They say location is all-important for buying a house. But with three children – the youngest of them eight months old – it was a crucial factor for me when searching for a holiday villa.
Luckily, I came up trumps with Villa Stavroulla.
Located in the town of Peyia in south-west Cyprus – a short walk from Coral Bay and 12km from Paphos – this stunning four-bedroom holiday home has everything you need for a perfect holiday.
I’ve stayed in quite a few villas around Europe in recent years, but Stavroulla is the best of the lot.
The two-level property is furnished and equipped to a high standard, from bathrooms for every room and air conditioning, to delightful pool and roof terraces – the latter offering breathtaking sea and mountain views.
If the heat is getting too much, you can chill in the downstairs lounge in front of the 42-inch plasma TV.
Or you can take a load off in one of the many seating areas dotted around the spacious premises.
Then there’s the fantastic private overflow pool, which my kids couldn’t keep out of. Large enough to have a proper swim, it boasts an in-built jacuzzi and cover to ensure an adequate temperature. And even if you visit Stavroulla off-season, the pool can also be heated at an extra cost.
The feeling you are living in luxury is no surprise, given the impressive upkeep of the property and pool by Lynn and her team at cyprusvillas.uk.com
As the first company to bring EU-standard pool care to Cyprus, they work to the highest standards to ensure you are given a top-class stay.
And with customer care a big part of their ethos, too, they went out of their way to answer any questions we had about recommended restaurants and points of interest.
That service was extended to the villa’s owner, Jennifer Chard, who was always on hand to help with any queries in the build-up to our holiday.
Perhaps the biggest draw for Villa Stavroulla, though, is where it is.
While car hire is still recommended to discover what Cyprus has to offer, it is not essential while staying here.
There are two restaurants a stone’s throw from the villa’s front door, and a supermarket is just a 10-minute walk away, via banana plants.
Another five minutes on from that is the popular tourist resort of Coral Bay, with its long sandy beaches and picturesque views.
The swarm of restaurants and shops in this area may have been a bit too Anglicised for my liking, but with a good selection of traditional Cypriot, Italian, Chinese and Indian food, you certainly won’t go hungry.
If it’s the true taste of Cyprus that you want to sample, though, a trip into Peyia is recommended for a feast at the Peyia Tavern.
The decor may not blow you away, but the meze certainly will.
Classic Cypriot cuisine at its best, this set menu sees dish after dish brought out for you to dine on, from grilled halloumi cheese and dips, to stifado, chicken, lamb and pork – and all for an excellent price.
Villa Stavroulla is also an excellent base to explore the many attractions the island has to offer, including the popular Tomb of the Kings and Aphrodite Water Park, while Paphos is a short drive away – which can be reached via Cyprus’ excellent bus service – if you require a livelier scene,
If it’s luxurious accommodation you’re after, without the hassle of having to travel too much, look no further than Villa Stavroulla.
Villa Stavroulla sleeps eight, with prices starting at £800 to rent the property for seven nights. Air-conditioning/central heating is included in the price and wi-fi is also provided.
For more information, and to book, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearest airport is Paphos, which is a 30-minute drive from the villa. Easyjet and Ryanair have regular routes to Paphos.