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Rural Cyprus getting a makeover

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Rural Cyprus is getting an upgrade with growing investor interest in mountain villages materialising as multi-million projects come online, transforming once-neglected areas

More and more investors are looking for opportunities in the rural areas, focusing on mountain resort projects, from revamping abandoned and timeworn hotels to building new resorts and luxury villas.

In Platres alone, investors are pouring in €90 mln in renovation projects and new resorts, some already delivered.

Almost half of the €90 mln injected in Platres – the most popular mountain location – is from Limassol-based Cyprus Property Gallery.

Property Gallery aims to reshape Platres with investments of €42 mln, as the company confirmed.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, Lyra Amvrosidou, Property Gallery’s CEO and co-founder said the company is happy to have already completed the renovation after acquiring the Petit Palais Hotel.

The whole project costs €5.5 mln.

“This was just the beginning, as we have another four projects in the pipeline,” said Amvrosidou.

Laying out the firm’s plans, Amvrosidou said they are currently refurbishing the historic Cleopatra souvenir shop into a café.

“The café should be up and running before the summer season.”

She said that the company had acquired the Pendeli Hotel and the Splendid Hotel, two Platres landmarks. Both projects will cost €11 mln each.

Work on the Pendeli is underway and is expected to be completed in early 2023.

“Regarding Splendid, in addition to the purchase and renovation, the investment also concerns the construction of new facilities to be revealed down the line.

“The Splendid should be ready within the next two years.”

Property Gallery will inject €14 mln into new housing construction, dubbed the Le Platres Chalet, which will consist of villas.

“The company also has another project in the works, the construction of a housing complex with homes of 150 to 200 square metres.”

Amvrosidou said that Property Gallery is very optimistic over the prospects of their projects in rural Cyprus.

“We first came with my partner and co-founder of Property Gallery for a holiday getaway a few years back, and we fell in love with the place.

“Coming back almost every year, we noticed that more and more people did so.

“If falling in love with a place is not enough motive to invest in it, what is?”

Platres will be further transformed by a large project coming online worth €47 mln.

The project developed by DTA Athanasiou is a single residential and organised development with various auxiliary facilities such as restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues.

It will consist of a building with seven residential floors and other units.

Currently, construction work on the project is underway, with the company waiting for permits to be issued.

The legendary Forest Park has been taken over by NNV Mountain Resorts, under a ten-year management deal worth €1 mln.

Meanwhile, the once-proud Berengaria Hotel has started new owners doing emergency repairs before revamping the hotel in 2023.

Situated in Prodromos, Troodos’ highest village, the Berengaria – a listed building – has closed since 1984.

It was bought by Limassol-based Prime Property Group for a reported €2.2 mln in December 2020, with new owners then confirming to the Financial Mirror plans to breathe new life into the property.

Talking to the Financial Mirror, Vassos Kaouros, Nicosia Director for Prime Property, said that renovation work on the Berengaria will start next year.

“We are committed to restoring the former glory of the hotel, always respecting the culture and the environment of the region.

“Berengaria will be up and running in the coming years as a five-star hotel.”

Construction will also include a small condo hotel and a complex of luxury villas.

Rural facelift

“There is a serious increase in investor interest for our mountain areas, with acquisitions of hotels, investing in refurbishing while some investors are looking for locations to set up glamping sites,” Commissioner for rural communities Costas Champiaouris told the Financial Mirror.

He said despite the pandemic, Cyprus mountain resorts are attracting long-overdue development.

“There is great interest from both local and foreign investors for our rural areas.

“We have been approached by investors interested in investing in tourism, health and wellness projects, but also in technology, research and innovation,” said Champiaouris.

He said that Cyprus’ mountainous areas have their own pulling power.

“Our traditional villages with their natural beauty and unique architecture, the authentic experiences they offer, the traditional products, local produce and our rich historical heritage are unique.”

He argued that if these elements are promoted in the right way, “our mountain villages can become attractive, with many prospects for someone who wants to invest in them.”