“My partner Rob and I really wanted somewhere where, once we were settled, we didn’t have to worry about anything. Our daughter Ellie, 18 months, is a keen water baby, so a pool and a choice of simple food was all she required!
“Located in Paphos in the south of Cyprus, the Louis Phaethon beach hotel is just 20 minutes’ drive from the main airport, so there were no worries when we arrived, picking up a hire car and getting settled in within an hour.
“The hotel is one of several developments along the road leading out of Paphos, and had a very grand entrance lobby. It looked so fancy but I was reassured to see families relaxing and having a mid morning drink. Our room was on the second floor, and had a balcony. There was plenty of storage for all Ellie’s things, too and the bathroom had a bath as well as a shower. All the beds were in the same room – a double for Rob and I and two singles. Ellie slept in one with a special inflatable barrier we’d brought with us.
“The pool at the Louis Phaethon was split into adult and children’s areas. The shallower baby pool was fenced off with railings, so there was no chance of Ellie drifting off into deeper water. In fact she spent most of her days splashing in it. There were lots of other families, so she made little mates! And I got to chat to other mums while we soaked up the sun.
“There was entertainment around the pool for adults (think bingo and water polo), although there was enough space for us to move away when we wanted some quieter time.
“Kid-friendly was the watchword when it came to meals too. You can choose half-, full-board or all-inclusive packages. It depends if you have little ones who will be happy eating out some evenings. If you have fussy eaters, the buffet-style meals (including separate kids buffet with basics like sausages and beans) are ideal. We ate different food each day.
“The hotel has a daily kids mini club, for age 3 upwards. I’d definitely have used it if Ellie was old enough and would if we went back. Babysitting is available on request, although we didn’t use it. We’d planned to stay up one night and go to the hotel’s nightclub but never quite got around to it! I think we were as worn out from doing nothing as Ellie was.”
“Watching Ellie swim in the sea for the first time was brilliant. It’s black sand not golden, but Ellie didn’t notice – she was too busy giggling in the waves.”
One week half-board in a family room at the Louis Paethenon in Paphos starts from €511 (£447*) for a family of four (two adults and two children), from February. For more info and to book go to www.louishotels.com. Louise hired her car with Easy Car who offer rental across the Mediterranean. Go to www.easycar.com for prices and more info.
*Converted prices correct at time of going to press