Ambelikos Agrohotel is in the Troodos forested area, approximately 75 minutes from Nicosia. This was our first visit to Ambelikos but our second to an “agrohotel,”–a traditional Cypriot villa that has been repurposed into a hotel but maintains local flare and style. Most of these are small, family-run operations and are popular in the mountainous Troodos area.
Arrival & Check-in
We were surprised (and pleased) to find designated parking spots in front of the hotel. Our room was ready upon arrival and we were able to check-in immediately. The hotel briefing didn’t include mention of many of the on-site amenities, i.e. the use of the pool and dinner options, so we would ourselves visiting reception several times to ask about all of those things.
We booked the “Double Room with Jacuzzi” online which included a four-post king-size bed, a separate twin bed, a spacious outdoor terrace, and a jacuzzi tub with powerful jets.
The room also included a fireplace, which we didn’t use, and a mini fridge, which was locked but available for use for a fee.
The room was decorated with Cypriot furniture and had nice touches of locally-made lace, keeping with the theme of other family-run agrohotels in Cyprus. We made great use of the outdoor terrace.
We live close to a busy intersection in Nicosia so a quiet evening on the terrace is not always in the cards for us. Here we had great views of the verdant scenery and played a few rounds of Banana-grams.
After dinner we also made good use of the jacuzzi – the first one we’ve come across in a hotel or agrohotel in Cyprus!
Since we planned on staying on-site, we brought our own bottle of artisan beer which we planned on keeping in the fridge. The receptionist informed us it would be a five euro fee and that she would obtain the key from her manager. Miscommunication ensued and she left the key in our room without telling us so we never used the fridge but were still charged for its use. We contested the charge and it was refunded.
The hotel offered an ‘a la carte’ dinner option, which was incredibly convenient because we weren’t familiar with the surrounding villages and didn’t feel like venturing too far away. We shared an outdoor terrace area, decorated with antique field tools, with four other couples.
The menu was limited, but local. I had the standard souvlaki (bbq chicken skewers), and my girlfriend had the river trout and a glass of wine. We also ordered a village salad. The food was well-prepared and the owner even shared a homemade bulgur dish with carrots. We closed out the meal with “spoon sweets”–preserved fruit in a heavy syrup. The peach option was some of the best we’ve ever had. After enjoying a lovely, albeit light compared to some Cypriot meals, we were surprised by the price tag: 40€!
Usually, a simple dinner like that would run us 25-30€. I couldn’t complain since we never saw a menu or asked about prices, but we definitely expected it to be a bit more affordable.
We also had breakfast in the same spot the next morning, which was included in our room rate. Again, the menu was simple–a couple of hard boiled eggs, a small meat and cheese platter, bread, and coffee.
They also had a separate indoor dining room, which wasn’t being used while we were there. I suspect it is reserved for large groups or to escape the heat in the summer months.
Although there is no ‘lounge’ as with some larger chain hotels, they had a couple of neat common areas that guests could use which had plenty of space to stretch out and relax. There were books, a fireplace, and brochures about nearby villages.
There was also a trailhead at the hotel entrance that led to a two-mile loop through the mountains and back to the hotel. It wasn’t very difficult but offered a good opportunity to stretch our legs and take in some more mountain views.
Pool & Spa
After ensuring with reception that we had access to the pool, we grabbed our towels and headed to pool area. There wasn’t much space for lounging poolside so we jumped in and enjoyed the mountain views from the pool.
We later retreated to a shaded area away from the pool but still with mountain views. Again, no one was around to assist so we helped ourselves to some lounge chairs and a pair of seat cushions. We lounged the afternoon away listening to our favorite podcasts.
Booking and Pricing
Bookings can be made online at their website or on various booking sites such as Hotels.com or Booking.com. Prices range from 65€-80€ per night. We booked just a few days before travelling and they had availability.
This place was a good value for the rate, despite the nickel-and-diming on food and amenities (10€ for using the AC is a bit absurd). It’s an inexpensive place to retreat to in the Troodos mountains and close to wineries, hiking trails, and only a half hour or so from the beach.
A combination of modern conveniences and rustic nostalgia made this an overall enjoyable experience. Part of the reason we didn’t allow the minor inconveniences to sour our stay was our mindset: We were embarking on an island stay-cation over a three-day weekend and our next stop was a five star resort hotel. We knew that we’d be able to “make-up” for an lapses in service or amenities at our next stop. That’s not meant to disparage Ambelikos offers as it gave exactly what we’d hope for: a quiet secluded space from where to enjoy Cyprus natural beauty.
If we could change one thing: arrive earlier on a Saturday to enjoy a wine tasting at Tsiakkas Winery, a ten-minute drive from the hotel.
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Brandon Chase is a writer, endurance athlete, and guide based in Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand and South Africa. He also regularly competes in ultramarathons at the 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances. He is a Lead Guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures and the New England Outdoor Center.