TROT past the Disneyland Castle faÃ§ade of Ayia Napa's Castle Club late on a weekend and you'll no doubt find hordes of ravers queuing outside its giant medieval gate. While inside, archaic dÃ©cor juxtaposed with the glimmer of disco balls and flash of hi-tech sound equipment offer a backdrop for writhing pole dancers, caged performers and corseted ladies eating fire in fishnets... Split over three rooms - one for techno, one offering garage and r&b and another for mash-up party tunes - this sprawling club is renovated every year by its owner, Tasos Kritikos, who takes personal pride in transforming the space - where he once lived - by retrofitting it with fog machines, mood lighting and a soundsystem. "During the years since we opened 23 years ago, it's been pleasing to see it grow into an international brand hosting some of the biggest guests on the island," says Kritkos with a grin, which no doubt widened on hearing the news that the venue has leaped 49 places since last year's poll.
According to manager Steve Richards, the continual growth and upkeep of the venue is a way to "give back to the Ayia Napa clubber".
If that's not enough, Castle Club will open a DJ academy to nurture wannabe turntablists later this year.