Sunsets, sea, sun, sand and sangria.
The five ingredients to a perfect getaway, right?
David and I have been lucky enough to travel quite a bit this year as a couple, which is amazing as I love sharing adventures with him, however they'd all been very full-on (I mean have you read about us camping in the wilderness in America yet?) and jam-packed.
There was no room to REALLY unwind, relax and just enjoy our surroundings.
So when an opportunity arose to visit The Elysium, we grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
We couldn't wait for a few days of pure, content and blissful relaxation. At its finest.
Here's just five of the many, many reasons, you NEED to visit the beautiful Elysium hotel in Paphos...
5 Reasons to Visit The Elysium
By Scarlett Dixon
They cater for a variety of dietary requirements
I usually find it REALLY tricky to travel with my various intolerances.
In the past I've resorted to getting special cards printed in the local language outlining what I can and can't eat (yup, I'm THAT person - but it's not worth being poorly over).
And I'm usually ill at least once during a single trip.
I know not all visitors are as difficult as I am when it comes to food, but I think it speaks volumes about a place when they work hard to accommodate each and every guest, without a fuss.
At breakfast, the Elysium would make me up a special plate of dairy-free cinnamon toast and depending on the cuisine of the evening at the buffet, they'd make up special dairy-free versions of any dish that took my fancy, so that I wouldn't miss out.
They even had an entire 'vegan' selection at breakfast, complete with dairy-free gooey chocolate muffins. This alone, made it an AMAZING trip.
Because quite frankly, food is a huge part of travel.
It inspires romance
I wasn't surprised to hear that the Elysium hosts a large number of weddings and private parties each year.
In fact many of you messaged me on Instagram after my first post to let me know that either you'd got married at the hotel yourself or had stayed there as part of a wedding party.
From the design elements, to the interiors, to the gorgeous outdoor areas with black and white tiled flooring, blooming bougainvillea and wrap-around balconies to enjoy the most beautiful smokey orange sunsets, it inspires love and smiles in even the biggest romance grinch.
By night, the Piano Bar balcony is adorned by tens of candles, which illuminate beautiful floral displays. Gentle live music fills the air and many hours can be whiled away gazing up at the incredible starry ceiling - aka, the sky.
It's all in the details
Blogging has given me some absolutely incredible opportunities and I feel very fortunate to have stayed in some luxurious hotels all over the world. But the Elysium's tiny added details (in addition to the grand gestures) blew me away.
For example, one afternoon David and I were sweating beside the pool, sipping on Pina Colada's and Mojitos as we tried to find the most comfortable position on our sun-loungers that both cooled us down and allowed us to still look relatively presentable*.
* Yup, I tried the 'towel over the head, feet in the shade, book under the towel and bottle of water on standby' but it wasn't quite cutting it.
At this precise moment, a member of staff at the hotel arrived at our sun-loungers with an ice-cooler filled with freezing cold flannels and towels. He handed us both an icy towel each and oh-my-goodness, it was utter bliss.
Similarly, on another occasion, David and I were struggling to blow up our bright pink love heart inflatable (an essential for any getaway, I must add) and we may or may not have been slightly bickering at once another because we couldn't find out how on earth to blow it up without it tangling at our feet.
A lovely man who was based around the coconut stall offered to blow it up for us and arrived back ten minutes later with an inflated version of the previously very sorry looking muddle of pink plastic.
And to just add one more example to our very long list, there was also a 'sunglasses cleaning' chap who did the rounds of the sun loungers each day, offering to scrub off all the sun-cream and other dirt from your sunnies with his rather professional looking kit, leaving them as good as new.
If I didn't already feel like royalty, I certainly did after I popped on my freshly cleaned sunglasses, with a freezing cold flannel cooling my forehead, floating in my perfectly inflated pink heart in the aqua blue pool.
The food is out-of-this-world
I've already touched slightly upon how accommodating the hotel was when it came to food offerings, however in general, we dined like absolute kings and queens - regardless of whether the items were dairy-free.
The Elysium has five gourmet restaurants, each of which offers something different for guests.
My favourite was O'Shin, the in-house pan-Asian space, with some of the best food David and I have ever tasted. From the special sweet sake-style prosecco, to the Himalayan board the steak is served on, which perfectly infuses a subtle saltiness to the dish, everything is that little bit extra special.
The upstairs Café Occidental is the perfect place to enjoy a sun-soaked afternoon tea, though thankfully you won't be sweating - as the floor to ceiling windows allow the light to stream in, while the air con keeps you cool! They even do vegan pastries and chocolate gateaux, which I couldn't believe!
For something different each night, try the Epicurean Restaurant, which hosts a different theme and cuisine depending on the day. We sampled both the Indian night and the Cypriot delights evening, which were absolutely delicious with our plates piled perhaps a little too high.
The best of both worlds
Some people prefer an all inclusive style of holiday, where the furthest distance you have to travel is from your bedroom to your sun lounger, whereas others prefer to explore the local area as much as possible, indulging in local culture and getting a feel for what's on offer outside of the hotel walls.
The Elysium is perfectly located to enjoy the best of both worlds, with an abundance of luxurious options for dining, entertainment and relaxation within the resort and a just short walk to Tombs of the Kings, a large 4th century necropolis which features underground tombs carved out of rock.
It's the perfect combination!