Bellapais Monastery Village
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Realy nice hotel
"The Monastery Village is a good quality hotel. Rooms are well fitted out with aircon as standard. Small but comfortable pool area. Our room in main building seemed better than the little apartments which are built into a steep slope and split level inside. Whole site is steep hill, not good if you have mobility problems. All adult residents in our stay, as advertised. Staff could be a bit off-hand at times but you would always get what you wanted. Excellent breakfast menu and hotel restaurant on par with others locally. Hotel is about 4 miles up steep hill from Kyrenia centre, so hire car or taxi is a must. Hotel do a minibus run three times a day but not late enough for eating out in town. You gain peace and quiet away from Kyrenia centre at cost of transport. Bellapais village and restaurants are about 1 mile up the hill but will send taxi if you book with them, had good meals up there. Had terrible and expensive meal in Bella View next door - lovely hotel but rubbish food.
John and Tricia, Scotland"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of September 2006
Great for a week
"Just got back from the seven-day break in this hotel and we had a very nice time.
The room -- number of people of commented on how small the rooms are, well I don't know where they have stayed previously that this is quite strange as the rooms are all a very reasonable size with ample storage for clothes and a totally functional and sizeable toilet and shower. I do not believe any of the rooms have baths which was one complaint by a fellow tourist.
The location-- I would have to say that if there was a negative to this hotel it was its location. There was nowhere to go and walked to as the village was approximately 1.5 kilometres away and up a very steep hill and on a busy road this could be walked in approximately 30 to 35 minutes but you really wouldn't want to. However the taxi cost of six lire which was approximately Â£2.30 and so therefore a car really wasn't necessary. Also all the local restaurants would happily provide transport to and from the venue free of charge, you really can't ask any more than that. The hotel provides a free shuttle bus into the town itself, three times a day.
food -- the breakfasts were fantastic with a great selection of food all freshly cooked by order and selected from a menu. Lunch and evening meals if he decided to eat in were to a very high standard , and rate alongside any meal that you would get from any other restaurant on the island, in my opinion.
The staff -- the staff work without doubt the biggest asset to this hotel all of whom were never too busy to help and always greeted you with a smile. The restaurant staff were probably the most motivated team of individuals I have seen. Always quick with a joke and a smile and nothing was too much trouble.
Pool area -- the pool area was never overly crowded and it is in my opinion that the hotel could remove one of two sunbeds which would give people a little bit more space. However there was never fa ight for sunbeds only occasional idiots felt the need to put out their towels before breakfast and yes if you are reading this report and it was you, WHY!!!. One of the biggest asset is around the pool are athe most comfortable large cushions that made for sunbathing of an absolute luxury.
The indoor pool area was never used, except by myself in the afternoon, and a sauna and steam room were absolutely splendid
all in all if you are going to this hotel for holiday you will have a great time.
- Travel date: Mon 25th of September 2006
Relaxed in Bellapais
"We (mum, dad and 15yr old daughter)spent two weeks at the hotel in one of their villas in August 2006. We flew with Cyprus Turkish Airlines not the best carriers we have ever been with but ok. Considering it was the day after the bomb alert we were pleased we managed to fly at all. Bellapais Village is one of the best small complexes on the northern shore. We visited most with only The Colony and The Jasmin Court offering anything like the same standard. The staff were exceptional, friendly and courteous at all times. The food and drinks were as good and many times better than the surrounding restaurants at very competative prices (and we tried lots of them). If you are looking to totally relax and chill, this is the place. It is very quiet, very friendly but quiet. We would have to search hard to think of any down side, perhaps the only thing would be the villas are 'compact' and maybe suited better for just two people. Positive thing we would certainly go again"
- Travel date: Fri 25th of August 2006
"We have just returned from our first holiday in Northern Cyprus and it wont be our last. We stayed in Kyrenia at the Bellapaix Monastery Village for 2 weeks. It is described as a "little piece of earth touched by heaven" and that is not a bad description. I felt relaxed after just one day in the hotel. It is not a hotel for children - no under 12s and for that reason it is very calm and peaceful. The pool area is never crowded - no booking of sun beds! Towels are provided and you dont even have to put up the parasol yourself - a member of staff is on hand to help. The food is excellent, a very wide choice is offered and if you wished you would not have to repeat a meal if you were there for a fortnight on half board. Some of the dishes were so good it was difficult not to try them again. We stayed in one of the mini villas which stayed fairly cool thanks to the A/C. It was pleasant since the beds were upstairs and the lounge area and showerroom downstairs. The upper villas are not well suited for those with walking difficlities as there are a number of steps down to both the pool and restaurant, a hotel room would be better. However the outstanding part of the holiday was the staff. They were all so helpful and friendly - the staff who cleaned our villas , the receptionists, Lynda (customer relations)and most of all the bar and restaurant staff. We will always think of BMV when we eat "Cheesecake". Thanks to everyone for a great holiday."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of July 2006
"Last year my wife and I stayed at the Acapulco Resort and whilst this resort received mixed reviews, with one or two minor exceptions, we really enjoyed our stay their.
However during our time in Northern Cyprus we had visited Bellapais Abbey and liked the area.
Having decided to return to Northern Cyprus, this time we stayed at the Bellapais Monastery Village. The Acapulco catered for the masses whereas BMV is smaller and quieter, and as children under 12 are not allowed, caters for the individual. In other words, completely different.
You will know from your brochure what to expect in terms of facilities so this review will perhaps help in giving a guide to the quality.
First all let me say that my wife and I (both in our 50âs) thought the resort was wonderfully peaceful and relaxing. At the time of our stay most guests that we met were British and were in couples. Now to the nitty gritty.
We booked a room in the hotel (most of the accommodation is in villas). The room was perfectly adequate without being âsumptuousâ as one brochure described. There is no passing traffic and the hotel overlooks a football pitch with views looking down across Kyrenia. Because of steps and some steep slopes, people less mobile might have a little difficulty in getting around.
The waiters, bar staff and receptionists spoke excellent English, were of very good humour and smartly dressed. They, as well as kitchen staff and gardeners were very hardworking.
Although only a small resort, BMV engages the services of a Guest Relations Officer. She (Linda) seems to have a cushy job because no one seemed ever to have a complaint!
We stayed Half Board. The food was excellent with quite a wide choice but we would have liked to have seen more local dishes on the Evening menu.
During our stay the 2 outdoor pools were never overcrowded. The indoor plunge pool, adjacent to the outdoor pools, was great for cooling off from the sun.
1) In Bellapais Village, eat out at the Abbey Bell Tower Restaurant and meet the greeter, Ali G, who is very amusing.
2) Again in the village, eat out at the Bellapais Gardens. Make sure you get there before sunset to enjoy the breathtaking view.
At both restaurants they will pick you up and return you to BMV without charge.
3) If you enjoy walking then there is a Book of Walks in the hotel reception. By way of the Crusader Path, Walk 8 will lead you up to Bellapais village via a village called Ozankoy. This becomes a nature walk.
We all have different expectations and experiences of holidays so ours can only be a personal opinion. However if you want a quiet relaxing holiday without the kids, good food, good clean facilities and good service, then in our opinion, this could be just the place for you. We intend to return again next year"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of July 2006
"Poor service, appalling food, dark and cramped rooms, isolated location ( too far to walk to Bellapais village in summer heat )."
- Travel date: Wed 24th of May 2006
Excellent quiet retreat
"We have just returned from a two week stay in Northern Cyprus at the Bellapais Monastry Village resort. This is a superb small newer hotel (in fact the patio was finished during our stay) and is ideal for those preferring a quiet relaxing vacation. No children under 12 are permitted. The hotel is located in the hills overlooking Kyrenia with its magnificent castle and famous picturesque harbour and a mini bus service is provided by the hotel to the town three times per day.
We stayed in one of the villas and while the view was superb we found the room to be somewhat lacking in basic comforts i.e. the furniture was not particularly comfortable, the bathroom was small and the shower leaked (this was however fixed by a very cooperative staff). Basic suppies i.e. Kleenex, facecloth, bedside clock etc. are not provided. Only three English speaking news channels and one reality channel are available on the television. An English speaking representative, Linda, is available each morning between the hours of 8-12; and we found her to be very helpful in providing local information; she also liaises with the hotel management and staff on your behalf if required. It is possible to rent a car through the hotel which is delivered to and collected on site.
The restaurant is excellent. The food is of first class quality and the presentation of the highest standard. The restaurant staff are obliging and pleasant. We paid for one week half board and the other bed and breakfast which turned out to be an excellent choice as it gave us the opportunity to sample the local cuisine also. The village of Ozankoy is within easy walking distance through the countryside (about 10 minutes) with a fine selection of restaurants and cafes and the villagers are pleasant and courteous. The village of Bellapais is also within walking distance (about 45 minutes uphill so be warned) and the Crusaders Walk to the Monastry is both picturesque and challenging! We were lucky in that the first day we walked there a Chamber orchestra performance was scheduled in the Abbey - what a fabulous experience! Both the setting and the music were memorable. The village is also famous for its restaurants, particularly The Tree of Idleness, immortalised by Lawrence Durrell who lived there for some years and penned his novel "Bitter Lemons".
It is advisable to hire a car to tour the area but beware - the roads are in poor condition and most people prefer to hire a small Jeep or similar as most insurance does not cover the underneath of the car i.e. damage to wheels or tires etc. However Northern Cyprus is certainly worth touring as there are some spectacular ruins, particularly Bellapais, St. Hilarion Castle and Salamis. The beautiful beaches of the "pan handle" and the citrus growing area in the west are also worthy of a visit together with the walled cities of Nicosia and Famagusta
We found Northern Cyprus to be quiet, welcoming and uncommercialised. However tourism is rapidly gaining a foothold..."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of April 2006
Lovely holiday - August 2005
"I booked Bellapais Monastery Village through Cyprus Paradise for 2 weeks of relaxation and can throughly recommend it. Unfortunatley having read a rather negative review on this site I have to say we were a little apprehensive but can report back only positively.
Having spent our honeymoon last year in the Maldives we were wondering if we could ever enjoy going anywhere else again. Well, Northern Cyprus and the Bellapais Monestery Village did not disappoint.
We specifically wanted to spend 2 weeks by the pool to relax and unwind. It depends what your holiday requirements are as BMV will also serve as a good base for touring the North if you hire a car. BMV is not really walking distance from anything but don't let that put you off as the restaurants in Bellapais will pick you up and return you after your meal (you can ask the hotel reception to book one for you) The the hotel restuarant is also very nice and I believe the owner is also setting up another restaurant down the road openning soon. We went out most nights as we had spent the whole day lounging by the pool! A few chats round the pool and you'll soon get recommendations.
Poolside - as promised in the brochure there were no kids. You could take you kids if they are over 12 I think but to be honest I think that would be unfair on them as there is very little for them to do at BMV. The only disturbance was the local mosque calling to prayer. (A rather relaxing sound really) The staff were always very friendly and hardworking. The pool was cleaned every morning and gardens attended to most days.
The BMV is built on a hill so there are steps down to the pool area and up to most of the villas so that is something to consider if you are not very mobile. They are good solid marble steps though so you could just take your time and enjoy the views! We had a villa at the top of the complex and must say we welcomed the exercise and were appreciative of the view you get as you sit on your terrace watching the sun go down. I can't comment on the hotel rooms but can confirm that the villas are finished to high standard, more modern than I was expecting. There website has a photo gallery which should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Overall I would say that Northern Cyprus is at the early stages of developing into a popular holiday resort. It definatley offers something different to the South which has developed quite rapidly over the years. While there is obvious building work going on in the North there is a natural untouched beauty to be found in local villages like Bellapais. Kyrenia has a nice harbour were resturants will try to tempt you in and we had 2 lovely meals on the rooftop of Carreb (I think thats what it was called). The rest of the town needs a little bit of money spent on it as the tourist flood in but its definitely worth a trip. Cyprus Paradise offered a trip to Famagusta that we decided to go on and I must say the English tour guide was amazing. What he didn't know about Cyprus was not worth knowing. Worth it for the history lesson as well as the sites.
At the moment the flight options seem to be via Turkey if you book through an agent such as Cyprus Paradise(who we couldn't fault) or if you booked direct I believe you can fly to Larnaca in the South and then get your hotel to arange a pickup. (We may try this next time as it removes the need to stop on the tarmac in Turkey for 45mins). We flew with Onur Air to Istanbal and then on to Ecran. Onur Air is no Quantas but better than your avarage Air 2000. You need to take your own entertainment as there is no film, but it could have been worse as we met a couple who flew BA to Larnaca and had no food or film beacuase of the gate gourmet disruption.
Chosing Bellapais Monestry Village turned out to be a very good choice.
Some of the other resorts we stopped off at didn't look very nice at all and we did hear of couples moving from other resorts to BMV for the remainder of their stay.
The last comment I would like to make is that this is a Turkish speaking country so please don't expect everyone to speak English. I witnessed several English people showing us all up by being damn rude to Turkish staff at hotels and restaurants just because they were finding it a little difficult to communicate. I find if you treat people with respect they will respond far more kindly to you.
I hope this has been of some use to anyone planning their trip.
- Travel date: Thu 1st of September 2005
Loved the peace and quite of the location
"Having read the earlier review of Bellapaise Monastery Village it was with trepidation that we made our visit for 14 days starting 23 April. There was no need for concern the holiday was excellant on all counts. Yes the shower cabinets in the mini villas are small but that is all one can complain about. We asked to be moved from one of these for other reasons and consequently spent our 14 days in one of the hotel rooms, these are very, very good.
Referance was also made made to there being rubbish in the pool, all I can say is what pool and where. Throughout our stay both pools were fastidiously cleaned daily and their presentation was excellent.
The Restaurant was very well presented and all the staff made you feel welcome. The food was very good with a wide choice of dishes on the menu, the only complaint one could have about the food was that the portions served to you were too large. The Poolside menu was also very good again with a wide selection.
The Reception staff were at all times very pleasent and very much so the man who was on duty when we arrived at 02.30 in the morning, a very welcome sight.
The earlier report made referance to building works as though these were part of the hotel, having now visited the photo shown was for work across the road where 3 Villa's were being built, nothing to do with the hotel. As a point of interest today, building work is underway next door to the hotel but well away from the majority of bedrooms.
However people visiting should be aware of the fact that the mini villas are built into the hillside and are tiered back up the slope with the result that a lot of steps require to be negotiated daily to get down the the restaurant and pool. No reference is made to this in the brochure."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of May 2005
Don`t believe the brochures!
"We went here in August 2004 with Cyprus Paradise. We have been to this country 9 times, 6 times with this company. The brochure makes grand claims regarding this hotel being "in a relaxing, tranquil environment" and " each accommodation offers a spacious sanctuary" plus similar claims of general high quality. Our experience was of a cramped room with dangerous unguarded drops off the terraces outside the rooms. Noisy and dusty building works was being done 30 metres from the poolside area on some new villas. The brochure claims "not suitable for children under 16" this is an obvious attempt to sell the holiday to those wanting peace and sophistication yet children as young as about 2 years were present plus associated plastic trash in the pool and expected noise and poor behaviour
when parents disappeared leaving kids unsupervised. Management turned a blind eye to this so DON`T BOOK HERE! If you want peace then pay the extra and go to Bellapais Gardens hotel, it is far better managed and is actually in Bellapais not 1 kilometre outside like BMV."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of March 2005