Le Chateau Lambousa Hotel is reborn
The vision of two extraordinary people
By Margaret Sheard..
Photos by Chris Elliott..
At last, after much planning and hard work by GAU, Le Chateau Lambousa had reached the time for its grand opening on Saturday 14th June and we were delighted to accept the invitation of the Chancellor, Serhat Akpinar, to witness this momentous occasion.
Having started writing about the re-birth of Chateau Lambousa last August and issuing bulletins on the progress, we were so thrilled to see the final result and it is indeed a magnificent building which has been refurbished to its former glory in company with the theme of the Kingdom of Lambousa and the history which goes with it. I would be interested to see the reaction of people visiting Le Chateau for the first time now that it is officially open.
We arrived at Le Chateau Lambousa for the official opening to find hundreds of people who had all come to be part of this wonderful evening. There were many tables laid out around the pool and GAU staff on hand to direct people to where they would be seated, waiters and waitresses scurrying around to ensure everyone was being attended to. As is normal at this type of event there are many familiar faces, including many of the GAU staff, we found Heidi Trautmann and her husband on the next table to ours, and on our table there was Viola Edward with her sister, Layla, and mother from Venezuela and a friend, plus another young couple who also had an internet website but unfortunately we did not have an opportunity to speak with them. Amongst the hundreds of people attending, it was impossible to see all of the people we knew but we did meet and speak with Ali Safa, owner of the Star Media Group and also Muge Doluay from Image Group and also editor of the Cyprus Observer, there was also the Project Manager for the hotel – Ismet Esenyel who was at the entrance to greet the guests when they arrived, with a very impressive medieval guard of honour.
There was a wonderful 5-course meal which was excellent so credit to the catering staff at Le Chateau who did a magnificent job of serving all of the people who attended the opening.
There was a huge stage erected in front of the hotel and it was not too long before the proceedings commenced with thanks and awards to the people who had been instrumental in bringing us to this point. Chancellor and Founder of GAU, Serhat Akpinar made a speech of welcome and there was a very poignant speech by John Aziz Kent, who originally built Chateau Lambousa which opened in 1990. We found this to be a very moving occasion as we have spent many hours talking to John Aziz Kent and learning so much about the building of the hotel which has given us an added interest in its re-birth. So there we had these two men with vision standing together in front of their past and future dreams.
Awards were made to Ismet Esenyel who was the Project Manager responsible for the refurbishment of the hotel and to Fuat Namsoy, the Mayor of Lapta who also does a magnificent job in promoting tourism in the Lapta area. An award was made to Sevim Erdal, the wife of GAU Chair of Board of Trustees – Memduh Erdal, who had done a marvellous job of creating the huge paintings on the walls inside Le Chateau which are so very much in keeping with the whole theme of the hotel. There were also presentations made to the other people who had played such an important part in this huge and successful project.
Following the speeches and presentations, the guests settled down to watch a very well choreographed performance of theatre and dance with Sword and Raven Knights who had travelled from Belarus especially for the opening of the hotel, alongside the Beyazgül Theatrical Dance Show which performed, for the first time in the TRNC, a 17th century love story legend of a concubine and an Ambassador of the Netherlands.
As I understand it, this is a legend love story, which inspired the Beyazgül dance show, and even today flowers are dropped on Valentine’s Day every year under the Beyazgül statue located in the Netherlands Palace, used as the Consulate of Netherlands today, a statue which makes people experience strange feelings in the palace from the day it was built. It is said that in the palace at night is a woman clad in white silk, with steps light as a feather and rustling sounds, navigating the rooms and garden. There is testimony from some of the old ambassadors and one of them claimed to have seen the spirit of Beyazgül at midnight beside his bed which then turned into the legend of Beyazgül. The legend was presented to the guests with an unforgettable dance show in the historical setting of Le Chateau Lambousa Hotel.
It was indeed a spectacular display with the performers timing their movements exactly to the moving backdrop scene and music. How much practice must the performers have had to create this wonderful show.
So now Le Chateau Lambousa Hotel is born again and operational and we give congratulations to GAU in completing this mammoth task and wish the hotel every success for the future.
To read more of the history of Chateau Lambousa Hotel and the build-up to this momentous occasion of its re-birth and re-opening as Le Chateau Lambousa Hotel please click here