance in the

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wok and melt in your mouth shortly after. Together with braised leeks and shallots, the subtlety of cumin and chilli seeps through to create distinctly Eastern flavours.

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Beijing was home to China’s iconic dynasties and the setting for their extravagant banquets. With their sweet, fruity glaze and smoky tomato sauce gracing the palate, these tender tiger prawns are elevated from mere morsels to imperial pearls.

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DINEaround A gourmet excursion

FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT COLLECTION V i va l d i

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M av r o m m at i s

S e a s o n s O r i e n ta l

Cuisine

Cuisine

Cuisine

Gourmet Italian

Creative Greek

Authentic Oriental

Opening time: 19:00 Last order: 22:30

Opening time: 19:00 Last order: 22:30

Opening time: 19:30 Last order: 23:00

Vivaldi, the winner of TimeOut’s ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ for six consecutive years, is undoubtedly the home of Italian fine dining at its best. Authentic homemade Italian pasta, select seafood, exquisite Italian cheeses and traditional Italian desserts with the Vivaldi twist highlight a menu of innovative winners.

Take Greek specialities made from nothing but premium ingredients and refine them with French culinary finesse… That is the overall concept of the Mavrommatis menu. Served in an exclusive yet warmly welcoming environment, every meal is a delicious example of art on a plate, for you to savour bite by bite.

Boasting a regular flow of awards, Seasons Oriental is known to serve authentic Oriental dishes in the high style of sophisticated Hong Kong cuisine. Chef Kenny Keung has mastered the practice recommended by the Chinese proverb: ‘Preserve the old, but know the new’, to bring you traditional favourites adapted to contemporary preferences – in timeless culinary style.


G U E S T p rivile g e s

Our DineAround programme is an invitation to enjoy a series of some of the island’s top-ranking restaurants – at preferential prices. The gourmet collection includes the most popular cuisine, served in five different award-winning restaurants and in enchanting settings across both hotels. Enjoy DineAround… It’s an exclusive pleasure for our valued guests. Bon appetit!

AMATHUS RESTAURANT COLLECTION Limanaki

THE GRILL ROOM

DineAround Details  DineAround offers you a 3-course menu that includes a choice of starter, main dish and dessert from the à la carte menu, at a set price of €50 per person. At Limanaki you can choose one of two pre-set menus. Cuisine

Cuisine

Fine fish restaurant

Premium classic grill menu

Opening time: 19:00 Last order: 23:00

Opening time: 19:30 Last order: 22:30 With a magical bay view, the Grill Room offers you prime cuts of Australian, Scottish, American, French, Irish and Spanish beef, lamb and pork, as well as fish, shellfish and poultry – all grilled to perfection. Quality, service and ambience come together to fulfil your desire for a tasty meal flavoured with that distinctive sizzle and aroma.

The offer can be booked for any number of people for each meal.

A voucher for the total number of persons for each meal is issued by the Reception staff, who can also make your table reservations at the restaurants of your choice.

Please present your voucher at the restaurant upon arrival.

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Undoubtedly Limassol’s finest fish restaurant, Limanaki has been further upgraded to welcome you in a fully redesigned seafront setting and with a revised and enriched menu. From crispy fried calamari to fresh lobster on homemade pasta to follow delectable seafood appetizers, whatever you choose promises to be a memorable Mediterranean experience.

The offer is applicable for a minimum of 3 dinners in the restaurants of your choice from the DineAround collection.

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C Y P R U S h e rita g e

Commandaria Redux text

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Commandaria, the iconic Cyprus wine, is enjoying a comeback as a younger generation of progressive wineries apply their sophisticated knowhow to long-standing traditions – with impressive results.

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Commandaria, the quintessential Cyprus wine, has the longest history of any wine in the world. Some claim 5,000 years, others argue 6,000, but one thing is certain: it’s a wine that in every sip embodies all that is generous, sunny, complicated, even holy – it’s the traditional communion wine – about the fiercely independent island nation. It is the one Cypriot wine you can always find most anywhere in the civilised world. For thousands of years its basic method of creation has not changed, a method that since 1990 has been strictly regulated and controlled via government legislation. It must be made from only two local grape varieties, Xinisteri (white) and Mavro (red); the grapes must be from non-irrigated vineyards in one of the 14 Commandaria region villages on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. The vines must be at least four years old and trained using the goblet method. The time of harvest and sugar level of the grapes are regulated by the Vine Products Commission; and the grapes are set out to tan in the sun for 7 to 10 days, depending on the increase in sugar content. Other restrictions mandate that Commandaria mature in barrels for at least two years, and it can be fortified or not, as long as the resulting alcohol level is 15 percent. For many years, it was the large Cyprus wine producers, KEO, ETKO, SODAP and LOEL, that dominated the market in Commandaria with only a very few small vineyards making an effort to compete. In the past half a dozen years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in Commandaria along with a fresh approach borne of a profound respect for its long rich tradition. Independent wine producers, such as Aes Ambelis, Tsiakkas, Kyperounda, Lambouri, Zambartas and Anama are improving upon and expanding the limits of a wine that the Greek poet Hesiod first praised with his pen in the 7th century B.C., calling it the Gift of Bacchus, Sire of Joy.

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Tsiakkas Costas Tsiakkas summarises his journey to Commandaria: “When Marina and I started the winery, we were keen to produce the well-known French varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc, and we did well with these. But we gradually came to realise that there was greater value, and ultimately satisfaction, in exploring the possibilities of our own indigenous grapes – Maratheftiko, Xinisteri, Mavro, maybe Yiannoudi – and this led to an interest in creating our own Commandaria.” The Tsiakkas Commandaria grapes are from single vineyards in Ayios Pavlos and Ayios Mamas with an emphasis on using Xinisteri. Costas is adamant about not fortifying the wine as he believes it changes its unique character. “Fortification (adding alcohol) is something foreign; it’s a

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When we’re young, we try to escape the stigma of our heritage; we want to be international. But as we get a little older, we start to truly appreciate our own culture – and Commandaria is an icon of Cyprus culture.

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copy-paste method from Portugal. The truly traditional Commandaria was never fortified.” He also favours a late harvest, fermentation at lower temperatures and aging it for 5 years in small barrels for greater control over the oxidation process. The result is a lighter-coloured, less sweet, finer Commandaria that exudes floral notes of quince rather than the more common heaviness of dried figs. For Costas, the making of Commandaria is especially enjoyable. “When the grapes are just ready to be picked and you lay them in the sun, and you watch them slowly turn from light green to almost golden brown, it’s magic.” The Tsiakkas family drinks its Commandaria cooled but not chilled (12°C -14°C), usually in the evening after dinner with sharp, aged cheese (cascavali) or blue cheese.


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Kyperounda “You cannot consider yourself a complete Cypriot winery until you produce a Commandaria. Commandaria is Cyprus. It contains all our history, our joys, our strife, our beautiful climate, our mountains and our sea,” says Minas Mina. Kyperounda’s rendition, with its intense, complicated aroma and rich, multi-structured body, is made in a lighter, non-fortified, fresher style in an attempt to facelift the overall image of this most ancient of wines. The grapes are from Ayios Constantinos and Kalo Horio, and the last vintage was nearly 100% Xinisteri fruit. During the maturation period the temperature is strictly controlled, the wine ageing seven years in oak barrels before it is bottled. Minas makes Commandaria only in years in which all the conditions (rainfall, sunlight, soil conditions, temperature) for a top

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I don’t say that you pour Commandaria for a special occasion or event; I say that the opening of a bottle of good Commandaria is the event itself.

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quality wine are met. This year, 6,000 bottles were produced with more than a third of them destined for the upscale market in the UK. Minas believes: “The lifespan of Commandaria is almost limitless, making it a sound investment. I had the chance to experience a Commandaria that was at least 50 years old. It was discovered half-buried in a clay pot in the cellar of a very old house in Ayios Mamas. We extracted it and, because it was so thick, we diluted it 20% with additional well-aged Commandaria; the result was amazing. It had not been fortified, yet it was in excellent condition. And the taste was extraordinary!” He always chills his Commandaria (10°C) and likes to accompany it with soft creamy cheeses, or dried fruit.


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Anama Concept The professional team of jewellery designer Kristina Apostolou and oenologist Lefteris Mohianakis represents perhaps the boldest approach among the new avant-garde of Commandaria winemakers. Legally they cannot call their wine Commandaria, as they defy the strict rules that govern the making of the elixir: they harvest the grapes very late; and rather than pick the fruit even then, they break the stems to stop growth but leave the grapes hanging from the vine to dry for more than two months rather than 7-10 days. The fruit, indeed, is from one of the Commandaria villages, Zoopigi, but the Mavro variety dominates the finished product at 65-70 percent. The name Anama is a refinement of Kyprion Nama, the original name for Commandaria. The always passionate Lefteris says: “Why do we continue to designate this great Cyprus wine with a name given to it by

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The idea is to oenologically and visually bring Cyprus’s most precious legacy into the 21st century.

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foreign conquerors?” He is referring to the Knights of St John who during the Lusignan reign renamed the wine after their commanderie – or headquarters – at Kolossi. For the dynamic young couple, branding is just as important as the wine itself. Each year a new conceptual identity, inspired by the overall character of that particular harvest, is expressed in a unique label. Natural materials – oak, copper, silver, and other precious elements – are employed, and each bottle bears its own hand-punched number on a silver disc. Their efforts have been rewarded with several medals from Decanter magazine and international design competitions. For Lefteris, the perfect serving temperature for his product is 12°C - 14°C, and he most enjoys it with Cyprus Delight, dried fruits and nuts, or by itself with a good cigar.


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Aes Ambelis Aes Ambelis released their first Commandaria for Christmas 2013, but already it has won a Gold Medal from Decanter magazine. And its elegant doily-like white label – twining grape vines among the famous Cypriot moufflon and other local wildlife – has won a prestigious European design award. George says: “We decided to make Commandaria for two reasons: first, the fact that Commandaria is the most important wine historically produced in Cyprus; and second, for its great potential in the local and international market. A wine with such a profile deserves to be at the centre of our strategy as a winery.” The grapes used are from the village of Doros, with a Xinisteri to Mavro ratio of 75/25, and the wine is then

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What is particularly gratifying about the process is the interaction with the Commandaria region grape growers, who carry on a long tradition under very difficult conditions…

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aged in red wine barrels for six to seven years, infusing this modern version of the traditional wine with a richly aromatic character. Unlike the other new Commandaria makers, Aes Ambelis’s product is fortified, though the resulting alcohol content is the regulation 15%. “Every stage of our Commandaria process is done slowly, carefully and by hand. And for me,” says oenologist George Ktisis, “this makes it the most enjoyable of our wines to craft.” Production is a mere 4,000 bottles per year but in January, Aes Ambelis will begin exporting a good portion of that total to the expanding market for fine wines in China. George Tripatsas likes his Commandaria only slightly chilled and prefers gorgonzola or blue cheese, syruppreserved walnuts or caramel-based desserts to accompany.


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L E I S U R E cyclin g tou rs

Scenic

Cycling Explore Cyprus’s newest cycling route and enjoy an enriched holiday experience as you witness the contrasts between different ways of life, the scenery, the pace and even the temperatures.

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Holidays are precious; and those who have booked a holiday in Cyprus look forward to our mild weather, clear blue waters and fascinating historical sites, among so many other Mediterranean dreams. Limassol in particular has established itself as one of the most popular destinations. As such, it continues to develop and enhance its attractions – the most recent one being a new cycling route from Limassol to Pano Platres, which beckons residents as well as visiting cyclists. Allow a day or two for this excursion and you are all set for an experience that combines fitness, nature, culture and local heritage, all waiting for you to explore, one pedal push at a time.

A REWARDING JOURNEY

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Starting at Limassol Marina on Limassol’s bustling and beautiful coastline, the 69km long route leads you along asphalt roads to the popular summer resort of Pano Platres in the Troodos mountains, at an altitude of 1,200 metres above sea level. One look at the map will tell you that this is a trained cyclist’s challenge with extended uphill sections. At the same time, beginners and Sunday cyclists are not neglected altogether, as the first 15km are for everyone. Demonstrating the fact that this latest offering for cycling enthusiasts isn’t just a standard run-of-the-mill route, right at the beginning there’s an element of history and culture with four of the oldest wine factories at touching distance of the starting post. Soon after, a left turn signals the departure from city life towards the more peaceful inland face of Cyprus. The picturesque Tserkezi surrounded by graceful citrus trees also offers the shady shelter of timeless Cypress trees – a godsend during the summer months. Aim for the historic Kolossi graced by a stunning view of the ancient castle and that will give you just under 16km worth of cycling pleasure and exercise. Director of BikinCyprus Adventures, Mike Hadjioannou, was closely involved in implementing this route in cooperation with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). His tip is: “For those who feel the full distance is too much, the first leg up to Kolossi is relatively flat, so it’s an easy ride for everyone. From there on, the route is mainly hilly and will require more stamina – and a bicycle with many gears.”


LIVING ON THE SEA Live, dine, shop and sail in absolute luxury at the first superyacht marina in Cyprus and one of the most exciting new destinations in the Med. For more information on Limassol Marina contact: Для получения более подробной информации о курорте Limassol Marina, обращайтесь: Cyprus/Кипр +357 25 020 020 Russia/Россия +7 495 643 1901

limassolmarina.com


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But the hills also offer their rewards, with stunning views of the valley and the island’s largest dam at Kouri. A cluster of wine villages includes Agios Amvrosios, Vouni, Koilani and Agios Therapon, with their wineries and taverns inviting you to witness the island’s true identity and culture. In particular, Vouni is one of the region’s oldest vine-growing villages, well known for its lovely wines such as Mavro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. For a change of scenery you can also visit the Cyprus Donkey Sanctuary in the village. Other contrasting places of interest en route range from the 12th century church of Agia Mavri to the Myllomeris waterfall, before the final stretch and a well-earned rest at Psilo Dentro in Pano Platres.

DIVERSE WEALTH

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Recently inaugurated by the CTO, the Limassol-Pano Platres route connects to the first official cycling route. It was designed in order to add another string to their bow, while at the same time contributing to the enhancement and prosperity of the rural areas along its way. Monica Liatiri, Tourism Officer A' at the CTO, says: “Cycling is a very popular leisure activity in most European countries and can contribute positively to the enrichment of our tourist product, especially during the low season, thanks to our mild winters.” Maria Stylianou Michaelidou, manager at Limassol Tourism Board adds: “The Limassol - Pano Platres cycling route and many others are an invitation to explore the countryside and its diverse wealth. A cycling tour gives visitors a chance to admire the natural environment, visit places of interest, picturesque villages, vineyards and wineries, tiny fresco-painted churches and hidden monasteries and discover the real Cyprus. Cyclists

can look forward to a warm welcome from the locals, taste traditional delicacies and experience authentic village life.” Indeed, many cyclists enjoy a holiday within their holiday by combining this cycling tour with a touch of agrotourism – an overnight stay in a restored traditional house in the countryside. Furnished with local furniture as well as modern amenities, such houses are a big hit among those seeking a charming sample of local culture.

A SMOOTH RIDE The aim of the Limassol - Pano Platres route – like all others – is to upgrade Cyprus’s tourist product, attract special interest groups, extend the tourist season, and inject new life into rural areas. Co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) under the Enrichment and Enhancement of Themed Routes project, it most definitely ticks all those boxes. With the exception of those numbered rainy days in Cyprus, the route is yours to enjoy, all year round.

For a detailed online route description visit: issuu.com/visitcyprus All photos courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation


RESIDENCES ON THE SEA Choose from a range of luxury properties with uninterrupted sea views, private berths or direct access to the beach. For more information on apartments, villas and berths at Limassol Marina contact: Для получения подробной информации об апартаментах, виллах и причалах на курорте Limassol Marina, обращайтесь: Cyprus/Кипр +357 25 020 020 Russia/Россия +7 495 643 1901

limassolmarina.com


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N A T U R E cyp ru s b ird lif e

Feathered

Treasures In Cyprus, where cultural heritage is so intricately linked with the earth, the change of seasons is a dominant factor – with no signs of this change more noticeable than those demonstrated by birds. And although our island is often perceived as small, and its natural landscape deemed predictable, take the time to explore the feathered details tucked in the island’s unspoiled natural pockets, and you will discover a whole new dimension.

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} GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) With the first rains of autumn, thousands of these beautiful waterbirds start gathering at Akrotiri Salt Lake.

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N A T U R E cyp ru s b ird lif e

Imagine the Cypriot farmer of the previous century, carrying his rod through his fields, and you can almost hear the birds singing… Instinctively they announce dawn and dusk, signal the seasons that come and go, and with them the harvest schedule of the different crops that make up the traditional Cypriot family table. Today, although contemporary urban life appears to be disconnected from our natural environment, you can still observe and learn to read the signs of nature – in particular the language of the fascinating feathered world. Indeed, birds help us balance in our minds the dramatic demonstration of evolution and migration. They also remind us of the uniqueness of our country. With an area of merely 9,251km2, Cyprus is home to more endemic species and subspecies of birds than any other European country.

Permanent and temporary residents

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Never failing to remind us that winter is over, the distinctive and well-known barn swallow begins its long journey across the Sahara to arrive at its nest every spring. But did you know that, along with the swallows, more than 200 bird species migrate through Cyprus every spring and autumn, to breed, raise their young or just to rest on their long and tiring journeys? With over 390 species recorded in Cyprus, some birds – like the impressive Bonelli’s Eagle – are residents, while others are migratory, such as the colourful Beeeater. Some are as common as the sparrow; others are threatened, like the elegant Roller. But six charming species breed nowhere else in the world! These local gems are the Cyprus Wheatear and the Cyprus Warbler, and the subspecies of the Scops Owl, the Coal Tit, the Jay, and the Short-toed Treecreeper. The arrival of spring offers a wonderful opportunity to meet Cyprus’s feathered wonders. Leave city life behind and journey towards the mountains – and before you know it, amid the bushes and the shrubs of the foothills, the social Cyprus Warbler with its persistent call and its black cap and big red eyes will be the first to greet you. Further along the route, as the pine trees forecast the Troodos Mountains, you will be welcomed by the graceful Cyprus Wheatear, with its elegant black and white colours interrupting the green scenery. Drive through the more densely clad pine forest and you will have the chance to meet the petite Coal Tit, moving restlessly high on the trees, its high-pitched calls piercing the air. Troodos Square is the place to relax on a bench and enjoy the sight of the Jay with its striking plumage, a rainbow of rusty orange colours combined with black, white and blue. Venture to more quiet corners of the forest to spot the Short-toed Treecreeper hopping on the tree trunks. As night falls and you begin your descent back to the coast, stop for a break in one of the quiet villages where the only sound that breaks the silence is the double call of the Scops Owl, distinguishing it from its European relatives. Every encounter with these beautiful creatures will touch your heart, and you are bound to be moved by their choice to breed on this island – and nowhere else on the planet. © Silvio Augusto Rusmigo

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A centre at the epicentre

Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre Discover the past, the present and how to protect the future of the natural treasures found at Akrotiri Peninsula.

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There is hardly a better place to enjoy the spectacle of Cyprus’s birdlife than the Akrotiri Peninsula, one of the richest wildlife habitats on the island. Located just a few kilometres southwest of Limassol, and only 30 minutes by car from the Four Seasons Hotel, this Peninsula with its wetlands, beaches, sand dunes and impressive coastal cliffs has something to offer you any time of the year. During the wet winter months you can admire the pink display of thousands of Flamingos, which leave their nesting grounds from as far as Iran to come to Cyprus and enjoy a mild winter. Springtime is birdwatchers’ prime time – featuring the wonderful performance of breeding birds, including the endemic Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Wheatear. And by late summer and through autumn, you can marvel at the sight of migrating raptors, soaring birds and bee-eaters, which use the site to rest and refuel before continuing their journey. At the heart of the Peninsula, overlooking the largest complex of wetlands on the island, the new Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre recently opened its doors to the public. The new Centre was inaugurated in November 2014 and operates in a framework of cooperation between the Sovereign Base Areas, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Akrotiri Community. As you tour the Centre, you will gain insight into the natural treasures of the area, its natural history and its culture through touch-screen computers, informational prints and dioramas. But the jewel of the Centre is its bird observation area. Equipped with a telescope and other bird-watching material, the balcony offers an unobstructed view of the main Akrotiri Salt Lake. Along the Centre’s perimeter, a botanical trail highlights the area’s interesting flora, while a playground provides educational games for families with children. Pantelis Charilaou, who works at the Centre, says: “The primary purpose of the Centre is to promote the unique environmental and cultural significance of Akrotiri Peninsula through environmental education, research, and promotion of ecotourism.” He adds: “This Centre is a landmark of the area, opening horizons for the protection and the proper management of this important area. It forms the basis for a model of a new philosophy about the relationship of man with the environment.”


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N A T U R E c yp r us bir d life

© David Walker

On the bird trail

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© David Walker

top:

BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) Catch a glimpse or hear the distinctive song of this colourful traveller. top right:

ROLLER

Like other natural sites around the world, Akrotiri faces its share of threats. That is why it is crucial to study the Akrotiri area in order to identify and assess its environmental value. A new book, ‘Important Bird Areas of Cyprus’, authored by Martin Hellicar and Vasiliki Anastasi, was published by one of Cyprus’s most active conservation organisations, BirdLife Cyprus, with the generous support of the EEA Grants through the IBACareCY Project. The book examines all the areas in Cyprus – a total of 34 sites – that serve as a permanent or transient home for wild birds. Above all, it underlines the importance and general characteristics of each location. The sites come to life in Jane Stylianou’s chapter about birdwatching, with wonderful suggestions for birding days out. Jane says: “Being outdoors, watching wild birds in their natural habitat, offers a direct experience of the natural world. Cyprus is a special place to observe birds, and Akrotiri Peninsula definitely has something to offer all year round.” ‘Important Bird Areas of Cyprus’ is ornate with beautiful landscape photographs crafted by Silvio Rusmigo to portray the most distinctive habitats or a landmark of each site. Reading the book will take you on a bird trail to discover islands within the island, the hideouts of our feathered treasures. And if you decide to venture out and explore these sites, you will be amazed by the small-scale beauty that you will encounter, and by how much you can relate to that farmer who roams the fields until the Scops Owl signals the westering sun.

(Coracias garrulus) Enjoy the unique sight of this bird of international conservation concern.

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The Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre is open to visitors on weekdays 08:00-17:00 and on Sundays 10:00-17:00. The online form of the new book ‘Important Bird Areas of Cyprus’ can be found at www.issuu.com/birdlifecyprus


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development


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B U S I N E S S n e w le g isla tion

text C HARALAMBO S S AMIR

russian De-offshorisation A new law in Russia governing the taxation of International corporate groups comes into force in 2015, and with it new challenges and a new way of thinking for everyone involved in international structuring.

• Disclosure obligations apply to all Russian tax resident persons holding a share of over 10% in any foreign organisations and structures and on participation in CFCs. Moreover, special reporting rules are set out for foreign organisations holding Russian real estate directly or indirectly. • Foreign organisations and non-corporate structures are deemed CFCs if they are controlled by Russian resident persons (individuals or companies). By default, a controlling person is defined as a person who directly or indirectly participates in over 25% (50% from 2015) of the share capital of foreign organisations or structures. However, a 10% participation share will be enough to deem a person to be a controlling person, if over 50% of the foreign organisation or structure is owned by any other Russian resident persons. The calculation of participation shares will take into account aggregated share percentages, with spouses and minor children included for the purposes of these rules. If default control does not apply, a person can still be deemed to be a controlling person on the basis of actual control criteria. • Controlling persons will be subject to Russian tax on profits of CFCs. • There are a number of exemptions from the taxation for certain categories of CFCs. The list of exemptions includes foreign organisations registered in treaty countries which also meet the effective tax rate test (75% of the average weighted tax rate, calculated on the

Four Seasons Portrait

On 18 November 2014, the Draft Federal Law No. 630365-6 “Concerning the Introduction of Amendments to Parts One and Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (Regarding the Taxation of the Profit of Controlled Foreign Companies and the Income of Foreign Organisations)” (the Law) was approved in the 2nd and 3rd hearings at the plenary meeting of the State Duma. The new law on the taxation of controlled foreign companies (the ‘CFC’) received Presidential Assent on Monday 24 November 2014 and will come into force starting from 1 January 2015. The main purpose of the Law is to set the legal framework and instruments for the Russian government to tackle tax avoidance by Russian taxpayers using international structures in jurisdictions with a low tax rate – and in many cases a zero tax rate. The changes will influence all international corporate groups, as well as wealth planning and wealth management structures that are controlled or established by Russian resident individuals or companies. Some of the major changes are summarised below: • The Law requires Russian tax resident individuals and companies to disclose ownership of foreign companies and wealth planning vehicles. Therefore full details of the ultimate beneficial owners must now be disclosed. • It also imposes tax on them, regardless of whether the profits were distributed to the ultimate beneficial owners or not.

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basis of the formula). It is worth noting that exemptions also apply to the taxation of CFCs’ profits, but would not exclude reporting on CFCs for controlling persons. •E  xemptions apply to the profits of all CFCs up to 10 million RUB from 1 January 2017 (50 million RUB in 2015 and 30 million RUB from 2016). •T  he Law provides for separate sets of rules on the nonterritorial taxation of the disposal of Russian-based immovable property, and on the taxation of foreign companies managed and controlled from Russia, as well as a range of other provisions.

and day-to-day decision-making concerning business activities are taken in the country where such company is incorporated and located; • Implementation of the proposed “de-offshorisation” measures will provide the Russian tax authorities with a legal mechanism for taxing structures with insufficient substance. Increased exchange of information will allow the authorities to track down those structures and tax their Russian owners. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that as a matter of urgency you should review your international arrangements from a management and control point of view.

What Next? It goes without say that preparations for the changes in tax law should be initiated as a matter of urgency – if not already underway. Some of the steps that are deemed necessary to be taken are as follows:

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•A  nalysing a group’s corporate structure in order to identify companies affected by the CFC rules, including the proposed exemptions; •C  alculating the effective/blended tax rate for CFC purposes and the taxable profit of CFCs in compliance with the new legislative requirements (including determining the percentage of a CFC’s passive income); •P  reparing and submitting CFC notifications and notifications of participation in foreign companies; •R  eview of the foreign component of holding, financial, licensing and commercial structures, as well as the management structure of a group’s foreign assets in light of the provisions of the Law; •D  evelopment of foreign structures as an alternative to back-to-back ownership, financing and licensing structures; • S trengthening of the management and control of foreign companies. In practice, many Russian corporate groups might not have an appropriate level of substance in the jurisdictions of incorporation of their holding, trading, financing or licensing structures. Consequently companies cannot show that the management, control

It is evident that the new Law will definitely introduce a new way of thinking as far as international structures are concerned. However, this is not to be considered as a step back, since the Law is likely to assist Russian taxpayers to better evaluate their international structures and wealth planning vehicles. It should be emphasised that tax optimisation through legal international structures (for example Cyprus International Business Companies) with solid presence and substance in combination with the numerous Double Tax Treaties is not and cannot be deemed as tax avoidance. Therefore, the new way of thinking seems quite challenging, yet promising at the same time.

Charalambos Samir is an advocate and member of the Cyprus Bar Association. He is the Founder and CEO of ConnectedSky Legal & Corporate Consultants Limited as well as its affiliated law firm C. Samir & Co. LLC. He specialises in International Tax Planning, Formation of Trusts and Foundations, Mergers & Acquisitions and Establishment of International Structures.


nside

story Sous Chef hot kitchen / banquet kitchen Evros Charalambous

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As a teenager, Evros was one of the lucky ones. He knew right from the start which career path he wanted to walk down: the one that would lead to the Four Seasons Hotel. Born and raised in Limassol, Evros studied at the Hotel Management Institute in Nicosia while the Four Seasons was under construction. His daily commute took him past the hotel that was gradually taking shape, and every day he thought: “This is where I want to work some day…”. That day came in 1994. Starting at the bottom, Evros gradually moved up the ladder from Cook to Chef de Partie. One of the most touching moments in his career was when he was promoted to Sous Chef, the position he holds today, responsible for a 13-member team. And responsible is exactly what Evros feels. That’s why he introduced a daily 20-minute ‘regrouping’ meeting with his whole team between shifts. These meetings are a time for serious planning as well as a few jokes, a time to discuss work and share life. “No chef can succeed without a team. Even for a single dish, you often have 4-5 people involved in the preparation, cooking and presentation. So maintaining a friendly and supportive professional environment is crucial,” he says. To that end, Evros has introduced a beloved ingredient in his kitchen – the radio. He says: “Studies have shown that music can increase productivity. Fortunately we all have similar taste in music, and we keep the volume low so it creates a pleasant atmosphere without distracting.” But make no mistake: Evros’s kitchen is not the forecourt of the Garden of Eden. Even his best intentions and great efforts cannot alleviate the pressures of serving hundreds of guests at a time. “My worst nightmare is that I should run out of a particular ingredient….” To make sure that never actually happens, the team meticulously records and consults numbers and statistics: hotel occupancy, nationalities (for typical food preferences), daily and seasonal consumption. “We have a complete history. I can see how much of what was consumed, say, on 15 August – a major holiday – over the past years.” To keep his work battery fully charged, Evros fills his off-duty hours with genuine recreation. As the father of a 16-year old daughter and two sons, 14 and 5, the family is the centre of his life. But he’s also a biker, so his Harley is his closest buddy. To clear his mind he drives out into the country and absorbs the beauty of Cyprus. After 21 years of service, surely the Four Seasons feels like a second home? Evros replies: “According to the hours I spend here, it could even be considered my first home! If someone were to tell me I would not be going to the Four Seasons the next day, I would feel totally lost. Each and every day feels just as exciting and challenging as the first day…”


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Four Seasons - Portrait - Issue 24 Winter 2014/15  

A MAGAZINE FOR THE GUESTS OF THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LIMASSOL ENDURING EXCELLENCE The Four Seasons’ path to Culinary Excellence COMMANDA...

Four Seasons - Portrait - Issue 24 Winter 2014/15  

A MAGAZINE FOR THE GUESTS OF THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LIMASSOL ENDURING EXCELLENCE The Four Seasons’ path to Culinary Excellence COMMANDA...