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With flights to Larnaca not only resuming, but expanding for the new season, Larnaca Tourism Board (LTB) spoke to Maria Kouroupi, senior manager of aviation development, marketing & communications, Hermes Airports Ltd, about how connectivity and accessibility is developing at Larnaka International Airport. 

Travel Trade Cyprus talks with Stavros G. Tsanos, business development manager, George Tsanos Group, regarding a new hotel addition, Petit Palais Platres |Boutique Hotel.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What initiated the concept for this hotel?

Stavros G. Tsanos: Historically, Platres as a resort was a very popular summer destination since the late 1900s. More specifically Petit Palais, located in the centre of Platres Village, has been one of the historical hotels that were in operation since the 1940s, although the building was very different back then.

The new Petit Palais Platres Boutique Hotel concept has evolved naturally from the demanding modern travellers’ desire to experience a renewed and holistic accommodation and dining experience in the Troodos Mountains, not only in the summer period but as an all year-round destination.

At the same time Platres is just a half an hour drive from Limassol and is therefore an excellent opportunity for a day-trip escape for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Travel Trade Cyprus: When did Petit Palais Platres open? And how did you overcome the challenges due to the covid-19 restrictions?

Stavros G. Tsanos: The transition started in early 2019 with the design of concept and blueprints. The strategy was to re-open in first quarter of 2020. However, due to unforeseen events, mainly being the Covid-19 pandemic with initial restrictions that followed construction downtime, this was not feasible. July 24, 2020 marked the re-opening of the fully refurbished Petit Palais Platres Boutique Hotel.

Travel Trade Cyprus:  Tell us about the hotel and its facilities?

Stavros G. Tsanos: The 32 elegant rooms are dispersed amongst three floors, each of which are identified and quaintly named after the three infamous stunning waterfalls located within close proximity of Petit Palais (Millomeris, Caledonia and Chantara).

The property consists of 24 double/twin rooms with balcony, six double/twin rooms with windows, the King's two-bedroom suite and the Queen's one-bedroom suite.

All rooms are equipped with many desired extras for our valuable guests; air conditioning, central heating, 43΄΄ Flat Screen TV, Satellite and a multitude of channels, telephone, hair dryer, safe box, mini bar, tea/coffee making facilities, Wi-Fi and multiple charging portals for handheld devices.

Interconnected standard rooms are available for families, and a new elevator has been installed which serves all floors.

On the ground floor at the main hotel entrance you can find Rendezvous Garden and Rendezvous Restaurant, the Savalas Lounge Bar and Hotel Lobby.

The Rendezvous indoors Restaurant with the new panoramic open-air balcony enjoys the magnificent south views of Platres evergreen forests. The restaurant serves breakfast with a live cooking kitchen, preparing various popular recipes for breakfast.

The Savalas Lounge Bar and Rendezvous Garden are located in the front of the hotel and serve A La Carte menu from 12:00 to 23:00. Uniquely delicious dishes, accompanied by homemade sweets and exceptional beverages, are prepared to indulge the guest’s appetite and taste.

The above Hotel outlets are also available to non-residents.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What is the link between the name of the property and its concept?

Stavros G. Tsanos: The brand name as it translates from French to English, the ‘Little Palace’, has a clear message. Being therefore recognised as the ‘Little Palace’ of the Troodos region, on its own, demands a very detailed and consistent approach to satisfy and even exceed the visitors’ expectations. We wish our guests to feel like home, while experiencing a discreet treat in the same way as royals of the ‘little palace’.

Travel Trade Cyprus:  The property is boasted for its cuisine, tell us about your food and beverage offering and its uniqueness for the mountainous region?

Stavros G. Tsanos: Indeed, Rendezvous Restaurant is a unique culinary experience, as it differs from the traditional variety of the restaurants and taverns in the region.

The à la carte menu offers a selection of recipes to meet all tastes, which include:  the trout fillet, the salmon, pork recipes, the black angus ribeye, grilled half chicken, salads, fresh pasta recipes, stone oven pizzas, platters, vegetarian and vegan recipes, snacks like the club sandwich and monte-cristo sandwich, homemade sweet temptations, ice cream as well as traditional ‘glyka tou koutaliou’ candied fruit).

Expertly and uniquely created recipes exist ranging from a fusion of freshly produced ingredients, stirred with a passion for precision cooking, adding a spoonful of fantastic Mediterranean flavor, pouring fantasy over the tradition, garnish with our smile and dressed with total hospitality.

 Travel Trade Cyprus:  Tell us about your main target market? And have you had to adjust your scope due to these unforeseen events?

Stavros G. Tsanos: The hotel intended to target all year round incoming tourism, providing a renewed and excellent option for a short mountain escape or the day-trip dining experience at the Rendezvous Restaurant. 

Due to Covid-19 travelling restrictions the target market has naturally shifted to the local market. Once the restrictions for travelling will be adjusted, and when Cyprus will start receiving more incoming tourism, the hotel will also be targeting incoming special Interests groups, sporting teams for training in Platres, families, couples, as well as solo travellers.

We have experienced a very positive demand and flow of guests from our opening in late July of this year which has exceeded our initial expectations. We expect this to be repeated every weekend in the autumn - winter 2020-2021period.

Platres is the starting point of many natural trails as well as the Troodos cycling routes which attracts day-trippers. Also, Platres Athletic Sports centre is an ideal location for organising sport events.

Furthermore, in collaboration with the Platres community council, we propose the council’s modern and fully equipped venue ‘Giorgos Seferis Hall’ for conference and banqueting events.

Travel Trade Cyprus: Any future plans or anything else you would like to add?

Stavros G. Tsanos: Amongst other plans, for the upcoming autumn and winter period, the hotel will be introducing live music events of different genres, with well-known local bands and solo musicians, taking place on selected days, afternoons and nights.

Also, there will be more theme nights taking place, like whiskey and wine tasting experiences.

At the same time for the winter period, we plan to offer snow-skiers the option of private pre-booked transportation to the ski slopes of Troodos and back to the hotel for the Après Ski event.

The hotel operations team is adequately trained to follow and implement the Cyprus Government’s Covid-19 guidelines for hotels and restaurants. During this period some facilities and services may not be offered or may be adjusted. 

Kratinos Socratous talks to Travel Trade Cyprus about the Football Escapes Academy at Parklane a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol.

Travel Trade Cyprus: Can you tell us how the Football Escapes Academy was initiated for the hotel?

Kratinos Socratous: The idea goes back to 2016 when one of the founding members and shareholder of Football Escapes (FE), Bobby Zamora shared his vision with me, which resulted in the Parklane becoming one of their launch partners in the luxury hotel sector. For the record, FE’s shareholders also include former Manchester United and England captain, Rio Ferdinand, who was one of the legend coaches at the Parklane in the Summer 2019 season.

Travel Trade Cyprus: Who are the legendary coaches for the academy and what will their roles be?

Kratinos Socratous: The forthcoming Summer 2020 season will be the second year of our partnership with Football Escapes and will feature the former English Premier League football legends, Jermaine Jenas, Jack Wilshere, Wes Brown, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, and Danny Murphy.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What are the facilities for the academy and what will be on offer?

Kratinos Socratous: Each FE academy week at the Parklane, costs EUR500 (GBP450) per child 5-15 years of age. The package includes the following: two hours per day for five days (Monday to Friday) training with a legend star, as well as two-three EPL professional academy coaches, one branded kit consisting of a shirt, shorts and socks with the child’s name and preferred number printed on the back, a medal and certificate at the end of the coaching week, together with commemorative photos with the featured star and accompanying coaches.

Travel Trade Cyprus: If someone is interested, what would the booking procedures be to participate?

Kratinos Socratous: Once the accommodation reservation is made through one’s preferred travel agent or direct with the hotel, then the parents need to visit in order to book their child’s coaching week at the Parklane. The FE academy is available exclusively to children staying with their parents at the Parklane, i.e. non-residents of our hotel may not participate.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What are the dates for the programme?

Kratinos Socratous: April 06 – 10, 2020 – Jermain Jenas | May 25-29, 2020 - Jack Wilshere | July 27-31, 2020 – Wes Brown | August 03-07, 2020 – Dimitar Berbatov | August 10-14, 2020 – Michael Owen | October 26-30, 2020 – Danny Murphy

Travel Trade Cyprus: Is there anything further you would like to add?

Kratinos Socratous: Football Escapes at the Parklane is limited to 60 children per week, so for those parents who wish to surprise their children, they are best advised to book early so as to avoid any unnecessary disappointments!


Savvas Perdios talks to Travel Trade Cyprus about the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, Cyprus, focus points and plans.