Berengaria, The legendary Queen
Text: Nikos Kontopoulos
Photography: Nikolas Mastoras
In 1931, Berengaria Hotel, situated on the slopes of Troodos, opened its doors. Built in a dense pine forest near the mountain village of Prodromos, it immediately stood out for its impressive architecture and the unprecedented comforts it offered to travelers –tennis courts, playgrounds and swimming pools– all unheard of in Cyprus at the time. Its reputation spread rapidly across the island and well beyond, causing its visitors to rave about the hotel with the impeccable hospitality, astonishing French and Cypriot cuisine but also for its glorious dance balls that is used to host from time to time.
As time went by the “Hotel of the Kings”, which had become a favorite amongst distinguished personalities from all over the world –Archbishop Makarios, King Farouk of Egypt, and President Weizmann of Israel amongst others– and was established as one of the most important hotels in 20th century Cyprus, fell in decline and could not keep up with its competition, thus permanently seizing its operation in 1984. Since then dozens of urban legends have been associated with Berengaria, making this historic building an important attraction for those who are interested in getting to know one of the most beautiful architectural marvels of Cyprus up close.