Holidays for us, as with many modern families, have become the main source of quality family time. A place where we can sit and enjoy watching and interacting with the kids as they grow up rather than the stressful daily routine. Be that the daily rush to get dressed. Or the rush to eat breakfast. Or the rush to get to school on time. Or the rush to get home from work in time to see them before bed. You get the point.
For this reason, amongst many, it has always been really important for us to choose well with our holidays abroad. Trip Advisor and other websites sometimes get a bad reputation because of the amount of biased, unstructured and frankly stupid reviews. However, anyone with a semblance of normality should be able to see through these reviews and pick out the impartial, more legible, entries. Subsequently, we have used these sites regularly and it is here where we first encountered the King Jason Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus.
Now, I don’t want to give some kind of corporate review of King Jason on this blog as that is best saved for those aforementioned review sites. What I did want to do is pay tribute to a hotel which through the hard work, skill and ethos of everyone involved has managed to supply us with many of our most treasured family memories.
That these memories were obtained at a time when both Mrs Hangry and I were juggling all manner of work commitments (seventy hour working weeks, OFSTED visits, ridiculous company expansion) along with all the joys of raising and developing two young children (sleepless nights, sickness, separation anxiety) is a further glowing testament. In addition, all the above takes place on top of trying to develop and progress your little ones into the adults that one day they will hopefully become. Only when viewed in this detail do my thoughts turn into an immense sense of pride, both in ourselves as a family unit but also in the hotel for being able to bring out the best in us at a most unbalanced time.
Warm May sunshine greeted us on our first visit with our youngest only 9 months old, propped up on the sunbed with teething toys in hand and floral sunhat bedecked. The enjoyment of playing with Disney toys with the eldest in the pool before taking a step back as he takes his first foray into the world of friend-making. Games of hide-and-seek that have developed over the years from ‘hiding’ (definitely in inverted commas) to the blind panic involved now they can no longer be found. Relishing the development of their confidence as they order their own milkshake at the bar or request another drink from the waiter at dinner. And sitting on the balcony in the evening warmth with the wonderful company of my significant other – children in bed and night-cap in hand. All wonderful memories.
All these memories are born out of the atmosphere created at the hotel. Their manifesto is centred around total relaxation and customer satisfaction; one which is achieved…and then some. At the heart of everything is the manager, Andreas. He is the proverbial Duracell bunny – making swift work of sweeping up soiled plates at dinner, engineering work by the pool or a hint of aesthetic maintenance on the deck. A knowing glance may be scorned at a member of staff should he believe that something should have been completed sooner (it is how standards are maintained), but the point is that he leads from the front. And from our experience, his workforce are more than willing to follow. His charm doesn’t go unnoticed either. Ushering one and all into the dining room with a compliment or a quip – now and then regaling one of many anecdotes he possesses. It’s personal for him and these are the overriding thoughts we are left with each time we depart.
It seems too long already since we last departed, but we will be back again in 2017 – the kids a year older and even more eager! I keep professing my worries that the children will get bored of the King Jason one day and, reluctantly, we will have to stop visiting. However, each year they are never disinterested. The lack of entertainment, be it at the side of the pool or in the evening is not a problem as we are quite willing to make their own amusement in the charismatic surroundings. Long may it continue.
Our online calendar reliably informed us the other day that, ‘there are 10 months until this holiday’ in regard to our next visit. We, as a family cannot wait. In fact, bring on all the knarly stresses of adulthood in the meantime because I am confident they will be blown away upon our arrival at The King Jason once more.