The soft light of evening, the smell of meat roasting, glasses being clinked around a blue pool, while look-alike family members chat the night away at big tables – isn’t this the essence of a summer holiday? The only thing that sets apart the guests at a small resort complex in the heart of Polis Chrysochous is… that most of them are disabled.
One of the owners, Chris Neophytou, himself a wheelchair user, created a custom-built space for people with disabilities to enjoy themselves, either together with their families or with carers, Nothing like this existed on the island. His entrepreneurship won a business award from the Cyprus Confederation of Organisations of the Disabled (KYSOA) last year.
The luxury 19-apartment resort, C & A Apartments, is in the middle of a booming seaside town on the west coast of Cyprus, beautifully situated among huge orchards, with unsurpassed views to the hilly Akamas nature area on the one side of the bay, and the foothills of the Troodos mountains and its forest areas on the other side. Good roads connect it to Paphos, the nearest coastal city, a place rich in archaeological interest.
The resort offers a full service, from picking up guests in specially equipped minibuses at the airport, to taking them swimming, wine tasting, shopping and even para-sailing in the Mediterranean. Places visited on day trips are hand-picked to ensure wheelchair accessibility. The necessary equipment is in place to guarantee each guest’s safety and comfort, as Chris’s second company, Paraquip, rents out everything a person with disability would need.
In an effort to extend his facilities to the surrounding areas, Chris campaigned successfully for special facilities in the municipalities of Polis and adjoining Latchi to make life easier for his guests. Paved paths for wheelchairs were introduced to make ‘strolling’ along the beachfront to the picturesque harbour of Latchi possible. The closest beach, a 10-minute drive away, boasts a special ramp to enable wheelchairs to go right into the water, and some restaurant owners in Polis agreed to adjust their table heights for the comfort of wheelchair diners.
Chris first converted an existing apartment block by widening doors, building ramps and installing lifts, then he expanded it to a new purpose built complex of specially fitted studios and flats. All bathrooms in the resort have level access roll-in showers with wall-mounted shower seats and rails. The flats front on to a wide, blue pool with a bar and secluded outdoor dining area – naturally, with accommodating touches such as raised sun beds for wheelchair occupants and a hoist for getting into the pool.
Although every flat is self-catering, most people prefer Chris’s mother’s and sisters’ Cypriot cooking, beautifully presented and freshly prepared from local Polis vegetables, herbs and other country products. Chris’s father makes a refreshing lemonade from the thousands of citrus trees in the area, and his mother’s cold rice pudding (ρυζόγαλο) sets itself apart by its subtle touches of orange peel.
The charm of the place lies in its country feeling and down-to-earth friendliness, which must be why repeat visits are prevalent. Word of mouth remains one of the best marketing tools, along with Chris’s website and his contact with associations for people with disabilities all over Europe. ‘Happy snappies’ travel and are good ambassadors for Aphrodite’s island, where people with disabilities are given a chance to enjoy a vacation in the sun. Hats off to a niche-market entrepreneur with a big heart and to his supportive family.
Visit www.ca-tourist-apts.com.cy or phone 99 647 669 for rates, bookings and more information.
written by guests that have visited us
(please note that since some of the articles
have been written , the swimming off the
boat trip into the Mediterranean sea has
unfortunately been stopped due to health and
other articles written by guests that have visited us (please note that since some of the articles have been written , the swimming off the boat trip into the Mediterranean sea has unfortunately been stopped due to health and safety factors)