Dimitris Ioannou: Lasting Impressions
Columbia Beach Resort Front Office Manager, Dimitris Ioannou, has dedicated his life to the hospitality industry: read on for his top tips for the ultimate Columbia experience, and his view of why Pissouri truly is the most unique village island-wide.
How long have you worked in the hospitality industry, and what attracted you to it?
I studied hotel and tourism and joined the industry in 1995. Tourism is a very prominent part of Cyprus’ make-up: we welcome anywhere up to 2 million tourists a year, which is almost double our population size!
Having grown up in Pissouri, which is renowned for its beautiful 2km-long Blue Flag-honoured beach, and having watched the influx of travellers year after year seeking to explore the area, I felt inspired, and realised that I wanted to be a part of this interaction.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your role as Front Office Manager?
Where do I start? The Front Office is the first and last point of contact our guests have with us, and I take great pride in this. A friendly smile upon arrival, ensuring a swift and smooth check-in, and answering any questions guests may have can make all the difference in setting the tone for a person’s holiday experience.
Moreover, we are guests’ point of contact should they require any assistance at all throughout their stay, from giving recommendations for local attractions to calling a doctor should someone feel unwell. It’s hard work, but when I get guests personally emailing or calling me to thank me once they’re back home, and see the effort they put into maintaining this relationship, returning to Columbia again and again, I know that it’s a job well done.
What is your favourite experience/activity to engage in at Columbia Beach Resort?
Well, I’m very much a people person, so any opportunity I have to speak with someone to be able to learn from them, I take!
The Columbia Family –as we call ourselves –is very open and welcoming to guests: we want you to get to know us, and to learn about our beautiful island through us.
Our in-houseCycling Centre a very special added extra: what better way to explore the surrounding area that on a bike tour?
Of course, for those seeking rest and relaxation, our award-winning Hébe Spahas some great packages, such as the skin nourishment programme, and the cellulite programme: not to be missed, especially during the winter months when there’s no better place to be than in the warm surroundings of the spa. It’s certainly an indulgent treat.
As you’ve mentioned, you’re actually from Pissouri: what do you feel sets the village and Bay apart from other locales island-wide?
I really have travelled the island over, and I can honestly say (without bias!) that Pissouri is one of the most unique villages!
Besides being set amongst impressive, rolling hills that run straight down to meet the sea, Pissouri has succeeded in perfectly blending the traditions of the island with the demands of tourism, with many locals opening up their homes and businesses to travellers with the intent of introducing them to authentic Cyprus. It’s also so close to some of the island’s main attractions such as the Ancient Kourion Archaeological Site, and Aphrodite’s Rock (the mythological goddess’ rumoured birthplace) -in contrast to other well-known picturesque villages nestled in Troodos mountains.
Staying in the main cities and towns also has its perks, but nothing compares to the traditional feel interwoven throughout Pissouri, from seeing farmers growing their various crops, to chatting with the coffee shop owners whilst they brew you a traditional, Cypriot coffee