"CASALE Panayiotis" Traditional Village, -MY STAY!
Trip Start May 27, 2012
85Trip End Jan 22, 2013
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Where I stayed
Casale Panayiotis Traditional Village
A "small village" in the village”-An earthly paradise, Amazing SPA!
My stay at the Casale can be described as a dreamy experience. On every trip to Cyprus I try to include one or two Agro-Hotels in my Guides and this time I grabbed the opportunity since I was in Nicosia staying at the Hilton to visit it for 2 nights. It is only an hour's drive from the city centre by car.
STAFF: I cannot say that all are professionals, but the majority is. One or two are learning to become… I found them friendly and attentive. Paulina is a passionate manageress, -the heart of the business, unbelievably capable, loyal, and hard-working
Well, what is Casale like? It is like a “small village” in the picturesque Village of Kalopanayiotis, located on the foothills of Troodos. At Casale it is possible to have neighbours local people…isn’t this wonderful? The 'unit’ as I call it, overlooks the cliff and lies above the river Setrahos. You will love it no matter what season you come up here. It was autumn when I came to Kalopanayiotis 2 years back and it was just as magic as it is now in January. Of course it is a complete different picture and feeling but the beauty is a fact!
LOCATION:The setting is exquisite, quiet and calm mountain view perfect for retreats, business meetings, corporate events and honeymoons. The Casale is situated among other buildings in a traditional Cyprus village setting overlooking the historic monastery of St. Ioannis Lambadistis. You certainly need a car out here although I went by bus myself and it cost just one euro from Nicosia. Get the bus from “Kolokasi Bus Station” The bus will drop you off outside the Bank of Cyprus in Kalopanayiotis and you have to walk all the way down the steep road for less than half a km to Casale.
The place is still expanding and with the progress of work it gets more and more beautiful
Casale is not simply an Agro-hotel. It is like a small cultural village in reality and this is what makes it so different, unique and very special. The accommodation is sited in 6 independent traditional houses each one different from the other. Some have fireplaces, others don’t but each has a unique character and different facilities. They are the Maratho, Troullino, Eliako, Byzantino, Laouri and Kastri -18 in all, -rooms and suites.
TROULLINO: I stayed at Troullino, one of the three independent traditional guesthouses. Mine was the one on the ground floor….no balcony but directly set in the garden. The concept of the different rooms scattered in the 3 different houses of Troullino makes you feel more at home. Troullino’s cobblestone charming courtyard was fully equipped with stylish white bamboo garden facilities which were adding to the serenity
ROOM: My superior studio actually used to be a stable 100 years back, and the entrance door might even be the authentic one from those days. The interior after renovation is charming with a combination of rustic, rococo and shaker style pieces of furniture on a small scale,-very tastefully done. A blend of modern comfort is combined with some original features creating the traditional feeling and an apparent quality.
The windows have the original old wooden shutters but inside they are nicely decorated with traditional hand-made lace curtains, beautiful linen, a nice comfortable bed with wood carvings, while beautiful lamp-shades decorate the ceiling. Equipped with kitchenette and a small fridge with very little crockery –for a snack though and not to fix a meal. The room indeed has that exquisite quality and character I am after. Through my travelling I try to spot some really nice traditional accommodations but this exceeds by far any other I have come across so far.
A big bowl of seasonal fruit -many of it coming from the owner’s farm and orchards, and a bottle of “Soufas” red wine, coming from Paphos winery were indeed a nice gesture and highly appreciated.
BATHROOM: Top line at every aspect
SPA: An old traditional stone-built homestead has been turned into an amazing SPA combining modern furnishings with tradition. The relaxing lounge of the Spa is something I am not going to describe….only to make you go there. It is the perfect place to unwind, indulge and relax in the light of candles and soft music. You can take your tea out there, sit back and start making only positive thoughts. It is very different to what I have ever come across.
The Spa has lined up several tempting cost-saver propositions for its guests who appreciate the benefits of top-to-toe treatments for beauty and wellbeing. I can speak highly of the couple Desi and Tom Cheva. They are truly professional experts. I recommend the Li’tya Mirri, an Aboriginal inspired pressure point facial massage that helps to relieve stress and tension whilst a scalp and shoulder massage clears the mind
BREAKFAST: I have never before been served such good quality traditional breakfast, so tasty along with a smile! You will surely feel the Cypriot hospitality out here. For me when I am out at a restaurant it is not the quantity that counts but the quality and the way food is served. Don’t expect a long buffet. On the contrary, I felt a personal touch of service and this counts for me more. Here the guest feels at home and I honestly felt that.
I tried some amazing halloumi (Cypriot cheese) a very tasty sausage and had a fried egg. There were two different pies that were outstanding. What a treat! The guest can taste several home made jams, marmalades, and cakes! I cannot find words to thank Mrs. Antigoni -an asset to the business. She was kind enough to offer to drive me along in her car to the farmhouse where I had the chance to have a stroll and see the platform where guests can go for rod fishing
RESTAURANT: Beautifully decorated with soft colours and taste Byzantino is a unique spot for Traditional Cypriot dishes ideal for intimate evenings with friends. There is a fireplace for the cold winter days/nights, but guests can also dine outside at the balcony, -weather permitting. Imagine dining on the wooden balcony while listening to the sound of the water in the river flowing right below.
I highly recommend the ‘meze’. I counted more than 16 different plates and Maria who is the cook told me that ingredients are fresh and sourced from local producers with many coming from the farm and orchard of the owners as well. Try the grilled haloumi topped with fig marmalade. It is heavenly and it was included in the meze, but also the Lamp’s Ankle, or the amazing recipe of ‘koupepia’ that reminded me of my grandmother’s recipe. The Cypriot sausage was also outstanding and ‘pastitsio’ was exceptional. Try ‘purgouri’ with kebab. It is a traditional dish nicely cooked by Maria.
The grilled salmon I had the next day was cooked to perfection
Wi Fi: Internet is fast in the room and it costs 5 euros for 2 hours, 15 for 24, but the guest can have it for free at the coffee shop ‘kafenio’ and the guest lounge.
CULTURAL CENTRE: It has a touch of glamour and elegance and serves as a conference and cultural centre. It is a spot that will travel you.
TIPS: Take the nearby trail and get to the Monastery of St. John Lambadistis –a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore the local surroundings on a nature trail featuring natural healing spa waters, medieval stone bridges and a traditional watermill.
Enjoy fishing in the village dam or participate in village and country farm activities
Go for skiing, or take a ride to the slopes of Troodos.
Visit the Monastery of Kykkos.
The other alternative is to simply relax in the beautiful environment of the Casale.
In all it was an amazing trip and experience. I met lovely people, left behind friends, felt the authentic Cypriot hospitality and I can’t wait to be back when the Spa swimming pool will be finished. Thank you guys and do keep the good work up. I have missed you all already!