We are constantly on the lookout for ways to tweak and improve your stay at Ampeli Villa, aiming to make it as easy, comfortable and welcoming as we can.
In addition to our regular maintenance, there’s an ever-growing list of ideas for upgrades. This inevitably gets longer after comparing notes with friends and fellow holiday rental owners. Plus we do our best to implement thoughtful suggestions put forward by our lovely guests.
Browsing the gallery, quite a few minor changes are not reflected there… mainly because our visits tend to be working holidays with paint pots, ladders, tools and mess all around. It’s a case of making do with a quick dash round with the camera once we’re back in ‘guest-ready’ mode. Inevitably some shots are missed or spoiled by something in the background. One of these days it would be lovely to have a proper photographer in – another job on the wish list.
Giant Fan Palm
We took the decision to take down our second (and last remaining) gigantic fan palm last November. This key feature of the border behind the pool had simply grown too big for the garden.
It’s incredible how quickly the garden grows in Cyprus. Despite the poor clay soil and extreme heat, most garden plants seem to thrive as long as they are given a good start with regular watering. Once established, trees and shrubs seem to manage quite well in the arid conditions.
The patio pots are a different story… because they need their daily fix of H2O, especially in the hotter months, the garden irrigation system is essential.
Unfortunately the palm tree was casting a large shadow, and dropping messy black seeds in the pool. Plus it was now so tall that it had got beyond the reach of our hard-working gardeners’ ladders when they had to climb up for trimming off the dead leaves.
The removal process was quite a feat… Daniel Petrov and his team at High Access Point did a most impressive and professional job which we captured on this time-lapse video.
The good news is that the pygmy date palms near the pool are looking better than ever, so we hardly miss our tropical giant.
As Cyprus is in an earthquake zone, it is recommended that swimming pools are built with a metal frame and pool liner to give a degree of flexibility that you don’t have with a tiled pool. The downside is that PVC liners do not shrug off greasy sunscreen like tiles do.
To refresh the pool, Border Choice installed a ‘Greek key’ border along the waterline where sunscreen accumulates and bakes on. This adds an extra layer of protection to the liner, improves the look of the pool, and – hopefully – gives a surface that is a little more robust. It’s not a perfect solution, however, which is why it’s still important to use the garden shower for removing sunscreen before swimming.
Super-Quiet Air Conditioners
Although the existing air conditioning was in good working order, we have upgraded to inverter units for the 2019 season. These initially draw AC power, then the DC inverter kicks in to control the speed of the compressor. This should give everyone a more restful sleep because the units run more quietly.
In the living area, the two smaller units were swapped for a larger one, and the two-hour timers removed.
Shiny New Taps
As the local hard water gives the taps a hard life, a change was due. We particularly love the kitchen tap which dispenses drinking water separately.
With recent focus on environmental concerns over single-use plastic, you’ll be pleased to know it’s safe to drink the local tap water, so there’s no need to lug home vast quantities of the plastic-bottled variety. In the villa you will find reusable glass bottles that you can fill up and keep in the fridge.
On our recent pre-season visit I was delighted to find the perfect folder for displaying the new guest handbook pages. Previous visitors can probably tell that designing this document is something I love. There is also an online A-Z version on the password-protected section of this site for booked guests.
The folder came from Jumbo in Kings Avenue Mall, Paphos. A Woolworths-type store offering a wide range of value homeware, (including beach paraphernalia and pool inflatables).
Sunbed Cushion Covers
We are moving on from ‘home made’ lounger towels and trying something slicker. This season’s new covers are microfibre, rather than cotton which should make them more durable and colour-fast. They are much less bulky to launder and store and should be quick drying.
Fingers crossed you like them!
Looking forward to welcoming this season’s guests… Kalosórisma !