The So Nice Boutique Suites is one of the few hotels in Ayia Napa that makes a real effort with its decor, which is quite a surprise in such a young and party-oriented resort village. As a result, it is head and shoulders above the rest of the establishments here. With a tantalising and contemporary ambiance, this hotel offering 57 apartments is probably best suited for guests looking for an establishment with plenty of character and a dynamic staff. This is a great place, so it is a pity there is not much to do apart from sitting on the beach.
The So Nice Boutique Suites is located between the road and Londa beach (meaning "peaceful" in Greek), just as you enter the resort of Ayia Napa from Larnaca. There isn't much to do in this hotel zone, as it really doesn't have many attractions apart from a few bars and restaurants. The lively centre of Ayia Napa is about 2 mi away. Larnaca airport is 25 mi away (allow half an hour for transfers).
Things change quickly at the So Nice. Even though it was completely redecorated in 2009, major renovations are planned for the near future. Indeed, a second pool and an extension with 28 new suites are already at an advanced stage of completion. This is the first year since its inauguration that the hotel is staying open all year round, winter included.
"A Mediterranean heart, an artistic spirit, and a cosmopolitan soul". That is how the So Nice, a small scale designer boutique hotel consisting of several 2 storey buildings, sees itself today. It was built back in 1993 and, although the decor was completely overhauled in 2009, its age does tend to show through in some places. Having said this, it is a great place to stay and is a real breath of fresh air in a destination where most of the hotels are very much standard-fare. Touches of bright colours liven up the predominantly white decor on display in the buildings. At night, a display of lights in changing colours give the setting a whole different appearance. However, if you are looking for organised entertainment, you should probably look elsewhere. There are no leisure facilities in the hotel, not even a gym. The So Nice is geared more towards couples on a romantic getaway, travellers in-the-know who eschew hotels devoid of character, and dedicated sunbathers, whether they prefer the poolside or the beach (where water sports activities are on offer).
Therefore, the communal areas consist of a swimming pool, a bar, and 2 restaurants. The bar is connected to the buffet restaurant and includes an outdoor 'lounge' area. Shaded by a giant fig tree, cushions and small tables are set out for you to puff on a hookah pipe or simply enjoy a drink in a peaceful setting. The buffet restaurant is in an open-sided space next to the pretty swimming pool. These facilities are all surrounded by a pleasant garden full of pretty plants and bougainvilleas, which add a great deal of colour to the surroundings.
Half of the 'suites' at the So Nice Boutique Suites are actually studios, while the other half are apartments with a separate bedroom. They are all equipped with a small kitchen area as well as the usual amenities: air conditioning, a safe (free), and a wide screen television, and a hair dryer, bathtub, and hospitality products in the bathroom. As in the communal parts of the hotel, the rooms have been stylishly decorated, with sophisticated contemporary features and bright colours set off against a white background. Of the 57 suites, 6 even have a small private swimming pool on the same level as the garden, as well as a rooftop terrace on which the hotel can organise a romantic private dinner at your request.
All of the suites have a balcony and views over the gardens (from some of them on the swimming pool side you can even see the sea), but it is definitely worth avoiding the rooms at the rear of the hotel, which face away from the beach and are near the road. It should be noted that the rooms do not have perfect soundproofing!
The So Nice has a small but attractive main restaurant all in white and located just below a covered space next to the swimming pool. The 3 meals of the day are served here as a buffet, and like the rest of the hotel, much effort goes into the presentation of the dishes and the polished appearance of the entire display. The food is good, but the choice of dishes is rather limited (4 or 5 options for the starter, main course, and dessert). Themed evenings are regularly organised and live music by a jazz trio or traditional band often accompanies the evening meal.
What really makes the So Nice a good place to eat is actually its second restaurant! In the summer (from mid-May to mid-September) it hosts the Japanese restaurant Nozomi, which is managed by the chef from the famous London restaurant of the same name. Another UK import is the DJ, who provides the soundtrack to very swanky parties here. The Nozomi is located above the hotel lobby and is, of course, open to the general public. According to the managers, people come from quite a distance to enjoy the food here, and you might even bump into the odd celebrity from Nicosia. Diners are seated on an especially pleasant terrace overlooking the rest of the hotel. The chef's fusion cuisine is renowned.
The So Nice isn't right next to the sea, but it does have a little path leading directly down to Londa beach, which is backed by a small state-owned forest. Like everywhere else in the area, hiring a deckchair and parasol will set you back £2 per day. There is a water sports centre offering a number of activities (jet skiing, kayaking, diving, etc.). The beach has received the Blue Flag award and is a pretty stretch with clear water that must get very busy during high season.
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