If you’re a regular follower of Ultimate Wedding, you may have spotted the absolutely gorgeous Columbia Beach Resort. It is a stunning wedding venue in Cyprus which we love! Just look at that backdrop – definitely not one you can get here in the UK that easily.
We’ve taken time out to chat with Head of Sales, Annie Karapataki. She has very kindly let us into all the workings of this venue and why you should definitely consider for your big day!
Who are you, and what do you do? And why do you do it?
My name is Annie Karapataki and I have held a sales role at Columbia Beach Resort for the last 16 years. My current role as Head of Sales at the resort is varied and no two days are the same, which I love! I face new challenges every day and I get to deal directly with guests, helping them to live out their dream holiday or wedding, which I find hugely rewarding.
Dealing with couples looking to book their big day at Columbia Beach Resort is always a pleasure and one of my favourite parts of the job as it allows me to be creative but also deliver such a special moment for people.
Tell us about the venue? What makes it unique and stand out from the crowd?
I am proud to work at Columbia Beach Resort, as its values closely reflect things that I strongly believe in. It puts its guests at the heart of everything and stays true to its roots. Our location on Pissouri Bay is stunning and I’m pleased to say we take great care of the locale, ensuring that everything we do has a minimal impact on the environment.
As a luxury, five-star product, everything from the gourmet food we serve, to the stunning Hebe Spa and our centrepiece, the All Saints Chapel, is steeped in charm and plays on the cultural roots of the island.
I think our stand out centrepiece is the All Saints Chapel – it’s my favourite area on the resort. Its rustic, traditional exterior is beautiful to look at but once you step inside the vibrantly decorated Byzantine interior, which comes courtesy of the late revered artist John Corbidge, makes the chapel a truly “wow” moment for those that visit. It’s such a romantic setting and it backs onto our lush gardens and of course the Pissouri Bay panorama.
To add to the romance of our location, we are also a short drive from Aphrodite’s Rock and several other historical sites including Aphrodite’s Baths in Polis Chrysochous, the UNESCO world heritage Byzantine churches in Troodos, and the mosaic archaeological park in Paphos.
How long has the venue been hosting weddings? When did you start at the venue?
Columbia Beach Resort has been hosting weddings since its opening in 2002 and I have worked here since day one. It’s been a fantastic journey and one that has seen so much change and development as we’ve built this tranquil haven into the resort our guests love and regularly visit today.
What inspires you? Who in the industry do you look up to?
The variety of my working day inspires me – different people and cultures, the fact that every event we are asked to create is unique, the planning and creativity that goes into making those unique events happen; it all inspires me and pushes me to become more creative.
My job must be one of the best as I work with couples looking to make a lifelong commitment. Helping them to see their dream wedding become a reality so that they take home beautiful memories is exciting. Couples put a huge amount of trust into the team and me, to deliver on that and even exceed those expectations, which is very special.
I take a lot of inspiration from all over the travel industry and of course from the weddings and honeymoon sector too. Every location is different and offers an independent style and I do really enjoy discovering what others are doing as you never know when it might spark a creative thought. Ultimately, I think it’s always best to create an individual style as a venue – we keep our finger on the pulse of new trends but everything we implement fits our own authentic Cypriot style.
What are the venues greatest achievement to date?
I think every successful event we implement is a great achievement. We are dealing with individuality on a daily basis and every couple strives for their own special day. It’s not one size fits all and we are often faced with unique requests. To pull these off and deliver the wedding every couple desires is a huge achievement.
What do you see as the future for your venue?
I have big dreams for Columbia Beach Resort. We are very quickly becoming recognised as THE wedding venue of choice on the island. This is fantastic as we sit alongside some very stiff competition.
For me, the future of the venue is to grow and continue to develop our product offering with the aim of becoming recognised globally.
What else can you tell us about you?
I have been in the industry for 27 years and held several different roles – I initially worked as a PR Manager for another five-star Hotel on the island for example. I have studied internationally, and as I moved into events, I’ve worked with various conference centres on large-scale activities.
My time in the industry has been an endless journey of exciting experiences and I wouldn’t change any of it. I still get that special tingle following a successful event – it’s the result of lots of hard work but also the visible appreciation you receive from guests delighted by the event you have created for them – so I know this is the right role for me.
For further information on weddings at Columbia Beach Resort, visit the website columbiaresort.com
Alternatively, click here to view Columbia Beach Resort on the Ultimate Wedding Collective.