Let me apologise in advance for this long review and sorry if I ramble abit!
Just returned from a relaxing stay at this beautiful resort. We were there from 24th June til 1st July. I don't write reviews a lot but felt compelled to this time. I read a lot of the reviews before I went and was slightly apprehensive of what it would be like but a holiday is what you make it.
This was our first time in Turkey and Antalya is such a beautiful region.
When we arrived at Antalya airport we were greeted with lots of reps and huge smiles and welcomes from everyone along the way to our coach.
The journey itself is quite a long time (2 hours) but it was through some gorgeous scenery and the air conditioned coach made it ok.
We were greeted by our lovely rep Vicky who helped us check in. We were then taken to our room by the bellboy and shown the various different amenities in our room. Unfortunately out patio doors were faulty and didn't lock so as we were on the ground floor we didn't feel it was safe. A visit to reception said they had no more family rooms available so was told we could have a deluxe suite incl jacuzzi for free but after being shown it by Vicky we decided against it because whilst the room was lovely it would have meant 2 more beds added in which would have made it cramped because we were 4 adults (my kids being 18 & 19) Reception immediately sent someone over to fix the locks on our doors so all was fine.
We had a family room on the ground floor of one of the annexes and it was AMAZING. So spacious with 2 bedrooms (1 with double bed & 1 with 2 single beds plus couch). Free safe in room and free mini-bar that got replenished 4 times during our week there. Also there is a hair dryer provided. The air conditioning is really good. The maids are absolutely lovely. Cleaned our rooms every day, left clean towels (although they only ever gave us 3 bath towels). A few smiles and a small tip goes a long way. They made our beds differently every day and left flower petals and made our blankets into swans one day. On our 2nd to last day she gave us a bottle of wine which we didn't take because we don't drink and on our last day she knocked and gave us all hugs.
This is free and was a bit hit and miss and sometimes quite slow but it did work!
The resort is huge. There are numerous pools and so many places to sunbathe and eat, both by the actual hotel and on the beach (Eftalia island), that I didn't bother counting! Eftalia island is reached via a small underpass that you walk through and then you are in heaven. Gorgeous grounds with gazebos everywhere. Beachfront restaurants, snack bars, patisserie, shops, ice creams etc. millions of big slides and a brilliant kiddies pool area with pirate ship etc. We did put out towels on the sunbeds at 8:30am (free towels provided by the spa in hotel). Lots of sunbeds and parasols free but some people were rude and try to steal yours!
The food could be better because it is geared more towards Eastern European people and not so much towards English. But there was plenty and it was always fresh and there was lots of choice as long as you're not too picky. I loved the rice and salad bar. The chicken and fish were nice too. But beware of the millions of flies which can't be helped because of the closed one end/open one end design of the restaurant. You get one free a la carte meal per week and we dined at the grill restaurant on the beachfront which was a lovely tasty meal with attentive staff.
The staff at eftalia are amazing and as long as you are polite they will do anything for you. ADNAN at the lobby bar and Efes beer bar was outstanding always ready with a big smile and a greeting of "How are you?" and "See you later". The lady standing outside the restaurant every morning to greet you with a beautiful smile. The boys inside the restaurant clearing the plates always ready to smile and have a joke with you. Our bellboy who always shouted hello when he saw us.
I had hoped that the other reviews about rude guests were exaggerated but unfortunately they are true. They really don't think that they need to queue! I did meet some really lovely people from England there.
Myself and my daughter had a fab Turkish hammam in the hotel spa on our first full day there. Sauna, Steam, Jacuzzi, Full body peeling, foam massage, face mask, full body massage all for £25 each (90 lira).
We didn't book any excursions with Thomson. We took the free bus provided by the hotel on the wedsnesday morning at 10am to Konakli market and had a wonder around for 2 hours. The coach took us back to the hotel at 12:30. Then on Friday we took the local Dolmus into Alanya which cost 16 lira for 4 adults. Just walk to the main road outside the hotel, take a left and cross over the main road via the flyover. At the bottom of the stairs there is a barrier but if you look to the right there is a break in the barrier. This is where you flag down the bus to Alanya. The bus drivers are all lovely and willing to help you. Trip took about 25 mins and you just get off at the bus station. There we walked thru market and went to the harbour which is stunning. You do get hassled by the locals asking to take you on the boats or to take you up to the castle but just be polite and smile and they leave you alone. Walk through the shipyard at the end of the marina and you can buy tickets for 10 lira each that gets you entrance to the following 3 places:- the shipyard with stunning breathtaking views, the red tower and also Damlatas Cave which is by Cleopatra beach (no4 bus from bus station).
On another day we went into Alanya again and took the no 4 bus from the far side of the bus station up to the castle for 2 lira each. Entrance to the castle was 15 lira each. Breathtaking views but not that big!
I have to say that on the way back from our first visit we got lost trying to find the correct bus stop and the locals were so nice. Coming over and helping us. It must've been obvious that we hadn't a clue so they took pity on us! In the event we got a taxi back to the hotel for 50lira after haggling it down from 75lira
All in all it was an amazing stay which made our first visit to Turkey quite special. Yes there are rude people there but there are anywhere. Yes the food could be improved but only because of different tastebuds and I quite enjoyed everything after the first day! We certainly never went hungry. We didn't encounter any trouble during our stay but did see that the window in the Efes beer bar was smashed one day. It is a huge resort with amazing facilities with staff that work round the clock keeping it clean. Go with the intention of enjoying yourself and I'm sure you will have a fantastic time. :D
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- Also Known As:
- Eftalia Aqua Hotel Alanya
- Eftalia Aqua Resort Turkey/Antalya Province