Hotel New Helvetia Hotel 3 star
Easyexperts
6, Helvetia Street Platres, Cyprus
Amy Adejokun Section editor

The New Helvetia is a friendly family-run hotel, hidden away in the middle of a pine forest on a mountain. The architectural style is surprising, and you get the uncanny feeling that time has stopped here: only in Cyprus is such a change of scenery possible, far from the coastal cities and the noise of engines. Guests arriving at the hotel are greeted with a hearty "Make yourselves at home". Every effort has been made for that specific purpose, but young couples and families with children might rapidly grow bored.

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  • Rest
  • Charm
  • Nature
  • Flight
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    Location 4.7 /10

    The Troodos (mountainous central region of Cyprus) provides quite a stark contrast with the other regions of the country, in terms of architectural style and hotel traditions. The New Helvetia occupies a building typical of the style seen in the village of Platres (a quarter of an hour away on foot). Entirely made of red bricks and timber, you'll get the feeling that you're in an Edwardian-style English village or somewhere in Bavaria. The English, who are quite keen on this type of architecture, have been flocking to Platres since the 30's. The village is only 68 mi from Larnaca airport (expect a 2 hour drive), and some 31 mi from the sea at Limassol.

    Accommodation 5.70 /10

    The New Helvetia has only 39 guest rooms, giving it a very personalised and friendly atmosphere. All are decorated in an identical fashion ("decorated" is a bit of an overstatement, as the rooms are particularly charmless). Matters are only made worse when the so-called "rural" level of comfort actually turns out to be a Spartan level of comfort... The cleanliness in the (ancient) bathrooms is dubious and the amenities are standard: satellite TV (with a list of available movies), a small balcony, a free safe, a direct international phone line, individual air conditioning, a hair dryer, and a clock radio. The efficiency of the soundproofing is also the object of some doubt: every word spoken in the adjoining rooms is clearly audible. Room service is available during the day only.

    Overview 7.20 /10

    Unless you have a particular distaste for red bricks, the outside appearance of the New Helvetia doesn't offer much to complain about. The well kept entrance, adorned with numerous flower arrangements, is full of charm, and a bunch of peaceful cats sleeping away on the stone slabs only add to it. Time seems to have stopped here... The hotel is comprised of 2 storeys and very narrow stairways covered with wall-to-wall carpet. The reception area occupies a narrow corridor that leads on to the lobby, which is in fact a big sitting room. It includes a large TV and a DVD player. The setting is quite dark, as is the case in the pub and in the only restaurant. An amusing feature of the pub is that a tree trunk grows right through it. This little touch of eccentricity is particularly delightful to English guests, who come in throngs to the Troodos region. There is a small shaded terrace that affords a view of the pine forest.

    Food and drink 6.70 /10

    There is one restaurant room, and the interior is as warm and quaint as in the sitting room. It serves all 3 daily meals. The tables are cleverly laid out and provide some degree of intimacy. An added bonus to note: the buffet breakfast is free, even if you spend only one night in the hotel. There are special menus available upon request, notably for children and vegetarians. Dinner is served la carte. The quality of the cuisine, both local and international, is rather standard.

    To know

    It's a good idea not to expect too much in terms of facilities, a fact to bear in mind if you choose to stay at the New Helvetia. The hotel was opened by the Mattheou family in 1929, making it the oldest still-functioning hotel of Cyprus, and it seems that much has remained unchanged since that era. Just head for the Irish pub in the lobby for a glass of brandy and you'll find yourself immersed in the universe of Agatha Christie. The quaint charm of the surroundings is perfect for those who enjoy a good read, but not for guests who are after entertainment and a high tech level of comfort. There is no lift and the establishment is definitely not adapted for guests with reduced mobility! Surprisingly, there are a few fitness machines but no swimming pool. The place has authentic warmth to it, and arriving guests are treated to a friendly welcome by the fireplace in the lobby, which provides an ideal place to warm up after a long mountain bike ride along one of the numerous cycling paths that leave from the hotel.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Spa

      keep fit, Turkish bath

    • Sports equipment

      aerobics, fitness, sports

    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The absolute tranquillity, and the soothing and quaint atmosphere
    • The surrounding forest adds a lot of charm
    • The warm welcome

    disadvantages

    • The 1930's English cottage style can be surprising
    • Access to the hotel is difficult
    • Minimal comfort in the rooms

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10