Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the Belek Kempinski.
Design: I absolutely loved the design. From this perspective, it's one of my favorite hotels now, and I've been to top end hotels all over the world. Everything from the building with the caravansary entrance (what an awesome idea; I drove in from over the mountains, so I felt like was traveling the old silk road!) to the pools to the rooms is impressive but tasteful, interesting, and beautiful. Really nicely done.
Service: Variable, but overall good. Like most high end service I found in Turkey, it's good enough, but not super great. But this is all relative. I spent a lot of time in Singapore and Japan, so by that standard, the service here was poor. For example, in Singapore, at a comparable hotel, three people would rush out to greet you and get your bags as soon as you pull up, the check-in person would bring you tea and sit you down to discuss your accommodations, they would suggest free upgrades if available, etc. Here you don't get any of that. When I pulled up, I had a guy randomly wander up to me and stare at me. He didn't offer to take my bags, he didn't tell me what to do with my car or offer to park it. This kind of stuff. The check-in staff was friendly enough, but in general, the greeting team doesn't quite get the concept of hospitality at the same level as they do in Asia.
But to be fair, I also spent time in France and Germany, and by that standard, the service here is excellent. I admit that's not setting a very high bar since West European service has to be the worst in the world, but if you have European experiences in mind, you'll feel like you're coming in from the cold. One thing that was a bit curious here (and I found this to be true all over Turkey) is if you have an issue, staff lose their tempers a bit quickly. For example, I had a minor medical urgency and the restaurant was closed, so I called room service for ice. They kept forgetting to bring it, so I had to call three times over the course of 45 minutes. I didn't get upset because it's a big hotel and I understand these things happen, but by the third time, the room service person actually snapped at me for calling a third time. I had minor instances of this phenomenon occur several times. I find this kind of behavior strange, but not uncommon in Turkey. In any case, these types of exceptions aside, overall I can say the service was good enough.
Spa: Awesome. Like the rest of the hotel, the spa is beautiful and it offers many different therapies (some I never heard of before, like rain massage!). The massage therapist that I had (a Thai lady) was really skillful and strong. I don't like these wimpy relaxation massages and she was able to get in there and work out the knots. But I'm sure that if you'e looking for something less intense, they can certainly accomodate.
Food: Very good. I didn't love the grill by the beach, but the main restaurant where they have the dinner buffet is really good. I especially loved the Turkish deserts, but they had all kinds of amazing stuff. And the setting is great. My only complaint about the restaurant was that they allowed screaming kids. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of these anti-kids people. I even like the occasional shout from a kid, or seeing kids giggling and chasing a kitten and trying to feed it, or something along these lines. But when you have a set of parents who allow their kids to scream all dinner without as much as a "shh," you as a restaurant manager have to grow a spine and tell these parents that they're eating room service tonight. The rest of us didn't pay $50 a plate to hear screaming kids. So, that was frustrating. But luckily it only happened once.
Location: Depends on what you're looking for. For me it was great. There's nothing in Belek to speak of, but it is fairly close to Antalya. Not super close though. So if you want to quickly and easily get to activities, it may not be ideal. But if you want to relax on a nice, quiet little stretch of beach and swim in fantastic pools, it's perfect. The latter is what I was looking for, so it worked out nicely for me. I will say that it's a bit noisy at times. Not because the hotel itself generates noise, but rather because the properties to the left and right do. Sometimes, like when there was a fantastic fireworks show at 11pm right outside my window, I was happy. Other times, like when there was nightclub music until 2am, I was sad. The noise isn't a huge problem, but depending on your room location, you may get some now and then.
Areas of improvement: I would only suggest to the Kempinski team to leverage the global reach of their organization and bring some Asia influence to all their locations. This Belek location is close, but not quite there. Given how beautiful the property is, it's a pity to leave the service slightly under-optimized.
So, would I come back and would I recommend this place to friends? Yes and yes. In the end, I had a great time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC